Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Latest Oz Fritz video on Deleuze

 Oz Fritz has been doing a series of video lectures on the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze.  This morning I watched the above video (about 13 minutes) which references three different approaches to philosophy.

Oz mentions, "RAW was into Zen and this one has a Zen connection." Here is Oz' description of the video: "Discusses 3 orientations of philosophy or thought, the heights, the depth and the surface. These are represented by Platonism, Nietzsche & the Pre--Socratics, and the Cynics and Stoics. Symbolized by Platonic wings, Empedocles' sandal, and the philosophical staff blow. Connection with Zen. Empdeocles connection with magic and with Nietzsche. Vigorous attack on Platonism; the philosophical disease of Idealism which gets compared to manic depression."

For more, see Oz' blog.  The video series is about Deleuze's book The Logic of Sense.  The initial blog posting of the series is here. 

Oz also mentions (comment for this blog post) that the "Sangha" portion of this blog on the right side of the page, listing recent postings from other blogs, is no longer listing his recent blog posts. I have no explanation for this, other than that Blogger's features seem to routinely malfunction for no apparent reason, and Google does not make it easy to report these hiccups. For example, I can no longer post my own blog posts in advance; without explanation, the feature has stopped working. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Hilaritas podcast on magick features Lionel Snell, aka Ramsey Dukes

Lionel Snell 

 "Lionel Snell on Magickal Thinking" is the latest Hilaritas Press podcast, which as usual was released on the 23rd. Follow the link to watch or to see the list of various apps/websites that have it; I know it's also on Podkicker, too, the main podcasting app I use. The link also has useful links, such as for Ramsey Dukes' website.  A useful biography is here. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Bobby Campbell, Creative Weirdo


Podcast interviews of artist and writer Bobby Campbell are reliably interesting, and I enjoyed this two hour, 15 minute interview with Bobby on the Creative Weirdos podcast (I had to listen to it in several sittings.) Bobby talks about RAW in the interview by Todd Purse, and I was particularly interested in Bobby's discussion of magick and in his ayahuasca experience in South America. (Bobby says it happened before everyone else did it.) 

Check out Bobby's art. His new comics collection, Weird Comix #2, has just arrived on my Kindle app. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

When Michael Johnson discovered RAW

[Rasa recently added RAW scholar Michael Johnson to the roster of RAWnet, the group of "friends of the ideas of Robert Anton Wilson," and Michael wrote a short piece explaining how he ran across RAW's writings. I thought it might be of interest, so I reproduce it here. The Management.]

I was always attracted to writers who had encyclopedic minds and who seemed to know “everything” and especially those who wrote both fiction and non-fiction. I had gone on about a six-year bender with Aldous Huxley, and he was easily my favorite writer, and I still love him dearly. I was reading voraciously – including re-re-re-reading Aldous – when one night my wife and I went out to dinner, then browsed a local bookstore. I happened upon Right Where You Are Sitting Now and was immediately attracted to the form of the book and this Wilson dude’s varied interests, experiments, and tones. Then I noticed he wrote novels too, and in RWYASN there was a fiction piece, along with cut-ups – the book was dedicated to Burroughs and Philip K Dick – and I loved both of those guys too. But I confess I’d never even heard of RAW at the time. This was shortly before everyone got on Internet.

I bought the book and stayed up all night reading it. He did wild things to my nervous system and the book acted like a mild psychedelic for me. I went to work the next day on little sleep, came home and began re-reading RWYASN. Very soon after I bought and read every book I could find by him. Then I began re-re-reading and studying him closely, like I’d done with Huxley. No other writer has had such a profound effect on me as RAW has, and his writing has definitely created mental environments in which epigenetic effects have changed how my genes express themselves, which is all I could ask for in a writer.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

John Higgs: New book, new podcast

The new John Higgs book Love and Let Die (about the Beatles and James Bond)  is out (in Britain, we have to wait in the U.S.) and as past of the promotional effort, John has given an interview to the Beatles Book podcast.  Topics covered include how Paul McCartney's James Bond theme song affected Paul's post-Beatles career, how history will judge critics of Paul's career and which Beatle is the most like James Bond.

My favorite Beatle when I was a young teen was George, then I switched to John, but now Paul is my favorite. At some point, I realized that John's image as the intellectual among the Beatles was oversold -- it was Paul who was the most interested in avant-garde electronic music, for example. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Prometheus Rising exercise and discussion group, Episode 98, Chapter 19


Prometheus and the Oceanides and eagle Ethon - Scuplture by Eduard Müller (1872/79) at Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin. Photo by Christian Paul Stobbe for Unsplash. 

Prometheus Rising concludes with Chapter 19, a chapter without exercises in which Robert Anton Wilson discusses the implications for the future if people can advance along the eight circuits and increase their intelligence.

It's possible to nitpick at the inaccuracy of RAW's forecasts -- we didn't get a "Longevity Pill" and space migration by 2005 -- but I also thought the chapter was inspirational. Work is being done on space migration, intelligence increase and longevity.

A couple of chapter bits that caught my eye:

RAW writes, "Maurice Nicoll, physician, psychiatrist, student of Jung, Gurdjieff and Esoteric Christianity, wrote that 'the only purpose in work on consciousness is to decrease the amount of violence in the world.' This is Public Health Problem Number One in the nuclear age, the age of overkill." 

I wish this statement was dated, but I recently read that with Russia's military failure in Ukraine, the risk of nuclear war rises as Putin becomes more desperate. 

RAW also writes, "Most of the fifth-circuit adepts (aquarian conspirators) have learned Joyce's arts of 'silence, exile, cunning': they are invisible." I have been studying Epicureanism a lot  lately, and Epicurus advised his followers to "live unnoticed" so that they wouldn't be hassled over their unconventional views. 

The Hilaritas edition of Prometheus Rising ends with an afterward by Rasa. As I wrote in an earlier article, it largely focuses on why RAW flipped the sixth and seventh circuits when he wrote elsewhere about the Eight Circuit model. 

As a matter of housekeeping, this is the last Prometheus Rising online reading group post that Eric Wagner scheduled when he set the PR schedule back in August of 2020. Eric has told me, however, that he has one more post he wants to do, and I have one more in mind, and Apuleius can do one more posts, if he chooses. Still, we are almost done. I will announce a schedule soon for the Natural Law reading group I announced Friday. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

RAW interviews Colin Wilson


Another good find by Martin Wagner: Robert Anton Wilson interviews Colin Wilson for the April, 1985, "New Age Journal." Certainly they find some interesting topics to discuss and seem to agree on quite a bit.

Here is a question and answer I liked:

Robert Anton Wilson: How does all this connect to your interest in parapsychology?

Colin Wilson: Only accidentally. When I was first asked to write a book on the occult, I thought, “Christ, what a bore.” I have since written half a dozen books on the subject, but only because it is connected with the things that really interest me—brain functions, peak experiences, and so on. I agree with the yogis that in learning to discipline the mind one often activates certain paranormal powers, but they are trivial and should not be a matter of obsessive interest. Their only importance is that they show again that ordinary consciousness is not the limit of what our minds can do.

And here is Colin Wilson about his discovery that people can be healthy and happy:

My first real clue came from Abraham Maslow, after I published The Age of Defeat. He read it and wrote me a letter agreeing with me that writers should learn to stop being defeated, and he called my attention to his own research. When I read his works I was fascinated, because he was a psychologist who had gotten sick of studying sick people who talked about nothing but their sickness, and had started studying the healthy—something that had never been done before. He discovered that healthy people had with a fair degree of frequency what he called peak experiences, feelings of sheer happiness. They were not necessarily “mystical” experiences. One was described by a young wife watching her husband and children eating breakfast. Suddenly a beam of sunlight came through the window, and she thought, “My God, aren’t I lucky!” and went into the peak experience. Another was a young jazz drummer working his way through college who discovered one night he couldn’t do a thing wrong and went into the peak experience as he drummed. A hostess after a highly successful party, looking around the room at the cigarette butts trodden into the rug and the spilt wine, nonetheless suddenly had a peak experience. Reading these sorts of cases, I began to surmise that when you’ve had an intense peak experience it gives you an optimistic view of the universe, which is the opposite of the view of the criminal, who generally thinks the universe is a bloody awful place and the only thing to do to show your objection is to react violently.

Could this relate to Beethoven's statement, cited by RAW in "Beethoven As Information" in The Illuminati Papers? Beethoven allegedly said, "Anyone who understands my music will never be unhappy again."

The discussion of Colin Wilson aborting his suicide attempt reminded me of RAW on the Brooklyn Bridge, as discussed in Cosmic Trigger 2. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

A 'Non-Euclidean' quote

Statue of Adam Smith in front of St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Old Town Edinburgh, Scotland. Unsplash photo by K. Smith Hodge. 

When I was working on Thursday's post, about Prop Anon posting all of the assignments for Robert Anton Wilson's "Non-Euclidean Politics" class, I looked again at the essay "Beyond Left and Right: A Non-Euclidian Perspective," and ran across this bit that I share with you. It also might relate a bit to the new online reading group announced yesterday. This is on page 139 of the Hilaritas Press edition of Email to the Universe. -- The Management.

I am committed to the maximization of the freedom of the individual and the minimization of coercion. I do not claim this goal is demanded by some ghostly or metaphysical "Natural Law," but merely that it is the goal that I, personally, have chosen, in the Existentialist sense of choice. (In more occult language, such a goal is my True Will.) Everything I write, in one way or another, is intended to undermine the metaphysical and linguistic systems which seem to justify some Authorities in limiting the freedom of the  human mind or in initiating coercion against the non-coercive. 

-- Robert Anton Wilson 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Announcing a new reading group: Natural Law

The long Prometheus Rising online reading group is winding down -- there will be only a couple more posts or so -- and I would like to announce plans for a new reading group. 

Natural Law Or Don’t Put A Rubber On Your Willy And Other Writings From A Natural Outlaw, edited by Chad Nelson, was released in January by Hilaritas Press. Although it reprints a long essay which had long been out of print, it is essentially a new book, as more than half of it is new material that Chad assembled.

It is also, in my opinion, a really good book, and one that has not received the attention that it should, even from Robert Anton Wilson fans. I can't control the reception to the book by other people, but I would like to use this blog to invite everyone to read it. Hence, the new reading group. I am confident that RAW fans who choose to take part will find the exercise worthwhile. 

As usual, the format for the reading group will be a main blog post, with everyone else invited to provide comments. I haven't set a schedule yet but I expect to launch in about two months, in November, to give everyone a chance to get a copy of the book. At this point, the book is available as a trade paperback and a Nook ebook. There is no Kindle yet, but Hilaritas is working on it. 

For more information on the book, see my interview with Chad Nelson.  Thanks to Rasa for the promotional meme. 

I have an idea for another reading group next year but I want to think about it before announcing it. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The assignments for RAW's final MLA class

"Left and Right: A Non-Euclidean Perspective," reprinted in Email to the Universe, is one of Robert Anton Wilson's most memorable essays.

Prop Anon has now posted all eight of the assignments in the Non-Euclidean Politics Class that RAW taught at Maybe Logic Academy. 

In the posting for the first class, Prop explains, "Robert Anton Wilson’s final class at the Maybe Logic Academy was called ‘Non-Euclidean Politics’ and it covered some of the political and economic theories that most influenced him. The class ran from January 23rd to March 13th, 2006 and was an amazing recap of Wilson’s political philosophy."

More at the link, and at the postings for the other seven assignments. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

RAW biography update

Prop Anon

News from Prop Anon: "The current update on Chapel Perilous: The Life and Thought Crimes of Robert Anton Wilson is that it will be released by Strange Attractor/MIT Press in the Fall of 2023. I will have more updates on the book and its release date in the coming days." 

Prop has been posting more material on his website, Chapel Perilous. I'll have another blog post up soon about that. 

Follow Prop on Twitter. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

An ad for RAW and Leary


The above ad for books by Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger) and Timothy Leary (Neuropoliticswas posed by Mike Gathers on Twitter. 

From an underground newspaper in LA, I think. I can't find the Tweet where Mike said he found it.