These are a special sub-species of rabbit with the antlers of a deer. Elementally, they combine earth and air, and reside in the north-east corner of the compass rose. They are earthly creatures; practical, but intellectual, as their horns harness the cerebral vibrations of air. They demonstrate their almost unique synthesis of earth and air qualities in their ability to bring theoretical ideas and manifest them in reality, making use of their abstract natures in a material setting. Discordians with a jackalope as their totem tend to be successful in their idealistic pursuits. Continue reading
An Insider’s Guide to Robert Anton Wilson, by Eric Wagner
New Falcon Publications, 156184165X, 237 pp. (incl. appendices and bibliography), 2005
One would have thought the only insider to Bob’s head would be Wilson himself, and yet Eric Wanger has corresponded with RAW over the past twenty years, first via snail mail, and later by e-mail. After twenty years of communication he must have some insight into Wilson’s inner workings, and his efforts aren’t half bad from this outsider’s perspective. Wilson must agree, as he’s written a preface, introduction and overture for the book, though while he may have helped with the infomercial, I think it’s mostly Wagner’s work.
The text also includes a list of the books by RAW, including the Maybe Logic DVDs, an interview, and a lexicon explaining the symbolism behind some of Wilson’s material, though curiously there’s no mention of Greg Hill, co-founder of Discordianism. Actually, Wilson’s exact relationship to Discordianism is never discussed in depth, despite it being a major subject and theme (directly and indirectly) in many of his works.
But perhaps the most useful chapter is Appendix Samekh, in which he goes through the Illuminatus! trilogy in its ten parts and describes the many kabbalistic correspondences and obscure references, seemingly resulting in one massive rolling ball of coincidence and magick and the Illuminatus! timeline.
Unfortunately the book is severely repetitive, for example, the critter story told at least twice (not to mention I’d read it before this book), and William Burroughs cut-ups are explained at least three separate times. In fact, one passage is quoted twice in the same essay.
As Wagner points out, reading Wilson leads to other writers, through reference and obvious influence on his works, ‘[his] style derives directly from Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Raymond Chindler, H.L. Menken, William S. Burroughs, Benjamin Tucker, and Elephant Doody Comix, in approximately that order of importance’. In fact, Wilson gave a list of ten recommended books in a 1996 magazine, later with supplements, and Wagner has gone through them, giving commentary on his reading experience.
There are other irrelevant bits that seem thrown in for no apparent reason, such as vacations and family photos from Wager’s trips to Dublin, Amsterdam, Egypt, etc. For example, there’s one photograph of a man standing in front of a dark wall with a sign reading ‘James Joyce Pub’, evidently taken in Zürich, with the caption ‘Great picture of my dad…’ on page 213. Sure it is Eric, I just don’t quite get what it has to do with Robert Anton Wilson.
So is it an insider’s guide? Well, while there are some useful and interesting bits to be found within its pages, for it appears mostly to be a somewhat disjointed account of Wagner’s unique appreciation and admiration of the man, rambling and repetitive as it is.
Cthuloid Dreams: A Collection of Occult Poetry, by DJ Lawrence
Chaosmagic.com, 115 pp., 2004
Inspired and influenced by the Discordianism, Lovecraft mythos and Setianism, DJ Lawrence has compiled a collection of poetry gathered over the years.
Often lyrical with delightful turns of phrase, Lawrence seems taken with decidedly darker themes, with titles such as ‘Bitter’, ‘Set’, ‘Death’, ‘Necronomicon’, and of course, the title-poem ‘Cthuloid Dreams’.
This is a neat collection of more than sixty short poems, whose evocative imagery would lend itself well to inclusion in darker themed rites.
Cthuloid Dreams can be purchased exclusively from Chaosmagic.com’s online store.
Condensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos Magic, by Phil Hine
New Falcon, 156184117X, 191 pp., 1995, 2003
Condensed Chaos opens by describing magic as being about change, not merely the “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will” Crowley spoke of, but a more refined version, describing it more in terms of liberation, saying “Through magic we may come to explore the possibilities of freedom”. Then moves into a brief history of chaos magick, from Austin Osman Spare to Crowley to Carroll to Eris and Discordianism, laying the groundwork for chaos magick as we’ve come to know it and how it got that way.
Six “Core Principles of Chaos Magic” are outlined, the first being “Avoidance of Dogmatism'” while somewhat ironic in a list of “core principles” is a common ideal, and indeed few chaotes would contest these points. The fourth principle especially, “Diverse Approaches”, is another reoccurring theme in chaos magick. As Hine sagely notes: “If you use only one magical model, sooner or later the Universe will present you with something that won’t fit your parameters.” Though he also recognizes that “Chaos Magick not about discarding all rules and restraints, but the process of discovering the most effective guidelines and disciplines which enable you to effect change in the world.”
While liberation and freedom are possible, it does not come without possible consequence, as described in the section on dangers and pitfalls. Hine covers many of the possible hazards of magickal practice, detailing what to look out for and what to avoid, adequately preparing the would-be practitioner as much as possible, or at the very least, letting hir know what might be expected, and how to recognize signs of idiocy. Sensibly, he does this before getting into discussion of techniques, and even advises taking breaks as needed.
Hine uses numerous cute acronyms, such as ‘C.H.A.O.S.’, ‘D.R.A.T.’, ‘S.P.L.I.F.F.’, ‘A. P.I.E.’, etc. to abbreviate formulae and concepts, effectively making them easy to remember.
Instructions are given for servitor creation, programming, launching via various methods as well as practical examples for servitors successfully launched in various workshops and lectures. It contains relatively few straight rituals, mostly suggestions and comments, taking information approach rather than an instruction manual which force feeds information. Hine stresses flexibility without seeming wishy-washy, or being overly ridged, effectively maintaining that fine balance between the two extremes.
One thing that did annoy me was the over-emphasis given on how one appears to others. Adapting yourself to suit others to give in to what they want to see in the hopes that they will perceive greatness in you, while the method may work, why anyone would want to do such a thing in the first place? Pleasing the outside world to please yourself doesn’t sit well with me, perhaps it’s the years of reading Objectivist literature or hanging out with Satanists, but it did made something in me twinge. Fortunately, it’s not a dominating feature in the book, and does stress self-evaluation and trying to maintain an honest view of oneself.
This is definitely a ‘should-have’ introductory text covering a wide variety of topics from the practical aspects of magick: dream recall, sigil, servitors, etc., to the more esoteric theories and suggestions as to why things work the way they do – and why not. An excellent introduction to chaos magick, and magick in general.
Many kinds of Zen exist. Each variety centres around a particular practice/ rite. Soto Zen centres on zazen. Rinzai Zen on koan introspection. Fuke Zen centres on playing a particular kind of music on the shakuhachi (a bamboo flute). Elemental Zen centres on tea ceremony. Discordian Zen centres on the Rite of Not Knowing as its basic manifestation [see below].
Performing the Rite of Not Knowing we enter into the realms of don’t know mind. Letting go of our time and opinions, doing what appears, we become more flexible, less attached. Discordian Zen represents a new Zen manifestation. While the Rite of Not Knowing represents Discordian Zen’s primary practice (open to anyone), there exist additional practices/manifestations. These include:
- The Zen Precepts
- A new manner of speaking
- A new manifestation of time
- Reweaving the web of life
Discordian Zen has no temples, no location, no tax exempt status. It only seeks to manifest, transmit and expand the life-giving Chaos that constitutes our original nature, our original enlightenment. If you want to know more about Discordian Zen please write to:
PO Box 429
Monte Rio, CA 95462
The Basic Practice of Discordian Zen
The Rite of Not Knowing
3×5″ file cards (lined or unlined)
- On each file cars (as many as you choose to use) write simple action(s)/ activity(ies) (I prefer one activity/action to a card, but you can have more if you like). For example:Walk around the block 3 times.
Eat a hot dog bun.
Do 50 jumping jacks.
Listen to 5 different radio stations simultaneously for 5 minutes.
- Mail the cards in to me, Tundra Wind, Box 429, Monte Rio,CA 95462.
- I shuffle all the cards I receive together and then, through random means, decide how many cards to send back to you.
- I mail cards to you. You perform the actions/activities on the cards EXCEPT for those activities you wish to veto. This principle of the veto ensures that you don’t have to do anything that violates your health and/or welfare.
- After you finish, mail the cards back to me (add new ones if you wish) and I then put them back in the stack to re-include them in the next round.
The original constantly present and relentlessly emerging condition means nothing other than the life giving Chaos. Through this Rite one enters the original ungraspable, undefinable condition. The Chaotic vibrations of freedom and compassion flourish. Miraculously, one discovers that one loses nothing when one gives everything away.
Feel free to give the Rite of Not Knowing to any you feel will have an interest in it.