Quotes from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

Robert Shea ·  805 pages

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“The individual act of obedience is the cornerstone not only of the strength of authoritarian society but also of its weakness.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“And Spaceship Earth, that glorious and bloody circus, continued its four-billion-year-long spiral orbit about the Sun; the engineering, I must admit, was so exquisite that none of the passengers felt any motion at all. Those on the dark side of the ship mostly slept and voyaged into worlds of freedom and fantasy; those on the light side moved about the tasks appointed for them by their rulers, or idled waiting for the next order from above.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Simon sipped at his coffee. “Everything in life is a hallucination,” he said simply. “Everything in death, too,” he added. “The universe is just putting us on. Handing us a line.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“What would you think of a man who not only kept an arsenal in his home, but was collecting at enormous financial sacrifice a second arsenal to protect the first one? What would you say if this man so frightened his neighbors that they in turn were collecting weapons to protect themselves from him? What if this man spent ten times as much money on his expensive weapons as he did on the education of his children? What if one of his children criticized his hobby and he called that child a traitor and a bum and disowned it? And he took another child who had obeyed him faithfully and armed that child and sent it out into the world to attack neighbors? What would you say about a man who introduces poisons into the water he drinks and the air he breathes? What if this man not only is feuding with the people on his block but involves himself in the quarrels of others in distant parts of the city and even in the suburbs? Such a man would clearly be a paranoid schizophrenic, Mr. Flanagan, with homicidal tendencies.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Synchronicity is as universal as gravity. When you start looking you find it everywhere.”)”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Let us consider humanity a biogram (the basic DNA blueprint of the human organism and its potentials) united with a logogram (this set of "conditioned verbal habits"). The biogram has not changed in several hundred thousand years; the logogram is different in each society.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“The history of the world is the history of the warfare between secret societies. —Ishmael Reed, Mumbo-Jumbo”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Allen Ginsberg—sitting amid a huddle of Yippies off to the right—began chanting again, as he had all evening: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare….” Ginsberg believed; he believed in everything—in democracy, in socialism, in communism, in anarchism, in Ezra Pound’s idealistic variety of fascist economics, in Buckminster Fuller’s technological Utopia, in D. H. Lawrence’s return to preindustrial pastoralism, and in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Voodoo, astrology magic; but, above all, in the natural goodness of man.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“In ninety seconds they were naked and he was nibbling at her ear while his hand rubbed her pubic mat; but a saboteur was at work at his brain. 'I love you,' he thought, and it was not untrue because he loved all women now, knowing partially what sex was really all about, but he couldn't bring himself to say it because it was not totally true, either, since he loved Mavis more, much more. 'I'm awfully fond of you,' he almost said, but the absurdity of it stopped him. Her hand cupped his cock and found it limp; her eyes opened and looked into his enquiringly. He kissed her lips quickly and moved his hand lower, inserting a ringer until he found the clitoris. But even when her breathing got deeper, he did not respond as usual, and her hand began massaging his cock more desperately. He slid down, kissing nipples and bellybutton on the way, and began licking her clitoris. As soon as she came, he cupped her buttocks, lifted her pelvis, got his tongue into her vagina and forced another quick orgasm, immediately lowering her slightly again and beginning a very gentle and slow return in spiral fashion back to the clitoris. But still he was flaccid.

'Stop,' Stella breathed. 'Let me do you, baby.'

George moved upward on the bed and hugged her. 'I love you,' he said, and suddenly it did not sound like a lie.

Stella giggled and kissed his mouth briefly. 'It takes a lot to get those words out of you, doesn't it?' she said bemusedly.

'Honesty is the worst policy,' George said grimly. 'I was a child prodigy, you know? A freak. It was rugged. I had to have some defense, and somehow I picked honesty. I was always with older boys so I never won a fight. The only way I could feel superior, or escape total inferiority, was to be the most honest bastard on the planet earth.'

'So you can't say 'I love you' unless you mean it?' Stella laughed. 'You're probably the only man in America with that problem. If you could only be a woman for a while, baby! You can't imagine what liars most men are.'

'Oh, I've said it at times. When it was at least half true. But it always sounded like play-acting to me, and I felt it sounded that way to the woman, too. This time it just came out, perfectly natural, no effort.'

'That is something,' Stella grinned. 'And I can't let it go unrewarded.' Her black body slid downward and he enjoyed the esthetic effect as his eyes followed her— black on white, like the yinyang or the Sacred Chao—what was the psychoses of the white race that made this beauty seem ugly to most of them? Then her lips closed over his penis and he found that the words had loosened the knot: he was erect in a second. He closed his eyes to savor the sensation, then opened them to look down at her Afro hairdo, her serious dark face, his cock slipping back and forth between her lips. 'I love you,' he repeated, with even more conviction. 'Oh, Christ, Oh, Eris, oh baby baby, I love you!' He closed his eyes again, and let the Robot move his pelvis in response to her. 'Oh, stop,' he said, 'stop,' drawing her upward and turning her over, 'together,' he said, mounting her, 'together,' as her eyes closed when he entered her and then opened again for a moment meeting his in total tenderness, 'I love you, Stella, I love,' and he knew it was so far along that the weight wouldn't bother her, collapsing, using his arms to hug her, not supporting himself, belly to belly and breast to breast, her arms hugging him also and her voice saying, 'I love you, too, oh, I love you,' and moving with it, saying 'angel' and 'darling' and then saying nothing, the explosion and the light again permeating his whole body not just the penis, a passing through the mandala to the other side and a long sleep.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“In the same mathematically reciprocal way, profit implies loss. If you and I exchange equal goods, that is trade: neither of us profits and neither of us loses. But if we exchange unequal goods, one of us profits and the other loses. Mathematically. Certainly. Now, such mathematically unequal exchanges will always occur because some traders will be shrewder than others. But in total freedom—in anarchy—such unequal exchanges will be sporadic and irregular. A phenomenon of unpredictable periodicity, mathematically speaking. Now look about you, professor—raise your nose from your great books and survey the actual world as it is—and you will not observe such unpredictable functions. You will observe, instead, a mathematically smooth function, a steady profit accruing to one group and an equally steady loss accumulating for all others. Why is this, professor? Because the system is not free or random, any mathematician would tell you a priori. Well, then, where is the determining function, the factor that controls the other variables? You have named it yourself, or Mr. Adler has: the Great Tradition. Privilege, I prefer to call it. When A meets B in the marketplace, they do not bargain as equals. A bargains from a position of privilege; hence, he always profits and B always loses. There is no more Free Market here than there is on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The privileges, or Private Laws—the rules of the game, as promulgated by the Politburo and the General Congress of the Communist Party on that side and by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve Board on this side—are slightly different; that’s all. And it is this that is threatened by anarchists, and by the repressed anarchist in each of us,”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Hang on for some metaphysics. The Aneristic Principle is that of order, the Eristic Principle is that of disorder. On the surface, the Universe seems (to the ignorant) to be ordered; this is the aneristic illusion. Actually, what order is “there” is imposed on primal chaos in the same sense that a person’s name is draped over his actual self. It is the job of the scientist, for example, to implement this principle in a practical manner and some are quite brilliant at it. But on closer examination, order disolves into disorder, which is the ERISTIC ILLUSION. —Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C., Principia Discordia”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“It's a dreadfully long monster of a book, and I certainly won't have time to read it, but I'm giving it a thorough skimming. The authors are utterly incompetent - no sense of style or structure at all. It starts out as a detective story, switches to science-fiction, then goes off into the supernatural, and is full of the most detailed information of dozens of ghastly boring subjects. And the time sequence is all out of order in a very pretentious imitation of Faulkner and Joyce. Worst yet, it has the most raunchy sex scenes, thrown in just to make it sell, I'm sure, and the authors - whom I've never heard of - have the supreme bad taste to introduce real political figures into this mishmash and pretend to be exposing a real conspiracy. You can be sure I won't waste time reading such rubbish.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“What the fuck are you talking about?” I asked, wondering if I was in some crazy surrealist movie, wandering from telepathic sheriffs to homosexual assassins, to nympho lady Masons, to psychotic pirates, according to a script written in advance by two acid-heads and a Martian humorist.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“The value of the matter is not worth one one ten-thousandth the value of the form,” said Drake.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Well...ignorance is an evil," said Joe.
"Not when it can be acknowledged and accepted," said Hagbard. "In order to eat, you have to be hungry. In order to learn, you have to be ignorant.Ignorance is a condition of learning. Pain is a condition of health. Passion is a condition of thought. Death is a condition of life...”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“More stringent security measures. Universal electronic surveillance. No-knock laws. Stop and frisk laws. Government inspection of first-class mail. Automatic fingerprinting, photographing, blood tests, and urinalysis of any person arrested before he is charged with a crime. A law making it unlawful to resist even unlawful arrest. Laws establishing detention camps for potential subversives. Gun control laws. Restrictions on travel. The assassinations, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind. Instead of realizing that there is a conspiracy, conducted by a handful of men, the people reason—or are manipulated into reasoning—that the entire populace must have its freedom restricted in order to protect the leaders. The people agree that they themselves can’t be trusted.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Submission is identified not with cowardliness, but with virtue, rebellion not with heroism, but with evil.

To the Roman slave owners, Spartacus was not the hero and obedient slaves were not cowards. Spartacus was not a hero, and obedient slaves were virtuous. The obedient slaves believed this also. The obedient always think about themselves as virtuous, rather than cowardly.

If authority implies submission, liberation implies equality. Authority exists when one man obeys another, and liberty exists when one man do not obey other men.

Thus, to say that authority exists is to say that class and cast exist, that submission and inequality exist. To say that the liberty exists is to say that classlessness exists, to say that brotherhood and equality exist.

Authority, by dividing men into classes, creates dichotomy, disruption, hostility, fear, disunion. Liberty, by placing men to equal footing, creates association, amalgamation, union, security.”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“When God’s Lightning was first founded, as a splinter off Women’s Liberation, it had as its slogan “No More Sexism,” and its original targets were adult bookstores, sex-education programs, men’s magazines, and foreign movies. It was only after meeting “Smiling Jim” Trepomena of Knights of Christianity United in Faith that Atlanta discovered that both male supremacy and orgasms were part of the International Communist Conspiracy. It was at that point, really, that God’s Lightning and orthodox Women’s Lib totally parted company, for the orthodox faction, just then, were teaching that male supremacy and orgasms were part of the International Kapitalist Conspiracy.)”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“However, in the 16th century, in Afghanistan, the Illuminated Ones (Roshinaya) picked up the original tactics of the Order of Assassins. They were wiped”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“A Mason? Bejesus, no - I've been a Catholic all my life, I'll have you know!”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

“Hagbard began to
understand: they are not here to learn, they are here to acquire a piece of paper that would make them
eligible for certain jobs....”
― Robert Shea, quote from The Illuminatus! Trilogy

About the author

Robert Shea
Born place: in New York City, New York, The United States
Born date February 14, 1933
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