Friday, December 15, 2006

"What the thinker thinks, the Prover proves". At the beginning of Robert Anton Wilson's book Prometheus Rising he juxtaposes this idea with concepts derived from Alfred Korzybski's educational discipline of General Semantics ( " the map is not the territory " ) noting that by nature we are capable only of modeling reality and never of actually knowing it.. ever. Or knowing anything for that matter. All knowledge is not only arbitrary ( just think of the extreme chaos involved in your indoctrination with knowledge, the infinite web of possibilities, how easily what "they" told you could have been completely different ) but simply an abstraction. It is best to gauge things as possibilities and in percentages of truth; even things you believe "absolutely", that aliens exist or don't, evolution, the theory of gravity, classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, that gods live on the top of Mt. Olympus, that there is or is not something directing the chaos, that that thing is sentient, that the world exists when your not looking, can only truly be gauged in terms of chance.
I was thinking today though, that the universe may try to guide us, though our emotions and intuition, towards the more correct models of reality, ones that more closely approximate the ultimate unknowable truths and also perhaps to where "it" wants us. I've had ideas during meditative thought accompanied with inexplicable and incredible emotion, "aha" type moments; but one's that the bring joyous tears of revelation. It is the moment of visceral intuition, a mental breakthrough, where the models I've been contrasting lead to new paradigm, a new more accurate view of reality. Intuition happens all the time, we all are constantly having intuitive revelations with corresponding emotions, however when we are contemplating less significant matters, such as which album to put on or which tie to wear that intuitive emotional response is still there, if you can reach it ( i.e. think calm, rationally, feel good, imagine the possibilities pick the one that feels right and stay positive once you've had the moment of intuition, don't second guess, don't be afraid; this is a skill ) but the universally guided emotional response emitted by your mind and through your nervous system, is not the same ecstatic feeling as one gets when contemplating the mysteries of this reality, and diving it's truths, or at least more accurate abstractions of it. We should follow and pursue these revelations, always striving to refine, to tear down, to renew, to refine our concept of reality and therefore our concepts of our selves. Where are we? What?
I also noticed today a tendency that I have, and one which I assume may be common to other human beings, to feel an urge to believe or at least strongly consider what I fear, against the pull of my intuitive nature, simply because I fear it. Sometimes I want so bad to be empirical and rational, consider all possibilities that when considering a subject that I end up focusing on my fears, the answer I don't want and thinking that it might the answer. Because I fear the answer my intuition is telling me is correct, the one that makes me feel better, is only the one I'm inclined to believe because it makes be feel good. Fear begats fear. This is unreasonable. The universe wants us to feel good. The only reason life suffers is so that we are motivated to not. These negative emotions guide our actions to the sustation of life. We suffer when we are hungry so we eat, we feel alone so we bond. Fear has served humanity and life very well for many, many years. But it is an irrational primitive emotion and and it is out dated. The universe wants us to feel good, it wants us to eat, to love. Follow your bliss.

Now for.... the Plastic People of the Universe

One of the greatest bands in history (band of any kind in fact.. merry men, rock, swing, rubber.. ) and they were much, much more then a just band. This was literally revolution.
Formed in 1968 in Czechoslovakia shortly after the Soviet invasion, from the ashes of the Prague psychedelic band, the Primitives, the band stayed together until 1989 enduring constant pressure from the Soviet State and the Plastic People would make some of the greatest avant-garge, psych, rock I have ever heard. As the leading lights of Prague's non-conformist underground culture they were constanly persecuted as their very existence was a threat ( they could not legally press and distribute records or play gigs but managed to do all of these things through an underground group known as the Invisible Organization ) they would be imprisoned in 1976, this was a major factor in inspiring the Charter 77 ( a manifesto circulated within Czechoslovakia criticizing the government for it's lack of human rights ) and the subsequent movement it inspired would eventually lead to the Velvet Revolution in which the people of Czechoslovakia peacefully overthrew the communist government.
That.... and they made astonishing music. Skonking, sax infused, avant rock, like a marriage of blues, classical,rock, free jazz, and fuzz. Played by oppressed souls that gained freedom through electric shamanic ritual ( to bring back knowledge for the tribe ).
They have an awesome discography, everything, every single thing I've heard has been great.
I suppose a good place to start would be Egon Von Bondy's Happy Heart Club Banned. On Ebay I have found this LP, along with many bootlegged cdr's and also a 1985 album Midnight Mouse, their last before breaking up that I just listened to and it was absolutely awesome. Highly recommended. In the early 90's many of the Plastic People evolved... into the group Pulnoc who were also great. The Plastic People had a reunion in 1998 and apparently this year as well as I found a short video on Youtube of a performance at the Cutting Club in NYC on 11/11/2006
the Plastic People of the Universe on wikipedia, allmusic, official ( seems to be all in Czech though there is a english flag icon for english ) and a good article by Richie Unterberger

Also, I could not possibly reccomend highly enough Robert Anton Wilson's book Prometheus Rising. It has permanently altered my reality for the better. Far, far better. Containing a systhesis of " Timothy Leary's 8-circuit model of consciousness, Gurdjieff's self-observation exercises, Alfred Korzybski's general semantics, Aleister Crowley's magical theorems, Sociobiology, Yoga, Christian Science, relativity, and quantum mechanics amongst other approaches to understanding the world around us" Mr. Wilson continually impresses with his wit, humour, knowlede, intelligence and insight. It is the greatest book I have ever read, not for it's prose ( though he is an excellent writer ) but for it's effect on my mind and how I view my existence. Amazing.

Also check out the excellent dvd on Robert Anton Wilson, Maybe Logic. It's a well edited selection of lectures interviews and was also very touching and transformative


Saint Valifer said...

Good shit! Good good shit!

Prometheus rising is a good book! Mind-expanding. and mind-expanding is always healthy.

"When beliefs enter the brain, all rational thinking stops" -RAW

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jim c said...

I had the opportunity to spend a number of days with Robert Anton Wilson in the eighties. He spoke at my bookstore and I drove him to his engagements in the NY NJ area. I found him to be empathetic and real. Prometheus Rising was a transformational book for me and I still refer to it when I am seeking a "working reality". The concepts "What the thinker thinks the prover proves" and others have become the framework for the way I approach life. Bright Blessings Jim C

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