But anyway, it's called "Bride..." because I thought we should follow the Hollywood tradition where the first great sequel was "Bride of Frankenstein," so why not Bride of Illuminatus!?
Then I realized that the first great sequel was "Son of ..."
CCN: Son of Mighty Joe Illuminatus!.
RAW: No, the first great sequel was the New Testament. Somebody said, hey, the God book is doing really good, let's do Son of God, and they wrote the New Testament.
Most movies do go from Godzilla to Son of Godzilla, and so on. Frankenstein is one of the few that remembered you need a woman for reproduction and went to the bride, next after the original.
So this is Bride of Illuminatus!.
Once we had the title, we had to figure out who the bride of Illuminatus! was...and we've got a very interesting heroine, and she's getting more interesting.
CCN: Any sneak previews you want to share?
RAW: Well, it's set in 2026, exactly 50 years after Illuminatus! ended, and I didn't realize when we started, but Internet is going to play a large role in the plot. So is Cryonics.
CCN: Well, I want to touch upon your thoughts about the Internet a little bit later, but one thing I want to talk about since we mentioned Shea is that just to get into the mechanics of a writer, how did you collaborate?
RAW: Well, different writers have had different techniques.
What Shea and I agreed on is to write alternate sections, and then I, how shall I phrase it? I persuaded Shea to let me rewrite his sections in order to make the style more uniform. So there are many sections that are almost all Shea in content, but they're still me in style if you know what I mean.
Like, one of the longest sections that's almost all Shea is the movie about Atlantis... ...yet the style is me. I rewrote the thing to get it into the style of the rest of the book, and I added a few key things like the idea of the fur bristling as an expression of emotion and a few other things like that.
I also come up with the clouded lenses and I was trying to figure out how people who didn't have our concepts of sin or mental illness would describe somebody whose perceptions they couldn't understand, so I came up with the metaphor of the clouded lenses.
CCN: ...Well...that's a very good point because when you say, "Your lens is clouded," and we talk about that in the context of somebody who's, let's say, crazy, we get to the notion of "normal", "crazy" being defined loosely as "not perceiving normally" or "not behaving normally".
I don't see pink elephants floating around the room, and let's say somebody who's insane and is prone to hallucinations might see these pink elephants. There seems to be a spectrum of human perception and of behavior that might be called normal.
RAW: Then the spectrum is much wider than most people realize.
I've been doing seminars for nearly 30 years now...originally on general semantics, and then later I broadened it out so much that it's just a Robert Anton Wilson seminar, it includes so damn much.
But in my seminars, I have lots of exercises that show that no two people ever perceive the room the same way or hear the same sounds.
So we're all living in our own epic reality, as they call it in sociology. I like Leary's term "reality tunnel" because it's poetic and vivid and people get it right away. We're all living in our own reality tunnel, and I define psychoses as behavior that has reached the level of the unendurably obnoxious.
I don't care what the hell people believe.
They can bore me by talking about it too much, but that still doesn't bother me. It's when they start doing weird or frightening things that I call them mentally ill and want them removed from my environment.
We once lived with a schizophrenic in a building in Berkeley, and his beliefs didn't bother me in the slightest, but his behavior did when he started getting on the phone to the police regularly because he was imagining the building had been captured by terrorists or other fantasies of that sort. We all in the building agreed we couldn't stand having the police come in so damn often.
And so that's when I come up with my "objective" definition of insanity. Operationally, nobody has ever defined what's real to my satisfaction. So operationally, the only definition of psychoses is the condition in which people's belief systems lead them to act in a way that nobody else can tolerate for a day longer no matter how hard they try.
CCN: Convenience and safety.
RAW: When behavior becomes intolerable, then I call it psychotic. I get somebody to take them somewhere else so I don't have to put up with them any more.
CCN: Like the definition of a flower and a weed.
CCN: A weed is just a person you don't want to be around.