Friday, April 20, 2012

Illuminatus! Excerpt: Profundity or asininity?

"You've got to realize," Hagbard went on, "that life is a coming apart and death is a coming together. Does that help?" 

("I never know whether Hagbard is talking profundity or asininity," George said dreamily, toking away.) "Reincarnation works backward in time," Hagbard went on, as the narcs opened drawers and peered under chairs. 

"You always get reborn into an earlier historical period. Mussolini is a witch in the 14th century now, and catching hell from the Inquisitors for his bum karma in this age. People who 'remember' the past are all deluded. The only ones who really remember past incarnations remember the future, and they become science-fiction writers."

More (there was always more, with Hagbard), he had been impressed, on reading Weishaupt's Uber
Strip Schnipp-Schnapp, Weltspielen and Funfwissenschaft, by the passage on the Order of Assassins,
which read:
Surrounded by Moslem maniacs on one side and Christian maniacs on the other, the wise Lord Hassan preserved his people and his cult by bringing the art of assassination to esthetic perfection. With just a few daggers strategically placed in exactly the right throats, he found Wisdom's alternative to war, and preserved the peoples by killing their leaders. Truly, his was a most exemplary life of grandmotherly kindness. 

In a second, he remembered: the Mu-Mon-Kan or "Gateless Gate" of Rinzai Zen contained a story about a monk who kept asking a Zen Master, "What is the Buddha?" Each time he asked, he got hit upside the head with the Master's staff. Finally discouraged, he left and sought enlightenment with another Master, who asked him why he had left the previous teacher. When the poor gawk explained, the second Master gave him the ontological hotfoot: "Go back to your previous Master at once," he cried, "and apologize for not showing enough appreciation of his grandmotherly kindness!"

The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

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