Sunday, 18 July 2010
Its funny how you stumble upon a book that changes the way you think about things. In 1982 I had a dream in which I was reading a book called Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson. I didn't have that book, but I guess I must have seen the cover somewhere, because it was really vivid in my dream.
At the time I was studying Foundation Art at North Devon College in Barnstaple, and I used to catch an early bus into town before my lectures started at 10am. I was killing some time in Barnstaple Pannier Market flicking through some piles of books, when I spotted a copy of Cosmic Trigger, the book from my dream. Seeing it was actually quite shocking, and I immediately bought it.
Cosmic Trigger introduced me to many things that tied in with the sort of music I was into at the time, like Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. It got me reading further books by the likes of Crowley, Jack Parsons, Gurdjieff, William Burroughs, Wilhelm Reich and Timothy Leary. I was saddened when Wilson died in difficult circumstances in 2007, because his books had molded my reality.
Today I found that book walking back from Sidwell Cycles where I was getting the horizontal dropout fixed on my Santa Cruz. It was in the charity shop opposite Poundland, and weirdly enough I'd just been thinking about Robert Anton Wilson and the influence his work had on me.
Incidentally, someone had written 6 lottery numbers on the inside cover ; 3, 5 11 16 21 26. If they ever come up it will be the ultimate reinforcement of Wilson's notion 'that "reality" is always plural and mutable'...