Praise Be To Bob: My Favorite Robert Anton Wilson Concepts

I’ve been a long time fan of Robert Anton Wilson, but in truth I hadn’t read any of his books in nearly a decade before I had an “alien contact” encounter back in 2010 where his name was mentioned specifically. First words out if their/my mind projected telepathically into my conscious experience: “We are the beings from the Sirius Star System who were communicating with Robert Anton Wilson”. Of course that’s just one of the things they/I informed me/them that I/they were (okay I’m going to stop doing that now), which actually fits right in with what Bob said about his Sirius encounter. Was it his Holy Guardian Angel, alien beings, or Harvey the white rabbit? Depends on who’s perceiving it. It’s a message about the increasingly subjective nature of the higher astral realities, but he translated it to a worldly philosophy of reality tunnels and intentionally manipulated perception. The whole thing was a metaphoric communication and Bob was part of the metaphor “they” wanted to inject into me (and have me spit back out into the world I imagine).

So obviously, that lead to me going back and re-reading Cosmic Trigger I, then reading Cosmic Trigger II, and III, which I hadn’t actually gotten to before (like most people). For good measure I also went back and read through Sex, Drugs, and Magick because that was actually my first exposure to his works back as a, hmmm, 22 year old maybe? Something about that book in particular implanted ideas in my head that for some reason never really went away when I contemplate it. A year or so after finishing it I wrote my first fictional short story. It was about a loser guy who connects with an alternate dimension version of himself by beating off and sucking down whippets in unison. Later he’s summoned into some sort sex magick mind control science experiment or some shit. I didn’t say it was good, but looking back I suppose that’s what I aspire to do with my books (new one out, $5 download, get on it). If I can subtly hypnotize just one or two aspiring weirdos on a near subconscious level, I suppose I’ve served my purpose here.

Anywho, in just talking about this I’ve realized it’s been 3 or 4 years since I last read any R.A.W., and they just re-released a couple of his books on the new Hilaratas Press (the royalties actually go to his family this time). So I’m going to get my Prometheus Rising on soon because it’s probably been 15 years since I last went through that one. In gauging Wilson’s continued cultural influence, I’ve found it rather fascinating how dense his work actually is. I mean, I’ve mentioned the books, but let’s face it, because of YouTube I’ve now listened to a gajillion of his extended rants as well. He throws out so many concepts it’s tough to keep up with and my mind has personally been blown by articles by other fans I’ve read about him, because I’ve been like, that’s what you stuck with you? Almost like a Rorschach test of far out concepts. Everyone focuses in on something completely different, and it’s funny because I personally think the guy was dead wrong about roughly as many things as he was right about, which is something I’ll get to in another piece. This is all about the Bob concepts that make him one of my all time favorite writer/philosophers, and you know what? I’m going to write it in easy to digest click bait listicle format. Go.

5. F is for Fake

f is for fake

The title there is a reference to the Orson Welles film of the same name, which Bob repeatedly urges his audience to check out. I actually just got around to doing that a few years back, and I have to agree, it’s definitely worth your time. I honestly think the generalized concept is far more important than the film itself though, which asks the question, if someone comes to visit a famous painting in a museum, and they instead see a precisely faked version of said painting, but they believe it to be the real painting, the experience is identical. Let me try and phrase that another way. If you wife cheats on you, and you never find out that your wife cheats on you, in your little microverse, she’s always been faithful. This is getting into more magickal or mystical realms of thought, which are what now? Thinking of the world as being comprised from consciousness rather than matter. From a perspective of consciousness, your perception of an event or object dictates your experience of said object or event. There is no real and not real, there is only the narrative you frame around things, or more often, the narrative that’s been framed around them for you by your culture.

This gets particularly ridiculous as things have hyper-jumped into the information age. As R.A.W. liked to say, “if you think you know what the hell is going on, you’re probably full of shit.” The job of the mystic is to mystify reality. It doesn’t matter how much science or critical thinking we apply to our worlds, I’m never going to know what goes down in the inner realities of all the people who live in the apartment complex across the street from me. And that is but the tiniest slice of our strange little fuck monkey world. God, as time has gone on I’ve been forced to confront the fact probably like half the things I think I know about anything are just shit I read in an article somewhere. Did I ever honestly check the facts on that? Uhhhh, no. In fact, I’ve often read total bullshit, passed it off as fact, and then realized I’d done so yeeeears later. I had zero clue either Casteneda or Crowley were total frauds until maybe six years ago and I still tried to ignore both of those things to the best of my abilities until the reality was fragrantly thrown in my face by means of synchronicity.

And it’s getting worse. I stare at my computer reading click bait shit how many hours a week now? As supposedly scientific and “rational” people, we’re raised to think that everything needs to be clearly divided into convenient realms of real and unreal, yet my thoughts on nearly any topic come down to, “well, I saw this documentary special this one time”, or “I read this one book” or “I took a class years ago where a professor told me that” which amounts to: my inner version of any topic typically comes from something someone with an agenda was trying to sell me. It’s always an insanely oversimplified picture, because there’s only so much of anything our minds can actually process with their feeble limitations. Another way of putting that would be, pretty much everything you think you know is probably at least 75% factually inaccurate. No one is immune to this. No one. Which is actually a reason I really like weed, it makes it sort of hard for me to take myself too seriously. When you know that you, and everyone else is mostly full of shit and living in largely fictional worlds, we probably shouldn’t be taking ourselves too seriously now, should we?

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken is a psychedelic writer, musician, visual artist, filmmaker, Occultist, and pug enthusiast based out of Seattle. He is the author of the books The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations and Transmissions From Outside of Time, both of which can be picked up on Amazon super cheap.
Thad McKraken