We are very excited to announce the publication of the previously unpublished manuscript by Robert Anton Wilson,
The Starseed Signals – Link Between Worlds.
We have added the subtitle: A RAW Perspective on Timothy Leary PhD.
Something of an odyssey transpired as this book sat in limbo for nearly four decades before being discovered and then wrangled into publication. That wrangling story is explained in a publisher's note that we have put in the beginning of the book.
Written three years before RAW wrote Cosmic Trigger, The Starseed Signals documents a period of time when RAW's old friend Timothy Leary was incarcerated, and RAW felt the need for Tim's story to be told – but told, we find out, in a style that could only be written by Robert Anton Wilson.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from the publishers note…
In January of 1975, we know that RAW enlisted the aid of his friend, Discordian founder Greg Hill, to photocopy the manuscript, and we get a clue about RAW’s optimism, despite the circumstances, when he wrote to Hill, “I grow more convinced that Tim is managing it all, whatever it is, and using the government while they think they are using him, It has the earmarks of Sixth Circuit all over it I think.” We also know the manuscript was sent to at least one publisher, and possibly more, without finding interest, but the exact reasons for RAW’s abandonment of the project remain unclear . . .
. . . It turns out that Dr. Bob Newport, a friend of Discordian founders Kerry Thornley and Greg Hill, as well as a good friend of RAW’s, rescued Hill’s archives from “death-by-dumpster,” as Discordian historian Adam Gorightly poetically describes it. Some years later, Dr. Bob passed the archive on to Adam. Within those boxes of papers, Adam found the manuscript for The Starseed Signals.
A Foreword by John Higgs!
Author John Higgs has researched extensively the lives and ideas of both Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson. His 2013 book, I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary, is considered a "remarkable account" by reviewers and readers alike. We completely agree, and we were thrilled that John was excited about writing a foreword to The Starseed Signals. His perspective on Bob's perspective on Tim's perspectives brings an enlightening additional magnifying glass to the party.
We offer many thanks to everyone who was involved in preparing this publication, including Adam Gorightly, Chas Faris, John Higgs, Iain Spence, Nick Herbert, the folks at Pelorian Digital (that's pretty much just Rasa, with Olga squawking in the background) and again most especially, thanks to our amazing cover designer, Scott McPherson from amoeba.
And a very special thanks to Dianna Ressmeyer, wife of the late great photographer Roger Ressmeyer, for graciously letting us use Roger's iconic photograph of RAW for this new publication.
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In other RAW News . . .
A special Prometheus Rising Reading Group has started at rawillumination.net. Join special guest blogger Gregory Arnott as he guides a discussion while participants are Doing the Exercizes in Robert Anton Wilson's Prometheus Rising. Bob recommended doing the exercises over an extended period of time, so the reading group will proceed over the next 23 months!
And now, a special message from RAW's daughter, Christina . . .
Dearest Friends and RAW Family of Heart,
Greetings from the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies! I hope that you, and those you love are well, and staying infection free during these wild times.
I am so pleased to say that Hilaritas Press is releasing a TOTALLY NEW RAW BOOK! As Rasa announced above, STARSEED SIGNALS: A RAW perspective on Timothy Leary is now available!
First, my deepest gratitude goes to Rasa (aka Richard Rasa), my intrepid and humorous Partner in the Hilaritas Press, LLC primary endeavor, which is to keep RAW’s literary legacy publicly available. It has often been a rocky road, but it seems to be evening out as we head into our 7th year!
Next, I want to thank our marvelous RAW Advisors, the circle of Bob’s old friends and devoted new fans of his work that step up to offer assistance in so many ways, from proof-reading to text interpretation, feedback, and more; thanks to each and every one of you!
And although last, my just as deep and profound gratitude to Scott McPherson for our amazing covers, and to those of you who have contributed by writing awesome Introductions and Afterwords; in particular, Doug Rushkoff, Grant Morrison, Richard Rasa, Alan Moore, David Jay Brown, and John Higgs, who not only wrote the introduction for Cosmic Trigger 1, but for this NEW book, as well.
For a bit more from my own perspective about this new book and when it was written, let us go back to the years 1975-1976 when I was 19 going on 20. Our whole family lived in Berkeley, California at the time. I had moved in with the Hog Farm commune at the invitation of Wavy Gravy about 2 years earlier, whom I had met in my basement as he and a group met there while preparing for a Grateful Dead concert to raise funds for saving the Whales… and my parents (Bob and Arlen Wilson) had moved from a small apartment on Channing Way to a larger rental up on College Avenue in a much nicer section of Berkeley. My older sister Alex had moved in with her boyfriend, so only my younger siblings Graham and Luna still lived at home with Bob and Arlen.
These were intense years; so much going on – the growing popular resistance of US citizens to the Viet Nam war, the creation of Earth People’s Park, a piece of land up in Vermont deeded to the “people of Earth,” the Watergate political debacle, The break-up of the Beatles band; Free schools emerging left and right, Hare Krishna devotees dancing in the streets and offering food to passersby, Timothy Leary escaping from prison… and so much more.
Tim Leary was recaptured and sentenced to do time in the California Men’s Facility, a medical prison operated by the state up in the city of Vacaville, CA. Bob was distressed his friend was incarcerated and would go up and visit him in order to help cheer him up, prove to himself Tim was not being mistreated, and they would have in-depth conversations about Tim’s work, his ideas, and his hopes. This book is somewhat of a record of those interactions, and those times, and for those of you who have read a lot of RAW, this identifies an early period in RAW’s own process of becoming more aware of “set and setting” and “observer/observed,” which eventually transformed into the more introspective maybe-logic points of reference that dominated his later life and writing.
He loved Tim; they had been friends since the early 60’s, when Bob had heard about Tim’s work and research into psychedelics when we lived in Yellow Springs, OH. I have been told Tim came to visit Bob and Arlen at the homestead there, but I have no memories of it. But I DO remember when in 1964 Tim visited our house in Vernon Township, NJ, when I was 8 years old. I remember he kind of “glowed,” he was incredibly charged; even as a kid it was super obvious. His smile would light up a room! Anyway, before leaving, he asked for something to write on so Bob handed him some typing paper; (typing paper was ALWAYS available in our house, and it was used for LOTS of things – paper airplanes, school projects, shopping lists – along with Bob’s writing…) Tim then proceeded to write a personal note to each of us kids, handing them to us as he was leaving.
I don’t remember what he wrote to me, but I do remember what he wrote to my younger sister, Luna; “Dear Patty, You ARE a star! Love, Timothy Leary.” At the time, Patty was about 4 years old; she did not take on the name Luna until she was 12 or so.
Back to 1975 – and this manuscript. What we DO know is that Bob tentatively reached out to at least one publisher at the time, but it seems it did not generate early interest. Then in early 1976, Tim was released from prison, which somewhat changed Bob’s focus. That Fall, my younger sister Luna was brutally raped and murdered, shattering our family’s world into falling, broken shards of jagged agony; incomprehensible pain. We grieved individually in our own ways (I totally disassociated and began to drink heavily), and we grieved as a family that had been wounded irretrievably at the core. My mom, Arlen, never fully recovered, nor did my younger brother, Graham. For Graham, Luna’s violent death triggered a massive psychotic break with reality, leaving him in the clutches of severe schizophrenia, which he still suffers from today.
In looking back, I am grateful that Bob had worked hard to develop his writing as a daily practice; he turned to writing (with unconditional support from several friends, including Tim), and out of this period came Cosmic Trigger 1, which was somewhat healing for him.
Sometimes it is difficult for me to write of past events, but I feel strongly about sharing my experiences growing up in the House of RAW, and hope that in so doing, I can provide perhaps a glimpse of previously unseen perspectives. So glad we are able to publish this book!
My Love to each of you, Christina
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Thank you so much for your support,
and lots of love and lasagna to you all!
Rasa with Christina and Olga