Vern Barnet,
copyright 1969, Chicago Illinois 

Written in the early 1960s with additions year by year; a version printed, bound, and "published" samizdat with about 20 line drawings in a dozen or so copies in 1969. What follows below is the 1969 version without the art and with subsequent notes by a friend and myself for cleaning up the text.

I am embarrassed by much of Klindebook, and my opinions about many things have changed. Still, as a youthful attempt to understand religion, and particularly myth, I still like the direction I charted; and I hope some day to revise this with any wisdom I have since been given.


shouldn't the text follow the outline, or vice versa?
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This Preface should be unnecessary and ought to be ignored.  Only the quasi-intellectual might need to read it.  Those desiring an Introduction should turn to the Appendix.


1.  That These Are Translations
2.  The Necessity of Myth
3.  Criteria of the Proposed Myth
4.  The Doctrine of Doom
5.  The Style of the Translation
6.  Finally


These translations are null and void, vain, empty, and silly.  Nevertheless, they may be helpful to creatures caught in the illusion of purpose, or drawn into the abyss of meaninglessness.  Since we must most of the time submit to Delusion, we need an integrated structure to lead us toward Eternity-in-the-Present, the kairos of love, when purpose is superfluous, when awareness needs neither subject nor object.  But that any written effort should be made in this direction is a cause for wonder, if not for the charge of blasphemy, for joke, if not for scorn and derision.  For man must laugh at what he takes most seriously.


In what sense are the following works translations?  In a way this is like asking in what sense is a work Christian.  The best answer comes from a study of the work.  The sense in which these pages are "translations" is best understood after an examination of them, for the pages themselves state the form of translation.

But several remarks can be made here which may somewhat clarify why what follows are called translations.  First, and most important: these are translations of experience into an hypothesis, a method, a system, a myth.  (I say experience," not because my experience has been unusual, but to insist that revelation is a translation of experience, not something apart from the human situation.  Perhaps "transfiguration" would be a better word--except that it is apt to sound phony.)

If there are values one wishes to communicate, and even suggest that others consider their adoption, one must choose a method.  If these values are the most general, comprehensive values which are religious, that method must be myth.  But before trying to justify the mythic method, I eliminate alternative methods.  Autobiography would be foolish, dangerous, and misleading.  Philosophy might have been tried except that it is often dull to the ordinary person, and more often incomprehensible; besides, today philosophy is so narrowly conceived that what is necessary would surely be rejected as philosophy, at least by the philosophers.  Poetry would be a poor choice since no one reads it, and those who do are likely to misunderstand the nonpoetic intention; and I am not competent to make a sustained effort of this sort in verse.  Anyhow, poetry is suspect to the average man.  Fiction would not easily allow the scientific and didactic elements; moreover, it is too secular for these purposes.  Systematic theology has too limited an audience, and I too limited background and ability; and it is particularly important to avoid too much intellectualizing.

Well, then, if the mythic method is chosen, why not write the myth in English in the first place?  This question is asked only if it is forgotten that this work is a translation not primarily of a work in another language, but a translation of experience, a system found helpful to organize existence.  The truth that there are documents in a strange language can be understood best after reading these translations; but to hint at the point, it may be said that the myth itself demands a language of its own, for the myth is conceived in terms alien to assumptions structured in our language.

Again, these are translations because they are inexact expressions of religious knowledge, necessarily inexact because one cannot communicate religious knowledge perfectly; nor can one be allowed to say that a translation has been proposed as an unalterable statement of absolute truth.  The act of translation is an excuse for failure to express the Incommensurable and also permits correction and improvement at a future time.  A myth which is not understood as translation is called Dogma.

Finally, these are translations in the sense that insights from physics, biology, Christianity, Buddhism, Teutonic mythology, William Blake, Paul Tillich, Rilke, Rembrandt, Beethoven, etc., are changed by being peculiarly integrated.  It may be said that revelation is prior to study of such subjects, but that study deepens, enforces, and teaches ways to express these insights.  But to say this is not important; for many of these insights are common; and that sources are not specifically acknowledged is also not important since the source is ultimately Human; moreover, no originality on my part is claimed--I am merely a translator.


                          a.  The theme

Ontological knowledge or information can be expressed in many ways--in action, attitudes, painting, music, dance, architecture, poetry, etc.  But all these media are inconvenient for social discourse, and are limited by their forms.  Myth has the advantage of being primarily expressed in words, and its form can be completely comprehensive, indicating or including all other forms.  Myth is much more accessible to all men than, say, the last quartets of Beethoven.

It is important to realize that when science says it speaks of reality it is speaking ontologically--and mythically.  For a myth is a model of reality.  The scientific myths are by convention limited to certain aspects of reality: they are confined emotionally and legislatively.  Science, vulgarly conceived as a method of experiment, limits itself to belief; technology to control; art to meaning and purpose in a contrived, artificial experience; myth is most comprehensive for it is concerned with the whole of being, experience itself, the integration of what we perceive to be its parts.  What is important here is this: a myth is not necessarily an untruth.  The scientific explanation of seasons (the tilt of the earth's axis) is only part of the truth about the procession of months; there is also truth in the story of Ceres and Persephone which is not contradicted by science.  But if forced to choose between the two, some might think the latter to be a better explanation, at least for most people, because the cosmic processes are in it integrated with human dependence, aspiration, and experience.

Some expansion of this theme seems necessary, though I do not pretend to produce more than guidelines for those philosophers and theologians who insist on dissecting language and spirit.  The theme takes its ground in the thesis that religious statements are in kind as verifiable as those of science.  But this foreground is illocatable without the background of presuppositions concerning the source of knowledge, the nature of religion, and the accidental history of science and religion.

After presenting these assumptions, I conclude the argument with examples.

                     b.  The presuppositions

Knowledge_and_experience.--The source of knowledge is experience.  A transcendent source of information is technically self-contradictory, like "insensible sensation" or "inexpressible description."  These phrases and others like them are useful only metaphorically, for they point to the Whole which we ordinarily are not conscious of but which we may experience in Eternity, or they may be used as qualitative descriptions for events particularly powerful and enlightening.

This is not to deny that there are events and objects which we do not experience, for the class of occurrences is normally presupposed to be greater than the class of experiences; but unless we experience events, it makes no sense to speak of knowledge of them.  As it is confusion to say we cannot conceive of something unconceived, so it is confusion to deny that we can make no descriptions of the unconceived thing or have no knowledge of it.

But experience is not limited to the sensate.  Our modes of perception and prejudices are not sensate but nevertheless influence what we feel and how we interpret sensations.  (Whether concepts like "unicorn" are ultimately derived from the senses is an unimportant question here, for when we say "Unicorns are fabulous animals each having one horn," which seems like knowledge though no unicorn has ever been experienced, we nevertheless experience the concept of "unicorn," and no more could be expected since unicorns are not real, though the concept is.)

The_nature_of_religion.*--Religion is that activity which reaches toward experiencing the integration of all events.  This conception of religion is best discussed in two parts, (1) the integration of experience, and (2) the relation between experience and events.
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*This topic is included here among the presuppositions because the definition is prescriptive, not descriptive.

(1) The integration is personal, societal, and interdisciplinary; the experiences are moral, esthetic, and pragmatic (technical).  Simple examples of the integration of experience will clarify what is meant.  Newton's theory of gravitation integrated celestial and terrestrial mechanical phenomena.  The myth of Persephone, as already pointed out, integrated the cosmic process of the seasons with human aspiration, agricultural dependence, and social organization.  Hosea integrated the overwhelming experience of his love for Gomer, despite her harlotry, with his conception of Yahweh, to develop the idea of corrective punishment.  The Grosse Fugue integrates elements presented in preceding movements of Beethoven's B-flat quartet.  Rear Adm. J. Floyd Dreith showed a lack of integration (in the depth psychology sense) when he said (Newsweek, 24 Feb 64, p63) concerning mandatory attendance at religious exercises at military academies, "a deep religious conviction is not only an asset but a necessity to the military fighting man."  Whether there can be an evil integration (such as totalitarianism which extends to all sectors of public and private life) is a question of extreme importance, but one which need not be answered here since it is explicitly dealt with in The Book of the Wars.

(2) As religion involves the integration of experience, so it seeks to comprehend all events.  To make this clear, it is necessary to say that the class of events is larger than the class of experience.  Religion seeks to expand the latter class until it approaches identity with the former.  But at first it appears that it is only in a mystical sense that the religious man experiences, or tries to experience, all events; for one man cannot experience both a married and a celibate life, and what value would there be in the experience of counting to 1,000,000,000?  It seems he can neither experience all actual nor all possible events, for man is finite within space and time.  (*Only in Eternity, as noted below, can these limitations be overcome; then only can mutually exclusive events be integrated by the Void, Ambiguity, or Nondistinction.)  Moreover, there are some events it would seem best not to experience (roasting in fire, or seeing the paralysis of the United Nations, or [missing words here] continued escalation of the mystical, is there any valid sense to the statement, "religion seeks to expand the class of experience toward identity with the class of events"?
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*A comment about the event of radical religious activity, called Integrity or Eternity, will conclude this statement of the presupposition concerning the nature of religion.  Regarding whether discursive assertions about Integrity or Eternity are possible (for they would concern, respectively, the whole of experience and all events), I specify that only formal statements can be made; material statements are possible only of parts.  The reason for this is that Eternity is a state of nondistinction; hence words (which distinguish) can apply to it only as directions, or as models of its reality.  Just as there is one nature (which scientists hope to express in a super-duper Unified Field Theory), tho natural law we have in a million shreds and patches, so only can we express the Eternal, never in whole but only in fragments (in models called myths); for to express is to fragment, and to express discursively is to fragment reason from intuition, passion, and sensation (to follow Blake).  Rational discourse is part, certainly, of the whole, but it is not the whole.  Myth, painting, music, and dance can come closer to modeling the whole and directing toward Wholesomeness because they can include reason as well as other modes of apprehension and creation.

I believe there is, if "experience" is used in only a few of its possible meanings.  The experience of pain is of a different sort than the experience as a student, or of war, or in love, or with the associative law of algebra through a lecture.  Experience can be participation, empathy, aspiration, or simply awareness.  In this last sense of minimal intensity, reaching toward experiencing all events simply means seeking to increase one's knowledge.  Various meanings of "experience" are appropriate in various contexts.

Religion was defined as "that activity which reaches toward experiencing the integration of all events."  Some events conflict with others so that one may participate in this and only be aware of that.  And in this regard choices are necessary if one is to integrate experiences.  As more events are experienced and because events and experience change, religion must also change.  A normative definition of religion is: That religion is best which integrates most.

(1) and (2) In a word, I reject the separatist view that religion is one thing and the rest of life another.  Nor is religion a syrup to pour over life's transactions and hesitations; rather it is the search for meaning in these events and the activity of fitting them together.  The separatists only perpetuate and increase the fragmentation of the age.

Art, science, politics--all are religious activities and accountable to religion.

The_accidental_history_of_religion.--A further presupposition is that it is largely a historical accident that we have greater agreement about scientific problems than we do about religious questions; this is not due to the inherent natures of science and religion.  Many have assumed the contrary to support the position that scientific theories have objective verification but religious assertions do not--else why would there be such widespread disagreement?

The situation is now complicated by those who, perplexed but nevertheless unable to examine their presuppositions, assert that religious statements are meaningless and nonsensical, or meaningful but unverifiable.  I believe this lamentable condition has developed because religious statements given in current discussions are in fact false; and to save these assertions from the disgrace of error, they are now in places simply called unverifiable articles of faith.

A further point is that these people judge religion by Christianity; thus per accidens they have a limited and imbalanced view of religion.  The Christian emphasis on belief is peculiar to it.  Hence it is difficult for people of limited perspective to conceive of religion as described above, and it is hard for religion to take its proper place in the West where reason, passion, sensation, and drive are consequently imbalanced and disintegrated.  If this is so, there is little room for surprise at the difficulties Christians have with their beliefs.

                        c.  The argument

The thesis is: That religious statements are in kind as verifiable as scientific statements, for both science and religion are interpretations of experience.  To evidence this, I compare religious and scientific assertions; for whatever difficulties the philosophers may have with the latter, they are nevertheless considered objective and paradigm cases (witness TV commercials!) of verifiable statements.  (The topic of analytic truth is not directly relevant to this discussion, so it is here dismissed.)

The argument is: That both scientific and religious models rest on value judgments as well as on facts, and several models may be useful for different people.  Beginning with the observation that evaluative as well as factual statements are properly called true or false, the argument continues with a discussion of two sorts of truth, indicated by paradigm cases from science and then illustrated by religious assertions.

While both the scientist and the religionist would typically agree that there is something more to their activities than the language they use, some "reality" to which they hope their language corresponds, neither should claim to know that "reality" in any absolute sense.  The most that can be said here is that they are each concerned with verifiable models of that "reality."  If it is so, then the religionist need not worry because he does not know that reality which he represents parabolically or mythically, for neither does the scientist know his "reality" and yet we allow his statements to be true.

Of course, the scientist has criteria for deciding what model shall be called true; and I suggest that the same criteria may be used by the religionist.

(Recognition that all we know is a model of reality instead of reality is in Tillich's phrase "broken myth."  But since that is all we can know, it seems that talk about "reality" is foolish except to warn us never to be unwilling to change our models which, with this proviso, we may as well call reality.  The dualism of reality and symbol must be rejected.)

Two kinds of prima facie truth should be distinguished.  The first is of the sort by which we call true a statement like "this copper wire conducts electricity."  This statement seems directly, empirically verifiable.  The statement "all bodies continue at rest or in a straight line in uniform motion unless acted upon by an outside force" is not directly empirically verifiable; as a matter of fact, there are no bodies unaffected by outside forces.  Yet we usually wish to say that this is a meaningful assertion, and a true one.  It involves both simple facts like the one about copper and an evaluative element.  The first kind of truth may be called "observational" or "fact-truth," which means when applied to an assertion that the assertion is so; the second kind may be called "value-truth" (not to be confused with truth-value), which expresses a preference for the model implied by the assertion called true.

A further and typical example from science (in a preRelativity context, for simplicity) will clarify the latter kind of truth.  To say the Copernican view that the earth revolves around the sun is true and to say that the Ptolemaic view that the sun revolves are around the earth is false is to use this "value-truth."  This is because no objective (i.e., void of valuation) means to settle the dispute exists.  (Of course, a view that the earth is in the center of the sun contains empirical implications which on objective grounds invalidates the view.)  Both the Copernican and Ptolemaic systems are equally capable of accurately predicting celestial motions.

If this is so, then why did the Copernican eventually gain acceptance?  Because data became easier to organize, the mathematics were simpler (except in navigation, where the Ptolemaic is still used), and later the Copernican models could integrate a theory of universal gravitation, uniting both terrestrial and celestial appearances.  The point of this is that it is possible to call one model true and another false on other than purely objective grounds.  Science is concerned with organizing facts, and the method, model, system, hypothesis, theory, or law chosen to organize them rests on not only a judgment of facts but also of value.

A closer examination of the distinction between "fact-" and "value-truth" is necessary.  In the case of "this copper wire conducts electricity," electricity is itself a theoretical construct which cannot adequately be translated by correspondence [sic] rules into observational equivalents.  What is observable is vague, and depends on the state of science, instruments constructed by certain theories (thus a circularity), and the perceptual equipment and biases of observers.  There is thus some basis to question whether "objective facts" can be distinguished from evaluative constructions.

Religions also offer models of experience, which are properly called myths.  Neither models of science nor religions should be arbitrary or ad hoc.  For all models, three ordinary criteria may be used in judgment: (1) the dependable explanation of observable phenomena (correspondence), (2) the integration of these explanations (coherence), and (3) ease and success in application of these explanations (pragmatic, predicative, [sic] or therapeutic power.)  The common use of these criteria does not mean that there is no difference between science and religion.  A historical, accidental difference in their content has been that science is concerned with objects (this is no longer strictly true), and religion is concerned with the integration of subject and object; or, science is concerned with things of conditional worth, and religion considers the question of absolute worth.  But common use of the above criteria does mean that neither should claim to give us "reality" in language needing no improvement; these criteria will end all disputes in neither science nor religion, for both grow and change as new "facts" and geniuses appear.  There will always be unsolved problems in both areas, and some paradoxes (as contemporary physics shows).  Nevertheless, the application of these criteria to scientific and religious models enables one to approach "reality" in a community sharing a common method, and gives justification for calling statements with evaluative elements "true" or "false"--in other words, with these criteria, we can verify models.

The first example of how religious statements can be verified is modest and rather like the scientific assertion that copper conducts electricity.  The assertion is: God rewards the virtuous and punishes the wicked according to their desserts in this life.  (Here for the sake of simplicity in argument I assume God exists, as I assumed electricity.)  Now, this question was once hotly debated between those who received prosperity--and thus could afford to support instituted religion--and those who suffered misfortune.  (I am thinking of the Hebrew prophetic period and after.)  Accepting higher criticism, the debate is culminated in the original book of Job, a powerful refutation of the assertion.  Or since empirical meanings can be assigned to the terms of the assertion, one need merely read the papers or look at the world (without assuming analytic truth) to see that the assertion is not true.  We could test it by sophisticated experiment or statistical methods.  But, as grasping the copper wire might be proof enough, so a clear look at the world might lead one to agree "the rain falls on the just and the unjust."

The second example is more like the "value-truth" of scientific models.  But to illustrate this adequately would involve the construction of an entire myth, for statements outside their models are babblings and nonsense (as use of some "gravitational force" would be within Relativity); and to apply the three suggested criteria to part and not all of the system is unfair.  Nevertheless, I will try to indicate briefly how verification might proceed.  The problem is suggested by Peter Munz's Problems_of_Religious_Knowledge (175ff) though his view of religious knowledge is not mine.

Of these three assertions about Eternity, which is true?
     A.  The soul continues forever in time.
     B.  The soul, different from physical objects, can transcend or annihilate time in the next world.
     C.  ". . . he lives eternally who lives in the present." (Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.4311)

While A, the continuance view, has the virtue of promoting group consciousness, it has limited therapeutic value for man standing on the abyss if he thinks the future (as by reincarnation) might be horrible (applying criterion 3).  Contradictions would plague the dualism of B (criterion 2); and the next life could be either desirable or not, which is not therapeutic (criterion 3).  And neither A nor B finds great support from the world of experience (criterion 1).

There are many things to be said in favor of C, the "transfiguration view" of eternity.  As concerns "consistency" (2), I see no difficulties with such a doctrine; and it moreover seems to integrate well with religions judged or characterized as "therapeutic" (3).  Anthropological and psychological research may indicate that the transfiguration view is the most therapeutic, for the view effectively deals with the apparent separateness of men and their relation to the rest of the universe, in this life (so criterion 1, "correspondence," becomes a more significant concern).  "Peak experiences," symbiosis, what may be called "economic symbiosis" (dependence on others, and mutual benefit, for production and distribution of food, and their dependence on our consumption, for example), the sometimes world-wide effect of a single man's actions, ecology, the distress of those who seek for selfish, personal immortality, and implications of LSD experiments indicate that the theory of transfiguration (and its necessary lemma, [sic] the denial of absolute individuality) corresponds (1) with the "facts," and dependably explains observable phenomena--from the sciences to the personal experience of "losing oneself in another" or a work of art--this transfiguration is what psychologists call functioning with maximum efficiency.  Notwithstanding the probable eschatological import of many of Christ's sayings, his stress on living in the present ("Take no thought for the morrow."), his insistence that he who seeks his life shall lose it, while he who loses it shall find his life, his offer of rebirth into the kingdom of heaven in_this_life, and Paul's idea of union and freedom in Christ--these can be interpreted as proclaiming the psychological and ontological validity of the transfiguration view of eternity.  I have not verified this view here, but it was aimed to show how verification might proceed, and--important for this argument--that verification in religion is possible.

No one familiar with contemporary science thinks there are no hotly debated issues.  So religious disputes should not be surprising.  That two men, after considering all that there is to consider about given religious models, still use different ones does not invalidate the meaning of verifications for religions statements.  The lens grinder, valuing convenience, treats light as waves; the photo-electric cell manufacturer acts as if light were corpuscular.  They are concerned with different experiences, and each of their models works best for their own experience.  Similarly, the Roman myth may be best for a Catholic because of his experience, and an atheist may find his model more suited to his experience.  Recognizing that religions often create artificial needs, one can look for a more comprehensive model to integrate not only man's personal experiences but also those of his society, and the disciplines.  But because people are different, and no two men share exactly the same experiences, universal agreement in either science or religion is not possible.  I have tried to show that this in no way prevents the use of the concept of verification in either science or religion.

It should be acknowledged to those who question the accuracy or sophistication of this argument that there are in it many oversimplifications and omissions of important considerations; it is hoped that the necessity for brevity will excuse some of these.

                      d.  Summary comments

Because the Christian myth, like the Ptolemaic system, has become obsolete, it has been in some places rejected.  But unlike the situation in the scientific world where a new and better model took the place of the old, some people (like some Unitarians), thinking they can know reality directly, reject models altogether.  They live either in a world of "brute facts" with no significance, or they have some unadmitted model of reality, generally sick because it is never examined; but they refuse to call it a myth.

I have suggested that there are two main reasons for disagreements in religion.  First, the criteria of evaluation have not been applied to religious models; were they applied, the most common notions would be pronounced ridiculous.  This is why religion has often been afraid of reason.

Second, religious confusion is due to the differences in people and their experiences in the world; they have different religious needs, though it is probably true that most of the needs people find satisfied in traditional religions have been artificially created by the religions themselves.

Other factors, such as personal and institutional involvement in religion, and its conception of truth as eternally revealed and unchanging, also account for the fact that at present there is far greater consensus in some areas of some sciences than in many areas of religion.

Mainly, I have tried to show that verification of myths is as meaningful as verification of scientific theories.


Some of what was said in the last section will now be modified in important ways.  A myth is not just a model of reality; nor is a scientific theory necessarily mythical because a myth is more than an explanation: it is a paradigmatic experience.

               a.  Explanation in Myth and Science

Models_in_Science.--Both science and religion use models (theories or myth) in their explanations.  Scientific explanation and models has been a hotly argued issue in recent philosophy of science, but if I can judge the drift of the controversy, most agree that if there is a need for models in science, it is a psychological, not a logical need.  Quantum mechanics, for example, has no model.  (Of course, in a sense--a trivial sense because it is all-inclusive--all statements are models, or symbolic.)

Explanation.--An important limitation of science, placing it on a level below religion, is that science simply explains.  (Technology utilizes science in control or prediction.  In practice it is, of course, difficult to separate pure from applied science, and the distinction is not crucial here.)  Those in academic circles tend to forget that there is something more to life than explanation.  Even if a scientific system were absolutely complete and self-sufficient, i.e., could explain everything, it would be completely meaningless unless someone had at least some preexplained experience which would give existential meaning to at least some of the terms (without a minimum of such experience even formal relationships would be incomprehensible).  Suppose that music could be perfectly explained in the equations and descriptions of this super-science, including its effect on people, which even a deaf scholar could master; would not hearing music be far superior to reading the explanation, at least in terms of richness of life?  Moreover, science cannot explain unique events, or the uniqueness of events, for there are some things which are inexplicable in principle.  The explanation of the thing, which science tries to give, is not the thing itself.

Are myths themselves not explanations?  Many writers have treated myth as explanation for natural phenomena, the social order, or specific religious acts.  The myth and ritual school, for example, held that myths developed to justify ritual performances.  In the preceding section myth was treated as explanation, myth differing from science only because by convention science has limited itself to certain aspects of reality.  While it is true that myths do in fact explain, they are more than explanations.  The myth itself becomes a primary experience as well as an explanation of experiences, for it_demands_to_return_to_primal_time, to the first event which, because_it_was_first,_explains.  As a primary (not primal) experience, myth may integrate other experiences, just as the C-Sharp Minor Quartet of Beethoven may do, without explaining these experiences in any scientific sense.  It is foolish to assume, because myths make references to reality, that myths must have counterparts in the propositions of science.  Myths may include statements which could be translated into science; this is accidental, and not essential.

Some, like Freud and Tylor, have argued that science is making myths obsolete (since science provides better explanations).  Some scientists, like Millikin and Einstein have seen the history of religion progressing from a mythical stage to an ethical stage, and finally to a cosmic stage or position from which man can control nature.  While many of these scientists think of themselves as defenders of religion, and no doubt would be correct if they asserted that man can experience the sacred without myths, science and the rationalism which have it birth have flooded our lives with instrumental purposes, hiding the divine purpose (this phrase will be explained later).  It is important to note that even when a myth (as opposed to science) gives one control, the mystery does not disappear, nor is it ignored or denied as scientists who wish to explain everything do.  As Professor Eliade says:

[Mythic] revelations do not constitute "knowledge" in the strict sense, they do not exhaust the mystery of cosmic and human realities.  By learning their origin myth, one becomes able to control various cosmic realities (for example, fire, harvests, snakes, etc.); but this does not mean that one has transformed them into "objects of knowledge."  These realities will keep their original condition.  Myth_and_Reality, 142-3

It seems to me, then, that science (and theology, too--but that's another story) and technology have created a complex world and added dangers primitive man never felt; now more than ever a myth is needed to orient us to our world and to the sacred.

                b.  The Myth as Sacred Narrative

A myth is more than a model, then, because it does more than explain.  A myth also is a specific kind of model, a kind not specified in the Preface but which Eliade makes clear at the outset of his Myth_and_Reality: "Myth narrates a sacred history" of primal beings whose actions shaped the world to what it is today.  If one does not restrict the term to sacred narrative, a difficulty arises for the student of myth: what is myth, then, constantly changes with the "progress" of science.  Unless one recognizes the sacred nature of the mythic narrative, myth becomes simply a kind of belief.  Myth cannot be reduced to belief, any more than walking can be reduced to belief.  A belief involves a proposition about an experience or set of experiences.  If one were to use the word "belief" to refer to a myth, it would mean something more because myth is that primary experience itself of which the critical question of truth and falsity does not apply: believing a myth means experiencing the myth in its sacred, compelling, and absolute power.

            c.  Play and Purpose in Myth and Science

The most important difference between science and myth so far mentioned is that myth is more inclusive: while it may contain propositions translatable into scientific language, it (as experience) transcends explanation because it can compel action according to its sacred, paradigmatic character, illuminating the basis of existence.  While we may say of a scientific explanation that it is true, it is better to say of a myth that it is genuine because in its compelling fullness the critical question of truth cannot arise.  Thus, in Professor Eliade's words,

The mode of being of the myth is precisely that it reveals_itself_as_myth, that is, it announces that something has_been_manifested in a paradigmatic manner".
                     The_Sacred_and_the_Profane, 64.

This_is_why_myth_must_take_the_narrative_form.  A formula like F=ma neither tells how nor compels one to act.  (A scientist or technician may act in certain ways and not others because of his knowledge of a formula, but his actions are_instrumental, not intrinsic.)  This is not to deny that scientific discovery may be a genuine religious experience, for myth is one kind, and not the class of, religious experience.  But the scientist can hardly imitate or himself recreate the reality of the formula; the actions of gods or men can be imitated, not abstractions.  Hence a nonanthropomorphic religion is a logical impossibility.

Another--and crucial--distinction between science and myth is that science deals with a profane world and myth with the sacred.  It may appear that I am speaking of two worlds and fragmenting reality, but I am not, as may become clear shortly.  For now it might do to say that the profane world is not a world; for "the world becomes apprehensible as world, as cosmos, in the measure in which it reveals itself as a sacred world."  [a reference here?]  The profane world is filled with goals, plans, purposes, obligations, relative judgments, "hang-ups"--work.  This is because in the profane world there is no paradigm to free one from the anxiety of choice.  Play, on the other hand, has no purpose.  One does what one does without the necessity for justification.  Play is the creation of a world outside the profane: the sacred.

The scientist when doing pure science may be playing; but that science itself, since it is not arbitrary, is not play.

Myth, on the other hand, is play because it needs no justification for itself.  As play, its meaning is intrinsic.  One is freed from profane instrumentality and instead confronts reality directly.  Myth is even a special kind of play, for the whole world is the subject of mythology, and thus all existence is play.  Here the earlier distinction between the sacred and the profane breaks down, for sub specie ludens [sic] all reality is sacred.  In the profane mode, traces of the sacred are never lost; but because these intimations are present, man knows his reality is fragmented, and he seeks some ultimate purpose to justify his instrumental actions.  This is why Modern man's "private mythologies"--his dreams, reveries, fantasies, and so on--never rise to the ontological status of myth, precisely because they are not experienced by the whole_man and therefore do not transform a particular situation that is paradigmatic.
                         Eliade, Sacred_and_Profane, 211

This is why, for primitives, "not to be aware that all that is truly human is reducible to divine prototypes, is sacrilege."  [a reference here?]  It is the necessity to justify what one does which is not mythical, because the myth serves no extrinsic purpose, for it deals with the whole, the outer limit.  Purposive behavior is condemned in the religious revolution among the young today in America, especially among the hippies whose experiments with drugs led to an understanding of play as the basis of reality and the holy, since drugs disallowed instrumental purpose and focused attention on the unique.  Adolf Jensen Myth_and_Cult_Among_Primitive_Peoples, 202) seems to be describing the "middleclass" values and purposes of our society against which the hippies have revolted:

An individual, unencumbered by religious commitments or any capacity or artistic experience, viewing purposive action as the sole determinant and complete fulfillment of human existence, may have subdued much that is essentially human and yet may have attained a leading position in public life.  According to primitive belief, his life would be a single sacrilege. . . .

Thus, if we see the myth as a kind of play of the whole, the split between fact and value is overcome, for the myth is the paradigm, needing no explanation, compelling action or understanding, creating cosmos out of chaos by the events narrated because they were primal.

Science is concerned with the world of classes of things.  The myth is concerned with the unique and discrete, because it is concerned with the sacred.  Though the myth is a kind of pattern for events in profane time, insofar as it is ritualized or followed, thus far it erupts into the present, so that the uniqueness of the primal time is repeated.

Tensions between the unique and the repeatable, and between the sacred and the profane, and play and purpose, may in fact lie behind the mythic impulse, as suggested by Claude Levi-Strauss, for they struggle for resolution.  And ultimately there seems no difference between the sacred and the profane, instrumental and divine (intrinsic) purpose, and the unique and the repeatable, when one tries to apply these terms to the whole reality.

Just so, there is no split between what is and what should be (facts and values) in experience, only in explanation.  Those with myths have a tremendous advantage in seeing reality whole.  It will be recalled that my definition of religion involved integration into the whole.  It seems that primitives may, if we can trust Jensen, come close to realizing this wholesomeness:

Religion among primitive peoples is not recognition of man's duties as the divine character of reality; then reverence is not a duty but a natural attitude toward the perceived."

If the distinction between science and myth given above is valid, science being explanatory, profane, concerned with classes rather than with the unique, and as part of the world of purpose which denies an ethic of play, and myth being a compelling narrative of primal, creative action, a play, a sacred freedom--if these differences are real, then our culture needs myth much more than it does science.

Can a science which has a goal of evolutionary development inspire anything more than an instrumental, profane ethical system?  Perhaps attention to the entropic nature of the universe rather than betting on the evolutionary processes provides a better basis for ethics, simply because it will not permit any basis for (instrumental) ethics.  Like the hippies' attention to drugs, entropy indicates all there is is play, that meaning is not extrinsic to our existence.  Entropy is an eruption of the sacred into the world of the profane.  But a scientific explanation of entropy is still explanation.  What is needed is an entropic myth.


Having suggested that all statements about reality are mythical, religious assertions no more so than scientific, I now list criteria for judging the religious myth in particular.  These criteria may have limited applicability; it should not be expected that all are relevant to the Hottentot.  The division into formal and material considerations is convenient, though somewhat arbitrary.  Briefly entering the criteria suffices here; hopefully their explanation lies in the execution of the translation.

                         Formal Criteria

1. An adequate symbol-picture, model, system, or myth must give man significance (order, meaning, coherence) and purpose.  It almost seems tautological to say that if there is a myth which has lost its meaning, or has become trivial, it ought to be abandoned.

2. It must unify experience (to make hypocrisy impossible) by showing the human in cosmic terms and the universe as man's drama.  A therapeutic myth would organize all of man's experience and present reality as a living whole; the sciences and humanities would be remarried by religion.  The fragmentation of person and of society would be healed.

3. The myth must nurture belief in personal worth.  Even the most mediocre is more than a number within an area code, more than a mechanism responding to commercials.  The individual cannot have integrity unless he believes he is worth something as a person.

4. High social cohesion must be insured by the myth.  If a woman screams for help, those who hear her must be impelled to help.  (This and criterion 3 are interdependent.)

5. The myth must be internally consistent; that is, one part would not support bombing enemies if another says to love them.

6. The myth must correspond to the scientific picture of reality.  This is not nearly as important as internal consistency because what is acceptable science today may be hogwash tomorrow.  And science is accountable to religion, not the other way around.  But ideally the scientific model should fit within the myth.

7. The myth must be changeable (like a folksong) and indeed dynamic (like a Greek myth); anyone may improve upon it since living myth is not dead dogma, just as scientific models are not identified as the unalterable, eternal, perfectly-revealed and stated absolute truth.

8. Feasts, festivals, play, dance, art, etc., must be supported by any good myth (these realize the myth), for it is in communal participation that man loses and finds himself.  The festival is a time when he can become the gods, and has their understanding.

9. Opportunity and mechanism must be provided for sacrifice.

10. Salvation must come by attainment, not by conversion; by grace, not by works: the religion of the myth must contain both historical and nonhistorical elements.

                        Material Criteria

11. The content of the myth must be literally possible against the skepticism of modern man.

12. The myth must explain the nature of evil, and of

13. the suffering and the creation which suffering relates to, and of

14. birth and death.

15. The content should concern the republic of man, not the kingdom of God.  This means each man must accept full responsibility for his actions, which choose [sic] for all men.  Democracy must involve all citizens; they must participate in their government, which must be organized to seek opinions from them.

16. Eternity must be interpreted not as an endless extension of time, but rather as its cessation.

[no #17?]

18. The myth should emphasize that, while man can forgive mistakes, the universe cannot because every error leads to an increase of entropy.

19. Immortality should be explained as impersonal, rather than personal, which is selfish.  Group eschatology generates social cohesion.

20. The basic eschatological presumption must be unavoidable but postponable doom, cosmic, social, and personal.  Jesus was able to free and to be uninhibited by the thought of an imminent kingdom of God; for modern man the recognition that all men and their works share the same end has the same effect.


This is not the place to explain the Klinden doctrine of doom, which is based on an analogy between the affairs of men and the Second Law of Thermodynamics; but brief mention may be made of indications that the Klinden teaching may be relevant to our situation.  Doom seems as inevitable as the march of science, simply because (while man is born neither a confirmed saint nor sinner) the number of possibilities for disintegration is increasing much more rapidly than the possibilities for integrity.  Change is vulgarly called Progress.  Technological gain is confused with spiritual improvement.  The following auguries of doom are natural progressions from the first wheel, which began the journey toward Doom.

Advertisers are using psychological research for their own profits.  (This complaint and others are not necessarily condemnations.  Advertising is essential for our economy's growth.  The complaint is that this is necessarily so, and that this necessity is part of the structure of doom.)  The public relations craft is not just a questionable economic and social force, for more and more political fortunes use its manipulations.  But business itself is increasingly run by witch doctors called industrial psychologists.

The mechanization of society is beginning to produce the cyborg, the man-machine, the hero of comic books and technological medicine, a construction seeking no "ultimate" purpose.  But this itself is not the augury of doom; what is, is the impossibility to draw a line between machines which are legitimately useful to man and machines while rule men.  Moreover, as medical science progresses the lifespan of man-machine can be extended forever; death will cease to give meaning to life.  Further, saving lives of persons with genetic defects interrupts natural selection, and prolongation of life puts a burden on the youth.  When livers, hearts, endocrine glands, and cerebral lobes can be replaced, and when genes can be selected, destroyed, and created, no one will think of looking for Man.

There seems only little cause for hope for a solution to the world's population problem (which breeds disregard for the individual and causes psychological, if not nutritional, disorders) without the use of totalitarian means, which seem in the offing anyhow.

Cities, crime, pollution, the race situation, welfare, and the apathetic middle class are problems a bigger and less responsive, more specialized and dishonest government seems to be unable to anything significant about.  Few citizens escape decadent concern for private pleasure, as artists, teachers, scientists, or businessmen, by demanding a participatory democracy which insures civil liberties for all.  Those few who are concerned with social ills often propose programs which hurry the totalitarian era--like the idea that all should be drafted to serve the State.

As fat, indulgent spectators at a football game who root with decadent emphasis, we observe ignorant and athletic insistence on national superiority, sovereignty, and self-righteousness in the world community.  The imminent peril of atomic catastrophe allows little time for power to yield to law, much less to love.  Our own chest-swelled national policies are nearsighted, dangerous, and perhaps unavoidable.

The chance that we can solve any of these problems is very slight, and there are multitudes more, each of which hits and slashes at man's clarity of thought and purity of will; and threats are the only relief.  Since these problems are compounded with each other, hope for solutions is preposterous; can a man poisoned, shot, stabbed, run over, burned, and irradiated reasonably expect to see tomorrow?  Man has problems, he cannot solve them, there is help from nowhere: man is doomed.  Yet it is Doom which gives a man's life Meaning.


The texts here translated, of various authors and ages, are irregular, sometimes poetic, sometimes amazingly pedestrian; I have not tried to disguise this.  Nor have I tried to make an implausible argument more convincing, nor translate away contradictions; I have repaired neither faulty organization nor logic, nor modified extreme positions.  The English version is purposely ambiguous in syntax and intention in several places because this seemed the best way to translate there; and puns have not been neglected.  I have consciously tried to make this sound like a translation, even if this requires an occasional awkward or stilted style--which is, perhaps, an effect easy enough for me to achieve.  Detailed notes await publication of the original texts and an explanation of their language.  This translation has undoubtedly been influenced by the language of those of our civilization who have expressed similar ideas.


Some have said our age needs a new Faith, a new Bible, a new Kant.  Klinde and Klindebook do not pretend or presume these places.  But Klindebook does, by its failures, amplify the condition of need.


1.  This planet was once barren of human life; and though rich varieties of plants and animals inhabited the three continents (and remained until the Disaster), and though sentient creatures had learned the lesson of commensalism, what was this nature without man?  So man, capable of surpassing the native cooperation by reaching even beyond symbiosis to love, emigrated from the Cinder Planet (for once, before life there destroyed itself, a great civilization flourished).  Our ancestors were emigrants from the Cinder Planet, and our history can be understood best as a continuation of that dead world.

2.  The Cinder Planet's technological society had reached a high degree of centralization under the three years* of direction by Wolgarftho.  He was a democratically elected President of Nations, and his chief achievement was an efficiency of government which theretofore had been considered impossible except in a dictatorship.  He was able to market demands as well as political climates by means of a tremendous propaganda device far surpassing the telephone we so recently outlawed.  He was skilled at creating a consensus which all but branded minorities as heretics, haters of humanity, and the like.  He carefully seduced the free press into becoming an extension of the government's control of thought.  But these were early accomplishments of his

----------*30 earth years.

3.  For, after being re-elected to his second thirty-month term, he began the violation of the human body by the insertion of mechanical and electronic devices into the brain and other parts of the spirit's physical construction.  Yes, efficiency showed marked improvement with this program, for bit by bit man became more like machines, as machines (computers and the like) became increasingly like men.  Human troublemakers were surgically rehabilitated, and the creative spirit was destroyed.  At first these demi-humans (or quasi-machines) were installed or deluxed as volunteers; but youth were so indoctrinated by government information and so eager to escape or elude their responsibilities or sense of them in their exceedingly complex environment, that
the demand to be an Improved Human was for a short time beyond the supply and temporal ability of the government's technological physicians.  Before long the legislative body, itself somewhat altered, recognized that these operations were much easier and more effective at birth, and passed a health measure to require installation of these devices within the first week of life.  In addition to limiting anxieties, these things also greatly increased one's ability to enjoy the pleasures of life; so those born before the law willingly submitted to the curettage of the spirit which was, after all, done at the government's expense.

8.  There were a few, of course, who refused to submit.  Their life was very difficult.  Parents who wished to have their children excused from Improvement were often ostracized by society to the point of losing employment and the services that are essential to members of a complicated society.  This was the case with Bentant's parents, who while he was young (the law was passed just after his birth) were forced to take him to the wilds.  In such primitive conditions they raised Bentant who, they hoped, would be a human, if the last.  Thus, he was saved not only the implantation, but also the indoctrination of public schools and mass communication.

15.  When he grew to an age, he began to consider what could be done.  At first he thought that humanity could be restored; but when he encountered society (which his parents had only described) and learned (after they died in the wilderness) how to pretend that he was also a cyborg with a serial number, he began to see that escape was the only possibility to perpetuate the human race or even himself; for his several attempts at sabotage nearly cost him alteration by the Inspector General, except that he was considered too dull or defective to cause much trouble.

19.  Only because he was capable of love did he discover that Bentana (as she was soon to be called) was not a cyborg.  Her parents, before their lobotomies, had encouraged her escape from the planet.  Her father once worked for the space agency; so Bentana, adopting this name to appear Bentant's sister, was able to aid their egress, which was all but impossible, for a fantastic number of difficulties had to be overcome, especially since space travel was limited to government personnel.

20.  Nevertheless, in the year from which we count years, Bentant and Bentana did emigrate to this planet, landing near where now the Great Circle of Eternity commemorates this civilization's birth.  It is the greatest irony of all time that a few months* later, Wolgarftho also came to this planet.  Of course, the classic explanation for this is the expression attributed to Wolgarftho himself:

------------* a few earth-years.

21.  With surgical shaping of body and brain, the State crushes utterly!
     he shouted, fighting his way through the fleshy programmed robots,
     working on social security.
     The spirit controlled by a switchboard,
     the body is like a machine,
     the mind made lame,
     the soul disposable!

     O Brain! pricked with electronic spikes and probes
controlling emotion, action, consideration,
within the skull enlarged from infancy
to house the coils, the cords, the needles
and transistors needed to receive the orders
from a local console run by a local positivist
who loves control of his slave village and all the merit he will get if his boss is amused.

     His boss is unlobotomized and even has his appendix.
His boss is inhuman human control, a noncyborg in a society of cyborgs.

     His boss is not pleased; he's tired of games;
his competitions are duties, no longer pleasures of entertainment,
     like a god playing solitaire and bored with the game.
     Everything works and runs smoothly.

     His boss shouts THE STATE CRUSHES UTTERLY!
     and runs through the crowds and streets discontinue! his surgical shaping of body and brain,
     leaves his own indeed menace with him
     and lands anew to plague himself and procreate a new and foreign state.

52.  Bentant and Bentana's exit was carefully planned, not only to escape but also to parent a new tribe of humanity, on a strange planet called Adopted before the death of Klinde.  The government research on vegetation had to be obtained and studied; fortunately, this planet with its variety of plants for healthful nutrition was handy for the new race.  There were engineering problems, not only in the transit but also in planning a supply of energy for disembarkment.  But, of course, the most dangerous aspect of the preparation was political threat.  Some problems were not even considered until after the landing; one of these was language.

53.  Bentant and Bentana agreed that the commercial, propagandistic language which was their only speech was unsuited to a race which they hoped would be free of the misconceptions of man and the universe which had caused fragmentation and cybernation in their home civilization.  Therefore, they began to invent a pure language: pure in vocabulary, sound, and grammar.  They made new language a prerequisite for rearing a family.

61.  In the 18th month* after the emigration, a son named Heath was born.  In the 30th month*, a daughter whom they named Willow was born.

---------------*1 Klindemonth is about 2 earth-months; 1 Klindeyear, 60 Klindemonths, is about 10 earth-years.

69.  It was when Willow was six months old that Wolgarftho, tired of playing God, revolted [sic] his own system.  (His exit was timely indeed, for shortly thereafter the planet took the shape and form from which it receives its present appellation.)  His egress was infinitely easier than that of the two who preceded him 36 months earlier*, since he did not need intrigue and chance to effect his escape.  He, however and luckily, did not land on Klindelink**, but rather on Klindetol***.  After several months of solitude and self-examination, Wolgarftho, not knowing there was another human on this planet, decided to dedicate the balance of his life as a slave of nature rather than as its master.  He abandoned all his machines and power supplies which he had brought with him, and began with a few simple utensils to explore the land his maps indicated was near the island he had learned peripatetically.  He built a simple raft on which he floated toward Klindelink, guided by the light of his former realm. 

Finally his craft drifted ashore, and he disembarked and headed inland.  He explored the continent slowly, enjoying nature, wondering at it, treating it personally instead of hurrying toward a destination.  Finally, in the 12th month of the 2nd year of the Emigration, he happened upon Willow, who was playing on the banks of the Great Lake.  He was so surprised to meet another human, even a child, that his old desire for control reasserted itself in a rage, and he tried to kill her.  Heath was nearby and prevented the murder.  Wolgarftho's new resolutions returned to his consciousness, and as he fled he yelled apologies in a language Bentant had almost forgot.  A short time later Wolgarftho again happened upon the new family, and again he apologized, identifying himself and his inner experiences of the recent months.  Bentant told who he was, and in so doing commented upon Wolgarftho's consensus civilization.  Wolgarftho flushed and said he was indeed unworthy to be called a man.  He was shown the beginnings of the new society.  "Let me return to my home, to send you materials which will be of great use to you," he insisted against Bentant's protests that he had vowed never to depend on technology.  But Wolgarftho indicated that he was so enriched by the primal family that he wanted to return anyhow to find a wife, and to have a family of his own.  His third reason for returning: "I will try to reverse the technological direction I advanced there."

--------*1 Klindemonth is about 2 earth-months; 1 Klindeyear, 60 Klindemonths, is about 10 earth-years.
**Klindelink is the equatorial continent where Bentant and Bentana had landed.
***Klindetol is a large island 150 miles off, in the Bay of Klindelink, and 720 miles from the Circle of Eternity (or 850 miles by river), which is at the center of Klindelink, near the Great Lake on a river between two rivers.

70.  But the process was irreversible.  When he returned he found that the landscape of his home was an igneous display of burnt wires and putrid arteries, cracked bones and consoles; the streets were stained with transistors and flesh.  His empty-handed trip back to Klinde seemed impossible at first, both emotionally and mechanically, for the means to propel the space vehicle were not obviously found.

75.  Bentant prepared Klindetol for Wolgarftho's return by planting various fruits and vegetables there, which were not native to the island but which gave delight, near the Great Lake.  Once a month, for 46 months, he made a trip to Klindetol.  "If Wolgarftho is able to remedy the former world, and if he finds a wife, and if they return to our new home, they must be welcomed and invited to retire from government to Klindetol, which I am making ready for them," Bentant planned.  He and Bentana felt that Wolgarftho and his wife could learn the new language and attitudes, and perhaps their children might marry Heath and Willow.  But in the 46th month after Wolgarftho's departure, near the second anniversary of the Emigration, Bentant's gardening on Klindetol led him to strike a device buried from view, which exploded.

78.  When Bentant did not return at his customary time, Bentana dreamed frightening dreams, and Heath set out for his father, whose pieces he found scattered among the vegetables.

80.  Bentana was without consolation.  For two months she fasted.  Heath and Willow erected the monument in their father's memory, hewn out of obsidian.

103.  Six months later, Wolgarftho returned.  While Heath and Willow were tending Klindetol, Wolgarftho met Bentana and told her why his return was delayed, that their home was a cinder, and most sorrowfully that he was returning unwed.  Bentana told him about Bentant's death.  Wolgarftho cursed himself, saying, "May I suffer in the extreme for the change I have given humanity."

142.  Six months later, Bentana and Wolgarftho married, despite the objections of Heath and Willow.  A feud arose which could be resolved only by the two pairs parting.  The older couple sailed for Daflink, where they parented two boys and a girl, and ancestored the Daflink nation.  Heath and Willow became the parents of the nation of Klindelink.

I typed this verbatim from your notes.

                    THE BOOK OF THE PROPHECY

Before the myth                                       1
the chasm was
with vacuums yawn-
ing, such that hugged
each other's void.

And silence spoke                                     2
its echoes strong
that ought of naught
myth the myth
was molded.

Beware, for I have heard:                             3
"lurking among the happiness
inertial blackness chants
a lullaby of fear-frozen heart-knocks
scums float its foam
through tightened arteries
the cholesterol of commerce and heart
chambers, slowly drugging each cell
whispering lowly
'holy happiness for me only.'"

Beware, for I have seen:                              4
the manna clouds cruise the sky from
knocking out the fame of crowds meshed
into a naked bony stricture
sky-white bone-narrowed manna hushing
hunger's loans.

Beware, for I have felt the heat:                     5
Fire is to smoking first when under
standing clears the focal point.
Burning bushes always lean.  Wet bushes
never dry (do they?) unless nature under
scores her way as if a tree branch
broken under a grass blade could rear
itself to sing cantos in Rome.*

------------*lit., to harmonize contradictions in the Circle of Eternity.

Beware, for I have asked:                             9
Why do adding machines figure us?
People forget they're people; machines
people the planet.  Streams of tape and ink
gnaw at a mountain sitting on a stool.
If your scientific friends are more than
machines calculating, you
must then be greater than the total or
the items will be bankrupt.

     Beware, then.  Come, the doctors said:               11
let us audit our Glory, let us count
by department: the left
foot makes five counts but the right
was deficient in six from inventory;
minus one.  The hand enjoys twenty-three
and an interest of five.  The loins count
eighty-five and the Head resolves the
dispute: adding its two-thirty-three,
the total Glory is three hundred
What a revelation!
I wonder if Patmos** is still lived
upon. Our audit complete, I suggest
a voucher for the amount be placed with
good will into God's atomic-safe vault.
O sky-high the fortune!

--------**lit., Klindetol, where Wolgarftho landed.

Beware, unconscious we drip unknowing               200
of science but ring for order.  Our lands
are fertilized, our crops grow well.  We
make machines that make machines.
Profits are up, and stocks sell high.
We talk across a continent.  The artist
thrives, and instruments for music,
healing, science, law, and justice
multiply. (FORGET WAR.)  We grow, oh
GNP, we grow complex, but oh
we grow like cancers!
Our growth makes great things small.
We grow minor; we do not order.
Hit social science back to man!

The sky!  The sky!  Danger in the sky               331
reflecting man's heat and intercourse.
Watch the sky flash and smash all breathing places.
Wait crouched until the moon hot and cold
hits and pounds its weight
and makes us know its will.

Doom flickers in the corners of the night,          332
at noon, and when eyes close out the sale.

Entropy!  Entropy!  No reservoirs, no safe place    333
escapes its eeking, seeking, pawing, gnawing.
Distant doom or nearby disaster--
take your pick or sit it out in the cold.

In principio erat mythos.*                          334
the sun slouches in skyfallen time
waves break mop their nights away
rocks croak from mudforgotten slime
and i gulpdrown the sites i cannot prey

----------*In addition to associations this phrase may bring to mind, the original text also involves the idea that the basis of all is a preconstructed view.

moonmirth mingles on bones decay
mirrow sears my memorys thirstyguess
comes laughinglighted dust my speech onceclay
andemptinesses on my soul make press

i cannot hear mycry nor can icare
and yet the sunandmoon the wavesandblame
the rocksandclay these are the words i wear
they are mywords Now i know the fame
of knowing lovers words demented lie
i is we fear and trembling cannot sigh


43.  In 120.46, after studying history, music, mathematics, and medicine, he read Heath's Observations of the Night, took an interest in astronomy, which at that time had become full of superstition, and began a systematic investigation of the sky, which led to his appointment to establish a department of celestial study at the Academy of Reshonjun.

48.  In 121.00, he received an anonymous letter which contained the Prophesy, the reading of which recalled this passage in Heath's Observations, which begins the work:

     On the Day of Marsum in the month of Krawg, in the 5th year of my parents' Emigration, when I was in my 244th month, I saw a spectacle in the midnight sky, where the moon was in the day at noon, which reminded me of my father Bentant's calculations he had often discussed with me.  He believed that the sky had been mined after the escape from the Cinder Planet, though Wolgarftho denied any knowledge of this, and promised to check it out on his return.  The intended effect of the mining was to fragment and knock the moon out of its orbit, and thus destroy this planet with its fugitives.  My father concluded that an error in the launching of the mines was sufficient to assure us safety.  What I saw on the night I am reporting was, I think, those mines exploding, as a swarm of meteors was in their vicinity and easily could have set off their nuclear blasts.

57.  Thus the result of Klinde's investigation was this: on 123.000.20 at noon, a remaining mine would strike a large meteor near the moon, the blast of which would divide the moon, send its pieces to the planet, shock and ruin its face and heart, and stop civilization and most life.

281.  And a god said unto Klinde, "Get out and minister unto my people."

282.  "Lord," he answered, "who am I that I should raise my voice above this noise?  And what could I say that would not bring further confusion?"

283.  "The Universe is cracking and divides mankind.  Go, and make Awareness fall on my people, and Awareness will go with you, for you are with Awareness anointed."

286.  So Klinde went out to the streets and said: "Listen O People, listen and Awareness will give you courage.  For I have been in the presence of the gods, and I have seen the structure of Doom."  And Awareness came to the people when he spoke, and they listened to him while he spoke, and they listened to him while streetlights lightened their faces, even until it dawned upon the multitude.

290.  Grokinus served him breakfast in the Capitol: "Your prophesy was like a cloth cleaning ten year's dust; but now the office of dust, to hide the rottenness of wood, has been abolished and the bureau waits ignition's glory."

291.  Klinde answered: "I spoke of doom, the Disaster, and awareness of rotten wood is Salvation.  Rotten hope cheats justice, saying: 'In the end all is well.'

     But we know the doom will come;
     Morals' emanation is Procrastination.
     Forestall the day of doom: we all must face
     together form and integrate a bulwark against that time,
     which, though it will be a toy, proves the therapy of our play."

292.  Grokinus said:

"Ah pretty little doom, Ah blessed redemption!
    Let us choose the losing side so we may wimple-win!"

293.  Klinde answered him:

"Let us choose the losing side since we are lost.
    Let us protest the winning side to find what values are.
     Let human intercourse be frank, as in a fog or heavy snow men speak to strangers."

294.  Grokinus responded:

     "And let the stranger stab and twist kindness like a knife
     into our brains and dismember our trust in man."

295.  Then angry, Klinde answered:

     "Not if doom is foretold and faced.  Be sober,
the state between sensual intoxication and sarcastic discommitment."

302.  And as he spoke, police entered and charged him with arson.

332.  While Klinde was in jail waiting a trial, he sang:

     Why am I reaching, pushing, moving until
I am dry with rage and my joints are sore?
I cannot stop Disaster
for no one listens, but all shout
if I suggest not only computation
and its crude exactitude, but also
how to veer the Rock an angle
smaller than two feet which go through life
and thus make it unfeeling to the moon's orbit.

333.  But the tune of his song did not match the words, and soon the song gave spirit:

     I am not caged or stocked.
I move and reach, and okay with space;
I percuss the wild time and swing on
light; I joke inertia.

You, ecstasy!  I know because of difference,
as I know lies from truth and sin from wholesomeness:
not as black from white, but as
uncolored blood is red,
washed sand is blazing yellow,
a buried frog is green, and
in the dark all veins are blue.

334. Am I God?  I will create calm stars of sight
with meaning in their motion--
lest their motion stop.

335.  At his trial, Klinde made this defense:

     The Sweetinventedpurpose sings
and makes Us sing
until we see the song
will perish if
we do. . .

Futilefear of
the Songinsorrow.

684. I stream along the beer-bottled broken shore
and sound out lovers loving on the beach;
the spirits once of the spiked sea I wore
before this instant's eddy times its reach;
my nearness hears the strata's million years
(sliced waste where love man made and remade)
licked for twelve centuries by tears
fermenting in the No Deposit trade.

So what if taxes shine the love to be
imbibed?  If I involved with time and waste,
would know that unformed strata gurgles me?
When earth drunk tears into old Sol,* outfaced,
a nova, or when heat is spread and passed--
Love's the speed of light, or will not last.

----------------*Lit., When this planet shaken from her orbit falls crying like a drunk into Beltgon. . . .

695. I have a headache from it all,
my love
(my wilted heart endures the ecstasy
no more)

Our love burst open in the night
and brought the day high,
but alas!
The sun does scorch and dry

1793.  When the Age of Wars began, Klinde made this psalm:

1794.  I shall sing when my trained bones destroy my fibers;
I shall sing when my bloody brain switches to charcoal seasoning for the air flush above the motion;
       I shall sing when my fleshy vocal cords twist like rails and  cannot be unpinned.

1795.  Then I shall sing without the burden of a voice, as a train sings without a track and crashes;
       Then bodiless, I shall sing to God in complete reverence.

1796.  I shall sing as the sympathetic smashing of two locomotives, echoing together down the tracks;
       I shall sing as tracks never stop;
       I shall sing in perpetual motion like the spheres in sounds too great for ears.

1797.  But I shall hear myself sing in chorus with voices who hear themselves as selves in chorus,
       as mystical as the trinity-entity,
       as plain as a kiss.

1798.  And I shall enjoy my singing and shall
not stop when the sky falls or the race
dissolves in strontium 90; and I shall sing
my enjoying like a dumb bird
insensible to the meaning men give pain.

1799.  And I shall sing in pain in joy, married
to song, and praise the song with singing pain.
(When unpained joy opens its trap,
the harpies and sirens scream
HYPOCRITE yet must ye be born again!
Did not you feel the pain?  How could you forget?
Your contraction rhythm does not link with ours;
your timbre is like a bare track, hopeless as the unmoved spike
       who will not hear the ringing;
loudness is not becoming,
but you must hear intense,
like the weight of a train.)

1800.  And I shall sing perfectly but then
not lonely out-of-key;
Then I can choose the notes as the
Conductor of the spheres.

1801.  And I shall travel in song;
My psalm will be sung like a train
of glory, and having been trained,
I shall sing
and sing as perfect as the song.

3432.  In 123.26, Thorn's ailment became extremely painful; he could no longer use his hands, which once produced music more moving than Beltgon; [dangling participle?] his attention stayed on the death of his mother, brother and sister.  Klinde, himself still shaken by the accident, was unable to comfort his son.  Finally Thorn came to his father and pleaded for death, saying life offered no joys, no hope.  Not only had loved ones died, his talent withered, which once he hoped would serve mankind, and the cancerous disease become torturous, but physicians offered no remedies.  Thorn's deterioration was now so bad that he was unable to do away with himself without assistance.

Now these were barbarous days, for mercy-killing was confused with murder.  Klinde did not suffer from such confusion in his own mind.  But he was loathe in the extreme to grant his son's request, for Thorn alone survived among his offspring; and while Klinde did not care about his own life, he feared such an act would discredit his former work in the minds of the people.  Nevertheless, with utmost reluctance and only after much agonizing petition from Thorn and consultation with the best doctors of the time, Klinde could no longer refuse his son.

An accident could not be planned, for Thorn's wails were known to too many.  Therefore, Klinde prepared a statement describing reasons and means, for release after the act.  In this statement Thorn cooperated and testified as best he was then able.  It was taped in secrecy; only intimate staff knew of it.  Yet somehow enemies discovered the plan, prevented its execution, and before the people knew all the facts had tried, sentenced, and punished Klinde with death.

3435.  Will to live returned to Thorn as he realized the depth of love his father had for him, and as the Krothugs, which name Klinde's enemies took, tried to destroy the new democracy.

3437.  Thorn experienced a spontaneous remission of his disease which gave him months enough to vindicate his father's name and ideals, defeat politically the Krothugs, and dedicate the Great Temple his father had begun in 123.10 and sign into law reforms Klinde had envisioned, one of which declared the right of euthanasia and set up legal apparatus to pass on requests.

                     THE LETTER TO GROKINUS

1.  Grokinus--

2.  Thank you for responding so quickly to my inquiry about the state of affairs in Nantsaga; and I am certainly pleased with the progress, and I am grateful to you for your sacrificial efforts in evangelizing the city most difficult in many ways, especially since it has for hundreds of years* been the site of religious gatherings--or should I say, theological gatherings?  May I also thank you for the gift, which arrived today, fresh as I can obtain here in Martkafn.  But most of all I am glad that
you mentioned the problem which is causing you some difficulty in your efforts, especially since we have never discussed the subject explicitly.  I can see why it would be a problem, for theology (as epitomized in your city) has today lost all force and demand upon the common man as well as the specialist; indeed, it is this divorce which has brought upon us the present crises.  Therefore, the question you raise is not academic, but one vital to our survival.  I should think that no further evidence for our contention would be needed than the present state of affairs; but, as you say, so many who have lost the power of original thinking insist that our contention is post hoc ergo propter hoc.  They have separated religion from their existence by placing it in a dimension which they call "ultimate" (but) which is ignored because it does not connect with life, despite their theories.  Or they call it the "symbol picture" of reality, which science does not discuss.  A proper understanding of religion, what religion is, would quickly eliminate the objections of those professors who have compartmentalized their minds.  For religion is that activity (and theology the study of that activity) which integrates all of man's experience--scientific, rational, emotional, esthetic, pragmatic, sensational, intuitional, extra-sensational, etc., into a meaningful whole.  Religion is concerned with man's models of galaxies and atoms, of human aspirations and threatening technologies.  We do not live in two worlds, one of material, the other of meaning, for such is a fragmented view, not a wholesome view.  Religion shows man meaning in the work-a-day world and shows him the universe in human terms, and himself in cosmic terms.

2.  There are those who insist that science is supracultural, and that science can give ontological information.  These people either know nothing of science and are ignorant of religion, or they are set in their ways if they do not admit our view upon reflection.  They may also misunderstand the limits of language and the nature of man as a model-maker.  After all, the only thing a scientist contributes to "fact" is the language in which he enunciates it.  Science is as much based on value judgments as any human endeavor.  They forget that they are human beings (fragmented) when scientists engage their instruments and spread graphite and chalk.  They say: We will have no values, only facts.  But their facts rest upon assumptions which in turn rest upon value systems.  Some scientists have said: We want the Truth, not value judgments.  But even this statement reveals the value placed on truth; and indeed truth requires value judgment to be revealed.

3.  Scientists and theologians claim that their conclusions cannot contradict because they study different things.  Does this not reveal the horrible extent to which our modern world has become compartmentalized?  What is needed is a whole view, one which governs man's every activity, which constantly demands morality from him.  Even if in specific situations he cannot know how to apply the precept of love and compassion.  This, Grokinus, seems so self-evident to me, as I'm sure it does to you, that I cannot see how anyone with any sensitivity, anyone concerned with "alienation," could deny the truth of what I have said.  But if this becomes a stumbling block in your efforts to persuade the Nantsagans, may I suggest that you not concern yourself over-much with those in places of power and repute; rather concentrate on the young, yes, the very young, those in prep schools, who at their age are naturally inclined to seek a religious world-view.  This is a long shot, but I think is better than wasting your time with those whose brains have indeed gone to bits, whose lobes and nerves share only a common skull: no more community is there.  The compartments of the brain have even sealed doors at this age; no passage is possible.

8.  I have finally been permitted to speak at the University of Martkafn, but first the faculty must be given the opportunity to censor my speech beforehand, and then to rebuttal afterward.  After much confusion, they at last agreed to make this arrangement public, which is only fair! but this will show them to be fools.  After this encounter, I expect to go to Rbnarzgel, which is (you know) the most promising city across the sea.  I am hoping then I can visit you again, and confirm the progress you will be making.

11.  One more word about compartmentalization: there are those who say, and in argument with us admit, that science rests on values, but yet deny the same degree of verifiability in religion as there is in science.  They do not see that science is no more intrinsically supracultural than religion.  They have forgotten the foundations of this world by our parents, who escaped the doom of technology we now seem to be insisting upon ourselves.  The language of science and the language of religion both rest on myth; and the propositions can be tested by human experience.  It is a mere historical accident that there is more religious dispute than scientific; it would be easy to imagine a world where people agreed on religion but differed on science.  (I use these terms in a vague, vulgar sense.)  But let me give you an example where science contributes to our religious understandings of existence: Psychology, sociology, biology describe and proclaim the reality of symbiosis.  When we see the present state of humanity, we must deduce that some other factor must be the multiplicity of possibility for error increasing with each day of modern life, while the chances for wholesomeness and love dwindle.  Man is by nature symbiotic, not parasitic, or even commensalistic; he exists to love.  But today he is involved in the labyrinth of special languages and mechanical, electronic, and a to mic [sic] bureaucracies, too involved to have compassion, to love, to be human.  We see the same kind of thing happening in the sky: The universe is dying because greater numbers of smaller concerns--I should say, collections of matter or of heat energy--are increasing the entropy.  Let us work, then, to forestall this irreversible process; let us build reservoirs of art, let us exercise morality by reuniting in a common concern for our brothers (for this is how we find ourselves).  In the end, we will have failed; but we can achieve individual salvation in Eternity-of-the-Present, by losing ourselves in efforts and in others.

25.  I cannot send you the books you request now; the government confiscated those by our martyred astronomer, and a mob seized and burned the others.  I think it will be a long time before we can publish anything again except by speeches, lectures, sermons, and our deeds.  It will be a year yet, I think, before we have either the money or the sponsor necessary to use the immediate means of communication.  Well, we must expect to be misunderstood.

26.  Give my best to your wife, who has suffered with you on my account, and to your fiery young sons, who keep their uncle encouraged.

                     . . . . . . . . . . . .

27.  Now, remember, I add, it does not matter if something is true if it is trivial.  But truth is not trivial.  These modern-day forgetters, who dissociate truth from emotion, have left most studies only with facts; they have disqualified the truths.  Truth belongs to man, indeed (for it does not exist outside his affirmation), not to science; for to know is to create.

look for [...] and [sic] for problems in the text.

                     THE LETTER TO THUTOMNON

1.  Dear Thutomnon:

I am deeply distressed by the message I hold in my hand from you.  I am distressed because I considered you a person who would not be drawn into an argument over questions which have no answer.  I supposed you above even attempting answers--much less did I judge that you would take sides.  Yes, the cause is hurt, as you fear, for you have introduced not only unhealthy dissension (there are healthy dissensions) but you have been publicized as a leader of a group which is concerned with this foolish metaphysical problem, which arises out of minds too academic and too afraid to face the real questions of human existence.

2.  I am very glad you wrote, for never let there be anything between us which causes the loss of integrity.  I will instruct you with the instruction which will not answer your present questions but which will set you aright once more, I hope.  Of course I am not insisting that my views must be your views--far from it!  For until you experience a direct revelation of these matters, you will live in a shallow, a shell of words, rather than in full possession of a fortress armed with the mighty weapons of love, compassion, and understanding.  But since my words may help prepare you for a revelation, or may cause you to recognize the ultimacy of what is said, I am writing you now.  And please remember to guard against accepting what I say uncritically; find fault, and write me again; for I hope I am not beyond learning and growing.

2.  First of all, I want to make it exceedingly clear that there is no ontological difference between subject and object, and that all "objects" have wills.  Now it is unavoidable (for even our first parents tried and failed in their artifice of language) to quit logical and grammatic subjects and predicates (objects).  It is also true that we do in fact act as if it were possible to distinguish subjects from objects (although the State seems to be replacing all subjects with herself and reducing every person to a thing or object).  But ontologically a table is as much a person as you or I.  Though the table (unlike ourselves and many other animals) is not rational, nevertheless it has a will, like us.  Like us, it has freedom to act.  A table is more predictable than a human, not because it is an object and a human is a subject, but because the will of the table is more consistent.  Thus, invariably, if a table is lifted and then the lifting supports are removed, the table will fall.  Of course, scientists tell us that it is possible that the table will rise instead of fall; but this is extremely unlikely.  We can make predictions about people, but since the human has a more complicated will, we are more likely to be mistaken.  (Of course it is wrong to speak of the will as a thing like an arm, a nerve, or the brain.)  Now you may think I am on the verge of answering your question about determinism, despite myself.  I am not, except to say that man is both determined and free and neither determined nor free.  The question does not apply to anything.  I say this not to confuse you but to indicate how difficult it is to put the revelation (which is beyond any consideration of subject and object) into words.  You must experience it.  The contradictions which arise logically or grammatically will disappear when you understand.  The question itself will appear meaningless to you.  Oh, that you soon will have this experience!

4.  But as I was saying, in these words which are my means at present to communicate with you, tables have wills.  Many will think you are joking if you make this assertion; the remainder will think you unsophisticated or nuts.  But I declare that tables and men have wills in exactly the same sense.  This is not so strange as it appears, for while the physicists have stripped the table of its will (by installing tales of gravity or curved space), the psychologists have explained away the choices and decisions and actions of men as the necessary consequences of antecedents.  Note how both the table and the man are considered objects.  Surely if one is to choose an extreme, it is better to call everything Subject than everything Object.  But as I say, there is in reality no difference between the two.

5.  Similarly there is no ontological reason for distinguishing person from person, or person from environment.  It is a strange notion that man is an isolated individual, for he depends on his neighbors and state, his friends and even his enemies (if he believes in them) for his "identity."  Merely to survive, he depends on micro-organisms in his gut, other humans for his food (not to mention the foods themselves), shelter, protection, pleasure, livelihood--for his existence: how can it be said that he is independent of them?  Are they part of him, the stomach bacteria, the potatoes he eats, the growers (they are their works), or are they separate?  Is it more realistic to talk about fields of existence than individuals?

7.  And what about this individual, is there a part of him that remains always constant, never changing?  Certainly not, for can X remain identical with X when the relationships (or fields) into which the person (and his X) moves?  But this is not quite properly stated, for without the fields there could be no person.  Of course, there is a sense in which it is true that I am I and you are you, and we will not become confused.  And yet part of me is becoming you as you read these words.

Now what deludes us into thinking we are separate beings?  The language?!?  Self-consciousness and thus suffering is produced by inhibitions, and inhibitions are resistances to desires.  When our actions are in perfect accord with our desires (when there are no inhibitions). . . . Of course it is as possible to achieve a state of no desires as it is to reach a state where all desires are realized.  And in both cases there is no self-consciousness.  However, philosophically, it is better to say that the cause of separateness is inhibition, because the situation of no desires is simply a special case of the larger and more general context of no inhibitions.  For example, you, Thutomnon, may desire sexual encounters.  If you restrain your desires, you will become warped as you feel more and more isolated and individual.  If, on the other hand, you express your desires with the one you love, you lose consciousness of selfhood and become an organism functioning with maximum efficiency, since you are so involved in the act that you become the act, and indeed you merge with the other.  I should think that fulfillment of desires is better, more human, than trying to reach a state of no desires.  But these states are identical.  Which path to be pursued is for each person to decide.

10.  Why am I so concerned about these matters?  The answer is that we are headed toward the same doom as betook the Cinder Planet, and this doom can be postponed only by measures I have been advocating.  This doom comes about by men treating men as machines; treating machines as men; combining men and machines in contraptions or with devices which serve, at present, medical means, but in the future, possibly, political ends.  Now, have I not contradicted myself?  For I have condemned cybernation because it dehumanizes, but I have also said that there is in reality no difference in kind between men and machines; that is, they both have will.  No, I have not contradicted myself, because my reason for speaking against this mad rush toward mechanical
efficiency is not that it places machine and man on the same level, but rather that both are treated as objects where they ought both to be considered subjects.

11.  What kind of action is it that respects men as subjects rather than treating them as objects (here I use the normal waking state's subject-object consciousness)?  It is an action that arises out of suffering.  One becomes an individual, a subject, by his experience with suffering; and if he assumes others have suffered, then he treats others as subjects.  Independent objects do not exist in nature (for nature is one); they are merely the contents of normal apprehension.  But when one treats one as a subject, one becomes what one beholds; else how can the magic of the original religious feast of Bentant be explained?

12.  But from this explanation two problems arise.  If tables are subjects, then tables can suffer?  Most certainly.  For when they are broken, so is their integrity as tables.  To this it may be said that the source of their integrity is the human mind, i.e., we impute integrity to the table.  If legs and a top have never been joined into a table then in what way is the unrealized table suffering?  In the same way fragmented man suffers.  Or it may be said that the table is an invention of the human mind, and thus there is no ontological reason for joining the legs and the top into a table; and dissembling the table into its components is no violation of an ontological structure.  But I claim that the contrary is true since our decision of what is ontological is our decision, a human projection of what is real.  I believe it is better to regard tables as integrated than unattached legs and tops.  Similarly man must integrate himself if he is to have integrity, attain wholesomeness, experience Eternity.  Thus we see that the first problem arising from the decision that tables can suffer, namely that the source of the integrity is human, is admitted but not considered an objection.

13.  A second and more important problem is this: Can one have integrity without suffering?  Can one identify himself with another without suffering?  Is suffering essential for wholeness?  Can one lose consciousness of selfhood without first having felt isolated?  The answer is No to all of these questions.  Only that man who never had inhibitions is the man of integrity without suffering, identity without feeling estranged, wholeness without disintegration, unconsciousness of self without having the delusion of isolation.  And that man does not, nor ever has, existed.  If so not, that man would have been an object.  But it is not that man's integrity, selflessness, wholeness we are striving after?  Is it the things for which we would admire him the things for which we would also call him an object?  In other words, are we actually striving to lose our subjectivity and become objects?  This question can be answered adequately only by experiencing that state of consciousness to which I referred in the beginning of my letter; it is that state in which there is no distinction sensed between subject and object; these categories are irrelevant.

14.  Why can there not be a man who has not suffered?  Those who tried to alleviate suffering entirely and who (as on the Cinder Planet) were altered so as to feel no pain and to ease all memory and possibility of suffering, were most deluded into thinking they were objects.  But you see doom came to them nonetheless.  Being objects was their doom.

But let me explain the paradoxical nature of suffering by analogy.  One analog is pain.  Now it is redundant or tautological (depending whether you are a grammarian or logician) to say that pain is very unpleasant.  However, we creatures of learning depend upon the announcements of pain that danger is near.  Were it not for pain, we would be unaware of the consequence of being near fire, etc.  Pain is a trait of survival value to the higher animals.  This unpleasant thing, pain, is vital to us for our survival.  We could not be creatures of intelligence if we did not have the promulgations of pain, the edicts of hurt.

16.  Just so with suffering.  Because we suffer we are aware (as we otherwise would not be) of our selfhood, and of the approaching doom.  And yet because of it we are able to make merry if we are excellent, if we earn by suffering the right to joy.  And on the social plane, democracy would be impossible without suffering or would be no more than a system viable only when competing powers held each other in relative check.

17.  Again, time would be no more without doom, for it is entropy which gives time direction.  Of course, the cessation of time, Eternity, is a goal.  But salvation is meaningless without the anxiety of time from which to be saved.

18.  Nor could there be morals without futility, just as charity would be impossible without poverty, forgiveness without transgression, freedom without discipline, or knowledge without the loss of innocence, or gaining oneself without losing it.

                     . . . . . . . . . . . .

27.  I did not mean to be so long-winded, Thutomnon.  I hope this will be of some help to you; and do let me know how you receive this.  Do not take offense at it, but use it to your own benefit if possible.

                      THE LETTER TO OMALKA

1.  My Friends of Omalka:

I have heard how you, who so recently (when last I visited you) performed so many services to me and encouraged our whole band upon this planet, have come in contact with those who pervert the doctrine which I delivered unto you--nay, those who destroy its essential social message.  I do not know to what extent this report may be true, but I sensed when I was with you that you were (despite your outward glow) somewhat shocked when I presented you with the Teaching of Doom; and I feared, notwithstanding your urgings that you understood me, that you did not grasp the importance of this teaching, that you in fact wished I had not mentioned it since it is not popular among those in charge of directing the future.  Well, because this teaching is absolutely
integral to our vision and is moreover established by all that we have seen in this life, I am writing you to insist that either you correct my informer or you correct yourselves.  Of course it is possible that I am wrong, but with all your politicking and unhappiness you have not seriously considered this.  Do!

2.  As you will remember, I asked each of you to search his inmost being for assurances of beneficent tomorrows; and with few and unnotable exceptions, you could find no such assurances, or at least you supposed that they were the product of hope rather than a revelation of what is to come.  Thereupon I presented to you a genuine account of the present view of how this cosmos will end, an account with many variables but with one settlement.  This one end, Doom, may come about by crashing moon fragments, or a flare-up in Beltgon, or by its chilling beyond what protection our new technologies can afford us.  If we view the air-regions themselves and suppose that somehow our existence on this world will be sustained until the sky falls, then we see in the sky Doom written in every motion of every celestial thing.  For motion, which is the evidence of life, is becoming both more random and smaller, and this direction is unalterable and unavoidable.*  Is man to shake his fist at such a fate?  At a death of mediocrity?  When all atoms have identical importance?  When no place has localized energy,** but random activity everywhere prevails without logic or purpose?  Is man to shake his fist for this?  He does whenever he creates meaning for himself and his society.

---------------*The second law of thermodynamics, the law of increasing entropy, provides that although there is no great loss or gain of thermal energy in the universe, energy, because of the increasing randomness in molecular motion, is nevertheless always becoming less and less available.

**Thermal, but also the energy discussed in William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.

3.  Some of you who are sophisticated, so you think, are thinking now, I know, that man can escape the fate of the stars, or at least the Day of Doom is so distant we can afford to forget about it since (avoiding the Disaster) it will affect neither ourselves nor our offspring for generations.  Well, let me tell you, Sophisticates, that the universe is revealed to man only in human terms.  Those of you who pretend otherwise are the most foolish of scientists, philosophers, and theologians.  For man
cannot be sure he is not missing a sense (imagine our race devoid of sight; how different our "view" of things would be!) which would change his model of reality.  Ah ha! you say: I have admitted the finitude of knowledge; then how dare I insist that Doom must come?  Because we must act according to the knowledge we have, recognizing that it is limited, though wholesome when integrated into our being.  And this is why not only must the religious man see the universe in human terms, but also he must see himself in cosmic patterns, himself as an individual while he is in the state of Separateness, deluded into thinking he is an individual, which is our ordinary and everyday mode of cognition and activity, and himself as a part of an organic society, whose
fate is equally dismal.

4.  Did I say dismal?  In what sense is fate dismal?  In this sense, that all of man's efforts and goals are ultimately vain unless they fail.  Doom can inspire the creation of significance.  Yes, it is only out of futility (and that is assured) that meaning can obtain.  For what is an action if it is rewarded?  A simple prudent action, such as a child earning a piece of candy for doing what he ought to have done anyway.  It contains little moral worth since there is no risk or reason to do otherwise. All human efforts, divine as they can be, are doomed; and it is only by acting in that knowledge that salvation can be achieved, yet not achieved--rather it is realized.  In acting to forestall the day of inevitable doom man creates his essence, which can never be lost as long as man lives in Eternity-of-the-Present.  Eternity invading time is not a metaphysical construction; it is a psychological reality.  It is the loss of neurotic self-consciousness; it means sensing union.  The artist, for example, who loses himself in his creation, who is not aware of his parameter, has exchanged the existential delusion of aloneness for the higher consciousness of union with his creation--even though his creation necessarily arises out of his own uniqueness.  He is not aware of the passing of time.  The clocks' hands may move throughout the planet, and the planet may race itself in orbit, but Eternity has invaded the present.  From this psychological account, it can be seen that he is functioning with maximum efficiency since he is not aware of anything he does. . . . He does not need to be; he is not distracted.  The audience of the artist, too, may experience Eternity on encountering his dance, painting, symphony, or poem.  Religion is most immediately concerned with Eternity as a product of love, for in love one loses oneself, finds meaning and relationship, functions with maximum efficiency.  The symbol of Eternity is sexual union since it ideally celebrates the thrill of unselfishness, selflessness, of giving, of relating, of such high and deep participation in the sensual that consciousness of self, of isolation, is impossible as union is symbolically as well as sexually achieved.

5.  I am sure that you, having experienced Eternity, will keep the true interpretation of that encounter; and as you seek to repeat it in various modes, degrees, into the work-a-day world, remember that it is our creation of Eternity, despite the doom of time (for time leads us to doom and is itself doomed).  I therefore need not repeat what you have understood but challenge you to maintain your enthusiasm in promoting the cause, which though doomed is the only salvation for this people.

6.  We have scarcely been out of the underground and yet I wonder if official toleration will draw us down the path of perversion and silliness, to triviality or disengagement with the distress which troubles this planet.  I believe we can forestall doom for many years, and we must do so if we wish personal salvation.  I confess I would not have written you in so scolding a manner were I not terribly concerned that you and your importance if unchecked might not only damn others but yourselves also, as well as the movement.  Remember then the spirit of love, which is God of gods and holy of holies.

                     . . . . . . . . . . . .

10.  Having looked this short letter over, I am surprised that I assumed that simply restating the truth would call you back to her.  And yet I don't know what more to add except to urge you to try any conflicts you have with each other; for I have full faith that the truth will in the short run prevail and resettle your souls if you are honest and open in debate.

11.  But beware of the ideas of those who think that sense information is our only avenue to knowledge, that reason should preside over impulse, that since reason is orderly the cosmos is also orderly and dependable, which universe is perceived not in unique terms but in event-classes.  But most of all, beware of my arguments with you; accept them not because they are mine.  The frail human senses may be so deficient that we know nothing real, even with the most advanced sense-amplifiers.  Value the spontaneous response, the impulsive communication.  What is this electrochemical process of the brain called reason we are so proud of?  How limited is reason by chemical make-up?  Do we insist that the thinking process under drugs is less valid than the "normal" situation?  There is no order in the universe other than what we supply.  There is only direction to disorder and even that is in the mind.  When the universe becomes all reasoned and ordered, man forgets to wonder at; he thinks "Why?," is answered by how.

12.  And let me tell you in a word, for I am immediately busy here, that great success is about to uplift the movement; so let us remain humble as we urge others to gaze into the abyss unafraid.

                     THE LETTER TO RESHONJUN

My Son:

1.  Thank you for your recent communication.  I appreciate very deeply your devotion and persistent efforts to obtain my release, but it appears that I'll remain imprisoned until my execution, now set two days hence; indeed, when you read this my life may exist only in such trivial remains as this letter.

2.  Twice before I have been nearly this close to death, as you know; so I have quite thought through my "last thoughts" and critically examined them from the perspective of those subsequent moments of safety.  I am now no more panicked by the threat of nonbeing than when in times of security; I have the abyss, the void, honestly now, as I have not always when tempted by the hubris of thinking I could do something eternally significant.

3.  I will probably be a martyred hero after my death; but what is that to me, a dead man?  A hero is a fabled character said to have really existed.  What is heroic is not me.  Even if my death does produce a beneficial reaction, it will not be me who is remembered, but rather an imposter who carries my name.  Nevertheless, I am more than willing to die if the Day of Doom can be forestalled on account of it.  But this is hardly heroic since I have no choice in the matter.  My only choice was to maintain my integrity; and that can be maintained (because of the political circumstances) only by forfeiting life.

4.  It is not that I hate life and wish to leave it (for I love my wife, children, friends and work), but nonbeing threatens only like the sun threatens the dew, as long as one regards his death as a separation from the world of the living.  But, of course, one day the world of the living will vanish and being will disintegrate completely.  Illusion will destroy itself.  Only the real which is nothing will remain.  The random motion of the stagnant holocaust will write VOID throughout the universe and on every effort of man.  Eternity will vanish into scattered bits of timelessness, discontinuous and related, independent and casually connected, particular yet relative, concrete and unimaginable.

5.  Then, Reshonjun, I know you would ask (if such talk as I have talked did not intimidate you, and you must not let it, for it is all hogwash): If this is the way things will be, and therefore the way they are (both potentially and actually in the Awareness you goad me to), why do we seek to forestall the Day rather than encourage it to hasten?  A humanity of trite answers are available.  There are a few worthy answers, such as: awareness of Doom is possible but in Doom there is no awareness; the average man must be saved through parable and image; we forestall Doom because Void is Notvoid.  But the answer I offer you in utter honesty and sincerity, yet in joke and tease, is this:

[                                  ]

Now, my son, I am writing this last letter for you in the future as well as now; if you do not understand the answer now, reread it day after day, month after month, until you do.  Then don't believe it.  For the Answer is Noanswer, which is an Answer, and not no answer.

6.  The same kind of problem arises in considering the character of a moral act.  Can a man be benevolent or kind-hearted if he is crabby, hates people, and does good deeds only to improve his public image and for tax advantages?  If a man acts from pleasure only, is his act to be praised morally?  If he makes great financial gifts to deserving people simply because he wants to satisfy his curiosity about the reaction his contribution causes, can his motives be exalted in an ethical view?  Should we erect a statue to one who performs only actions which give him easy pleasure, who moves toward a reward?  Or shall we make a monument to him who performs his duty unwillingly, who hates his neighbor but acts friendly (and thus hypocritically)?  In other words, is a man acting morally who seeks pleasure or reward, or is the man who does the right thing unwillingly, insincerely, with the wrong spirit, or by accident?

7.  If we examine actions more closely, we see that all are performed for a reward in some sense; if not for the tangible and usual kinds, then for the sort we call "peace of mind," "harmony with oneself," or "fulfilling one's social responsibilities."  Clearly, rewards make only a superficial distinction between moral and nonmoral acts.  What distinction can be made?  Ultimately all is doomed, void.  There is no distinction.  But below ultimate levels where we normally function, distinctions intimating the ultimate can be drawn.  That act is moral which forestalls the Day of Doom.  For Doom is inevitable, and forestalling it gives no reward in the superficial sense.  A man has the reward of integrity only when he calls it Void.  And void is void only when it is Notvoid.  Love is that which makes Void Notvoid, and therefore void.

The Noanswer is like water: transparent and plentiful; valuable but free; that from which we come and dissolve into; as cold as ice and as definite, and as formless and burning--invisible as steam; a necessity, a poison-killer and drowner.

9.  I should like to make an appropriate transition from this rather dry subject to one which may moisten your eyes; but as my time is shortening and I have much to say, I must forego any pretense at literary art and come to the point.  The point I want to advise you on is Loneliness.  I know you have experienced this emanation from Illusion, especially in the recent months when the government and my activities have split up our family, which only exacerbates the loneliness natural for your age.

10.  Dying can be the most lonely thing a man can do.  Yet dying is not unique!  Dying is often and widely practiced.  I have many precedents!  With such a large company dare I assert that dying is lonely?  Is it that man is a separate creature who compromises his individuality while alive to gain the advantages which social cooperation provides; and then at death, seeing society has failed to guarantee his life, he revokes the agreement and reaffirms his loneliness?  Certainly this is not the case.  For man can become an individual only in social engagement, and he can be of social benefit only if he is an individual.

11.  You know very well, my son, Reshonjun--do you remember that magnet you discovered one day in my laboratory when you were still without brother or sister?  You wanted to know, after I had explained its polar characteristics, what would happen if one pole were destroyed.  You were intrigued to learn that poles, though opposite, are interdependent; for if one pole is destroyed, so is the other.  Because polarity is one thing manifesting itself as opposites.  Similarly, human life is one thing, manifesting itself as individual and society.  You cannot alter one pole without altering the other.

12.  Loneliness is the destruction of polarity.  The individual feels isolated but also--not really an individual, for his self-respect is absent.  The lonely one seeks companionship but fears he will be unable to be a companion himself.

13.  What loneliness is to the individual, conformity is to a society.  Afraid to recognize particular and individual and unique worths, the society of our day seeks cooperation and agreement from its components, and tries to set up mechanical and identical relationships with all its parts.  Instead of a growing organism or dynamic spiritual concern, the society has become a machine destroying humanity, because the polarities are very weak and being made weaker.

14.  Since death destroys the polarities for me, death is lonely.  Since I am part of your society (and therefore part of you), my death will bring loneliness to you.

15.  But do not accept loneliness.  I will not.  It is a specter, delusion,  I refuse to have a lonely death.  For as I am void, I am related to everything else in the Universe, which is also void.  This vainness is the source of cosmic joy.

My death should strengthen rather than weaken you.  How did you acquire individuality and social consciousness in the first place?  By practicing them, just as one learns to play the trumpet by playing the trumpet.  My death will be an exercise for you, to strengthen both your individual nature and your social participation.

17.  But I have been talking on several levels and without warning jumped from one to another.  Ultimately, as I have said, there is no difference between anything; and he who distinguishes creates Illusion and thus reality, and destroys reality which is Illusion.  Therefore, do not distinguish yourself from me, and I shall in the most important sense not die.

18.  I know you will have a difficult time with this experience; you are neither young enough not to feel death's separation, nor old enough to assume the detachment involvement should teach.

19.  Live in the present, which is Eternity.  Eternity is the integration of all your experiences reaching.  Eternity is the dynamics of unselfishness, of relatedness.  It is unconscious power, order, beauty; it is the Void.  Loneliness is selfishness, self-consciousness.  Since the self is void, loneliness is a delusion.  When all experience is integrated into meaning, value, proportion, and wholeness, the result is void.  Some philosophers have stumbled across this truth, but they have been unable to accept it when they question how value can be ultimately justified or derived from the facts of human experience.

20.  Well, then: Integrate your experience and you will be saved loneliness.  But it is anguishing to integrate.  And once you have achieved a sort of integration, integrity, you must do it over again and again as your experience broadens; your salvation becomes more and more complete and void.

21.  I know this is abstract, so let me give you basic prescriptions to trick integration, and thus (by trick) void the void.  Take care that these do not become escapes from reality, but rather helps to realize reality.  I will suggest three tricks.

22.  The first is especially appropriate to your age.  For you are probably sexually self-conscious--and thus lonely--unless you communicate your passions.  So enjoy the pleasure of sensual polarity.  Inhibition is the cardinal sin against yourself and (consequently) society.  As I have told you before, it is not necessary that you are willing to promise life-long love to your partner, as long as no deceit is involved.  But since Eternity can manifest itself only when you give as well as take, lose as well as find, the act must never become a status symbol nor an unhealthy rebellion against hypocritical conventions.

23.  Second, you may draw upon the reservoirs of organized energy called art to aid you in integrating your experience.  Art is Eternity made concrete.  Often produced under the severest delusion of aloneness and loneliness, it represents the artist's reintegration with himself and his experience, his medium, and his public.  He participates with you, as encounter [sic] his work; and as he lost his self-consciousness in its creation, so you may lose your loneliness in its apprehension.

24.  Third, there are marvelous drugs (which are illegal and difficult to obtain) which so improve the normal chemical processes of the brain as to relax learned modes of perception and release inhibition.  One is able to sense the relatedness of everything, the relativity, and the absolving of the self and all distinctions.  How can there be loneliness when there is no self?

25.  Even on a lower lever, the level of polarities (which is dizzily high for most people), self and society are indistinguishable.  Our language is full of class terms, the terminals of the polarities, ignoring the relatedness and relativity of reality, which lies between the poles.  Of course, the paradigm polarity is Subject-Object.  Eternity is that point into which subject and object merge, united, not-two.  Because people today are pointing to the extreme of Object by their treatment of each other as well as the products of industry, they have lost the subjective.  Have I contradicted myself?  For I said that strengthening one pole strengthened the other.  How then could pointing to Object not strengthen both poles?  If there is a paradox here, it is a fortunate accident to illustrate my description of the limits of language.  Perhaps it may be said that pointing to an extreme weakens rather than strengthens poles.  It is the integration of the poles, the voidness of the struggles, that is the goal.  To summarize what I have said about class terms, meditate on this question: is the knower different from the known?

26.  Or, to return to the topical aspect of this letter, is the end of the criminal different from that of the saint?  Paupers and millionaires, disenfranchised and presidents, the ignorant and the scholar, the rebel and the established, all face the same finality; all are equal with you, to humiliate you if you are proud, to encourage you if you are lacking in self-respect.  All works, of hands or minds, spirit or institution, private or public, unknown or celebrated, unique or mass-produced, of virtue or harm, subtle or violent, all will vanish at death, which is only a synecdoche [sic] of doom, when the swirling void of mediocrity levels all into indiscriminate equality.  Freed from the possibility of ultimate achievement, and thus the obligation, we can play in freedom, trick eternity, create Meaning-In-Spite, and void the void.

All our ethics, politics, and religious operations are hypocritical, relative, and constitute a farce.  There is no absolute place from which we can start our philosophy, nor any absolute goal to direct us.  Yet we are thrown into something, and that is absolving--we are given a starting place (false though it may be), which is absolute in the inescapable sense: our time, culture, mores, and family situation.  If we are blank and void when we enter this orbiting of Beltgon, it is not long before we are etched with the thoughts and dreams, deeds and fears, of those who consider us childish.  If we revolt, we must fill up the etchings, and fillings sometimes fall out, wear away, or clog the freedom we wish to gain.  If there is no revolt, no change, no movement of any sort, then the dull pattern comes to be thought the only and eternal pattern, and it is endowed with sanctity and dogmatic tradition.  Thus we come from the void, and are given void standards, which void the void; because all contracts and distinctions are null and void, we must void their void to behold the glory.  And death, which denies my denial of the void, praises my life; for without the end, an end, all thrusts would be obscure.

                     THE DOCUMENTS OF SAFETY

1.  Existential Logic

1.80.  Thus far we have failed to find a nonpropositional logic.  The assumption begun with--that if there is a nonpropositional logic, it must be concerned with values--has so far yielded no such logic.  But perhaps this is because only conditional value has been explored.  A basis or ground for three-kat [sic] has not been established.  Nonpropositional logic may then be concerned with the source of value.  It must be an existential logic since it would have to provide meaning for man's otherwise meaningless existence.  When A justified B, which justified C, which justifies D. . . until we are exhausted in failure to find an ultimate justification for anything--then we are approaching a logic which is nonpropositional because it is a logic beyond the categories of truth and falsehood.  It is not even the logic of Being, but rather of Nonbeing.  It is the logic of all experience, not of an experience; for all experience is summed as zero or void, no experience.  This is the result when all experiences and all events are integrated into meaning, value, proportion, and wholeness.  This is how ultimate values can be justified or derived from the facts of experience.

1.81.  But such a logic is not easily discussed.  Only imperfect models of this voidness are possible in words, painting, music, attitudes, actions. . . . The rough outlines of an eschatological view were once given us, in the moon's crushing threat.  While there has been a postponement of such astronomic action, yet will come the time that the civilization of this planet and its creations and aspirations will go Poof!  Life in other parts of the universe is also doomed.  If all ends in destruction, it seems there can be no ultimate goal, nothing of absolute worth, for any purpose is voided.

1.82.  This does not mean that man cannot have goals and purposes for his life, but it does mean that he can have no absolute values.  All values are relative, and there is no basis for values other than the voidness which overtakes all things.

1.83.  Some have thought that the subject himself is of unconditional worth.  This may be answered several ways.  On a low level, it can be said that in fact some subjects do not affirm (and rather they deny) their absolute worth, through suicide or acceptance of authority outside themselves.  Or even if we accept the idea that the subject is of absolute value notwithstanding his destruction, we come to the previous conclusion by realizing that the subject is void; again therefrom the ground of value is void; the autonomous subject is so only based on voidness.  If he is autonomous, he is arbitrary.  Finally, there is little reason for accepting the distinction between subject and object, which means that one is dependent on the other, and thus they are both of either conditional or unconditional worth.

1.84.  We are now moving in the area of nonpropositional logic, and although statements appear to have truth asserted of them, this is only because of the difficulty of talking otherwise; and if paradoxes appear, we can take comfort in knowing propositional science is often paradoxical, too.  The reason for all paradoxes is the void, i.e., illegitimate distinctions.

1.85.  If there is anything absolute, it is a fact; that is, a fact rests on no value judgment and is relative to nothing.  Not only is a fact absolute and unconditional, it is also objective.

1.86.  Are there such facts?  The fact X is distinguished from nonX.  If it were not for nonX, X could not be, for no distinction could be made.  X, therefore, depends logically on nonX.  And if X depends on nonX for its very being, then X is not independent of nonX.  X is not self-sufficient, a thing-in-itself.  If there is an interdependence, how can X be ontologically separate or distinct?

1.87.  It cannot.  X, a fact, is not a fact.  Any distinction is artificial and contradictory, void.  A distinction is not a fact, but is made only because of some valuation; for some purpose it is considered worthy to create a distinction.  But no unconditional purpose can be found.  Facts are based on relative value judgments.

1.88.  Facts are not facts: they are not absolute, they are not objective since they depend upon our perception, either "man-like and rational" or because of structures built-in since the beginning of evolution.  What we see is determined by our expectation.  It is possible that the sense of sight, or mathematics, or farewell, might have been unknown to us.  What we are used to is sensing fragmentarily, and thus we do not see the whole, which is void.  And our perceptions are usually of the subject-object syndrome, whereas the void contains no such distinction, or rather it should be said that such a distinction is void.

1.89.  If facts are not facts, are they--since they depend on values--values?  They are insofar as we value the fragmentary mode of perception.  But one may adopt a polar model of facts and values: facts and values are merely opposite ends of the same thing, just as truth and falsehood, and subject and object, are poles of the same things.  But in the void, even such poles are destroyed, where chaos and order are identical because there is nothing.

1.90.  When I saw the voidness, I overcame all sufferings and ills.  When I learned that the whole is void, that all my efforts were vain, then I was rid of my clinging, grasping; I became more than harmonious with the universe: there was no distinction between the universe and myself.  I am not striving after some absolute Purpose or Great Achievement; I am fearless, for there is nothing to fear.  By losing my life, I gain it.  By voiding it of "cosmic significance," a human purpose is possible.  By seeing that human purpose in the cosmos, the unity of voidness is possible, the integrity of the whole.  For when the void is realized, with its futility, emptiness, and meaninglessness, then the void itself is voided.  Voidness can thus include values (and facts), but not vice versa.  Then values arise from voidness, but they never lose their voidness, for they are all relative to nothing, to the absolute void; conditional values are possible only when there is an absolute to which they are related; otherwise the regress is infinite.  But there is no absolute, so conditionals become unconditional, though thoroughly void.  Only when it is realized that life is ultimately purposeless can purpose arise.  In eschatological terms, that purpose is expressed as forestalling the day of doom.

1.91.  Only if actions are futile can morality exist.  For an action which seeks a goal is conditional and relative, a product of the reward-punishment syndrome.  Only by understanding Relativity of values, which is their voidness, can the Absolute obtain.  Voidness is the Absolute, reached through Relativity.  This is equivalent to saying that nothing has absolute value, all values are void, which is thus Absolute void, which is thus absolute value.  A man has the reward of integrity only if he calls that integrity Void.  And void is only void--when it is notvoid.  The realm of relativity is established by distinctions, and when distinctions (such as between truth and falsehood) cease, only the void, the absolute remains.  The absolute is the basis of value since the absolute is void, and there is no basis for values (and thus none for facts).  Models are possible, existential or nonpropositional logic is possible, because of values, without which we would not be able to know that voidness was because we would not be thrown into the perplexity of seeking a basis for value where there is none.  When this is realized, perplexity is laughter.

1.91.  Amen.

2.  Rebellions of Krothugmin

( 1)  ( p p)   (p  p)
( 2)  [po p) 0]=[(po p) T]
( 3)  0 T
( 4)  (T-p=T)  (T=0)
( 5)  ( p=0) (p=0)
( 6)  [( pvT) (po T)] (pvT)o(0)
( 7)  (p q)  [(p q) o0]
( 8)  (p q) (p qo q)
( 9)  (p 0)  ( p 0)
(10)  (0vT)o (0oT) (0oT)

6.  Shit and Piss

6.1  EIGHT
All words blaspheme.  Anything they say to sorrowscape [sic] must miss the point, distract, and (while making man feel free) put bars around him in clipping forms, as thoughts and syllables (which sound like praise) delude, elude, the Void.  The most a word can do is sound the Mighty hollow, but that is little and absurd, a plumbline hung                                                  
—to mark a star.

6.2  SEVEN
The Doom which waits to level all blasphemers passed is present in the void; those who sense it find futurity in flung eschatology, or Eternity, in quality; in futility [sic] nirvana's smoldering grace of wordless joy, or the absolving absolute, silent
—in relativity.

6.3  SIX
But words like Doom are measurelessly more humane than quantitative progress; blaspheming science tries to measure tight the voidness, model truth, control all means, denounce all meanings except its method, instruments, machines, consoles and praised 
—detached remain.

6.4  FIVE
And words are useful in the void, but art which can make the void appear, and time lose power, decays concern for anything but paint, or tones, or metal's states and dance; the artist shouts, creates anathema
—against anathema.

6.5  FOUR
The clinging politician promises actions aimed against the void; and what he does is fragment loyalties and minds and makes the state machines napalm news like

6.6  THREE
Distinctions loosed in business, churches, schools, dissect Integrity, the What-Is-Whole, and polar words divide the poles, murder

6.7  TWO
Psychological examinations establish corporation heads and tails
—to randominity.

6.8  ONE
And what is more is nothing less than what
—is not.


9.  Aphorisms for Kindergarten

1.  If you would know the truth, void all your opinions.

2.  This can most easily be accomplished by entertaining all inconsistent views.

3. If you would know the truth, you would know it does not apply.

4.  If you would love safety, live dangerously; think on this each time you die if you would master it.  For dying breeds purpose like garbage suggests maggots.

5.  To find purpose don't look within yourself or without; lose yourself.

6.  Does one shit better on a handsome stool?

7.  Bind yourself to understand freedom; and free yourself to stand under Eternity.

8.  Accept no man's word but your own.

9.  More business is accomplished in play than in earnest; there are no earnings, just presentiments.

10. Fools look within for wisdom, and the unsure peer without for confirmations.  The wise man has trampled out his eyes.

11. To see without eyes is to be a remote construction.  To be a remote construction is to see without eyes.  Either to see without eyes (thus being a remote construction) or to be a remote construction (thus seeing without eyes) is either to be a remote construction (thus seeing without eyes) or to see without eyes (thus being a remote construction).  To be without eyes is to see a remote construction.  To see a remote construction is to be without eyes.  Either to be without eyes (thus seeing a remote construction) or to see a remote construction (thus being without eyes) is either to be without eyes (thus seeing a remote construction) or to see a remote construction (thus being without eyes).  Both seeing without eyes (thus being a remote construction) and being without eyes (thus seeing a remote construction) is a waste of time.  Q.E.D.

12. There are no objects, speaking from an objective point of view.

13. Eternity lives when Inhibitions die.

14. Today
The GarbageMan
The GarbageCan
           Not when full
           But empty.

10.  Language

How without syntax is man agape
staring into skies and making Far
a Nearness!  How can Word or beast escape
the staring rawness of the brain ajar
between the Word and beast, both made of star?
What a case for grammar: sexless rape
cold frozen impotent sciences mar
the con-stall-ations that no longer are.

Man's machine may play for all men are--
They are no more they are as ape on throne
they are they?  Syntax plays golf My par
through tricky doors is ever now unknown
I is they and I with all men are
dumb and syntax strangled all alone


2409.  At a faculty conference of the Academy of Reshonjun, Klinde read a paper on the Mitochondrian of Macromeaning.  From the discussion period, this fragment has been preserved:

     Marshun the biologist: I'm not sure I like your appropriation of certain biological terms to extrabiological matters.  You used one nontechnical term which can relate to a biological function, but I'm not sure you used it with biology in mind.  What do you mean by Void?

Smarf the philosopher interrupted: Excuse me for passing your scatological humor, but how can it mean anything at all when he's talking about the Whole since there is nothing contrasting to give it sense?  It so used becomes a trivial term, void (if I may use the word more ordinarily) of meaning.

Rukloin the mathematician: If I may try to answer for Klinde, and thus test my own understanding of his thesis, the Void is an equation or problem whose solution is zero, nothing at all.

Markainton the sociologist: Rather it is finding there is no problem.

The President of the Academy gave signal that he would like to comment, but though he moved his mouth, no intelligence was given.

Klinde laughed and said: And all the rest of you, by not even moving your mouths may think you are expressing the Void.  In my opinion, all those who have spoken and those silent have given suitable answers or explanations, but still the question, What is the Whole (or Void, as I have called it)? is still asked.

Klinde danced and sang, Is this not wondrous? and boring?

2410.  The faculty, 183 to 79, adopted the resolution that "Though it is true that 'Everything is trivial,' the Void does not say it.  The Void makes the proposition 'Everything is Trivial' itself trivial."

2411.  A minority opinion was recorded: "All statements about the Void are void and senseless, unintelligible and self-contradictory INCLUDING THIS ONE except that the shouted phrase gives consistency and meaning in inconsistency and senselessness and inconsistency in consistency to this statement."

2412.  Another minority wished it recorded that it did not vote for any resolution.

2413.  After the meeting the President to Klinde spoke: What a splendid sport of circumstance! a great game!

2531 Thou Void I speak you as a person
(yet you flow in all existence)
for human is most I can know
in complexity,
though I know you greater.

2532 I have felt your wrath, but I did not shrink;
as a fleck in the eye screams enormous,
as a burned finger is larger than life,
so I all wrought by your displeasure,
felt the enormous weight of my sin;
but washed hot [sic] before, I did not crimp,
for soiled I was still till ground sank.

2533 You would not forgive nor pardon;
yet from you came the grace,
not growing from my toil,
for grace was just its turn to dance.

2534 Not by presumptive works am I a partner in salvation;
only when I play, accepting condemnation as my due,
unfrivolous and with highest stakes,
under the umpire most severe,
yet without a final goal, willing to be a fart;
then grace, not removingwrath, [sic] returns it.

O Void when I repented, then came grace.
I was not penitent seeking grace.
I did not purpose grace in voiding my will.
O Void you have voided me, for grace is sometimes earned
when not effort's object.

Your wrath remains, returned, dancing,
and I seek now no escape.
Those who suffer earn their joy*
but only to it who denies it has his right.

-------*distinguished from happiness, which children may have without pain.

                      THE BOOK OF THE GODS

1    Let the gods call out their names in brief introductions
before we men tell their lineage, work, and consortings.
The sixty gods fight in five tribes and so must yell.
The greatest god will not shout his name;
he is nameless, void, nogod-at-all, the whole,
and all gods are his kin and killers.
His number is ought, [sic] and counts for nothing, the Unknown.

2    Now gods the Tribe called Markon
list yourselves for those newly presenting themselves before
     your aweful [sic] power, might, purpose, and terrible skill.

3    I am Marlin.  I play with pitches, timbre, and strength.
     The instrument my game produces is in flight fast to souls for souls
     belong to all.

4    I am Marlon.  My words please even when they fright,
for I make messages of terror respectable.
Rhythm, rime, [sic] accent, pace, images, sounds--

5    I am Marlahn.  In joy or sorrow, freedom or pain,
I move joints, elevating body motion
to form and meaning, in time, space, and force.

Language and Definition

12.  Indiscrete Definitions

0.  Undefined: CHANGE.

1.  What is an EVENT?  An event is change or a set of changes.

2.  What is ARBITRATION?  The means, itself an event, used to distinguish one event from another.

3.  What is EXPERIENCE?  That class of events resulting from arbitration (such as sensation, memory, imagination, and feedback) and the arbitrations themselves.  There are three dimensions of experience for humans, below set down according to degree of abstraction:
0)  the dimension of the VOID, in which there is no arbitration relative to it; no abstraction, no discrete or distinct content of consciousness; the union (or annihilation) of subject and object.
  INTEGRITY: integration of one's experience.
  ETERNITY: integration of all events.

1)  raw and immediate experience, of minimal abstraction, arbitration.  TRUTH and FALSITY do not apply in any propositional sense because one dimension cannot comprehend propositions, as one dimension of space cannot contain a sphere.  To call an experience (such as seeing Beltgon's flares decline in summing the day's beauty) true [sic] in any propositional sense is a confusion of dimensions and hence linguistic categories.  Of course language patterns and expectations influence the modes of perception (arbitration), and some nonpropositional utterances may be one-dimensional experiences, as "Shut the door please," "I vow. . .," a poem, an exit sign, the hiway line divider, a graw's mow, [sic] and the heart's beat.

2)  meta-experience, experience mediated by language in propositions which are accidentally true or false (logically though perhaps not casually an accident).  These utterances use language not to create an immediate experience but to refer to another experience.  "I saw Beltgon extinguished" is an example of linguistic  abstraction: an event is reported; this report can be either true or false logically.

3)  meta-meta-experience (meta-linguistic abstraction) discusses, represents, and refers to language.  In three dimensions truth becomes logically necessary, as in this statement: "All husbands have wives."

4.  What is CONSCIOUSNESS?  One event experiencing another.

5.  What is a SUBJECT?  A consciousness taken as a frame of reference.

6.  What is an OBJECT?  An experience referred to by a subject.

7.  What is TRUTH?  A conformity of an experience to a rule of a subject.  There are two senses of truth.
1)  nonpropositional conformity, as genuine, faithful, constant, reliable, real, loyal, congruent, accurate, legitimate, fit, etc.
2)  propositional conformity, the conformity to rule of utterances of at least two dimensions.  There are three degrees:
(1)  observational (logically accidental).  Rule: The proposition must satisfy those expectations arising from its use.
    (2)  modular (theoretical).  Rule:  The proposition must meet these criteria:
a.  dependable explanation of observable phenomena (correspondence).
         b.  integration with other propositions within the model or explanation (coherence).
         c.  ease and success in application of the model (pragmatic, predictive, therapeutic power).
    (3)  definitional (necessary).  Rule:  The laws of deductive logic apply to stipulative definitions, and those of custom to descriptive definitions.

8.  What is KNOWLEDGE?  The means, itself knowledge, of distinguishing one experience from another truly.  There are two senses of knowledge:
1)  nonpropositional, as habits, skills, and inexpressible experiences--how-events.
2)  propositional, as discursive information--that-events.

9.  What is ENERGY?  The delight in Eternity, the pleasure of change.

10.  What is ART?  The reservoir of energy.

11.  What is ENTROPY?  The situation in which energy becomes less and less available.

12.  What is MYTH?  The reservoir of knowledge.  It is an object which can be experienced in three dimensions, and in each of the dimensions.  This is not like geometry.  A line is two-dimensional and cannot be contemplated in terms of one dimension; nor is it a three-dimensional object.  The myth, however, is a one-dimensional object, a two-dimensional object, and a three-dimensional object.  A sphere is merely three-dimensional.

13.  What is RELIGION?  That activity which reaches towards experiencing the integration of all events.  As such, it considers the question of absolute worth.

14.  What is the VOID?  It is the answer to the religious question of absolute worth, the nature of salvation.  Its other names include Doom (eschatology), Null (axiology), Death (biology), Maximum Entropy (thermodynamics), Disaster (time), Contradiction (logic), Nogod (religion), Relativity (standards), Contingency (existence), Defeat, Meaninglessness-in-the-context-of-meaning, Irrelevance, Triviality, Futility, Discreteness, Whole, Wholesomeness, Play, Holiness, Sun, Unknown, and Unspeakable.

13.  The Olden Complaint

If the universe had a purpose (for man) it would not be man's purpose; it could have a purpose for man, but it could not be the purpose of man.  If the universe had a purpose, it would throw man in horrible anxiety trying to fulfill it, or cause him to rebel against it, which rebellion is no escape.  Is this not prefigured and answered in the olden complaint?--"How can we who hail from another planet feel at one with creatures of this world?  Species strange to our ancestors are our common feed, compose a pleasant pasture, and companion us as pets.  Their evolution is not ours, for indeed when we came we battled to gain a place in the hostile lands held by Robmen."

14.  The Physics of The Void

29.  Suppose two circumstances commonly held impossible:
     1) that perception without change is possible, and
     2) that an observer can accelerate from relative rest to the speed of light. (Since the physics of cc is still theoretical, I postpone discussion of it for some pages, though it will demand that what follows here immediately be reconsidered.)

32.  Now the observer, on achieving this speed, would cease to note the passage of time, according to the expression:

     t is the original rate of time passage,
v is the velocity of the observer,
c is the speed of light, and
a is the number of carmons [sic] in the world,
60    (   indicates that the base x is to be raised by x power in (x-1) number of exponential steps; thus          ).

Nevertheless, because he would be circuiting the universe, which to boundless [sic] is finite, would [sic] perceive as simultaneous events we would say were distinct.  For the spacetime interval between any two points on a light beam is zero; from the Impossible Observer's point of view, there is only one point, not only to the "beam," but also to the universe itself.  He perceives the universe not in a temporal cross-section as we do, but as a whole, as one, in Eternity.  And--not only would he perceive the whole universe, he would also be the whole.

33.  (But as concerns Eternity, it is noted that all wholes qua wholes are identical.  Thus our words and formulas fragment experiences and reality not because they split the whole but because they combine discrete events.  For the whole of all wholes, the void, is unreal.)

37.  But I, caught in a position, frame and culture making radical distinction between space and time, seeing the Void in a peculiar cross-section, a particular projection, can nevertheless understand the Void by analogy, can understand what it is to perceive as simultaneous--or rather as eternal--events which are discrete in time: my pencil, my house, my wife, my gods.  For my pencil is whirring energies, particuled, and mostly empty; but because of the electrons' fast action, it feels hard, not empty.  So gross am I that what I know I do not sense.

38.  From the carmonic [sic] perspective, there are no atoms; from the atomic, no chemicals; from the chemical, no life; from the biological, no soul; from the psychological, no society; from the social, no Void; only from the Eternal perspective does the Void emerge, and seldom can we realize this world as its projection, or fill in by religion its missing dimensions to complete and integrate the perspective.

                         THE RESERVOIRS

1    Thou Void:
The food I am about to eat
brings pleasure to my senses,
nourishment from action,
and a token of the place I have
in universal strife for order
I did not plant the seeds;
another did.
Yet fairly in the game have I earned his fruits
as he unseen earned mine in trade.
With self-respect I eat,
yet I am humble for I could not eat alone.

                      THE BOOK OF SALVATION

1    Rejoice! you nations of the world, rejoice!
your suffering is ended, delivery is here.
Announce good news in the streets,
proclaim it through mass media.
Let husbands enfold their wives,
let mothers embrace their children.
Let out the schools--a holiday has come;
let flags unfurl--a celebration is our due.

2    For together we worked and together we stayed the hand of Doom;
     the Disaster-Day has been called off by our joint operation.
In the shortest time we denied our feuds,
in no time at all our enmity was forgotten.
Compelled to speak and hear each other, we discovered ourselves.
     Though we would fail, this victory was ours.
Requested to change plans and profits, we renewed each other;
     though this be vain, the gain was eternal.

3    Behold now he who directs our moves,
who suffered when we did not know him;
for we jailed and reviled him,
mocked his family and achievements,
suspended him nearly from life,
and charged him with our sin.

4    Gently he bore it, though angry saw our foolishness.
     He humbled himself, though loudly exalting us.

5    Those days are past--let us make him now our Priest;
let him lead celebration and feasting,
execute the people's will and minister to our needs.

6    Out of the threat came love; from evil, good.
     It will not always be so, for evil must succeed or could could not be.
     yet now time drinks wine; deep before at last it lasts no more.
     Rejoice today; let us don masks and play our parts.
     Let us know it is tomorrow's doom that makes today the play.

23   Let the Glory of the Lord be revealed,
     the impenetrable mystery
     and holy ambiguity of existence:

24   the MYSTERY of human pride and concession.
of man's arts and governments, arsenals and gags,
of the social birth of speech and its dead forms between men,
     of prize, attempt, failure, and song;

25   the AMBIGUITY of play and the search for god,
between triviality and significance, the sacred and obscene,
between beauty and terror, care and hurt, interest and obsession,
     between good and ill, beast and man, man and machine,
     between the meaning and the void.

26   Let not the MYSTERY be solved,
nor dispel the AMBIGUITY:
for then--most mysterious ambiguity of all--
then the holiness would depart our midst.

29   An Image! vast and quiet roars at its confinement,
it seres those who would come near and
faces from the other side who would remove their stay.
O Image! let me melt into you
let my eyes be scorched from seeing what I see;
let blisters tempt me not to handle the grossness of this world.
     Into brilliant blue let consciousness fade
     like honesty lapses into old dreams.

30   Children speak and no one listens,
Storm ice falls and no tree glistens;
Graves are pimples grown forever,
Ambiguity is severed never.

31   The Image is no escape; the Image is this world
unreformed, unrenewed, and covered with its census;
the Image is myself seen through myself: ugly, vain, and self-pretentious . . . .
     the Image in my eye, the visual purple, changes; unrepentant hence is.


Klinde determined to circumnavigate the globe, not to explore places, but to make a circle.
     Klinde walked from XX at the XX ip of the XXX continent to ZZ AT THE other end, which was about a quarter of the distance. At XX, he made a raft and with paddle and sale, after xxx days, crossed the XXX sea. Then he walked through the Fire Dessert, and completed the circle by hot air balloon and landed at XX.
     At xx, there is a fantastic natural bridge of stone, xxx feeet long and from 1 foot to 18 feet wide,  under which the  ZZ river rushes around jagged boulders 80 feet below. On one side of the center of the bridge is a large quartz stone shaped by the elements into a lens, and it focuses the rays of the sun at 3 after noon onto a spot on the bridge which cannot be avoided as one walks across it.

Klinde was so absorbed in the trials and, he felt emptiness, of his circle, and in profound disappointment that instead of being fulfilled he felt empty, that he did not notice either the hot spot or another despondent young man who had approached the spot, and counting it the insurmountable obstacle, was ready to fling himself into the watery abyss

Klinde found a cave for the night. "Ideal," he said as he noticed that the cave contained a pool of water . Hewhich build a fire could see the moon from inside the cave.

Some texts say Klinde thought, How good it is that I am not thinking of saying <" I've never done anything like this before, even in my youth."