Power and Authority

Potestas et Auctoritas
Being able to cause things to happen versus being able to state the reasons for being one way rather than another.
Whatever I will must be so vs.
If I say so that is a reason why it must be


Esau’s Journey

Have you ever heard the story about Jacob and Esau the night before Jacob stole his brother’s blessing?
Esau looked over to his brother who was shaving, in order to be smooth, since naturally they were identical twins, and got annoyed. “Why do you always have to pretend to be so much better than you are in front of Dad?” Jacob said “I’ll tell you why. Did you know that Grandpa Abraham once tried to kill Dad? I don’t want that to happen to me. So I am behaving myself.” “That’s a lie!” said Esau and slapped his brother. “Oh, yeah?” said Jacob. “Ask Grandpa yourself.” Esau traveled to the tent of his Grandpa Abraham and told him the story. “Is it true.” “It’s true.” said Abraham. “Ever since I left my father’s house I have been listening to the voice of God. If he tells me to kill, I will kill. As it happens that day he told me not to kill my son, but to kill a sheep instead.” From that day on Esau resolved to be a hunter of animals. He left, heavy of heart. Grandma Sarah said “Esau if you want to understand your grandfather talk to his father, your great-grandfather, Terach. He lives in Ur.” Esau rode his horse through the night and got to Ur in the dawn hour. The old man said “Yes, yes, yes. I had a store with images of the divine. One day I came in and my son and had destroyed them all and placed a hammer in the hand of one of them. “Look, father.” he said his voice bitter with mockery “The big god killed the small ones.” “Son, those are not supposed to kill, they are supposed to focus the mind and help people get through life. He said to me “A god who can’t bring death can’t bring life either.” And he left. “I’m not surprised that god almost made my son kill my grandson. Avram went looking for blood.”
Esau sat on a hill in Ur watching the sun come up. “Why? Why” he asked the city, asleep save for a couple of dogs fighting over scraps. “Why” Esau asked the dawn. He heard a voice. It said “Before I made this world I made a world and destroyed it.” “You mean the Flood” asked Esau, who had heard the stories from the grim Seth. “No.” said the voice “Before the first day. I made whole universes. Universe after universe. World after world. And not like Flood. Worse. I destroyed them utterly, down to the last person, the last animal, the last blade of grass.” “Don’t you feel sorry?” Esau asked God “Of course. What father can kill his children and not blame himself?”
“How can I help you?” Esau asked. But the voice said no more.
That day Esau returned to his brother and sold his birthright for a bowl of lentils. “You can be the good boy, Jacob.” he told his brother “I want to help bear the guilt of God.”


Master of the Feeling Wound

TYPE: Sensorialist.
Level: Alpha Sub 1
H.P. Variable
Special Defense: Feeling
Special Attack: Attention

The only Sensorialist to have passed through the Three Rotating Towers and obtained the Peach Boon of Thoth and the Anti-Thoths, the Master of the Feeling Wound when he faced the Heaven of Malicious Gryphon-God-Bears was sprayed by a 14th Level Ray of Nerve Glyphs with the result that he lost his sense of touch and was entirely numb, and therefore unable to feel the patterns of the Tile of the Elder Warlord Kang-Kabrak-Dzhow (Thirtieth Level Inverted Thief Lord). Thinking quickly he grabbed a Blade of Wounding and applied a Unhealable Wound to his own body, which was so sensitive he was able to feel the necessary patterns and obtain the Orb-within-Orb-within-Helix of the Lost God Branatashimpofortis, PhD. He is now able to add plus one trillion to his feeling rolls, and feel subtle convexities and misaprisions and declivities in the Cosmic Haze, as well as Who Has Something Coming to Them and Who Does Not, although he is in constant pain. When he is not adventuring he lives in a spherical castle made of +35 gems with his wife and giant small children.


Giant Sassy Intelligent Euglena

I came home and the giant intelligent euglena was seated at the kitchen table, its flagellum twitching. My father was sitting reading the paper and also watching television, and my mother was cooking sausages. She gave the euglena a plate of sausages and it ingested them via a food vacuole. The sunlight beamed on the immense green chloroplasts I could see through it’s translucent, gelatinous membrane.

“Does it know how to talk or just sit and look?” said the Euglena, snapping its flagellum in the “three snaps” gesture. “Girl! You are to-up!” I tried to hide in a section of the newspaper myself. “Oh no you di-int!” said the Euglena. “I’m talking to you or don’t you know that cause YO…BOY…ARE…SLOW!?!”

“That’s a very sassy giant Euglena.” said my father, without looking up from his newspaper.

“It is.” my mother said. “Now which is more interesting, that it’s a giant euglena? Or that it has both animal and plant characteristics? Or that it’s sassy.”

I thought. I knew a lot was riding on this answer.

“The most interesting thing about this giant, sassy Euglena is that it is giant.”

My mother wept, she slapped me and ran from the room. My father looked up from his paper, nearly crying himself, and incredibly disappointed. “Look what you did to your mother! Never, never, never think you know what the most important thing is about a situation ever again!”

And I never did!


Ask the Dungeon Master

Q: What monster would be hardest for our contemporary civilization to defeat?
A: A single wight could defeat all the armies of Earth at this time and enslave the planet. The wight is only able to be hit by plus one weapons and in our universe there is no magic. Therefore nobody could do any damage to the wight, even with a hydrogen bomb. Every time the wight claimed a victim it would become a half-energy wight under the control of the original monster. By a geometric progression soon the world would become nothing but wights.
Q: How do you know there are no plus one weapons in our world?
A: I’m a scientist and do not believe in magic.
Q: But if there were a wight there would have to be magic wouldn’t there?
A: I was considering the counterfactual — what if there were a single wight.
Q: Yeah but if you consider a counterfactual you have to consider a possible earth in which the counterfactual is actual. In the closest universe in which there was a wight, magic would be true, and thus, there would be other magical means of defeating the wight.
A: We are talking about a game. In the game you asked me to imagine a wight. Not to imagine a magical world with a wight, but our world, but with a wight.
Q: But to play a game means to interact in a meaningful way with the universe of which the game is a part.
A: Games are different from reality. You are dumb.
Q: How do you know I am dumb?
A: I checked your intelligence score. It’s 11. Mine is 16.
Q: Fine.


Q: Hey, couldn’t we just defeat the wight with a silver weapon?
A: Fine. A spectre.


Spinoza and the Ghost Vagina: An Example of Good Philosophy

An interlocutor asked Spinoza if he believed in ghosts. The interlocutor said he himself believed in ghosts but he was unsure if there were any female ghosts. Spinoza said, why wouldn’t people know for certain if there were female ghosts? Why didn’t they look at their ghostly genitals –were they afraid? In this exchange I believe Spinoza exhibits the characteristics of a good philosopher: courage, lack of squeamishness, and a willingness to ask the questions that are so obvious nobody has yet asked them.

Question for readers: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever experienced one? Have you had a chance to examine its genitals?