letter to the editor of Green Egg
from Vol. VIII, No 73, Mabon, September 21, 1975
Dear Green Eggers,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
Z Budapest seems to have a positive genius for insulting/offending earthian bipeds of the male gender. Such persons, of course, do not HAVE TO re-act in a mechanical insulted/offended manner. (we are all dreadfully free.) For instance, when I am insulted or offended, I absolutely refuse to re-act. Instead, I act. That is, I use the non-identification technique of Korzybski and Gurdjieff, the so-called “cortical delay” or “Self Remembering,” in which one opens a void within the hyphen of the stimulus-response of the Behaviorist mechanism. In that silent void, anything can happen. Alternatives to being insulted or offended, automatically appear: one can be amused, or find some constructive use for the aroused energy in one’s inner Work, or one can logically analyze how one provoked the insult or offense, etc. etc. etc. (If one finds that one provoked the insult or offense by the garb one happens to be wearing–rich or poor, a male or female body, white or black skin etc.–then one can analyze how the other party was conditioned into such a mechanical emotional reflex and use the insight to search for whatever similar reflexes may still be active in oneself. E.g., having gotten past racism, sexism, human chauvinism and G-Star chauvinism–the latter thanks to Carl Sagan – I am currently working on my vitalism, the bigoted assumption that organic compounds are somehow higher or better than inorganic compounds.)
But I digress (as usual). To return to my point, analogically, a survivor of Buchenwald told a French journalist. “When they came for the Jews, I didn’t protest because I’m not Jewish. When they came for the Communists, I didn’t protest because I’m not a Communist. When they came for the Trade Unionists, I didn’t protest because I’m not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for me.” We owe what remains intact of the Bill of Rights to a motley assortment of Jehovah’s Witnesses, communists, Trotskyists, nazis, atheists and bigots of various stripe who were fanatic enough to fight for their own rights (even while being eager, in many cases, to deprive the rest of us of our rights). The resulting Supreme Court decisions in these “unclean” cases are precisely what, paradoxically, preserved the liberties, such as they are, of all of us. I have never met Z Budapest, but I doubt that she can be more difficult or pugnacious than Madalyn Murray O’Hair. We all owe a lot to Madalyn, and we will probably end up owing a lot to Z.
In important civil liberties cases, the accused is often as megalomaniac as Giordano Bruno, as paranoid as Wilhelm Reich (in old age), as conceited and grandiose as Galileo, or as putrid as the local neo-nazis. It doesn’t matter. CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE INDIVISIBLE. I leaped to the defense of Wilhelm Reich, M.D., in 1957, because government book-burning is an attack on all of us, period. It was only 3 years later, in 1960, that I began to suspect there might be some truth in Reich’s “crazy’ orgone theory. CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE INDIVISIBLE. (“If they can take John Hancock’s wharf, they can take your cow or my barn.” –John Adams) Every day Timothy Leary spends in jail is a day that you or I can spend in jail later, if the Leary convictions are not overturned and ruled unconstitutional. If any belief can be punished on Tuesday, any other belief can be punished on Wednesday. CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE INDIVISIBLE. Those who will not fight for the civil liberties of those they detest as hard as they will fight for the civil liberties of themselves and their friends, do not deserve, and will not retain, any civil liberties. Government is a hungry monster, and every bite it takes into anybody’s liberty encourages it to take ten bites more.
If the history of Hitler, Stalin and Amerika-unter-Nixon teaches anything, it teaches that the State is the real, immediate enemy of all decent, natural people; and that the heretic of any stripe (even if SHe is plotting to become the next State) is (while SHe remains a heretic and not a State) a valuable ally in two ways (1) SHe can provoke us into new thoughts, which those who agree with us can never do, and (2) by fighting like hell for hir own civil liberties SHe is indirectly helping all the rest of us.
This does not mean or imply that I like Z Budapest personally or that I dislike her. I haven’t met her. If I do meet her, it won’t matter to this position whether I like her or not. The issue is historical; the local actors are unimportant.
Since Walter Breen has revealed (on the authority of two anonymous sources) that Dr. Leary has been brainwashed by the FBI, let me reveal (on the authority of another anonymous source) that Dr. Leary actually died of a sex-change operation in Las Vegas last November. The latter rumor has actually been broadcast on several underground radio stations and is, therefore, even more reliable than Breen’s rumor. Just to add to the fun, let me assure you all that I have in my files a letter in which Leary confesses to working for the Central Intelligence Agency since 1962. (I suppose if he’d said the Illuminati, some fools would think he was joking, but since he said it this way the same fools will think he’s serious.) Behind the mythology, the real Leary has produced his most brilliant two scientific books in the last year and is currently editing a special issue of Spit in the Ocean magazine on Contact with Higher Intelligence; the calibre of the contributors, and of Leary’s own commentaries, will make this issue a landmark in American scientific and literary history.
Why do so few Pagans understand the real relationship between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd? (I will leave it to the engenium of the reader to decide whether that koan’s a commentary on the last paragraph of the next paragraph.)
J. Gordon Melton’s statement that Israel Regardie “is said to belong” to the O.T.O. run by Kenneth Grant and (locally) David L. Smith will certainly be news to all three of those earthian bipeds. I certainly hope that they manage to retain their sense of humor when writing to set the record straight. If not, let them recall that Uncle Aleister himself once stated that A.E. Waite was “the disciple Crowley loved best.” (“Whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth.”) We are all quite comical creatures, when you come to think of it.
I have even heard rumors that I’m the Head of the Bavarian Illuminati, while, as everybody really Inside knows, that monster has two heads, namely Richard, Duc de Palatine, and Daffy, Duc de Hollywood.
J.E.A. Martin’s thoughtful “The Twilight of Science” makes some good points but is, for me at least, vitiated by missing the Most Important Point. (i.e., the one that seems most important to my nervous system…) Classical science was the synergetic product of two previously separate traditions: namely, empirical manual doings (out of the medieval guilds and crafts) and abstract symbolic thinkings (out of rediscovered Greek logic-dialectic). When these two came together, classical science (= logical empiricism) emerged, a synergy, greater than the sum of its two parts. In 300 years, this made more changes, good and bad, than the planet has experienced in the previous 300,000.
Today, a new science is emerging, at a higher synergetic level, combining craft doings, logical thinkings and yogic-shamanic beings. (Or becomings.) The psychedelic research of the 1950s – early 1960s opened the door, which has been opened wider by: the emergence of parapsychology out of the shadows into respectability; the occult revival (and its effect on the more open-minded parapsychologists); the Orientalization of America via yoga, Zen, I Ching, etc. etc.; various feedbacks and interfaces between the above trends; and the continual advance of physics into – well, into the state where a serious research project should be named “The Hunting of the Quark,” after two fantasies by James Joyce and Lewis Carroll respectively. The new science of logical-empirical shamanism will probably be even more revolutionary than the classical science was. (Already it has shaken the Establishment enough to have its own martyrs to set beside Bruno, Gali1eo, Servitius, etc.: in this country, Reich and Leary; in Mexico, Dr. Salvador Roquet; etc.)
Which brings me back to my original point. At such historical junctures, when a new Gestalt is emerging and transformation is rapid, there is an escalation of anxiety, which easily becomes paranoia, and witch-hunts result. Those who do not put maximum effort into defending all civil liberties, at such junctures, may be the very next victims of the rising hysteria.
Immortality, Starflight, Higher Intelligence, and hope,
Robert Anton Wilson