Sunday, July 15, 2012

Robert Anton Wilson On Reality

Taking a slight break from the "How I Met E.J. Gold" fugue with the harmonically contrapuntal but very much related Robert Anton Wilson On Reality video clip.

Highlights include:

1) Wilson's take on the origins of all prejudice, bigotry and ignorance - not taking into account that "every perception is a gamble," and not realizing that what we consider "reality" comes down to an interpretation of the signals we receive.  He says that in philosophy, "what I perceive is reality is called naive realism."

2) "Every reality tunnel might tell us something interesting about our world."

3) "We are trapped in linguistic constructs"  This leads to a short discussion of e-prime, trying to remove the word "is" from speech and writing, and the value of that for getting out of angry or negative emotional states.

4) The advantage of knowing your own Cosmic Schmuckness

5) People arguing about words "should be put in a nice quiet home in the country with kindly doctors and beautiful nurses and good sedatives.  Instead, they end up in government mansions and start bombing one another or leading a religious crusade for the one true faith and kill each other with swords"

6) "Why it's more fun to be an optimist than paranoid."

To return to the first point, naive realism seems related to " what Gurdjieff called the ‘formatory apparatus’, that part of the brain which was busy classifying ideas and objects, putting them into pigeon holes, and thereafter returning mechanically to them as statements of truth."

-quoted from Louise Welch , ‘Orage With Gurdjieff In America’: pg. 47 as seen on this website.

The formatory apparatus often assumes and jumps to conclusions about things with insufficient data.  The classic example in our times justified the 2nd war in Iraq due to the erroneous belief that they had programs to develop weapons of mass destruction.  Even politicians can get things wrong!

When we return to our main musical program, "How I Met E.J. Gold,"  I'll show how this video and the  Wilson video at the close of the last post fit into the overall theme.

Enjoy the video!


  1. This is one of the best RAW videos I've seen.

    I can offer a small example of RAW's point that two different observers see different things based upon their location in space-time. I once read an interview with Bernie Kosar, the former quarterback, in which he said the best place for him to watch a football game was high up in the stadium, because that way he can observe the patterns that the receivers are running.

  2. I agree Tom. Whoever put that video together did a great job illustrating some of RAW's salient points in a concise fashion.

    Your example reminds me of RAW quoting Fuller, "the Universe consists of non-simultaneously apprehended events" in the previous RAW video posted here. I see it also as showing Einstein's Relativity applied on a human scale.

  3. Great blog, Oz, and interesting comment Tom. I used to have season tickets for the Arizona Cardinals, and I found it a real education to watch the games from the stands after decades of only watching football on television.

    Oz, I have a kabbalistic quesiton for you. What do you think of the Tower trump and/or the number 80? I have rather positive/playful attitude towards the number 80, since it suggests to me both the silent P in Wodehouse's Psmith and the prevelence of flowerpots in Wodehouse's Leave It to Psmith, both p and f having the value 80 in the kabbalah. I sometimes think of the tarot trump as "the Tower struck by flowerpots."

  4. Interesting whimsical look at the Tower, Eric. Lately, I associate it with Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" which I recently reread, because of the Mars connection and how it ends. I also consider its resemblance to the solve part of solve coagula. The correspondence with the path of Pe, one of the horizontal balancing paths on the Tree, connects the intellectual and emotional centers, as I see it, and thus could relate to one possible meaning of the first line in "Against the Day."

    I usually go with the gematria of 80 - "Union, an assembling etc." Thanks for reading and your comment.

  5. Re the Tower, I forgot to mention that Crowley gives an excellent description of the bardo aspect of this card in the "Book of Thoth" near the end of the Tower section.

  6. Cool. I never thought of Stranger in a Strange Land and the Tower. I read that book in German last year. I don't read German very well, but I' read it so many times in English I could sorta follow the German.

    I plan to try to get deeper into understanding the Tower and 80 in a few months. Thanks for your insights.