From: The Order of the Illuminati, Sirius Section
To: Galactic Central
The progress of the domesticated primates of Terra has been advancing nicely since we introduced the Tarot deck five krals ago (obscure time or calendar reference – Eds). As predicted, the amusement of the Tarot game has led to wide dispersion of the cards among the primates, and some have inevitably learned to use the cards also for scanning quantum probability waves and thus foreseeing "future" events. A few have even begun to decode the evolutionary script in the structure of the deck. We have, therefore, elected to introduce a second educational device among them, once again disguised as a game.
The new game is called "chess." Detailed instructions for play, with a hologram of the playing board, are enclosed as an appendix to this report. The purpose of the chessboard is to insinuate a correct model of the primate brain into the semantic circuit of said brain, with the hope that, as with the Tarot, the smarter primates will gradually decipher it.
To begin with, we have made the board of black and white squares, although it can be altered to black and red, or any other starkly contrasting polarity, as suits the whims of various primate artisans. The essential signal will remain the same, although black/white is, of course, the strongest artistic expression of the encoded symbolism.
The primal message is, as Your Lucidity will readily scan, the basic positive-negative (off-on) pulsation of all energy forms. Since we have already infiltrated this signal into Terran culture in several other artifacts and toys (see Memo 2317, "On the Chinese Yin-Yang and Related Electronic Codes"), the more intuitive primates will easily recognize its reiteration 32 times in the 64 squares of the chessboard. We thus hope confidentially that some of them will eventually contemplate the relation between the eight rows of the board, the eight files, the proportions of 8 x 4 = 32 and 8 x 8 = 64, etc., thereby deducing the great Law of Octaves which we are still trying to teach them.
Since the chess board itself models the Terran brain, as they will gradually realize, the black-white symbolism will help them to intuit the relationship between the active left hemisphere (Yang) and the passive right hemisphere (Yin). As in all neurogenetic codes, we include extra information in each signal. Thus we hope the on-off (positive-negative) symbol will simultaneously suggest to them the on-off nature of consciousness itself (and the unreality of their current static self-images or egos); the off-on functioning of the individual synapse; the on-off of the emotional-glandular switches; the off-on of the sleep-waking cycle; etc.
We cheerfully predict that, within only a few tneks, some Terran primate gazing at a chess board will intuit "in a flash," as they say, that the repeated pattern of black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white, etc., is the peak and crest of a sine wave, entirely Similar to their own +/ - brain processes. In short, a philosopher will arise among them to announce that the illusion of a continuous ego is caused by insufficient self-observation.
To reiterate the basic application of the plus-minus polarity to the Terran brain, we have encoded die signal in a more complex and subtle way into the larger design of the chessboard. That is, we have divided it into a seemingly strong "King side" and a seemingly weak "Queen side." We have also divided it (rather obviously) into a "strong" white side and a "weak" black side. The strength of the white side is so blatant, in fact, that the primates, as soon as we introduced the game, established a tradition to "make the game more fair." This tradition obliges the players to exchange roles, so that whoever is white (has the advantage) in one game must play black (have the disadvantage) in another game.
This is where we get sneaky. Having discovered that one side of the board is stronger, going up the ranks, they will soon try to learn if one half is stronger, going across on the files. It will seem obvious to them that the "King" side (from white's perspective) is stronger. To make the neurological lesson obvious even to a Terran primate, we have placed the "strong" King side where the right hand of the "strong" (white) player naturally rests. Thus, each time primates play this "harmless game," they will be neurologically absorbing the information that the "strong" right hand is connected with the "King side" modes of thought, i.e., those in the left hemisphere of the brain (yang).
It is our estimate that, given the dominance of right-hand, left-hemisphere functions in all primitive species at this stage of development, and given also the mode of male superiority that the primates of Terra have currently adopted, they will almost all try to win the game on the "King side." This is one of the jokers built into our code.
We estimate that it will take 1.5 krals before even the cleverest of the Terrans realizes that the "Queen side," corresponding to the left-hand, right-hemisphere neurological mode, is actually the stronger side. This lesson should have a dramatic "shock treatment" effect on their evolution.
It is further hoped that the 64 squares of the total chess board will eventually transmit the concept of the 64 codons of the genetic code, especially since we have already infiltrated this suggestion into the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching. Even if the 8x8 structure does not totally communicate the Law of Octaves to them, we have reason to hope that within a kral or two they will at least stumble upon the eightfold nature of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.
To represent their present primitive stage of self-awareness, we employ eight pawns. Each pawn represents an ego state, and the primates will easily identify with each pawn as they move it. The fact that there are eight pawns, not one, will, we expect, give them some subliminal suggestions about the narrowness of their "one ego" view of themselves. We have also arranged the metastructure of the game so that the quickest win can be obtained by sacrificing the first pawn moved (if the opponent is gullible enough to succumb to the "grab-at-once" or "attack-at-once" reflex, without using the higher brain circuits).
The art of sacrificing pawns skillfully, to win the larger game, will, we hope, insinuate into the Terrans an awareness of the necessity to sacrifice each and any ego state for the maximum functioning efficiency of the brain as a whole. In short, the player who is attached to or identified with any given ego state (pawn) will be defeated by the player who thinks in gestalts, using the whole board, i.e., the whole-brain model.
The other eight pieces, like the eight pawns, hint again at the Law of Octaves, and reiterate once more that the single-ego view of consciousness is false, for each piece represents a different mode of consciousness or a separate brain circuit. The king's rook, which can move only orthogonally, forward, back, or sideways, represents the most primitive amphibian circuits of the brain, having to do with bio-survival fight-or-flight reflexes. The orthogonal symbolism also correlates with the crawling of the newborn infant, when this circuit is being imprinted. The double symbolism is, we submit, neat but not gaudy.
The king's knight, which leaps up from the board to descend in an unexpected place, represents the mammalian predator who leaps upon the prey. Since this section of the brain is imprinted in the stage wherein the infant rises up, walks, and begins struggling for power in the pack or family, the up-down symbolism is, we think, neurologically apt.
The king's bishop, which moves on the diagonal, represents the semantic circuit, which creates Euclidean 3D reality maps in the primate brain. We put it on a diagonal, instead of at right angles to the orthogonal rook and up-down knight, because 3D chess is beyond the primates at this point. The king, which stays at home, represents the fourth circuit: mating and reproduction. Thus we have provided a complete model of the circuits of the left brain, standing before the right hand of the "white" player and hinting powerfully of the right-hand/ left-brain feedback loop.
The queen side contains a complete model, in turn, of the extraterrestrial circuits waiting to be activated by DNA-RNA signals at the proper evolutionary time. The queen's rook represents the more intense/less intense modulations of the neurosomatic circuit. The queen's knight, which contains many surprising potentials that chess players will not discover for at least a tnek, represents the electronic perspectives of the sixth, metaprogramming circuit.
The queen's bishop, moving diagonally like the king's bishop, represents the neuro-genetic circuit of DNA evolutionary intelli-gence, as contrasted with the narrow egotistic intelligence of the individual primate. The queen herself, the only piece that can move any distance in any direction, represents the neuroatomic circuit, beyond all their concepts of space and time. (She also represents Our Lady of the Stars, but it will take an oroblram before they figure that out).
Finally, to illustrate that any mode of consciousness can graduate through HEAD work to the neuroatomic transtime perspective, we have arranged the rules of the game so that any pawn, by moving upward to the eighth rank (i.e., through the eight brain circuits), can become a Queen, i.e., a space-time traveler.
We confidently believe, Your Vastness, that the chess game will be one of the most successful educational devices we have introduced to the Terran primates.
- written by Robert Anton Wilson and originally appearing in the illuminati papers.