In my Week 17 posting for the Prometheus Rising discussion group, I wrote about my plan to imitate Eric Wagner's plan to do a reading exercise that would contrast "selective attention" against "mind controls everything," his adaptation of one of the exercises in Chapter One of Prometheus Rising. You can follow my link and look back to read Eric's full explanation; here is what I said I would do: "For 23 days, I will read two of my favorite authors, Robert Anton Wilson and Tyler Cowen, on alternate days, using the 'selective attention' model. Then for 23 days, I will read them using them as 'magickal texts.' (I don't really know how to read them as 'magickal texts,' but I figure I know some people who can offer suggestions. Gregory? Cat? Oz? Anyone else?)
"As I deal with my life, I want to focus on how to stay positive and how to deal with information. So for 'selective attention,' I believe it would make sense to focus initially on RAW's Cosmic Trigger 2: Down to Earth and on Cowen's The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy. "
The selective attention part ends on March 16. I have completed re-reading The Age of the Infovore and I anticipate that I will finish re-reading Cosmic Trigger 2 by the end of the day Tuesday.
So now it's time to try the reading as magickal texts part of the exercise, which takes me to April 8, if I counted correctly. As I know how to do that as well as I know how to fly a passenger jet airplane (e.g., not at all), you will notice from the passage I quoted that I asked for help.
Oz Fritz responded, " I can't say I have a good answer but I can offer suggestions of how to look for one as I search myself. Magick = the Science and Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will. Dion Fortune amended, or awomened, or streamlined this definition to include 'causing change in consciousness ...' Initially, beginning magick aims for the 'Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA)' which I interpret as contact with a specific (but multiple) Higher Intelligence from the territory of C6 (as in Leary's model) or beyond; only one interpretation from a concept that appears a multiplicity. The specificity of this contact has to do with the model that the HGA = the ultimate expression of one's True Will i.e. what you really wish to do in life. So perhaps reading something as a magickal text intends to move that along?
"This model includes the notion that Higher Intelligence ranges freely and can communicate through any medium. You might see a billboard that communicates something about your work when expanded out from the context of the advertisement; a young child might randomly say something that has relevance to your spiritual goals; your cat might cause spillage leading to hidden treasure, etc. So perhaps the psychokinesis model, applied to reading books, allows for the possibility that your HGA entered the consciousness of the author(s) causing them to write something personally useful to you years later. I sincerely hopes this helps and doesn't muddle things further."
So, if I'm reading this correctly, I should read passages looking for "the ultimate expression of one's True Will i.e. what you really wish to do in life."
Gregory Arnott wrote, "My answer would be: Wilson's books are some of the most powerful magical texts in my library. I've learned more about the sapient secrets of the cosmos and the darkness that lies in the heart of man from his works than most honest-to-Cthulhu grimoires. If you look at the article I wrote for Bobby Campbell's project, I have more there. Just imagine that the radical ideas and expositions of the mind you experience while reading them are becoming reality: THC helps. I'm pretty sure RAW is still alive in some manner and speaks through his texts. The grand old man, follow the threads. I don't know Tyler Cowen very well, so I can't give much advice there. Do the same thing, I guess?"
Gregory is referring to his piece for New Trajectories, "Ewige Schlangenkraft." I'll re-read it, but it seems to me the key sentence is "Just imagine that the radical ideas and expositions of the mind you experience while reading them are becoming reality: THC helps."
BFHN also pointed out in the comments that in the John Higgs interview of Alan Moore, above, about RAW, Moore talks about magickal readings of literature. (For your convenience, the interview is posted above.) There's a lot of discussion in the interview about how art and magick are largely the same thing, and Moore seems to have literature more in mind than anything else, but I think BFHN may be referring specifically to the point in the interview, that when you use the cut-up technique popularized by William Burroughs on texts, "glimpses of the future leak through."
I've bought a bunch of the RAW Hilaritas Press books as ebooks, so thought one way to do the cutup technique might be to do screenshots of passages selected a random on my laptop (using the Amazon Reader app) then do screenshots on my Chromebook, here's what I came up with in the first experiment:
So, for the magickal texts effort, I'll alternate from concentrating on Oz's suggestion, Gregory suggestion and doing cutups.