Robert Anton Wilson was the man who introduced me to so many ideas and concepts that have driven my life, and made it so much richer and more interesting. He had the mind of a philosopher and the wit of a prankster. He came from the same school of philosophy and psychology as Timothy Leary and Ram Dass, but they were much less psychedelic and hippy-tastic. To me, they were useful ways of thinking and perceiving the world.
One of the most useful concepts, I’m not sure if Wilson came up with it, but he sure did stress it, was “the map is not the territory”. The external world we all see around us is but a map of reality that our brain pieces together. People get lost into thinking that this map is the world, and not just our perception of it. It creates such insanity as evangelical Christianity, racism, and other such nonsense.
Another concept of Wilson’s was a modification to the English language that he called “E-Prime”. This was to entirely get rid of words such as “IS”, and replace them with the more appropriate “SEEMS TO BE”, because the map is always changing, as we explore new territory. Nothing “is”. It’s all our perception, and our minds should be supple and open to new ideas always.
I shouldn’t even have to mention his magnum opus, “The Illuminatus Trilogy”. If you haven’t read this masterpiece, you should go out and purchase it today. Don’t surf the interweb until you’re finished and can write me a 100 page summary of the concepts in the book. After this, don’t stop. Go get “Cosmic Trigger” (1 and 2), Quantum Psychology, Wilhelm Reich in Hell, and Sex and Drugs: A Journey Beyond Limits.
Wilson was always open to the possibility that his ideas could be wrong, or be modified if the need arose. His books were filled with conspiracy theory, aliens, and supernatural phenomena, and were so much fun to read. His books introduced me to Sufism, Rumi, Gurdjieff, Antero Alli, Aleister Crowley, cognitive dissonance and a host of other ideas, writers, poets, and philosphers that changed my life for the better.
R.I.P. Bob Wilson, and thank you for blessing the world with your ideas.