I could do Superman, the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, this kind of stuff [at school]. And kids would give me their lunch money to have these things.— Paul Laffoley
The most floundering Paul Laffoley quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual
Stephen Hawking won [Babson Institute competition ] one year with his black hole stuff. It's keeping an open mind on whether gravity exists or not. I think my father believed this because ... when the wind blew on him, he'd get angry, because it was something he couldn't control.
[My father] had this quirky thing of not believing in gravity.
And giving me a constant headache about that one. He would say if I showed any interest in gravity, I was becoming a dupe of the system. He could see indications I was beginning to believe in it.
I was always doing paintings. I actually started painting with oil paints when I was four years old. Not crayons, not pencils and that kid of stuff. I'd paint birds. Anything that moved, stuff like that.
I think [Nikola Tesla] was always like that.
And so it was inevitable that he would be an inventor. Because it was so easy for him to think fourth-dimensionally, dynamically. It wasn't just a static thing with him. In other words, it isn't the way an architect thinks, which is essentially static.
[Nikola Tesla] would do it through lucid dreaming.
He would, in a sense, dream up the engine, forget about it, come back, and then discover where it was wearing. You know, where the parts were wearing out. Now, that's inner visualization and a half! And that was the secret of why he did so many inventions.
My father would conclude his dissertations by saying, "Of course, [Albert] Einstein never believed in gravity. It was a distortion of space." And so my father couldn't believe that an attraction at a distance was a reality.
You know, in the suburbs, most people believe in gravity, but they don't have much of a sense of humor.
Both [Nikola] Tesla and [Leon] Theremin were preternaturally young.
I mean, for a long time Tesla was a young man well into his 70s. And so was Theremin, even though, at the end, he looked pretty old. But he was still doing things that young guys do, beyond the time you'd normally think people should be doing that stuff.
It was on Long John's show that I heard Orfeo Angelucci being interviewed.
In other words, the whole thing about the green globes on the top of a car bumper and the voice coming out, you know, and then this beautiful lady.... So he went through the whole number, what you read in his book, that kind of stuff. A whole raft of things.
I would be constantly brought up on the carpet by these teachers who were brought up with Abstract Expressionism, saying, "You're too uptight, you're not expressing yourself, why don't you feel freer?" I said, "Well, I don't like that stuff. It means nothing to me."
I think [Theosophical and Masonic books] wasn't that I was inspired so much.
I was corroborated by them.
H.P.Lovecraft could've been trying to do a Marx to Hegel, that kind of thing, in other words, turn the thing upside down and crawl around inside it. But, look, the guy was eating poorly, he had like a quart of ice cream a day. He was suffering constantly near the end. He wasn't concerned with his body at all, not the way we're concerned with our bodies nowadays.
While often being called transdisciplinary, theonomous reasoning is actually a first step back to ancient wisdom in which methodological sensation [or what we now know as science] has completely merged with methodological revelation [or totally known mystical knowledge in which every aspect of the occult has been overcome]. A true tradition has no occult or hidden phases left in its process. The creators and the audience are in perfect harmony.
I would say [to my father], "Why don't you actually take some courses in physics instead of saying [you are not believing in gravity]?" But he would never do it. Businessmen for some reason or other, think, because they're successful in a single direction, that they know everything. You know what I mean? You ever meet people like that?
I started with "Pickman's Model," because it was about Boston.
I mean, what I loved about [H. P. Lovecraft], at first is his sense of scholarship of an area, setting an environment, enlivening it. I think that's one of the secrets of writing.
The tetrahedron was [ Buckminster Fuller's] big thing.
He'd talk about it in the same way Plato talked about angles.
I like Colin Wilson, mainly because he never went to school.
When you don't go to school you can say anything you want like that and not have to worry.
I actually challenged The Theosophical Society on their concept of planes of reality. I said, "What you're doing is, you're stacking two-dimensional surfaces in three-space. And you are not going into any other dimensions at all." And they were furious, because they thought I was attacking Madame [Elena] Blavatsky.
I really wanted to study with Bruce Goff [one of the masters of "organic architecture"] at the University of Oklahoma.
Long John I think went off the air in about '79 or something, so there was a hiatus. That's why I think Art Bell thought there was a spot to be filled. He was doing exactly the same thing.
I always had a sense of liking diagrams, from the time I was studying architecture. Architecture is built diagrams, basically.
Now, we know this is what [H.P.] Lovecraft was into. Because he kept talking about how he wasn't interested in religion. In a heaven state there is no religion, meaning that you're seeing the whole thing ... I mean, to worship something means that it's something beyond you, right? In other words, it's not being revealed to you.
You know, Mick Jagger's "Sympathy for the Devil.
" I think it was inspired by that [H.P.Lovecraft stories]. You don't know who's reading what, you know. It just comes out once in a while in the pop culture.
The Babson Institute, which is now an actual university, was started by this guy [my father] who also had a problem with believing in gravity. And so he started the Babson Institute in New Boston, New Hampshire, which then moved to Gloucester. Each year they have a competition of one thousand dollars for one thousand words of an essay on gravity. That's the way they do it.
I was sent to the regular public schools until I had to go to Belmont Hill.
Because I wasn't doing anything. The public school was nothing, just a total waste of time.
The Mobius strip is only an analog for the reality of what it is.
I first heard of [Orfeo Angelucci] from Giuseppe Conti who gave me some books by him.
I met a guy who had the same theory and wrote a book about it.
His name is Walter C. Wright Jr. His book is called Gravity Is a Push. I wrote to him and told him about my father, and he said he wished he'd met him. My father died quite a while ago.
I belong to the Lovecraft Society, which meets at the University.
They do things like follow in Lovecraft's footsteps, just like he followed in Edgar Allan Poe's footsteps. I mean the actual footfalls, you know, like they're going out looking for sasquatch, this kind of stuff.
The whole thing that Dante [Alighieri] did was summed up in the medieval world.
It's like St. Thomas Aquinas, the Summa Theologica. He didn't invent it, he just put it all in one package. You get twelve fat books there sitting in any library. Whereas... I think if Joshi thinks [H.P.] Lovecraft was doing anything like that, just throwing together all this stuff to form a kind of anti-mythology, that's where I would disagree with him.
The whole theory of what Satan is, it's Lucifer, the highest of the seraphim, the bearer of God's light, who at a certain point comes to believe he is what is being revealed to him.
I mean, even New York isn't in any great shape anymore in relation to the rest of the world.
For years [H.P] Lovecraft was defined as an atheist. Well, he wasn't saying anything about what he really was at all. He wasn't even an agnostic. That's exactly what the situation is, in other words, when you enter an eternal realm. You've got to know there is no religion.
[Nikola Tesla] said he had no interest in the spiritual.
He didn't believe in telepathy, didn't believe in any of that stuff, didn't believe in any religion, and he just thought all these people were being superstitious and wanted them to go away. And in that way he was very close to H.P. Lovecraft, who was almost a believing atheist.
At 15 [my father] revolted against his father like any teenager, and said, "I'm out of here! What are you doing to me?" He thought he wouldn't be involved in that kind of stuff for the rest of his life. He just wanted to make money. He was one of those people who took over the family responsibility. His own father was pretty irresponsible with money and borrowed from people all the time.
At one time in the mid-'70s I became the president of the Boston-Cambridge chapter of the World Future Society. Because I'd been in my studio by myself since 1968 on up. And the thing is that my social life consisted of being involved in organizations like that. I would get people to come and speak, and speak myself and that kind of stuff.
When I was in New York working for [Frederick] Kiesler, at night I listened to Jean Shephard who lasted from 1957 until 1976 and then went off the air. But also I was listening to Long John Nebel. Now, Long John was what Art Bell and George Noory do now.
I went to the Mary Lee Burbank School in Belmont.
And it was a place where you, like, learned to go to the store? And I was saying, Oh God, I want to learn something else. I wanted to learn to read and write better and do mathematics better. They were very much into Abstract Expressionism and that artsy stuff. And where most kids did what I call meaningless blobs, I could render perfectly.
[Buckminster Fuller ] never got past his freshman year [in Harvard], because the guy was an insane womanizer and he did parties every night, never studied anything, never took a note, didn't care about anything and just had a blast. So they said, "We gotta let you go. You get zeros all the time." Today it wouldn't even matter, because they don't care if you can read.
[My father] was always saying I'd end up like my grandfather.
Okay. My grandfather was an architect, I'm an architect. It's true, certain characteristics are similar.
I would say that it's probably impossible for a lot of people to even think what H.P. Lovecraft's theological state was.
From the time of Dante [Alighieri], when you have the Ptolemaic universe, you had God on the outside like a hypersphere, and then in the center you have the Earth, all the seven heavens and layers, and then you have the Mount of Purgatory and Hell right in the center, and here's Satan flapping his wings and he keeps making the lake of Cocytus ice so you can't get out. So, again, where Heaven and Hell are, who the hell knows that now?
Boston is not an avant garde place. It stays literally 15 to 20 years behind New York at all times.
Any sort of working drawings are simply diagrams.
Architecture encourages your imagination to work that way.
Around the corner [ of the Carnegie Delicatessen] is the Russian Tea Room, which is now out of business. Which is awful. I remember going in there and seeing the ballerinas trotting in there like they were prize horses, with their hair, their sunglasses. Really amazing. They were all White Russians. This is where [Leon] Theremin met a lot of people, and where the KGB eventually picked him up.
[My father] was always upset that my mother didn't want to live in New York.
Because he said he wanted to live in a hotel and not have to mow the lawn and all that. In other words, he never liked sports clothes, he always liked to be dressed up formally, 24/7. And he drove big cars and, you know, just loved to act the banker.
[Nikola Tesla] was thinking of parts actually moving, like exchanging positions in space through time. This would go over here, then that would go over there, and then something else would happen.
I hear some guy teaches a course in diagrammatic thinking now;
he's written books on it and stuff like that, and so it was kind of natural for me. Because it was a way in which words naturally fitted into something that's visual. I was always interested in doing that.
In other words, [ H.P. Lovecraft] was areligious, asexual, neurasthenic, he just didn't want to react to the world. Like Virginia Woolf, who considered religion the ultimate obscenity.