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on 5 October 2017
An interesting book that benefits from a second read after reading Richard Rasa's clarifying afterword. Wilson repeatedly emphasizes two things: What the thinker thinks, the prover proves; and, the map is not the territory. My interest in this book stems from my conviction that our beliefs dictate our reality and that the mind will seek to validate that reality, and hence the beliefs, at every possible opportunity. Even with this insight, it can be tough to shift a belief, even when you know it is toxic and probably wrong. Yet the reality thus created is just a model or map (Wilson's reality tunnel) and is not the territory. Wilson encourages the reader to 'try on' a range of reality tunnels as a thought experiment by emulating mindsets radically different from their own. This is not to persuade the reader to any particular point of view, it is to demonstrate that there are all these different reality tunnels/models/maps co-existing within human society - and these maps, none of them, are the territory.
As Wilson moves on to describe his model of the higher 'circuits' of consciousness (5-8), it becomes more obvious that this book was based on his PhD thesis. It is full of references appropriate to such a thesis but rather obscure to the general reader. The unspoken assumption that runs through his ideas is that all matter is conscious in its own right and that this can be experienced (though not easily!) at the levels of the body, the brain, the DNA and finally quantum particles - an inverse relationship of ever expanding consciousness associated with smaller and smaller phycial entities. If this is a bit of a stretch for some readers, remember Wilson's own caveat: the map is not the territory. This is just another map. Everything from the great or ancient religions to sweeping political movements and science are all just maps and models.
My quibble with Wilson, and the reason for the missing star, is that he makes no accommodation for human imagination, fantasy or creativity on any of his circuits. He argues that in the creation of our own individual reality tunnels "we are all greater artists than we realise" but this is no substitute for the deliberate acts of creation so integral to and beloved by the human animal. He makes no mention of love either which makes his map a rather cold one. Of course, if you choose to adopt Wilson's map as your own you can simply add these elements in, for it then becomes yours to do with as you please.
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on 15 August 2016
WIlson's seminal work is a pleasure to read.

Combining aspects of psychology, philosophy, quantum physics and entertainment, Wilson provides a series of instructions by which the reader may awaken themselves to a liberation of the self and advance their being towards a state of control over their reality tunnels.

Every student of self-advancement, alchemy, left-hand path systems and life on the whole will enjoy and benefit from reading this work.
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on 17 February 2018
Not a bad piece of work, not too heavy, even if a big jargony in places. In fact, think I read it in four sittings.

It largely seems to be a re writing or re interpretation of previous spiritual and occult practices, combined with ideas of previous respected heavy guns in philosophy. In fact, Wilson, says the idea he is expounding "is" what they meant, b ut didn't have the language or scientific knowledge to get to.

Some interesting re looks at ideas, dogmatic in place with some pretty poor examples (at times) used to illustrate his points. He is a bit dogmatic at points and we could do with a little bit more on the concept and a little less of his political views. He tends to use people he clearly does not like, as examples of "lower" sorts. A bit of a re edit could help it too.

It seems like a lighter re interpretation of other idea and philosophies, for the average person, with enough jargon thrown in to make it seem loftier and more academic and complex, than it actually is. This is compounded by his emperor's new clothes tone and statements that the lower sort won't get his book, that struck me as a bit unnecessary and that the author was better than such cheap and obvious tricks. There is a bit too much sarcasm and sneering, these being tricks to make up for lack of substance, I have found.. as is the use of jargon. To be fair, in such an area some jargon is necessary.

I would have liked him to go a bit more in depth and methodically through the circuits. A re look at ancient and older concepts from a more modern perspective is enjoyable and something we interested in the area shoudl do.

There is also a lack of self awareness you would imagine a book that was written, then edited, would not contain i.e. the author would see where they exhibited this. The get out of "this is of course my own reality tunnel" does not get him off the hook here.

In saying that, I found it a valuable read and I will definitely take something for myself from it, I think I may re read it. It seems funny to see such high praise and some pretty reactionary attacks on the work though. They seem, largely, emotionally driven, rather than scientifically or analytically... and, as mentioned above, he has attached a certain superiority to those who praise and say they get his idea.. ironically, as he talks about this very attitude in the book.

Yes, a re read of it is in order.
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on 6 April 2018
I read this book around 12 years ago and it was an eye opener. Based on Leary's eight circuit model, RAW sets out the model for mapping out the nature/nurture development of conscious - and so much more besides. I love the new cover (by Amoeba designs) and the afterword by long-time friend and keeper of the Wilson flame/publishing estate, Rasa is revelatory and just... beautiful.

If you're RAW fan and you haven't picked up this book in a while, the writing, the ideas, even its over-optimistic suppositions from another place in time and space still stand up.Hell yeah, five stars... stars all the way to Sirius
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on 29 September 2017
Fascinating book by a true polymath. RAW was a flawed genius - what genius isn't flawed? - but his range of knowledge and understanding is still astonishing and his optimism irrepressible. Well worth aread.
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on 3 October 2013
...is that it offers you an opportunity to radically challenge everything you believe in about the world and yourself. And that it gives you an unique, fresh view at human personality. The description of the four "basic" levels of consciousness is spot-on and much easier to understand than in Leary's work. A lot of the stuff later in the book may be hard to verify, but unlike other New-Agey authors, R.A.W. doesn't want you to believe him, no he wants to inspire you and make you question everything.
Indeed, it is wise, to take this book with a grain of salt - especially when science is discussed, much in the book is either inprecise or outdated or both. But that doesn't cut away at its signifiance. Oh, and it can be ridiculously funny.
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on 21 April 2018
As described
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on 15 March 2018
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on 13 March 2015
RAW classic in which he develops the compelling eight circuit model of consciousness with his usual flair and insight. Re-read from 10 years ago and well worth it.
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on 19 October 2015
The best book I've ever read
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