By Eric Wagner
Special guest blogger
Well, I finished my month of meditating “for two fifteen-minute sessions a day for a month.” I saw two people who “always manage to upset you or make you defensive.” They could still press my “territorial retreat buttons.” I guess one month didn’t do it, at least for me. Bob said that he intended the exercises in Prometheus Rising to loosen the imprints. I think they do that, but more profound change may call for something more. In The Illuminati Papers Bob says, “Want to contact Higher Intelligence? It’s easy, really” (pg. 3). I misremembered that as saying, “Brain change is easy.” I think about how asana means “easy pose”. Many yoga asanas do not seem easy. When brain change goes well, it often seems easy. I know that when I lose weight steadily, it seems easy. I find myself in that “zone” where I lose weight without much apparent struggle. I have trouble reentering that zone though. I think of Catullus’s poem “Odi et Amo” which Pound translates:
I hate and love. Why? You may ask but
It beats me. I feel it done to me, and ache.
Bob says something similar about bravery and cowardice. The brain-body system as a whole acts without the conscious mind’s control. In Schroedinger’s Cat he talks about quantum causality, how the whole system causes changes in the whole system, and domesticated primates tend to take too much credit and too much blame.
After decades of martial arts, Weight Watchers, ballet, yoga, therapy, etc., I still struggle with the first circuit. During the first eight months of lockdown last year I lost 78 pounds. Then during the holidays I fell off the wagon, and I have struggled to get back on. I feel like Gene Kelly in Brigadoon. I found this magic place where I lost weight in an easy fashion without much struggle. Now I don’t know how to find my way back. Hopefully it will not take me a hundred years.
Speaking of immortality, if I do live another hundred years or more, I want to do a lot of reading. For chapter six of Prometheus Rising Bob tells the reader to subscribe to some magazines. In the 1980’s I didn’t consider myself a liberal or a conservative, so I didn’t subscribe to the first two magazines at that time. I did subscribe to Fate and The Skeptical Inquirer. In 2021 myself I find myself much more of a liberal politically. Some people might consider me conservative in some areas: I prefer books made of paper to ebooks, I prefer jazz and classical music, etc. In any event, I have subscribed to all four periodicals in the first four exercises of chapter six this year. I find it interesting that in the age of next day deliveries, magazine subscriptions still sometimes take months to process. I have one issue of The National Review, two issues of The New York Review of Books, and three issues of Fate sitting here to read right now. The Skeptical Inquirer has not started to arrive yet. I suspect these four exercises will take up a big chunk of my reading time for the next year or so.
I have read two issues of The National Review so far. They have a variety of authors but the writing tends towards conservative, Catholic viewpoints. Most writers seem anti-Trump and anti-Democrat. I find it interesting that many people today know Robin Williams’s impression of William F. Buckley from Aladdin, but they have never heard of Buckley, the founder of The National Review.
I have started reading an issue of The New York Review of Books. I remember in 1999 they still allowed free access to their archives online. I read all of the available articles there by Joseph Kerman and Charles Rosen that summer.