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Grummus the Weird Donkey

This is a story from a long time ago. I think last week? Hard to remember. They took away my phone.

Grummus was a donkey they gave LSD to and other neuroleptics. He jumped over the chainlink fence of the petting zoo and cut up his belly. He hid in Mrs. Fleishman’s house.

Mrs. Fleishman had been a school teacher and she lost her job because people said bad stuff about her. She had very little money and very little food. Ok you want details. Yes she ate cat food. She watched tv but then they had no more tv. She took care of Grummus’s wounds.

Grummus could not talk like a human talks but Mrs. Fleishman understood what he thought. They figured out how to escape from the city by making the security cameras think there was an emergency and then when that emergency was recognized as a fake, they snuck out.

Grummus was able to visualize colors that we cannot see.

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Schopenhauer and Nietzsche

Schopenhauer thought life was a dream and Nietzsche thought life was an interpretation. This reminds me of an interesting story. In the future every young man or woman upon initiation was given the services of a dream interpreter called a Joseph. He or she would dream in the temple and then go to the Joseph to have the dream interpreted (called this I think because of an old book? Not sure.) and that dream would guide his life. He had the dream and told the Joseph and the Joseph said “the only interpretation I know is red moon in the morning means sailor take warning. So maybe your dream means sailor take warning.” “That’s wrong” said the young man — “That’s an interpretation of reality. What I’m looking for is the interpretation of a dream.” “Oh really?” asked the Joseph. And the young man woke up.

Sailor take warning!

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Holy Nights in Helicarnassus

It’s hard to put my thoughts in order, priestess, because like the supplicants at the door of a rich man in the morning they are pushing their way forward to be noticed, one blocking the other, some feeling shy and hanging back and maybe those are the ones who should be selected and brought in for the privilege of a dignity of an audience, I’m sure you know — forgive me for my inept use of rhetoric, but I am old and the lessons I learned from the masters about how to lead bull-like to sacrifice the minds of the listeners to the holy of holies, lie vine-covered like the implements designed long ago to perform the rituals in honor to a god whose name is un-remembered. Nevertheless I try.

Helicarnassus the Loyal, because despite speaking Greek our King took his Satrapy to the King of Kings in Iran as a serious vow, the breaking of which would be displeasing to the gods and a shame to men. Helicarnassus the Holy because we are the City of Temples. Helicarnussus the Ever-Fragrant because ships plying sandalwood and cinnamon debouche their wares in the harbor for the acquiring of silver, and trading contracts, and gold.

But to the priests of the Great Goddess we are the Doctor to the World because it was here that She Beneath Whose Peplum Mortal Dare Not Peep took human form and took as her lover the First Doctor Asclepius and in exchange for his wild nights of love taught him the arts of attending to fast-galloping fever, of setting broken bones, of cutting The Stone, and of calling the muse-bewitched wandering wits back to the liver when e’en they do roam. Madness. That was the ill I learned to heal and after the years of war when “horrors seen unclasped the mind” I had patients like the salmons that crowd the rivers in the lands made frigid from the winds of the North.

To what do we liken the mortal mind, my master asked me. To a castle made by children by the ocean’s shore: destined to dissolution and containing the seeds of its undoing mixed within the atoms of its form. What then undoes the clasp of the madman’s soul and allows his every thought to charge forth like peacock and sparrow and wren and eagle rising to sky in a wheeling, chaotic flock when the aviary is afire? Nothing more or less than Fear, a Fear justified in light of the ultimate fate of mortal man, yet lacking in temperance and appropriateness, since as one sand-castle may endure a minute, or one an hour, or one indeed by reason of luck, or the favor of the gods, or sound construction, until the high tide sweeps it away to we know not where, so is known to no man, save few, the hour or time or day of his dissolution. It is fear that unhinges the mind in the general, and it is the job of the Priest of Asclepius, to whose order I had pledge my forelock and in whose honor I abstained from meat and from beans and from taking a wife, to determine in the specific case of the specific mad-man what fear it was that had unhinged this mind, or, to vary the trope, unwoven it.

The madman knelt before me in the pronaos, his fingers never stopping their motion, as if he were weaving thread or counting gold. His hair was untouched by comb or oil. His eyes were startled like a man who upon waking from a dream of his own death had looked into a water basin and seen looking back at him his own face, smeared with blood, his throat cut like a the sacrificial ox.

We looked at each other and evening fell and myriad upon myriad of stars, brightest among them Great Jove himself, looked down upon the two of us, young priest facing his first great challenge although he did not know it, and young mad prince. He spoke:

-My father tried to kill me, my mother let me nurse at her teats when I was already a man and said with these paps I nursed you from babe to child, with these paps I nurse you again for you are not a man, you are a God. My teacher taught me to follow moderation in all things but there was no moderation in his lust for my father’s gold, in his fear of his wrath. But if I am a god to what law do I bow my head?

-Your father tried to kill you?

-He became angry because I became adept at blowing the flute. He said I should be ashamed because this was the art of a woman. Man was made for war.

-And your teacher? Did he agree?

-My teacher asked me to read books: his master Plato, and his own, stories from when he had gone down to the sea in a bell made of glass, to spy on the fish and shrimp and worms.

-And your father?

-My father said I should be ashamed. He said I should read not books but men.

-And your father tried to shed your blood?

-He sent a man to do it posing as my friend. I caught my father’s spear and threw it back at him.

-And the spear? Did it find its mark?

-It did. I need only return to the palace and I will be King of Macedon.

-And your mother?

He paused. Overhead shooting stars like sparks from burning myrrh streaked the sky.

-She rewarded my courage as women do.

-But not as mothers reward their children?

-No. Not as mothers of men reward their children. But perhaps.

-As mothers of gods.

-As mothers of gods.

I waved the incense above the madman’s head three times and then four times as my master instructed me, and gave him to drink of the kykeon, and led him down as mystagogue to the cave beneath the temple where the hetaera performs the mystery of the Great Goddess in secret, unspoken of, terrible and holy. He woke the next morning, bestrode his horse Beucephalus and as all know now turned the wheel of conquest as far as India, before one of his generals, homesick for his own bed, poisoned him in his tent, and the high tide washed him away.

These events that I relate happened years ago. Now Helicarnassus is gone.

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Reflections on the Evolving Noosphere

Having had the concept of “The Evolving Noosphere” for many years it become important to reflect upon the concept of the evolving noosphere.  The concept of the evolving noosphere helps us understand many things. It helps us understand noospheres, it helps us understand when they are evolving and when not, and most importantly, it helps us understand ourselves.

For example when it is the case that we look at our civilization and we say we have an excellent evolving noosphere.  Will others then say, no. We had a much better evolving noosphere back home at the civilization there? Perhaps they may.  And are they right or wrong? Perhaps the evolving noosphere will help us know.

When mother died my sister got the evolving noosphere.  I got nothing because they thought I was all right. I was not all right. I did not tell my mother that because I didn’t want her to feel hurt.  If she felt hurt, perhaps she could be comforted by the evolving noosphere.

Son, bring the Evolving Noosphere from out back.  I went out back and I brought my father the Evolving Noosphere.  That ain’t no Evolving Noosphere he said to me. That ain’t shit.  And you ain’t shit. I felt real bad but then I said “I’m not gonna let you talk to me like that no more.” and I left the house.

I went to the Evolving Noosphere.  And it said to me it took you long enough.  And who knows what I’ll say back?

When I know, I’ll tell you.

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Explosion of Desire

This one is about a guy who became depressed because of his compulsive sexuality; every couple of days seducing a different woman, learning what sort of things to say to put her at ease; each encounter following a prescribed series of seeings and doings like those sections in tourist manuals of what to do in Paris if you have only 24 hours — you must see the  Winged Victory at the Louvres, you must eat Royal Couscous in Les Halles.  Depressed?  Oh he was so depressed.  And he realized suddenly that he was dead, numb, but deep within him there was a geyser of desire.  And what was the desire for?  It was to dare to say things to unusual that they had never been thought before ever by any human being. And he crept from the bed where his companion slept, limbs askew, mouth open, hair in an aureole to the hotel desk, took out the little pad of paper and started to write his reflections on his life: how time seemed to flow from the past to the future at a constant rate but actually collected in pools that cascaded from one to another, how different stages in life were totems for other stages in life, how the glint of morning light entailed a certain quality of thought and THIS was the true nature of logical entailment of which the logical entailment we consider when we judge how propositions preserve the truth of other propositions is merely a shadow.   And when she got up from the bed and looked over what he had written she said “I’ve thought all these thoughts myself every day.   Everyone has.  You have thought nothing new or interesting at all.”

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Perils of Santer-Bub

That thing where there is a secret part of the US government that identifies and tracks aliens is a real thing and I used to work for it.  One interesting case was the case of Santer-Bub who was an extra-dimensional organism who landed on Earth in 1961 and embodied itself in a common centipede, and it’s m.o. was to inspire a creator of wooden puzzles to create puzzles and put them in diners.  They were called “Genius Testers” and involved pegs jumping and if you had only one peg left in the center hole you were a “genius” and they would give you another game from behind the counter, and if you solved that game another game, and then another game and at that point your brain chemistry and the software of your cognition would have been altered and you’d be basically an alien in thrall to Santer-Bub.  So we tracked him down and drug him out of his underground lair — btw he was not a giant centipede he was a regular centipede. And we didn’t kill him — at the moment we were going to put him in the chamber his  wife came and rescued him!  So there’s that which is an interesting story about those time.  We didn’t play the game either because you know aliens.

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walks by itself

Because the family moved away from the old street where she had her best friend Meredith,  Elizabeth was lonely and what was worse she couldn’t sleep, and when Jim saw his daughter up alone in the room reading a book by flashlight at one am two am in the morning when he went to sleep he resolved to get her a doll that “walks by itself” to keep her company.  And when he made the promise he allowed himself to sleep because he knew when he woke up the next morning he would keep the promise to himself, and get Elizabeth the amazing doll, and so he did.

Up late at night mother and father asleep Elizabeth looked at the doll that walked by itself.  She sat in the old rocking chair with the old blanket made of individually crocheted squares sewn together by her long gone grandmother.  “Tell me a story, doll.”

“About what?” asked the doll that could walk by itself.

“About you.” said Elizabeth.

“You would not be interested in me. Why don’t I tell you a story about a boy in a rockband?  Or a dragon.”

“About you.” said Elizabeth.  So the doll did.

“There once was a girl who lived in a big house with her three sisters.  Their father was a doctor and when people had pain or they had been born with one leg that was too long or too short and they couldn’t walk without bobbing up and down like they were on a ship at sea he would put them to sleep and saw their bones and make them better.  He was such a good doctor that he could make somebody who couldn’t walk properly walk properly.  It hurt them so much and they or their parents paid the girl’s father a lot of money which was why she lived in such a nice house.  She had a horse named star because he had a blotch on his eye that looked like a star.”

“What happened then?” asked Elizabeth because the doll had fallen silent.

“People started telling lies about the little girls father.  They said that he made mistakes. They said he made mistakes. ”

“Mistakes.”

“They said he wouldn’t fix people . He would say they couldn’t be fixed but really they could. They said when he became worried about making mistakes his hands would shake and to keep his hands from shaking he would drink wine.  And when he drank wine he thought he was the best doctor in the world and did things he shouldn’t have done.  Things that made the patients worse.  That’s what they said.”

“The father said to his daughter tomorrow morning they are going to ask you if you ever saw me drinking and it is very important that you say no.  No you never did. Can you remember that?  No you never did.”

“But did she?”

“Of course.  The lies were true.”

“And the father wanted her to lie?”

“Of course.”

“And did she?”

“Well that’s the story.  That night she lit a candle and looked at the shadow on the wall.  And she asked the shadow if she could see herself lying to everyone to protect her father.  And she couldn’t.  So she didn’t?”

“Was the father angry?”

“The father and the mother and the three sisters were all very angry and the daughter went away.”

“Where did she live.”

“Well that’s the other part of the story.  Ever since the girl was very little when she put her palms together and rubbed them until they were sweaty and dirty she could make a little seed. And she didn’t know why she could and she didn’t know other people couldn’t. But she could and she did, and when her family said she couldn’t live at home any more because she had refused to tell a lie she rubbed her hands together and made dirt and made a little seed and planted the seed, and it grew into a gigantic rosebush and she climbed it making careful not to cut her hand on the thorns and slept inside one of the giant roses which was her bed.  And in the morning when the rose opened she became friends with a Bee named Beecephalus and a Butterfly named Fluttercup.”

“I like this story.”

“I do too.  So I think if you’re counting you know that the girl in this story had two magic powers, right?”

“Right.  She could ask a shadow what her future was.  And she could make a seed by rubbing her hands together.”

“That’s right.  But then one night when she went to bed in the rosebush one of the sepels didn’t shut properly and she was able to peek out at the landscape of the night. It was a full moon and leaning over the short brick wall was a little girl, just like her, but she was black, and you could see through her.  Who are you? she asked the little girl.  Are you my shadow?”

“Was she her shadow?”

“She was.  And she asked her shadow why she was crying.  And the shadow told her that those magic skills had not actually been hers.  Because her father had never been a doctor.”

“You said he was a doctor.”

“He said he was a doctor but he was actually a bad man who captured shadows and made them do his will. That was why he could  put people to sleep and cut their bones and make them better.  The shadows did it.  That was why they lived in a big house and why she had a horse named star. ”

“And that was why she had powers.”

“Yes.  The shadows gave her powers so she could fight her father and go away.  And the little shadow girl who had given her the seed for the rosebush had helped her but now she was tired. She wanted to go.  She didn’t ask because the shadows owed the little girl very much.  But she wanted to go.”

“What would happen to the little girl if the shadow went?”

“She didn’t know.  She would lose the power to know the future and she would lose the power to make magic seeds with her hands.  Probably she would have to leave the rosebush and much else besides.  But she couldn’t stand to listen to the little girl crying and know that she was the cause.  So she said “I release you I release you I release you” three times like that.  And even though the sun would not rise for another few hours the shadow was gone and there she was. No shadow.”

“No magic.”

“No magic.  No voice whispering her at night.  No feeling when she was alone on a road at night that there was somebody with her, because there wasn’t.  And there wouldn’t be ever again.”

“That’s sad.”

“Very.  Now let me see how smart you are Elizabeth. When the little girl in my story lost her shadow and lost her magic and lost the feeling she was not alone, what became of her ?  What did she become?”

“What did she become?  She became you.”

“She did . She became me.  Because a little girl whose father is a wizard who makes a slave of shadows and grows up with a shadow right beside her since she was a baby who loses the shadow becomes a doll.  A doll that walks by itself.”

“And that’s you.”

“And that’s me.  But the shadow said since you are such a kind little girl we will not leave you with nothing, we will give you a power.  And that power is that at night when someone asks you for your story you will be able to tell it.  And not just that.  The person listening to your story will see it.”

“See it?” asked Elizabeth.

“Look” said the doll and pointed at the wall.

And there in the candlelight Elizabeth saw it all in the play put on by the shadows on the wall: the little baby and the shadow, and the beautiful house and the horse named star, and the father who was a doctor and his bottle of wine, and the night she decided not to lie, and the family of father and mother and sisters sending her away,  and the rose bush and Beecepahuls and Fluttercup, and  that terrible night long ago when her doll had been asked to do the right thing.  And as her eyes grew heavy and she knew that Meredith was not her best friend any more, and she would be happy in her new room in her new house, and then she saw on the wall in the candle’s flickering light her own shadow.  And the shadow reached out her hand, the shadow did, and placed it on her chest, which was just a place on the empty wall, and there she felt her shadow’s beating heart.

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