Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Events may continue

I enjoyed one of those 'little moments' today - that cheer you up.

I went into my local bookstore for a quick skim, and decided to pick up some astrological ephemeri (I always used an ephemeris, or book of tables, before computers) - now that MLA members have shown some interest in exploring beyond the Sun Sign astrology of the newspapers. I happen to like the astrological model because it remains a 'god-free' model of Universe, and in spite of protestations from other MLA members, I pick up a whiff (stench) of occidental religion hidden in the roots of Kabbala, magick, Masonry etc. Higher beings, and all that. Astrology seems to relate to something more impersonal, like Tao and an illusion of a separate spacetime entity.

Anyway, I noticed a New Falcon book by Christopher Hyatt, and decided to give it a whirl (although I didn't get on with his style the one time I tried before).

I got to the check-out, and the guy at the till asked if I enjoyed 'this sort of thing' and we got onto Robert Anton Wilson in about two jumps (via Falcon) followed by - it turns out - a connection through him to a 'guy into RAW' that I had lost touch with. The two of them have considered a RAW Wake in Cardiff. I asked to stay informed. Hi Alex! Hi Ian!

[For previous events, scan the February Archives or use the Imperfect Index, or Search the blog for RAW, Wake, or meme-orial, etc. ]

I went straight into the coffee shop where the assistant called out my order before I said a word.
"Spooky!" I say.
"I used my psychic powers" he said, holding his fingers to his temples.
"I guess, by now, I could just say - The Usual" I sighed.

[even the coffee man does cold reading]

Friday, March 23, 2007


Boomtime, the 9th of Discord, YOLD 3173 Discordian Calendar

You may notice that we have reached the First of Clinamen in the 'Pataphysical Calendar, here displayed in honour of Bob's love of calendars. If you use several then you may begin to perceive the arbitrary nature of calendars, and perhaps not take 'New Year's Day' quite so seriously, just because Pope Gregory says January 1st (whatever that means) counts as a starting point of something or other called 2007.

We publish MQ on Solstices and Equinoxes because they have a 'true' astronomical significance, even if you don't think about astrology or other calendar events.

I somehow acquired the mistaken idea that Clinamen meant the little spiral from the Institute (their months have funny names), but it turns out I should call that a Gidouille - it appears the word 'clinamen' goes back a ways - and could mean something a little more intriguing:
Ordre de la Grand Gidouille
According to the Lucretian account of chaos falling into order by the chance concourse of atoms -- Sometimes, wrote Lucretius, at uncertain times and places, the eternal, universal fall of the atoms is disturbed by a very slight deviation - the "clinamen." The resulting vortex gives rise to the world, to all natural things.

The clinamen is also translated as "swerve," and in its literary dimension marks a point of intellectual revision. (see Harold Bloom's theory of the anxiety of influence.) Lucretius attributes both the creation of nature and the creations of mind to the clinamen. "The fact that the mind itself has no internal necessity to determine its every act and compel it to suffer in helpless passivity--this is due to the slight swerve of the atoms at no determinate time or place."

"Again, if all movement is always interconnected, the new arising from the old in a determinate order -- if the atoms never swerve so as to originate some new movement that will snap the bonds of fate, the everlasting sequence of cause and effect -- what is the source of the free will possessed by living things throughout the world?" Lucretius, De Natura Rerum, Book II.

Presumably, Prigogine's "fluctuations" are instances of the clinamen...

the Gidouille
Oh, and Clinamen - otherwise known as Borsky's Blog - deserves a visit. You can find Borsky's definition(s) of Clinamen in an article he wrote for MQ.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

All Hail Discordia!

I hope you all enjoyed the Equinox yesterday! We had brilliant blue skies in Cardiff, and today have reverted to grey and rainy. Still, I love contrast...

The new edition of Maybe Quarterly (to which I did not contribute this time, so you shouldn't consider this review biased) exceeds all previous editions. Don't waste any more time - go look at the special edition for Bob's passing. Hail Eris!

Searching for the Hermit

I asked the boy beneath the pines.
He said, "The master's gone alone herb picking,
somewhere on the mount,
cloud hidden,
whereabouts unknown."

(Chin Tao, 777-841)

'The Moon Rises'
'The Moon Rises'
Sun K'o-hung (1532-1610)
Elegant Diversions for Leisure Hours

A Dragon hidden among men

Sunday, March 18, 2007

His Serene Absence

I have continued to discover how low-profile Bob seems in the UK – and I feel amazed but not surprised (if you see what I mean).

I never know where to start, when people assume he ‘is’ my guru, and I tend to say “my favourite writer, humorist and philosopher” but that just doesn’t get it.

with thanks and apologies to R.Crumb So, as I always thought of him as a serene presence (even though I never met him), and have recently got back into ‘pataphysics, and have stopped teasing the Thelemites about ritual titles, etc I have decided to call him His Serene Absence for a bit. Why not? After all, maybe what we called his ‘death’ doesn’t mean quite what we think it does (I hate to reify death with Winnie-the-Pooh's Very Important Thought capital letters – as in Death) like the word points to a ‘thing’ or even ‘one unique event’. He started out as one fertilized egg cell the size of a full stop, just like you and me. He got exceedingly complex (and thousands of times larger), and I have no idea if the complexity vanishes, or simply spreads out. I told him once, in the forums, that I thought of Leary's body in the jail as a particle, but I thought of his mind as a wave, spreading through space and time. You can't lock up the mind in a confined space. He seemed to like that vaguely quantum reference. For me, it parallels the wave/particle model for the mind/body. Anyway - I like Bobby's idea that Bob and Arlen have met up again, somewhere out there in the Pacific.

So, for researchers who just found us, you could read Antero Alli’s memories of meeting Bob or read any of Bob's 35 books (list on Wiki). Or check out RAW's own website - lots of links on the right.

Or if you don’t like reading, you could try about an hour of Bob talking (on Google Video) from a few years back – The Universe Contains A Maybe. I do understand that you can’t recommend humour to people – so his jokes may not get to you, of course. I liked his line about why he no longer considers himself an atheist, or a believer. He tried living as an atheist for a while, but it left him nothing to shout when… Oh, go listen if you want the punchline…

If you prefer, you may like the hour of Bob talking in a bookshop, called The I in The Triangle, in short (part 1) or long versions (about 2 hours)

The number of people who have made money out of Bob’s stuff astounds me – but he remains serene and quotes “plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery”. Without even thinking hard I would point to Umbero Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum” which echoes almost everything in Illuminatus! The Da Vinci Code stole quite a lot from him – and from The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail as well. No need to talk about the recent film - The Number 23, as Burroughs started that and Bob ran with it.

You can see him on Politically Incorrect on the subject of LSD with Bill Maher, standing in for Tim Leary. Tim’s excuse for not showing up? Dying. I love Bob’s line:
“I haven’t used acid in over two days, and really, it’s great to be clean”.

You don’t really need me to point this stuff out, now do you? You may need intelligence and a sense of humour. Recently I heard DJ Bob Dylan (his new persona) saying that he realised that his show no longer went out only on XM Radio in the USA, but had got a release in the UK, on the BBC – so when he said the word ‘humor’ he had put in the ‘u’ especially for the British audience.

Just do yer own Google on Robert Anton Wilson (or use whatever search engine seems ethical/acceptable to you. I realise some people now see Google as the new Microsoft monopoly megalith).

For a dense cluster of material, I can’t praise highly enough the wonderful Robert Anton Wilson fan site and forum (so you can chat, too, if you get confused), that you can find in the semi-permanent links on the right). And in the new incarnation of the Maybe Logic Academy - MLA 4.0- we don't hide behind closed doors (although we still have a few secret rooms) so you could drop in and read some of our exchanges before deciding if you dare join us. We don't have any secret ordeals to become a member.

heh, heh, heh. Trust me!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Listening and getting away from books and screens...

Great News! The audio book (all 13 hours of it) of Illuminatus! Book 1 - that we mentioned in an earlier post, about RU Sirius's podcast, etc - has become available through the DeepLeaf Store.

You can hear a sample of Ken Campbell reading the opening section...in the podcast.

To see what 'is' in store, go to Deep Leaf Audio

For the first time in audiobook form, Illuminatus! charges on into the 21st century. Read by Ken Campbell (who directed Illuminatus! for the London stage in 1976) and Chris Fairbank (a human of 100 voices), THE EYE IN THE PYRAMID is sure to fire up the mental circuits and reveal new layers couched and waiting. Available exclusively as a download via DeepleafAudio. fnord indeed.

You may also enjoy the linked podcast


Delivering Illuminatus! to the masses. If you've never subscribed to a podcast, here's your chance. The first 20 weeks of Illuminatus! Podcast features ILLUMINATI PROJECT MEMOS from Illuminatus! Part I followed by a year's worth of Illuminatus! excerpts from Part II and Part III. If you feel the calling, please email, call, tell, graffitti everyone you know to subscribe to the podcast. Somewhere there's a dormant Illuminatus! initiate waiting to hear the magic words of Shea and Wilson's masterpiece. Below is a direct link to iTunes if you are iTunes enabled. Enjoy dear friends of Hagbard, Howard and crew.


I'll return to tidy up when I figure out what that link means...I work on PCs, so iTunes doesn't come as standard with the machines I work on.

PS: trying to do this blog on a Mac laptop (wonderful though they seem at times) proved difficult. I couldn't see all the editing options that my PC shows me. I guess that might come from Blogger's narrow vision, rather than my ignorance of Macs.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Member of the NEW TRAJECTORIES webring