Anders Sandberg (
Sun, 25 May 1997 00:00:58 +0200 (MET DST)

On Sat, 24 May 1997, Len Flatley wrote:

> Robert Anton Wilson, in Prometheus Rising made a great
> case for a "universal theory" of sorts in combining
> Dr. Leary's 8 Neurological Circuits, Gurdjieffs Self-
> Observational Exercises, Korzybski's General Semantics,
> Aleister Crowley's Magick, Yoga, Christian Science,
> relativity, quantum mechanics, etc. etc. . .

IMHO it was not a great case, but a funny and interesting case. I
recommend the book, but it does not provide that much evidence for
the "universal theory"; it mainly uses the same kind of convincing
handwaving (if more cyberdelic) as is used to support other
personality models (Ericsson, Freud, Jung and other personality
psychologists). It is easy to tie together everything, the hard part
is showing that the ties actually mean something.

I have found support of many of his observations both in my own
experience and in established psychological results; "what the
thinker thinks the prover proves" is widely recognized in cognitive
science, the anal character of territorialism is quite noticeable
(although this could be a WTTTTPP effect) and I have found plenty of
evidence for the snafu-principle of hierarchical organisations. I'm
somewhat more sceptical of the "higher circuits"; I partially buy the
concept of the fifth which I have experienced myself, but the others
need better delineations and support (and one should remember that
this system is just one possible map of the human mind).

> Mysticism seems to be another version of brain change,
> employed as one would employ, say nootropics.

The difference is that the benefits are less well defined.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y