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
b) Archetypes Proper
a) Subjective Experience
b) Objective Reality
B. Classification Systems
(1) Natural World
(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)
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
a) Peter Wessel Zapffe and Thomas Ligotti
b) Paul Shepard and Derrick Jensen
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
A. What does it all add up to?
B. The Personal and Experiential
i will probably never read it, but it’s interesting how strongly this book has attracted you.
Its a very unusual book that attempts to convey a very difficult subject matter. The authors are a married couple. The book is a collaborative work about the very collaboration that is their shared life together. They are very different people and yet seem to balance eachother.
All of their children are adopted, and for whatever reason they seem attracted to somewhat troubled children. One of their sons hung himself when he was 9 years old, an age when a kid can’t even comprehend death.
They clearly demonstrate their love for eachother and for their children. I’ve never been married nor have had children, but I was completely able to understand and empathize.
The book isn’t about horror vs love, but about how horror and love flow into one another, how love demands risking ourselves to the horrors that can befall those we love. This book has the emotional impact that it does because the stories they share are so personal. They give you about as much of a glimpse into their lives as is possible for an author to give.
The book also goes beyond just this. Its about what makes life worth living, what keeps a person doing what they do, what they must do. And its about feeling wonder. Life is hard to make sense of and even story can only go so far. This book is about the limits of life and about looking beyond these limits to see what is there… even when we are afraid or maybe because we are afraid.
it sounds very powerful.