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Monday, September 26, 2022

What were your favorite exercises?

The colors of these flowers are inside your head (Photo by Alex Seinet for Unsplash.)

 Our Prometheus Rising reading and exercise group has almost come to an end. The first post went up in October 2020 and the 98th post went up last Monday, so that's about two years. Those were all of the posts scheduled by Eric Wagner when he conceived the shape of the reading group. But as you can see, I am doing one more blog post, and I know Eric has one more planned. But still, we will wrap up soon. 

This has been an unusually long reading group -- the upcoming one for Natural Law will be on a more normal schedule -- but that has been by design. Eric, when he conceived the reading group, did not want participants to simply read the chapters and comment. He really wanted people to take the time to work on the exercises, as Robert Anton Wilson intended.

I didn't do all of the exercises, but I did make a real attempt this time to do some of them. And looking back over the reading group, there were two that made a particular impression on me. 

One was the second exercise in Chapter Two of Prometheus Rising. That's the one where you sit in a room where you won't be interrupted for half an hour and think "I am sitting in the room doing this exercize because" and list as many reasons that you can think of. Wilson specifies that he wants you to come up with specific facts, not metaphysical speculations. 

In my post, as you can see, I came up with many reasons. I was struck by all of the ones I was able to come up with to explain why I was in a particular time and place, writing the post.

The other one that made a particular impression on me was the first exercise for Chapter 14, "If all you can know is your own brain programs operating, the whole universe you experience is inside your head. Try to hold onto that model for at least an hour. Note how often you relapse into feeling the universe as outside you." Trying to do that felt like I was looking from the outside at images in my brain.

I should probably go back and work on some of the other exercises. And I was curious which ones particularly worked for some of you.  


Eric Wagner said...

I really enjoyed doing the research for the chapter five questions.

Spookah said...

We spent so long looking for quarters, I took up to it and eventually started to find even old ones, supposedly out of circulation since 40 years. That was interesting.

I also reacted strongly to the right where you are sitting now exercize. Back then, I told myself I should do it every now and then, but have not done so. Gotta keep it in mind.

I did subscribe to both the Skeptical Inquirer and Fate, but have to admit that I did not read those very often. I wonder how come these two magazines have been going for so many decades, seeing how they both rehash the same stuff over and over again in pretty much every issue. I did find Fate mildly entertaining, kind of like an 80's Steven Spielberg production or an X-Files episode. The SI and their mission to save the world from false beliefs often felt unbearably self-important to me.

One exercize that I have not done, and might benefit from, is the one about learning a martial art.
For quite some time now I have been dealing with pelvic pain, making itself felt anywhere from the lower back to the pelvic floor. It could be the result of long-standing tension in this area. If so, it would make sense to link it to C1 bio-survival issues. At least, that is my working hypothesis, and I try to approach it from different angles.
I find it interesting that this would arise now that I have some framework of understanding from PR to consider it. I cannot help but wonder if I did not in a way made it happen by doing C5 related work, ie my body is telling me what my issues might be. Hopefully, unlike Gopi Krishna, I won't be stuck in a negative psychosomatic feedback loop for the next 15 years.
These physical issues that need attending to are providing me with a reason to keep up with my daily routine of yoga and stretches, pranayama and meditation. From a philosophical point of view, this situation also forces me to practice acceptance, which in time I hope will also help reduce the chronic tension.

About the last two chapters not having exercizes, I find it interesting to note that, in The Game of Life, Leary also did not put any exercize for the eighth circuit.

I am curious as to where "Joyce's arts of 'silence, exile, cunning'" comes from. Is that from his life, or one of his books?

Oz Fritz said...

The variation on visualizing and manifesting the quarter exercize to include other things probably gets used most by me. When my work gets slow I will vividly see myself cheerfully mixing away; just doing the exercize relieves anxiety and it always works to the point where I resort to it rarely. I'll also visualize arriving at a location when traveling. It somehow seems to make it easier and ensure I'll get there, or at least strengthen that belief.

I continue to enjoy reading National Review magazine though the subscription appears nearly over and I won't renew. I still get amazed about how I and others get entrenched in the mindset that we have the correct viewpoints. This exercize definitely encourages cultural relativity.