Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cosmic Trigger online reading group, Week 21

Horus Errand cover art

By Charles Faris Cosmic Trigger reading group guest blogger 

Welcome to week 20 of the RAWIllumination Cosmic Trigger Reading Group. This week we are covering the final three chapters of PART ONE: The Sirius Connection, including The Horus Hawk and Uri Geller, The Mothman Prophecies, and Doggiez from Sirius. All of this wonderfulness begins on page 172 (Hilaritas Press).

The Horus Hawk and Uri Geller

In my current view, I see Wilson as both guerrilla ontologist and gonzo journalist. Cosmic Trigger, then, tells the story of a particular strain of energy that ran through the time period centered on the 1960’s all the way to the mid-seventies, all told through the nervous system of one Robert Anton Wilson, Brooklyn born iconoclast and autodidact. This particular strain of energy seems connected to the Gnosis and begs the question: “why does the gnosis always get busted?”  Which begs another question: how to avoid the gnosis-busters!

Tim Leary as Prometheus — Note similarity to Prometheus Rising cover

In Bob’s telling, Timothy Leary represents the living embodiment of the Gnosis, busted in public and punished in private, hidden away in cell after cell before being labeled a snitch (Gnosis is a Snitch!), and then belittled in public and quietly kicked out onto the street in dis-grace.

Because he’s RAWsome, Bob also continually introduces us to myriad other hard working, dedicated, passionate dealers in gnosis including Saul-Paul Sirag, Uri Geller, and Dr. Andrija Puharich. Interesting that Bob spends three pages detailing the political struggles that plagued Timothy Leary, before finally transitioning into the Horus Hawk via Saul-Paul Sirag and Uri Geller. There are some fun fireworks when Saul-Paul interacts with Uri Geller, as well as quite a few synchronicities of distinction. I’ve included lots of visual media today to help deepen the experiences of the synchronicities.

Inevitably, Bob has Saul-Paul and Uri toss the topic in the general direction of Aleister Crowley, who performs commendably, allowing Bob to slip in a hypothesis about the cattle mutilations which began in 1968, as well as an awesome Illustration of Nuit framing an image of Ra-Hoor-Khuit sitting in a mystic/symbolic setting, courtesy of the inestimable John Thompson.

Shadow of the Hawk poster 

The notion of sacrifice pervades this chapter, from the dark dealings involved in getting Dr. Leary out of prison, to the sacrifice of cattle, which Bob handily connects to “many shamanic traditions throughout history.”

If you are at all interested in the story of the Persecution and Character Assassination of Timothy Leary as Performed by the Guardians of the American Legal System under the direction of Richard M. Nixon, investigate I Have America Surrounded, a bio by John Higgs, who was first introduced to Bob while researching that book, and happened to write the introduction to the Hilaritas Press edition of this book! I also recommend Jail Notes by Timothy Leary, which gives you an insider’s view of Dr. Leary’s time in prison.

The Mothman Prophecies

John Keel 

As befits a chapter with such a title, The Mothman Prophecies is high weirdness full of cattle mutilations, UFO’s, “extraterrestrial” contact, poltergeist activity, and of course, The Mothman (“a monster with giant red eyes, a human form, and huge moth-like wings”). To top it off we get Men In Black—the sinister spooks who >>SPOILER ALERT<< wear black suits and drive black Cadillacs, identifying themselves as government agents, while giving the impression of being something far scarier. Bob is relying on John Keel for the story here, which involves UFO’s, Contactees, and Three Prophecies, which are just true enough as well as false enough to bring Keel to the conclusion that the “ultra-terrestrials” as he calls them seem “malicious and vicious.”

Firesign Theatre cover

Doggiez from Sirius


And so we come to the final chapter of PART ONE: The Sirius Connection, in which our intrepid Author follows the advice of T.S. Eliot and gets back to where he started, with Sirius, only to discover a shaggy dog story full of accurate psychics, LSD-fueled trips to Gaelic fairy-land, an enormous invisible white-rabbit-resembling pookah who communicates through telepathy and synchronicity, and the aforementioned doggiez from Sirius, as well as the solution to the mystery of Joe Malik’s disappearing dogs from Illuminatus!  Whew!

And then connecting it all together with Sirius, of course.

Language and Music of the Wolves 

Alright! We’ve made an awesome journey from Sirius to Sirius with Sideshow Bob as our guide. Please take some time to offer your thoughts regarding this weeks journey, as well as ant commentary you might have regarding the entirety of Cosmic Trigger thus far. Remember, it is your participation that makes this group reading a valuable resource for generations to come!

Next week we dive into PART I: Models and Metaphors (185) through The Sirius Evidence. Until then, enjoy some time with your own personal Sirius, and tell us all about your theories, observations, and experiences.


Oz Fritz said...

Nice post, great illustrations! In last week's reading we saw RAW acts as a healer/guide to two friends going through schizoid episodes. This week he shows the closeness of his friendship with Leary defending and clearing his name like a twin brother would, beyond the factual evidence he had personal knowledge of.

p. 173 - "If a mutant can't survive severe testing, it doesn't deserve to instigate the next evolutionary stage." This seems a very healthy way of looking at adversity, as a test. The gnosis always gets busted because it always gets tested. Leary showed it possible to survive severe testing.

p. 177- The Book of the Law is supposed to prove its nonhuman origin through qabalah according to Crowley. I had not noticed this before, RAW brings it to my attention: "Sacrifice cattle" = 68, Scarlet Concubine = 68 then we read on p.179 "Our contemporary cattle mutilations began in West Virginia in 1968. This odd sentence which states a definite fact without any citation, metaphorically and qabalistically repeats the Book of the Law. It seems 68 has something to do with going beyond the animal that also relates to Scarlet Concubine. Deleuze calls this 'becoming-woman.' The illustration on p.245 (Hilaritas) that follows "And so I learned the final secret of the Illuminati," illustrates the 'becoming woman' concept beautifully. That page happened to fall open as I was about to post this ending it with the first 'becoming-woman.' Thanks, Harvey!

michael said...

This section reminds me of a term Paul Krassner came up with (IIRC), and RAW wrote about a few times:
"Satirical Prophecy." It's when you write or create or invent something "fictional" and then it comes true.
(see Email to the Universe, p.243, for example)

Once again, here's RAW writing about other writing of his that, as far as I can tell, no one knows what happened to it: his Dream Diary, in which he apparently wrote about encountering Gaelic fairy-land people 2 weeks before he took LSD and and then had the trip where it happened.

The fake skeptics have an easy time with this: you wrote about a dream you had, then you took acid and had the experience? Doesn't seem so weird.

But: I've done similar things: I write about some exceedingly odd daydream or sleep-dream, and forget about it...because these states seem discrete and not anything like the states encountered phenomenologically during waking, "normal" going-about-your-business states. It's very easy to forget about dreams, unless you keep thinking about them.

Finally, and I don't care how weird it sounds: if you try this, I can almost guarantee you'll have a similar thing happen. So, you wake up from a totally bizarre dream, and know that if you don't get it down on paper it will fizzle in the synapses while brushing your teeth. You write down as many details as you can, and maybe what you remember about your reflections on the weirdness of the dream. THEN go brush your teeth, shower, whatever you do...and forget about it. You did the work; you got it down. Don't go back and read your dream journal.

Only on an equinox or solstice should you review your dream journal. You'll find interesting patterns. You'll find dreams you don't remember having, and an eerie sort of alienation effect in which you're reading about a dream that seems like it was someone else's, not yours. Frequently, but not always, you'll suddenly "see" something in your dreams that was what you were looking for. Of course, ideas for stories or articles or jokes can come from these dreams. Finally, you'll find something in a dream that did later happen, or the event was so similar that will seem uncanny...and that event happened after the dream. And you will have forgotten about that dream until now, the Equinox/Solstice.

My main model for this, as of this moment: the brain works in mysterious ways. After that model: some sort of JW Dunne thing is going on. (See Dunne's _An Experiment With Time_)

I guess no one knows where RAW's dream journal went? (Ditto his correspondence with other writers and esp Shea? What a loss!)

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I often have the experience of waking up from a dream and then forgetting it minutes later, so I will have to try Michael's suggestion.

Maybe Rasa might know where the dream journal went. As you know, Michael, I have many times wished that the Wilson-Shea correspondence might be found somewhere.

Dustin said...

Oz-After reading your comment last night I came across a news story about 68 Brewing Co.It made me wonder about the connection between beer, mutilated cattle and Scarlett concubines. Fun stuff!

My Step-Mom grew up in Logan, WV. The house was 'down the holler', or slightly remote in an area secluded by hills and mountainside. While lying in bed late one night she heard a large winged creature from far away. This creature flew toward the house, and as she heard it approach, it let out a loud shriek and swooped overhead. It returned in the direction it came from as she,terrified, listened to it fly away. She is convinced that it had to be much larger than any bird. It must have left an indelible impression for her to tell me years later. MOTHMAN? Maybe.

Oz Fritz said...

Dustin - I like to sip beer while mutilating cattle with my concubine. This is a true story, I had a strange experience last night on my way to use the floatation tank. This involves a 1/4 mile walk through the woods on our farm. I saw a friendly black cat, as I often do, at the small bridge over the drainage ditch. The cat opted to stay on the near side of the bridge while I crossed it and continued on - the cat was looking and seemed about to go in the opposite direction, away from me. I walked less then 10 steps and saw the cat in front of me, did not see or hear it pass and it seemed impossible for it to have got there so quickly. Quite the mindfuck. It reminded me of RAW's excursion into fairyland. I thought it might have something to do with time anomalies; the cat and I slipping into different temporal frames of reference - or maybe that's just one fast cat!

Eric Wagner said...

The hawk material in this section makes me think of the book "H Is for Hawk" which I really enjoyed.

My favorite book, "I, Wabenzi", also has some Uri Geller material.

Bob loved the name Penny Loony. He said he thought all psychics should have the last name Loony. I sometimes address letters to him as "Robert Anton Loony".

"Let's do the Time Warp again."

Proust and Ibn 'Arabi both suggest the true self exists outside of time.

The doughnut on top of the Transamerica Pyramid makes me think of Fritz Leiber's "Our Lady of Darkness".