Prometheus Rising Summary

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021
"infobox Book "
namePrometheus Rising
authorRobert Anton Wilson
countryUnited States
release_date1983 (First Edition)
isbnISBN 1-56184-056-4

Chapter Summaries

Part I - Introduction

1. The Thinker & The Prover

The human mind behaves as though it were divided into two parts: The Thinker and The Prover. The Thinker can think absolutely anything - the earth is flat, the earth is round, he loves me, she loves me not. The Prover's job is much more simple - what the thinker thinks, the prover proves. If the thinker thinks "holy water" from Lourdes will cure his/her illness, the prover will find evidence that this is so.

It is fairly easy to see that other people's minds operate this way; it is comparatively much harder to be aware that one's own mind is operating this way as well.

2. Hardware & Software: The Brain & Its Programs

The brain is not a computer, but can be modeled as such. Specifically, it can be modeled as hardware and software. The physical part of the brain is the hardware; the set of programs that humans pick up as they mature are the software.

Each program consists of four specific parts:
  1. Genetic Imperatives: Hard wired programs, instincts.
  2. Imprints: More or less hard wired programs that the brain accepts only at certain points in its development. These points are known as imprint vulnerabilities.
  3. Conditioning: These are programs built into the imprints, and are looser and easier to change, especially with counter-conditioning.
  4. Learning: Looser and even softer than conditioning.

From Timothy Leary, with modifications by Robert A. Wilson, the imprints are divided into 8 stages. The first four are considered antique in that everyone goes through them; the second four are considered the newer, future evolution for humanity.

The 8 Circuits are:
  1. The Oral Bio-Survival Circuit
  2. The Anal Emotional Territorial Circuit
  3. The Time-Binding Semantic Circuit
  4. The "Moral" Socio-Sexual Circuit
  5. The Holistic Neurosomatic Circuit
  6. The Collective Neurogenetic Circuit
  7. The Meta Programming Circuit
  8. The Non-Local Quantum Circuit

Part II - The First Four Circuits

3. The Oral Bio-Survival Circuit

The survival of any organism must contain a program that tells it to GO FORWARD towards the nourishing/nurturing and RETREAT from the threatening/predatory. Babies program on the female breast as the bio-survival object, and forever link orality with comfort.

How a baby imprints at this stage will forever affect how they interact with the world. Some imprint bravery, inquisitiveness and the exploratory drive; others imprint timidity, fear of the unknown and withdrawal. That is, they either imprint that the world is a safe place or that the world is a threatening place. Their responses to the world will forever be automatic until they learn how to reprogram and reimprint their own brain circuits.

People who take their heaviest imprint on the 1st circuit are forever "baby-faced", plump, round and gentle; they are easily "hurt" by disapproval because this suggests extinction by loss of food supply.

The healthy adult exercises this circuit regularly by cuddling, sucking, hugging and by playing with a) one's own body b) another's body c) the environment.

4. The Anal Emotional Territorial Circuit

As the baby matures into a toddler, the Anal-Territorial circuit determines the relative dominance or submissiveness of the organism. Depending on the circumstances at the time of programming, this circuit will organize itself into a strong, dominating role in the pack (family) or into a weak, submissive role.

Persons who take their strongest imprint on this circuit are musculotonic - they hold most of their attention & energy in the muscular attack systems. Even when you shake their hand, you get the sense that they're not greeting you but demonstrating their strength.

With Circuit #1 and #2, we now have four quadrants to characterize people based on their views of themselves and the world around them: Hostile Strength, Hostile Weakness, Friendly Strength, Friendly Weakness, also known as "I'm ok, you're not ok", "I'm not ok, you're not ok", "I'm ok, you're ok", "You're ok, I'm not ok".

The healthy adult is able to move within these four quadrants as the circumstances require.

5. The Two Circuit Dialectic

Humanity will end the "cycle of history" when we free ourselves from our hard-wired robotic imprinting.

6. The Time Binding Semantic Circuit

Human beings are symbol-using creatures. We use symbols like language and culture to leave information behind for the next generation.

In simple terms, we can think of the Time Binding Semantic Circuit as "the mind" i.e. the internal monologue, the ability to represent ideas via symbols etc. It is also associated with the ability to use logic and reason, and gives us the ability to conceptualize the passage of time.

Persons who take their strongest imprint on this circuit are cerebrotonic - tall and skinny, with all the energy drawn upwards to their "eggheads". The first two circuits are oddities to them - playfulness puzzles them and emotions frighten and baffle them.

The healthy adult recognizes that "reason is a whore" - that is, that reason can be corrupted by earlier circuits. They also play with this circuit by writing poems, limericks, puns etc.

7. The Time Dialectic: Acceleration and Deacceleration

The first two circuits operate on negative feedback - their purpose is to maintain homeostasis and keep the organism alive.

The third circuit is revolutionary in that it operates on positive feedback - it constantly seeks a new equilibrium at a higher energy level. In societies where the third circuit has been partially unleashed, we have what is commonly known as "progress". However the third circuit is always restrained by rules, laws, prohibitions, taboos, laws, "common sense", "common decency" etc.

The acceleration-deacceleration dialectic stems from how the third circuit accelerates progress whereas the fourth circuit reins it in.

8. The Moral Socio-Sexual Circuit

The socio-sexual circuit is awakened and imprinted during adolescence when puberty awakens the sexual apparatus. How the person is imprinted will dictate their sexual behaviour (promiscuous, timid, fetishes etc), and is an accident of circumstances except in so-called "primitive" societies which recognize the importance of this time and have a series of rituals/ordeals/rites of passage designed at guiding a child into a man or a woman who has the desired traits for that culture.

The specific taboos of a culture are irrelevant - some cultures abhor a brother marrying his sister, other cultures insist upon it. Only one rule is consistent: sexuality cannot go unregulated by the tribe. Thus morality was invented to intervene around mating and reproduction. In this way, society manages the genetic mix and evolution of its tribe.

The socio-sexual circuit could also be called the "guilt-circuit" in that there is almost always a discrepancy between who the person "really" is and the accepted sex role they must play in their society. It also encompasses the "Parent" or "Adult" role in society.

Persons who take their heaviest imprint on this circuit are beautiful regardless their physical appearance; they are constantly radiating signals of the ideal lover and protector even though on the inside they may be cold and calculating or uptight and repressed.

Acute consciousness of time is heightened in the fourth circuit. Whereas the third circuit was progress, the fourth circuit centres around the "cycle of life", and adults focus their energy and attention on raising the next generation, not on progress. For this reason, homosexuals and the celebate have historically played a role in the progress of humanity as they had been free to put their attention into the arts and sciences.

A "reality tunnel" or "worldview" is a person's internal concept of reality based on their imprinting of the four circuits. Failures in communication stem from sending the message to the wrong address - i.e. a rational 3rd circuit comment directed at someone who is coming from a 2nd circuit emotional mindset. We all tend to assume that the person we are interacting with is coming from the same circuit that we are.

Unfortunately, the goal of societies (so far) is not to create natural, creative, real human beings but robots who mimic the roles of society as closely as possible. Only when we change our child rearing methods will we begin to change this.

Part III - Prelude to The Second Four Circuits

9. Mindwashing & Brain Programming

In order to reprogram an individual, they must be reduced to infantile helplessness (i.e. 1st circuit) in which other people are deciding what is to be done to his or her body. From there, the first four circuits can be rebuilt. These techniques are used by the U.S. Army intake process and can be illustrated by the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, an heiress turned revolutionary.

Human society as a whole is a vast brainwashing machine whose semantic rules and sex roles create a social robot.

10. How to Brainwash Friends & Robotize People

The easiest way to be brainwashed is to be born.

Everybody has the only one true religion (or worldview).

Each reality tunnel (worldview) looks equally absurd when viewed from the outside.

From the inside, one would never think that his or her experience is absurd. It is completely rational and objective. Of course.

Part IV - The Second Four Circuits

11. The Holistic Neurosomatic Circuit

The fifth circuit, the Neurosomatic circuit, is the territory of yogis, mystics, shamans and visionaries, characterized by bliss, ecstasy, rapture etc. This bliss is often achieved by passing through "the dark night of the soul" i.e. negative neurosomatic experience such as anxiety, depression, physical pain, confusion etc.

Temporary neurosomatic rapture can be achieved by a) the yogic practice of pranayama breathing b) ingesting cannabis drugs c) tantric sex.

This circuit is newer in human evolution. It does not manifest in all human beings and generally appears later in life in those who do activate and imprint it.

A person who has mastered this circuit can essentially control their own second circuit emotional experiences, and program within their physiology a sense of peace, safety and love. They transmute their experience so that they are high and happy in situations where the four-circuited majority would be miserable. They rarely get sick. They talk about how everything and everyone is one, and "all you need is love" - and they mean it.

From an evolutionary perspective, the fifth circuit is necessary for humanity as we move towards a more complex neuro-social structure.

12. The Collective Neurogenetic Circuit

With the collective neurogenetic circuit, the so-called collective unconscious becomes accessible to the individual while the person is awake. (It has always been available to humans during dreams via Jung's Archetypes.) The first users of this circuit spoke of past lives, while current users speak of the akashic records, Gaia principle etc.

Specific exercises to trigger the use of this circuit are not found in yogic teaching; it usually happens, if at all, after many years of expertise in advanced rajah yoga aimed at the fifth circuit. It is also found in Jungian synchronicities, also known as "meaningful coincidences".

13. Introduction to the Metaprogramming Circuit

14. The Metaprogramming Circuit

15. Different Models & Different Muddles

16. The Snafu Principle

17. Quantum Evolution

18. The Non-Local Quantum Circuit

19. Prometheus Rising

Categories: Non Fiction