Thursday, September 21, 2017

German WW I submarine found with 23 bodies


Here's the link. Apparently this is real.

Hat tip, Michael Johnson. 


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Computers and pop culture -- was RAW there first?






 Timothy Leary


A comment on yesterday's computer chat post: The observation that computers are to modern popular culture what drugs were to the 1960s has, I thought, long been attributed to Timothy Leary. The quote that I've usually seen is "PC is the LSD of the 1990s," which in this Wikipedia article is attributed to a 1994 book, Chaos and Cyber Culture. 

So I was interested when I noticed that in the 1986 chat reprinted Monday, Robert Anton Wilson said that "electrons are the psychedelics of the 80s."

So was the observation from RAW first, and did Leary get it from him?


Monday, September 18, 2017

A 1986 online chat with Robert Anton Wilson


A Commodore 64 computer with a disk drive. If you didn't have a monitor, you could use a TV set as the monitor. 

[Here is a cultural artifact from the early days of the personal computer revolution, the 1980s, when people connected via bulletin board systems rather than the Internet. But this 1986 computer chat features Robert Anton Wilson. A note at the end of this says that chat took place using a Commodore 64 computer, which is a computer I used to use.

Richard Rasa passed on the link to me, along with a recent email from the source, Ralph Fucetola. Mr. Fucetola wrote, "During April 1986 Bob was visiting us in Morristown when an online chat was arranged. We used my Commodore 64 connected to an old vacuum tube monitor. No graphic interface, just the Turing purity of terminals and typing.  The transcript has been posted to various places, including the POEE site, but does not seem available there anymore. I found a copy of the transcript on on old hard drive and just posted it here: http://www.LifeSpirit.org/RAW-1986-chat.html -- enjoy!"

-- The Mgt.]


Robert Anton Wilson - Online Chat, April 1986
Originally Posted on Friday, February 09 @ 23:07:35 GMT to the POEE Web Site
Apparently-To: fnord-l@ubvm.bitnet
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.fnord-l
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1991 13:27:32 PST
From: Mike Morgan DTN 592-5565
Subject: Wilson on CI$
Location: LifeSpirit Parsonage, Morristown, NJ
-----------------------------------------------------
Found this on a FidoNet board...
[70310,273]
WILSON.CO 13-Apr-86(14-Apr-86) 30945 16
Keywords: ROBERT ANTON WILSON CO ILLUMINATI OCCULT ETC..
Online conference with Dr. Robert Anton Wilson, leading occultist and former movie critic for Playboy magazine
_____________________________________________________________________________
(Sysop Jim) OK, quiet peoples.
(Sysop Georgia) I present Dr. Robert Anton Wilson
(**Bob Wilson**) Cocaine is natures way of telling you the Vatican Bank
(**Bob Wilson**) needs your money more than you do
[READ MORE to continue...]
(Ben Rowe) Bob, since magick, and the cabala play such a role in your
(Ben Rowe) books, I'm curious to know just what you attitude towards
(Ben Rowe) such things is, here in the real(?) world. Could you state
(Ben Rowe) your feelings briefly?
(**Bob Wilson**) I regard majik and cabala as doorways to
(**Bob Wilson**) archeological levels of the human brain.
(Ben Rowe) Do you practice any form of it yourself?
(**Bob Wilson**) Yes.
(Ben Rowe) Care to say what kind?
(**Bob Wilson**) Ritual invocation, gematria.
(Avatar) To follow up on Bens question
(Avatar) Are you presently a member of any secret societies or occult orders
(Avatar) and which and could
(Avatar) you tell us your the names and your grade within them?
(**Bob Wilson**) That would be telling.
(**Bob Wilson**) Ippsissimus maximus of the Illuminati
(**Bob Wilson**) and toenail of the Head Temple of the High Preithood of Eris Esoteric.
(Avatar) Amusing to the last.
(Peter da Silva) I'm not sure what book this was in, I think maybe "Right Where you are Sitting Now"
(Peter da Silva) you were talking about the possible future of human sexuality. I thought that
(Peter da Silva) the sorts of things you were talking about were rather pedestrian. Were you...
(**Bob Wilson**) Define pedestrian?
(Peter da Silva) Well, you only considered two sexes, to begin with.
(**Bob Wilson**) Oh.
(Sysop Jim) A major oversight, no doubt.
(Rodney) When will the next volume of THE HISTORICAL ILLUMINATUS be out
(Rodney) and will there be more to follow?
(**Bob Wilson**) It will be finnished a year after I finisih writing it
(**Bob Wilson**) There will be five volumes in this series, of course.
(peter) do you think machines will ever be smatrter than people?
(**Bob Wilson**) they're already smarter than some people.
(Sysop Georgia) true!
(peter) Too right!!
(Peter da Silva) Can I be obnoxius some more?
(**Bob Wilson**) Yes.
(Peter da Silva) Back to my previous question/comment/speech/
(Peter da Silva) You didn't seem to get too heavily into the possibilities of bioengineering
(Peter da Silva) as touched on by such people as John Varley (Ophiuchi Hotline, Titan, etc)
(Peter da Silva) have you any more thoughts on the subject now that technology has begun to
(Peter da Silva) catch up on you?
(**Bob Wilson**) I think we can engineer immotal superhuman beings in many dimensions
(**Bob Wilson**) of superiority to us. I hope we can learn to re-engineer ourselves
(**Bob Wilson**) neurologically
(**Bob Wilson**) to become more superhuman than our creations by learning from them.
(Peter da Silva) How about technological immortality?
(**Bob Wilson**) To understand anything, you must be able to make a working model of it
(**Bob Wilson**) The more we model the human brain, not only through bioengineering
(**Bob Wilson**) but through computers , themore we can make better brains for ourselves.
(Peter da Silva) Can't build a working model of a turing machine. We think we understand that.
(Avatar) First - do you think western
(Avatar) civilization will survive
(Avatar) the next century, and what do you think will be the significant events
(Avatar) which will characterize its existance? Second
(Avatar) What do you think of the "magic" energy machine of Joesph Newman
(Sysop Jim) Ah! Glad you asked that one.
(**Bob Wilson**) Just heard of the Newman machine two days ago
(**Bob Wilson**) Too soon to form an opinion.
(Sysop Jim) On the first question then.
(**Bob Wilson**) I think western civilization will survive
(**Bob Wilson**) It will be increasingly like a libertarian, pagan, psionic
(**Bob Wilson**) science fiction novel, probably by me.
(Avatar) thanks
(Sysop Jim) As we say in the old country, Ahlevai.
(Geoff) Hi Bob...
(Geoff) A question about skepticism
(Geoff) As one of the resident skeptics, I've always advocated "keeping your
(Geoff) B.S. detector turned up on high" when investigating
(Geoff) these strange phenomena
(Geoff) my question... what degree of skepticism is appropriate
(Geoff) and when is it time to turn skepticism off?
(**Bob Wilson**) Skepticism should be dialectical
(**Bob Wilson**) doubt A, then doubt NOT A,
(**Bob Wilson**) then doubt both A and NOT A
(**Bob Wilson**) then doubt your own ability to doubt enoough.
(Geoff) GREAT!!
(**Bob Wilson**) Doubt also Doubt
(**Bob Wilson**) itself
(Ben Rowe) A crowley fan, I see.
(**Bob Wilson**) , Experiment with Alternative belief systems,
(**Bob Wilson**) enter alternative, cognitive grids
(**Bob Wilson**) and as the Zen Master said when asked the way of the Tao
(**Bob Wilson**) "Move!".
(Geoff) Thanx, Bob. And welcome to CIS!!!
(Ben Rowe) Bob, one of the perpetual arguments here
(Ben Rowe) is about the degree to which subjective phenomena, such as
(Ben Rowe) the results of magickal invocations, can be usefully
(Ben Rowe) dealt with from a an "objective", scientific viewpoint.
(Ben Rowe) Could you tell us your feelings as to the place of
(Ben Rowe) objective enquiry in such fields?
(**Bob Wilson**) Buddha said, "doubt, and find your own light"
(**Bob Wilson**) ritual is to the inner sciences what experiment is to the outer sciences
(**Bob Wilson**) believe nothing on faith
(**Bob Wilson**) test all things
(**Bob Wilson**) enter every reality tunnel
(**Bob Wilson**) if there are only cannabils inside
(**Bob Wilson**) close the door quickly
(**Bob Wilson**) and move to the next reality tunnel.
(**Bob Wilson**) Fear nothing, never complain
(**Bob Wilson**) Thannx.
(Sysop Jim) "Test all things" Applying what tests?
(Ben Rowe) I take it that means you think science is pretty much useless in that area
(**Bob Wilson**) If the hypothesis gets the result you want
(**Bob Wilson**) tentatively continue the hypothesis
(**Bob Wilson**) If the hypothesis busts
(**Bob Wilson**) make a better hypothesis.
(**Bob Wilson**) As John Lilly says, "science is the Yoga of the West"
(**Bob Wilson**) "Yoga is the science of the East".
(**Bob Wilson**) Do the experiments , watch the results
(**Bob Wilson**) I don't see that that's not scientific.
(Sysop Jim) hmmmm, sounds like good ol' hard scientific method to me.
(Ben Rowe) The problem we run into here seems to be more in finding some basis
(Ben Rowe) to talk about such things. The objectivists wont accept the
(Ben Rowe) "evidence" of the subjectivists such as myself, and vice versa.
(Ben Rowe) any ideas about finding a common ground for this sort of discussion?
(**Bob Wilson**) Objectivists are disciples of Ayn Rand
(**Bob Wilson**) see mmy definition of "disciples" under NEW AGE in religion SIG.
(Ben Rowe) I used the wrong word.
(Ben Rowe) I mean "wedded to objective thinking?
(Ben Rowe) I dunno, I lost track again.
(Peter da Silva) I wish I had your optimism about the future, BOB. I don't see
(Peter da Silva) libertaria any time soon
(Peter da Silva) Can you give any of your thoughts as to *how* it will come about?
(Peter da Silva) (wonder if I can get a straight answer this tim)
(**Bob Wilson**) I will do my part, the part only I can do
(**Bob Wilson**) from my position in space-time
(**Bob Wilson**) I believe others are doing the same thing
(**Bob Wilson**) from their space
(**Bob Wilson**) Do what thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law
(Peter da Silva) Sigh...
(Sysop Jim) Peter, these ARE straight answers. Remember, space is curved. Follow up?
(Peter da Silva) Was hoping for a scenario or prediction
(Peter da Silva) not an oath of allegience
(Peter da Silva) Right now the authoritarians seem to be winning
(Peter da Silva) and my position in space time is a bummer.
(**Bob Wilson**) Sorry...
(**Bob Wilson**) you created that reality tunnel
(**Bob Wilson**) you can find your way out...
(**Bob Wilson**) You built the Trap...
(**Bob Wilson**) you know the design
(**Bob Wilson**) better than anyone...
(rich*) Bob, ALL phenomona subjective. Is not search for objectivity
(rich*) really search for means of communicating those that are
(rich*) more subjective than others? Does "science" really have any
(rich*) meaning as an "object/idea" unless applied?
(**Bob Wilson**) Can't understand your terminology
(**Bob Wilson**) Question meaningless
(**Bob Wilson**) in my reality tunnel
(**Bob Wilson**) Try Again!.
(rich*) Everything is subjective
(rich*) Inability to express ideas makes it so,
(rich*) but recourse to science demands
(rich*) communication in terms others understand, no?
(**Bob Wilson**) That means as little to me as everything is green
(**Bob Wilson**) If everything is Green, we still need separate words
(**Bob Wilson**) for the kind of green that looks like Red
(**Bob Wilson**) and the kind of green that looks like blue
(**Bob Wilson**) If everrything is subjective, we still need words
(**Bob Wilson**) for the subjective things that everybody seese
(**Bob Wilson**) the subjective things that only one person sese
(**Bob Wilson**) and the subjective things that you break your leg on,
(**Bob Wilson**) and the subjective thkngs that are called, "the Ballad
(**Bob Wilson**) of the Long Legged Bait"
(Avatar) The model that modern science uses to explain the world
(Avatar) in terms of atoms, mollecules, particles, and fields works quite well
(Avatar) for many things that we do, but is occasionally assaulted
(Avatar) by interesting loopholes like rains of hazel nuts, ancient rocks
(Avatar) containing live frogs, screwups in space and time, etc.
(Avatar) What extensions to conventional science have you found most
(Avatar) effective to enable you to model anomalous events
(Avatar) and could you explain some of them to us?
(**Bob Wilson**) JUNG's theory of synchronicity (psychologically-induced
(**Bob Wilson**) space time relativity)
(**Bob Wilson**) Bell's theorem
(**Bob Wilson**) of non-local hidden variables
(**Bob Wilson**) trancending space-time
(**Bob Wilson**) Persinger's theory of geo-magnetic fluctuations
(**Bob Wilson**) linked to human brain function
(**Bob Wilson**) I wonder if the link works both ways.
(**Bob Wilson**) Edwin Harris Walker "the complete quantum anthropologist (proceedings
(**Bob Wilson**) of the American Anthropological Association,
(**Bob Wilson**) 1974) unifying Bell theorem with psychokinetic experimental
(**Bob Wilson**) results.
(**Bob Wilson**) Garfinkel
(Sysop Jim) How about Gell-Mann's Law? "Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Proof"?
(Avatar) Of "Simon and Garfinkel"?
(Sysop Jim) Sorry, GA
(**Bob Wilson**) Garfinkel on reality glossing and Leary on imprinting of reality
(**Bob Wilson**) tunnels
(**Bob Wilson**) not when they become ordinary by repitition
(Sysop Jim) If I may, anecdotal or scientific repetition?
(**Bob Wilson**) Both.
(Robby) xaire!
(Robby) hello to bob and don and the new jersey thelemites and libertarians
(Robby) ddid you hear about the Guiness Heiress kidnapping ?
(Sysop Jim) Do you know what he's talking about, Bob?
(**Bob Wilson**) Tell me all about it!
(Robby) She was kidnapped a few days ago in dublin
(Robby) whiteboys or orange men i dont know
(**Bob Wilson**) I don't know.
(Robby) did you read my 1904 thing?
(**Bob Wilson**) No.
(Robby) 93
(Peter da Silva) Problem with tuning perception of reality is it doesn't get you off the
(Peter da Silva) front lines (unless I'm psychotic & dreaming we're in authoritarian state
(Peter da Silva) while we're in libertarian paraidise. If so, please wake me up). So, please
(Peter da Silva) quit treating me like
(Peter da Silva) parapsychologist at the AAAS & give some indication as to how transition
(Peter da Silva) is to occur.
(Sysop Jim) Ha!
(**Bob Wilson**) Breath normally, eat less sugar... eat foods...
(**Bob Wilson**) get high frequently...
(Peter da Silva) Hey! I quit putting sugar in my coffee already!
(**Bob Wilson**) learn to meditate, stop being afraid and angry...
(**Bob Wilson**) you are surrounded by a network of love. ...
(**Bob Wilson**) take down the bricks, remove the armour...
(**Bob Wilson**) there is nothing to fear. Stop Complaining...
(**Bob Wilson**) have chicken soup once a day...
(Peter da Silva) Do chicken fajitas count?
(Sysop Jim) I hope you're getting all this down, Peter.
(Peter da Silva) In my print buffer.
(Ben Rowe) and eat your spinach and wear your rubbers...
(**Bob Wilson**) Learn to laugh, learn to give...
(**Bob Wilson**) lighten up your act, and remember who made the grass green...
(Peter da Silva) Newton.
(Robby) we all do
(**Bob Wilson**) and who put the insect monsters in your reality tunnel...
(Peter da Silva) Or was that Maxwell?
(Peter da Silva) You did.
(Sysop Jim) and stop asking such tough questions.
(Peter) Do you believe in GOD? ga
(**Bob Wilson**) God is a ridiculously small human concept
(**Bob Wilson**) compared to the coherent intelligence
(**Bob Wilson**) of universe. Everything doesn't need to have
(**Bob Wilson**) a primate Alpha male in charge
(**Bob Wilson**) to be an intelligent system.
(Mark) Can you tell me the formula for AUM (or where to find said formula)?
(**Bob Wilson**) Don't know the laws relating to communication
(**Bob Wilson**) of such information. Don't want the owner
(**Bob Wilson**) of this machine busted.
(Mark) Data source?
(**Bob Wilson**) Who makes the grass green?
(Robby) magick in theory and practice by a.c.
(**Bob Wilson**) Oral Tradition!
(Robby) true
(Sysop Jim) What is AUM?
(Peter da Silva) Ultimate acid.
(**Bob Wilson**) Those who know do not speak...
(Mark) Drug to convert neophobes into neophiles.
(Sysop Jim) I see. hokay, Kaci?
(kaci) dare i digress and ask
(kaci) what persinger's theory of geo flux is??
(**Bob Wilson**) Drug obsolete,
(**Bob Wilson**) electrons are the psychedelics of the 80's
(Peter da Silva) "Turn On, Tune In, Link Up"?
(**Bob Wilson**) And shine like stars....
(Sysop Jim) KAci asked about Persingers theory, Bob.
(**Bob Wilson**) Persinger
(**Bob Wilson**) has found statistical links between geomagnetic cycles
(**Bob Wilson**) and fortean data anomalistics and parapsychology
(**Bob Wilson**) See his space-time transients and unusual events(co-author (kaci) in what kind of perodicity?
(**Bob Wilson**) LAFRENSERIE and brain-mind bulletin circa
(**Bob Wilson**) December 1985... I hope....
(**Bob Wilson**) Anomalistics coorelate with earthquake activity and strong psychic
(**Bob Wilson**) experience with low geomagneticactivity.
(rich*) what physical means is postulated for
(rich*) existance and use of psychic powers/uses?
(**Bob Wilson**) The careless postulate vague psycho-kinetic energies
(**Bob Wilson**) Persinger postulates measurable geomagnetic fields
(**Bob Wilson**) Walker derives psychokinetic effectsfrom basic equations
(**Bob Wilson**) of non-local quantum connectedness.
(ELAD) I have found this discussion interesting.
(ELAD) but, sorry to say...i am not familiar with
(ELAD) mr. wilson''s books
(ELAD) since there was no bio at the beginning
(ELAD) I would appreciate his book listing
(ELAD) and books that he recommends.
(**Bob Wilson**) "This I like"
(**Bob Wilson**) The book of the Breast , sex and drugs
(**Bob Wilson**) Illuminatus!, Cosmic Trigger, The Universe Next Door
(**Bob Wilson**) the Homing Pidgeons, the Trick Top Hat, Neuropolitics
(**Bob Wilson**) Right Where You are Sitting Now, Masks of the Illuminati
(**Bob Wilson**) The Illuminati Papers
(**Bob Wilson**) Prometheus Rising, The Earth Will Shake
(**Bob Wilson**) The Widows Son, and two I'd rather forget.
(Sysop Jim) And numerous issues of Playboy, yes?
(**Bob Wilson**) I only wrote the short editorials on why pot should be legalized
(**Bob Wilson**) abortion should be legalized, victimless crimes should be abolished
(**Bob Wilson**) the draft should be abolished, and a few similar ideas
(**Bob Wilson**) now trite and soon to be conservative. Even Buckley now agrees with me
(**Bob Wilson**) about drugs.
(**Bob Wilson**) remember the Zen Master who said, "move".
(Peter da Silva) Sorry... can't stop asking hard questions... is my role here
(Peter da Silva) 2 questions this time. 1) have you read and if so what do you think of
(Peter da Silva) Julian Jayne's book "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the
(Peter da Silva) Bicameral Mind". 2) I wish you would write some Science Fiction (where
(Peter da Silva) defined as so:- a SF writer is embarassed by his inconsistencies, a fantasy wrietr
(Peter da Silva) is proud of them). 3) (I lied) Do you really think there *are* psychedelics
(Peter da Silva) of the '80s?
(**Bob Wilson**) Jane's model interesting. So is Stan Gooch in total man.
(**Bob Wilson**) I prefer Pribram hologram model and Leary 8 circuit model.
(Peter da Silva) (of course)
(**Bob Wilson**) Inconsistencies of my books are inconsistencies of quantum
(**Bob Wilson**) mechanics, which is why new scientist magazine called me
(**Bob Wilson**) "most scientific of all science fiction writiers"
(**Bob Wilson**) ... I blush....
(**Bob Wilson**) But facts are facts.
(**Bob Wilson**) Thank you for exchanging electrons, the psychedelics of the 80's.
(Peter da Silva) If these are psychedelics, I'm going back to drugs.
(Sysop Jim) ha!
(Sysop Georgia) ha!
(**Bob Wilson**) Have a high Holiday...
(Robert Wiggins) Bob, I've been readig you for many years (more than 10) now
(Robert Wiggins) (I even have Sex and Drugs in hardcover)
(Robert Wiggins) and wanted to tell you I _still_ go back to read
(Robert Wiggins) "10 Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning"
(Robert Wiggins) that appeared in Oui magazine. My question is
(Robert Wiggins) mundane (but I'm enjoying the conversation here)
(Robert Wiggins) do you know of a place in NYC that carries your books
(Robert Wiggins) (and/or Leary's)
(**Bob Wilson**) Thou art beat
(**Bob Wilson**) Forbidden planet and Laissez Faire books
(**Bob Wilson**) Weisers
(**Bob Wilson**) ga
(Robert Wiggins) Lassez Faire! (sound of hand slapping forehead)
(Robby) are you the BOBO of subgenius fame
(**Bob Wilson**) That would be telling.ga
(Robby) i saw de Selby today he was wearing pink
(**Bob Wilson**) Others said, "he was a pink elf"
(**Bob Wilson**) but he was glad to be there and meet all of you
(Robby) de self-by?
(**Bob Wilson**) I did not invent de Selby. As professor LACKANOOKIE says,
(**Bob Wilson**) "TIJENTIEN, TIEN JEN TAO , de Selby TZU JAN
(**Bob Wilson**) ". Very roughly, the earth creates people, the sky creates earth
(**Bob Wilson**) de Selby became what he always was".
(Peter da Silva) What are the two books you don't
(Peter da Silva) want to remember, and what do you think of
(Peter da Silva) Steve Jackson's game "Illuminati"?
(Sysop Jim) Sheeeeesh, more tough questions!!!
(Peter da Silva) Natch
(**Bob Wilson**) When did you stop eating your wife...
(**Bob Wilson**) ...no wait...
(**Bob Wilson**) When did you stop beating your wife?
(Sysop Jim)
(Peter da Silva) I like the first one better.
(Sysop Georgia) heehee!
(**Bob Wilson**) and was there ever a dog that praised its fleas
(Avatar) OK - I am honored - two quickies
(Avatar) What is your birthdate? and do you believe in Death after Life?
(**Bob Wilson**) January 18th, 1932
(**Bob Wilson**) Death and Life are unscientific
(**Bob Wilson**) concepts, as such
(**Bob Wilson**) All we know is the tuned-in and the not tuned-in
(**Bob Wilson**) The not tuned-in may be tuned in
(Sysop Jim) /TUN DEATH /MON LIFE
(**Bob Wilson**) with the proper technology or neurology
(**Bob Wilson**) We are made out of the debris of exploding stars
(**Bob Wilson**) the not-tuned-in is not non-existent since non-existence
(**Bob Wilson**) is a metaphysical concept operationally stars , people, quarks
(**Bob Wilson**) Tune in, or tune out
(**Bob Wilson**) the dance is eternal
(**Bob Wilson**) LO! The happy moron, he doesn't give a damn
(**Bob Wilson**) I wish I was a moron.... MY GOD!
(**Bob Wilson**) Perhaps i am!
(**Bob Wilson**) Love to All
(**Bob Wilson**) Stop being afraid, Peter
(**Bob Wilson**) Goodnight.
(Peter da Silva) Not in my program.
(Sysop Jim) Quick! Someone get this man a subscription to CIS!
(Sysop Jim) Thank you for a most unforgettable Conference Bob. We hope to be
(Sysop Jim) seeing you here again. GA
(Avatar) This is the most fun I have had in ages - It was better than sex
(Peter da Silva) Your poor wife.
(Sysop Jim) Well, lets not push it, but it was quite enjoyable.
(Sysop Georgia) thanksbob! it was great!
(Robert Wiggins) Thanks, Bob. Good to finally meet you.
(Sysop Georgia) eric we need that transcript.
(Sysop Jim) Seriously, Bob, please do consider becoming a fixture here.
(Eric) I have most but not all
(Eric) was anyone else recording?
(Peter da Silva) Bye Bob. May you live in interesting times.
(Sysop Georgia) for a while
(Sysop Georgia) then he sneaked off.
(Sysop Jim) Thank you all for coming, and for being so orderly.
(Avatar) I have it all in my little ramdisk
(Robert Wiggins) Eric, I have the second half.
(Sysop Jim) the preceding program was brought to you by
(Sysop Jim) the Paranormal Issues section of the Issues Forum.
(Sysop Georgia) wow!
(Eric) My compliments to the G.O.
(Pat Hardy) Bye Bob...good music, good lovers, good games always. Bye.
(Sysop Georgia) avatar can u dump it in dl10?
(Peter da Silva) Orderly? I obviously didn't try hard enough.
(Sysop Jim) Normal conferences held every Sunday at 8PM Eastern.
(Avatar) i hate to say it - but i have never
(Avatar) uploaded before
(Sysop Jim) Executive Producer: Georgia Griffith
(Sysop Georgia) jimwillteach u.
(Sysop Jim) Producer: Bill McLaughlin
(Sysop Jim) Director and Moderator: Jim Speiser
(Sysop Jim) This is Don Pardo, goodnight everyone!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: I'm not sure where this item came from, I recently discovered it sitting in a disused folder at the bottom of an abandoned hard disc, but thanks to whoever sent it.
~Rev. St. Syn, KSC
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 September 2017
I recall this chat which happened in the LifeSpirit Parsonage living room in Morristown in 1986. The chat used my Commodore 64 on a vacuum tube monitor, no graphic interface.
To the best of my recollection it is an accurate transcript, and so very RAW!
Rev Esnur (Ralph Fucetola JD)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Russ Roberts on reality tunnels


Russ Roberts

He doesn't use the phrase "reality tunnels," but I thought Russ Roberts explored the concept nicely in his piece, "The World Turned Upside Down (and what to do about it)."

Excerpt:

The world is a complex place and it’s hard to know what is going on. So we grope around in the dark trying to make sense of what is happening and what explains what we observe. We manage to convince ourselves that we are seeking the truth and we have found it. Trump is evil or Hillary is evil. Black people are the victims of a conspiracy by white people to oppress them or white people are being marginalized as their majority status dwindles. The country is on the wrong track. (Everyone believes this one). And subtlety is not our strong suit as human beings. We like simple stories without too much nuance.

So we manage to convince ourselves that the evidence speaks so loudly, so emphatically, that we have no choice but to declare our allegiance to a particular tribe as a result of that evidence. The red tribe. Or the blue one. Or the white one. Or the black one. It rarely crosses our minds to notice that causation is probably going the opposite direction — the tribe we are in. 

Roberts is the author of How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life and "co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap videos."

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Links for readers



Anybody who reads a blog about a cult writer probably is a reader, so here goes. I've tried to include links to a variety of sites, so that there is something for everyone.

Lit.hub is a site that emphasizes serious fiction and which sends out an email newsletter which I subscribe to. It has a  leftist orientation and pays a lot of attention to black writers. I suspect anyone interested in literary fiction (even nonleftists) would find it interesting.

Tor.com stands out as a site for people who like to read science fiction, as opposed to the "media" folk who focus on movies, TV shows, etc. Tor is an outstanding SF publisher, but the site also covers writers published by others.

The site includes a series of "Five books" recommendations, such as "Five books for the Psychonaut," which discusses Illuminatus!

The Butterfly Language blog author, Val D'Orazio, has just put together a site linking to all of the comics she has written or edited.  Val also reviews a lot of books, and she's a huge RAW fan; many of the books she discusses would interest readers of this blog. 

Nonfiction readers can browse Marginal Revolution books, "A browsable database of books discussed on Marginal Revolution, sorted by the month of their posting." Marginal Revolution is the blog of Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok. Tyler especially reads a lot of books, particularly nonfiction, but also fiction.

J.P. Donleavy, author of The Ginger Man, has died. It's an interesting story. See Supergee's post, and follow his link. This sounds like a book Robert Anton Wilson would have read.

The new blog for the Prometheus Award has material which (I hope, as I'm involved) would interest many science fiction readers.

My suggestion for people who like mysteries is to "friend" Annthelibrarian on Goodreads. Mysteries are mostly what she reads and her recommendations are reliable. (Disclosure: Guess who she's married to?)  She recommends the Detectives Without Borders blog. You can find me on Goodreads as "Tomj."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A new one from Steve Jackson Games



Steve Jackson Games has a Kickstarter for a new game, Conspiracy Theory. The pitch:

"This fast-playing black card/white card game will reward your ability to sell your deranged ideas to the other players.

"In Conspiracy Theory, you explore who’s really doing what, to whom, and why . . . and how they are keeping it secret. And you have to convince the other players that your theory is best.

"This is a stand-alone game by Illuminati designer Steve Jackson, for 3 or more players, and it takes an hour or more to play."

The Illuminati game was inspired by Illuminatus! as Jackson acknowledged.

Lewis Shiner asked about the game when he interviewed RAW.

SHINER: Do you know about Steve Jackson's Illuminati game?

RAW: Everybody I meet thinks it's based on my Illuminatus! novels and I'm getting royalties on it. He claims it's not based on the novels, so I'm not getting royalties on it. Different lawyers give me different opinions. Decide for yourself.
 




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A libertarian novel about the war on drugs



Michael Johnson recently posted a comment that included a quotation from Terrance McKenna when I posted an item about a California initiative to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.

I recently read a new novel about the war on drugs, Drug Lord by Doug Casey and John Hunt. It's part of a series of libertarian propaganda novels by the duo, second in a series. Apparently I like libertarian propaganda novels, because I enjoyed both of the first two books, and I intend to keep reading the series. The characterization in the books is not the authors' strong suit — everyone is either too good to be believed or one-dimensionally evil — but I like the constant flow of ideas, and the plotting isn't terrible.

Did you ever read the classic article from the Onion mocking the Libertarian Party, "LA Efficiency Chosen as Site of 2000 Libertarian Convention"? The piece was illustrated with a photo the purported to show the Ohio and Vermont delegations:


The first novel in the series, Speculator, about gold mining in Africa, was aimed more at the guy on the left, while the second novel would seem to be aimed at the guy on the right.

Drug Lord begins with a quote from Terence McKenna:

If the words "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it's written on. 

Timothy Leary is mentioned, approvingly, in the novel.

The plot concerns a new antidepressant which is inhaled and works more quickly than conventional antidepressants. Users discover, however, that in high doses, the drug allows people to think more clearly about issues they have been repressing, and the drug becomes an underground drug nicknamed Naked Emperor. (One of the effects, naturally, is that many people "see the light" and become libertarians.) Naked Emperor is rather like the spiked tomato juice handed out by some of the characters  in Illuminatus!

There's a lot in the book about how the government (mostly represented by the FDA) and the pharmaceutical companies combine to prevent true competition in the marketplace, keeping drug prices high and reducing choice. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mozart's Freemason opera coming to a theater near you



Scene from a production of The Magic Flute

Yesterday, I checked the Metropolitan Opera's schedule for live broadcasts to local movie theaters, and noticed something interesting: Mozart's Masonic opera, Die Zauberflote (e.g., The Magic Flute) is going to be shown on Oct. 14. Isis and Osiris are invoked in the course of the plot, and the main characters have to undergo an initiation. Given Robert Anton Wilson's interest in Mozart, I'm surprised that he never talked about this opera (as far as I know).

This performance (and other operas in the broadcast schedule) are available in many movie theaters across the country. Opera isn't for everyone, of course, but if you are into it, the broadcasts offer loud, clear sound and a great view of the action. I'm hoping to attend the Mozart broadcast.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Visiting California

Robert Anton Wilson lived much of his life in various places in California. There must be something about the state; many of the comments posted on this blog come from California residents.

My wife and I just finished our annual vacation. Originally, we had planned to come to California in June, so that I could see the Santa Cruz production of the Cosmic Trigger play. When that was canceled, we moved our vacation to September, which is when we usually take it.


Tippi Hedren in 1965 (Creative Commons photo by Sunrise 657)

My wife is a fan of Shambala, the big cat sanctuary run by Hollywood actress Tippi Hedren, best known for starring in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." The sanctuary has various fund-raising events, including "Shambala at Sunset" events several times during the summer. We attended one of the sunset events on Saturday.

 Tour guides led us through to inspect the animals. I took a bunch of photos of the tigers, the lions, etc.


After the tour, supper is served. Tippi (who lives on the site of the sanctuary, near Palmdale) came out to talk to the guests.


Tippi Hedren chats with guests at our table.

Celebrity guests are part of the draw for these events, and on Saturday, Ms. Hedren was supplemented by Peter Marshall, a singer, actor and game show host. Readers of this blog who are not extremely young will remember Marshall's long run hosting the "Hollywood Squares" game show on TV. After supper, Hedren and Marshall came onstage and answered questions from the audience. Marshall told stories about Paul Lynde, what a pain the neck Lucille Ball was to work with, and so on. Hedren was mostly asked about her animals.


Tippi Hedren and Peter Marshall.

My wife is very interested in cats; we also visited Cat Therapy, a "cat cafe" in Santa Barbara.



Saturday, September 9, 2017

Eight Ways to Listen to Beethoven


1820 portrait of Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler

[Completing our trilogy of Beethoven postings, this is a reprint of a compilation by Eric Wagner originally posted in January 2011. See also RAW's essay, "Beethoven as Information," from the Illuminati Papers. -- The Mgt.]

Eight Ways to Listen to Beethoven

I. As for music – where did we first hear it, who sang or hummed to
us, and against what part of her body were we held? - Prometheus
Rising (revised edition), pg. 48.

II. We are not talking about mere increase in linear IQ – third-
circuit semantic cleverness. We are talking of also the kinds of
right-brain intelligence that Nicholl acquired from Jungian
neurogenetic research and Gurdjieff’s meta-programming techniques. We
are talking of say, Beethoven’s intelligence, which so disturbed
Lenin, who could not bear to listen to the Appassionata (Sonata 23)
because it made him “want to weep and pat people on the head, and we
mustn’t pat them on the head, we must hit them on the head, hit them
hard, and make them obey.” More of Beethoven’s intelligence is
needed, desperately, to create a signal that the current Lenins cannot
ignore, that will make them weep, and stop hitting heads. – Ibid, pg.
277

III. The left-handed, on the contrary, specialize in right-brain
functions, which are holistic, supra-verbal, “intuitive,” musical and
“mystical.” Leonardo, Beethoven and Nietzsche, for instance, were all
left-handed. Traditionally, left-handed people have been the subject
of both dread and awe – regarded as weird, shamanic, and probably in
special communication with “God” or “the Devil.” – Ibid, pg. 98 – 99.

IV. “To me, the Hammerklavier sounds like an unsuccessful
attempt at Tantric sex. And the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies sound
like monumentally successful attempts.” - Frank Dashwood in
Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy, pg. 426.

V. Beethoven, we remember, was left-handed. Since the left
hand is neurologically linked to the polymorphous right brain, one
might say he was genetically inclined to right brain activities, that
is, to sensing coherent wholes, to plunging into neurosomatic bliss
almost “at will,” and to sensory-sensual raptness and rapture.
Everybody “knows” that the Sixth Symphony is “pantheistic,” but
whether Beethoven was an ideological pantheist or not, that way of
responding to nature is normal and natural right-brain Circuit V
functioning. That is, anybody on the Fifth Circuit will “talk like a
pantheist” whether or not he has developed a “philosophy” about
pantheism. The miracle of Beethoven is not that he felt the universe
that way – a few thousand fifth-circuit types throughout history have
also felt and sensed nature that way – but that he mastered the third-
circuit art of music with such skill that he could communicate such
experiences, which is precisely what the ordinary “mystic” cannot
do. - Prometheus Rising, pg. 183.

This progression, from primate emotion to post-hominid tranquility,
from “man” to “super man,” is the Next Step that mystics forever talk
of; you can hear it in most of Beethoven’s later, major
compositions. – Ibid, pg. 188.

VI. Beethoven, to cite him one more time, said, “Anybody who
understands my music will never be unhappy again.” That is because
his music is the song of the Sixth Circuit, of Gaia, the Life Spirit,
becoming conscious of Herself, of Her powers, of Her own capacities
for infinite progress. - Ibid, pg. 204.

VII. Mind and its contents are functionally identical: My wife
only exists, for me, in my mind. Not being a solipsist, I recognize
the converse: I only exist, for her, in her mind. Lest the reader
exclaim, like Byron of Wordsworth, “I wish he would explain his
explanation!”, let us try it this way: If I am so fortunate as to be
listening to the Hammerklavier sonata, the only correct answer, if you
ask me suddenly, “Who are you?” would be to hum the Hammerklavier,.
For, with music of that quality, one is hypnotized into rapt
attention: there is no division between “me” and “my experience.” -
Ibid, pg. 219.

VIII. Mystics stammer, gibber and rave incoherently in trying to
discuss this. Beethoven says it for them, without words, in the
fourth movement of the Ninth Symphony. The words of Schiller’s “Ode
to Joy,” which Beethoven set to this virtually superhuman music, are a
linear third-circuit map conveying only a skeleton key to the multi-
level meanings of the 8-circuit “language” of the melodic construction
itself, which spans all consciousness from primitive bio-survival to
meta-physiological cosmic fusion. – Ibid, pg. 269

Friday, September 8, 2017

Try Richter for your Beethoven piano fix



 Sviatoslav Richter in 1966

When you become a Beethoven fanatic, one of the questions that arises is who are the go-to musicians for performance.

I don't have any strong feelings yet about conductors, although I like George Szell's recordings with the Cleveland Orchestra.

I have been particularly interested in piano players. Until recently, I pledged allegiance to Alfred Brendel, and I still like him very much. His are the performances I prefer for the "Pathetique" and "Waldstein" sonatas. But lately I have become very interested in a Russian pianist, Sviatoslav Richter.

There are obviously many talented pianists who have tacked Beethoven, but there is something about Richter which is spellbinding. He also recorded a lot of Prokofiev, so he concentrated on two of my favorite composers.

There are many stories about Richter; who knows if they are true. Supposedly, one of his first recitals in Moscow was poorly attended — at first. The room was full at the end of the recital, because everyone in the audience ran out the door at intermission to find their friends and demand that they come.

One interesting fact about Richter is that he apparently only played and recorded pieces he was interested in. So while he recorded many Beethoven sonatas, there is no complete set of sonatas. He liked Haydn better than Mozart, and indeed, his Mozart does not particularly interest me.

He also didn't like recording as much as he liked playing live, so many of his albums are live recordings.

When you look for Richter albums (he is well represented in the two public library digital music apps, Freegal and Hoopla) almost any all-Beethoven recital is likely to be good.


 This album, recorded in England in 1975, seems particularly good to me. There's a fine performance of the "Hammerklavier" and a radiant rendering of the No. 3 piano sonata, plus three bagatelles.

I asked fellow Beethoven fanatic Eric Wagner for his suggestions for pianists. He replied, "Following Rafi Zabor, I love Solomon for 106, 109 and 111 and Schnabel for 109 and 111. I also love Rosen's op. 54 and 106. And Richter's Appassionata."






Thursday, September 7, 2017

Yes, the Illuminati influenced Beethoven, a biography says





In the Illuminatus! trilogy, Ludwig van Beethoven is depicted as an active member of the Illuminati.

This was, perhaps, just a joke by Robert Anton Wilson, the big Beethoven fan. But apparently it may be true that Beethoven was influenced by Illuminati ideas.

The latest big Beethoven biography is Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford. The hardcover comes to 1,104 pages, and apparently it took years for Swafford (a composer himself) to research and write it. It came out in 2014, but I have just finished it. (I am on vacation in California).

Swafford says that Beethoven was exposed to Illuminati and Freemason ideas by one of his early teachers, Christian Neefe, and influenced by those ideas all of his life. There are "23 results" when you do an Amazon "search inside the book" for the search term "Illuminati."

Neefe argues, convincingly I thought, that these Illuminati ideas influenced the composition of two of Beethoven's most famous symphonies, the Third (or "Eroica") and the Ninth. For example, Beethoven paid close attention to which keys he used, and the Third was composed in E-flat major, which Swafford says was the key Mozart used for Masonic music, such as The Magic Flute, which Swafford says was Beethoven's favorite Mozart opera. Schiller's "Ode to Joy" poem, used as the text for the last movement of the Ninth, was often sung in various musical settings, in Illuminati and Freemason meetings, Swafford says. Beethoven made several attempts to set it to music in his career, finally succeeding with his last symphony.


Scene from Mozart's "The Magic Flute."  Source.

I don't claim to be a Beethoven expert. Eric Wagner is more of one that I am. When I wrote to Eric (author of An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson), Eric commented, " I started the Swafford bio of Beethoven, but I haven’t finished it. I have reached the Third Symphony. I like it, but I find he lacks much sense of ambiguity. He gives a nice explanation of the role of the Illuminati, but I prefer Bob Wilson’s more tentative approach. Bob writes things like “perhaps the Illuminati does X”. Swafford says instead “the Illuminati does X”. Also, Swafford tends to overemphasize thematic unity between movements in Beethoven’s early works, I think. I find it interesting that Swafford does not include Donald Francis Tovey in his bibliography or in his index. I found one negative comment about Tovey in one of Swafford’s endnotes. I find this common among musicologists born after 1940: an overemphasis on thematic unity between movements in music before the Eroica and a negative attitude towards Tovey. Swafford includes lots of Kerman and Rosen in his bibliography, and his analysis of the Op. 18 string quartets relies heavily on Kerman’s analysis. Kerman sees Tovey’s writing about Beethoven as the finest writing about music period. I tend to lean toward Kerman’s views. Kerman edited a critical score of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 503, and the essays there really reveal this split."

Much of the technical discussion in Swafford's book is over my head, although not Eric's. Swafford also does not make a final judgment on who the "Immortal Beloved" was, although he discusses the three main candidates.






Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Checking out Ubuweb


Samuel Andreyev

If you are the kind of oddball who reads this blog, you should get to know Ubuweb, the website that collects large amounts of avant-garde art, in all possible forms. The site tends not to respect copyright, but gets away with it because it compiles material that has little commercial appeal.

A recurring feature of the site is the monthly top ten list, in which an artist or editor or critic or whatever is asked to list ten favorite items on the site. The June 2017 list, from Samuel Andreyev, selects modern classical music, one of my passions. His top ten list is a good survey of the classical avante-garde of the past few decades, covering 12-tone music (Webern), electronic music from Stockhausen, George Antheil, Morton Feldman, and other interesting sounds. I downloaded all 10 tracks and then put together a playlist on Google music. (Andreyev is a composer who has a YouTube channel devoted to classical avant-garde.)

I don't expect everyone to share my interests, but browsing the other top ten lists is a good entry point for the site. Here is my attempt at an Ubuweb top ten. 

Ubuweb isn't a good place, however, for obtaining Robert Anton Wilson material. For that, I would suggest the Internet Archive.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

What's your favorite Philip K. Dick book?



The Guardian runs an article in which writers are asked to name their favorite Philip K. Dick book. Nicola Barker picks Puttering About in a Small Land. Michael Moorcock likes Time Out of Joint. Adam Roberts likes Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 

Supergee blogs and reveals that Time Out of Joint is his favorite, too.  In a perhaps mild synchronicity, I was going to write Val D'Orazio, the Butterfly Language writer, and as her for a favorite. But before I could, she posted her "desert island books" and two of the six are Dick books:  Exegesis and VALIS. Ted Hand likes Galactic Pot Healer.

My favorite (so far — I've read several but have plenty left to read) is The Man in the High Castle. Not an innovative pick, I'm afraid, but I re-read it a couple of years ago and was knocked out again by how great it was. I like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? too. Obviously, I need to try Time Out of Joint. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Talking with Znore, blogger at 'Groupname for Grapejuice'



Not too long ago, I listened to a podcast that featured Znore, who lives in Japan and who writes the wonderful Groupname for Grapejuice blog, which I've been a fan of for quite awhile now.

There were several people in the podcast, but I felt Znore dominated it. I was a little jealous of the folks in the podcast. Imagine being able to have Znore to myself for a little while and to be able to ask some questions, too!

So I wrote to Znore and asked him if he would take some questions, and he said yes! I hope I asked some of the questions you would ask if you had some of Znore's time and attention.

About Znore himself, I can tell you little, other than what you might work out reading his blog (and listening to the podcasts in which he takes part). When I asked him to tell me a little bit about himself, he replied, "There is not much to say about me. I work in Tokyo, I have a family and I am blessed to live close to the beach."

RAWIllumination.net: What moved you to begin your Groupname for Grapejuice blog in July 2012? Isn't the title of the blog a James Joyce reference?

ZNORE: I guess the blog can trace its roots back to 2008, RAW, and magic mushrooms. In Sept. of that year I picked up a used copy of Cosmic Trigger 1 in Toronto. I had read a bunch of Wilson's books in the '90s, but I never managed to get my hands on the Trigger. I was super excited to crack it open because it always seemed, when reading his other stuff, to be the main hinge of his work. I ended up reading it back in Japan that Fall around the same time as I had a very memorable mushroom trip in the forest. The trip was important both because I hadn't shroomed for quite a while, and also because it broke me out of a severe absolutist-conspiracy-theory loop that'd I been trapped in for about three years. Within minutes of feeling the effects of the psilocybin in the woods, I realized that a unitary and omnipotent power structure was just impossible. And Cosmic Trigger confirmed this revelation.

This did not mean, however, that I gave up on the idea of occult conspiracies. On the contrary. I only realized that any conspiracy, as on any other level or layer of nature, would have to be matched by several other competing and cooperating conspiracies. The absolutist view is a dull yet insidious fiction. It is like saying that nature is Euclidean when it is actually made up of n-dimensional, multi-sensory, protean fractals. Or something even more than this. This of course is also RAW's view.

Anyway, reading the Trigger triggered a whole series of somewhat disturbing synchronicities involving the star, Sirius. I now know that these kind of Sirius syncs were happening to quite a handful of people from about 2007-2012, in some cases catalyzed like mine by Cosmic Trigger, but in other cases quite independently of it. I went on this mad Sirius research binge for a couple of years, taking notes on all of the esoteric connections to Sirius from Ancient Egypt on up to Leary and Wilson, and this eventually led me to an online researcher calling himself Monk. Monk is an expert in astronomy and calendars and a fellow Sirius fanatic. The emails I was sending to Monk got longer, more complex and more frantic and finally, as the 2012 London Olympics were creeping closer, I decided to share what I was writing to anyone else who might be interested.
Along this road I also found my way to Joyce, another author I had wanted to study for many years. I began Ulysses, by happenstance or otherwise, on 3/11/11, the day of the big earthquake and tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan. I finished it and began Finnegans Wake on the following Bloomsday. Both blew me away, but the Wake especially affected me. It seemed, and still seems, to be the culmination of everything that I was looking for. It directly extended into my blog. The title, Groupname for Grapejuice, was chosen "randomly," by a sort of bibliomancy, but in retrospect I see it as being planned in some fashion. The phrase is found on p. 261 as a snarky footnote by Issy on "Ainsoph." I now see this Dionysian intersection with the Kabbalah as containing galaxies of meaning. My blog is trying to explore these.



RAWIllumination.net:  I read "Dubliners" for the first time when I was in high school and tried to read "Ulysses" right after I graduated and couldn't finish it. I got serious about reading James Joyce a few years ago when I realized how important his writing was to Robert Anton Wilson, and so I read it all the way through, and then read it a second time. I am planning a third reading, partially inspired by your recent podcast. Did Robert Anton Wilson influence you to read Joyce?

Robert Anton Wilson says that James Joyce's "Ulysses" should be read 40 times. How many times have you read "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake"? What did you notice the last time you read "Ulysses"?

ZNORE: From reading Wilson's books, I knew that Joyce was a very big influence on RAW. Yet this is true for several authors that I'm into. Definitely Wilson was a big prod to read Joyce, but not the only one. I didn't read his masterful essays on the Wake in Coincidance, though, until well after I had read Finnegans Wake. I wonder if they would mean anything to someone who has not read Joyce. It's a shame that those essays have not been seriously considered by the academics.

I've read Ulysses straight through about 3 times, and the Wake twice. Yet with the Wake I have been dipping into it constantly since I first started reading it. I don't know how many times that would work out to be in total. It's on the table beside me now. Definitely I've missed parts in these subsequent "readings." For a time I was using it as kind of a day book (reading the page whose number corresponds to the present date) and I also use it as a sort of I Ching oracle. I flip through it when suffering from insomnia (as Joyce suggested) and I also consult it when something significant happens in my life or in world events. Joyce seriously (with his usual ironic spin) considered it to be a work of prophecy, and that is pretty much how I take it. I have also read an enormous amount of critical material on Joyce and this always brings me back to the texts.
When I read Ulysses again in May/June, the big thing that struck me was that the language itself is part of the plot. Joyce is trying on the style of authors throughout the history of English literature and offering them to the Muse. The Muse, in this case, is Penelope/Molly Bloom/Nora Joyce/ALP. Every artist, especially every male artist, who has been filled with the Muse -- who has created a true work of vision -- is ultimately a cuckold. Her light shines on each artist only temporarily, in moments of "inspiration," but then it moves on to someone else. The line of suitors to the Muse is without beginning or end. Realizing this on one level, Leopold Bloom finds "equanimity." The whole idea of the "cuckold" is exposed as nonsense here. No legal ownership or exclusive marriage to the Muse is possible. We are, if we are extremely blessed, merely one of a series. The language of a particular author flows through the Muse, but it no way binds her. That, I think, is the main lesson of Ulysses. Joyce is bringing back the acknowledgement of the Muse to Western literature. She has always been there, of course, but she was not fully recognized for centuries. This error is the folly of paternity, or of the Demiurge, which is a major theme throughout his work.



RAWIllumination.net: You obviously know a lot about the topics you write about. Can you suggest 1-2 favorite titles to get someone started in studying myths? And do you have one or two favorite books to recommend for people beginning a study of James Joyce's work?

ZNORE:  I don't know what to suggest about getting people started in studying myths. I'm reading D'Aulaire's Book Of Greek Myths to my kid, and the art and the writing in it is excellent. As a very basic starting point this book is great. I think everybody, though, should read The Iliad and The Odyssey. From there Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid's Metamorphoses are essential for a wider scope. Ovid is really fun. As for more modern takes, there is Robert Graves' two-volume Greek Myths, but likely the most readable and enjoyable book is Robert Calasso's The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. And if you want to getting deeper into the pre-Homeric, pre-Olympian, fertility-cult roots of Greek religion then check out the work of Jane Harrison, old but still inspiring. But this all is just the Greeks.

For the study of Finnegans Wake, say, I'd recommend trying to find James Atherton's The Books at the Wake. This examines most of the major "structural books" that Joyce uses in the Wake as well as many of the minor books. This book began an ongoing plunge into literature for me. Finnegans Wake open all books. Then there is Campbell and Robinson's Skeleton Key, of course, which is good but it has its own spin like everything else. For a general book on Joyce's work, I've found Tindall's A Reader's Guide to James Joyce to be helpful. But just read Joyce. Out loud if you can. Let it wash over you like free jazz and consult the guides afterwards, if necessary.




RAWIllumination.net: I had never heard of Jane Harrison, but I looked her up on Wikipedia, now I need to read her! I've read books on Joyce, but now it's time to try Tindall.

I wrote in my blog entry today that I think you are a "really good literary critic." Would you talk about who some of your favorite writers are?

ZNORE: Thanks, but I don't think that I would call myself a literary critic. When I read the work of Hugh Kenner or Kathleen Raine or Northrop Frye or Richard Ellmann, I realize how far short I fall of that profession. I haven't got the patience to defend the connections I make with academic "rigour". I'd rather be poetic about it and let readers find their own connections or not. So I'll likely remain as some sort of mutant hybrid of inadequate critic and bad poet. My only hope is that if I persist in my folly that I'll find some wisdom somehow.

I have a huge list of favourites. Joyce is at the top and RAW is right up there, but I'd also include William Blake, Ezra Pound, W.B. Yeats, Robert Duncan, H.D., Tolkien, Dante, Henry Miller, Thomas Pynchon, D.H. Lawrence, Kerouac, Burroughs, Paul Bowles, Gertrude Stein, Gustav Meyrink, Herman Hesse, Dostoyevsky, Aeschylus, Stanislaw Lem, Rabelais, Charles Olson, Ovid, C.S. Lewis, Thomas Traherne, Herman Melville... There are others who don't come to mind, but these are all authors who have helped to shape my perception.

Outside of literature I'd include Emma Goldman, Proudhon, Kropotkin, Jung, Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, the Bible, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Allen Upward, Plato, Nietzsche, Giordano Bruno, Robert Graves, Deleuze, Derrida, Baudrillard, Lev Shestov, Nagarjuna, Rene Guenon, Ioan Couliano, Georges Bataille, Frances Yates... I've likely forgotten a few here, too. Pretty white, male and dead, I'm afraid.

[A little later]. I left out McLuhan! [And then a bit later]. ...and Terence McKenna (this is probably going to keep happening so I'll stop here).

RAWIllumination.net: In your blog entry for May 31, 2016, you wrote that you are working on a book. How is that coming along? Do you have any news? 

ZNORE: My book project -- really getting previous blog entries published in book form -- is creaking along slowly. I'm trying to get it done independently so both the friends involved in the project and I are trying to squeeze working on it into already very busy schedules. I hope it is still relevant when it finally arrives. On the plus side, the cover art is completed and it is wonderful. My goal is to try to have the writing measure up to the cover.

RAWIllumination.net:  I'm interested in people's reading habits, and you obviously are a serious reader. Do you stick to paper, or do you also read ebooks? Do you listen to audiobooks? And when you are going on a trip, do  you stew about which books to take with you to read? Do you usually get  your books online or in bookstores? 

ZNORE: I have never read an entire ebook, but I have printed out books that I've found online. I don't read as carefully when I'm looking at a screen. I don't own a smartphone and a big reason why I don't is because I like to read books on the train while commuting. I know that if I did have a smartphone that my reading would suffer. I get enough Internet at home. I do occasionally listen to audiobooks, but usually I don't have time to do this. I have ordered many books online, but I prefer finding books randomly at the last remaining used bookstores. There is a magic in finding a dusty book on a back shelf that you've been seeking out for a long time. Used books, especially with penciled-in marginalia, lead to insights that you can't find with ebooks or new copies. I make huge lists of books I'd like to read over the year. Usually I get diverted into one subject or another and the lists branch off into other lists. The problem with going on a trip is deciding which books not to take.