Aleister Crowley's Fool Tarot Card
Mythic themes with enduring young charms are made sometimes deliberately ambiguous, and why? "To force our contemporary domesticated primates into performing a most unmammalian task: learning to think for themselves." -- Robert Anton Wilson
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The Higher Intelligence Quiz
By Robert Anton Wilson
1. Do you believe the concept of Higher Intelligence is a useful concept?
Emphatically. According to Koestler's The Case of the Midwife Toad, mathematical information theory has demonstrated what many of us long suspected intuitively: 3% billion years is too short a time for pure chance to have produced the amount of negative entropy (organization) found in the evolutionary script. Even death-by-senescece (normal "aging") no longer seems stochastic or random, according to U C Berkeley biologist Paul Segal and others, but rather appears, like adolescence, a pre-programmed part of the DNA script. I can hypnotize myself into believing that Spaceship Earth is just a lucky accident, but when I come out of the hypnosis I am again struck by the incredible details of intelligent design everywhere, which has historically "justified" every religion. A search, minus religion and superstition, for the designers of this planetary drama seems to me a most profitable scientific venture. "Materialism" so-called is just one possible theory about matter, and not the most plausible theory by any means. Gurdjieff and the pioneer 19th Century Spiritualists were "materialists" without limiting themselves to the most dismal mechanistic theories about matter. Einstein's matter-energy equations, Reich's orgonomic functionalism, the direct experience (as distinguished from the dogma) of 30,000 years of shamanic-yogic investigators, LSD research, plant-human telepathy in the wake of Backster's Effect (The Secret Life of Plants, Bird, Tompkins), etc., all converge around something close to pantheism (or, at minimum, Transcendental Materialism) rather than the clockwork mechanism of 19th Century dogma.
2. How would you define Higher Intelligence?
As in mathematics, "higher" must imply higher order, i.e. more inclusivity and complexity. Structure being multi-ordinal, Higher Intelligence would be revealed by relating to, involving oneself with, communicating to, levels of structure (in space-time) still invisible (unpredictable) to lower intelligence.
3. How would you define intelligence?
Intelligence is manifested by the reception, accurate decoding and transmission of. energy. Consciousness is manifested by mere reception of energy. Expansion of consciousness (psychedelic or metaprogramming experience) is dilation of neural reception to ingest more energy; escalation of intelligence is accurate decoding of the new energies so received. Aleister Crowley's formula for the traditional Illuminati goal of "Perfect Wisdom and True Happiness" was "! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ?," an endless series of expansions (symbolized by ! ) in alteration with integrations (symbolized by ? ). Pure consciousness, Oriental Samadhi, is pure expansion ( ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ), and might be called the highest or most benign form of stupidity.
4. It has been said that the human brain is an instrument which humanity does not understand how to use. Comment.
The human brain, like Spaceship Earth, came without an operating manual. The designers evidently intended us to write our own manuals.
5. Do you believe that the wide variations in human intelligence are due to differences in neural wiring (i.e. genetic) or due to social-educational differences? Or both?
This remains to be discovered. Temperamentally, as a non-dualist, I tend to suspect that the answer will be "both," but the evidence to date is silly-putty and can be molded to fit anybody's racist or behaviorist theory. The historically dreadful consequences of racist theory should not prevent us from thinking objectively about the matter, however. See below.
6. Do you think that neural differences among individuals or racial groups define different sub-species?
Only if one wants to use that semantics. Evolution seems to proceed by variation and self- selection, not by uniformity; therefore, every difference makes a difference, i.e. has a function. The most idiotic form of racism (or sexism) is the attempt to abolish differences. The Hermetic maxim, "God hath need of every human soul," can be translated into modern language as "Evolution hath need of every deviation."
7. Do you think that the very concept of intelligence or differences in intelligence is elitist or anti-democratic?
No way. Despite my rejection of Pure Chance as a panchreston (an attempt to explain everything), I recognize that hazard exists. The DNA script provides for variation (deviation, ever "perversion" if you feel that way about it) in order to provide for contingency. The great teachers who wrote the fairy tales arrange for the Fool or the "inferior" third brother to marry the Princess at the end; they were teaching a lesson that racists and fanatic eugenicists still haven't learned. Penalizing differences (as in institutionalized racism, sexism, classism, casteism, etc.) and attempting to abolish differences (as in anthill socialism) miss the whole point of evolutionary variation. Genes are passed on one by one at random; therefore, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
Or, as Blake said, "One law for the Lion and the Ox is Tyranny."
8. The average IQ. (however measured) is assigned the index of 100. This means half of the population is below IQ 100, i.e. just barely literate. What are the implications of these statistics?
Authoritarian society (class-caste games) has been a fact for several milleniums. This discourages the intelligence of those assigned the serf or slave positions. Anything they see, hear, smell, taste, guess, intuit, reason out, etc., is irrelevant and immaterial to the ruling elite. The rulers therefore bear a burden of omniscience as they attempt to do all the seeing, hearing, smelling, thinking, etc., for the whole society; and the proles bear an equal and opposite burden of nescience as they are conditioned to ignore their own seeings, hearings, thinkings, etc., and act only on orders from above. Communication is only possible between equals, and thus both rulers and serfs gradually develop a progressive group disorientation. Unwelcome information usually results in burning at the stake, the rack, the Iron Boot, confinement in a cage, or whatever form of torture is locally known as "enlightened modern penology" in the given society. The ruling elite thus being armed and dangerous, they only hear what suits their previous beliefs. SNAFU is the norm in any authoritarian pyramid, not just in the Army. (For more on the burden of nescience, see Dumb Blondes, Uncle Tomism among blacks, Good Soldier Schweikism, etc. For burden of omniscience, see Nixon, Richard, career of.)
9. Do you think that a level of intelligence exists that is as to the human as the human is to the ape's?
I feel sure that many such levels exist.
10. If so, in what form does it exist?
Many forms. Every unusual perception (expansion of consciousness to ingest new energy structures) is apt to be classified as "hallucination" by skeptics, including the investigator him/her/self if he/she retains intelligent skepticism. Nonetheless, after twelve years of experiment with shamanic, yogic, Sufic, and more recent techniques, I believe some of my contacts with Higher Intelligences, roughly corresponding to the "angels" and "archangels" of Cabalistic-Sufic tradition. Like Dr. John Lilly, I have wondered if They are time-travelers from the future, very advanced human adepts now on earth helping other students along the Path, extraterrestrials, or something else. Like Dr. Leary, I tend strongly to suspect They are extraterrestrials. Like Dr. Jacques Vallee, I conjecture that They might be beyond any thought-form or category we have yet invented. On my own, I have fantasized that They might be the giant whales or dolphins, whose enormous brains must be doing something non-mechanical, since they lack hands for human-style technology.
11. Do you think Higher Intelligence exists on other star systems in the galaxy?
Intuitively, yes. My experience of the life-mind or genetic unconscious seems to correlate with the theory that life is omnipresent, rather than with the theory that life is accidental and rare. If omni-present, it must statistically exist in many higher forms throughout space-time, as well as in many lower forms.
12. What are the chances of our contacting Higher Intelligence in your lifetime?
Excellent. It seems increasingly plausible to me that certain specially-trained individuals have been making such contacts for 30,000 years now, and that this underlies the "allies," "gods," "angels," "fairy folk," "devas," etc., of the various occult traditions. That is, "hallucination" explains many, but not all, of such contacts.
13. Do you consider DNA as an intelligent entity? Why?
Yes. Because the data of psychedelic research, Jungian psychology and history of religion and magick all make sense with this assumption, and don't make sense otherwise. For instance, it is easier for me to believe that Socrates' "daemon" and Jesus' "Father" were real experiences than to assume that Socrates and Jesus were half-crazy. The experience of Higher Intelligence within is as common among investigators of consciousness as the experience of Higher Intelligence without.
14. Do you consider the nucleus of the atom as an intelligent entity?
Yes. Because it increasingly makes sense to me to assume that life and intelligence are omni-present and multi-ordinal.
15. Do you believe humanity will evolve to a higher level of intelligence?
It always has. I assume it always will. More specifically, the intersection of Greek logic-and-dialectic, from the monkish class, and craft technique-and-empiricism, from the medieval guilds, produced modern science, or logical empiricism, the most revolutionary force in history, which has (in 300 years) transformed the planet more than all previous evolution. The intersection of modern science and traditional shamanic-yogic arts, via the psychedelic revolution and the blossoming of parapsychology, will produce a higher synergetic product, even more revolutionary.
16. If so what form will this take?
We are graduating from miserable terrestrial mortality into ecstatic cosmic immortality; from robots into self-aware entities; from earth to the stars. The "wild talents" of saints and shamans will become subject to conscious control. Brain-change, immortality, and Space Migration will change our philosophies more radically than the impacts of Copernicus, Darwin, or Freud.
17. Do you think intelligence can be raised?
Sure. Americans being less paranoid about machines than about chemicals, it will happen chiefly through bio-feedback, not through LSD, at least in this part of the world. But it will happen.
18. Do you believe that the raising of intelligence levels should be defined as a national priority project comparable to raising the level of energy resources?
Yea, verily! Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; as Buckminster Fuller quite correctly insists, there is never a real energy shortage, but only a technique shortage, i.e. an intelligence shortage. Indeed, authoritarian society, the Coercive State, wedded to an omniscience-burdened ruling elite and a nescience-burdened slave-serf class, represents a perpetual intelligence shortage, or as I elsewhere call it, a Snafu Principle.
A sane world would get logic, semantics, scientific METHOD, and bio-feedback into the grade schools; retire every worker who can possibly be replaced by a machine; start retooling to replace all the other workers by machines (since UNEMPLOYMENT SHOULD NOT BE CURED, NOT BEING A DISEASE: it IS the cure); establish a guaranteed annual income to replace the idiot Welfare system; stop persecuting original thinking; end the dinosaur arms race, putting the credit-energy into Space Migration, Immortality research, and Neurologic. It is time we stopped operating like Permian reptiles and synergetically combine for Extraterrestrial Immortality. What other game is worth our time? -- ###
"The Higher Intelligence Quiz" from Spit in the Ocean #3, 1977 (Ken Kesey's irregularly published journal; #3 is a special 'Communicating With Higher Intelligence' issue guest-edited by Timothy Leary)
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"Do what thou wilt--then do nothing else." -- Alister Crowley