Tag Archives: Robert Anton Wilson

Realizing the Choice

 

“These ideas can be made more concrete with a parable, which I borrow from John Fowles’s wonderful novel, The Magus.

Conchis, the principle character in the novel, finds himself Mayor of his home
town in Greece when the Nazi occupation begins. One day, three Communist
partisans who recently killed some German soldiers are caught. The Nazi commandant gives Conchis, as Mayor, a choice — either Conchis will execute the three partisans himself to set an example of loyalty to the new regime, or the Nazis will execute every male in the town.

Should Conchis act as a collaborator with the Nazis and take on himself the
direct guilt of killing three men? Or should he refuse and, by default, be responsible for the killing of over 300 men?

I often use this moral riddle to determine the degree to which people are hypnotized by Ideology. The totally hypnotized, of course, have an answer at once; they know beyond doubt what is correct, because they have memorized the Rule Book. It doesn’t matter whose Rule Book they rely on — Ayn Rand’s or Joan Baez’s or the Pope’s or Lenin’s or Elephant Doody Comix — the hypnosis is indicated by lack of pause for thought, feeling and evaluation. The response is immediate because it is because mechanical. Those who are not totally hypnotized—those who have some awareness of concrete events of sensory space-time, outside their heads— find the problem terrible and terrifying and admit they don’t know any ‘correct’ answer.

I don’t know the ‘correct’ answer either, and I doubt that there is one. The
universe may not contain ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers to everything just because Ideologists want to have ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers in all cases, anymore than it provides hot and cold running water before humans start tinkering with it. I feel sure that, for those awakened from hypnosis, every hour of every day presents choices that are just as puzzling (although fortunately not as monstrous) as this parable. That is why it appears a terrible burden to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what is going on around you, and why most people would prefer to retreat into Ideology, abstraction, myth and self-hypnosis.

To come out of our heads, then, also means to come to our senses, literally—to live with awareness of the bottle of beer on the table and the bleeding body in the street. Without polemic intent, I think this involves waking from hypnosis in a very literal sense. Only one individual can do it at a time, and nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it all alone.”
― Robert Anton Wilson

 

Difficult questions
keep me awake debating
No easy answers

 

How well can you debate yourself? I don’t mean to the point of inaction tho often I find myself doing this but enough to know that when you make a difficult decision that the alternative has things going for it as well? The questions can present themselves in as simple a way as a person with a sign saying they are homeless and can you help them? Do you walk on by because you have just given change to three other homeless people and now have none? Do you buy them a meal? Are they truly homeless or looking to feed one habit or another? Will giving money foster dependence? In the long run, will a dollar or two change that person’s life? Well it could potentially but in probability? All these questions come up for me each time and I try to choose consciously if not correctly?
The above is an easy question to see the sides of. In reality we probably hit many potential questions just as open each day. Is an awakened life truly one where we know the questions if not the answers? Asking them definitely makes for a mindful existence.
Blessings, G

 

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New CreationNew Creation by G A Rosenberg

 

Red and Green WeaveRed and Green Weave by G A Rosenberg

Flinging Poo

“Even Benny Benedict’s “One Month to Go” column was based on that illusion. Benny had actually read Darwin once, in college a long time ago, and had heard of sciences like ethology and ecology, but the facts of evolution had never really registered on him. He never thought of himself as a primate. He never realized his friends and associates were primates. Above all, he never understood that the alpha males of Unistat were typical leaders of primate bands. As a result of this inability to see the obvious, Benny was constantly alarmed and terrified by the behavior of himself, his friends and associates and especially the alpha males of the pack. Since he didn’t know it was ordinary primate behavior, it seemed just awful to him.
 

Since a great deal of primate behavior was considered just awful, most of the domesticated primates spent most of their time trying to conceal what they were doing.

Some of the primates got caught by other primates. All of the primates lived in dread of getting caught.

Those who got caught were called no-good shits.

The term no-good shit was a deep expression of primate psychology. For instance, one wild primate (a chimpanzee) taught sign language by two domesticated primates (scientists) spontaneously put together the signs for “shit” and “scientist” to describe a scientist she didn’t like. She was calling him shit-scientist. She also put together the signs for “shit” and “chimpanzee” for another chimpanzee she didn’t like. She was calling him shit-chimpanzee.

“You no-good shit,” domesticate primates often said to each other.

— Robert Anton Wilson

 

Robert Anton Wilson goes on to say that the way that many of us avoid our fear of being identified as ‘no-good shits’ is by pointing out other ‘no good shits’. Looking around at social media (among other things) I’d have to agree with him. I have been guilty of this myself in the past, looking at others who are doing wrong in the world or in their lives, those who I considered to be much worse than me.
“Look at those people who abuse or abandon their kids.”
“Look at what our nation’s leaders are doing now.”
“I can’t stand people who lie to themselves”
Hell it beats working on myself to become more self-actualized and aware. I am not saying we should not stay aware of what’s happening in the news or even of behaviour we see in others as much as staying self-critical and compassionate. It also helps when I realize that I have baggage too.
Blessings, G

 

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Lizard EyeLizard Eye by G A Rosenberg

 
Portal VoyagePortal Voyage by G A Rosenberg

Trading Boredom for Fear

That mechanism by which you substitute fear for boredom, that’s one of the most common traps that people fall into.”

–Robert Anton Wilson, (An Incorrigible Optimist, interview)

 

 

I have been known to claim that I don’t get boredom. You’re bored? Don’t you have books to read, some new stream of thought to explore or something to meditate on? Have you heard all of Tori Amos’s music? How about Maynard James Keenan’s? Really Tool and A Perfect Circle? What is the last music you listened to that was outside your comfort zone? What is the last sentence you either intentionally misheard or misread and made horrible puns out of. As I said, while doing some things like dishes or laundry may feel tedious to me I am seldom if ever bored.
I have seen tho and know first hand the costs of boredom. Time slows down to a crawl and its not like its expanding with hours of fun but hours of tedium. Surely something will happen to make the time go by faster. I haven’t had a good adrenaline surge in minutes. The mind wanders over to all the things that could go wrong or the consequences of things I’ve done wrong in the past and before I know it I’m no longer bored but am in full scale panic mode. At least its exciting but not really worthwhile. I’d rather contemplate word play or meditate.
Blessings, G

 

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In the Red ZoneIn the Red Zone by G A Rosenberg

 

The Abyss Stares BackThe Abyss Stares Back by G A Rosenberg

The Quest to Heal

“under the present brutal and primitive conditions on this planet, every person you meet should be regarded as one of the walking wounded. we have never seen a man or woman not slightly deranged by either anxiety or grief. we have never seen a totally sane human being.”
― Robert Anton Wilson

 

Carrying the wounds but not victimized by them. How can we be when on some level we have chosen the wounds, the ones who inflict them and how we carry them? Our spirits choose the wounds so that by learning how to bear them and heal them we can grow. We are all the fisher king and all the knights who seek the grail so that we can heal him. It may be daunting but never impossible. The first step comes with hearing the call and refusing it. Tho the healing cannot be refused and the quest lies before us. Well, ultimately do we have anything better to do?
Blessings, G

 

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Kitties in the Colour Matrix Inverse2Kitties in the Colour Matrix by G A Rosenberg

 

FlourescentFluorescent by G A Rosenberg

Bumping into Walls

“Stupidity is like bumping into a wall all the time. After a while you get tired of it and try to look the situation over and see if there’s a doorway somewhere. I think most people eventually do look for the doorway and stop bumping into the wall”
― Robert Anton Wilson

 

How often must we make the same mistakes before we learn? How often do we choose to trust others rather than ourselves? How often do we refuse to listen to what we tell ourselves? How much do we need the lesson and how do we get past it so that we can free ourselves to learn more? I agree it has to happen sometimes and some of our mistakes we fall in love with too deeply so that it takes us that much longer to get past it. Luckily even there such infatuations do not last forever and even that burst of pleasure we get for bad behaviour will pale before the joy of getting over it.
Blessings G

 

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MaelstromMaelstrom by G A Rosenberg

 

Cross SectionCross-Section by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – December 22 2012

“Of course there are robots among us. There are also Magicians among us. I think we take turns playing each role, as a matter of fact. The Magician defines a reality-mesh and the robot lives in it. Grok?”
― Robert Anton Wilson

 

Most of the time I see reality as being the best playground imaginable.  We decide the boundaries. We choose what we allow ourselves to perceive out of a staggering amount of input to our senses and out of it we build what we think of as real. We then live in this reality often quite mechanically ignoring that which doesn’t fit and doing much the same things with what does. Occasionally something comes along that reveals that our take on things is merely a subset of all possibilities and our lives get turned upside down. We then get to choose another subset and start building again.

 

Occasionally some of us become aware that that is what we do and we start to intentionally choose the subset that works the best for us and we change it quite often. This insight also protects us from getting thrown by reality conflicts as we accept that reality is bigger than any concept we can have of it.  What reality have you chosen today?

Blessings, G

 

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Page of Cups

 

Tarot – Page of Cups by G A Rosenberg

Dimensional Calling Card

 

Inter-Dimensional Calling Card by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – September 28 2012

“…an optimistic mind-set finds dozens of possible solutions for every problem that the pessimist regards as incurable.”
― Robert Anton Wilson

 

Most people see this world as hurting badly. Anyone can point to any of a dozen or more really dire problems and dire they would appear for sure. Could they be growing pains of a species in its adolescence? Could this with all of its problems be the path that we set ourselves? True villains appear plentiful but any story needs its antagonists, it’s problems to solve. Ultimately I will always be a hope fiend because I see hope as a necessary ingredient. I see it as being a will to continue even in the face of insurmountable odds. We may lose this planet. We may not survive as a species tho I believe that our spirits will continue.. Energy can’t be created or destroyed but beyond the constructs of time and space, we are eternal… The universe like the dude abides.

Blessings, G

 

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Cosmic Dance by G A Rosenberg

 

Jade Ray Mandala by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – June 22 2012

“Reality is whatever you can get away with. If you can’t get away with it, it’s not real.”

–Robert Anton Wilson

So often we forget that what is going on around us is not reality but is simply our take on it. But what I want to talk about is only slightly tangential to that. I want to talk about ice cream. A friend of mine wrote today something along the lines that God is not colour-blind that indeed he enjoys all of the flavours like a full range of ice cream flavours at Baskin Robins.

 

Everything is part of the whole. Colour blind is such a poor choice of words and yes words matter why do you think such emphasis is put on spell-ing. The problem comes, as he stated, in believing that one colour or one anything has greater value than anything else….
That doesn’t mean we, as humans don’t have preferences.. choosing one thing over another is part of the human condition. It’s when we try to justify our preferences as value judgements that things start going awry and things totally go to messed-up-ville when we start insisting that everybody should share our preferences because they are BETTER.
Forget that noise.

 

Could you imagine going to war for rocky road or persecuting anyone who doesn’t like chunky monkey because you KNOW what They’re like. T. hat doesn’t mean the flavours are the same…or that vanilla is peaches and cream…of course that’s absurd. Yet we tend to have so much trouble acknowledging that there can be other valid choices, other flavours also good that so many of us become Almond Creme Supremacists , convinced that because another flavour is chose, that the person choosing it is inferior in some way. Of course we somehow miss the fact that this is because we doubt our own choices. It’s almost enough to make one lactose intolerant.
Blessings, G

 

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Riding the Eye Way by G A Rosenberg
Coral Spiral by G A Rosenberg

Additional quote of the Day – April 26 2012 (A Long One)

“Very nice,” I said. “But why did you bring me up here?”
“It’s time for you to see the fnords,” he replied. Then I woke up in bed and it was the next morning. I
made breakfast in a pretty nasty mood, wondering if I’d seen the fnords, whatever the hell they were,
in the hours he had blacked out, or if I would see them as soon as I went out in the street. I had some
pretty gruesome ideas about them, I must admit. Creatures with three eyes and tentacles, survivorsfrom Atlantis, who walked among us, invisible due to some form of mind shield, and did hideous
work for the Illuminati. It was unnerving to contemplate, and I finally gave in to my fears and peeked
out the window, thinking it might be better to see them from a distance first.
Nothing. Just ordinary sleepy people, heading for their buses and subways.
That calmed me a little, so I set out the toast and coffee and fetched in the New York Times from the
hallway. I turned the radio to WBAI and caught some good Vivaldi, sat down, grabbed a piece of
toast and started skimming the first page.
Then I saw the fnords.
The feature story involved another of the endless squabbles between Russia and the U.S. in the UN
General Assembly, and after each direct quote from the Russian delegate I read a quite distinct
“Fnord!” The second lead was about a debate in Congress on getting the troops out of Costa Rica;
every argument presented by Senator Bacon was followed by another “Fnord!” At the bottom of the
page was a Times depth-type study of the growing pollution problem and the increasing use of gas
masks among New Yorkers; the most distressing chemical facts were interpolated with more
“Fnords.”
Suddenly I saw Hagbard’s eyes burning into me and heard his voice: “Your heart will remain calm.
Your adrenalin gland will remain calm. Calm, all-over calm. You will not panic. You will look at the
fnord and see it. You will not evade it or black it out. You will stay calm and face it.” And further
back, way back: my first-grade teacher writing FNORD on the blackboard, while a wheel with a
spiral design turned and turned on his desk, turned and turned, and his voice droned on,
IF YOU DON’T SEE THE FNORD IT CAN’T EAT YOU, DON’T
SEE THE FNORD, DON’T SEE THE FNORD . . .
I looked back at the paper and still saw the fnords.
This was one step beyond Pavlov, I realized. The first conditioned reflex was to experience the panic
reaction (the activation syndrome, it’s technically called) whenever encountering the word “fnord.”
The second conditioned reflex was to black out what happened, including the word itself, and just to
feel a general low-grade emergency without knowing why. And the third step, of course, was to
attribute this anxiety to the news stories, which were bad enough in themselves anyway.
Of course, the essence of control is fear. The fnords produced a whole population walking around in
chronic low-grade emergency, tormented by ulcers, dizzy spells, nightmares, heart palpitations and
all the other symptoms of too much adrenalin. All my left-wing arrogance and contempt for my
countrymen melted, and I felt genuine pity. No wonder the poor bastards believe anything they’re
told, walk through pollution and overcrowding without complaining, watch their sons hauled off to
endless wars and butchered, never protest, never fight back, never show much happiness or eroticism
or curiosity or normal human emotion, live with perpetual tunnel vision, walk past a slum without
seeing either the human misery it contains or the potential threat it poses to their security . . . Then I
got a hunch, and turned quickly to the advertisements. It was as I expected: no fnords. That was part
of the gimmick, too: only in consumption, endless consumption, could they escape the amorphous
threat of the invisible fnords.
I kept thinking about it on my way to the office. If I pointed out a fnord to somebody who hadn’t been de-conditioned, as Hagbard deconditioned me, what would he or she say? They’d probably read
the word before or after it. “No this word,” I’d say. And they would again read an adjacent word. But
would their panic level rise as the threat came closer to consciousness? I preferred not to try the
experiment; it might have ended with a psychotic fugue in the subject. The conditioning, after all, went back to grade school. No wonder we all hate those teachers so much: we have a dim, masked
memory of what they’ve done to us in converting us into good and faithful servants for the Illuminati.
— From Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, Illuminatus

 

And so it goes. Now obviously Mrs Shea and Wilson were speaking in allegorical terms. Sometimes tho when my son comes home from school and he starts talking about what he was taught that day I begin to wonder

 

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Electric Pathways by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – April 16 2012

“Is”, “is.” “is” — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don’t know what anything “is”; I only know how it seems to me at this moment”
― Robert Anton Wilson

So much of what I’ve been thinking and writing about of late seems to come down to this quote. We human beings love to generalize and then stop. If we can peg something down and describe it then we think we have a handle on it.  “Pumpkin Pie is good”,  “Violence is bad”, “Roberta is smart” Once we have these descriptive maps, we tend to fit our reality around them. Even the worst pumpkin pie will taste bette than Brussel Sprouts if we have in our mapping of reality that one is good and the other is bad. Violence done to defend oneself or one’s loved one is looked on critically because everyone knows that ‘Violence is bad’. When applied to  highly relativistic areas like politics, this classification becomes even more fraught. Words that we use to describe our countries or our points of view can come back to bite us in the ass in a big way. Right now in the United States, the government tells us that ‘Iran is bad’, ‘Iran is warmongering’ etc. It is justifying a possible war using much the same language that it used the last time to justify the last war. You remember the second gulf war? The one where we were told that Iraq was manufacturing and stockpiling nuclear missiles and so we should get them before they get us? Only later on, it turned out that that wasn’t quite true. Once the rhetoric was stripped away, there was no proof of nuclear weapons in Iraq.

Now we are being told similar things about Iran. What’s worse is that many believe it without question. After all our elected officials are reliable. Aren’t they?

Blessings, G

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Fractal Soup (Unicursal Hexagram) by G A Rosenberg