January 11, 2007

23 Skidoo: Goodbye Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson

My old friend Robert Anton Wilson has died.

I learned of the news from my friends Patrick Huyghe and David Pescovitz. I’m sure someplace, Bucky Fuller, Timothy Leary, Charles Fort, and Robert Anton Wilson are deciding whether it’s time to play supercheckers or Texas hold ’em.

I corresponded with Robert Anton Wilson (RAW as he sometimes was called) from the 1970s through the early 1990s, until his health and his in-and-out self-exiles moved him near-and-far from many people. In the waning years, like many, I kept in touch via friends of friends, as it were. Wilson had a universe of friends, as was shown by Boing Boing’s pre-death appeal that snatched Wilson from falling off the cliff of poverty as he was dying.

The cover of Cosmic Trigger, a book I remember reading and reading, amazed at the connections Wilson was making.

Had RAW’s writings in the late 1970s impacted me? Well, let me just mention this one piece of my private life. When I married my second wife (now ex-) in 1980, after we both read Cosmic Trigger, we picked (to the strange surprise of our friends and families) a Friday. Why? Because we wanted to get married on May (2+3 = 5), 23rd, two 23s, in honor of Robert Anton Wilson’s book or more properly, it’s concepts and Fortean linkages. You’ll have to read Cosmic Trigger to learn why the number 23 is important, although it is a thought that has drifted rather significantly into popular culture.

David mentions that RAW died early this morning, 1/11/2007, a mere 7 days before his 75th birthday. I suppose if you look at that date’s number backwards you can see the “lucky 7” and the “2 + 3” (1+1+1). There’s a joke someplace in there, because Bob really did not do anything without the trickster in mind.

As David shared at Boing Boing, in his last blog, Robert Anton Wilson wrote:

I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying. Please pardon my levity, I don’t see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.

Sadly, Wilson’s teenage daughter, Patricia Luna Wilson, was murdered on October 2, 1976. Cosmic Trigger reflects part of his immediate journey to understand that loss.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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