1. One of the greatest philosophers the world has ever known is rarely thought of as such. I refer here and now to the late, great Robert Anton Wilson, a veritable titan of paracultural analysis, who would be celebrated the world over as one of the most original thinkers of aberrant, paradigm-shattering thoughts, if only he'd had the foresight to write in a language other than English. In the Anglosphere, you see, "Philosophy" is an profoundly limited analytic ship that has long been mired in the fever swamp of logical positivism, while the French, Germans and other Continentals get to have all the philosophical fun, at play in the Fields of the Word. Another reason why R.A.W. is poorly served by posterity is that he was an unabashed cheerleader for the "woo", and was not as fearful in the face of the uncanny and otherworldly as such "public intellectuals" as, say, Noam Chomsky, or the increasingly ridiculous Richard Dawkins. As evidence of his unorthodoxy, I give you this most excellent essay on Cabala (as R.A.W. always spelled it) and its potential real-world applications for all and sundry. It begins:
There's a tale they tell at Military Intelligence in London, when the candles gutter low and the fog curls about the windows. It happened in 1914 (they say), when England was losing the first world war and it seemed only a miracle could save her. There was this writer bloke (they say), name of Arthur Machen, never popular or well known, a bloody Welshman in fact and a mystic to boot. Well (they say), this Welshman, this Machen, took it into his head to write a story about the kind of miracle England needed, so he imagined St. George himself leading a group of medieval archers to aid the English troops at Mons. And after the story was published in a magazine, some enterprising newspapers picked it up and reprinted it as fact. And (they say) the whole damned country was gullible enough to believe it. It did as much for national morale as the real miracle would have.
What is even weirder is the sequel -and the chaps at Military Intelligence only discuss this when the candles gutter quite low and the fog is very thick, of course. Soldiers at the front, in Mons, began claiming that they had actually seen the phantom archers created out of Machen's imagination. They insisted on it. Some of them were still insisting on it 40 years later. They said they had won the battle because of this supernatural assistance.
Fair gives you a turn, doesn't it?
Stranger still: Machen, the man with the contagious imagination, was a member of a secret society in London. This was known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and it claimed to know the long-hidden secrets of Cabalistic magic.Indeed, Mr. Wilson.... I did, I did. And I do hope those of you who've read this far will keep reading. I assure you, there is more under the Sun than there is in your philosophy. So, by all means, start learning.
There were several other members of the Golden Dawn who made a bit of a name. Florence Farr, one of the great actresses of the period, was a member, and it was she who gave Bernard Shaw the ideas about life-energy and longevity dramatized in Back to Methuselah; those ideas are currently influencing life-extension research. Algernon Blackwood and Bram Stoker (Dracula's creator) were members; so was the coroner of London; so was an electrical engineer named Alan Bennett who later, as Ananda Maitreya, played a key role in introducing Buddhist ideas to the West.
The egregious Aleister Crowley; who claimed to have come to earth to destroy Christianity; was a member for a while, and I know a good World War I story about him, too. It was Crowley's habit to give his pupils a word to meditate on every year. In 1918, Crowley gave them a number instead of a word: 11. All year his pupils meditated on 11 for at least a half hour every day. . . And the war ended on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Did you feel another queer flash then?
2. Now that I've given you some nightside food for thought and dreams, I figure it's time I give you something useful, like tips on how to survive the coming economic and societal collapse and TEOTWAWKI. Check the link to find out what that means, and to read about 10 wonderful ways in which you can begin, right now, to prepare for a so-called "disruptive event".
3. And now, to finish things off... wanna see something REALLY scary? Don't say I didn't warn you.