New edition of Prometheus Rising
By Charles Faris, Cosmic Trigger online reading group guest bloggerIn 1973 Johanna Leary published Neurologic, a little book that introduces the concept and basic structure of Timothy Leary’s 8-Circuit Theory. In his biography of Timothy Leary John Higgs mentions the profound affect that book had on RAW. After reading, re-reading, and absorbing the implications of this thin little volume Bob was a changed man. He pretty much dove into direct collaboration with Tim (Neoropolitics, The Game of Life, etc) in order to “get the word out,” or something like that. I cannot believe the zeal was anything less than that of John the Baptist, although Bob did for the most part manage to keep his head. [Does that make Johanna Mary Magdalene?]
In Tunnel-Realities and Imprints (201) Bob takes his first big stab at using words to describe something which by its nature cannot be understood by the rational mind, using the model to explain the meta-model as it were. RAW has been building up to this point for 200 pages. If the final secret of the Illuminati has yet to be revealed, 8-Circuit Theory may be the puzzle that points to that final epiphany. Bob affords it that space in the structure of this book that changes people’s lives.
New edition of Quantum Psychology
This mystery of mysteries is the gift that keeps on giving apparently. Bob can’t seem to stop talking about it. It serves as a scaffolding for all of his subsequent work; the biggest, widest, wildest tunnel that he is ever blessed to view from, continually expanding and morphing not unlike Universe, impossible to pin down because it won’t stay damned still.
Over the course of his career post-Illuminatus! RAW kept coming back to 8-Circuit Theory, re-naming, re-ordering, and refining his understanding (and that of his readers). The chart below details a bit of this expanding/contracting/morphing—the shift in naming and ordering between 1977 and 1990.
Digging into this initial iteration of The System/Circuits According to Raw, I am faced with 2 frustrations. The first is my attempt to “understand.” Given that the system itself describes and advocates the use of 8 different “modes of being” it doesn’t make a lot of sense to obsess on grasping it solely through the use of my “thinking facilities,” and yet it is so hard not to. That’s what my thinkers like to do—figure things out! The solution I have developed in that regard is to simply view the system as a tool for discovering how to operate my nervous system. A map, and nothing more. Pull it out, have a look, fold it back up and put it away. Now go play in the territory. Of course, having a good map is quite useful when navigating unfamiliar territory, and quite useless in Chapel Perilous, which is by definition that place where none of your maps is accurate.
The awesome thing about 8 Circuit Theory, the System that is not a System (said Ouspensky on his deathbed), is that it is not just a map. It is also a telescope and a microscope and perhaps the most awesome mental multi-tool ever. As such, it is designed to be USED more than UNDERSTOOD, played with more than figured out. So the solution to my first frustration is to play with it (which includes, apparently, feeling free to re-name and re-order (and re-make/re-model) at Will), use it to look deeper into the world as well as to step back and get a broader perspective. Swiss Army Knife.
My second frustration lies in finding a more helpful way of viewing and working with Circuit/Systems 5-8 than through the terrestrial/extra-terrestrial lens. All Reality Tunnels have their limits and given my Earth-Bound Existence that particular dialectic hasn’t really served me for something like 25 years. It’s like waiting for the dog-mad Eschaton to bleeping Immanentize already! I can’t live in that space!
What I’m doing now is viewing THIS as the time of systems 5-8. I see this in how the on-line world, the social-media, are actively transforming our culture—the culture wars are being fought on-line, in the Neuroelectric/Meta-Programming circuit. As people self-select culturally, they are also then creating new gene-pool swarms. We can see how the Morphogenetic system pulls people of various DNA configurations toward each other.
Well anyway, that’s my game. What’s yours?
Be here next week for more of this craziness: The Octave of Energy (214) and The law of acceleration (219).