Online conference with Dr. Robert Anton Wilson
14 April 1986
(Sysop Jim) OK, quiet peoples. I present Dr. Robert Anton Wilson.
(Bob Wilson) Cocaine is natures way of telling you the Vatican Bank needs your money more than you do.
(Ben Rowe) Bob, since magick, and the cabala play such a role in your books, I’m curious to know just what you attitude towards such things are, here in the real(?) world. Could you state your feelings briefly?
(Bob Wilson) I regard magick and cabala as doorways to archeological levels of the human brain.
(Ben Rowe) Do you practice any form of it yourself?
(Bob Wilson) Yes.
(Ben Rowe) Care to say what kind?
(Bob Wilson) Ritual invocation, gematria.
(Avatar) To follow up on Ben’s question, are you presently a member of any secret societies or occult orders and could you tell us the names and your grade within them?
(Bob Wilson) That would be telling. Ippsissimus maximus of the Illuminati
and toenail of the Head Temple of the High Priesthood of Eris Esoteric.
(Avatar) Amusing to the last.
(Peter da Silva) I’m not sure what book this was in, I think maybe Right Where you are Sitting Now–you were talking about the possible future of human sexuality. I thought that the sorts of things you were talking about were rather pedestrian. Were you…
(Bob Wilson) Define pedestrian?
(Peter DA Silva) Well, you only considered two sexes, to begin with.
(Bob Wilson) Oh.
(Sysop Jim) A major oversight, no doubt.
(Rodney) When will the next volume of THE HISTORICAL ILLUMINATUS be out and will there be more to follow?
(Bob Wilson) It will be finished a year after I finish writing it. There will be five volumes in this series, of course.
(peter) do you think machines will ever be smarter than people?
(Bob Wilson) they’re already smarter than some people.
(Sysop Georgia) true!
(Peter DA Silva) Can I be obnoxious some more?
(Bob Wilson) Yes.
(Peter DA Silva) Back to my previous question/comment/speech. You didn’t seem to get too heavily into the possibilities of bioengineering as touched on by such people as John Varley (Ophiuchi Hotline, Titan, etc.).
Have you any more thoughts on the subject now that technology has begun to catch up on you?
(Bob Wilson) I think we can engineer immortal superhuman beings in many dimensions of superiority to us. I hope we can learn to re-engineer ourselves neurologically to become more superhuman than our creations by learning from them.
(Peter DA Silva) How about technological immortality?
(Bob Wilson) To understand anything, you must be able to make a working model of it. The more we model the human brain, not only through bioengineering but through computers, the more we can make better brains for ourselves.
(Avatar) First, do you think western civilization will survive the next century, and what do you think will be the significant events which will characterize its existence? Second, what do you think of the “magic” energy machine of Joseph Newman?
(Bob Wilson) Just heard of the Newman machine two days ago. Too soon to form an opinion.
(Sysop Jim) On the first question then.
(Bob Wilson) I think western civilization will survive. It will be increasingly like a libertarian, pagan, psionic science fiction novel, probably by me.
(Geoff) Hi Bob… A question about skepticism. As one of the resident skeptics, I’ve always advocated “keeping your B.S. detector turned up on high” when investigating these strange phenomena. My question… what degree of skepticism is appropriate and when is it time to turn skepticism off?
(Bob Wilson) Skepticism should be dialectical. Doubt A, then doubt NOT A. Then doubt both A and NOT A. Then doubt your own ability to doubt enough.
(Bob Wilson) Doubt also Doubt itself.
(Ben Rowe) A crowley fan, I see.
(Bob Wilson) Experiment with Alternative belief systems, enter alternative, cognitive grids and as the Zen Master said when asked the way of the Tao, “Move!”.
(Geoff) Thanx, Bob. And welcome to CIS!!!
(Ben Rowe) Bob, one of the perpetual arguments here is about the degree to which subjective phenomena, such as the results of magickal invocations, can be usefully dealt with from a an “objective”, scientific viewpoint. Could you tell us your feelings as to the place of objective inquiry in such fields?
(Bob Wilson) Buddha said, “doubt, and find your own light.” Ritual is to the inner sciences what experiment is to the outer sciences. Believe nothing on faith. Test all things. Enter every reality tunnel If there are only cannibals inside close the door quickly and move to the next reality tunnel. Fear nothing, never complain.
(Sysop Jim) “Test all things” Applying what tests?
(Ben Rowe) I take it that means you think science is pretty much useless in that area.
(Bob Wilson) If the hypothesis gets the result you want, tentatively continue the hypothesis. If the hypothesis busts, make a better hypothesis. As John Lilly says, “Science is the Yoga of the West. Yoga is the science of the East”. Do the experiments , watch the results. I don’t see that that’s not scientific.
(Ben Rowe) The problem we run into here seems to be more in finding some basis to talk about such things. The objectivists wont accept the “evidence” of the subjectivists such as myself, and vice versa. Any ideas about finding a common ground for this sort of discussion?
(Bob Wilson) Objectivists are disciples of Ayn Rand. See mmy definition of “disciples” under NEW AGE in religion SIG.
(Peter DA Silva) I wish I had your optimism about the future, BOB. I don’t see libertaria any time soon. Can you give any of your thoughts as to how it will come about? (wonder if I can get a straight answer this time.)
(Bob Wilson) I will do my part, the part only I can do from my position in space-time. I believe others are doing the same thing from their space. Do what thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law
(Peter DA Silva) Sigh…
(Sysop Jim) Peter, these ARE straight answers. Remember, space is curved. Follow up?
(Peter DA Silva) Was hoping for a scenario or prediction, not an oath of allegiance. Right now the authoritarians seem to be winning and my position in space time is a bummer.
(Bob Wilson) Sorry… you created that reality tunnel, you can find your way out… You built the Trap… you know the design better than anyone…
(rich) Bob, ALL phenomena subjective. Is not search for objectivity really search for means of communicating those that are more subjective than others? Does “science” really have any meaning as an “object/idea” unless applied?
(Bob Wilson) Can’t understand your terminology. Question meaningless in my reality tunnel. Try Again!
(rich) Everything is subjective. Inability to express ideas makes it so, but recourse to science demands communication in terms others understand, no?
(Bob Wilson) That means as little to me as everything is green. If everything is Green, we still need separate words for the kind of green that looks like Red and the kind of green that looks like blue. If everything is subjective, we still need words for the subjective things that everybody sees, the subjective things that only one person sees, and the subjective things that you break your leg on, and the subjective things that are called, “the Ballad of the Long Legged Bait.”
(Avatar) The model that modern science uses to explain the world in terms of atoms, molecule, particles, and fields works quite well for many things that we do, but is occasionally assaulted by interesting loopholes like rains of hazel nuts, ancient rocks containing live frogs, screwups in space and time, etc. What extensions to conventional science have you found most effective to enable you to model anomalous events, and could you explain some of them to us?
(Bob Wilson) JUNG’s theory of synchronicity (psychologically-induced space time relativity). Bell’s theorem of non-local hidden variables. Transcending space-time. Persinger’s theory of geomagnetic fluctuations linked to human brain function. I wonder if the link works both ways. Edwin Harris Walker “the complete quantum anthropologist (proceedings of the American Anthropological Association, 1974) unifying Bell theorem with psychokinetic experimental results. Garfinkel.
(Avatar) Of “Simon and Garfinkel”?
(Bob Wilson) Garfinkel on reality glossing and Leary on imprinting of reality tunnels not when they become ordinary by repetition.
(Sysop Jim) If I may, anecdotal or scientific repetition?
(Bob Wilson) Both.
(Peter DA Silva) Problem with tuning perception of reality is it doesn’t get you off the front lines (unless I’m psychotic & dreaming we’re in authoritarian state while we’re in libertarian paradise. If so, please wake me up). So, please quit treating me like parapsychologist at the AAAS & give some indication as to how transition is to occur.
(Sysop Jim) Ha!
(Bob Wilson) Breath normally, eat less sugar… eat foods… get high frequently…
(Peter DA Silva) Hey! I quit putting sugar in my coffee already!
(Bob Wilson) learn to meditate, stop being afraid and angry… you are surrounded by a network of love… take down the bricks, remove the armor… there is nothing to fear. Stop Complaining… have chicken soup once a day…
(Peter DA Silva) Do chicken fajitas count?
(Sysop Jim) I hope you’re getting all this down, Peter.
(Peter DA Silva) In my print buffer.
(Bob Wilson) Learn to laugh, learn to give… lighten up your act, and remember who made the grass green…
(Peter DA Silva) Newton.
(Robby) we all do
(Bob Wilson) and who put the insect monsters in your reality tunnel…
(Peter) Do you believe in GOD?
(Bob Wilson) God is a ridiculously small human concept compared to the coherent intelligence of universe. Everything doesn’t need to have a primate Alpha male in charge to be an intelligent system.
(Mark) Can you tell me the formula for AUM (or where to find said formula)?
(Bob Wilson) Don’t know the laws relating to communication of such information. Don’t want the owner of this machine busted.
(Mark) Data source?
(Bob Wilson) Who makes the grass green?
(Robby) magick in theory and practice by a.c.
(Bob Wilson) Oral Tradition!
(Sysop Jim) What is AUM?
(Peter DA Silva) Ultimate acid.
(Bob Wilson) Those who know do not speak…
(Mark) Drug to convert neophobes into neophiles.
(Sysop Jim) I see. hokay, Kaci?
(Bob Wilson) Drug obsolete, electrons are the psychedelics of the 80’s
(Peter DA Silva) “Turn On, Tune In, Link Up”?
(Bob Wilson) And shine like stars….
(kaci) dare i digress and ask what persinger’s theory of geo flux is??
(Bob Wilson) Persinger has found statistical links between geomagnetic cycles and fortean data anomalistics and parapsychology. See his space-time transients and unusual events (co-author).
(kaci) in what kind of periodicity?
(Bob Wilson) LAFRENSERIE and brain-mind bulletin circa December 1985… I hope…. Anomalistics correlate with earthquake activity and strong psychic experience with low geomagneticactivity.
(rich) what physical means is postulated for existence and use of psychic powers/uses?
(Bob Wilson) The careless postulate vague psycho-kinetic energies. Persinger postulates measurable geomagnetic fields. Walker derives psychokinetic effects from basic equations of non-local quantum connectedness.
(ELAD) I have found this discussion interesting. but, sorry to say…i am not familiar with mr. Wilson’s books. since there was no bio at the beginning I would appreciate his book listing and books that he recommends.
(Bob Wilson) “This I like”: The book of the Breast , sex and drugs, Illuminatus!, Cosmic Trigger, The Universe Next Door, the Homing Pidgeons, the Trick Top Hat, Neuropolitics, Right Where You are Sitting Now, Masks of the Illuminati, The Illuminati Papers, Prometheus Rising, The Earth Will Shake, The Widows Son, and two I’d rather forget.
(Sysop Jim) And numerous issues of Playboy, yes?
(Bob Wilson) I only wrote the short editorials on why pot should be legalized abortion should be legalized, victimless crimes should be abolished, the draft should be abolished, and a few similar ideas now trite and soon to be conservative. Even Buckley now agrees with me about drugs. Remember the Zen Master who said, “move”.
(Peter DA Silva) Sorry… can’t stop asking hard questions… is my role here. 2 questions this time. 1) have you read and if so what do you think of Julian Jayne’s book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”. 2) I wish you would write some Science Fiction (where defined as so:- a SF writer is embarrassed by his inconsistencies, a fantasy writer is proud of them). 3) (I lied) Do you really think there are psychedelics of the ’80s?
(Bob Wilson) Jane’s model interesting. So is Stan Gooch in total man. I prefer Pribram hologram model and Leary 8 circuit model.
(Peter DA Silva) (of course)
(Bob Wilson) Inconsistencies of my books are inconsistencies of quantum mechanics, which is why new scientist magazine called me “most scientific of all science fiction writers” … I blush…. But facts are facts. Thank you for exchanging electrons, the psychedelics of the 80’s.
(Peter DA Silva) If these are psychedelics, I’m going back to drugs.
(Bob Wilson) Have a high Holiday…
(Robert Wiggins) Bob, I’ve been reading you for many years (more than 10) now (I even have Sex and Drugs in hardcover) and wanted to tell you I still go back to read “10 Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning” that appeared in Oui magazine. My question is mundane (but I’m enjoying the conversation here) do you know of a place in NYC that carries your books (and/or Leary’s)
(Bob Wilson) Thou art beat, Forbidden planet and Laissez Faire books, Weisers, ga
(Robby) are you the BOBO of subgenius fame
(Bob Wilson) That would be telling.ga
(Robby) i saw de Selby today he was wearing pink
(Bob Wilson) Others said, “he was a pink elf” but he was glad to be there and meet all of you.
(Robby) de self-by?
(Bob Wilson) I did not invent de Selby. As professor LACKANOOKIE says,
“TIJENTIEN, TIEN JEN TAO , de Selby TZU JAN”. Very roughly, the earth creates people, the sky creates earth. de Selby became what he always was”.
(Peter DA Silva) What are the two books you don’t want to remember, and what do you think of Steve Jackson’s game “Illuminati”?
(Bob Wilson) When did you stop eating your wife …no wait… When did you stop beating your wife?
(Peter DA Silva) I like the first one better.
(Bob Wilson) and was there ever a dog that praised its fleas
(Avatar) OK – I am honored – two quickies. What is your birthdate? and do you believe in Death after Life?
(Bob Wilson) January 18th, 1932. Death and Life are unscientific concepts, as such. All we know is the tuned-in and the not tuned-in. The not tuned-in may be tuned in. /TUN DEATH /MON LIFE with the proper technology or neurology. We are made out of the debris of exploding stars. The not-tuned-in is not nonexistent since nonexistence is a metaphysical concept. Operationally stars, people, quarks Tune in, or tune out, the dance is eternal. LO! The happy moron, he doesn’t give a damn. I wish I was a moron…. MY GOD! Perhaps i am! Love to All. Stop being afraid, Peter. Goodnight.
(Peter DA Silva) Not in my program.