The Via Dolorosa
The Dark Companion
Bob does a formal invocation of Hadit, whom Crowley identifies with Sirius, and a week later Time magazine runs a full-page review of Temple’s The Sirius Mystery. He finds the lack of conclusiveness to be infuriating. When Rolling Stone runs an ad for a German rock group with a singer named Winifred (ala Illuminatus!) Bob finds this “even more suggestive and even less conclusive.”
Saul-Paul Sirag suggests that sometime the first experiments with a time machine will be conducted sometime in the 1990’s, with resulting odd effects creating all of the “occult” events that Cosmic Trigger has chronicled. These time machines might require the use of the Dark Companion of Sirius, the nearest dwarf star to Planet Earth.
Straight out let’s note that Via Dolorosa, the Way of Pain, Grief, or Suffering, is the name of a street in Old Jerusalem that Jesus is held to have walked down on the way to his crucification. It also ties in to the Gurdjieffian concept of Intentional Suffering as a high powered method of scraping away the chaff and getting closer to one’s Original Essence, which Bob relates to Circuit 8 in the Leary Octave of Consciousness. So the Way of Suffering is revealed as (one of) the most powerful ways to expand your consciousness and climb the ladder of personal development. Be careful what you wish for.
Speaking of Gurdjieff, watch how Bob hides the final secret of the Illuminati right out in the open, right at the end, just like Mr G did in his (much longer and more difficult to digest than Cosmic Trigger) epic Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson.
In September 1976 Bob enters alpha during a group brain-wave harmonization and gets a flash that his son Graham would die soon. He immediately utilizes “concentration methods learned from Crowley” to banish fear and anxiety. He also sets out on a course of rituals to protect his son and, based on his awareness that “this might only deflect the calamity slightly,” the rest of his family as well. Remember that on pages 101 and 137 Bob has already written about a couple of other interesting psychic events involving Graham, one of which involved creating a protective “cone of power” around him.
Then he drops the bomb and tells us about the last time he told his daughter Luna how much he loved her, and then the jumble of events following her death. This section seems unhinged from time and space, a sort of mini-Chapel Perilous, as Bob hears about her death from a police officer with “the most pained eyes I have ever seen, ” and spins in and out of grief and gratitude, rationalization and uncontrollable sobbing, finally emerging to find himself surrounded by a network of unbelievable love and support as the immortality community rallies around him and jumps through the million and one hoops necessary to cryonically preserve Luna’s brain.
One line in particular, at the bottom of page 241, reveals this Chapel Perilous period of time: “I often found myself in a room, going somewhere, without knowing how I had gotten there, or what I was looking for.” Compare this to the famous description of Chapel Perilous on page 5 (Hilaritas): “You might think that you are just…wandering from room to room looking for your cigarettes…”
It is that Network of Love that eventually shows Bob out the door of Chapel Perilous into a world more connected than the one he had inhabited before. he takes a new imprint: “I entered a belief system in which the Network of Love was not one hypothesis among many but an omnipresent Reality.”
This is the chapter that can be read a million times, although I always face it with dread. It’s like the camel that actually makes it through the interminable squeeze through the eye of the needle to come out on the other side, as shiny and radiant as the golden apple of Eris, as new as a fresh dewy morning, connected, revealing, as Bell’s Theorem does to Saul-Paul SIrag (241) that “there is no true separation anywhere.”
And it finishes with Tim Leary rapping that “positive energy is as real as gravity,” and answering the final question in a book full of questions: “What do you do, Dr. Leary, when somebody keeps giving you negative energy?”
“Come back with all the positive energy you have.”
And so Bob “finally learned the final secret of the Illuminati,” which is you and me and everyone else who employs that secret to the benefit of ourselves, each other, this entire struggling planet, and all of Universe.
Next week we have a special update to his Afterwords by Saul-Paul Sirag. You won’t want to miss it. As always, please chime in with your own thoughts regarding Bob’s final 2 chapters of Cosmic Trigger.