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Cosmic Trigger: Die letzten Geheimnisse der Illuminaten oder An den Grenzen des erweiterten Bewusstseins (Cosmic Trigger #1)

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,769 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
The great modern classic of a brilliant rebel's personal exploration into the nature of consciousness.

"Cosmic Trigger deals with a process of deliberately induced brain change. This process is called "initiation" or "vision quest" in many traditional societies and can loosely be considered some dangerous variety of self-psychotherapy in modern terminology. I do not recomme
308 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH (first published 1977)
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Drawing Down the Moon by Margot AdlerThe Golden Dawn by Israel RegardieLiving Wicca by Scott CunninghamPrometheus Rising by Robert Anton WilsonThe Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie
Occult Library
86th out of 477 books — 226 voters
The Orphan Trilogy by James MorcanThe Orphan Conspiracies by James MorcanGENIUS INTELLIGENCE by James MorcanAngels & Demons by Dan BrownThe Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Underground Knowledge
309th out of 717 books — 185 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 21, 2008 Kat rated it it was amazing
Zany, unique, and wittily written, Wilson weaves a web of seemingly random connections between information as he playfully proposes the wildest conspiracy theories. Even as he runs away with your imagination and succeeds in convincing you, at the same time he mocks himself and reveals his own cynicism towards his assertions.
Tony Gleeson
Mar 01, 2016 Tony Gleeson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to refer to Robert Anton Wilson as a "crackprophet"-- his writings are totally off the wall and indiscriminate, embracing both silly ideas and deeply profound ones, trying to unify scientific, historical, metaphysical, and, well, downright psychotic concepts. What this book challenged me to do, way back when, was to approach things with as open a mind and as little "contempt prior to investigation" as I could muster. I must have assembled and read several dozen books as the result of read ...more
Dec 23, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Discordians, Thelemites, Chaos Magicians
Recommended to Michael by: The Magickal Child
This is another of those books that would've gotten a five-star rating when I first read it, in late High School or early college, but today doesn't hold up as well. While there's a lot of interesting possibilities suggested, by way of deliberate speculation on synchronicity and technological advances, there's also a LOT of really wacky unfounded psuedo-science and wishful thinking. Writing in 1977, Wilson made a number of predictions about the future here, and not one of them even remotely came ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wilson makes a point to note at the beginning, "Belief is the death of intelligence." Carry that thought with you as you read, the menagerie of strange ideas he puts forward throughout are meant to strip away our preconceived notions of what is acceptable opinion - but that does not mean that he endorses or fully believes any hypothesis. The meat of this book, and what makes it staggering and appealing, is the idea that science and mysticism both confirm that reality is entirely subjective. Whil ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Avdi rated it it was amazing
On the surface, a book about drugs and magic and contact with aliens. On a deeper level, a book about philosophical agnosticism and the practice of deliberate mental metaprogramming. Entertaining and illuminating on either level.
Jan 04, 2008 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discordian
With a title like Final Secrets of the Illuminati, I was expecting a fictional story akin to Illuminatus!: while I wasn't disappointed, the book is instead a chronology of Robert Anton Wilson's spiritual and philosophical journey over the course of his life.

Reading Wilson is almost like taking a drug: if you let it, his writing puts you almost in another consciousness. This is neither an inherently good or bad thing, but I have had thoughts and ideas while reading his work that I never would hav
vivian flash
May 31, 2009 vivian flash rated it really liked it
Wilson has written a book that you just can't take in all at once.
One of the deeper "surface" lessons, the one Wilson shouts the loudest and at the same time refuses to do any more than tease you with, is that you have to decide for yourself what to believe -- but that deciding to believe anything limits what you will be able to observe in the world around you. This is heavy stuff, and ground-breaking to the average reader.
This is a work that has earned a place on my bookshelf ... although I mi
Jan 21, 2016 Damon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counter-culture
Quite a naive story about the 60s simulacra with a great deal of hero worshiping of Temple's Sirius Mystery, published a short time before. The most real thing about the book is the incredibly sad retelling of the death of Wilson's daughter near to the end.
Aug Stone
Jun 04, 2015 Aug Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Anton Wilson's positivity shines through as always. A joy to read. Fascinating subject matter dealing with his occult experiments to ever expand his reality tunnel and raise his consciousness. Most of the book has to do with his growing awareness of a connection to the Dog Star, Sirius, and the coincidences that abound in his life around it. RAW always manages to attract interesting and intriguing people into his life (Tim Leary is a prominent figure in the book, and although he doesn't a ...more
Nick Vandermolen
Back when I was in deep study of the freemasons I was contacted by a mysterious individual who said that he had many secrets to tell, but I could not talk to him again until I read this book. I tried to order it off line, I never received it. I tried retrieving it from the library, it was mysterious missing. Every avenue I took, it was unavailable. Year when by and my friend and business partner at the time Jarmo gave me a present. Said it was the Techo-virus, said not to open it for a year, not ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Benny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Anton Wilson is the quintessential agnostic, highlighting on page one in all-caps "I DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING" before he seemingly gives you reason to believe in synchronicity, the 23 enigma, yoga, the occult, the miracle at Lourdes and Guadalupe, tantric sex, psychedelic drugs, a worldwide global conspiracy, UFOs, quantum physics, and a lot of information about the connection of Egyptology to the "Dog Star" Sirius. But he continues to question these things and gives the reasons one might ...more
Jeanne Johnston
Feb 25, 2014 Jeanne Johnston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for questions (there are no answers)
Recommended to Jeanne Johnston by: ?? It just found its way to me.
This is a book I read often. It is as eye-opening as a great hit of acid, without that annoying nebulousness that keeps you from expressing all the things you've learned when you touch back down on the runway.

This is the natural partner to his trilogy Illuminatus! (which I suspect is far more fact-based than it appears, based on the parallel tale of its creation told within this book), and this is where my acquaintance with RAW began. Though he was not actually my contemporary (older than my ol
Oct 24, 2012 Mario rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the first books by R.A.W. I read years ago and one of the main drivers behind my perpetual and never ending fight to change my reality tunnel (succeeding and failing in the process many times) to properly accomodate myself in the crazy and inhumane contemporary world ruled by the Totality of the Spectacle and mediated experience, where people hungrily consume artificial products and maintain a prothesis of relations via Facebook and other social media. The world in which buying a new iPho ...more
Maxwell Foley
Jun 02, 2016 Maxwell Foley rated it it was amazing
After reading "The Postmodern Condition" and finding it tedious and convoluted, I decided to re-read a book that, as far as I can tell, describes "the postmodern condition" a million times more effectively and enjoyably.

Wilson opens the book by telling the reader "I do not believe anything". He evidently, uh... feels that human cognition is so overwhelmed by confirmation bias, the Baader-Meinhof effect, etc. that it's absurd to imagine that one can analyze things from an objective, impartial pe
Oh, Robert Anton Wilson. I so want to play with you, but you're a little kooky. Fun, but whacked.

It's 1970, and by 1985 we will all be immortal and living on space cities flying across the universe. (Did not happen, alas.) Also, if you take enough acid and mushrooms, coincidences become mystical experiences to be deciphered. And did you notice if you take the number 23, and flip it around, and then flip it around again, it's 23 again? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Hint: not much.

I tease. I enjoyed parts o
Zulu Adams
Jul 20, 2014 Zulu Adams rated it really liked it
I read Cosmic Trigger years ago but had wanted to refamiliarise myself with the text due to the new play adaptation that is currently in the works. The book is an extraordinary story, a memoir unlike pretty much any other as Wilson's adventures in brain change lead to the outside world colliding with his inside interpretations in surprising and colourful ways. He offers us models explaining everything that veer from the ludicrous to the irritatingly convincing. All the time, you sense him urging ...more
Mar 27, 2015 23 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not gonna go too in depth, but this is a really great example of the genius of RAW. As he warns in the most recent edition's foreword- do not believe everything he says! Do not believe fully in anyones BS, including your own!

Its always interesting to get into the mind of this great man, and interesting, historically, to look at some of the people he mentions and research in context of today (I'm looking at you, life extension research!)

The book is entertainment for the mind, not a source for cit
Jun 26, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would give this five but for the outdated predictions. Life extension, increased space travel, a lot of the things haven't happened yet. But, when I look at what has happened over the past thirty years, it isn't that surprising. There has been a TREMENDOUS increase in the use and availability of personal technology. People like Elon Musk and Richard Branson are doing good things with regards to space flight. However, a whole lot of the money and research has gone into personal computers -> la ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in High school and now re-read it, 30 years later. It explains a lot how my life and philosophy went after that... This is a weird and wonderful book. Robert Anton Wilson touches on diverse subjects and authors from quantum mechanics to to the history of the Illuminati, UFO contacts, Aleister Crowley and Terrence Mckenna. He describes events in the mid-70's when his friend Timothy O'Leary was in jail or out and on his way back, his own personal tragedies, anecdotes from his time ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange book. But you knew that, if you've ever read any other Robert Anton Wilson books. This one is a non-fiction that borders on autobiography. It's also a deep dive in to the idea that there are beings from Sirius trying to contact us and that a few people--Aleister Crowley, Timothy Leary (who is featured quite a bit in this book and actually scenes with him gave me a much better understanding of a lot of his work), the author, and others--have tuned into these signals.

There is als
Nicolas Garceau
Jan 23, 2012 Nicolas Garceau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind blowing stuff. Tons of crazy anecdotes. I will certainly read part 2
Sep 30, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard for me to think that this is the first review I have written of one of Robert Anton Wilson’s books. Cosmic Trigger Volume One: Final Secret of the Illuminati is the first of a three-volume autobiographical and philosophical work that explores various conspiracy theories. Wilson’s other works, such as The Illuminatus! Trilogy or Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy, are also wild rides.

Wilson never rejects nor embraces any of the conspiracies he discusses, but writes in such a way that the reader
Ian Drew Forsyth
Enter Chapel Perilous, like Grant Morrison did in the making of The Invisibles, as did Daniel Pinchbeck in his explorations of psychedelics, in line with Leary, Watts, and the counterculture psychonauts, all is open to potentia, there are many models in our many modeled reality, to be open to them all, is to let in a lot, and the element that never ends is change, all immaterial phenomena exist, whether they may be seen as supernatural, or spiritual, the spiritual science Wilson purposes is one ...more
In this work, a discussion of the paraphysical and the parapsychological, Wilson writes about topics like UFO sightings, coincidence (or Jungian synchronicity), Discordianism, magic, chemically-altered states of consciousness, and immortality. For Wilson, such “fringe” phenomena (and the work of fringe thinkers such as Timothy Leary, Aleister Crowley and Wilhelm Reich) supply different ways of understanding our notions about the structure of reality, the structure of the mind, and the structure ...more
Oct 24, 2015 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a nutshell, Wilson thought that a lot of the spiritual/mystic/occult beliefs and practices of human history metaphorically represent facts of the physical and biological world on levels which science does not yet understand fully. He alsot thought those practices could be used to increase the efficiency and capability of the human mind. I'm not fully convinced (nor would Wilson want me to be). But it is interesting to think about. His writing is entertaining and sometimes quite insightful. Wr ...more
Nov 04, 2013 Averill rated it did not like it
At first the book started off novel, something like Manley P Hall guest staring on "Saturday Night Live". It was funny for about 75 pages. Then the book took a huge nose drive into belligerents. I felt as tho I was wading around neck deep in the mind of Ol D.B. (Old Dirty Bastard). The focus of the book... There was absolutely no focus what so ever. I think this guy wrote most of this book under the influence of LSD. Then there's the obsession with Aleister Crowley, that's all I have to say. But ...more
Apr 03, 2016 Tommy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the earliest validations I experienced of a personality being composed of "parts" - these separate parts of Wilson contribute to the writing of the book each one neatly labeled when they contribute their part. other than that this book is quite a trip. Wilson is the man
Jon Cone
Jul 12, 2009 Jon Cone rated it liked it
Robert Anton Wilson ranges widely in this book, employing a style that shifts from the casual to the merely sloppy; yet one is always amused or entertained, as if one is being talked at by a stoner about all manner of subjects enjoyed by such a character at his loopiest and most articulate. The usual suspects make appearances: Timothy Leary, Aleister Crowley, Gurdjieff, Kerry Thornley etc. One isn't ever truly convinced by Wilson's 'scholarship' or impressed by his logic. However, entered into w ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Steven rated it it was ok
Shotgun scholarship. There are probably some realistic ideas here, but there is most definitely a bunch of nonsense.

This is an older book, and I think what has happened is that over time some of the ideas here have been refuted. Concrete example: orteguil france asteroid that Wilson cites as having RNA in it. This has been proven false. So it may be that the ideas here were 'cutting edge' at the time of writing, and there was not enough contrary evidence for Wilson to determine to leave the subj
Jan 31, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read. Combines -- as only RAW can -- tongue-in-cheek humor with a serious overview of the process of seeking enlightenment (whatever that is) as interpreted by various traditions and cultures.
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Robert Anton Wilson became, at various times, an American novelist, essayist, philosopher, polymath, psychonaut, futurist, libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized as an Episkopos, Pope, and Saint of Discordianism by Discordians who care to label him as such, Wilson helped publicize the group/religion/melee through his writings, interviews, and strolls.

He described his work as an
More about Robert Anton Wilson...

Other Books in the Series

Cosmic Trigger (3 books)
  • Cosmic Trigger 2: Down to Earth
  • Cosmic Trigger 3: My Life After Death

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“belief is the death of intelligence.” 749 likes
“ optimistic mind-set finds dozens of possible solutions for every problem that the pessimist regards as incurable.” 205 likes
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