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Monday, April 1, 2019

The Earth Will Shake reading group, Week Six

The Temple of the Rose Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618.

This week, please read from page 105, the William Blake quotation (Cruelty has a Human Heart" to page 126 ("And then, Sigismundo throught grimly, the others will be ready to receive me as his successor." This is corrected from the earlier post, which inadvertently skipped Part Two. Thanks to Oz Fritz for pointing out my mistake in the comments. 

It seems to me that this novel is about Sigismundo dealing with Chapel Perilous. He is trying to figure out what kind of person he is going to be.

"The tyranny of the suffering," page 110. Isn't this where the Left goes wrong? Instead of ending suffering, the project of the Left often seems to be to impose a new tyranny.

Robert Anton Wilson on everyone's various hate trips:

"The drunks who came down here and burned and looted and beat up old men thought they had a good reason to hate the Jews, he reflected. My perfect devil of a father thinks he has most excellent reasons to hate the nobles. The Dominicans has intricate and theologically orthodox reasons to hate anybody who reads the wrong books. The Jacobins hate the king of England, and he hates them back. Everybody has someone to hate: it just proves that God's Creation is above all perfectly balanced and orderly." (page 119.)


Oz Fritz said...

Great illustration! Notice that the Temple shows a fortress.

I see a typo. This week's reading should begin on p. 105. We skipped over Venus (The Empress) and went straight to Mercury (The Magician).

Coincidence: Eric referenced the film "Freaks" last week. Today I read in "Gravity's Rainbow" (p. 108) that "Freaks" makes Osbie Feel's All Time List of great films. Compare that with what RAW says about coincidences on p. 124. Also on the film list: "Son of Frankenstein." Next week Frankenstein enters the Grand Opera of "The Earth Will Shake."

The first three Parts: The Fool, The Empress, and The Magician correspond with the 3 paths that outline the Supernal Triad of Kether, Chokmah and Binah. According to Qabalistic doctrine, the Supernals represent Reality or the Real World. An Abyss separates the top triad with the other seven Sephira which represent the world of appearances or illusion.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Thanks Oz, and I'm sorry about my mistake, which I've corrected. I did read that section.

Rarebit Fiend said...

Oh Lord the rape scene was really well written- I felt pretty ill the whole time. The theme of hatred and the Wheel of Karma's turning really comes out as we understand that Peppino is partially what he is because of the injustices done to the peasantry and himself while being blind to the consequences of his actions. Liliana shares the prejudices of her birth while suffering because of her sex.

Orafli's therapy continues to be one of the best parts of the book.

The section ends with a nice contrast to the end of The Empress where Liliana tries not to fear her son with Sigismundo's bravado finally breaking down in her maternal presence.

Oz Fritz said...

I've noticed several instances of the Law of Fives though didn't think to note them. The ones I can remember: the pentagram on the cover; the rosy cross on the cover ( 4 points of the cross + the central circle of roses); Part 1 = The Fool = 1, Part 2 = The Empress = 4, 1 + 4 = 5.
A few weeks ago I mentioned the formula of ON in the book. ON = 120 = 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5. More on the ON formula in my latest blog.

Eric Wagner said...

This section has the title "Part Two - The Empress". In "The Game of Life" Leary and Wilson reverse tarot trumps II and III, putting the Empress before the High Priestess. I attended a Finnegans Wake workshop with Bob in 1987 and he used that order then as well.

Peppino in this chapter reminds me of an Ayn Rand hero.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

@Rarebit, One of the things I'm struck by in the Historical Illuminatus! books is that the female characters are done well. I thought the depiction of women in the Illuminatus! trilogy was not a strength, so that's definitely a sign of growth in Wilson's work.