Robert Anton Wilson

1932-2007. Author. Highly recommend Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy as a first read. Prometheus Rising for Brain Training.


Autobiographical and philosophical trilogy

Plays and screenplays

  • Wilhelm Reich in Hell (1987)
  • Reality Is What You Can Get Away With (1992; revised edition—new introduction added—1996)
  • The Walls Came Tumbling Down (1997)


Essay collections

  • Email to the universe and other alterations of consciousness (2005) collection of essays and new material
  • Coincidance: A Head Test (1988) essays and new material
  • The Illuminati Papers (1980) collection of essays and new material
  • Right Where You Are Sitting Now (1983) collection of essays and new material


Many links at DisInfo.

Defines his Belief System or philosophy as Model Agnosticism.

Actually wrote a book called Natural Law (or Don't Put a Rubber on your Willy), which I thought was in favor of such a model. But then I read this excerpt : Natural Law metaphysics can accurately be described as a verbal construct that, like a hypnotist's commands, creates a trance state in which experience is edited out and the verbally-induced hypnotic revery becomes more "real" than sensory-sensual stimuli. Natural Law appears to be a map that does not correspond to any real territory, but like other Idols it becomes almost "real" when the worshipper stares at it long enough with passionate adoration.

1995 "Necessary Heresies" interview

  • Right now I’m more concerned with the future again. I’m working on Bride Of Illuminatus which takes place in 2026, a more congenial place for my mind to roam than the Eighteenth Century. If I live long enough, I hope all my novels will form one continuous saga from 1750, when Bach died and Sigismundo Celine was born (Historical Illuminatus Chronicles), up through the democratic and industrial revolutions, on to Charles Darwin and Nineteenth Century rationalism, then linking in the outbreak of Relativity (Einstein, Joyce, Crowley) in Masks of the Illuminati, jumping forward to the psycehdelic age in Illuminatus and quantum/computer revolutions in Schroedinger’s Cat Trilogy and then finishing up with my hopes for the future in Bride... After the first Illuminatus! trilogy with Shea, I noticed that some of the negative responses indicated an ignorance, not just of modern science, but of the Enlightenment philosophy of the 18th Century. Many people who can read are still living, mentally, in the dark ages. So that's when I began to think of a series of interconnected novels that would take such readers through all the revolutions of the past two centuries and prepare them for the 21st Century. The reason Sigismundo Celine, in The Earth Will Shake, is born in Naples is because the Inquisition still existed there in 1750. Taking him out of that fanatic Catholic world into the world of French rationalism begins the process of taking the readers from the Age of Aquinas to the Age of Space.
  • I still think that the basic cluster of science, democracy and Welfare Capitalism (or Free Market Socialism – call it what you will) seem stronger than all the other reality-tunnels and will increasingly dominate the next century . . . even more than they have dominated the last two centuries. (liberaltarian)
  • One of the major revisions in my current seminars (I haven’t published this yet) changes the names of the polarity of the first circuit. Instead of calling the extremes Neophilia and NeoPhobia, I now call them InfoPhilia and InfoPhobia, which I consider more general. I also have started (not always consistently) replacing 8 “circuits” with 8 “systems” because the Eight Circuit Model Of Consciousness metaphor seems a little too electronic and I think humans are more electro-colloidal systems than the electronic models of human “mind” that we find in computers.
  • the living writers whose work especially interests me at present include Douglas Adams, William S Burroughs, who still seems topical no matter how old he gets, Tom Robbins, who writes the best sentences of anybody working in English today, George V Higgins, who sees humans with a wonderful irony and writes the most realistic dialogue I’ve ever seen (even better than Joyce or Hemingway), and a lot of scientist-philosophers who seem to me to be giving us wonderful new ideas and perceptions: Rupert Sheldrake, Ralph Abraham, Terrence McKenna, Barbara Marx Hubbard, the fuzzy logic people, Riane Eisler, Nick Herbert, Nicholas Negroponte, Marilyn Ferguson, Peter Rusell, Fred Alan Wolfe . . . and of course, Tim Leary

I attended a half-day event back in the late 90s where he did a spiel on human Knowledge Growth acceleration (see Singularity, though I don't remember whether he used that term), then we did a group session with a Mind Machine.

An amusing bit of his knowledge-increase talk was defining a unit called "The Jesus", where 1 Jesus represented the total amount of human knowledge at 1AD. I have to go back and figure out who his source was for his doubling data (Knowledge Growth). Was it Nick Bontis?

associate editor of Play Boy magazine from 1965 to 1971... edited Playboy Forum (letters to which contained many Conspiracy Theory-s which led to him writing The Illuminatus Trilogy)

Friends with Tim Leary.

Was heavily influenced by General Semantics. Has crossed paths with the Discordian and SubGenius crowds.

Lots of influences/tools: I don't think one system works for everybody. I have found great value in LSD, Aleister Crowley, Reichian (Wilhelm Reich) body work, NLP, brainwave machines (Mind Machine), some Sufi and Yoga exercises, General Semantics etc. Other people will find some of these irksome or stressful. Everybody has to find their own path. Some seem to have found value even in psychoanalysis, but I don't know why. Some even follow Scientology, which puzzles me even more. Different scenes for different genes, different lanes for different brains. (intervention roulette)

Maybe Logic is a documentary about RAW scheduled for release Mar'03. The producers have put together a library of wilson-related online texts.

reader comments

R.A.W. is da bomb. The explosion,however,is a place in time in spacetime I will not be able to report to the overall computation in any other way but to fucking and laughing forever then and there.

ignoring awareness leads to stupidity ala castaneda.

Edited:    |       |    Search Twitter for discussion