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RAW Submissions 15.01.2009

Posted by poligraf in robert anton wilson, Site Updates.
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Philosophy with a sense of humor
The Lepufology Project gets its name from a composition inspired in part by “Quantum Psychology,” an excellent and highly-recommended book written by Robert Anton Wilson, or RAW as he used to call himself, and in which he coins the word “lepufology” to refer to the study of rabbit-related UFO encounters.

After reading the work, around the turn of the millennium, I was animated by the intelligence shared by Wilson and felt like using the word in the title of one of my compositions as a tribute to the book and reminder of what it stood for and represented for me. Thus “Lepufology 101” came into existence.

Given Wilson’s determining influence on the whole creative process that led to the realization of the project, it only seems natural that one of the project’s aims consists in raising public awareness of the body of work that he produced.

And so I would like to thank contributor Dustin Towler for creating the context for the present post by providing us with an elaborate collection of RAW-related submissions.

Dustin’s contribution to the project is comprised of ten songs recorded under the pseudonyms of “The Mechanical Asparagus Project” and “Jiggity Fool,” along with an excerpt of a RAW speech in which he discusses lepufology, plus four documents including a slide presentation entitled “Robert Anton Wilson, Philosophy with a sense of humor” and a poem inspired by discordianism :

  • The Mechanical Asparagus Project : Theory of Relativity, Plan-Plant-Planet, Doorway, Fools Last Dance, Pronoia, Cats Game Universe, Truth
  • Jiggity Fool : The last revolution, All is One, Modes
  • Robert Anton Wilson : Discussion on Lepufology
  • Robert Anton Wilson – An Overview by Dustin Towler
  • Robert Anton Wilson by Dustin Towler
  • Robert Anton Wilson – Philosophy with a sense of humor
  • Discordian Poem by Dustin Towler

Dustin manages The Lepufology Establishment on MySpace, and his personal website is Where the Hell Am I?.

From Wikipedia :

Robert Anton Wilson or RAW (born Robert Edward Wilson, January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007) was an American novelist, essayist, philosopher, psychonaut, futurologist and libertarian.

Wilson described his writing as an “attempt to break down conditioned associations-to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps and no one model elevated to the Truth.” … “My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything.”

My first and main contact with the work of RAW came via “Quantum Psychology.” Among the numerous stimulating ideas put forth in the book is that of E-Prime, which stands for English-Prime, English without “isness.”

From the book excerpt :

In 1933, in Science and Sanity, Alfred Korzybski proposed that we should abolish the “is of identity” from the English language. (The “is of identity” takes the form X is a Y. e.g., “Joe is a Communist,” “Mary is a dumb file-clerk,” “The universe is a giant machine,” etc.) In 1949, D. David Bourland Jr. proposed the abolition of all forms of the words “is” or “to be” and the Bourland proposal (English without “isness”) he called E-Prime, or English-Prime.

(…) E-Prime seems to solve many problems that otherwise appear intractable, and it also serves as an antibiotic against what Korzybski called “demonological thinking.”

Consider for instance the following set of affirmations :

Standard English : The photon is a wave.
English Prime : The photon behaves as a wave when constrained by certain instruments.

Standard English : The photon is a particle.
English Prime : The photon appears as a particle when constrained by other instruments.

Again, quoting the excerpt :

Clearly, written in Standard English, “The photon is a wave,” and “The photon is a particle” contradict each other, just like the sentences “Robin is a boy” and “Robin is a girl.” Nonetheless, all through the nineteenth century physicists found themselves debating about this and, by the early 1920s, it became obvious that the experimental evidence depended on the instruments or the instrumental set-up (design) of the total experiment. One type of experiment always showed light traveling in waves, and another type always showed light traveling as discrete particles.

This contradiction created considerable consternation. As noted earlier, some quantum theorists joked about “wavicles.” Others proclaimed in despair that “the universe is not rational” (by which they meant to indicate that the universe does not follow Aristotelian logic.) Still others looked hopefully for the definitive experiment (not yet attained in 1990) which would clearly prove whether photons “are” waves or particles.

If we look, again, at the translations into English Prime, we see that no contradiction now exists at all, no “paradox,” no “irrationality” in the universe. We also find that we have constrained ourselves to talk about what actually happened in spacetime, whereas in Standard English we allowed ourselves to talk about something that has never been observed in spacetime at all — the “isness” or “whatness” or Aristotelian “essence” of the photon.

In “Robert Anton Wilson Explains Everything, or Old Bob Exposes His Ignorance,” a collection of audio tapes, RAW reformulates the example using the word Jew (or is it Jewish ?) which has five different definitions, and thus can lead to even further confusions.

My personal favorite example is with pianist. Is a kid dabbling on a piano a pianist ? Was Glenn Gould still a pianist after giving his last live concert and retiring at the age of 32 ? A man who has never had contact with a piano of his entire life enters a music store, plays one note, and then leaves without touching a piano ever again. Is he a pianist ? As he been a pianist ? How many notes must one play before they are considered to be a pianist, and how many person must be there to listen when they do ?

And to conclude this rather lengthy post on an even more humorous note, here’s the Discussion on Lepufology :


Enjoy !

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Comments»

1. fohio - 26.06.2009

Quantum Psychology is greeeeat… i also have that “RAW Explains Everything” CD which is full of good reading material suggestions.

death to isness


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