The Illuminatus! Trilogy

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Think for yourself, schmuck.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy! is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, published in 1975 as a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story. It contains five "books" broken into three parts: The Eye In The Pyramid (first two books), The Golden Apple (third and part of fourth book), Leviathan (part of fourth and all of fifth book, and appendices). It also has an appendix.


You cannot understand a man's actions unless you understand his beliefs.
If you have any answers, We will be glad to provide full and detailed questions.
  • April 24 - Objectivity is presumably the opposite of schizophrenia. Which means that it is nothing but acceptance of everybody else's notion of reality. But nobody's perception of reality is the same as everybody's notion of it, which means that the most objective person is the real schizophrenic. It is hard to get beyond the accepted beliefs of one's own age. The first man to think a new thought advances it very tentatively. New ideas have to be around a while before anyone will promote them hard. In their first form, they are like tiny, imperceptible mutations that may eventually lead to new species. That's why cultural cross-fertilization is so important. It increases the gene-pool of the imagination. The Arabs, say, have one part of the puzzle. The Franks another. So, when the Knights Templar meet the Hashishin, something new is born. The human race has always lived more or less happily in the kingdom of the blind. But there is an elephant among us. A one-eyed elephant.
  • April 29 - And what the hell does it mean to say that life shouldn't change too rapidly? How fast is evolution? Do you measure it in terms of lifetime? A year is more than a lifetime to many kind of animals, while seventy years is an hour in the lifetime of a sequoia. And the universe is only ten billion years old. How fast do ten billion years go? To a god they might go very fast indeed. They might all happen at once. Suppose the lifetime of your typical basic god was a hundred quintillion years. The whole lifetime of this universe would be to him no more than the amount of time it takes to watch a movie. So, from the point of view of a god or of the universe, things evolve very quickly. It's like one of those Walt Disney films where you watch a plant growing before your eyes and the whole cycle from bud to fruit takes about two minutes. To a god, life is a single organism proliferating in all directions all over the earth, and now on the moon and Mars, and the whole process from the first of the protobionts to George Dorn and fellow humans takes no longer than
  • The most thoroughly and relentlessly Damned, banned, excluded, condemned, forbidden, ostracized, ignored, suppressed, repressed, robbed, brutalized and defamed of all Damned things is the individual human being. The social engineers, statisticians, psychologists, sociologists, market researchers, landlords, bureaucrats, captains of industry, bankers, governors, commissars, kings and presidents are perpetually forcing this Damned Thing into carefully prepared blueprints and perpetually irritated that the Damned Thing will not fit into the slot assigned to it. The theologians call it a sinner and tries to reform it. The governor calls it a criminal and tries to punish it. The psychotherapist calls it neurotic and tries to cure it. Still, the Damned Thing will not fit into their slots.
  • "A is not A," Hagbard explained with that tiresome patience of his, "Once you accept A is A, you're hooked. Literally hooked, addicted to the System."
    I caught the references to Aristotle, the old man of the tribe with his unfortunate epistemological paresis, and also to that feisty lady I always imagine is really lost Anastasia, but I still didn't grok. "What do you mean?" I asked, grabbing a wet handkerchief as some of the teargas started to drift to our end of the park.
    "Chairman Mao didn't say half of it," Hagbard replied holding a handkerchief to his own face. His words came through muffled; "It isn't only political power that grows out of the barrel of a gun. So does the whole definition of reality. A set. And the action that has to happen on that particular set and on none other."
    "Don't be so bloody patronizing," I objected, looking around a corner in time and realizing that night I would be Maced. "That's just Marx: the ideology of the ruling class becomes the ideology of the whole society."
    "Not the ideology. The Reality." He lowered his handkerchief. "This was a public park until they changed the definition. Now, the guns have changed the Reality. It isn't a public park. There's more than one kind of magic."
    "Just like Enclosure Acts," I said hollowly. "One day the land belongs to the people. The next day it belongs to the landlords."
    "And like the Narcotic Acts," he added. "A hundred thousands harmless junkies became criminals overnight, by Act of Congress, in 1927. Ten years later, in '37, all the pot-heads in the country became criminals overnight, by Act of Congress. And they were criminals, when the papers were signed. The guns prove it. Walk away from those guns, waving a joint, and refuse to halt when they tell you. Their Imagination will become your Reality in a second."
    And I had my answer to Dad, finally, just as a cop jumped out of the darkness screaming something about freaking motherfucking fag commies and Maced me, as was certain to happen (I knew it as I crumbled in pain) on that set.
  • If you whistle while you're pissing, you have two minds, where one is quite sufficient. If you have two minds, you are at war with yourself. If you are at war with yourself, it is easy for an external force to defeat you. This is why Mong-tse wrote. "A man must destroy himself before others can destroy him."
  • In a previous incarnation, Harry saw himself as as centurion, Semper Cuni Linctus, driving the nails into the cross. "Look," he said to Jesus, "nothing personal. I'm only following orders." "So am I." Jesus said, "My Father's orders. Aren't we all?"
  • That was a simple riddle used by Zen Masters in the training of monks, Joe remembered. You take a newborn gosling and slip it through the neck of a bottle. Month after month you keep it in there and feed it, until it is a fullgrown goose and can no longer be passed through the bottles neck. The question is: Without breaking the bottle, how do you get the goose out?
  • "You never disappoint me." Hagbard said. "If they ever hang you, you'll be arguing about whether the rope really exists until the last minute."
  • Feeling paranoid? Good: illumination is on the other side of absolute terror. And the only terror that is truly absolute is the horror of realising that you can't believe anything you've ever been told. You have to realise fully that you are "a stranger and afraid in a world you never made," like Houseman said.
  • "You look blank, Joe," said Malaclypse. "Has no one explained to you that the human race is divided into two distinct genotypes - neophobes, who reject new ideas and accept only what they have known all their lives, and neophiles, who love new things, change, invention, innovation? For the first four million years of man's history, all humans were neophobes, which is why civilization did not develop. Animals are all neophobes. Only mutation can change them. Instinct is simply the natural behavior of a neophobe. The neophile mutation appeared about a hundred thousand years ago, and speeded up thirty thousand years ago. However, there has never been more than a handful of neophiles anywhere on the planet. The Illuminati themselves sprang from one of the oldest neophile-neophobe conflicts on record."
  • "Well, sir," said Cartwright "my basic finding is that life energy pervades the entire universe, just as light and gravity do. Therefor, all life is one, just as all light is one. All energies, you see, are broadcast from a central source, yet to be found. If our four amino acids - adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine - suddenly became life when you throw them together, then all chemicals are potentially alive. You and me and the fish and bugs are that kind of life made from adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine: DNA life. What we call dead matter is another kind of life: non-DNA life. Okay so far? If awareness is life, and if life is one, then the awareness of the individual is just one of the universe's sensory organs. The universe produces beings like us in order to perceive itself. You might think of it as a giant, selfcontained eye. Consciousness is therefor also manifested as telepathy, clairvoyance, and telekinesis. Those phenomena are simply non-localized versiosn of consciousness. I'm very interested in telepathy, and I've had a lot of succes with telepathic research. These cases of communication are just further evidence that consciousness is a seamless web throughout the universe."
  • "He [Hegel] is perfect... Unlike Kant, who makes sense only in German, this man doesn't make sense in any language.
  • Correctly formulated, the Law [of Fives] is: All phenomena are directly or indirectly related to the number five, and this relationship can always be demonstrated, given enough ingenuity on the part of the demonstrator.

The Eye In The Pyramid[edit]

Book One: Verwirrung[edit]

  • How do we know whether the Universe is getting bigger or the objects in it are getting smaller? You can't say that the universe is getting bigger is relation to anything outside it, because there isn't any outside for it to relate to. There isn't any outside. But if the universe doesn't have an out-side, then it goes on forever. How do you know it doesn't, shithead? You're just playing with words, man. -No I'm not. The universe is the inside without an outside, the sound made by one eye opening. In fact, I don't even know that there is a universe. More likely, there are many multiverses, each with its own dimensions, times, spaces, laws and eccentricities. We wander between and among these multiverses, trying to convince others and ourselves that we walk together in a single public universe that we can share. For to deny that axiom leads to what is called schizophrenia. Yeah, that's it: every man's skin is his own private multiverse, just like every man's home is supposed to be his castle. But all the multiverses are trying to merge, to create a true universe such as we have only imagined previously. Maybe it will be spiritual, like Zen or telepathy, or maybe it will be physical, one great big gang-fuck, but it has to happen: the creation of a universe and the one great eye opening to see itself at last. Aum Shiva! -Oh, man, you're stoned out of your gourd. You're writing gibberish. No, I'm writing with absolute clarity, for the first time in my life. -Yeah? Well what was that business about the universe being the sound of one eye opening? Never mind that. Who the hell are you and how did you get into my head?
    • The First Trip, or Kether: From Dealey Plaza to Watergate
    • The Second Trip, or Chokmah: Hopalong Horus Rides Again
    • The phrase is repeated later in the trilogy.

Book Two: Zweitracht[edit]

  • "Everybody is crazy," Saul said patiently, "if you don't understand his motives."
    • The Fourth Trip, or Chesed: Jesus Christ on a Bicycle
  • Only the madman is ever sure.
    • The Fourth Trip, or Chesed: Jesus Christ on a Bicycle

The Golden Apple[edit]

Book Three: Unordnung[edit]

  • You cannot understand a man's actions unless you understand his beliefs.
    • The Sixth Trip, or Tipareth (The Man Who Murdered God)


The Appendices[edit]

  • If you have any answers, We will be glad to provide full and detailed questions.
    • Appendix Yod: Operation Mindfuck

External links[edit]

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