By Eric Wagner
Special guest blogger
Bob alters Crowely’s attributions of the tarot, attributing the Knights to earth and the Princesses to fire where Crowley attributes the Knights to fire and the Princesses to earth. Many people have tinkered with the attributions of the tarot for various reasons. Bob also consistently reversed the order of the High Priestess and Empress trumps. He and Leary did that in The Game of Life, and Bob also used that ordering in a Finnegans Wake workshop I attended in Dallas in 1987.
It seems clear that my two strongest imprints fall on the first and third circuits. I have wondered whether I fall more in the Prince of Discs category or in the Knight of Swords category as described in this chapter. I always wanted to fall in the Knight of Swords category (“sometimes the artist”), but I suspect I fall in the Prince of Discs category (if not the Knight of Discs category). My wife has frequently told me I should have become a lawyer.
I find it humbling that I had forgotten that Bob mentions Scarlett O’Hara on page 117. I spent a lot over the last year thinking about Scarlett for the exercises for chapter five of Prometheus Rising, and I totally forgot that Bob mentions her in chapter 8. I sometimes arrogantly think I know this book backwards and forwards, but the space-time event of the actual book contains more than my memory of the book. (Part of me could become lost just rereading Proust’s In Search of Lost Time over and over again, since the actual novel contains so much more than my memory of that novel about memory.)
I love Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, but I do not think he wrote “the sexiest music in history.” Bob Wilson radically affected my taste in music, but I think the thirty years that separate our births led me to my having a very different musical fourth circuit imprint than he did.
I really like the Blake quote that opens Chapter 8. It reminds me of an anecdote I recently read about James Joyce displeasing his wife Nora by silently cursing a priest he saw on the street, a trait he shared with Aleister Crowley.
I correspond C1 with fire and C4 with earth, but enjoy considering these different attributions.
The paragraph at the top of p. 119 basically says the aim of the Cabala involves bringing the four circuits into balance. The first sentence in a fundamental, preliminary instruction in Crowley's school, Liber Librae reads:
"O. Learn first --- Oh thou who aspirest unto our ancient Order! --- that Equilibrium is the basis of the Work. If thou thyself hast not a sure foundation, whereon wilt thou stand to direct the forces of Nature?"
As I read it, language in this chapter suggests that we primarily operate out of one neurological circuit or another. I tend to think of the circuits, all eight of them, like faders on a sound mixing board, a mixture, with each one at its own level. When mixing music, looking for that harmonious blend, the faders frequently move/get moved as the performance advances.
Spookah, thank-you for understanding and responding to the the point regarding psychometry made last week. I really appreciate it.
Thank you for your post, Eric Wagner. I sure agree with you that books such as PR or Cosmic Trigger (not to mention Illuminatus!) are so chock-full of information and references that chances are high you’ll find something you forgot about every time you delve into it again. Along with the fact that the more life-experienced and culturally well-read one becomes over time, the more likely to grok some heady concepts introduced by RAW one might be, it together makes for high re-readability of these books.
I somehow suspect that many RAW students would consider themselves as having the strongest imprint on the third circuit. I guess I see myself as falling more into the Prince of Swords category. As an introvert, my feet seldom touch the earth and I live amid floating abstractions. I hope there is as well a fair amount of Prince of Cups in me, and I would like to get a bit more into Prince of Wands territory. I sometimes go through long period of time where I seem to not care much for sexuality, and perhaps bringing reason to the mix could reignite my interest.
For all his talk about Jung, alchemy, and bringing the four circuits into balance, RAW never actually writes in this chapter the word ‘individuation’. I found Hajo Banzhaf’s Tarot and the Journey of the Hero to be a great book on the connections between this process and major arcana Tarot symbolism.
As I often think of C3 as the language circuit, I find it illuminating to be reminded that along with symbols dexterity, this circuit includes manual dexterity as well. Indeed, tool-making is another form of time-binding.
I am glad to see that, a decade after Ishtar Rising, RAW makes much less baffling claims regarding homosexuality. That being said, I feel a tad puzzled since, on page 105, he seems to link it to a possibility usually imprinted by accident, but then on p.114 homosexuality “is probably included in the genetic script to serve auxiliary functions.”
I stumbled upon Gregory Bateson’s Mind and Nature on one of my Goodreads explorations just a few days before seeing the RAW recommendation to read it. I take this as a sign that I should move the book up on my to-read list.
Finally, last week Oz Fritz was mentioning the Hilaritas podcast on Korzybski. Some might also be interested in checking out two recent episodes of the New Thinking Allowed, with Jeffrey Mishlove discussing general semantic with Rolf Sattler.
I think the next Hilaritas podcast should focus on Wilhelm Reich, which once again will fit neatly with our PR reading pace.
Verbal descriptions of music ultimately fail, but I felt I understood what RAW meant when he described Bach's music as "sexy." For my ears, it seems very sensual. And I love RAW's description of Beethoven's music as the product of a "turned on mind."
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