RAW: Robert Anton Wilson
“The two philosophers most frequently mentioned in Finnegans Wake, Nicholas of Cusa and Bruno of Nola, taught a dialectic of resolution of opposites. Joseph Needham in his monumental Science and Civilization in China, repeatedly mentions both Bruno and Nicholas as the only two Occidental philosophers before Liebnitz to have a basically Taoist outlook” –RAW
Fly On The Tale Of The Tribe: A Rollercoaster Ride With Robert Anton Wilson
by Steven James Pratt
I’ve been reading and studying many texts and ideas put together by RAW over the last 10 years with a more intense and deep tissue study over approx. the last 6 years that have included remarkable meetings with RAW and some equally remarkable internet classes with him and other bright and RAWfull minds at the Maybelogic Academy from 2004-2007. Around the period that RAW went passing through the Lower lights and bardo states into that great Gig in the numberless skies i was rather frantically writing notes, going back and forth through my notes of other notes to try to represent RAW, to pay tribute to him his many lives and ideas. One year later, after many inspiring and ground breaking multimedia tributes around the world to RAW, and a re-reading of some of his texts, i feel like i have my title and my contribution, or a part of it: RAWrientalism.
“This book intends to change your way of percieving/conceiving the world, without drugs or drums or voodoo, simply by using words in certain special ways.” –RAW, E-mail to the Universe.
RAW’s condensed experience montage or “coex system” of communication, those certain special and cheeky ways of using words and language to the delight of his readers seem to have a distinctive “Oriental” flavor to them, if you open your taste buds up. Rawrietalism is related to the spatialized conceptions of time in themes of Chinese poetry. Ezra Pound and James Joyce are two giants of western culture, and used effectively as investigative glosses and filters and encyclopedias to help finnish off’ a Rawriental Canvas at the exhibit of Oriental Coex Systems: Taoism and Quantum Mechanics. RAW’s first published article called “The Tao of Joyce. (Realist 1959)” makes clear that RAW was passionately involved with Orientalist poetic studies for over fifty years.
“Taoists were familiar with these relativistic considerations long before Einstein.” he writes.
“The Tao is in the dung,” said Chuang Chou.
IMHO RAW’s prose and mixture of iconographic images from the rag bag History of the world, equal and surpass some goals and conditions set out by the likes of Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Marshall McLuhan, Timothy Leary. By just using special words in a special order. Just words, and more than words. A limitless imagination and optimism and compassion to share these experiences. To help calibrate and sensitize the neural mechanisms of perception, to help us “see” better. See more clearly, with more good data.To attain Relaxation, insights and an increased sense of the contents of one’s memories.
“Peace comes of Communication” –Ezra Pound
Maybe RAW’s technical and practical skills as a satirist and writer are equalled elsewhere in the dungeons of the literary world but it was the content, both the quality of the subjective content and the “time-space-binded” multi-cultural content of RAW’s writing that set him apart from everybody else. The despicable terrors, the Taboo secrets, the stuff that nobody else dare write about, the ……… hidden things RAW applied his Genius and methodological “process” too, highlighting them and so freeing the reader in some way of the fear and Terror that hold so many of us down as secrets and taboos. All writers and artists do this to some degree, excorcising demons. A rare American, an Irishman unafraid to follow his own way to resolving the most difficult andcomplex equations. Always questioning everything wherever it takes the mind, but holding onto structures and mathematically precise models at the same time. A balanced “center” or balanced “Stereo” mixture of perception, mixing between left and right brain characteristics.
Lightbrain Rawriental Daoism.
RAW distilled “ideogramic Method” through the lens of Ezra Pound as a kind of RAWriental perceptional device, an operating window of visual manipulation and extended meaning with an equal and opposite persuasive power as a linguistic sequence. “ideogramic Method” makes sense to me now as a typical Rawriental journey beyond language, beyond beyond where alphabet, predicate and subject vanish, crumble and turn to gas. Synthesis and resurrection take place giving birth to a knu picture-word. A Magik sigil, with the dormant charge of “epiphany” coiled in the minds vine. A constant questioning and fresh establishment of free-space for free “mind” to add its own subjective meaning and playful free commentary. Like the “space” a legendary Jazz master might create seemingly out of nothing, invisible. Space. Woid. Once again the fullness of emptiness; expansion and contraction, appearance and disappearance, the non-location of the Tao in Raw’s writs. And the UNKLE Bob’ principle.
My tribute to RAW, his lives and ideas for the most part relates to the peace that comes from balanced communication, his Taoist, Zen Buddhist qualities as a wise man of the West and his continued influence on cultural relations. Spreading Oriental intelligence of a beneficial nature to all-sentient beings.
“As is well known, the events of the Wake occur “at no spatial time” and cannot be sharply defined because “every parson, place and thing in the chaosmos anywhere at all connected with it was moving and changing all the time” (page 118). In short, we are within the Einsteinian universe; and Joyce realizes, as did Alfred Korzybski, that the aristotelian “laws of thought” cannot hold in such a universe: “The sword of certainty which would identified the body never falls” Robert Anton Wilson, (page 51). Coincidance
Fly Agaric 23