By Charles Faris, Cosmic Trigger reading group guest bloggerWelcome 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.”
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?).