"Who is the master that makes the grass green?" Posted on Twitter by Dr Richard Waterloo. Source. Waterloo says it was created with MidJourney, an image generating prompt tool.
The essay that I had announced for this week, "The Compleat Skeptic," is a very short column published in New Libertarian, and is the first part of a three-part series of short columns, including "Skepticism and Solipsism" and "Neurological Relativism." Robert Anton Wilson concludes the first column by "hanging on" to an "ontological cliff" until the next column, but I think it might be easier on us to leave the cliff and consider all three columns together.
It seems to me that many of Robert Anton Wilson's ideas are included in the three brief pieces.
I have been reading Rasa's RAW Memes book. Here is a section (from "Neurological Relativism") that I could see Rasa turning into a meme:
"I deal with the world 'very carefully' because I respect its mystery, whereas those who hold fixed ideas deal with the world (and each other) in blind and brutal ways that each of them can see how mad all the others are but none can see that his/her own fixed ideas are equally mad."
Wilson says (in the same piece) that under a system of neurological relativism, "one recognizes each belief system as a gamble, 'my latest best guess,' and does not confuse it with Truth, Reality, or any other variety of eternal verity."
A couple of paragraphs later, he lists some of his opinions, in libertarianism, the scientific method, in yoga, Space Migration, Life Extension and "dozens of other things" but says he can "suspend any of these beliefs at will, or all of them."
Does this attitude explain why RAW's political views seemed to shift around over the years, as he adapted his opinions to new evidence? At times he sounds like a social democrat, and at times he sounds like a libertarian.
And doesn't his neurological relativism also fit with his libertarianism? At its heart, libertarianism is a philosophy of live and let live. Quoting Neuropolitics, written by Timothy Leary and himself, Wilson writes, "People are vegetarians or nudists or Communists or snake worshippers for the same reasons that other people are Catholics or Republicans or liberals or Nazis." If that's the case, wouldn't it follow that it's wrong for a government to impose one belief system on everyone else?
Here is one other Wilson quote, from "The Compleat Skeptic," but I have changed "in social life" to "on social media."
"I also maintain that people who are perpetually muddled, baffled, frustrated, angry, resentful and act as general nuisances and bring-downs on social media are that way, and cause themselves to continue being that way, only because they lack philosophical skepticism."
Next week: "A New Writer: F.W. Nietzsche."