As George Carlin said I have learned more from Robert Anton Wilson than I have from any other source.
Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson, January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007), known to friends as “Bob”, was an American author and polymath who became at various times a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized as an episkopos, pope, and saint of Discordianism, Wilson helped publicize the group through his writings and interviews.
Wilson described his work 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”. His goal being “to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything.
If it was not for Robert Anton Wilson, I would not be the same person as I am today. Here are some of my favorite inspirational quotes from him:
I don’t believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)
Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.
…reality is always plural and mutable.
“Is”, “is.” “is” — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don’t know what anything “is”; I only know how it seems to me at this moment
We’re trapped in linguistic constructs… all that is is metaphor.
Human society as a whole is a vast brainwashing machine whose semantic rules and sex roles create a social robot. ― Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising
Every ideology is a mental murder, a reduction of dynamic living processes to static classifications, and every classification is a Damnation, just as every inclusion is an exclusion. In a busy, buzzing universe where no two snowflakes are identical - and, indeed, the smallest subatomic particle, we are assured, is not even identical with itself from one microsecond to the next - every card-index system is a self-delusion. Individuality is ignored when identity is asserted.
There are periods of history when the visions of madmen and dope fiends are a better guide to reality than the common-sense interpretation of data available to the so-called normal mind. This is is one such period, if you haven’t noticed already.
The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Book One: The Eye in the Pyramid
“We’re anarchists and outlaws, goddam it. Didn’t you understand that much? We’ve got nothing to do with right-wing, left-wing or any other half-assed political category. If you work within the system, you come to one of the either/or choices that were implicit in the system from the beginning. You’re talking like a medieval serf, asking the first agnostic whether he worships God or the Devil. We’re outside the system’s categories. You’ll never get the hang of our game if you keep thinking in flat-earth imagery of right and left, good and evil, up and down. If you need a group label for us, we’re political non-Euclideans. But even that’s not true. Sink me, nobody of this tub agrees with anybody else about anything, except maybe what the fellow with the horns told the old man in the clouds: Non serviam.”
“I don’t know Latin,” I said, overwhelmed by his outburst.
“‘I will not serve,’” he translated. “And here’s your room.”
Illuminati Air Freshener - We know it’s tempting to blame an ancient conspiracy of mysterious power brokers when your car stinks like a mix of old Taco Bell and a gym locker, but it’s probably your own fault. This air freshener makes your car smell like musky old power while also identifying you as someone who knows what’s REALLY going on.