I know not everyone lives on the Net and/or reads blogs routinely, so I still assume some people may get the news of Bob’s passing from us.
As we understand it, he died at 4:50 on 11th January 07. He had been cheerful the day before, fell asleep and apparently left his body peacefully in his sleep.
As ever, we find out how completely overlooked and undervalued he remains. As fans I suspect we amplify his importance in our own reality tunnels, then feel bemused when big news to us fails to make the media.
In the UK we have seen a brief obituary in The Independent, and a rather better one in The Telegraph - although we all resist the idea of Bob as a ‘guru’ – he did so many jokes about it, that we might accept ‘anti-guru’ – but would prefer to leave the whole concept out. Having said that, the last two years we have had him as an online tutor in literature, economics, magick, psychology, etc – so ‘teacher’ seems OK. The Guardian eventually published a reasonable obit.
As to the anti-guru, look at this interview with James Wallis
JW: To what extent do you think you've become a part of the New Age movement? The stalls in the atrium tonight seemed to be concerned with a lot of New Age material, and to an extent the way you've been talking about Virtual Realities and mind expansion you seem to be almost a forerunner of the movement.
RAW: The Berkeley mob once called Leary and me "the counter-culture of the counter-culture." I'm some kind of antibody in the New Age movement. My function is to raise the possibility, "Hey, you know, some of this stuff might be bullshit."
JW: You don't seem to take very much of it very seriously.
RAW: Some of it I do take seriously. In Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology I'm definitely trying to teach the reader how to change their own consciousness so they don't need a guru to do it for them. I'm very definitely a spiritual anarchist.
You might find The Death Interviews (Leary & Wilson) interesting.
I believe very much that secrecy is the main cause of most social evils. I think information is the most precious commodity in the world. As a matter of fact, I think that information is the source of all wealth. The classical economic theory is that wealth is created by land, labour and capital. But if you have a piece of land, and you’ve got capital, and you hire labour, and you drill for oil, and there’s no oil there–you won’t get rich. What makes somebody rich is drilling for oil where there is oil, and that’s based on having correct information….All wealth is information. So therefore, all attempts to impede the transfer, the rapid transmission of information, are making us all poorer.
And Deoxy's stuff on Leary & Wilson might amuse you.
or RAW's Cheerful Reflections on Death and Dying
Bob also wrote an essay for The Realist called "13 Choruses for the Divine Marquis."Here's how it ended:
I dreamed I called D.A.F. de Sade on the phone and asked him, "Jesus told me that he and you agree on at least one thing and it explains freedom. What is that one thing?"
"Quite simple," he replied, "don't be afraid of the Cross. The fear of death is the beginning of slavery."
And the line went dead with a triumphant click like a barred door falling open.
So let's remember Bob light-heartedly when we can, and remember his last post:
Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night
Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.
Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.