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Prometheus Rising

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  5,346 ratings  ·  296 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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4.26  · 
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 ·  5,346 ratings  ·  296 reviews

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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
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
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to rate this book. I didn't learn nearly as much from it as I expected from the raving recommendations friends had given me. At the same time, Wilson's enthusiasm is contagious (even if a bit rash: no, we still don't have the chemicals to alter our mental states at will), and I found myself quoting certain ideas while talking with other friends. So I'm rounding it up to "really liked it." :)

A few reading notes:

~ It does matter when a book finds you. The only really new thing here was t
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most important book I’ve ever read. A truly paradigm shifting work that should be required reading, despite a few flaws & shortcomings due to aging.
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
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brain expanding meme.jpg the book.

This book is about thinking. Thinking about thinking. Thinking about your thinking. Thinking that maybe the book is or is not true.

This book is a crash course in outdated psychology models, but serves as an excellent jumping off point. It pushes the reader to not be satisifed. It pushes to reader to accept their own limited cognitive view and want something more.

In that Prometheus Rising greatly suceeds. I cant fault it for incomplete or outdated information. T
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
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
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 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
Daniel Donatelli
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The title and cover of this book, along with some extraordinary erotic moments, are the only good memories I have of a short-lived romantic relationship I was once in with a countercultural hipster/hippie who had a first name with way too many letters in it. I linger by bookshelves like perverts linger by pools, and this book looked the most interesting of those in her private collection. But I didn't dive into reading it because she ultimately cheated on me, and it was soured by the association ...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.
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
I was expecting more from this book, which is often touted as one of RAW's classic mega-works, and is recommended reading for many contemporary WMT/occult/fringe schools. On closer reading though, I found the material to be too theoretical and dense in parts. There are practical 'experiments' at the end of each chapter, however, I feel that RAW never gets to the core of issues of existence and what really plagues the human race. Rather he focuses on weird ideas presented by Timothy Leary (now sh ...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
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer2018, 2018
I reserve the right to alter my rating and review in days and weeks to come, but as of a few hours after finishing the Appendix, I'll type that reading Prometheus Rising may well be the event of my consciousness's ascendance, or an event preceding a significant paradigm shift. I'm giving this four stars and not five as the final chapter's claims about hedonism and the Intelligence Intensification has not panned out, as of this writing, 21 years after publication.

The political climates of certai
Giorgos Tselios
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While reading this, I felt enthralled and repulsed, intrigued and bored, joyous and miserable, angered and placated, certain and skeptical - but most importantly changed, forever.

A must read for every domesticated ape (Homo Sapiens). If there is one book that can change someone's reality-channel, it's 'Prometheus Rising'.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the author's humor and agreed with most of what he had to say regarding realty tunnels. Some of what he has to say was probably revolutionary at the time in which it was written. That said, the ideas I agreed with are no longer revolutionary, and the rest consisted mostly of heavy over generalizations. It was a quick and interesting read, but not one that was life-changing, at least for me.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I want whatever Wilson is smoking. Good insights and analysis. It ties together so many aspects of our being and existence and packs them away into this dense book. Throughout the book I had to reread sentences or paragraphs in attempt to understand his connections to previous chapters. It is a worthy read and insightful, but also quite dense and not entirely clear, at least to me. If you like psychology and evolution, you’ll like this. I suppose there are better books that convey the messages m ...more
Char Lee  Sea
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I "read" this in my early 20's. I lacked the life experience to actually grasp the concepts that RAW discusses. So I'm basically, actually reading it for the first time now. I was more familiar with RAW's views on mysticism. I am surprised by the depth of psychology in the book, making the mystic side even more substantial.
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
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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
“Human society as a whole is a vast brainwashing machine whose semantic rules and sex roles create a social robot.” 76 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.” 69 likes
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