Sunday, March 02, 2008




Bogus Magus said...

Nice Loop Bobby!

For some reason, the link to source material for these pix (in MQ#5) seems broken in the Imperfect Index. Well, it admits to imperfection, and no-one reports broken links...

I'll go fix.

These (and other variations) first appeared when we studied Vico's theories as part of our course on Finnegans Wake...I added some words - Falling on Deaf Ears

Of course, if you check Appendix Gimmel in Illuminatus! you may begin to wonder if Vico's four part model offers the best fit...

Abdul Alhazred's concept of the Great Cycle, which derived actually from the Upanishads, took on kinky edges in Weishaupt's flipped-out cortex. Five kinky edges, to be exact, since he was still obsessed with the profound new understanding of the Law of Fives he had achieved the night he saw the shoggoth turn into a rabbit. He quickly fetched Giambattista Vico's Scienze nuovo from his shelf and began reading: He saw that he was right. Vico's theory of history, in which all societies pass through the same four stages, was an oversimplification — there were, when you looked closely at the
actual evidence behind Vico's rhetoric, five distinct stages each time the Italian listed only four.

Weishaupt looked very closely, and, like Joe Malik, the harder be looked the more fives he found.
It was then that the man's truly unique mind made its great leap: He remembered that Joachim of
Floris, a proto-primus Illuminatus of the eleventh century, had divided history into three stages: the Age of the Father, dominated by Law; the Age of the Son, dominated by Love; and the Age of the Holy Spirit, dominated by Joy. Where most philosophers rush to publish their insights, Weishaupt
saw the advantage of an alternative path. The Law of Fives would be kept secret, so that only
Illuminati Primi would know about it and could predict events correctly, but the Joachimite theory would be revived and publicized to mislead others. (He, Kolmer, Meyer Amschel Rothschild,
DeSade, and Sir Frances Dashwood—the original Five—had some discussions about possibly
pushing Vico instead of Joachim, but, as Weishaupt argued, "Four is a little bit too close to five . . ."

Even so, it was quite a spell of years before they found the ideal front man to push the three-step
theory, G. W. F. Hegel. "He's perfect," Weishaupt wrote in the De Molay cipher from Mount
Vernon. "Unlike Kant, who makes sense only in German, this man doesn't make sense in any
language.") The rest of the story—the exoteric story, at least —is history. After Hegel was Marx; and
after Marx, the Joachimite three-step was permanently grafted onto revolutionary tactics.

The esoteric story, of course, is different. For instance, in 1914, when the fifth and final stage of
Western Civilization was dawning, James Joyce published A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
The five chapters of that novel not only suggested five stages in the hero's growth, but by the
alteration of styles from chapter to chapter suggested analogies with other five-stage processes. This was too much for the Illuminati Primi of the time, who warned Joyce to be more careful in the future.

A battle of wills ensued, and all through the writing of Ulysses Joyce was still considering a novel
built entirely around the Law of Fives. When the Illuminati gave him what they call "the Tiresias
treatment" —blindness—he finally compromised. Finnegans Wake, when it appeared, broke with the
Joachim-Hegel-Marx three-step but did not include the funfwissenschaft.

Instead, the Viconian fourstage
theory was resurrected, a middle path that appealed to Joyce's sense of synchroniciry, since he
had once taught at a school on Vico Road in Dublin and later also lived in a house on Via
Giambattista Vico in Rome.*

* Do you believe that?

Bobby Campbell said...

Great Day in the morning, Bogus!

Before the Tale of the Tribe class, when Mr. Wilson had taken ill, I sent him a drawing via Mindy(The cover of MQ 3) w/ a note about hoping he felt better, looking forward to class, and how I had an idea for a 5th aspect of Vico's cycle.

"Process models feedback"

I just recently watched RAW @ Disinfo in 2001, where he expresses disinterest in the Vico's cycle, while talking about his new book, The Tale of the Tribe. Meanwhile in Autumn of 05, I had interest in little else!

“I personally suspect that Vico was attempting to transcend the divine, the heroic and the human in one vision that embraced all three. Certainly that seems to fit Joyce even better than Vico.”

It still seems iffy to me about how to regard the Recorso aspect, I think of it as a stage of history equivalent w/ the others, albeit maybe a non linear re/pre-capitulation, but! too part of process, and so as to see the game from that POV, maybe an idea of the 5th aspect of "cycle."

Really just a standard infinite regress routine!

Short hand visual approximation

Ragu said...

The secret Fifth Stage, Grummet? That which jumbles the previous Four Circuits, erm... Elements, erm... Ages... and pushes them into a higher level of abstraction?

The Fifth Element, Shin?

Shit. I really have a lot of reading to do.

Ragu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ragu said...

Or, Recorso... The Bicycle (Parenthesis and Paralysis).

"After the tricycle it comes always the bicycle."

Ragu said...

Wait? Does that mean Jarry killed the Holy Trinity?

Or was Hofmann responsible?

Or did the two of 'em make up a bicycle bicycle wheel on a bicycle?

And what about the Chinese, for gods' sake! They all ride bicycles!

Bicycles, bicycles, bicycles!

Ahem. Excuse me.

Unknown said...

All them wheels within wheels, Ragu!

As I've got it wired I think of the 5th aspect as the substrate within which the other 4 stages cycle, subtle, but never obscured, glimpses always visible as transition.

I may have read the tao te ching a time too many!

Ragu said...


I musta read it a few too many times myself, though I just read it for the first time today.

Knew I brought up the Chinese for a reason.


And then I finished and the plot thickened.

I heard on the news about a bomb that went off last night in New York.

I quote from this link...

"No eyewitnesses to the incident have emerged, despite the fact that the recruiting station is directly across the street from a police sub-station and right in the middle of the famed 'crossroads of the world'."

"The lone officer in the station heard the explosion and ran outside, Kelly said, but saw nothing. He did encounter a man who said he saw a man on a bicycle wearing a hoodie, dark clothing and a backpack acting suspiciously near the installation around the time of the blast. But Kelly said this witness did not see anyone place the device or see the explosion."

Hahahaha! A guy on a bicycle!

Ragu said...

I'm finding this "four and one" or "three and two" thing fascinating.

I mean, I can dig the "four and one" thing, but so too can I dig the "three and two" thing.

Perhaps the "four and one" and the "three and two" are another bicycle, and the "real" truth can be found by balancing atop them both?

And why not!?! The more perspectives the merrier!

Meanwhile they keep saying on the "News", "Bicycle bicycle bicycle!"

I just started Finnegan's Wake. And I just read the Tao Te Ching. And I've heard the word "bicycle" uttered on the "News" approximately 100 times in the last ten minutes. And... And.. And...

So please excuse the preceding madness.

Bogus Magus said...

Heh - you can find a lot of (very different) translations of the Tao Te Ching, Ragu - none of them definitive, and all of them evocative. Worth reading at least three different versions to experience the range of possibilities (and get just a glimpse of the Chinese that must lie behind the English).

Loads listed in Wiki

I have a soft spot for Lin Yutang’s

There’s a bunch of background and versions here

And I quite like (as quirky) the version coming out of the Headless Way tradition
which you can find here

Talking of bicycle wheels, one of Duchamp’s most satisfying ‘ready-mades’ pieces remains, for me, the bicycle wheel. No idea if it had anything to do with cyclic time, or any other deep concept – I seem to remember him saying he just found it pleasing to spin…but you may have spotted his trickster mind.

If you go to this excellently designed site – Understanding Duchamp – you not only will see the bicycle wheel, but if you click on it to see it larger you will also be able to spin it!

The whole site is filled with such small pleasures…I particularly like the analysis and animation of The Large Glass (1923)

And Evergreen Review published (as parallel texts) Jarry’s The Crucifixion considered as a Downhill Bicycle Race, and J.G. Ballard's The Assassination of President Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race, which you can find here

Ragu said...

Oooh. You read my mind. I was gonna ask about different translatons.

Started Lin Yutang's and it's positively juicy! Definitely a Legge up.

And that Duchamp site is absolutely amazing!

I'm sure the other links are boffo as well. I'll get to 'em. And I probably actually will, too.


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