Sunday, March 01, 2009

Black Magick and Curses

I don't seem to have re-read much of Bob's since he died. Of course, he had pointed students off in all directions (apart from his own work) so many of us found ourselves becoming Joyceans and researchers of Ezra, and suchlike.

Anyway, I started browsing through Email to the Universe last night. When it came out I rushed through it, feeling (like many completists) that much of it was familiar material - perhaps a compilation from his publishers because he had not completed the promised Tale of the Tribe - which we had all anticipated so much, before he fell ill. Actually, I love the haiku in that book (which you may also find elsewhere).

One chapter that grabbed me last night, however, was called

Black Magick and Curses

and I immediately remembered that Bob had set it as a text on his Quantum Psychology course. I wanted to find it online for you to read, but feel sad to say that I can only see it posted at the American Buddha site, which I cannot recommend. Apart from their awful taste in colours, their peculiar attitude to copyright, and their downright disrepectful treatment of their Buddhist teacher (oh, do yer own research!) I just get a bad vibe from the site. But I digress.

I could post the complete text myself (I have it in the book, anyway, and also as the original course material) but I don't want to upset the RAW estate. I might pass it to the official RAWilson Fans site, who seem to have established a right to compile RAW material as a research resource.

Or you could just go buy the book! Fellow researchers could always email me for a copy - for personal use only.

The essay itself seems to me a fine example of Bob's amusing, thought-provoking, challenging style. It rapidly ranges through General Semantics, NLP (the meta-model of precise language and verifiability, and the Milton model of ambiguity and projection), magick, placebos and curses, and a whole host of other fascinating subjects - lucidly and tantalizingly and briefly.

It seems like compressed and dense material that rewards a bit of unpacking, and further research.

I'll come back later (gotta clean the pond and walk the dog) and maybe offer some quotes at least... Here's a teaser:

In other words, the distinction between "magick" and "communication" exists only in our traditional ways of thinking. The uncanny Egyptians attributed both inventions to a single deity, Thoth, god of speech and other illusions.

In the existential world -- in the sensory-sensual continuum -- Thoth still reigns and language still has magick. All communication contains sorcery and/or hypnosis, because humans use howls, snarls, yaps, purrs, gargles, gurgles etc. -- noises of many sorts -- to create a neuro-semantic "grid" projected upon all incidents and events. We generally call these grids languages.

We literally "see" incidents and events only as they register upon that grid.

If I use certain words that cause you to have certain predictible neuro-somatic reactions, I have cast a spell upon you. I have enchanted you. I may even have cursed you.

[Sure you want to know more about this?]

And it ends:
Leary and Barritt

Whosoever speaks in any tongue gives birth to blessings and curses.

& if the uncanny Egyptians made Thoth the father of both language and magick, the canny Greeks made Hermes, their version of Thoth, the god of both language and fraud.

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