By Charles Faris, Cosmic Trigger online reading group guest blogger
Welcome to week 18 of the RAWIllumination Cosmic Trigger Reading Group. This week we cover 3 chapters ostensibly about signals from Sirius, beginning with Other starry signals (141 Hilaritas) and finishing with Dope and divinity. I say ostensibly because Wilson is always building maps, connecting people, places, and ideas, and at the same time…well, we’ll get to Mr. Wilson’s Doggie Funeral business…eventually…eventually.
Other Starry signals begins as a straight exposition of a variety of “reputable” scientists who have received “signals” from interstellar space (or expended considerable energy trying). Jorge Hals, Norwegian radio engineer. L. George Lawrence, American radio engineer. Carl Sagan, American face of science.
Wilson then brings in Dr. Jack Sarfatti’s notion of “electromagnetic chauvinism” as an argument against the radio signal efforts of Sagan and crew. When I asked Dr. Sarfatti about this phrase, he said “That’s what post quantum retro-causal signaling is all about” — I’ll let you investigate that nugget on your own.
This leads to a quick view of the life-work of Jack Parsons, rocket engineer, co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, thelemite, receiver of messages from Higher Intelligence, buddy of L. Ron Hubbard, prophet of libertarianism, sex-magick, and rockets into space, etc. Wilson notes that “For his countless contributions to aerospace science, Parsons is honored by having a crater on the moon named after him.” He is also honored by being virtually expunged from NASA history.
Wilson relates Parsons to Sirius, as well as the push to “get off this planet.”
Quick cut to The footsteps of the Illuminati, which finds out intrepid Author browsing in a bookstore! (See! He’s just like us!) Via some writings of J. G. Bennett our Hero comes across the Gurdjieffian directive to “bury the dog deeper,” i.e. hide important esoteric information from easy discovery by superficial minds.
Of course, on this level “the dog is Sirius, the dog star,” which is what drew Bob’s attention to the passage in the first place, and as the years went by I would argue that the Sirius connection paled in comparison to the notion of hiding various harder to digest notions “in plain sight.” I would argue that great treasures can potentially be discovered whenever we come across any of the many “mysteries of Bob”—the areas where he seemingly just ‘got it wrong’ if we just dig a bit into that doggie graveyard. In my experience the times that Bob seems most “off” usually involve a certain level of naivety, and while Bob plays the naive waif quite a bit in Cosmic Trigger (and various other writings), in “real life” I’m not so sure. In my case certainly Bob did not suffer fools gladly!
This chapter is also notable for bringing up Bob’s notion of “the indispensable Big 3 of 20th century occultism.” That would be Blavatsky, Crowley, and Gurdjieff, all of whom Bob can tie to Sirius of course, of course.
We also get a bit of a clue regarding Bob’s reading of Joyce’s Ulysses, as Bob claims that in 1973 he did not yet know why Joyce had set the novel in the spring of 1904.
Bob also brings back the “angelic language” argument, which strikes me as one of the weakest that the Author uses, and it would bother me not one iota if both of those were struck from the book—and yet i wonder, what might be buried underneath them? For which reason I reveal my first law for reading RAW: whenever you come upon something that seems just plain wrong, bordering on crankiness, or …, ask yourself why lies beneath it? What dog is buried there?
Dope and divinity bring us back to Gurdjieff, and the question of whether the interstellar Higher Intelligences of Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson are allegory or a case of hiding the “real secret out in front where nobody would think to look for it.” I was intrigued by the section on angels and archangels, which some in Mr. Gurdjieff’s St. Petersburg group equated with planets and suns, and which Bob suggests perhaps equating with “intelligent, more evolved entities in other solar systems” in order to bring Gurdjieff in line with Leary.
All of this brings to mind an earlier chapter, Sirius Rising, where, on page 85 (Hilaritas), the Investigator thinks that whatever he had tuned into during his June 6th trip was “a kind of planetary consciousness.” An angel perhaps? And then following a drug-free sex-magick trip on July 22, the Shaman scribbles in his magical diary “Sirius is very important.” Archangels anyone?
At a certain point, of course, it is hard to tell what is being concealed and what is being revealed, and this seems as good a time as any to remember that the map is not the territory!
Diving a bit further into the worldview of Mr. G, we are presented with a vision of an unconscious mankind — “asleep, hypnotized, sleepwalking” — and the occasional interstellar intervention to accelerate our evolution.
At this point the Author takes another rough cut to make a case for the development of language, civilization, and religion (i.e. communication with Higher Intelligences) via the shamanic use of metaprogramming substances (peyote/amanita mascara). Bob ties these intelligences directly to other planets through the use of a Don Juan/Carlos Castaneda quote, and then finishes with a question from Captain James T. Kirk — “Can all this just be an accident? Or could there be some alien intelligence behind it?”
On the one hand, it is easy enough at this point to frame this as the Author posing a rhetorical question, as he seems quite clearly to favor the alien intelligence theory, and to locate the aliens in question somewhere in the vicinity of Sirius. And on the other hand, perhaps all this Sirius business is just another deeply buried shaggy dog story.
What do you think? So much here to chew on, dig into, serve up in a nice fresh comment. So take it away—until next week when Adam Golightly, Discordian expert and author of Historia Discordia offers us his own unique slant on The horrors begin (150) and Ishtar’s Walk: a guided tour of Hell (154).