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Headscratchers / Illuminatus!

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  • What does "Never Whistle While You're Pissing" mean besides the most literal interpretation? :-
    • It means that you should concentrate on one thing at a time, man. Whistling while you're pissing means that you're not concentrating fully on either: you're a robot, man.

      • But I thought you are the robot?

      • Just because you're the robot doesn't mean you're the robot. Did you even read the book?

      • There's a reference in the Appendices to Aldous Huxley's novel Island, in which the Rajah has trained mynah birds to fly over the titular island saying "Attention!" and "Here and now, boys!" to remind the people of the island to concentrate fully on the here and now. Huxley was a friend of Timothy Leary's. Leary was a friend of Wilson's. You do the math.

      • While we're on that note, Illuminatus! makes a lot more sense in the context of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture. Timothy Leary once famously said the trilogy is "more important than Ulysses or Finnegans Wake." It, along with Gravity's Rainbow and Dhalgren, delves into the druggy excesses of the time but also the desire for individuality and free-thinking.