If I were to write a book…

In response to my blog post Burroghts, PKD, and Ligotti, the writer of the Grim Reviews blog wrote (here):

“It’s even regrettable these points aren’t explored further in a more serious form than an informal blog post. With some elaboration, this is the type of analysis that would do well online or in print to help revive the curiously stifled field of weird scholarship the past few years.”

I agree with him.  I would like to explore this further in a more serious form.  I have been slowly thinking out a set of ideas these past several years and my blogging is part of this.  Each blog post is just one glimpse on a larger perspective.  I’m a person that looks at interconnections and my mind is wide-ranging.  There is a long blog that I’ve been working on for a month or so now that does articulate some of this more fully, but it’s still just another blog post (assuming I ever post it).  If I miraculously became motivated enough, I would love to get an essay or book published.  That would take work… but anything is possible.  Here is an outline of a possible book I could write.

I. Explanatory Theories

A. Basic Structures

(1) Platonic Ideals

a) Abstractions

b) Meta-Abstractions

(2) Archetypes

a) Tropes

b) Archetypes Proper

(3) Enactivism

a) Subjective Experience

b) Objective Reality

B. Classification Systems

(1)  Natural World

a) Categories

b) Patterns

(2) Spiritual World

a) Astrology, Seasons, and Cycles

b) Mythological Explanations

(3) Human World

a) Human Culture: Ethnicity and Caste Systems

b) Human Nature: Types and Functions

C. Inclusionary Models

(1) Developmental (Descriptive and/or Prescriptive)

a) Psychological

b) Social

(2) Integral

a) Structured

b) Loose

D. Beyond Theory

(1) Non-Systematic and Non-Linear Thinking

(2) Postmodernism (e.g., Derrida and Religion)

(3) Paranormal: Imaginal, Daimonic, Trickster, and Science

II. Western Tradition

A. Religion and Philosophy

(1) Monotheism: Egyptian, Greek, and Jewish

(2) Dualism: Zoroastrian, Egyptian, Greek, and Gnostic

(3) Natural Law: Greek and Zoroastrian

(4) Astrotheology, Solar Theology, and Mythicism

B. Eastern Influences

(1) Translations of Eastern Texts in the 1800s

a) Theosophy and G.R.S. Mead

b) J. Krishnamurti and U.G. Krishnamurti

(2) Eastern Thought Mixing with Re-Popularization of Ancient Western Thought

a) Eastern Traditions in Egypt and Rome

b) Similarities between Hinduism, Buddhism, Classical Thought (e.g., Heraclitus), Gnosticism, and Manichaeism

c) Carl Jung, Herman Hesse, and Philip K. Dick

C. Humanity and Nature

(1) Pessimism

a) Peter Wessel Zapffe and Thomas Ligotti

b) Paul Shepard and Derrick Jensen

(2) Optimism

a) Ken Wilber and Integral Theory

b) Arne Næss and Depth Psychology (along with Transpersonal Psychology and the New Age)

(3) Other Views

a) Marty Glass’ Yuga: An Anatomy of our Fate

(3) Visions of the Future: Directions and Possibilities

III. Contemporary Thinking

A. Writers as a Nexus of Thoughts

(1) Carl Jung

(2) William S. Burroughs

(3) Philip K. Dick

(4) Ken Wilber

B. Culture and Pop Culture: Religion, Philosophy, Psychology, Literature and Film

(1) New Myths and Philosophies, New Perspectives and Paradigms

a) Perennial Philosophy, Mysticism, Buddhism, and Integral Theory

b) Counter-Culture: Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, and Terrence McKenna

– Psychedelics, Conspiracy Theories, and Reality Tunnels

b) Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, Star Wars, and the Matrix Trilogy

(2) Gnosticism and Christianity

a) Carl Jung and Philip K. Dick

b) William S. Burroughs and Philip K. Dick

c) New Age, New Thought, and A Course In Miracles

(3) Horror and the Weird

a) Franz Kafka and Edgar Allan Poe

b) H.P. Lovecraft, William S. Burroughs, and Thomas Ligotti

(4) Social Commentaries: What is Human?

a) Victoria Nelson’s The Secret Life of Puppets

b) Eric G. Wilson’s The Melancholy Android

(5) Neo-Noir and SF: Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and Alchemy

a) Eric G. Wilson’s Secret Cinema

b) Thomas S. Hibbs’ Arts of Darkness

C. The Paranormal and Science

(1) Charles Fort, Jacques Vallee, and John Keel

(2) Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality and George P. Hansen’s The Trickster and the Paranormal

IV. Conclusion

A. What does it all add up to?

B. The Personal and Experiential

2 thoughts on “If I were to write a book…

  1. Dear Benjamin,

    I’m glad to hear it. I meant no criticism at all that you’re posting these thoughts on a blog–obviously, I do the same myself. I just think it deserves a wider readership and showcasing in some journal or anthology of scholarship. It’s clear you have thought about these issues regarding Ligotti a great deal, and your thoughts are very welcome.

    Look forward to hearing more from you.

    Best,

    -GB

    • Hello GB,

      I didn’t take your comment negatively. It just so happened to coincide with my own thinking about how my ideas are part of a larger context. The above was maybe more about outlining my mind than outlining a potential book.

      When I first delved into LIgotti’s writings, I didn’t know how his ideas fit into my thinking. Even though I suppose a part of me is a Pessimist, I don’t go out of my way to read Pessimistic philosophy. I was raised in New Thought Christianity which is as idealistically optimistic as one can get. It’s been long winding road.

      If Ligotti wasn’t a writer of weird fiction, I doubt I’d be interested in his ideas as much. Weird fiction makes ideas more respectable to me. lol

      Ligotti has made a lovely contrast with Burroughts and PKD. A comparison of those three writers could definitely make a book all on its own… and there is definitely enough material between the three of them for a book. A cool book could be an anthology of writings of these three mixed with introductiory material, notes and esays about them. That’d be awesome.

      I just ordered The Thomas Ligotti reader. So, I guess that means I’ll have plenty of more to say about Ligotti. I look forward to this book because R.M. Price is one of my favortie biblical scholars and I want to read about his perspective.

      I get emailed a monthly essay from Price. The most recent essay is titled “My Vision”. He describes what he’d like to do when he grows up. He has this dream of running a retreat center that would be a center of learning. He gets tired of the politics of academia and so this would be free from ideological biases of conservative scholarship. Heretics of different varieties would be welcome.

      Price details all of the subjects that could be taught and discussed. The funny thing is that, among several “serious” topics, he throws in weird fiction. Wouldn’t that be great? A retreat center where even weird fiction writers and enthusiasts would be welcome. Ah, to dream!

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