Monday, October 31, 2016

Week Thirty, Cosmic Trigger Reading Group, Final Entry

Amoeba Design artwork

By Charles Faris, Cosmic Trigger online reading group guest blogger

I’m sitting in a little corner coffee shop in a green leafy neighborhood of an old-suburban/new-urban section of a major American city, surrounded by mothers and children. Lots of toddlers, pre-toddlers, and post-toddlers. The majority of the mothers’ time is taken up in the task of clipping the rough bristles of wildness from their children. It is easy to see the varying levels of wildness allowed each child according to age, development, and parental proclivity, and to notice that the older the child is, the less “correcting” they need. This is a very liberal neighborhood in a famously liberal city, so I don’t see any physical force being used, and i don’t hear any harsh tones, sharply raised-voices. I do hear a lot of sh-sh-sh’s, and a lot of redirecting, both gentle physical redirections and soft verbal ones, and I notice that every parent has a distinct style of correction and level of wildness allowed.

I also notice age-related energy-level differences. Infants are relatively inert when they aren’t eating, crying, or pooping, and the older they get the more active they get, until somewhere around the age of five, by which time most children have a team of professional socializers on their case. As they get older of course, they also begin to socialize teacher other.

Interestingly, this process of stripping away the inborn wildness begins with emotional socialization— note the emote in emotional. As children begin to move around their environment physical socialization comes into play, with toilet training being one of the most deeply intimate of these ritualized behavior-modification projects. Note the use of the word training — we are domesticated apes indeed. What monkey would teach its children how to properly poop?

Such is my state of mind after seven months of being immersed in the mind-fuck that is Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati (with a heavy dose of Quantum Psychology thrown in during months 3 &4). I can now state with confidence that the 23rd secret of the Illuminati is that immersing yourself in Cosmic Trigger, deeply, obsessively, over an extended stretch of time, is guaranteed to grant you an extended tour of Chapel Perilous. As Hermann Hesse would say, “Welcome to the Magic Theater. Price of admission: your mind!”

Everywhere around me I see these subtle and not so subtle cues to acceptable behavior. Political news is a great place to look, especially right now with the extreme polarizations playing out across Planet Earth. Sometimes I think that if I found the right pair of magic sunglasses I would be able to look out at the world and see hordes of people wearing signs on their chests reading Tell Me What To Think! And a group of people wearing signs that read I’ll Tell You What To Think!. Of course, most of those people would be wearing one of the Tell Me What To Think Signs as well. It really is at the point where I think the highest form of art is in the expression of non-coercion and the refusal to Tell Me What To Think!

Which brings me again to Cosmic Trigger, which actually takes that highest form of art one step higher, floating six inches above the top run of the ladder, as it were, due to its inherent nature, aim, and purpose, which is to assist the reader in taking off one damned sign and not putting on the other. That he succeeds in his aim is on the one hand a miracle of sorts, and on the other an indication of the powerful alignment of will and action Robert Anton Wilson had attained by the time he finished writing Cosmic Trigger. What else would one expect from a writer who once recommended reading Ulysses 40 times to improve one’s prose style?

Looking back then at the beginning of this extended journey into the heart and mind of RAW, I come back to the notion of maps, the reading of and the creating of, as well as keys to open the various doors to the various rooms in the chapel of Bob. If I had to choose between one and the other, I would take a nice sets of keys over the most complete and accurate collection of maps available — you don’t have to open very many doors in this chapel to find yourself lost in uncharted territory where the only accurate map is the one you make yourself (and even that is provisional). It’s a shifting landscape, in other words, which would be obvious about everything if we where accustomed to thinking in terms of space-time rather than acting as if physical space were actually separate from time. Been to the old neighborhood lately?

And so herewith are a few of the keys that I have been using in this journey (as always I’m really looking forward to reading about your own keys, as well as any maps you have managed to create in the process of reading Cosmic Trigger “one more time”).



The first and most valuable key for me is Bob’s use of various personality types to describe himself. Rather that the typical I, me, mine, the Author of Cosmic Trigger uses 34 different personality descriptors to indicate the actions of his “self.” This conceit offers the reader a tightly packed clue to of the state of mind the Author was acting from during the incident described, as well as gradually revealing that the Author is more than an author, that he is a mystic, a father, a robot, a poet, and a crazy pauper — note how this engages the self with time in a similar way that space-time engages space with time. Note also that it’s not just Bob who operates this way.

The stars of the show are the Skeptic and the Shaman. The Skeptic makes 25 appearances; the Shaman makes 23.The Materialist (15) is a strong supporting actor, along with the Libertarian (9), and the unholy triad of the Reporter (6), the Numerologist (6), and the Fool (6) make their presence known. The Suspect, the Wizard, and the Investigator are among the personalities that act as faces we recognize, showing up 3-5 times in the course of the tale, while the Mark, the True Failure, and the Libertarian Hedonist fall in the collection of aspects we only see once or twice.

The use of the 34 personalities certainly makes Bob’s actions and motivations more understandable and thereby adds a helpful depth to the reading. It also turns out handy in parsing the actions and motivations of pretty much anyone you run into, including yourself. Just to be complete, I’ll post a full list of the personalities in comments, including page numbers and number of occurrences.

The next key I’ve been using is a list of themes, which is necessarily incomplete and idiosyncratic. Looking at CT through the lens of these themes has added a rich level of dimensionality to this particular reading. Some of these themes function as story arcs such as the “process of deliberately induced brain change through which [Bob put himself] in the years 1962-1976,” some as educational projects such as Which Drug Does What?, or Against Attributing Objective Reality to Magickal (or any other) Acts. Many of them, such as 8 Circuit Theory, Programming and Meta-Programming in the Human Bio-Computer, and Synchronicity/Coincidance show up in Bob’s work time and time again. All of them can be utilized to bring a rich level of dimensionality to the felt experience of our lives as well. As with the personalities, I’ll include a list with page numbers in comments.


Timothy Leary 

A third key that really broke down the wall between the book and my life was the incredible list of people who contribute to this story one way or another. Some of these people are major players in Bob’s life: Timothy Leary whom I identified early on as Virgil to Bob’s Dante, and Alan Watts, who gets credit for pushing Bob into the study of Aleister Crowley. Others, like Crowley, who has a profoundly magical effect upon the Author in his numerous incarnations, and Buckminster Fuller, whose techno-optimism shines through in all of Bob’s work, influence RAW through their writings.

The list of remarkable people mentioned in Cosmic Trigger (and indexed, thankfully) includes those who show up again and again, such as Wilhelm Reich, psychologist and sex-economist, Alfred Korzybski, whose work in General Semantics is vital to all of Wilson’s work, and John Lilly, fearless explorer of human consciousness. It also includes quite a few cameo players such as H. P. Lovecraft and Brian Barritt, who show up only once or twice in it’s pages, yet are obviously pointed to as Subjects for Further Study. As above, I will includef a list of People Bob Likes in the comments. If you have any experience delving into the writings of these Bad Hombres, please do chime in below. I know that my own world view has been and continues to be greatly influenced by the writings of people I discovered from reading Cosmic Trigger.

The final key that I will mention here is the number of books referred to in these pages. There are too many to mention here, although I do think that The Principia Discordia deserves special mention, as does The Sirius Mystery. As above, list in comments, your experiences with books from CT greatly desired.

Okay — that’s it for me. It’s been a very “real” experience! I definitely paid a deep visit to Chapel Perilous. And I’m definitely very happy to be back home. I think the final secret of the Illluminati (which I interpret as “Come back with all the positive energy you have”) is very helpful when traversing that tricky landscape. I hope you have found this collection of posts and commentary helpful as well.


Charles Faris

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A debate over basic income


Will Wilkinson

Many of Robert Anton Wilson's pieces in favor of a basic income were written at a time when the notion was a radical idea, being considered by almost nobody else. Now it's an idea that being discussed widely; I spent this morning reading pieces about it.

Tyler Cowen has written about it again with "My Second Thoughts About Universal Basic Income."  Negative thoughts about the proposal also are available in this essay.

In response to Cowen's piece, Arnold Kling and Will Wilkinson have written rebuttals. Wilkinson has promised a follow-up piece, which I hope he will post soon.

I get Cowen's point that a work ethic is important, but as Wilkinson and Kling point out, UBI is generally considered an alternative to the existing welfare system, which also has disincentives to work. It seems to me that a basic income could promote work, if it made it easier to take a low-paying job.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

A couple of images

If you're as sick of this crazy election as I am (it's the most discouraging election I can remember as an adult),


Then maybe you might be ready for a couple of items on Twitter that amused me.  This is via Ted Hand on Twitter:


This is also on Twitter, from Jeremy Lafty. 


Caption for the photo: "What is the government hiding from us?"

Friday, October 28, 2016

The new 'Twin Peaks' book has familiar conspiracy theory elements



I don't know that Robert Anton Wilson was a "Twin Peaks" fan, or that "Twin Peaks" was influenced by Wilson.

But many Wilson fans are fans of the show (I liked it, too), so I'm passing on this book review of The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost (co-creator of the show along with David Lynch). The review says the book is a "must read" before starting on the revived new series next year, but is the paragraph in the review that surprised me:

The Secret History takes us down the rabbit hole of pretty much every 20th-century conspiracy theory and ties them to the happenings in the woods around Twin Peaks. It’s frankly astounding that this book can link the Freemasons, the Illuminati, Roswell, Project Blue Book, the Majestic 12, Aleister Crowley, Dianetics, the creation of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JFK, Tibet, Watergate and Jackie Gleason (yes, of Honeymooners fame) into the Twin Peaks universe in a way that works in the context of the show’s mythology.

Maybe Frost is a RAW fan, after all?

The book is out now in Kindle and hardcover, and I'm sure I will get to it eventually.

Hat tip, Charles Faris.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday links



October 2016 Eris of the Month.

Latest claim of alien signals probably not credible.  Via The Daily Grail on Twitter. 

Speaking of extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence, the alleged chaos magic roots of the alt right. Via Jesse Walker, who was surprised to find himself quoted.

"Countries bombed: Obama 7, Bush 4."

R.U. Sirius music compilation. Almost certainly worth a listen. I will check it out.

New libertarian group, The Libertarian Institute. I have not had time to explore the site, but it has good antiwar credentials.  Says Scott Horton:

"Our goal is to unite the libertarian movement and more importantly to realign American politics around our agenda — prioritizing opposition to the worst of state power: the permanent war state, the prison and police states, and the corporate welfare, corrupt contracts, and bank bailouts that rig the economy for the wealthy and politically connected.

"The Libertarian Institute’s mission is to stress these issues and work with other groups from across the political spectrum against these greatest of abuses."


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Oz Fritz talks with RAWIllumination


Oz Fritz working with the band Achilles Wheel. Photo by John Taber. 

Oz Fritz is a recording engineer, recording producer and a writer, based in California; longtime readers of this blog will know him as somebody who knows a lot about Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary (he has not only read a great deal of Leary, he has read all of the available biographies and memoirs). He knows a lot about Kabbalah. He knows a lot about a lot of stuff. I'm grateful for all of the reader comments he's posted on this blog, and I regularly read his blog, The Oz Mix. 

I thought it might be interesting to ask Oz about sombunall of his interests and he graciously agreed to take some questions.

Here is the official Oz Fritz bio:

Oz Fritz has been a professional sound engineer for more than 30 years working in both recording studio and live concert environments.  He has collaborated on over 60 projects with producer Bill Laswell that include L. Shankar, Material, Ginger Baker, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Sonny Sharrock, William S. Burroughs , Bob Marley,  Icehouse and Yothu Yindi.  Other studio credits include John Cale, Ornette Coleman, D.J. Disk, Digital Underground, Jungle Brothers, Golden Palominos, Information Society, Meat Loaf, and Rick Derringer. 

In the last few years Oz has engineered  releases by Paris Combo (went to #1 on the Billboard World Music charts), Wanda Jackson (featuring The Cramps, Elvis Costello and Dave Alvin), Tabla Beat Science featuring (Bill Laswell and Zakir Hussein), Oysterhead (Les Claypool, Stewart Copeland and Trey Anastasio from Phish), legendary Cuban pianist Pepecito Reyes, the Grammy award winning Mule Variations by Tom Waits, as well as Alice and Blood Money by Waits, Anti-Pop by Primus,  and Wicked Grin by John Hammond (produced by Tom Waits).  He also mixed songs for a VH1 Storyteller’s show by Waits, and recorded and mixed half of Monsters and Robots by Buckethead. 

 He recorded Havana Mood and Imaginary Cuba in Havana and engineered a couple of tracks on the gold record Lado B Lado A by the Brazillian pop group O Rappa all with producer Bill Laswell.
Fritz has done many on-site field recordings around the world including the acclaimed Apocalypse Across The Sky by the Master Musicians of Jajouka.  Recently he’s recorded and mixed several of the top musicians in Bamako, Mali  for the maverick  Kanaga System Krush label.  Artists such as djembe master Abdoul Doumbia, The Bari Ensemble, Mady Keita and Lobi  Traore.  Oz also engineered Jali Kunda, a history of Griot music, spearheaded by Bill Laswell and Foday Musa Suso. 

Additional field recording locations include India and the Australian Outback.  Oz has engineered in state-of-the-art recording studios in Tokyo, London, Paris, Madras, Sydney, Havana, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and New York.

His live mixing credits (all front-of-house) include Tom Waits’ Mule Variations tour, Painkiller with Bill Laswell and John Zorn, Jack de Johnette, Material (Laswell, Foday Musa Suso and Ginger Baker), Third Rail (James Blood Ulmer, Bernie Worrell, Laswell and others), Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra and, most recently, Tabla Beat Science featuring Laswell, Zakir Hussein, Sultan Khan and Gigi.

Oz was also the chief engineer on the Flying Mijinko tour, a cultural exchange series of concerts sponsored by the Japanese government.  This tour, put together by Akira Sakata and featuring Bill Laswell, Foday Suso, Anton Fier and many others, played throughout Central Asia, China, Mongolia and Japan.  A double live cd documenting the trip was recorded and mixed by Fritz.

Oz's bio neglects to mention his own album,  Bill Laswell's Material Presents :Oz Fritz : All Around The World.  Here are the liner notes if you choose to get the downloadable version. You can see some of Oz's credits at Allmusic.com.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: How did you get interested in Robert Anton Wilson, and what are the aspects of his work you have particularly gotten into?

OZ FRITZ: A sound equipment salesman and friend of mine, Adrian Plant, manipulated me into quitting the band I did sound for and joining another one called Relay.  The lightman for Relay, Bob Gregory was about five years older than me and had a small, but good occult library that included a facsimile edition of Aleister Crowley’s Equinox publications.  Bob and I soon became friends and roommates.  He told me about this book that was supposed to be a sort of Holy Grail of occult and Crowley explanation.  The book was Cosmic Trigger and the author was this highly mysterious figure, Robert Anton Wilson.  Right away, he was introduced to me as a Hidden Master, and turns out he was.  I don’t think Bob had read it, he was vague about why it was so special; nothing else was known about the author other than he’d written this book.  We finally found it at the O.T.O. bookstore in Edmonton.  I found Leary’s introduction difficult to follow, but was captivated with immediate interested in Wilson’s writing style.  It hooked me into following the thread of his journey and finding out what was going to happen next.  It had a mild waking-up effect in that I began noticing coincidences and paying more attention to the environment, and in different ways.  The strongest effect from the first reading led to the realization of how incredibly little I knew.  I hadn’t been to college and don’t remember having passionate intellectual interests other than listening to music and doing sound engineering. Cosmic Trigger changed all that.  It started for me a love of learning that continues as strongly to this day with all the vices and versas that brings on.

Aspects of his work I’ve dived into include: Nietzsche, Lovecraft, Leary, Crowley, Gurdjieff, Burroughs, Fuller, Lilly, cabala, synchronicities, multi-valued logic, General Semantics, guerrilla ontology, physics and consciousness, Sufism, Joyce.  I’m probably leaving something out.  I spent years reading books that were leads from Cosmic Trigger including anything else I could find by RAW.

RAWILLUMINATON.NET: You began as a soundman for touring rock bands. What made you decide to make the transition to being a recording engineer?

OZ FRITZ: I had no obvious way to progress in my career as a sound engineer and was getting tired of mixing mostly in bars and clubs.  I desired a drastic change.  The lead singer had convinced me to visit New York with him and his girlfriend, but they got stopped at the border for an old pot charge.  I had an amazing and magical visit to New York on my own, book buying and checking out music, plays and the city in general.  I saw Sun Ra play with a hundred piece band and dancers at a small cabaret in the East Village as just one highlight. I decided I had to find a way to move there and enrolling in the Institute of Audio Research was a way to do so.  What really convinced me to become a recording engineer was coming home from a gig in Canada and listening to My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts for the first time.  I had a strong experience with it and realized there were things you could do in a recording studio that you couldn’t accomplish live; it was its own art form.  That record was also a big break for Bill Laswell.  He has a co-writer’s credit on the first track and it marked the beginning of his collaboration with Brian Eno which resulted in a legendary recording studio, B.C. Sound in Brooklyn.  Laswell later became a mentor and connected me with a huge number of incredible musicians, basically establishing the first part of my freelance recording career.


Oz Fritz at the Ancient Wave recording studio. Photo by Lorraine Gervais

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: Can you recommend a couple of books on magick for people who believe they don't know much about the subject?

OZ FRITZ: Well phrased question.  I highly recommend starting with the Introduction to Aleister Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice wherein he follows Spinoza’s example in The Ethics of systemizing thought with a set of definitions and postulates that bears resemblance to the form of Euclid’s Elements.  It’s very clear, and shows how daily activities in ordinary life can be seen as magical.  Magick in Theory and Practice exists in its own editions and online, but it’s also the third part of Crowley’s book, Magick, Liber ABA.  After the Introduction, Magick in Theory and Practice can get abstract and obscure for the novice.  Instead of continuing, I suggest going to Part 1 of Magick then reading it all straight through.  The Magick of Aleister Crowley by Lon Milo Duquette is excellent for learning how to start working with with Crowley’s rituals and experiments.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: How much of your time do you spend on the road, away from home? Can you describe what you always take with you when you travel?

OZ FRITZ: It varies.  I’m home a lot these days though I’m writing this on the road.  This year I’ll probably be away for about 2 months all total.  For many years I travelled about 50% of the time.  I always travel with incense, an essential oil, a laptop loaded with a lot music, etc., good headphones, a loose leaf binder with magick exercises, charts, etc — my personal grimoire, 3 or 4 or more books depending upon how long I’m gone, vitamins and a yoga mat.  I have a pouch with a meteorite I always carry.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: Do  you think African pop music will ever catch on in the rest of the world? Robert Christgau has done his best, but I haven't noticed many other music critics doing a lot of heavy lifting. And how much interest do you have in classical music these days? I ask this knowing that you once thought about becoming an orchestra conductor.

OZ FRITZ: African music still seems an extremely small niche market, but then a lot of music appears like that these days.  I think it will continue to be received well in a small community, but doubt that it will catch on in a big way in the foreseeable future.  It actually seemed to be doing better a few years back.  Of course, African music has had a major influence on all popular music to the point where you could say that it has caught on after getting altered and absorbed by Western musicians.

I remain interested in listening to and discovering more classical music.  I listen to the San Francisco public radio classical station every morning on my drive to the studio when home. Sometimes use classical music for ritual work when it’s not Coltrane.  Classical music is an interest I have, but don’t have much time to pursue.  Recently I heard a beautiful classical piece I’d recorded and mixed, "Revelation In Black Light," a lush Karl Berger string arrangement of a Bernie Worrell composition; yes, conducting an orchestra, but in the electrical sense.


RAW ILLUMINATION.NET: Why do you carry a pouch with a meteorite wherever you go?

OZ FRITZ: It’s a reminder and point of contact with an extraterrestrial perspective.  If we grant life and beingness to these rocks that fall from the sky as some cultures and belief systems do, then we can determine it factually true that Extraterrestrials (meteorite entities) have arrived and exist amongst us.  Several ancient cultures across the world have worshiped and venerated meteorites.  There’s speculation that the black stone of Kaaba, one of Islam’s holiest relics, is a meteorites as it was said to have fallen from heaven.  Some meteorites are said to have unusual electromagnetic properties that give beneficial effects.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: I collect radios, and I'm currently trying to figure out which ones to take with me for my vacation, so I looked to see if you carry any radios with you when you travel (I didn't see any). What do you listen to on the road, and what do you use most of the time for listening to music at home?

OZ FRITZ: I have a pair of Grado Labs SR 80 headphones that I plug into my laptop when I’m on the road for critical listening. I also have a small powered mono speaker (don’t know the model- a cheap one from Target) that plugs in to the computer’s headphone jack. It has a little more bass and isn’t as tinny as the laptop’s speakers.  When I’m on the road, I’m usually listening to music for several hours a day on high end professional monitoring systems of  different kinds.  At home I have a pair of Genelec 8020C powered speakers that’s fed from a UA Apollo 8, a Pro Tools interface.  I do a lot of driving and listen to cds on a standard decent car stereo.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: I got really interested in reading your blog, The Oz Mix. What made you decide to start doing a blog, and are you using some of the material for a book?

OZ FRITZ: I started the blog, with encouragement from friends, to relate various music industry experiences I’d had over the years.  I also needed an outlet for expressing the observations and researches into other interests I have.  That’s why it’s a mix.  Another reason was to gain practice writing, something I haven’t done with much consistency in the past.  I am putting together a book that will expand upon and use much of the material there.  My aim is to have it finished by the end of the year.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: You have lived and worked all over the world; why did you choose to settle down in Grass Valley, Calif.?

OZ FRITZ: The short answer is that I moved there to work with E. J. Gold.  The French have a saying when confronting a mystery, cherchez la femme – look for the woman.  In 1989 I became involved with a study group based around the ideas of E.J. Gold.  Some of the other people involved were also in the music business.  In 1990 my wife at the time and I attended a workshop and convention put on by Gold’s organization, the Institute for the Development of the Harmonious Human Being (IDHHB).  I missed most of the convention spending the time instead working in Gold’s recording studio with a musician and producer I knew from the New York study group who had moved there.  My ex-wife fell in love with the place and wanted to move there immediately.  I was also attracted to the intensity of that group and wished to move there at some point.  It had much in common with what I’d garnered reading and studying the works of Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley and Gurdjieff.   I was under the wrong impression that I’d have to give up my music career which was peaking at that time so I was in no rush to move there.  In late 1992 after getting notice to move out of our  New York sublet, my ex-wife informed me that she was moving to California, and that I was welcome to join her.  I did move with her, but also found a room in New York and lived bicoastal for about five or six years until establishing a clientele in California

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: By the time this interview has published, I will have listed Robert Anton Wilson's 10 "desert island" recordings. Do you have a list of favorite recordings?

OZ FRITZ: Yes, but in no particular order:

Bob Dylan/ Johnny Cash Bootleg Session
John Coltrane – My Favorite Things
Led Zeppelin – IV
Talking Heads – Remain In Light
Stockhausen – Stimmung: Theater of Voices
Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
Ginger Baker – Middle Passage
Duke Ellington – A Drum Is A Woman
The Beatles – White Album

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: Which recording artist do you most wish you could work with, at least once?

OZ FRITZ: That would be Bob Dylan.  I got close.  My friend, John Wooler, who was a senior VP at Virgin and ran their blues label booked me to engineer a duet recording with John Lee Hooker and Dylan.  It was booked four or five months ahead of time, but unfortunately John Lee Hooker died in the interim and it never happened.  Frank Zappa is someone else I would have loved to work with.  Ornette Coleman was someone I’d wanted to work with almost since I started engineering and was fortunate to do so.


From left, musicians Mike Sopko and Bill Laswell and Oz Fritz on 23rd Street in New York,  photo by Yoko Yamabe. From an Oct. 21 blog post by Oz describing a recent recording session.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article on how streaming music services have become bigger, in terms of sales, than sales of CDs and sales of MP3 downloads. What do you think of services such as Spotify? How have they affected your career?

OZ FRITZ: I don’t know what to think about streaming services, I don’t use them; only heard Spotify once at a dinner party and the sound seemed flat, but it could have been the system. I’ve never heard anyone rave about it, it seems utilitarian more than anything else; now you can turn on a spigot of music like you do water.  I don’t know enough about it to have an informed opinion; apparently the artist royalties are ridiculously low.  With less revenue coming in from recordings, musician have to find alternate ways to make money.  There is still money out there, it seems a matter of making different connections to it including finding alternate sources of income to fund their music habits.  I know several instances of successful crowd funding campaigns.  The medical marijuana industry has funded quite a bit of music in California.

I’ve been trying to destroy my career almost as soon as I had one in the sense of competing in the commercial market. Anything Spotify can do to help with that is fine by me.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: Do you wish you had been a recording engineer and producer during the heyday of the record industry?

OZ FRITZ: I was positioned right in the center of the heyday of the record industry as it existed at that moment in time in the late 80’s/early 90’s. If my career had been any more intense, if that was even possible, I might not have survived.  The New York studio where I started was on Broadway, a block down from Tower Records and two blocks west of CBGB’s with a crack zone in between.  Keith Haring had a studio in our building and adorned the lobby with his cartoon graffiti two weeks before he died.  I grew up with punk rock and got to work with The Ramones, Iggy Pop, John Cale, and The Buzzcocks among a lot of other less known artists.  I was literally there at the genesis of Axiom Records, Bill Laswell’s label, and was involved with many classic releases involving world class music legends.  My first Axiom session was recording William Burroughs. This describes only one facet in a multi-faceted musical arc.  Recording trips to Morocco and Israel with Laswell a couple of years back seemed as intense as anything else.

The biggest star I ever recorded was a real animal. Bill brought me to Madras to engineer for classical Indian violinist L. Shankar.  Shankar wanted local sounds on his album, so one evening he brought me to a Hindu Temple to record an elephant on my portable DAT.  The elephant had to be coaxed to perform by its human and when it did let out a roar, it sounded a little sharp in pitch to our ears.  We had to reluctantly request another roar from the beast, elephant auto-tuning hadn’t been invented yet.  Shankar gave it a reference pitch on his violin and the beast produced a sonorous blast.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: I recently read a fascinating article in which a professional cook criticized common mistakes made by amateur cooks. (I tried to make some changes in the kitchen after reading it.) Not everyone can afford to buy top of the line audio equipment for the home, but what are some common mistakes amateurs make in setting up their stereos, bluetooth speakers, fancy table radios, etc.?

OZ FRITZ: I don’t have much personal data on consumer sound systems.  The most common mistake I see is speakers set-up out of phase with each other, meaning that the sound waves from each speaker destructively interfere with each other.  Sound systems sound much better when the speakers get lined up with each other.

It’s not really a mistake, but I suspect that people miss out on a lot of musical enjoyment by only valuing what they are told or by what they have been conditioned to accept as music.  Put on a piece of dynamic classical music in the country at night and hear the crickets join in as the recorded music gets softer.  Incredible symphonies of sound go on all around us when we listen outside the box.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: I noticed that you once posted to my blog that you can't listen to MP3 files. Do you think they've gotten any better? How do you think FLAC files sound? 

OZ FRITZ: Yes, there are better ways of producing mp3 files, starting from a high resolution source helps considerably.  I still avoid mp3s but am less hardline about listening to them if that’s the only source.  I can’t tell the difference in audio quality between flac and wav files (i.e. cds).  What type of file they are seems less important than the content.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: This question is from your fan, Gary Acord. What advice would you give to a young person today considering an audio-visual career?

OZ FRITZ: I always tell my students to find a way to love what they’re doing.  Get satisfaction from doing the job rather than hoping for some future pay-off.  Tie it in with your True Will, your purpose in life, if possible.  I didn’t make any money beyond bare-bones survival for about the first 10 years in this field, but had a helluva time and learned a lot.  Enrolling in a recording program can’t hurt and will give one a good theoretical background, but it won’t teach you how to work in a professional recording studio.  At least it didn’t when I went to school for it.  Getting an internship at a working commercial studio gets you a foot in the door and exposes you to professional producers and engineers who are usually willing to share their methods.  Find a mentor.  To get into a situation like that, it may be necessary to relocate to somewhere with more opportunities.  In the music industry in the United States, your best bet would be New York, Los Angeles or Nashville.  That’s not to say that it has to be one of those cities.  Prairie Sun, a studio I often work out of in Northern California has an internship program. Some of those interns have gone on to establish successful careers in the industry.  Perseverance appears key just like it does in magic.

RAWILLUMINATION.NET. Another question from Gary: As I’m writing this question, Bob Marley’s “Wake up and live” just came around on the shuffle mix.  Seems appropriate.  We’ve talked in the past of the power of music to completely capture the spirit-mind.  Further, you’ve written of challenging recording situations that required you to call on all of your Crowley studies and magic training to keep focused.  Have you ever had any situations where the music was so powerful or moving where even that was not enough?  If not, could you describe any that came close?

OZ FRITZ:  That is an appropriate song, Gary! Well, in some recording situations you really feel like you're flying by the seat of your pants, but you figure out how to keep your balance and it becomes like surfing a big wave in the ocean.  When I was  12, I was told about the Master Musicians of Jajouka whose music was supposed to be so mystical that it defied attempts to record it. Brian Jones and Ornette Coleman had tried with only partial success.  Bill Laswell and I were the ones to eventually do it with the album Apocalypse Across the Sky.  Recording the music wasn't difficult at all considering the circumstances — field recording in a remote mountain village.  The hard part was just getting there, making it all happen.  For example, all our equipment was held up at customs for days until a member of the Royal Family who was on our side got them to release it to us.  The hard part isn't handling the music, the invocation — riding the loa, as Gibson puts it in Neuromancer, borrowing from Voudou.  Difficulties, when they arise, have to do with getting past obstacles to recording the music.  Powerful music seems to attract greater obstacles in accordance with Gurdjieff's "Law of Three" and Nietzsche's reactive forces.  I was working with indigenous Australians, incredibly powerful shamanic music in Sydney one day, then meeting with Immigration police as Bill Laswell told them why they shouldn't immediately throw us in jail then out of the country?  A jealous rival producer had reported us for having the wrong visa.  You would not believe some of the obstacles that arise at times, makes it interesting.  

RAWILLUMINATION.NET: I have a copy of your album, Bill Laswell's Material Presents: Oz Fritz: All Around the World. Was that album influenced by your interest in John
Cage? Do you have another album in the works?

OZ FRITZ: Yes, that album was very influenced by John Cage's breakthrough "composition" 4:29  where the performer sits at the piano and plays nothing for that length of time. In his writings, Cage mentions listening to that piece for much longer so he seems to use it as a shorthand for listening to the natural music the sounds of the environment make.  It involves placing musical value on sounds we wouldn't normally consider music - a major intention of All Around the World.

There will be more albums like this in the future, I have a lot of recordings, but another album is not specifically being produced at the moment.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bobby Campbell's RAW Twitter account reaches 3,000 followers


Bobby Campbell's illustration for his @RAWilson23 Twitter account. 

At Maybe Logic, Bobby Campbell notes a milestone for his @RAWilson23 Twitter account: He now has more than 3,000 followers.

That's a lot of followers for a Twitter account devoted to a cult author who died more than nine years, and it's a testament to Bobby's hard work, as well as the persistent following Robert Anton Wilson managed to keep. If you're on Twitter, note that he lists some other accounts worth following.

I appreciate Bobby's kind words about this blog (which probably give me too much credit). I reached a milestone recently — more than one million pageviews since my blog launched.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Cosmic Trigger Reading Group, Week 29, featuring Saul-Paul Sirag

Welcome to week 28 of the Cosmic Trigger Reading Group. This week we are working with the afterwords by Saul Paul Sirag (247 Hilaritas), and we are lucky enough to have a guest post by Saul-Paul himself. I found this post to be informative, heartwarming, and full of the spirit of Robert Anton Wilson. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — Charles Faris




Saul-Paul Sirag in 2007 (Facebook photo) 

Cosmic Trigger After 39 Years 

By Saul-Paul Sirag (30 Sept. 2016)


In 1977 Robert Anton Wilson asked me to write an “Afterward” to Cosmic Trigger, which was his wildly ranging personal Odyssey.

Those who have been deeply moved by RAW and his astounding biography, may be interested in an update to my “Afterward.”

I wrote about the things that I had discussed with Bob and Arlen and the off-beat folks I met at his home. This included especially: Uri Geller, Extraterrestrials, Quantum Theory, and Arthur Eddington’s approach to physics.

Since 1973 I had been living at the Institute for the Study of Consciousness and working as research assistant to Arthur Young, the founder of this institute (and the preceding Journal for the Study of Consciousness). This institute was only a few blocks from where Bob was living on College Avenue in the Elmwood district of Berkeley. So I visited Bob frequently and took Nick Herbert and other friends to meet him.

By 1977, Bob was living up in the Berkeley hills, so I had to take a bus to visit him, but I continued to go there as often as I could. There were, of course, other complementary activities to occupy my attention: The Fundamental Physics Group at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Physics Consciousness Research Group in San Francisco. You can read about these activities in David Kaiser’s book How the Hippies Saved Physics (2011, Norton).

Bob also participated in some of the PCRG activities. He usually presented his inimitable take on Timothy Leary’s SMI2LE program (Space Migration, Intelligence Increase and Life Extension).

I didn’t have a television, but I enjoyed watching TV with Bob. He was constantly switching channels between say, Star Trek and some old movie like King Kong. Or between All in the Family and D.W. Griffiths’ Intolerance. He always found that they had thematic correspondences. For example the problem of communicating with alien intelligence as in Star Trek and King Kong.

Bob was fascinated by my stories about Uri Geller and Andrija Puharich both of whom I had met in 1973, in Berkeley and on their home turf of New York (See Uri by Puharich, 1974). Their tales of ET contact resonated with some of Bob’s experiences, and those of Timothy Leary and John Lilly.

The account I wrote in the “Afterward” is the closest I have come to some semblance of the ET reality. See also my “Notes on Contact” published in Jack Sarfatti’s Destiny Matrix (2002).

As Jacques Vallee has emphasized, there is a large psychic component to the ET experience. Certainly this is true of the Uri/Puharich experiences. Also, in accord with Vallee’s ideas, I believe that the ET contact is not from a long distance away but from a hyper-dimensional realm.

The reality of physical hyperspace (10d, 11d, 12d, and 26d, all interrelated) is a necessary aspect of present-day string theory. See my recently published book, ADEX Theory: How the ADE Coxeter Graphs Unify Mathemetics and Physics (World Scientific, 2016). For a review by Nick Herbert, see:

http://quantumtantra.blogspot.com/2016/07/saul-paul-sirags-new-math-book.html


Nick Herbert. Photo from his blog, Quantum Tantra

Quantum mechanics was a big part of discussions with Bob, especially when Nick Herbert was present. His book Quantum Reality (1985) is still in print and is one of the best descriptions of the kinds of things we discussed with Bob back in the mid-to-late 70s, when John Clauser’s experiments at Berkeley were still fresh. Clauser was a key member of the Fundamental Physics Group, so we interacted with him frequently.

My own take on Quantum theory and the human mind is best expressed in my Appendix paper in Jeffrey Mishlove’s book, The Roots of Consciousness, 2nd Ed. (Hawthorne, 1993). This Appendix article is titled: “Consciousness: a Hyperspace View.”

There I explained the Von Neumann/Wigner interpretation of Quantum mechanics, which is an elaboration of the standard Copenhagen interpretation. This makes the Observer indispensible to the structure and application of QM.

This interlock between the observer and the observed was also a central theme of Arthur Eddington’s take on Quantum theory, as expressed in the two quotes from Eddington in my Cosmic Trigger “Afterward.”

In my ADEX Theory book I also quote from Eddington’s Philosophy of Physical Science, (1939) p. 150:

“The recognition that physical knowledge is structural knowledge abolishes all dualism of consciousness and matter. Dualism depends on the belief that we find in the external world something of a nature incommensurable with what we find in consciousness; but all that physical science reveals to us in the external world is group-structure, and group- structure is also to be found in consciousness. When we take a structure of sensations in a particular consciousness and describe it in physical terms as part of the structure of an external world, it is still a structure of sensations. It would be entirely pointless to invent something else for it to be a structure of.”

I have been studying Eddington’s works since high school, when my younger brother, David, and I and a close friend had a kind of club studying Relativity Theory by way of Einstein’s writings and especially Eddington’s Space, Time, and Gravitation (1920).

Then starting in 1973, when I began working with Arthur Young at the Institute for the Study of Consciousness, I read all of Eddington’s books. Arthur was a great fan of Eddington and his group theory approach to physics. Eddington’s approach was denigrated by physicists who wanted to eliminate the “group pest” from physics. Since then, of course, group theory in physics has become central to our understanding of many aspects of physics, especially the all-important study of particles and forces. String theory has only magnified the role of group theory. So Eddington was on the right track, but too far ahead of his time.

Incidentally, my Eddington influenced paper “A combinatorial derivation of the proton-electron mass ratio” was published in Nature Vol. 268 (28 July 1977).

Note that the reference in my “Afterward” is not correct, and I had not been able to get it corrected in subsequent printings of Cosmic Trigger.


Sir Arthur Eddington 

Much of what Eddington conjectured has turned out to be wrong. For example in The Philosophy of Physical Science (p. 112), Eddington disparaged the existence of neutrinos. These particles had been conjectured by Wolfgang Pauli and named by Enrico Fermi in 1932. So Eddington, writing in 1939, was decrying the plethora of papers building on this conjecture. However, the physics community by 1939 had made neutrinos an important ingredient of the weak-force theory of the radio-active decay of chemical elements.

Because neutrinos have no electric charge and practically no mass, they are very hard to detect. It wasn’t until 1956 that neutrinos were detected in a convincing experiment. So the long wait from 1932 to 1956, left room for doubts such as those of Eddington, who died in 1944 and did not live to see the neutrino idea confirmed.

However, Eddington’s emphasis on group theory as fundamental to the understanding of the physical world has turned out to be prescient, even if the particular groups that Eddington favored were not able to point the way forward.

Coda

The following piece is what I wrote to be read by Nick Herbert at Robert Anton Wilson’s Memorial in 2007. Nick was not able to fit my piece into the very packed schedule at Bob’s memorial. So I am appending it here as my tribute to RAW and his fascination with 23 and 17.

In Memory of Robert Anton Wilson (1932 – 2007)

As we all know Robert Anton Wilson gleefully observed synchronicities — especially those involving the number 23. I remember Bob telling me that Alan Watts turned him on to the importance of both 17 and 23 throughout history; and thus these numbers thread through Bob's Cosmic Trigger autobiography.

I happen to favor the number 137, since the inverse of this number very closely approximates the probability that any two electrons will exchange a photon at any time. In other words, if you could interview all the electrons in some room (or even in a tiny portion of that room) and ask:

“Are you electrons at this instant either emitting or absorbing a photon?”

One out of 137 electrons would say "Yes." This number, therefore, describes the strength of the electromagnetic force. As Richard Feynman has said, "Every good theoretical physicist puts this number up on his wall and worries about it."

When I met Bob in 1976 and learned about his fascination with 17 and 23, I wondered if 137 could be fit into the grand conspiracy of these numbers. After all so much of physical reality depends on the electromagnetic force and therefore on 137.

In 1980, while I was talking with Bob on one of my many visits to his home in the Berkeley hills, I mentioned the hot new mathematical scheme called public key cryptography. These schemes depend on a trap-door feature described as easy-to-fall-in but hard-to-climb-out. Thus we have a scheme for easy encoding, and nearly impossible decoding without the secret numbers. John James, a computer programmer who was present, immediately showed me an article in ROM magazine that spelled out the algorithm for a version of public key cryptography called RSA. It depends on the extreme difficulty of finding the prime factors of large numbers. Any message can be considered as a number, as for instance this entire sentence codes as a binary number in any computer. OK, take that number, call it M (for message) and multiply it by itself x times. Call x the encoding power. Now take the huge number, M to the x power, and divide it by the product of two prime numbers, p times q. (For secure trap-door coding, these prime numbers p and q would have around 100 decimal digits each.) Throw away everything but the remainder in this division of M to the x power by p times q. Label this remainder C, and call it the encoded message.

How can we decode this message? We will need a secret decoding number called y, which we can apply to C by multiplying C by itself y times. Then we can recover the message M by dividing C to the y power by p times q, and again keeping only the remainder. This remainder is guaranteed to be the original message M — provided that we have created a certain (very important) relationship between x and y. It must be set up that x times y leaves the remainder 1, when we divide x times y by (p minus 1) times (q minus 1). We must keep p and q secret also, so that the secret decoding power y could not be calculated. The encoding power x and the product of p and q should be made public in this Public-Key Cryptography scheme.

Got that? OK don't worry, I'll show you an example — actually the very first example I tried on my pocket calculator. With no concern for security, but merely wanting to see this magic trap-door scheme in action, I used Bob's 17 and 23 as my two prime numbers p and q — you knew they were going to pop up about here in my story! Then I set up my favorite number 137 as the only message I wanted to send on this very first test. I had to choose an encoding number, so I chose 5 (for the Discordian Law of 5). Actually, as it turned out, I could have chosen any odd number and gotten the same startling encoded message. So take 137 and multiply it by itself 5 times, and divide by 17 times 23. Throw away the answer except the remainder. The remainder — big surprise! — comes out as 137.

So the message 137 codes as itself — transparent to the trap-door coding scheme of the secret prime numbers 17 and 23.

I showed this wonderful synchronicity of numbers to Bob, and he just roared his gleeful laugh.

I have to think that Bob in his last year of life had many gleeful chuckles over the discord among astronomers in naming the 10th planet —first named Xena by its discoverer in 2005, but later designated a dwarf planet in 2006 and named – of all possible names – Eris!

Farewell, Bob – to Eris – and beyond!

Okay, that’s (almost) a wrap! One quick note regarding Saul-Paul’s post—the good folks at Hilaritas have now (39 years later!) corrected the reference to Saul-Paul’s Eddington influenced paper in all future editions of Cosmic Trigger. As always, comments are welcome and actually necessary to bring in the additional dimensions necessary to make this group reading of Cosmic Trigger string theory compliant. Next week, the full-on wrap-up. No reading necessary, although a quick review of the text of CT, these 28 blog posts and the commentary couldn’t hurt! — Charles Faris

Sunday, October 23, 2016

'Spooky Action at a Distance'


John Stewart Bell

Eric Wagner sent me a copy of a new review in The New York Review of Books of Spooky Action at a Distance, a new book by George Musser that explains how Irish physicist John Stewart Bell (often mentioned by Robert Anton Wilson) provided that "spooky action at a distance" between two particles, apparently violating the speed of light, was a real phenomena of quantum mechanics. It sounds like a very interesting book, and I enjoyed Jim Holt's review.

The review is behind a paywall, so I can't reproduce it here without violating copyright; you'll want to hunt up a copy. It seems like fair use to say that Holt lauds the book as "enlightening" and "highly entertaining" but that it has one "grave omission." It does not mention a model by physicist Roderich Tumulka that, Holt says, succeeds "in creating a model of nonlocal entanglement that fully abides by Einsteinian relativity."


Roderich Tumulka

Disappointingly, Holt says that the spooky action cannot be used for faster than light communication.






Saturday, October 22, 2016

'Illuminati' to appear in 'Avengers' film


The debut of Dr. Strange back in 1963, art by Steve Ditko. Reproduced in the Wikipedia article under the doctrine of fair use.

The Illuminati, or at least the Marvel comics version of them, will appear in an upcoming "Avengers" film.

From Darkhorizons.com: "Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has teased that Marvel’s take on the Illuminati are going to arrive in the upcoming 'Avengers: Infinity War' which begins production next month.

"Out doing press for 'Doctor Strange,' Feige confirmed to CBM that Illuminati characters will come together in the film but would mention names beyond confirming that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is in the film. Both Strange and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) are key Illuminati members in the comics ....

"First debuting in 2005, The Illuminati was a secret society comprised of Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Namor, Mr. Fantastic, Professor Xavier and Black Bolt. Marvel Studios doesn’t control the rights to most of these characters any more though so Doctor Strange and Iron Man coming together could be it."

More here.  My son his my comics expert, so I'll have to ask him about this stuff. All of this "Illuminati" stuff in popular culture can't be bad for the RAW estate.

Hat tip, Ian 'Cat' Vincent on Twitter. 


Friday, October 21, 2016

Robin Hanson thinks for himself



Robin Hanson

Although I often read blog posts written by the likes of Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok and Bryan Caplan, all libertarian-leaning professors at George Mason University, I have not paid much attention to Robin Hanson. 

John Merritt, however, wrote to me to call my attention to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Is This Economist Too Far Ahead of His Time?" John remarked that Hanson "has some RAW riffs."

Certainly any Robert Anton Wilson fan, particularly ones who have just finished reading or re-reading Cosmic Trigger, will pick up on this bit: 

Like much of the George Mason economics department, Hanson leans libertarian, but he has also dreamed up his own form of government, called "futarchy." An enthusiastic student describes his true political philosophy as "meta, meta-everything": questioning how we arrive at political philosophies in the first place. To the dismay of his wife, Peggy Jackson, who has worked in hospice care, he is a member of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, paying a monthly fee so that one day his head will be cryogenically frozen. He thinks he may live a long, long time — if not forever, then possibly at least long enough to participate in the em future.

Dr.  Hanson has a blog, Overcoming Bias.  You can read  his reaction to the Chronicle piece, ("Honestly, 'baffled' is how most undergrads look to most professors during lectures."), his discussion of the case for a world basic income (another point of interest for RAW fans). You can read about his proposal for Futarchy. 

It seems to me that if we make up a category, libertarian futurists, people who are optimistic about the future of freedom and technology, we could include Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Peter Thiel and Robin Hanson. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

'Waywords and Meansigns' news



Waywords and Meansigns, the project that has been setting James Joyce's Finnegans Wake to music, has a new website and is launching another recording effort.

Here are details from Derek Pyle:

Waywords and Meansigns just launched our new website. It looks less like 2003 and more like 2013. It is also easier to find specific recordings now, through the Artists page. Let us know what you think!

We are announcing a new call for contributors. Having set James Joyce's Finnegans Wake to music unabridged, we now invite YOU to take a much shorter passage - a page, or a few pages - to set to music. The upcoming winter 2017 release will be the final large group release for Waywords and Meansigns. 

We are interested in recordings from all kinds of people — musicians, artists, poets, scholars, weirdos, passionate Wake-heads, those totally ignorant of the Wake, and anyone generally adventurous. A range of recording styles and methods is no problem.

Please consider sharing this call for contributors on social media, on your website, and with anyone who might be interested. 

For a simple version of our call for contributors see http://www.waywordsandmeansigns.com/contact/get-involved/

For a more detailed explanation see http://www.waywordsandmeansigns.com/news-2017-call-for-contributors/ 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Falcon sends demand letter to Hilaritas Press



New Falcon publications has sent a demand letter to Hilaritas Press, insisting that Hilaritas, the publishing imprint of the RAW Estate, remove graphics and the original Israel Regardie introduction published in the New Falcon edition of Prometheus Rising. Rather than fighting a possibly expensive legal battle with New Falcon, Hilaritas has opted to obtain a new introduction and new illustrations.

I have bought books from New Falcon, including an ebook of The Game of Life by Timothy Leary that I purchased in July. I now regret that last purchase and I plan to never again buy anything else from New Falcon. Incidentally, the cover for The Game of Life was done by my friend Bobby Campbell. I have just learned that Bobby was never paid for his cover art. 

Here is the official statement from Richard Rasa, publisher at Hilaritas Press. It's also being posted at the Hilaritas Press website:

Hilaritas Press News Bite!

We recently received a demand letter from New Falcon Publications, previous publisher of many of Bob’s books, to cease printing and selling Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising! The owner of New Falcon claims to own not only the Introduction (written by Israel Regardie) but also a number of the graphics.

(SNAFU WARNING: We are told that all of Israel Regardie’s copyrights, including for this introduction written specifically for Prometheus Rising, were bequeathed to the United States Ecclesiastical Society… which somehow or other now seems to be under New Falcon’s umbrella.  We’re not sure how or why that can be – as the USES is theoretically a nonprofit church of some sort – and New Falcon is a for profit venture. Conspiracy theorists – time to bring out your tools!)

After a month of back-and-forth, not to mention lawyer fees, we have decided that rather than spending money we don’t have to fight New Falcon’s (in Christina’s opinion – rather surreal) demands, we have simply decided to move forward, replacing the contested graphics with new interpretations, and commissioning a new Introduction to be written.

We realize that this is a challenge, and we sincerely wish we didn’t have to change Prometheus Rising at all. The owner of New Falcon does not want payment for the use of the graphics or the Introduction, he simply does not want us to use them. The obvious explanation appears to be retaliation, sadly without regard for Bob’s legacy. Christina thinks he may have a “stick up his butt” because she did NOT renew any contracts when the time limits were reached, as we planned to publish Bob’s books through Hilaritas Press.

To add greater pressure, we have to remove the old graphics by November 15, 2016 — just one month away, and there are 37 cartoons to replace!

To the RAW World and beyond: we need new cartoons! We are asking any and all interested cartoon artists to submit two examples of ideas for new graphics. We have selected two cartoons that we’d like to see re-interpreted as samples of your work. The text in the cartoons should be the same, but the drawing concept has to be different from the original interpretation. You can’t just copy the original in your own style.

A note about money: as a brand new publisher working hard just to stay afloat (and besieged by a former publisher creating unwanted waves), we need to let you know that we are happy to pay, but will have to work out a fair payment plan if our chosen illustrator would like to be paid for the graphics!

I have mixed feelings about this whole endeavor. I’ve always loved the cartoons in Prometheus Rising, and I really hate to see them go, but the previous publisher’s poor printing in subsequent editions of Prometheus Rising left a lot of the images in a very poor state - something we lamented in putting together our new edition. However, Bob was an optimist, and in that same spirit, both Christina and I are looking forward to this opportunity to update this amazingly relevant book for the delight of both new and old readers.

Please help us out by passing the word far and wide (and inter-dimensionally if possible). Please send all sample illustrations to: info@hilaritaspress.com

Please note: submissions should be Grayscale and in jpeg format. Please make your new cartoons using the concepts in the graphics displayed in our most recent Hilaritas Press blog post.

Many thanks to all of you for your understanding and help.

— Rasa, with Christina, publishers, Hilaritas Press

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BREAKING: Hillary Clinton a secret Discordian!!


OK, maybe Hillary Clinton just wants to avoid carbohydrates. 

What, you think I'm using a clickbait headline? Here's proof. 


Via Julian Assange, Adam Gorightly and Suspence Nicholson. 

Some context (item III). Note that the email shows Secretary Clinton is eating her hotdog on the proper day.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cosmic Trigger Reading Group, Week 28


The Via Dolorosa

Welcome to week 28 of the Cosmic Trigger Reading Group. This week we are working with the final 2 chapters (233-244 Hilaritas) of Cosmic Trigger (not counting the afterwords by Saul Paul Sirag, about which more later), and if you haven’t read those chapters I advise you not to read this post. Cosmic Trigger is a mostly spoiler-free book, and that is not the case here.

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.

Via Dolorosa


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.


G.I Gurdjieff

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.”


Timothy Leary 

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.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize for Literature winner


Robert Anton Wilson didn't like Bob Dylan, but he did like the guy with Dylan, Allen Ginsberg. Creative Commons photo by Elsa Dorfman. 

By  now, you've probably heard of Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize for Literature. I was delighted by the news and ran to tell my wife early Thursday morning as soon as I heard the news. I was stunned someone I actually liked would win. In  typically perverse fashion, the "News" section of the official site has nothing about the award, not even the customary press statement from the artist that anyone else would have issued by now.

Robert Anton Wilson wasn't a Bob Dylan fan, or at least he wasn't back in 1976, when he gave a long interview to New Libertarian Notes.  The interview starts out with a few questions about RAW's favorite writers, musicians, etc.,  and includes this exchange:


CRNLA: What do you think of M*A*S*H, the Freak Brothers, Bob Dylan?

RAW: I loved Altman's film of M*A*S*H but I can't stand the TV series. The Freak Brothers are funny, but I deplore the lifestyle it celebrates. Of course, Einstein and Michelangelo were sloppy, too, but only because they were too busy with real work to fix their attention on sartorial status games. Hippies generally aren't busy with anything except feeling sorry for themselves. Dylan seems to me a totally pernicious influence -- the nasal whine of death and masochism. Certainly, this would be a more cheerful world if there were no Dylan records in it. But Dylan and his audience mirror each other, and deserve each other; as Marx said, a morbid society creates its own morbid grave-diggers.

Wilson apparently got his dislike of Dylan from Timothy Leary, from the days when Leary was trying to get the Man off his back by writing for National Review. More here. Leary changed his mind; I don't know about Wilson.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

RAW on anarchism, Part Two


Chad Nelson

Part Two of the Pacifica interview with Robert Anton Wilson on anarchism has been posted at the Center for a Stateless Society.   Kudos again to Chad Nelson for tracking this down and making it available. Chad says, "The interview ends abruptly, and unfortunately Pacifica was unable to find additional reels in their archives."


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tom Robbins' 'Tibetan Peach Pie' is a fun book


Tom Robbins

I just finished reading (as an audiobook on my phone) Tibetan Peach Pie, a memoir in the form of anecdotes by Tom Robbins. It's a delightful book with amusing, insightful stories, and also of associational interest for people who read this blog: Robbins is a Robert Anton Wilson fan.  There is a friendly reference to RAW in the book (in the midst of a section about Timothy Leary, who Robbins also likes.) There is even a mention of Robert Temple's Sirius Mystery, which also plays a role in one of Robbins' novels, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, which I haven't read. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Newly-available Robert Anton Wilson interview on anarchism



Chad Nelson has transcribed the first part of an interview with Robert Anton Wilson, done in the late 1950s or early 1960s, on anarchism. The interview is posted at the Center for a Stateless Society website as part one; part two will be posted soon. Chad purchased the audio from Pacifica and transcribed it himself, with help from Nick Helweg-Larsen.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Daisy Eris Campbell on Cosmic Trigger, the Play

Daisy Eris Campbell with the cast of the Cosmic Trigger play  (Jonathan Greet photo, taken from http://cosmictriggerplay.com/)


By Daisy Eris Campbell, special to RAWIllumination.net.


[Welcome to week 27 of the RAWIllumination Cosmic Trigger Reading Group. This week we have a special post by Daisy Eric Campbell, creator of Cosmic Trigger: The Play. Read on for much humor and illumination about her very special relationship with Cosmic Trigger (the book), her father Ken Campbell (who staged the massive 18 hour Illuminatus play in London on November 23, 1976), and Carl Gustav Jung. Much more than that, however. Enjoy. -- Charles Faris]

I want to take you back to a moment I experienced about eight years ago.


Snapshot of Ken Campbell by Richard Adams (Creative Commons photo)

It's a few weeks after my father, Ken Campbell's, sudden and untimely death.

I'm standing on the corner of two cobbled streets in Liverpool in the rain.


Carl Jung

And I'm looking at a bust of CG Jung.

And that's kind of weird because right at that moment I'm half way through an essay about Carl Jung for a master's degree I'm doing.

But that's not why I'm there.

Stood next to me is Prunella Gee, Chris Langham and a guy called Peter O'Halligan. We're all looking up at this bust of Carl Jung.

It's there because Carl Jung had a dream about Liverpool and he wrote about it in his book, Memories, Dreams and Reflections. He said he thought it may be the most important dream he'd ever had. And he realised that in his dream, Liverpool was the Pool of Life.

I'm writing this essay about Jung's ideas of the collective unconscious and synchronicity, a phrase he coined, and now I find myself looking at this bust of his head. And that bust has only been erected because of the tireless campaigning of Peter O'Halligan, who's standing next to me. Because Peter O'Halligan is sure that this very spot is the exact spot that Jung dreamt about.

But just to the side of this bust is another unusual thing, it's a plaque, set into the wall, which commemorates The Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun.

This has also only been erected due to the tireless campaigning of Peter O'Halligan.

Because just over 30 years previously, which is when O'Halligan first found this illustrious Jung-Dream site, he also noticed that the building on the corner of these two streets — just along from where the Beatles first performed — was derelict. And so he adopted it, set up a caff, and called it The Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun.

And the first production to be staged in a room above the caff, was an eighteen hour epic called Illuminatus, directed by my father Ken Campbell, starring (amongst many many others) my mother, Prunella Gee as Eris, Goddess of Chaos and Confusion, and co-adapted with Chris Langham from a novel by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

And there we all are now, and I say "It's weird because right now I'm in the middle of an essay about Jung", then I realise that, although I'm doing a distance-learning masters degree, I am actually studying at John Moores University, based in Liverpool.

And Peter O' Halligan tells me that John Moores knew my dad's dad, my grandfather, who I never met, they were both from just outside Liverpool, and John Moores offered my grandfather the opportunity to get involved with his new business venture, but my grandfather declined. It was the football pools. Which made John Moores a multi-millionaire, which was how come he'd had enough money to build a whole university, where I was right now studying Carl Gustav Jung.


Prunella Gee in The Wilby Conspiracy

And my head was starting to spin, then my mother, said "and you know you were conceived in that building?".

I said, "What? Surely you were both too were busy staging The Greatest Show on Planet World". And she said, "well it was an eighteen hour production. There were a few dull bits."

So I'm standing on the spot where I was conceived, which was also the site of Jung's most important dream, looking at a bust of Jung, whilst writing an essay about Jung at a university built with money that would have been mine, were it not for my paternal grandfather's lack of business acumen, where my mother played the Goddess of Chaos and Confusion and my father staged an epic which was to change the lives of everyone involved. And Eris is my middle name.

And they say there's nothing to this synchronicity lark?

***

The funny thing was that growing up I knew all about the legends surrounding the production of Illuminatus, but my dad was more than a little cagey about going into too much detail with me.


Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, as depicted in Daisy's play (Oliver Senton, left, and Tom Baker)

So it wasn't until I was in my early twenties, twenty-three to be exact, that I got around to actually reading Illuminatus. And – how can I describe it? It was like being initiated into a magical order that almost everyone I knew was already an initiate of. I suddenly found that I could speak the language of my tribe. I could spot 23s with the best of them, I understood the ancient battle between Discordians (Hail Eris!) and the Illuminati. I understood why you can never trust any government, the true meaning of the eye in the pyramid symbol on every dollar bill, why communication is only possibly between equals, and why you should never whistle while you're pissing. I began to see connections, and synchronicities everywhere. Life became too meaningful. And I began to understand the foolishness of giving your only daughter the middle name, Eris. I flipped out, and found myself in a very plush loony bin somewhere in Kent.

The morning after I arrived with rainbow knickers on my head (for important cosmic reasons) the inmates gathered to see what new nutters the night had blown in. They asked why I was there, and I told them “Synchronicity has led me here”. So completely trusting was I in the various signs that I felt I was being given, that I told them the answer to why I was there would be in that magazine — and I pointed to a magazine one girl was clutching, Soap Opera Magazine. I said I would open it at a random page, and there would be my answer.

So I did. And the huge pink headline read, "Daisy must lose some of her passion."

So that's what Daisy did, and ten years later, I honestly thought I had put a lid on that old crazy-maker, Eris.

Now the wonderful and possibly worrying thing about Illuminatus, is that almost everyone I know who has read and loved that book, has got a pretty similar story to tell. Some are less extreme. Some more. But tales of bizarre synchronicity are pretty much par for the course, and very often there are tales of some kind of spiritual emergency, as Stanislav Grof would call them, or temporary psychosis, as the rest of the medical establishment would have it.

These experiences are what Robert Anton Wilson, in his book, Cosmic Trigger, refers to as a journey through Chapel Perilous, a dangerous crossing point from which one can only emerge agnostic — or paranoid.

Incidentally it was only after reading Cosmic Trigger, that I understood what my dad was really on about when he used to say, “Now Listen Daisy, Don’t believe in anything — nothing which is the product of the human mind is a fitting subject for your belief — but you can suppose everything - and in fact you should. Supposing as much as poss is mind opening mind widening. Suppose God. Suppose flying saucers. Suppose fairies.

I suppose you could suppose that one of the big religions had got it right – down to the last nut and bolt! But, Daisy. Don't believe it.” Or as Wilson more succinctly puts it, "Convictions cause convicts."

That's the great thing about coming across fellow Wilson fans, is that you can relax, because you know that they're very likely to be agnostic — they'll be open to a bit of supposing. Although you have to be a bit careful, because occasionally they are not agnostic, they’re really really paranoid…

But usually they are what my dad called Yes-and people. When he was hanging out at the Royal Court Theatre with a bunch of new-wave playwrights, he couldn't help noticing what a depressed lot they all were — how any bright ideas were greeted with the phrase, ‘no-but.’ Then for one reason or another he got invited to a science-fiction convention and discovered a whole world of Yes-and people.

And that's what Illuminatus feels like as a novel. It's the ultimate Yes-and! novel. Especially since it was co-written by Wilson and his best mate Bob Shea, while they were both working at Playboy magazine. You can just hear them: "So should the rebels all live on a yellow submarine?" "Yes, and they should be able to talk to Dolphins" "Yes, and that can be achieved by the world's most advanced computer!" "Yes, and they'll go to Atlantis!"

Here’s the original policy statement Ken wrote to the British Arts Council when he was creating The Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool:



So I was in this loony bin somewhere in Kent with the rainbow knickers on my head – what I was actually attempting to do was to regulate the flow of cosmic pronoid synchronicities that I was experiencing (you know about pronoia, right? The creeping sensation that everyone everywhere is out to help you). I believe Paranoids favour tinfoil — but I was pronoid, so rainbow knickers seemed more apt. I knew from moment to moment if I was Eris or Daisy as there was always either a flower motif somewhere or an apple — or sometimes just any fruit —but anyway in the words of Hakim Bey, I had become a pirate for all signs and meanings.

I was holding forth one day, and I was telling everyone about my dad's notions about Artist's Choice. It goes thus:

Choice one: you can distract, entertain and deceive about the true state of things and thus help to sustain the status quo

Choice two: you can pose as exposing wrongs, but in fact deceive and therefore help to sustain the status quo.

Choice three: you can expose wrongs and bring about change. Unfortunately this choice is not possible, because if you really knew what was going on – you can be sure they’ve got something on you —

But perhaps there is a fourth choice which might just be possible:

"To pose as exposing wrongs, but in fact deceive, but with a wilful mix of truth and lie, research and fantasy, so inscrutably compounded as to send the status quo hunting for needles that nobody's lost, in haystacks that don't exist, diverting attention from the ensuing release of hitherto imprisoned forces, which will bring about change, but of an unpredictable nature."

And there's a surly young guy stood back from everyone else scowling at me, and he says, "How long have you been stuck up your father's arsehole?"

I look him in the eye, then after a pause I say, "I don't know."

***

So it's fifteen years since I'm in the plush loony bin reading "Daisy must lose some of her passion," and eight years since I'm standing looking at a statue of Jung, and Eris is well stuffed back in her box. Then I get a phone-call from someone to ask for a meeting to discuss the possibility of staging Illuminatus. And I remember my dad's worried face any time anyone mooted that possibility, and I remember the rainbow knickers, and I also remember that I'm meant to be trying to get out of my father’s arsehole. So I decline.

Then that same week I get another phone-call to discuss the possibility of staging Illuminatus. From someone else entirely, who has no idea about the first phone-call. And I think: oh, here we go. Illuminatus-related synchronicities are back - and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to out-run them this time.

But I knew I didn't want to stage Illuminatus again, and I wondered what was the logical next piece in this jigsaw puzzle?

Well, what was the book that Robert Anton Wilson wrote immediately after Illuminatus? It was Cosmic Trigger; a non-fiction book he felt compelled to write about what actually happened to him as a result of writing Illuminatus. And given what had happened to me simply as a result of reading it, you may begin to imagine the kind of strange-ness this book contains.

Then I realized: this book was born as a direct result of Illuminatus — and so was I! This book and I are siblings. It all became clear: I had to do a stage-adaptation of Cosmic Trigger.



Scene from Cosmic Trigger, the Play 

And picking up my father’s thoroughly battered copy of Cosmic Trigger, I was reminded that it is actually dedicated to Ken Campbell and The Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, and that on page 223 (the same page, you may recall as Jung’s dream of Liverpool), Wilson writes about meeting my dad when he comes to the opening of Illuminatus at the National Theatre and is dared to do a naked cameo in the black mass scene.

So my dad could be a character in it!

KEN (coming out of audience onto stage)

Yeah, alright. That’ll do for now. Go and learn your lines.  I’ve got to talk to this filmmaker chap.

The actors come off stage, talking in English accents and wander off to various perches to look over their scripts or chat quietly.

KEN

Right, I haven’t got long. I’m just slinging on an 18 hour epic with no money. What do you want to know?

FILMMAKER

Well, I suppose – er - how you came to be putting on this production?

KEN

I get this phone call from a Liverpudlian poet chap, Peter Halligan, to say he’s been reading Jung’s book Memories, Dreams and Reflections and on page 223 he – Jung – talks about this dream he’s had about Liverpool being the pool of life. There’s a little fountain and whatnot.

Anyway Jung reckons this is one of his most important dreams. So this poet chap, Halligan, makes it his commission to find the exact spot. So he’s phoning me to say that he’s found it. It’s on the corner of Mathew St, right near the Cavern Club where the Beatles first performed. Anyway the building on the corner of this most holy spot turns out to be derelict, so Halligan claims it. He’s telling me that he's set up a caff in the basement and he wants to know if I’ll come and stick something on for him. He’s called it The Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun.

So I pop along to Compendium bookshop to scout out some possible ideas for this show, and I pick up a few fairly interesting looking bits and pieces, and then I come across this book and on the cover is a Yellow Submarine.

So I decide to test it. I thought: Jung’s dream was on page 223 of Memories, Dreams and Reflections so I’ll turn to page 223 of this Submarine book and if interesting, I’ll stick on an adaptation of that. So I turn to page 223 and – I’ll read it to you.

John! John get the cloth out of your ears – grab that copy there will you?

Right, read out the bit from page 223.

JOHN

Where is it, oh yeah. It's a quote from Robert Putney Drake: "Do you know what Jung-

The FILMMAKER looks up surprised.

that old Chinese sage disguised as a psychiatrist, answered? “You are diving, but she is sinking”.

KEN

Yeah. That stopped me in my tracks. So I phone back Peter Halligan and say “Yeah Peter I’ve got the show for you – It’s called Illuminatus."

So here we all are in a derelict cinema in Liverpool. First thing the company had to do was fit the toilets.

The FILMMAKER cuts.

FILMMAKER

That’s great, Ken.
KEN

So how did you come to be making a film about us in your cardigan?

FILMMAKER (flustered)

Well urm. I heard about it from a friend back in London.

KEN

Who?

FILMMAKER

Urm Brian Gilbert

KEN

Oh that burk. Yes?

FILMMAKER

Yes, and well I put in an application to the arts council and got the go ahead.

The cast winces as the filmmaker says this

KEN

You got funding from the arts council?
FILMMAKER

Yes.

KEN

They won’t fund the greatest show on Planet World, but they’ll fund some prick who’s heard about it from his burky mate in a pub?

The filmmaker is laughing along nervously

NEIL CUNNINGHAM (to himself, covering his eyes)

Oh God, don't laugh you stupid fucker.
KEN

You think I’m joking? You know what funded is don’t you? Fun Dead. You and your arts council funded camera are sucking the fun out of the true geniuses. Fun Dead. A conspiracy of mediocrity.  Go on you can fuck off and tell that Brian burk not to send any more pillocks up to Liverpool . Go on, fuck off out of here.

The filmmaker realises he’s deadly serious and bundles his stuff and himself out of there.

FILMMAKER (safe distance)

Fine, Ken. You carry on up your own arsehole.

KEN

Yes, I fucking well will. And I’ll find the whole secret of the Great Cosmic Joke up there, right up inside my arsehole - and you can beg for Arts Council funding to come in and have a look…

FILMMAKER exits

So I got to work.

But then I was floundering about with the first draft and wondering if the whole thing was a bit daft and a bit cosmic for modern sophisticates, and if there was really an audience for Robert Anton Wilson-related theatre out there anymore, when as synchronicity would have it I was introduced by my own mother, to the wonderful John Higgs, whom she had met incidentally because John was procuring a picture of her as Eris, and he said “yes! There is an audience and I know where to find them!”


Prunella Gee as Eris 

It's a very particular challenge, trying to write a drama about Yes-and people, because mostly they all agree! So I'm pioneering the new Yes-and narrative structure, where the drama is to be found in what happens when you keep saying yes-and long after all the neophobes have dropped away with their no-buts.

So anyway we’re going back nearly three years now, and the first draft is written, the second draft is underway. And my attention turned to how I might fund the bugger, especially given my father's strong views on Arts Council Funding.

I was pondering this, when my partner said, "Isn't the clue of how to fund it contained within the last scene?

WILSON'S HOME - 2007. He is an old man now.

A letter plops through a letter box. He slowly maneuvers himself to pick it up.

WILSON

In 1975 I lost the ability to know when something was about to come through the door. It wasn’t all that useful a skill anyway. It’s a cheque for $23. How funny.

Another letter plops through the letterbox. He opens it.

It’s another cheque for $23.

And another.

And another.  OK there’s something fishy going on. Time to consult the oracle.

He reaches for his laptop.

Type in Robert Anton Wilson 23 dollars.
And…magick.

(reading)

Ok guys, time to support cosmic thinking patriarch Robert Anton Wilson, whose infirmity and depleted finances have put him in the precarious position of not being able to meet next month's rent or his medical costs. His last wish is to die in his home, but he cannot afford this option. 

Robert Anton Wilson will one day be remembered alongside such literary philosophers as Aldous Huxley and James Joyce. (I don't know about that.)

 But right now, Bob is a human being in a rather painful flesh-suit, who needs our help. I refuse for the history books to say he died alone and destitute, for I want future generations to know we appreciated Robert Anton Wilson while he was alive.

If Bob Wilson changed your life, send him $23 dollars now.

Another envelope plops in, followed immediately by another, and another, they are clogging in the letter box; then the whole door starts to strain - eventually bursting open - and an avalanche of envelopes pours into the room.

Bob, all white long beard and twinkly eyes, stares in delighted disbelief.

After the night of October 23rd 2013, when I first told this tale, £23s began to roll in, and we went on to raise over £23,000. Enough to stage the whole four-hour epic seven times in Liverpool and London in 2014, and to create The Find the Others Festival of Robert Anton Wilson and his ideas. (The name was inspired by Timothy Leary’s answer to an earnest seeker: “What do you do after you’ve turned on, tuned in and dropped out?” Dr Leary: “Find the Others”.

Since then the Others have gathered from all over the country and beyond. Festival 23 this summer was a celebration of all things RAW and Discordian. Fanzines, books, magazines are flying off the press as a direct result of RAW’s inspiration. Giant puppets of Burroughs, Watts and Leary stalk the land; Discordian cabarets, rituals, parties and talks are popping up all over the place.


Daisy Eris Campbell 

And for the ten-year anniversary of Bob’s death next year in 2017, we plan to pilgrimage to Santa Cruz where the mayor declared 23rd July, Robert Anton Wilson Day.

What we are proposing is this:

In the next couple of weeks we launch a website — ForTheLoveOfBob.net — the premise of which is simple, yet heroic: It is a list of every single thing the production will need to go ahead, with a space for someone to pledge their name next to each thing.

By this approach, we believe we'll bring more than the show – we believe we’ll bring the magick. Asks will range from performers/musicians to set-builders, anecdote providers, flyer-deliverers, a sofa to put someone up, food bringers, folk with a spare wig, or a talent for make-up or lighting etc etc...

We’ll be the Grit if you’ll be the Pearl. Yes, And! We can do this: For the love of Bob.

***


Bust of Carl Jung with rainbow knickers, from The Daily Grail. 

After the first night of Cosmic Trigger in Liverpool, a group of us pilgrimaged to the bust of Jung, and some blokes who really should have known better hoisted me up to place a pair of ceremonial rainbow knickers upon his head. And I cried out, “May our minds be blown – but just right!”

And as I looked up at the be-knickered bust of Carl Gustav, I realized why the dream of Liverpool was so important: It was the moment he realized he was finally out of Freud’s arsehole.

[Next week we are back on track with the final chapter of Cosmic Trigger, Via Dolorosa (235). As always, comment frequently, and with good humor. —Charles Faris.]