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Monday, June 26, 2017

Email to the Universe discussion group, Week Seven



By Gregory Arnott, guest blogger

"LSD Dogs and Me"

Concerning RAW's love of our canine friends I thought I'd share a quote from The Universe Next Door (pg. 14-15 Pocket Books Edition):

"There was one species on Terra that lived in very close symbiosis with the domesticated primates. This was a variety of domesticated canines called dogs. The dogs loved the primates very much, and each species had learned a great deal from mimicking the other. The dogs had learned to achieve a rough simulation of guilt and remorse and worry and other domesticated primate characteristics. The domesticated primates had learned to achieve simulations of loyalty and dignity and cheerfulness and other canine characteristics."  

On our robotic nature: 

"There is no escape from our robothood unless and until we first recognize the fact. Only then can we learn to take control of our nervous systems and reprogram our individual realities." Leary and Wilson, Neuropolitics (quoted on page 89) 

& (from Illuminatus! pg. 402) 

"That's why the Zen Roshis say, 'One who achieves supreme illumination is like an arrow flying straight to hell.' Keep in mind what I said about caution, George. You can release at any moment. It's great up there, and you need a mantra to keep you away from it until you learn how to use it. Here's your mantra, and if you knew the peril you are in you'd brutally burn it into your backside with a branding iron to make sure you'd never forget it: I Am The Robot. Repeat it." 

I will testify that the use of psychedelic substances was a drastic experience that I'll never be the same afterwards. While my intake was nowhere as heroic as RAW's I will say that the world presents a lot more seemingly concrete variables than it ever had before. By the time I had tried LSD I had grown my own psilocybin mushrooms and was familiar with tripping; but lysergic acid diethylamide is an experience unto itself.  The revelation of just how baroque and overwrought our consciousnesses are is enough to keep you wondering...I imagine for the rest of my life. 

(On pg. 110 the name Lobachevsky appears in a different font- I don't have my New Falcon edition with me so I am unable to corroborate if this was intentional or not.) 

Concerning RAW's musings, as someone who recently emerged from being a male between 16-24 I will attest to how frustrating and crazed those years were at times ... now with my generation depending upon our parents well into our thirties I think it could be extrapolated this purgatorial time of societal/hormonal pressure has grown longer. Perhaps this can explain the number of young men making horses asses out of themselves arguing for the alt-right. 

The Provoked Wife was a Restoration-era play that dwelt upon gender relations in marriage. 

"Mary, Mary Quite Contrary" is RAW's conspiracy writing at its most streamlined. He pack a wallop of mysteries in this short essay which is well constructed from beginning to end. Considering the scrutiny that the work of Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh faced (Baigent's name on pg. 123 is also in the odd font) after the release of The Da Vinci Code their work seems to have been mostly discredited...or at least its what "They" want us to think. 

It is a pity that RAW doesn't note Jean Cocteau's work with alchemical symbolism and his magical Orphic Trilogy. It could have helped set the atmosphere a little more. The relationship between Alchemy and Surrealism is documented through the lives and work of Cocteau, Duchamp, Daumal, and Dali...I'm sure there's more links that I just don't know about.

It is also worth noting that frequent commenter on the blog and RAW scholar Eric Wagner edited a poetry journal titled "Noon Blue Apples."  

midnight purple bananas

Next week we'll cover pgs. 129-159 up to "Part III: In Defense of the Damned"


Anonymous said...

The New Falcon has Lobachevsky misspelled (T in the middle), so that's probably a correction that they did in the wrong font.

Eric Wagner said...

I love Bob's "TSOG". The final section on "The Tale of the Tribe" seems like a masterpiece. The concept of a Russian take over of the US government seems very relevant in 2017.

Pg. 110 seems like the heart of "email to the universe". I have contemplated this page a lot over the past twelve years. Bob told me a German gentleman asked him to write it - I do not have his name with me. The publishing history involves Nick Tharcher, Mike Miller, Richard Rasa, and Christian Pearson, etc. Years ago I had a chemistry teacher come into my science fiction class to discuss the chemical composition of the ink and paper of the original edition of "email to the universe". Beethoven's Sixth Symphony seems the key work of music for this page, but I also associate it with Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Op. 109 and 110.

Thanks for mentioning "noon blue apples", Gregory.

Pg. 117 mentions Monica Lewinsky, born July 23, 1973.

Rasa said...

Many thanks to Gregory for pointing out the two instances of an "odd" font!! I think supergee is correct about the cause. I just now went in and corrected our versions of both the eBook and Print versions. I think I'll wait until this reading group is finished before uploading those corrected versions, SO PLEASE, if anyone finds any other typos, let us know!!

Coinnigh an lasagne in airde!


Richard Rasa, Publisher
Hilaritas Press, LLC.

Branka Tesla said...

Wilson seems an ideal example of what Walt Whitman described: "I am large, I contain multitudes."

With his encyclopedic knowledge, interdisciplinary model and especially with his "guerilla ontology" method, Wilson has the ability to open up the text for his readers in a wonderful new ways if we allow him and if we are prepared for him.

Wilson's chapter "Becoming What We "Are" (p.105) prompted me to think and feel how Wilson wants his reader to become MORE than his reader was before reading his book or any other book. It seems to me Wilson wants us to intensify and maximize our experiences. Many of us have been heavily influenced by RAW's thoughts which flow through us and confront us; and work around in our own nervous system and then: we influence others.

With humor and erudition, Wilson provokes us to look at ourselves from a different angle: how interconnected, interdependent multitudes we "are" and becoming; in a constant motion ("I seem to be a verb"); in a state of flux; "riverrun"; realizing "We are all greater artists than we realize".

Wolson's sentence (p.106) : "It takes the first third of our lives to destroy that curiosity and experimentalism; but in most cases, we become placid parts of a docile heard", reminded me of Donovan's song "Goldwatch Blues" which always cracks me up:

"We only take on men, who work on until they die
Here's your gold watch and the shackles for your chains
And your piece of paper to say you left here sane..."

Rarebit Fiend said...

@Rasa Give me an internship!

tony smyth said...

LOL. Whats going on in the US? (no not Trump, enough of thAt LUNATIC). Both Rasa and Gary Acord using Irish? For those who don't get it "Coinnigh an lasagne in airde"! is RAWs 'keep the lasagne flying' but written in Irish. Nice one.

tony smyth said...

PS just realised Rasa is your surname. As in Bowie,Picasso and Hendrix??

chas said...

@Gregory--Daumal studied deeply with G. I. Gurdjieff, whose dictum that you can't escape prison until you know you are a prisoner is reflected in your Illuminatus! quote. Daumal's Mount Analogue also inspired Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain, a film most folks in this group would highly appreciate.

chas said...

I've just noticed that Becoming What We Are is extremely similar to John Lennon's Working Class Hero.
"As soon as you're born they make you feel small…
"Til you can't really function you're so full of fear."

Oz Fritz said...

The timing of the first piece, Becoming What We "Are" (pun intended) appropriately comes shortly after the Solstice. Following the Joyce and Daoism article from last week, RAW seems to use opposite terms more often, albeit in subtle ways. For instance, on p. 109 he talks about giving up all philosophies then proceeds to reference Nietzsche two pages later.

I had thought the the larger font for Lobachevsky intentional {p.110). As a mistake, it appears fortuitous and ironically coincidental, to me. On p. 118, talking about a different text, RAW writes: "Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh later discovered that some of the letters in these parchments do not follow the alignment of the rest of the text, but hang about it like exponents in mathematics." - just like the Lobachevsky font. I wrote in my last blog how Crowley compared qabala to mathematics. On p. 123 "Baignet" appears in the same large font as Lobachevsky saying that he and his associates "produced a heap of genealogical charts" which connects with Darwin's Origin of Species (also a "heap of genealogical charts) cited in the Lobachevsky paragraph.

Those could be written off as coincidences, but the one that really gets to me is the non sequitur quote by Karl Marx (I think it's from Das Kapital) on p. 117, "Say the magic word and the duck will come down and pay you $100". This seems one of those phrases where the qabala indicates the opposite of the literal text i.e. don't say the magic word. Elsewhere a suggestion implies that hints are ok.

"... the starry sky above Dublin." p.110 might draw attention to the gematria that sky = 90 = The Star. See ch.90 in the Book of Lies to confirm that. On p. 126 RAW breaks down the word GENISIS to reveal a Joycean pun - there we allude to the Origin of Species meme again. The name Bach appears in Lobachevsky, not really the opposite of Beethoven, but kind of his counterpart. I agree with Eric about the music.

Rasa said...

Rarebit – We don't have internships, but it's not a bad idea. We certainly have a host of things to do. We've had a LOT of folks offering to help in one way or another, usually proposing an idea or offer a set of skills.

Tony Smyth – Most people call me Rasa. I gave up my grandfather's Ellis Island-designated surname, Greenberg (it was probably originally something more Germanic even though he came from the Ukraine) when I combined my name with my bride Rebecca Castro. We were officially the Casreens, which was a bit problematic once when I flew to Tel Aviv and I had to explain why my name sounded just like a famous place in Tunisia (Kasserine Pass). After Rebecca and I split up, I decided to officially take what had been a spiritual name given to me by a yogi in India, and what had become my stage name as a rock n' roller in Europe – Rasa. My name is legally Richard Rasa, but since most people call me Rasa, it's a bit confusing on social networks where they expect your first and last names to operate properly. I never really liked to "operate properly."

Gary and I have been communicating a lot recently, and that may have something to do with the Irish lasagna. Mostly though, I'm borrowing RAW's example. He used to sign his emails with a changing array of signatures, many of which were Keep the Lasagna Flying" in a few different languages. He used Irish, German and Italian versions. I've been collecting some other languages. Here's my list so far, with a couple I'm not certain about (?). Please offer corrections or new versions!!

Las die Lasagne weiter fliegen!

Mantenere il volo di lasagna!

Coinnigh an lasagne in airde!

Blijf de Lasagne vliegen!

שמור את הלזניה עפה

שהלזניה תמשיך לעופף

Guarde el vuelo del lasagna!

लज़ान्या उड़ान रखने के

إبقاء لاساجنا الطائر!


Udržujte lasagne létání!

Konservu la Lasagna Fluganta!

E mālama i ka Lasagna e lele ana! (Save Lasagna Flying!)

Jauhkan Lasagna Terbang!

라자냐를 계속 날아라!

Держите Лазанью Летающий!

Tausi Lasagna lele!

Lazanyayı uçmaya devam et!

Kia mau ki te rere lasagna!

Rarebit Fiend said...

Goddamnit. I just lost my previous response. And it's Thursday.

@supergee Thank you for corroborating. I was going to check my NF edition when I was home over the weekend but forgot until I was back at school.

@Eric I read TSOG at the height of the Obama years so its themes probably didn't jive as strongly with me as they would now. I was also living in Colorado at the time so while I still heartily agreed about the marijuana rants...I uh, wasn't really hurtin and was more in awe at CO's rational society. Tale of the Tribe is a lost masterpiece. I definitely feel we missed something big there. As I once said to a friend "in the book Wilson proposes to explain everything and the Internet" his response was "well its about time" (it had been years since his Greater Feast).

@Rasa It was worth a shot. :) Thank you for the excellent efforts on your and Christina's behalf. The new editions are excellent and I appreciate the attention you've paid to our discussion.

@tony smyth No one knows. Personally I'm waiting for Google to take over or for the internet to become self aware and judge us accordingly.

@Chas Daumal was a big favorite of one of my good friends so A Night of Serious Drinking and Mount Analogue were required reading for me. Gurdjieff is one of those writers I've learned about through his students (Daumal, Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll) but I've never read any of his original material myself. I have Beelzebub and Remarkable Men on my shelves. With my obsession with Blake, Crowley, Wilson, and Moore I don't know when I'll have time to explore his crazy in depth. The pseudo-scholastic works of Gary Lachman serve as a readable introduction to Gurdjieff's life, ideas, and legacy.

@Oz Fritz I don't know if I've said this before but your grasp on gematria is impressive. My the negativity of the imprint early in my life concerning mathematics has made it a slippery subject for me. I've been influenced by qabalah for years and while I can jabber on about the sephiroth and the hebrew alphabet I was never really able to get a foothold in "practical qabalah." Notariqon and Temura seem so abstract and convoluted that if one doesn't have a natural attraction to their practice they're simply unwieldy.

लज़ान्या उड़ान रखने के

Joshua Hallenbeck said...

Rarebit Fiend As a person with similar negative imprints concerning mathematics I would like to recommend a book that helped me loosen that imprint a little. It's called Burn Math Class by Jason Wilkes. He does a good job at turning all the seemingly pretentious terminology on its head and gives the reader a chance to "re-invent mathematics" for yourself. Reading RAW was what first gave me the inclination to rethink my view on math ( and everything else for that matter) and then I found Burn Math Class.Great read. Science and Sanity has also proven to put math into perspective a little more for me as well. In fact there are correlations to what Korzybski talks about and what Jason talks about. So much to the point that I contacted Jason through Facebook and asked if he had ever read Science and Sanity and he responded that he had not but was interested and that he would check it out.So who knows, his next book may have a little Korzybski influence,we shall see.

On LSD , Dogs, and Me I have always felt similar about dogs. They have always seemed like people to me. A friend of mine once commented on our dogs once saying that it kinda creeped him out how people like they were....

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

One of the things that I "am" is that I insist upon taking some time every day to read part of a book. And when I read the end of "Becoming What We 'Are' " I realized a possible reason why. I spend much of my day trying to please others. When I'm at work, I'm trying to make my boss happy. When I'm home, I'm trying to please my wife (and my cats). Reading is one area of my life where I get to do exactly as I please, only answering to myself.

Rarebit Fiend said...

@Joshua I have long realized that my mathematical deficit is something I need to correct. Thank you so much for the recommendation! I ordered Science and Sanity and have it sitting in my "to read" pile. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm taking a phonetics and orthographic class the semester so I want to play them off each other. I'm not sure if I know who Jason is..

@Tom I also am cripplingly addicted to reading. Without a book near me and at least a chapter a day I feel desiccated and uninspired. My ex-wife humorously is probably the most sympathetic person concerning my bibliomania.

Eric Wagner said...

I used to consider "Tale of the Tribe" a lost manuscript. Now I consider it as a fragmentary masterpiece which exists at the end of "TSOG". Charles Rosen's "The Romantic Generation" helped me perceive the value of the fragment as art object.

Joshua Hallenbeck said...

Rarebit, No problem. I to get a bit restless if I don't read at least once a day. S.M.I.2.L.E.!

Oz Fritz said...

In the LSD article Raw writes: "... I have never favored or advocated LSD's promiscuous use by the general population." At the end of the piece, referring to the use of LSD, he writes: "Maybe governments should leave this arena entirely and let professional scientists, medical and otherwise, write the guidelines?"

I am unaware of any psychedelic researcher, with the possible exception of one or two, advocating the use of LSD by the general population. The most concise guidelines I'm familiar with are Leary's "set, setting and dosage." I'm sure this can be googled for the full rundown of what that advises. They all seem critical, yet the one that got the least coverage in the heydey of the psychedelic revolution was dosage, probably the most important of these three parameters. Even the legendary Owsley admitted that the dosages he manufactured were too strong. Now, I'm told, people are experimenting with micro-doses. They take a regular dose, what they say is "one hit" and divide into anywhere from 8 to 16 parts so as to have a portion 1/8th or less of the original dose - just enough to affect you very slightly. It's been reported that Francis Crick was micro-dosing acid to help spur creativity when working to crack the DNA code. If one insists on stronger doses, then you can take 1/8th doses every hour until the optimum amount is reached. This seems a better approach to effectively managing the experience than randomly taking the dosage given and hoping for the best.

Most researchers I've read also recommend connecting psychedelic use with some kind of esoteric discipline like yoga, meditation, etc. RAW writes about using it with ritual work. His book Sex and Drugs offers further excellent guidelines. Almost all researchers advocate getting to the point where the benefits of psychedelics can be felt without taking any drugs as per Ken Kesey's famous quote: "we all know that we take drugs so that we don't have to take drugs." Like nuclear energy, which it sort of is, psychedelics can sometimes appear just as destructive as any possible benefit even with careful planning. Thomas Pynchon alludes to this in Against the Day. Utmost caution is always advised for anyone who insists in working this way.

Oz Fritz said...

Gregory, practical qabala doesn't use any math beyond addition. I don't use Temura. Notariqon doesn't have to be any more complicated than adding the first letters of each word in a sentence or phrase. Solving puzzles seems the main skill set to acquire for this. Crowley's key for practical cabala turns up in my last blog, as well as a brief linguistic introduction to Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, which may interest you.

Eric, I would be interested in learning the German gentleman's name, he sounds like a Secret Chief! That also clears up the small mystery of RAW resorting to German on p. 109.

The "tell all about" exercise sounds very similar to a Buddhist practice called sammasati which Crowley recommended and mentioned several times in his Confessions. I had friends who practiced a different version of it which they called "recapitulation" from a book by Taisha Abelar who came out of Castenada's School.

This exercise also recalls the two kinds of time Deleuze writes about in Logic of Sense. The first is how we commonly perceive time which he calls Chronos. The event of writing this exercise was, at some point, in the future, then it occurred and now it's in the past. The second kind of time, Aion, has the event splitting in two, at the moment of its occurrence, to infinitely live and change in the past and future simultaneously. It took me awhile to begin understanding how that works. The exercise RAW gives shows how the event can live on infinitely in the past. The fact that we're discussing this event now plus everyone who will read about and maybe try the exercise in the future, shows how it continues and changes in that direction.

This sentence from p.110 says a lot, to me: "Does Van Gogh tell more or less about vegetation than Beethoven's Sixth, Darwin's "Origin of Species," or the latest papers on botany." Art, music and science with the "latest papers on botany" suggesting philosophy via Deleuze and Guattari's appropriation of the rhizome to illustrate the proliferation of multiplicities of any kind. The Rhizome is the introduction to their masterpiece, Capital and Schizophrenia Volume 2, A Thousand Plateaus.

Another loaded phrase opens "Becoming What We 'Are'" on p. 105: "If you stroll through a large art museum, ..." which has qabalistic subtext related to the sentence from p.110 mentioned above. Wilson possibly lets the reader know these get connected by continuing: "you will notice that Van Gogh..." Van Gogh occurs in both locations. This opening phrase also contains a magic word whose gematria is the only number I recall RAW explicitly explaining - in either The Earth Will Shake or Widow's Son, I forget which.

Eric Wagner said...

Oz, I will look for the editor's name. I left it in my desk at the high school, so I probably won't find it until next month.

chas said...

Another note on Noon Blue Apples--

As a member of the family Rosacea, a blue apple could be considered a blue rose, which in Twin Peaks mythology refers to events of an occult or hidden nature, as well as to Project Bluebook, which was simply a cover for investigations into happenings of this nature. (And of course David Lynch is a big fan of Jean Cocteau.)

chas said...

More of those Lennon lyrics for comparison:

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all...

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear...

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see...

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill