By Gregory Arnott
Special guest blogger
Chapter One: NoboBob
It seems significant to me that Wilson chose to end the first chapter summarizing the wild notions that can become reality amidst the machinations of the Thinker and the Prover, specifically “something as remarkable as the notion that there is a gaseous vertebrate of astronomical heft (“GOD”) who will spend all eternity torturing people who do not believe in his religion.”
While I’ve talked about the specific article in depth in previous reading groups, it is worth mentioning once more that Wilson began his career with a clever bit of juvenile humor asking just how large is God’s willy. Published in Krassner’s Realist, the article was a clever subversion of the logical arguments made by Catholic scholars to prove the existence of God Almighty. Wilson never seemed to cotton to the idea of the Abrahamic God.
I think one of the reasons I came so readily to Wilson was his intense dislike of Christianity. I can relate; Wilson was born in the suffocating society of Irish Catholics in Brooklyn during the 1930s and I was born in a small town in the Mid-Ohio Valley amongst a contentious and ever expanding number of Protestant churches during what might have well have been the 1930s. Being curious and being raised in a religious society rarely turn out well. (And, if I may be so bold, I think being decently compassionate didn’t help either of us.) I believe Wilson gives us his approximate age when he finally had it with the religion of his parents but I can’t remember it -- he tells us he went on to Atheism, Marxism before eventually stumbling upon Korzybski which seemed to be his original passport into the life of the mind. I was nine when I committed what I would later learn, and relish, was the sin of apostasy.
I nursed resentment towards Christians as I grew older, fertilized by being told the books I read were “wicked,” that talking about “-isms” was a sign of blasphemous pretension, the stupidity of their obsession with homosexuality, their polemics against premarital sex, the ignorance spat like poison from one sect towards another, arguing over how much of one’s body must be immersed in water to be saved from eternal damnation… It was fucking awful. So today I still have a problem with Christianity and their sonofabitch Gawd. Now, I realize had I been born in a different religious society I would have likely hated it as well, so I try to be honest and say I hate the Orthodox God. I hate belief. My Thinker thinks that any form of dogmatism is the true sin (which simply means “missing the mark”)- presuming to know is anathema, my Prover has been building the case for years to the point where I can’t see above the brick and mortar of perceived experience. I’d rather die than live in a truly Christian nation.
The writers who have most shaped my worldview (Moore, Blake, Crowley and Wilson) all possess decidedly anti-Orthodox, if not downright anti-Christian views. The question that remains is did my Thinker draw me towards them or did my Thinker readjust to better emulate their ideas? I’d prefer to think that rather than simply being drawn towards anti-Christian thinkers that the rebellion against Jehovah/Old Nobodaddy is often the first false reality on-hand to break. In this Jehovah still serves his position in the Gnostic cosmology as the false deity that draws a veil between humanity and the Pleroma. By breaking from the Abrahamic monster-god modern day Gnostics are able to better ascertain the Truth- whatever the hell that might be. And like the historical Gnostics they find themselves in a hostile world full of the servants of the Demiurge.
As Hagbard says in Illuminatus!: the only thing every crew member aboard the Leif Erickson believes in what the Man with the Horns said to the Man with the Beard: non serviam. Fuck you Jehovah.
Why darkness & obscurity
In all thy works & laws,
That none dare eat the fruit but from
Thy wily serpent's jaws?
Or is it because Secrecy
Gains females' loud applause?