The Robert Anton Wilson series continues.
Raw Feed (2004): Cosmic Trigger II: Down to Earth, Robert Anton Wilson, 1991.
I liked this book even more than the first Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati.
Whereas that book was built around Wilson’s speculation that he received messages from a source around the star Sirius, this book is more wide ranging though, like its predecessors, it mixes in plenty of autobiography which reveals Wilson to be well grounded in all sorts of areas from math and physics to myth and religion to literature.
It is not built around a central mystic revelation. Rather its philosophical crux is shown in to statements: “Never believe totally in somebody else’s BS. … Never believe totally in your own BS.” (BS here is pun on belief system and bullshit.)
Throughout the book, Wilson touches on the scientific (mostly relativity and quantum physics), linguistic (including General Semantics which seems to have something to recommend it though it might be restating banal truths already known — an impression which Wilson seems to validate when he mentions that much of Korzybski thoughts recapitulated earlier philosophers), and philosophy that supports his eternal rejection of either/or logic for maybe and variant maps, or, to use Timothy Leary’s phrase that he is fond of, “reality tunnels” of existence.
In fact, this book delves far less into mystical, religious, and occult systems than its predecessors. The autobiographical details show Wilson to have been quite a precocious youth though a late bloomer as a writer.
For the odd happenings in this book, we have detailings of the Calvi/Vatican Bank/P2/Sovereign Military Order of Malta conspiracy.
Taking a cue from Wilson himself, I certainly don’t accept his pacifistic notions or his vehement attacks on the first President Bush and the First Gulf War, and his thought that linking the electrical grids of the world would help foster peace through better living seems technologically naive (how to patch grids up across oceans?).
Still, I find Wilson worth reading for his take on the world and the cautions of his anti-dogmatism and rejection of grand paradigms.
The Review Index lists looks at other nonfiction works.