Robert Anton Wilson 1932-2007

The Prophets Conference on Robert Anton Wilson:

ROBERT ANTON WILSON, one of the truly great minds of our time, passed on
January 11, and in his memory we have made available for no charge one of
his lectures given at The Prophets Conference, this one at the University
of Victoria, introduced by Cody Johnson.

You may listen by going to
click on “Claims Of The Normal: A Skeptic’s View” – Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson was the coauthor, with Robert Shea, of the underground
classic “The Illuminatus! Trilogy”, which won the 1986 Prometheus Hall of
Fame Award. His other writings included “Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy”,
called “the most scientific of all science fiction novels,” by New
Scientist, and several nonfiction works of Futurist psychology and
guerilla ontology, such as “Prometheus Rising” and “The New Inquisition”.
Wilson, who saw himself as a Futurist, author, and stand-up comic,
regularly gave seminars at Esalen, The Prophets Conference, and other New
Age centers.

Wilson had made both a comedy record (Secrets of Power) and a punk rock
record (The Chocolate Biscuit Conspiracy), and his play “Wilhelm Reich in
Hell” was performed at the Edmund Burke Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. His
novel “Illuminatus!” was adapted as a 10-hour science fiction rock epic
and performed under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at
Great Britain’s National Theatre, where Wilson appeared briefly on stage
in a special cameo role. Robert Anton Wilson was also a former editor at
Playboy magazine.

“Robert Anton Wilson is a dazzling barker hawking tickets to
the most thrilling tilt-a-whirls and daring loop-o-planes of the midway of
higher consciousness.”
-Tom Robbins, author “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues”

“What great physicist hides behind the mask of Wilson?”
-New Scientist

“One Of The Leading Thinkers Of The Modern Age…”
-Barbara Marx Hubbard

-The L.A. Times

“Erudite, witty and genuinely scary…”
-Publishers Weekly

Paul Krassner on Robert Anton Wilson:

Mainstream media have yet to acknowledge the death of Robert Anton Wilson, prolific futurist author and countercultural icon who passed away early yesterday (January 11). He had been suffering from post-polio syndrome. Caregivers read all of his late wife Arlen’s poetry to him at his bedside and e-mailed me that “he was quite cheered up by the time we left. He definitely needed to die. His body was turning on him in ways that would not allow him to rest.”

On June 19, 2006, Wilson sent this haiku (with one syllable missing) to his electronic cabal:

Well what do you know?
Another day has passed
and I’m still not not.

We originally became friends in 1959, when his first published article graced the cover of my magazine, The Realist. It was titled “The Semantics of God,” and he presented this suggestion: “The Believer had better face himself and ask squarely: Do I literally believe ‘God’ has a penis? If the answer is no, then it seems only logical to drop the ridiculous practice of referring to ‘God’ as ‘he.’” Wilson then began writing a regular column, “Negative Thinking.”

Read more.

Ramon Sender (my co-author for Being of the Sun) on Robert Anton Wilson:

Robert Anton Wilson—a shining light, for sure! Great sense of the absurdity of Consensus Reality. He departed with great style, as was his wont. I never had the pleasure of meting him except once standing next to each other at the men’s room urinals at the Inn of the Beginning in Cotati where he had just lectured.

I told him I loved writing future fantasies but hated being the ‘on the road’ author. I offered to give him all my novels that he could present as his own – I’d just ‘ghost’ for him. I think he thought I was from another planet – a friendly one, however.

The RICH Economy
by Robert Anton Wilson
from The Illuminati Papers

If there is one proposition which currently wins the assent of nearly everybody, it is that we need more jobs. “A cure for unemployment” is promised, or earnestly sought, by every Heavy Thinker from Jimmy Carter to the Communist Party USA, from Ronald Reagan to the head of the economics department at the local university, from the Birchers to the New Left.

I would like to challenge that idea. I don’t think there is, or ever again can be, a cure for unemployment. I propose that unemployment is not a disease, but the natural, healthy functioning of an advanced technological society.

The inevitable direction of any technology, and of any rational species such as Homo sap., is toward what Buckminster Fuller calls ephemeralization, or doing-more-with-less. For instance, a modern computer does more (handles more bits of information) with less hardware than the proto-computers of the late ‘40’s and ‘50’s. One worker with a modern teletype machine does more in an hour than a thousand medieval monks painstakingly copying scrolls for a century. Atomic fission does more with a cubic centimeter of matter than all the engineers of the 19th Century could do with a million tons, and fusion does even more.

Read more.