Monday, April 25, 2011
Cycloptic Encyclopedia! Chapel Perilous
Robert Anton Wilson: "In researching occult conspiracies, one eventually faces a crossroad of mythic proportions (called Chapel Perilous in the trade). You come out the other side either stone paranoid or an agnostic; there is no third way. I came out agnostic.
Chapel Perilous, like the mysterious entity called "I": cannot be located in the space-time continuum; it is weightless, odorless, tasteless and undetectable by ordinary instruments. Indeed, like the Ego, it is even possible to deny that it is there. And yet, even more like the Ego, once you are inside it, there doesn't seem to be any way to ever get out again, until you suddenly discover that it has been brought into existence by thought and does not exist outside thought. Everything you fear is waiting with slavering jaws in Chapel Perilous, but if you are armed with the Wand of Intuition, the Cup of Sympathy, the Sword of Reason, and the Pentacle of Valor, you will find there (the legends say) the Medicine of Metals, the Elixir of Life, the Philosopher's Stone, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
That's what the legends always say, and the language of myth is poetically precise. For instance, if you go into that realm without the Sword of Reason, you will lose your mind, but at the same time, if you take only the Sword of Reason without the Cup of Sympathy, you will lose your heart. Even more remarkably, if you approach without the Wand of Intuition, you can stand at the door for decades never realizing you have arrived. You might think you are just looking for a bus, or wandering from room to room looking for your cigarettes, watching a TV show, or reading a cryptic and ambiguous book. Chapel Perilous is tricky that way."