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Prometheus Rising

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  4,650 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
Imagine trying to make sense of an amalgam of Timothy Leary's eight neurological circuits, G.I. Gurdjieff's self-observation exercises, Alfred Korzybskis general semantics, Aleister Crowley's magical theorems, and the several disciplines of Yoga; not to mention Christian Science, relativity, quantum mechanics, and many other approaches to understanding the world around us! ...more
Paperback, 22nd print, 284 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by New Falcon Publications (first published 1983)
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Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book had some interesting information regarding psychology. It is a VERY quick read, and it DOES have interesting ideas in it, so it is recommended as a nice "bonus card" in anyone's psychology collection.

Starting with 5 stars:
-1 for unwarranted claims
-1 for only half of the book being interesting [the first half]
-1 for not having all that much information from which to build a synthesis

More in-depth review:

1. It's view on psychology I found a bit limited and boxy, I also found the authors
Jamie Whitt
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read anything else of RAW's besides Quantum Psychology- but I'm a huge fan already. I will say that I liked Quantum Psych better-- it just seemed more focussed and a more productive read. This was fun-- but I think I would not have enjoyed it as much if I had read this first instead. So if you're new to RAW, this may or may not be the best starter book, but regardless, his wit, "insight," and subtle, dry humor were great, of course, and I recommend it to everyone. The exercises at the ...more
Brandon Wicke
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book (along with, perhaps, House of Leaves) prompts me to re-think my criteria when coming up with a rating for books. Never have I read something that's caused me to so completely re-evaluate myself and the world around me.

Having read Anton-Wilson's 'The Illuminatus! Trilogy' I was still uncertain precisely what to expect: sci-fi? philosophy? psychology? crack-pot mysticism? The answer, of course, was all of it. The author gives us an image of the world and the human 'mind' wherein we have
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Do I agree with everything written in this book? No, but that doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile read. RAW, as always, has given me something to chew on.

This is a book with a lot of wild claims, and plenty of it is completely off the wall, but there's a lot here that rings really true, and hits home for me. Everyone with any interest in how the mind works and what the ultimate truth of reality is should absolutely give this a read; it's funny, thought provoking, wildly optimistic and a little s
Dec 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all domesticated hominids stuck in a rut
Robert Anton Wilson manages yet again to pull the rug from right under my reality-tunnel. Infused with contagious optimism for the future of us domesticated primates, his only fault might be in guessing too soon the dates of our future collective evolutionary benchmarks. But just because what he hoped would have happened by now hasn't, doesn't mean it won't.

Case in point, just today the BBC posted a news article about the probability that by 2029 tiny ro
Mike Bell
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very few books have given me a genuinely tingly, feel-good sensation - the kind that you get when you "get high" - the kind you get when you meditate on existence and suddenly realize that you "get it" and "everything is OK".

This was one such book.

One night a few weeks ago, I was browsing through my computer and came across a file about Robert Anton Wilson, and I realized that I didn't know a whole lot about the guy, so I grabbed a handful of his books, read through his Wikipedia entry, and pic
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I regard this book as a masterpiece; R A Wilson manages to provoke the reader into mindblowing realizations about how we percieve our surroundings and how this effects our actions, by constantly skillfully playing with your thinking and fooling you into thought traps to prove his points. Some parts could at a first glance seem like pure hippie bullshit by a not-so-alert reader - especially the ones about superhuman or divine perceptions - but this isn't bullshit. It is his genious way of getting ...more
Jul 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Annalise by: Nathan Stier
Shelves: never-finished
Grab your tin foil hats, kids! The soapbox man wrote another book about drugs, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, sociology, human development, and some sort of quantum bullshit.

I really wanted to like this book. I tried. But the pseudo-academic preachiness alone is too much. Despite being in its, like, millionth printing and having gone through revisions, it really shows its age with crazy notions about abnormal psychology, brain chemistry, evolution, and enlightenment (to name a few sore th
James Curcio
Aug 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Though dated in several ways, this book nevertheless should be an absolute must-read for all people as they pass through their early 20s. It was a central book in a class taught at my college, and I could see its influence in the people in that class then, and afterwards. It is quite simply the beginning of a long process: becoming ones self, on ones own terms. It is not final, nor do I think Bob intended it to be any other way.

It was also one of the things that convinced me that I needed to ha
Jun 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysticism
misogynist garbage
Brandon T.
Jul 31, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: My Recycling Bin
Recommended to Brandon T. by: My Best Friend
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I consider RAW to be one of my three greatest teachers, the two other being my chi gung instructor Bernard Langan and my current spiritual teacher Jill Purce.

This book may put you off if you are still firmly grounded in the rationist materialist paradigm. Try Quantum Psychology instead.

But if you are already living with a worldview outside the scientific reductionist materialist paradigm, then Quantum Psychology might seem a bit tame. Prometheus rising presents similar material but goes farther
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those looking for new perspectives
At the time I was reading this, several things happened in the news that, to me, were synchronized enough to shift perspectives (vantage points, viewpoints, worldviews, positions, etc. otherwise referred to as "reality tunnels" by the author,) in the country, if not globally. And they all seemed to happen back-to-back in rather rapid succession. If nothing else, many of these were good to begin much-needed conversations on a number important topics.
See if you can remember them: American Pharoah
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kirjan punainen lanka on Learyn 8-circuit model of consciousness ja tän mallin tulkinta ja esittely. Kuitenkin kirjan ydin oli mun nähdäkseni todellisuustunnelien ajatuksessa ja lukijoiden herättelemisessä sen havaitsemiseen, että kuinka meistä jokainen elää tiettyjen aksioomien ja uskomusten varaan rakennettussa todellisuudessa. Kuitenkaan nää todellisuustunnelit ei oo hakattu kiveen, vaan meidän on mahdollista muuttaa uskomuksiamme ja sitä miten todellisuuden näemme, hyvinkin radikaalilla tava ...more
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking to expand their consciousness
This book is an eye-opening analysis of Dr. Timothy Leary's eight circuits of the brain. Wilson skillfully combines theories from Freud, Jung, ancient Sanskrit texts and other philosophers and scientists from all niches, and explains them in an easy to understand and often humorous manner while summarizing their differences to each other and their striking analogues to Dr. Leary's overarching physiological and psychological paradigm. He relates historical anecdotes of mental epiphanies and enlig ...more
Jakub Reginia
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mam sporawy problem - jak tu zacząć recenzje tej książki? Robert Anton Wilson porusza w niej tyle tematów i zagadnień, że tak naprawde ciężko wyjaśnić to w kilku akapitach - czemu myślymi, w jaki sposób myślymy, co jest prawdą, a co nie? Czy istnieje Bóg, a może bóg; bogowie? Może nie ma boga? A może jest. A może to całe pisanie jest bez sensu? Może autor próbuję nam powiedzieć, że wszystko jest wytworem naszej wyobraźni? Albo jesteśmy produktem naszego kręgu kulturowego i wszystko czego się nau ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a person who enjoys interconnections between things, I've thoroughly enjoyed this book. Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) jumps between seemingly unrelated concepts with their underlying connections.
RAW shows how humans can be brainwashed and how in the end it doesn't really matter as it's all about the journey and all path leads to Rome, eventually.
He puts yoga, synchronicity, UFO sightings, akashik records, Jung's concept of the collective unconscious into his perspective, and it's a fascinating p
Mrs. Bunny
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: esoteric
2.5 rating, really.
There are some genuinely interesting ideas and perspectives discussed. But there are even more outlandish, outdated, and outright silly claims. Some people I discussed the book with suggested that atleast some of that is intentional, to make the reader work out what's valuable and what's not. I hope so, because if not the book is quite disappointing.

I would ultimately recommend reading it, but with a spoonful of salt and a critical (though still open!) mind. It does prompt you
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I got a kick out of Robert Anton Wilson's wit. Some of his observations are quite astute and eye-opening. It is almost a philosophy of psychology, that is quick to embrace and dismiss science. Sometimes I couldn't tell if he was trying to convert me into a Hindu yoga guy, a Crowlean, a Christian Scientist,a practitioner of Cabala, an atheist, a capitalist, or a Marxist, but most likely it was none of the above. He is quick to embrace and dismiss everything, often at the same time. Not sure how m ...more
Apr 21, 2007 rated it liked it
This guy brings up a lot of interesting stuff that I hadn't heard before, maybe if I had had more of an education it would be old news to me, these different theories of mind, etc. but then there was a lot of stuff that I felt was more or less garbage, and nothing was substantiated other than by saying, like, "I'm a cool old hippy dude, trust me, I know what I'm talking about.." I need a little more.
Entertaining-ish, though, and thought-provoking.
David Garcia
IMHO, IT does not hold the test of time. Interesting in some aspects, funny at times, but in the end, IT feels like watching Metropolis... Currently, A too well understood and assumed Message. Maybe groundbreaking 50 years ago, but not any longer.
Michael Cunningham
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Prometheus Rising (1983) by Robert Anton Wilson is a mind-blowing neuropsychological manual on how to reprogram your own brain. The book combines Timothy Leary’s Eight Circuit model of consciousness, psychological imprinting and conditioning theory, Gurdjief’s self-observation exercises, Quantum Mechanics, Yoga, Cybernetics, Freudian psychoanalysis, sociobiology, psychedelics, Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics and much more to construct a strange but enlightening lens for viewing the world an ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an open mind
Shelves: books-i-own
Anybody interested in any way at all in spirituality and/or the society we live in should read this book. It put into words many of the things I already thought but in a very easy to understand way, although I have to admit I didn't understand everything, yet, fully, but that isn't anything a second reading wouldn't correct. I feel that R.A.W.'s insights a very close to the way I feel about a lot of things, things both spiritual and societal. I find him to be very funny, and I always find humour ...more
Frank Deschain
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting too much from this book, but knew that I would find interesting things here and there. However, when I got the ebook I was very surprised to find that it is a very thought-provoking read. The more that I read alternative literature like this, the stranger reality gets. Here and there the author includes exercised to test theories that are outlined in the book. Personally, I'm a sucker for any self-improvement/new-age book that includes exercises to test out in daily life. I've ...more
Mustafa Al-Laylah
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was the second Robert Anton Wilson book I ever read (the first being “Coincidance”), and ideally it should have been the first. After reading it I began to plow through as many R.A.W. books as I could, and then Leary, and then Alli, and then Hyatt, &c. ad inifinitum.

The basic premise of the work is that you can change your life by changing your mind. This accomplished with a dazzling number of what the Zen masters call “empty-handed” techniques. These techniques are housed within Wilson
Mac Hull
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There are a number of unsubstantiated claims and predictions that haven't come to fruition in this book, but I enjoyed damn near every page nonetheless. If you have the tendency to take things too literally and are likely to be annoyed with semantics, you probably won't like this book too much. However, if you can take away major themes and ideas of a work without getting caught up with the specifics of the model being presented, you will probably find this an enlightening thought experiment.

Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
For me, this is Robert Anton Wilson at his best. If "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" is non-fictionalized fiction, then "Prometheus Rising" is fictionalized non-fiction. Of course, there are elements of this type of thinking and writing in all of RAW's works that I have come across so far. Things that are considered "real" versus "not real" are constantly juxtaposed with each other in his work. But unlike "The Illuminatus! Trilogy," which is my favorite RAW book, this book is a tad more grounded in wh ...more
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-programing
Anton Wilson sets down a lucid explanation of how the human mind is "programed" and of equal or greater importance how to reprogram one's self. Undoubtably the clarity of an author largely depends upon the meeting of the minds, author and reader. Wilson speaks to me. I follow the way that he thinks, writes. Become who you are, there are no guarantees. Wilson was often in correspondence with Timothy Leary and later worked with Christopher Hyatt. Hyatt's book "Undoing Yourself With Energized Medi ...more
Adam Miller
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of my favorites and remains a really fun book to go through. RAW combines concepts from many sources and combines it all in a way to de condition the human primate from having too much social conditioning and seeing it for what he believes it to be. I actually did most of the exercises and they add a lot to the experience of the book and it was really fun. The concepts he's using comes from a lot of pop psychology including Leary's eight circuit consciousness model, Buckminster ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is simply the greatest book ever written. If I had a say it would be required reading along with Quantum Psychology for every high school student before they graduate. If you finish this book and don't rethink everything in your life, then something is very wrong.

I wrote the first paragraph of this review years ago. Nothing has changed as far what I said. This book is even more timely to me now. It has pointed out serious flaws in my own perception of my life and asked me questions I cannot
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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
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“Human society as a whole is a vast brainwashing machine whose semantic rules and sex roles create a social robot.” 65 likes
“When we meet somebody whose separate tunnel-reality is obviously far different from ours, we are a bit frightened and always disoriented. We tend to think they are mad, or that they are crooks trying to con us in some way, or that they are hoaxers playing a joke. Yet it is neurologically obvious that no two brains have the same genetically-programmed hard wiring, the same imprints, the same conditioning, the same learning experiences. We are all living in separate realities. That is why communication fails so often, and misunderstandings and resentments are so common. I say "meow" and you say "Bow-wow," and each of us is convinced the other is a bit dumb.” 58 likes
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