Saturday, January 13, 2007

Robert Anton Wilson has Immanentized the Eschaton

Robert Anton Wilson has died on 11/1/2007.

When Wilson, or R.A.W. as he was called, was sick, a friend told me that his books had helped him survive adolescence. R.A.W. actually helped me to survive the roughest part of my own adolescence- I read his books while in the mental institution at age 15 and they probably did more to cure me than the institution itself. When you realize how little you know, and what a role you play in creating your own reality, it's almost impossible to ever feel trapped by anything, and that was the essence of R.A.W.'s writing, for me anyway. It's strange to consider how he has affected my own way of looking at the world. I find it almost impossible to be afraid of anything that I'm supposed to be afraid of, or unwilling to entertain any ideas that I'm supposed to find unthinkable. I just can't take any of them seriously. If Groucho taught me to appreciate the absurd, Wilson taught me how to apply the absurd to all reality. I'm still learning. When his doctors gave him about a week left to live (correctly), R.A.W. wrote: "I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd." I think so too.

One last story, from one of R.A.W.'s books:

Wavy Gravy once asked a Zen Roshi, "What happens after death?"

The Roshi replied, "I don't know."

Wavy protested, "But you're a Zen Master!"

"Yes," the Roshi admitted, "but I'm not a dead Zen Master."

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