on April 30, 2001
Maybe this is what Clinton was referring to in his infamous linguistic/legal moment before the Star Inquisition. All joking aside, this book is a MUST read for anyone wanting to start getting rid of the semantic spooks in their psyche. This undefinable book of wisdom that weaves a coherent thesis out of such diverse topics as semantics, psychology, physics, model agnosticism and subtle humor makes clear better than anything out there just how much our perceptions and behavior are controlled/influenced by embedded language biases. Just learning to write in e-prime (english without the word "is") makes the book a worthwhile experience. Quantum Psychology opened me to a whole new way of thinking and perceiving, and that is something I can say but very few other books. I truly had no idea the robotizing effect language has on our behavior and perceptions--its not a discovery you can be "told"--you must experience it through the exercises in this book. You owe it to yourself to check this one out.
on July 20, 2005
wow, this is one hell of a book. If you are familiar with Robert Anton Wilson, and have not read this book yet, you will love it. Robots, I mean humans, are programmed by our language that we use, our beliefs, and models of the universe, thus limiting us in understanding life and each other. We often tend to categorize or file everything, everyone, and every situation into certain prejudices. Aristotelian logic puts everything into yes/no, this or that, good/evil, one or the other. Wilson talks about 'maybe logic', as well as general semantics (Alfred Korzybski), dismantles hard 'science', and links quantum theory with our neurological brain patterns. This book, along with the exercises may help you break free of most conditioning, and expand to your mind to infinite possibilities of interactive perception.
on July 18, 2004
Three important words: "read this book." Three much more important words: "Do the exercises." Some readers may have already encountered the main principles of this work, either in other books by RAW or by studying general-semantics; I still think it a valuable epitome of some very useful ideas. If nothing else, I think it would reduce the number of Internet arguments that start with "As you could plainly see if you had simply READ what I WROTE ..." which would certainly rank as an improvement in MY world.
I approach anything with "Quantum" in the title with a skeptical eye, as I feel the current fashion for explaining everything from ghosts to the impossibility of artificial intelligence by reference to quantum uncertainty, quantum coupling, etc., could use either a strong dose of real physics or just a good long rest. On the other hand, many people still live in the clockwork universe of Newton or even the commonsense world of Aristotle, years after the work of Einstein, Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Goedel, "etc.," revealed the cracks in the foundations of classical and naive physics and mathematics, so anything that raises awareness of these changes in the intellectual climate will have some good effects down the line.
I once referred to general-semantics as "21st Century Zen Epistemology," which might fit _Quantum Psychology_ as well. RAW has laid out a series of observations and a program of exercises that can, quite simply, make your mind work better, unless you are among the one in a scadzillion who has already completed the work.
Please don't fool yourself on this point! Read the book anyway.
Do the work. Do us all a favor, first of all yourself.
on June 1, 2006
This book brings about few concepts that weren't already brought up in Prometheus Rising. Its a Wilson book, so of course its a mind-bender, but its also a repeat, in my opinion. Wilson seems to like to reiterate his many philosophies and theories throughout all of his book with little more added to the soup in each title. This one, in particular, contains group activities suitable for an open-minded (or close-minded I suppose) eclectic party. The setting in which he writes, to the group, reminds me of the feel of groups that meet in the Methodist Church on Monday nights in the basement. Its stuff anyone can do, anywhere in their life, at any time they choose. In a group, its very reinforcing and explorative and thats why I believe Wilson suggests it so heavily. I believe the material IS relevant, but just a tad bit repetitious from Prometheus Rising and points made in Schrodinger's Cat, etc. This is not a detractor because in a world that uses frequency and label control to catagorize our experiences for us, its not so bad to have someone else giving us these messages with both frequency and good content. Please enjoy irresponsibly.
on November 5, 2006
This book revisits the notion that while your brain doesn't actually create the universe, it does create the model of the universe that you are aware of and experience. Many well thought-out concepts; ideal for those who need a different perpective to get them out of a psychological rut. The chapter on the E Prime language was a good laugh. It is the exact opposite of what they taught us in journalism class.
Wilson, as always, inspires. My totally unbiased opinion: he is a national treasure.
on July 11, 2000
This book is the best practical guide to derailing your ingrained neural pathways. It is rather like a 'How to guide' for paradigm shifting at will or Mindfulness training for the Western Mind. If you want to investigate the roots of perception, this is the book for you.
on June 1, 1998
Robert Anton Wilson has masterfully given you the keys to unlocking previous thought patterns and re-encoding new programs. Sometimes technical, yet always entertaining, you will thouroughly enjoy this book as much as I did. Referring to Korzybski's Non-Aristotelian linguistics to current thoughts in quantum physics, he illustrates a new way of thinking that is conducive to greater perceptions and a broader sense of 'self'.
on December 21, 2013
Robert Anton Wilson said that we only really have two choices when we get out of bed in the morning. We can choose to be pessimists or we can choose to be optimists; there is no third way; it truly is that simple. However, Wilson argues that most people don't get it because they are so bogged down in their life situation, they become what they experience; a dark cloud replaces the sunshine for these people, and they end up believing the in the sh't that they have been consuming, that the box is reality and some even become deterministic in character. Wilson said that lost souls always choose pessimism and the more rational choose nihilism, all of the time. Wilson, on the other hand, chose babbling optimism, all of the time and so shall I. Optimism is the best way of seeing the world because we do have a choice, which is the point, isn't it?
So this is why Robert Anton Wilson chose to be an optimist; because he would rather write about he himself being God Almighty than the other guy being God Almighty, the trendier, and easier, moaning about materialism and science and the darkening of colour that these ontologies cause in our lives, and, to add to this moaning, also the way intelligent people choose a nihilist picture, instead of recognising the God within; you get the picture, I hope. Robert Anton Wilson was not belittling the nihilists because, well if we are honest, most people see the world as a machinery of hell, with little purpose but to war, die and to ruin even that! For nihilists, the shattered God still dwells in his ruins; but He is a ghost who is never to be taken seriously again because no one believes in him anymore, like Father Christmas, a skeleton of stones amongst the ruins of the world. Do you see how this worldview easily turns into the belief, no, the worship, of nothingness? Now for optimists to deny this logic would be disrespectful to their life situation. History confirms the evil, they say, and science argues that they are void anyway, or biological robots and, to paraphrase Marc Antony, I have neither the wit, nor the words, nor worth; action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, to stir men's blood. Instead, I choose optimism and this is as good as it gets.
on July 28, 2011
If you're familiar with Wilson, then the angle he takes in this "scholarly-lite" text will not surprise you. Basically, Wilson argues that our brains act as filters, and what we perceive as the "real" world is actually our subjective interpretation of it. Seems self-explanatory when you think about it, but the value-added from this book comes from Wilson's discussions about the limiting nature of our language - specifically, our use of the various forms of "is", and how that basically puts blinders on us, and can lead us to paint large groups of people or things with the same brush. If you try out the exercises in the book (especially on page 99), you can really become more aware of how this semantic shortcut can feed your assumptions and prejudices.
Wilson displays his own reality tunnel at times when he declares that the world would be a much, much better place if we all somehow switched to E-prime (English without "is"); although he acknowledges the difficulty of doing so.
Wilson also touches upon Leary's 8-circuit model of the human brain (which is explored in far more depth in Prometheus Rising); explores the notions of multiple universes; and the environmental, genetic, and social factors governing the creation of reality tunnels. All of these things have an impact on how we perceive the universe, and becoming aware of these is the first step towards gaining greater control over your own life.
I would have given this four stars, but I found the last part of the book (which discusses multiple universes) dragged on in places, and I got the sense that Wilson was getting a little impatient to finish the book. All in all, this is a very approachable introductory text on semantics and group psychology. It won't solve any problems you might have, but you will probably become far more aware of how you tick.
Geoff Gander, author of The Tunnelers
on March 8, 2008
This book maybe the best example of how to think to get rid of foolish assumptions and certainties. I guess that would bother some that are not willing to accept their own ignorance and do something about it. This book appears to be the best I've read by the author so far, having also read Promethus and Cosmic Trigger, though they all were on similar levels of genius. Sure, there are no exact formulas or prescriptions that will work for everyone, but if nothing in this book works for you then you most certainly have missed the whole point of the exercise of reading in the first place. Not only was Bob a great writer, but he merely reflects his love for reading through not just writing but concrete examples of consciousness stimulation. That maybe worth the price of admission alone, just to enjoy the guy's particular oscillation of thought patterns and waves that he decides to clarify or help the reader tune into serve only to enhance better understanding of not just his point but anybody attempting to make sense. A sorely missed man but he will live on and only grow in appreciation as time evolves and his ideas resurface for many years to come.