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Monday, July 11, 2016

Cosmic Trigger reading group, Week 14!

By Charles Faris, Cosmic Trigger reading group guest blogger 

Welcome to week 14 of the RAWIllumination Group Reading of Cosmic Trigger. This week we will be covering pages 102-115 Hilaritas, 102-114 And/Or, A message from Cosmic Central, and Some Egyptian gods intrude on the narrative…, in which our intrepid Author finds himself in full-on “The Doggiez from Sirius are Sufis!” mode and therefor finds mucho evidencia to back up that line of reasoning, or at least enough to move him further along “some Path or other.” It’s interesting to note that the line between Metaprogramming and Pulling the Wool over Your Own Eyes can be very thin indeed. Is the Metaprogrammer the Fool? We shall see.

Our two chapters this week offer us a compelling look at two prophets, both doomed (as prophets “are”) to be born into societies that are not quite ready for them, and both fated to drag those societies kicking and screaming into the future. Part of what is going on here is Bob’s explication of “the odd links between Leary’s work and that of Crowley…” Another part of what is going on here is a tying together of Bob, Tim, Sirius, and the Sufis. As Oz Fritz points out in last week’s comments:

“Wilson's representation of "Sufis" in this section appears largely based on Idries Shah's representation of Sufis from his books. Peter Lamborn Wilson (Hakim Bey) was highly critical of Shah's portrayal of Sufis effectively saying that it wasn't genuine, that he had mixed it up with a lot of his own colorful fabrications.”

I have to agree — Shah is not above attributing everything good in the world to Sufi origin, on his own say-so. And for Wilson, I believe, the Path “is” the thing, as it were, and since the Path that can be written is not the Path, just keep sniffing and moving along. Even “lies” can get you to a place of power. And at this point Bob is sniffing out some Cosmic Tales of Extra-Terrestrial communication and entreaties to “Come home in glory.”

Timothy Leary 

A message from Cosmic Central contains some nice imagery of the power of Leary’s Metaprogrammer, transforming his cell in Folsom Prison, “the Black Hole of American Society,” to a 15th century monastic cell in which he can “write science fiction books” free of the intrusion of visitors who would exploit him or bring him down.

This is an incredibly dense chapter, with references to Emperor Norton I, Aleister Crowley, and G. I. Gurdjieff, as well as what Leary calls “the most exciting idea I’ve puzzled over for ten years”—the notion that there might be an actual physical “lodge” located somewhere in the Middle East, sending out emissaries such as Crowley and Gurdjieff. By this point, Tim had seemingly read Gurdjieff’s Meetings with Remarkable Men, which describes G’s own journey in search of just such a lodge.

Aleister Crowley in 1905

We are also introduced to Michael Horowitz, keeper of the Archives, and Brian Barritt, of whom much more next week.

The culmination of the chapter is the Starseed transmissions, the fruit of Leary’s own adventures in interstellar Telepathic Communication from the Dog Days of 1973, a full pdf of which is of course currently available in cyber-space.

At which point Some Egyptian gods intrude on the narrative and we get the story of Aleister Crowley’s Interstellar Telepathic Communication from 1904, which resulted in The Book of the Law. Just as Starseed is an alien communication through the Leary lens, this is an alien communication through the Crowley lens. Ultimately that means we shift from science fiction to occult-cabala, and the density increases dramatically. Hopefully we can get some shout outs in comments from the more cabalistically adept (you know who you are!).

We also get a bit of testimony from our old friend John Lilly, who offers this little nugget concerning “advanced Illuminati Adepts”—

“Such a network exists and functions…throughout this planet. I suspect it extends farther than our earth, but this is yet to be publicly demonstrated unequivocally beyond the private experience of myself and others.”

So at this point we have Wilson, Leary, Crowley, and Lilly; Turned On, Tuned In Avatars of a New Age of Interstellar communication and the Journey Home? Or four Holy Fools pulling the wool over their own eyes? Only Time (and our own private experience) will tell.

Next week—special guest post by John Higgs, author of the Leary bio I Have America Surrounded and Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century. John will be writing about A visit to CMF, pp 115-121 Hilaritas, 114-120 And/or, offering us a deeper look at the enigmatic Brian Barritt as well as an exclusive clip from the Cosmic Trigger play performed in Liverpool and London in 2014 (and London and Santa Cruz 2017?).


Anonymous said...

Tim Leary was a bullshit artist with the emphasis on both words. He had the saving grace of humor, as indicated by the first quote in this section.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

The little snippets of Leary's writing that I've seen here and there have left me wanting to read more. I plan to purchase a copy of "The Game of Life" this week, as it also has Wilson material in it, too.

Oz Fritz said...

A few days ago, a woman who has a company called Starseed Creations sent me a facebook friend request.

Oz Fritz said...

p. 104 "The Libertarian wrote back..." thought it interesting that RAW used this character, The Libertarian to write about Crowley, Gurdjieff, and Sufism.

The Starseed Transmissions seem incredibly naive in places. For example: war, poverty, hatred etc will disappear as soon as the company is formed and the voyage underway. Also quite skeptical of some of the tautologies as for example: "All life on your planet is a unity. All life must come home." However, this statement (p.106)"Certain chemicals, used wisely, will enable your nervous system to decipher the genetic code." was literally true. It's now known that Crick used very small amounts of LSD when working on cracking the genetic code, and of course, his team succeeded. I suspect this fact wasn't publicly known at the time Leary and crew received this.

p.110 " The Immortality Pill is directly mentioned: ..." Actually it's not. Immortality certainly is directly mentioned in a few places in the Book of the Law, but there's nothing about a pill or anything that could be remotely construed as such unless metaphorically considering the encoded alchemical practices and principles therein as a 'pill.' From this statement, it seems that when RAW speaks of life extension, he's not just considering the physical body enduring past its ordinary shelf life.

"Is a God to live in a dog?" has a few different meanings apart from Sirius. For one thing, it shows an interesting use of qabalah. The sentence through gematria looks like: I + a = 11 + G = 14 + t = 23 + l (as in live) = 53 + i = 63 + a = 64 + d = 68 then counting the question mark as one = 69. The number 69 has the same inverse relation as God/dog.

Dirtydiscordia said...

Re: "Is a God to live in a dog?"

I've interpreted this as a sort of frustration at the human condition. That we are all capable of extraordinary mental feats, powerful enough to have actual tangible effects on the outside world (think Geller's spoon bending as an easy example), yet most of us are kneecapped into an animal, dog like two circuit existence.

The kingdom of heaven is within thee, and all that.

The "unveiling of the company of heaven" likewise to me suggests a connection with an inner godhood, rather than an external place in the stars.

I could go on. Naturally, when you have an interpretation in your head, you find plenty of evidence.

Dirtydiscordia said...
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Dustin said...

The Network of Adepts aka Secret Chiefs has been an intriguing concept to me. They are called the 2% of humanity that are beyond space-time categories, Neuro-atomic Adepts in Prometheus Rising.

Leary, as well as Wilson, purposely translate occult and psychological metaphors into scientific metaphors and goals us in futuristic technology. Both transmissions can be understood using both filters.

Funny how Crowly' s transmission became the central text of Thelema, whereas Leary's was treated differently after his release. As if the fizzled comet invalidated the whole message.

Dustin said...
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Dustin said...

The tidbits of correspondence between Leary and Wilson are enticing. A post script from one letter is given in Antero Alli's The Eight Circuit Brain. Exciting stuff, I'd love to see their letters all published one day.

Tom- I enjoyed reading The Game of Life, and going through some of the exercises, very dense reading. I found it just last year and was astonished at the similarities with Prometheus Rising. I must admit that I find it harder to grasp the enitire model when given in its full 24 stage glory, and find it much easier to use when streamlined to 8 circuits only.

chas said...

Tom--The Game of Life is a personal fave--It's old, it's dated, and as with Cosmic Trigger the "predictions" don't quite pan out--Here in 2016 for example we "ought" to be seeing the arrival of "Quantum Intelligence"--c'est la vie--Leary often referred to himself as a "cheerleader for change" and even when the home team is losing by a landslide the cheerleaders job is to pump up the crowd--"It's coming! Make it happen!" Tim may have been blessed with the gift of blarney, and I'll dance with his Belief Systems any day.

chas said...

Dustin--The central tenets of Starseed--Space Migration, Intelligence Increase & Life Extension--occupied Tim (and Bob) for years to come. Tim was scientifically oriented, however, and wasn't interested in elevating any text to central/holy status. That fizzling comet represents Public Reception, to me.

Dustin said...

Chas-Good points. Thanks for insights. In many ways the message in Starseed has permeated our (post)modern culture.

As for cabala, I was introduced to it by CT, and read many books about it after following the trail through Crowley to Golden Dawn liturature. I certainly have not become proficient at using the model.....yet. However, I've found it instructive and entertaining to read Oz' s messages on the reading groups of this site.

Oz Fritz said...

Dustin, I asked RAW at a talk what he thought about the Secret Chiefs, if they had any validity? He said they were a "useful metaphor." A book of Leary/Wilson correspondence is a great idea.

Tom, "The Game of Life" changed mine from getting into the hedonic engineering stage, 14 I believe, and doing practices inspired by that. It's also a great reference book. I got the name of my sound engineering co. from that book.

Eric Wagner said...

When I attended the World Science Fiction Convention in San Francisco in 1993 they had an actor playing Emperor Norton throughout the convention. They also had a man playing Mark Twain, their "Dead Guest of Honor". I had a nice conversation with Twain about Christian Science and Mormonism. I also enjoyed Neil Gaiman's take on Norton in Sandman.

In 1994 I visited the Cairo Museum. It took me a while, but I found the Stele of Revealing. That made me happy.

Bob suggested the OTO make Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh an Outer Head when he got his 93rd Rolls Royce. They did, and Bhagwan got deported shortly thereafter.

I noticed a Great Performances broadcast of Parsival coming up in the next week or so.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

@Eric Wagner, I went to the Worldcon in Frisco, too. Did you go to the Kim Stanley Robinson lecture on Philip K. Dick? I was there.

Eric Wagner said...

I went a panel discussion on Phil Dick. I don't recall if she participated. I did hear Eric Drexler talk about nanotechnology.