The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson features an fabulous appendix, with one entry of particular interest to our TTOTT class, and with a focus upon Giambattista Vico, and Giordano Bruno, and their 'cyclical' ideas about history and etymology.

APPENDIX GIMMEL: The Illuminati Theory of History, features a complex of correspondences that introduce a five phase model of history including reference to the Tarot, I-Ching, Hegel, and the Zodiac, but not in that order. Here I see a new synthesis of the ideas from Bruno and Vico deployed by RAW through an artistic prose vehicle: The Illuminatus Trilogy.

The rough size and information density of these paragraphs in the Appendix are good models for a 'hermetic styled' paragraph (holograph), I think, and help to define each of my own 'five' categories by which the 'tale of the tribe' can be processed. Or maybe follow a particular cycle for each TTOTT character and observe which age 'fits' with each of their particular 'Virtus'r, or read the Appendix again and see how you think Bruno and Vico have influenced it?


The Illuminatus Trilogy Appendix also feature's non-alphabetical symbols such as I-Ching related 'Hexagrams' that I hope can be expanded into our own 'historical' maps, poetry and TTOTT communications, not limited to alphabetic trappings. Ken Campbell gives some further clues to the Illuminati Theory of History while speaking at the Coldcut RAW tribute, held in London, March 2007.

I think that Vico's treatment of the origin and functions of poetry, of language and myth, are a precursor some of the ideas that TTOTT characters who came after him, from Nietzche, Joyce, Korzybski and Pound, however it matters little whether we consider him as a mystic or as a scientific investigator; there are no two ways about Giambattista Vico as innovator.

His division of the development of human society into three ages: Theocratic, Heroic, Human (civilized), with a corresponding classification of language: Hieroglyphic (sacred), Metaphorical (poetic), Philosophical (capable of abstraction and generalization), was by no means new although it must have appeared so to most of his contemporaries, Vico derived this convenient classification from the Egyptians, via Herodotus, and so the Hermetic lineage.

"At the same time it is impossible to deny the originality with which he applied and developed its implications. His exposition of the ineluctable circular progression of Society was completely new, although the germ of it was contained in Giordano Bruno’s treatment of identified contraries.”--Samuel Beckett, Dante...Bruno...Vico...Joyce.


"Abdul Alhazred's concept of the Great Cycle, which derived actually from the Upanishads, took on kinky edges in Weishaupt's flipped-out cortex. Five kinky edges, to be exact, since he was still obsessed with the profound new understanding of the Law of Fives he had achieved the night he saw the shoggoth turn into a rabbit. He quickly fetched Giambattista Vico's Scienze nuovo from his shelf and began reading: He saw that he was right. Vico's theory of history, in which all societies pass through the same four stages, was an oversimplification—there were, when you looked closely at the actual evidence behind Vico's rhetoric, five distinct stages each time the Italian listed only four. Weishaupt looked very closely, and, like Joe Malik, the harder be looked the more fives he found.

It was then that the man's truly unique mind made its great leap: He remembered that Joachim of Floris, a proto-primus Illuminatus of the eleventh century, had divided history into three stages: the Age of the Father, dominated by Law; the Age of the Son, dominated by Love; and the Age of the Holy Spirit, dominated by Joy. Where most philosophers rush to publish their insights, Weishaupt saw the advantage of an alternative path. The Law of Fives would be kept secret, so that only Illuminati Primi would know about it and could predict events correctly, but the Joachimite theory would be revived and publicized to mislead others. (He, Kolmer, Meyer Amschel Rothschild, DeSade, and Sir Frances Dashwood—the original Five—had some discussions about possibly pushing Vico instead of Joachim, but, as Weishaupt argued, "Four is a little bit too close to five . . ." Even so, it was quite a spell of years before they found the ideal front man to push the three-step theory, G. W. F. Hegel. "He's perfect," Weishaupt wrote in the De Molay cipher from Mount Vernon. "Unlike Kant, who makes sense only in German, this man doesn't make sense in any language.") The rest of the story—the exoteric story, at least —is history. After Hegel was Marx; and after Marx, the Joachimite three-step was permanently grafted onto revolutionary tactics.

The esoteric story, of course, is different. For instance, in 1914, when the fifth and final stage of Western Civilization was dawning, James Joyce published A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The five chapters of that novel not only suggested five stages in the hero's growth, but by the alteration of styles from chapter to chapter suggested analogies with other five-stage processes. This was too much for the Illuminati Primi of the time, who warned Joyce to be more careful in the future. A battle of wills ensued, and all through the writing of Ulysses Joyce was still considering a novel built entirely around the Law of Fives. When the Illuminati gave him what they call "the Tiresias treatment" —blindness—he finally compromised. Finnegans Wake, when it appeared, broke with the Joachim-Hegel-Marx three-step but did not include the funfwissenschaft. Instead, the Viconian four-stage theory was resurrected, a middle path that appealed to Joyce's sense of synchroniciry, since he had once taught at a school on Vico Road in Dublin and later also lived in a house on Via Giambattista Vico in Rome.--Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Appendix Gimmel, page 742.


Wait a Minute--What Goddam Millenium?

18 Archemides 30 a.T.
I have used a variety of different calendars over the past 30 years--partly because I find it amusing to do so, but mostly for reasons of neurolinguistic self-education. [I employ a few dozen other devices of this sort to re-program myself out of conventional semantic grids: experiments, if you will, on Guinea Pig Bob.] For instance, I often use Ezra Pound's post-Christian calendar to date this column. Beginning at midnight 30 October1921 -- when Joyce wrote the last words of Ulysses -- this chronolog has six months for the male/solar divinities (Hepheistos,Zeus, Saturn, Hermes, Mars, Phoebus) and six for the female/lunar divinities (Kupris, Juno,Athena, Hestia, Artemis, Demeter.) In this system, these words will appear on 8 Hestia 78 p.s.U.
Sometimes, I use the Discordian calendar, which dates everything from the Original Snub
(see and makes today 1 Bureaucracy 3165 y.D.
As you can plainly see, we have 923 years to go until the next millenium (1001 p.s.U.) on the Poundian calendar, and 836 years to go to the next millenium (4001 y.D.) in the Discordian system.
A few other random calendars yield results like this:
  • Thelemic: present year 96.
  • 905 years until 1001 millenium,
  • Hebraic: present year 5759.
  • 242 years to 6001 millenium
  • Mayan: present year 5113.
  • 888 years to 6001 millenium.
  • Pataphysical: present year 126.
  • 875 years to 1001 millenium.
  • Islamic: present year 1420.
  • 581 Islamic years (or 563 solar years) to 2001 millenium.

Why all the fuss, then, about the totally arbitrary Gregorian millenium? Well, maybe some intellectual Catholics (Jesuits, probably) have convinced themselves that Pope Gregory XIII created the "one true" calendar by tuning in -- infallibly -- to some Cosmic Clock. Einstein, however, has proven mathematically, and his successors have proven experimentally, that no such "one true" clock exists anywhere; and most of us don't believe in Papal infallibility, anyway. Dating the year after next 2001 (Gregorian) has as much and as little validity as dating it 5761 (Hebrew) or dating it 128 (Pataphysical.) I think most people honest-to-Gawd believe the Papist date "is" the "real" date because they never stop to think about it.
I suspect, also, that most people do and say most of the things they do and say for exactly the same reason: they never stop to think about it. I know this sounds brutally cynical, but at least it explains the religious and political behaviors of our species, which otherwise seem totally beyond rational comprehension.
By the way, I used an excellent new calendar to date this data-about-dating: the Tranquility calendar which begins on the day of the first moon landing (20 Athena 48 p.s.U; 20 Fructidor 177 a.R..). You can thank Pat Farley for calling this calendar to my attention. You can also thank him for the weird and lovely style of this website. He designs it.--Robert Anton Wilson.

  1. 30 seals
  2. RAW360
  3. aleister crowley
  4. alfred korzybski
  5. amsterdam
  6. audio
  7. c.g jung
  8. cantos
  9. claude shannon
  10. coldcut
  11. collaborative fiction
  12. cosmic trigger
  13. coursework
  14. cybernetics
  15. decentralized and rotational
  16. dodecahedron
  17. email to the tribe
  18. ernest fenollosa
  19. erwin schroedinger
  20. eternal return
  21. ettt
  22. ezra pound
  23. f for fake
  24. finnegans wake
  25. fly agaric 23
  26. flyagaric23
  27. friederich nietzsche
  28. giambattista vico
  29. giordano bruno
  30. global village
  31. hermetic style
  32. hologramic prose
  33. hyperintelligence
  34. icosahedron
  35. ideogramic method
  36. illuminati
  37. illuminatus! trilogy
  38. internet
  39. interview
  40. jack sarfatti
  41. james joyce
  42. john coltrane
  43. john lilly
  44. john sinclair
  45. john von neumann
  46. ken campbell
  47. konnakol
  48. lull wheels
  49. lulu
  50. magick
  51. maps
  52. marshall mcluhan
  53. maybe logic
  54. maybe logic academy
  55. maybe logic quarterly
  56. nlp
  57. norbert wiener
  58. novel
  59. ontology
  60. open source history
  61. orson welles
  62. osh
  63. palm springs
  64. pentagram
  65. philip k dick
  66. planetary sociology
  67. plush
  68. poetry
  69. prophets conference
  70. r. buckminster fuller
  71. recorso
  72. redundancy of information
  73. robert anton wilson
  74. saul paul sirag
  75. schroedinger's cat trilogy
  76. screenplay
  77. sex
  78. sixty
  79. steve fly
  80. steven pratt
  81. syllabic pyramid
  82. synchronicity
  83. tailors
  84. tales
  85. teachings
  86. television
  87. terence mckenna
  88. tetrad of media effects
  89. textation
  90. the tale of the tribe
  91. timothy leary
  92. tribetable
  93. ttott
  94. turntable method
  95. ulysses
  96. wikileaks
  97. wilhelm reich
  98. william butler yeats
  99. william s burroughs
  100. youtube