Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I.2

Leary wrote:

We are designed to use our Heads (I2) in order to Use Time (L.E.) in order to Use Space.
Of these three associated imperatives Intelligence Increase is the most important.

So we'll start there, in the center of S.M.I.2L.E. It seems appropriate that I.2 finds itself placed between Space on one side and Time on the other. The quote is from Info-Psychology. Note the unusual capitalization in the first sentence.

I found a useful definition of Intelligence given by Robert Anton Wilson posted by Mark Frauenfelder on Boing Boing.net's RAW week celebration:

Intelligence is the capacity to receive, decode and transmit information efficiently. Stupidity is blockage of this process at any point. Bigotry, ideologies, etc. block the ability to receive; robotic reality-tunnels block the ability to decode or integrate new signals; censorship blocks transmission."

How do you Increase Intelligence? A good question, however a definitive answer would defy the principles of Relativity, in my Newtonian Opinion. Everyone is different, and every circumstance different, therefore the answer changes from person to person, and even from moment to moment with one person. It can make for a highly enjoyable artform. Suggestions can be made for the taking or leaving of. All the information on how to Increase Intelligence is out there, just a matter of finding what works for you.

The relativistic nature of Intelligence Increase appears built into the formula.

I.2 = I x I which, if you look at them as personal pronouns suggests self-study, self-examination and contemplation. Not a formula of the old time, Eastern imported, going to a Guru and following everything they say unquestioningly in order to merit, accidentally stumble upon, or get bestowed with some kind of Enlightenment or Intelligence Increase. One of Leary's other slogans offers an alternative, "Think For Yourself, Question Authority," which fits right in with I.2.

I.2, I multiplied by I, ("I an' I" as Bob Marley sings) implies finding a way to become your own Guru. In Thelemic terms, I would call this discovering the connection that eventually leads to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. My recommendation for initiating this line of work: as much as possible, discover what you would really like to do in this life. This is called formulating a True Will. It doesn't have to be anything earth shattering or utterly altruistic, like bringing down Wall Street, it can be as basic and ordinary as playing music, gardening, cooking a meal, road repair, anything !, as long as it doesn't interfere with anyone else doing their thing. You can start by looking at what you like to naturally do along with your desires, hopes and dreams. The ancient Greeks called this process gnothe seaton which means Know Thyself.

The Crowley connection with Intelligence Increase makes sense ( apart from the fact that it works) when you remember Leary's letter quoted in the last post where he gave S.M.I.2L.E. as his response to Crowley's 'Do what thou wilt.' Leary states on record that he felt he was carrying on Crowley's work.

Following your own path as it grows and changes over time effectively Increases Intelligence due to a simple principle the television news show 60 Minutes used to employ: " zero interest, zero attention, zero information." This means that if you have no interest in something, your won't pay attention to it and won't learn anything from it. On the other hand, your attention gets naturally drawn to what interests you.

In the 60 Minutes Principle, which I first came across in The American Book of the Dead, the second component, after finding out what you're interested in, is learning how to use attention effectively. Attention can be placed, withdrawn, focused, concentrated, split, diffused, distracted, seduced, etc. You can direct it, or it can direct you. It can get strengthened, like a muscle, through use by doing things that require heightened attention like playing music well. Various exercises exist that strengthen attention, any martial art or yoga has that effect. My favorite is a kit called Zen Basics.

More on the art of applied attention can be found in a book called The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus by E. J. Gold which also contains a scientific and detailed approach to Intelligence Increase along the lines of gnothe seaton.

Crowley stressed the importance of developing strong concentration skills as one prerequisite for effective magick. As he recounts in his Confessions, Crowley took to concentration exercises with great gusto after one of his teachers, Oscar Eckenstein, showed him how to discover for himself just how weak his attention functioned. You can discover how strong or weak your own attention operates through some basic feedback techniques. For example, focus your attention on the second hand of an analog clock and see how long you can keep it there before the mind wanders.

You can, perhaps, research some I.2 methods through finding out what people possessed of genius do to increase their intelligence. Over at RAW Week, Propaganda Anonymous asked Phil Farber how he rates Robert Anton Wilson as a magician:

Phil Farber: I rate Bob up there with the best. More so than any other writer on the subject, he was able to reconcile critical thinking, modern physics and linguistics with the ancient traditions of magick. Privately, Bob was a devoted practitioner and explorer. He brought his wide-ranging intellect and his personal spark of creativity to the job of understanding and updating the techniques. He did the work, for real.

Ingesting the entirety of Propa Non's interview will I.2 . It features a panel discussion with a number of RAW luminaries, Douglass Rushkoff, RU Sirius, David Jay Brown, Antero Alli, along with Farber. Perhaps that panel rates more like I.5 or I.6?

I also recall an interview DJ Fly Agaric did with Wilson where Fly asked him when the last time he did yoga was and RAW replied, that morning. That's consistent with the advice he gave to 'do it every day.' Meaning, whatever practice or discipline you're currently taking up - do it every day. If learning to play the guitar, practice every day, etc.

Another great resource with suggestions for I.2 is Timothy Leary's The Game of Life, his kabbalistic rendering of the 8 circuit model of consciousness that also contains contributions from Robert Anton Wilson. Leary formulated this model to articulate a comprehensive Map of the Levels of Consciousness. Based on an eclectic blend of previous maps of this kind, occult knowledge, Cabala, scientific research, comedy, Leary and Wilson's gnostic realizations, and who knows what else, this model portrays itself more along the lines of a speculative taxonomy of consciousness, both physical and metaphysical, than a dogmatic Absolute Truth with rigid boundaries to be believed in at all costs. The fact that the authors revised and updated the theory over time makes this evident. Any useful theory of consciousness, vital and alive, will change, develop, and grow in light of new research. Parts of it will get rejected and modified as people and circumstances change. You don't have to unquestioningly accept any theory hook, line and sinker, to get some useful, practical benefit from it. Wilson lucidly illustrates this in an interview with Lewis Shiner when he writes of moving to Yellow Springs, Ohio early in his writing career:

I was offered a job editing a magazine for a place called the School for Living, which later moved to Maryland. The School for Living had a very interesting philosophy, which was "back to nature, live on the land, eat health food" — and a bit of anarchism and Wilhelm Reich. I agreed with about half of that and thought the over half was kind of flakey, but it was interesting. I thought it would be a great idea to live on a farm and see how I did at it.

The whole of this excellent interview lives in the Resources links at RAWIllumination.net

I'm not necessarily recommending anyone study and/or memorize the 8 Circuit Model, but it can't hurt. Just wanted to point out that numerous exercises, research experiments, suggestions for Intelligence Increase, whatever you want to call them get hinted at, alluded to, or downright explicated in The Game of Life.

As an example of the density of Intelligence Information found there, I'll briefly quote from "Caste 14." Leary divided each of the 8 brain circuits into 3 stages ( related to Gurdjieff's Law of Three - discussed about 2/3rds into this post) making 24 stages or what he called castes.

Caste 14

NEUROGENETIC TECHNOLOGICAL STAGE:

Self-Actualized Intelligent Control of the Body .../ Physiological Feedback Control/ The Yogin/The Artist-Aesthetic Reality Architect/ The Resurrected Body/Driver-Seat-Control of the Soft Machine/Body Engineering/The Sorcerer-Warrior/ The Reichian Adept/ The Holistic Health Healer.

That's from p. 172 in my 1993 New Falcon edition. The next page talks about the tarot card associated with this caste:

Stage 14

Tarot Death (card 13) DEATH-REBIRTH (Aries II) ... The disciplined control of one's body function... The science of conscious body performance. Karate. Yoga. Dance. Non-competitive sports designed to get high, to stretch body and mind. The direction of one's own aesthetic environment and responses. The conscious acceptance of one's life as a Work of Conceptual Art.

p. 173

A piece of common senses advice from Dr. Tim I personally benefited from - if you want to learn something, hang out with people who seem smarter than you at the subject you wish to learn. This relates, in a gentler way, to P.D. Ouspenky's stern dogmatic pronouncement that transformation is absolutely impossible unless one finds a School. At a stage in my life when I took Ouspensky way too seriously, I attended a workshop given by RAW and got a chance to ask him what he thought about Ouspensky's statement. RAW simply said, "I think it's a good idea," and bypassed commenting on Ouspenky's insistence, who, by the way, has doubt surrounding whether he followed his own advice.

This kind of a "School", sometimes called an Esoteric or Mystery School can sometimes exist very briefly, informally, and nondoctrinaire. Any group working together for the purpose of Invocation makes for the broadest definition of this type of School, but it could just as easily read: any group gathered together for the purpose of Intelligence Increase. They don't necessarily have to work closely together in physical Space or simultaneous Time to function as a School. Some extraordinary online courses I've attended operationally existed as this kind of a School, in my opinion and experience. The community of musicians around Bill Laswell comprise an informal, nondoctrinaire School that has greatly increased the transmission of Musical Intelligence over the years.


* * * * * * * * * * * *

Many different kinds of intelligence exist. Here in the West we often reflexively associate intelligence with one particular type, intellectual intelligence. Modern education emphasizes acquiring knowledge through extensive intellectual intake. This doesn't seem the case everywhere. Anyone who has spent time in Africa sees evidence for different kinds of intelligence that the average Westerner likely remains largely or wholly unaware of.

We can start a list of different kinds of intelligence we know about: instinctual, intellectual, intuitive, physical, emotional, political, psychological, musical, poetic, symbolic, allegorical, alchemical, morphological, occult, etc. We can speculate, postulate, theorize, and research, (I xI) as others have: plant intelligence, mineral intelligence, the DNA intelligence resulting in the unfoldment of our biological vehicles, etc. - see The Game of Life for further examples.

Gnosis describes an accelerated form of Intelligence Increase. It refers to the direct experience of knowledge as opposed to knowledge taught in the ordinary way which requires belief for it to get accepted. The "aha"moment of sudden realization signifies gnosis.

The articulation of gnosis derives from Ancient Greeks:

Among the gnostics, gnosis was first and foremost a matter of self-knowledge ... [12] Knowledge that first relieved the individual of their cultural religious indoctrination and then reconciled them to their personal deity.

Sounds reminiscent of 'Do what thou wilt,' and of the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA.

A little more on this archaic sounding abstraction, the Holy Guardian Angel. How it gets perceived, and oftentimes its definition appears relative to the observer. Even Crowley gave personally contradicting accounts of this motif at different times in his life. Many magicians consider this experience a uniting of the microcosm with the macrocosm. This corresponds with the gnostic aphorism to :

make the inner as the outer, the outer as the inner, then make the two one.

Crowley also called it the epitome of one's True Will. In my experience, the HGA functions as a Guide. It doesn't have to get believed in as "real" in order to serve as an extremely effective, practically useful metaphor. I see it connected with John Lilly's Coincidence Control. It can occur and issue forth in a seemingly endless variety of ways and forms. Robert Anton Wilson illustrates the relativistic, shape-shifting nature of the HGA in his epic Illuminatus! Trilogy, another superior source for I.2:

"You look like an angel," Chips admitted grudgingly, "but I don't believe any of this. Time travel, talking trees, giant toads, none of it. Somebody slipped me a drug."

"Yes, somebody slipped you a drug, but I'm your holy guardian angel, and I'm slipping you this envelope, and it'll make everything all right back in London...

"Who are you, really?"

But the tree only repeated, "Don't lose that envelope," and walked away, turning into an Italian teen-ager again, and then into a gigantic woman carrying a golden apple."



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