Sunday, August 14, 2011

Keep the Lasagna Flying

Sometimes you'll hear the 'selective perception' objection made against the active qabalist. Selective perception, in this context, means that certain numbers appear more because you're either subconsciously looking for them, or you're selectively choosing to perceive those numbers while ignoring others. You see your key numbers more only because you have given them special significance. They stand out more but don't really occur more than any other number randomly would, according to this argument.

The point is valid to some degree. Self deception is easy, and we make up meaning and significance all the time. I can recall two films where the protagonists had a severe form of this which lead to obsession, A Beautiful Mind, the Russell Crowe film based on a true story, and π or Pi.

This only affirms Qabalah as a powerful and effective tool for altering consciousness. The fact that tools can get abused doesn't mean that the tool is imaginary or universally harmful and can't be utilized with intelligence and common sense. Non-judgmental self-observation is one preventative remedy against psychological imbalance.

Certain numbers may take on extraordinary significance to you as a result of mind-blowing synchronicities ( meaningful coincidences), to use a technical term. If a number comes to your attention through one or more startling coincidences and you don't take notice, then you appear to be either uninterested in learning more about yourself and the Universe through Qabalah or are just generally occluded to accept the possibility of anything outside what you've been told is real.

There's a line from the film, Beetlejuice, that goes something like, "the living won't see the dead, not can't, but won't." Understood metaphorically, this could mean that "the living" - those who have never undergone or don't remember any kind of ego death, the unwashed masses as it were, won't see "the dead" ie the Bardo, the magickal world where change occurs. Not can't, but won't.

By the way, Beetlejuice, contains multiple levels of qabalistic symbolism. It's considered a textbook study for bardo information and functioning whether seen through the macroscope of qabalah or not.

However, this is all beside the point I've been making, that Qabalah is a higher order language useful for transformation. The proof of this is in the writings of authors who use Qabalah, as well as the fact that this language has dictionaries for it.

It's not necessary to receive numbers through strange circumstances to observe that some numbers have been given prominent attention. Perhaps the most well known of these in this cultural enclave is the "23 Conspiracy" presented in Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger Volume I which he first heard from William Burroughs. Anyone who believes that Wilson was merely sounding off on an obsession he selectively afflicted himself with is missing a valuable lesson. 23 does have a connection with a particular archetype quite discernible by looking it up in 777 (don't forget to check the list of primes) or by reading Cosmic Trigger. Anyone care to say what I'm getting at?

Earlier I made the argument that Wilson also highlighted the number 68, though he did so mainly in a qabalistic fashion, not directly like he did with 23, except for the direct mention of 68 on the first page of Illuminatus! 68 is the second number given in Illluminatus! right behind the number 1. This makes sense because the first chapter is called The First Trip, or Kether which is the first Sephiroth on the Tree of Life.

I forgot to mention another strong allusion Wilson made to the ideogram represented by 68. Shortly before he died Wilson wrote his last public statement on a blog and signed off with the whimsical instruction to "keep the lasagna flying."

Now if this flying lasagna is as good as my father's homemade recipe or any other genuine Italian cook, it's not much of a stretch to consider it heavenly food. Heavenly food is also known as manna. Manna is the title of chapter 68 from Crowley's Book of Lies, a qabalistic touchstone.

Was Wilson communicating something along the lines of summing up his life's work and the continuation of it, or was he being merely whimsical? Perhaps it was a Discordian attempt to promote harmless anarchy, or maybe he meant to support the lasagna economy with increased sales? Could it be some combination of all of these or for a whole other unknown reason. Any thoughts?


  1. In 777 Uncle Al gives 23 as "the glyph of life - nascent life." One way this connects to RAW: Wilson read Hooper and Teresi's popular book on neuroscience in the late 1980s. They described the physical human brain as looking like lasagna. It seems also the ultimate instrument by which we make observations and evaluations about our world. And RAW liked what Pound had to say after his friend Wyndham Lewis died. They had had some major esthetic disagreements, but Pound said something like Lewis was a "live mind," and he'd take live minds over dead minds anytime. So: keeping the lasagna flying is keeping your brain - live mind - going, always learning, doubting, sharing signals, doubting: lasagna flying!

    I stand firmly behind this interpretation, but if you don't like it, I have others?

  2. I like this interpretation very much. RAW often presented multiple levels of meaning in his writings so it makes sense that there might be multiple valid interpretations to his last public words.

    I saw that at another time RAW advised to "keep the ravioli flying" which suggests more to the flying Italian food image than a physical resemblance to the brain.

    Burroughs first noticed 23 in connection with a couple of disasters resulting in loss of life. In 777 the number 23 also corresponds with "Parted, removed, separated" and RAW mentions in Cosmic Trigger that the 23rd Hexagram in the I Ching translates as "Breaking Apart." 23 seems to indicate Death as well as nascent Life.