It all reduces to that spark of indefinable communion with all that I've experienced here and there throughout my life -- a few stray seconds, lost in orgasm or meditation or thought, or simply lost; a few stray seconds which assume importance far beyond their proportion of my experience by virtue of ... words fail me here, as always ... by virtue of, let me venture unsatisfactorily, their utter precious indefinability which renders them insusceptible to any comparison or analysis. It all reduces to this spark, which may arise from anything at any time, and may vanish just as suddenly; and the remainder of my life is just an indefinable urging toward this spark, this void of fullness -- an urging toward consuming X completely and ridding myself of X at the same time.
this is the physical sensation which comes over me. and it is not exactly a pleasurable one; it is rather like the extension over
the whole body of the sensation of a penis being pounded on by an over-eager cunt: there is pleasure, yes, exhilarating pleasure, but there is also a frustrating pain, and the agony neither adds to nor counteracts the pleasure, and the pleasure neither increases nor decreases the agony one iota, but rather the two exist simultaneously, independently yet joined in fervent union, leading me to wild abandon, dizzy ecstasy and doom all at one moment.
Rape the angels! Split the seams! And love!
-- Dionysus vs. The Crucified
THE AUTOMATON ASCENDS
Mine eyes --
soft shifting silver skies
Above these desecrations rise
Reflecting lies and crimson cries
Into the unspilt dawn
To sing a song
Of drowning dreams and growing age
The pain of life within a cage
Of chrome and carrion
A melody of splashing seas
Of never-ending monodies
Of screaming pain, and flowing ease
A song --
of all and none
And suddenly, they blink -- before
the blushing of the Sun
OF MISERY AND RETREAT
The meadow splashes green, and leaves around me all the odors of growth and decay. I have seen a light -- my light! On this meadow, lying, two o'clock in sunshine just as yellow as in fun -- but seriousness, actually, as truly Mother of all life (and death (they are inseparables.
Returning from the meadow, back to school to face the principal -- no! NO! anyway what's a little girl like me doing with all these mystical experiences: prototypical Buddhas (Buddhettes?) beware, for sympathy falls not upon your ears. Paddles fall upon your butt. Not another spanking at the principal's office! Illegal, that's, in most states -- oh, but this isn't most states but only one state, most unfortunately (if the many were the one then I would be enlightened (whatever that means (which is nothing
No school today, for Aglaia. I cannot return. Everything is flowing. The simple fact of my enlightenment is everything.
What is this life?
"You are a very unusual little girl," says the principal. "But that does not mean that you have permission to walk out of school whenever you want to." He grabs her hand and pulls her tightly down the sidewalk toward the school.
"I was simply bored," she told him matter-of-factly. "I wasn't learning anything today. In math we just did -- what? fractions? I've seen all that before; I knew it before I went to school. Things were happier back then. And science -- it was total bullshit. Miss Brightson holds a book up: 'This is potential energy.' She drops it: 'This is kinetic energy.' I hold an apple up twice as high, and ask her if it has more or less potential energy than her book. And she can't tell me. I was just trying to look at it scientifically. The altitude should make a difference, right? There's got to be a formula. She just doesn't know it. So I was trying to guess at it, or figure it out from something. I don't think it's just ... linear. Twice as high means more than twice as much energy ... I thought maybe you could tell that by dropping things on your foot to see how much it hurts. And that's just what I was doing, and it made a noise, and she yelled at me, so I left."
"Aglaia, dear, you're already in the seventh grade. You're only eight years old. There's nothing else that we can do for you. You'll just have to learn that in life there are some things which we don't like, but we have to put up with anyway. Like on my job, I have to chase after runaway schoolgirls."
"So why don't you quit?" she asked, sincerely. "I'm sure the school could get along without you."
"Talk like that will get you nowhere."
... swallowed in a boundless abstract abyss of fluorescent wails thundering drumclouds and crimson flaming electronic shrieks expectedly unexpectedly irresistable force falls too strong for specification force and force alone shrieks again glimmering- shimmering needle-strands at once piercing and weaving the indefinable omnipresent background fabric of existence force falls twice more crushing all else to sheer faceless irrelevancy shrieks twisting sparkling whines so sharply defined as to render any attempt at comprehension as instantaneously and pathetically disintegrated as an overinflated balloon twice more shrieks this time converging in some clear elusive way a bringing-together of all paradoxically although all else has been resolutely overshadowed into utter nonpresence thrice past the climax yet not anticlimactic the raw intensity of impulse so smotheringly overpowering as to render any such extraneous analysis the absolute of impossibility ...
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD
The last thing I remembered was being hit on the head with an iron. Susie and I had been fighting....
"So all along you've been cheating on me! While I just sat here, suffering, hoping, trying desperately to make it all work out -- you were out fucking your pretty young students in your office! Where did you fuck them? Did you fuck them on the couch?"
"Yes, usually. Some of them were pretty kinky, though; Nirvana Leopard liked to do it on the window ledge."
"Ooh! How romantic! And what a sexy name! Is that her real name, or just your darling cute term of endearment for her?"
"I think she made it up herself -- but it sure fits. The girl's voracious! Some women will just lie there like a log, you can't even tell they're alive ... with her you wonder if you're really living."
"Well, I'm glad you've been spending so much time tending to some of your relationships!"
"Me too. The trick is to know which ones not to waste your time on."
"And I'm a waste of time?"
"No, not completely. After all, you keep the dishes clean, you clean the cat box. What more could I ask of you?"
"So I'm your maid?"
"No, you're my wife. That means you're my maid until I get really desperate for pussy, and then I'll condescend to fuck you."
And then the iron came. I'm not really such an evil person, but I do have a tendency to make light of the most serious situations. It was quite obvious that nothing was going to come of our little "discussion" about my adultery; she had known that I was bored with our marriage for a long time, and had said, essentially, "That's your problem." So I had solved the problem, to my satisfaction at any rate.
That was behind me now. What was in front of me was a swarmof spiraling angels -- voluptuous angels, unlike any I had seen anywhere before. They wore black lace teddies, and their wings had soft white feathers on them, with which they caressed eachothers' breasts. Somehow their breasts refrained from jiggling as they swirled in dizzy circle around my head: this was the only sign of divinity around them. "Hello, Samuel," they sweetly chorused. "We haven't been expecting you ... was there some kind of accident?"
"Well, yes," I said. "My dear wife beaned me with an iron."
"I see," they sang.
"Where am I? Is this -- heaven?"
"But I thought I'd been such a bad, bad boy. After all, I was a college professor -- we don't believe in this religious hocus-pocus. And worse yet, we corrupt the youth."
"Your virtue, whatever that means, has nothing to do with it," they sang -- and one of them wrapped her arms around me, while another kissed me. They were carrying me somewhere.
"Well, then, what does?"
"Wherever you think you'll go, that's where you end up. We get quite a lot of you here."
"I would imagine. So if someone truly feels themselves a sinner, they will die and roast in hellfire for eternity."
"Eternity is a relative term. No one stays in one place very long around here."
"Here, in the Tower."
"What tower? Heaven and hell are part of some tower? What kind of metaphor is that? Why can't you be straightforward with me?" I was just a little angry; my agitation was increased by the tendency of these angels to caress me and brush me with their feathers, then fly away as soon as I started to get excited. I might have raped one, if they hadn't outnumbered me -- I wondered what kind of penalty that would get me? Probably a change of scenery, I predicted -- quite correctly.
"Define straightforwardness, and maybe we will. We're doing our very best to help you." They giggled inanely: I wanted either to throttle them all or to engage them in an orgy. The latter wish was quite nearly fulfilled.
"Truth!" I said indignantly, while permitting a moan of ribald passion to escape me. One of them was rubbing her luscious, sagless breasts against my mouth.
They cackled endlessly ... and then eternity came to an end. "For truth," one of them said -- with a giggle, "you'll have to climb down to the first floor of the Tower." Solitude made her voice emphatic. "To the ground."
"Thank you very much," I said, with a deep breath. "Do you have a name?"
"Well, then, I'll give you one. You're now Miranda."
"Miranda, would you like to accompany me on my search?"
"Your search for the bottom floor?"
Suddenly the other angels -- were gone. "What can you tell me about the Tower?" I slowly asked her. We were both floating in an apparently boundless mist.
"Oh, not too much. I've only been in two rooms, Heaven and Sex."
"Is there an elevator?"
"Maybe, but I've never seen one."
"How about a floor plan?"
"I don't know."
"Heaven and Sex -- they must be next to eachother. Or are there hallways."
"Every room has a name."
"There are no merely ... merely connective rooms?"
"No, I don't think so."
"How long have you been here?"
"There is no way to measure time in the Tower. I've seen twenty people come and go through Heaven"
"But no one stays."
"No one stays anywhere very long -- well, a few people do, but they're eccentrics. People just drift along."
"Why? How? Through an act of volition, or are they swept away?"
"What's the difference?"
"One is what you want to do; the other is when you are forced."
"How can you tell when someone is forcing you? Or some thing?"
As I tried to frame an answer, there came a noise -- . It was a forty-six foot woman -- how I knew that, I don't know ... a gorgeous figure, something like Nirvana's. In her hand was a whip.
"Fuck me!" she said, "or I'll whip you. And, you know, I may just whip you anyway."
I put my hands on Miranda's shoulders, implored her: "Carry me!" Her wings move fast! thank God -- the end of the monster's whip was almost as big as one of my legs ... if she had hit me, I don't know what might have happened. Of course, it just might have
beenmuch better to find out -- .
Soon we were in a large room, filled with mechanical devices -- robot arms, and legs, and other limbs not so clearly defined. And they were grabbing us, trying to make us move in certain ways, to restrain our freedom. "I see," I said -- "So this is constraint. As we were talking about. And that huge girl was the doorway between sex and constraint."
"Yes, that makes sense."
I laughed, even as I struggled to escape the robot claws. "So if I just think of something, it comes true -- but it works selectively. When my thoughts correspond in some way with the geography of the Tower, then I move." I paused, for breath ... we seemed to be leaving the robots behind us. "But how does that get me to the bottom -- do I think of the concept of bottom? Thatdoesn't work, I guess."
Suddenly, a vast and well dressed father-type announced that he was going to spank me. Because his paddle was twice the size of my body, I was particularly displeased at this alleged fact. I was incredibly relieved when before me there blossomed two huge, pink female buttocks -- it was the giant who had harassed me with her whip! And she was screaming and crying like a little girl as her father punished her.
I was quite satisfied with this performance, but most displeased with the thought to which it led me. "One mustn't," I said to Miranda," underestimate the power of the geography of the Tower. I thought of 'bottom' and it gave me the interpretation that was closest to where I was in the building: it gave me constriction, and sex -- a bottom being spanked." I stopped, and mused. "Do you have any thoughts, Miranda?"
"Maybe we should look for a window?"
"Are there any?"
"I've never seen one, but there might be. It is a tower, after all -- all other towers that I've heard about have windows."
"Well, I don't know about reasoning by analogy in a situation such as this, but I don't know what else to do. Why isn't a window coming up, then ... aren't you thinking about it hard enough?"
"I don't believe that my thoughts make a difference."
"And only mine do? Do you mean that this Tower is only for me? But all those other people -- "
"But I'm just part of the scenery."
"No more than anyone else would be, to me."
"Believe me. I just know this."
"Okay, if I accept it -- you still maintain that there are other people around in here, traveling around. What if I encounter one?"
"What if you do?"
"What if I were traveling with someone else who had influence, instead of you ... and what if we both thought of different things, say different neighboring rooms. Where would we go, then?"
"I don't know. Maybe to different places. Maybe the same. Maybe some kind of synthesis of the two. Why are you interrogating me so furiously? I don't know any more than you do!" Her voice rose to a feverish pitch; with great difficulty I restrained a laugh. An angel was angry with me!
"Perhaps because I just don't know what else to do."
She planted a warm kiss on my lips. "Look for a window."
I did -- and: what? there was one, right in front of me. Complete with curtains and a windowsill -- . I lifted it, and then looked down.
-- I saw the Tower, beautifully polished: ten million windows, spiraling down in long rectangular snakes. And down, and down, and down, and down, and down. I saw no ground, only the Tower disappearing as the vagueness of my never-perfect vision bade it.
And I saw the same thing looking up: indefinitely, until my straining vision failed me -- an ever-smaller-growing Tower.
There was not one variation in its structure, from the outside... not one thing distinguishing the window from which I looked out in awed agony from tens of millions of other windows, and perhaps tens of millions of other awed agonious faces as well, of minds just as confused as mine.
-- And in every other direction: not a cloud, nor sun -- pure emptiness.
I closed the window. "It's a long way down," I told Miranda. "I can't even see the ground. We'd better find an express elevator."
SUMMARY OF INTERMEDIATE CHAPTERS
After a short period of wandering aimlessly, he becomes disheartened. No further angels present themselves for his sexual satisfaction -- but he is frustrated not only in this way. He finds himself wandering in circles: the horse room led him to the saddle room which led him to the bottom room which led him to the sadomasochism room, where he had already been. It was not quite the same, though, because when he tried to get to the sex room he could not. This sort of thing happened repeatedly, and gave him the general impression that he wasn't getting anywhere. Thus begins Chapter Five.
In a state of complete conceptual and emotional confusion, Samuel is hungry for any sort of answer, good or bad. And he finds one: a man called Jay Zeus, who claims to be a direct descendant of the Greek god who bore his surname. Zeus leads a flock of several hundred people, claiming that with each day he is bringing them closer to the ground floor, to the bottom.
At first Samuel believes him, but
[Editor's Note: Due to minor system difficulties in 2189, the remainder of this summary is unavailable.]
THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL
It was clear to me that merely randomly searching for windows would be of no avail; there was no proper sense of direction within the Tower, so only by some incredible fluke would I find my way to the ground floor that way. Two possibilities revealed themselves to me: First of all, I could study the way in which the rooms seemed to be connected, and attempt to discern a pattern leading to the ground floor that way. Perhaps a certain discipline of mind -- ... perhaps, indeed, that is the point of this whole tower (I speculated vainly)! -- but to induce a certain state of mind, a peacefulness or powerfulness or virtuousness, or whatever the Constructor deemed valuable. Each room led to those things which related to it.
The following idea appeared to me: Perhaps the Tower is arranged in such a way that every room is a relation between those rooms below it -- yes! but a Tower of logical types ... then, itwould follow, I could get to the bottom merely by adhering to the following rule: always think of something more definite, always proceed to the particular -- always ask oneself: what is this concept about? Thus would I proceed downward! According to this rule, the actual purpose of the Tower became clear: it was a test of muddleheadedness, or the lack thereof -- of clear and logical thought. Only the mind which could balance each new concept rationally and proceed to its essence -- would make it down. And what then lay at the bottom? Perhaps some Platonist, rationalist utopia ... peopled with only those brave souls who were bright enough -- like me! I hoped -- to find their way out of the maze of the Tower, to let glorious Reason be their guide.
This bold conception heartened me incredibly, so much that I forgot whatever second idea had for a moment crossed my mind. It also led me to a third idea -- less grandiose in scope, but as it turned out far more useful: to hang a red cloth or some such visible item from each window that I saw, in order to mark my progress. With the joyous vigor of a brave adventurer overfull of his journey, I set off.
I hung my belt from the glimmering window with a grin. And as I turned away from the window -- what room did I find myself in? It was a room of transparent things: glass and plastic, quartz -- some windows, and a lot of other things which I could not very well name: for I acquainted myself with them only through bumping into them. I wondered at the absence of various transparent gases, such as methane -- but then corrected myself: of course the Great Constructor of the Tower would not put such things in my way -- this was a fair test of my abilities, a sort of intellectual gauntlet-run, certainly not a mere torture chamber in which crude chance could determine the death of a possible Knight of Reason such as me!
Transparency, then ... what was this all about? It had to do with different materials, with light: with the relation between material and light -- yes, that was it! I thought of light so resolutely that within seconds I was bathed in rays of various hues and intensities: here gravity was suspended and I floated on these beams ... also , they floated through me -- every color had a different flavor: blue was sweet and sort of tangy, and Miranda was particularly fond of it. We stopped in a blue cloud and made love for a while. Red was spicy! -- it had the effect of a curry sauce, but through the entire body: we didn't stay there long. Purple was exhiliarating -- to me, at least; Miranda found it a bit too harsh ... perhaps like hot and sour soup combined with sweet and sour sauce, I thought -- no, I decided, perhaps a bit like this but without the sourness. More like orange chicken.
-- Why am I thinking about food? I wondered ... perhaps, I answered, I am hungry. I hadn't eaten anything since I'd entered Heaven; I had assumed that such things were behind me now. Be that as it may, I soon found edible rays of light: I must have been relatively distant from wherever the Tower's stocks of food were stored, because this was an awfully farfetched connection. Instead of merely being like one food or another, each ray of lightactually was one food or another -- except one tasted it with the whole body. Some wonderful sexual escapades took place in chocolate ice cream -- I dare not delve into the details, lest I be carried away with remembrance. Eventually I was so full that I could stay no longer, and I resolved to resume my quest: heavy of belly, but not of heart.
What under light? Food-light, specifically ... or does that matter? Excitation of various particles? I did not particularly want to float in an abyss of electrons changing levels ... exotic, perhaps -- but far too distant from my realm of understanding to afford me any chance of going further. The key was understanding!
... no, no, let's tackle this from a different angle: it is a sense-perception, type thereof ... what underlies all the sense- perceptions? It is a feedback loop between self and environment -- realized in a specific chemical way ... the point is, it is a relation between the patterns of mind and the patterns of environment ...
But the spectre of electrons filled my mind: before too long I was afloat in them, and I lost hold of Miranda -- specifically, we were knocked apart by the crash of air-currents resulting from the leap of one from one orbit to the next. It was an awesome sight: it simply disappeared in one place, and appeared in another -- and the air tumbled impressively in to fill the void. It was an odd implausibility, the presence of air: the electrons are supposed to make up the air, after all ... I chalked it up to the "fact" that even the Great Constructor, whoever or whatever it was, still had to obey the basic laws of human biology.
As I spun around and tried to regain my senses I searched for Miranda ... my shock and disillusionment was only increased when my eyes set on her, however -- for she was floating in a place precisely where an electron was scheduled to appear!
How did I know that? The electrons were in orbit about a nucleus in an entirely regular manner, whose rules I could not elucidate but understood intuitively -- implicitly and completely. It was a Rutherford atom, or my conception of it: this was how my mind, when it came right down to it, conceptualized the atom -- not in the more modern, more accurate quantum-theoretical view; not through the Dirac equation, which I had so often admired intellectually. I marveled at the great intelligence and wisdom of the Great Constructor, that he (she ?) (it ?) had constructed a Tower which provided me such insights into my very soul.
While I was thus speculating, Miranda was encompassed in the electron. She could not move a muscle. It was transparent, and contemplation of this fact immediately led me back to the Room of Transparency -- where she somehow followed me, complete with electron-case. So I was right back where I'd started from, but without even an operative Miranda. I wandered toward the window, briefly ... indeed, it was not the same one -- for my belt was gone. My pants were sagging, yes -- but this was the least of my worries. I needed a pickaxe!
SEX -- HEH HEH HEH
Sitting in the principal's office: mother sends me away to some boarding school principal cannot handle me have no place in his school obviously an exceptional student the most exceptional of the exceptionals he's ever seen, heard or read about sure to be an incredible genius someday -- but now just a pest: I don't want our future genius, just want me!
No! I can't go! The pain! To lead a regimented life, each and every minute -- they think the discipline will be good for me! It would kill me! If I got used to it, it would kill me anyway -- I'd be such a different person ... but I'm not a person anyway, just a "little girl."
Remember Nietszche: pain is pleasure; through dusk, dawn.
The Seven Seals. Remember the voice as it cried out to you in the dark.
THE MADMAN SOFTLY WHISPERS
"If for one quivering instant I have bathed myself in the gentle-sweet tingle-dancing of breezeless ambrosia -- of laughter! -- upon my tongue... If for but the barest insignificance of a moment I have basked defenseless in the softling radiant warmth of a lovely smile... If for one stroke only I have swum -- arms arched above me in an enchantment of forbearance -- ... I have swum! in the cool, brash and untamed seas of life (fresh) unadulterated... If ever, ever I have splashed as a free-and-easy wanderer in the crisp dark-sparkling abyss of time-beyond!... then how, O how, can the turgid winnowing remainder of life -- even the searingest screech of boundless agony -- not fade before my senses into the obscurest of obscurities, the most indiscernible of specks?... And how -- O how, can I fail to embrace with all my will to power and wet, wet kisses... this life -- this sweet, sweet life -- which has plunged within me this one shivering glimpse of that which lies beyond... this soul-whetting sip from the Fountain of Delight... O, how can I not?... And how, then, can this not be far and away the sweetest and most softly enchanting of love-songs?!... For I love you, O eternity!... For I love you, O eternity!"
After innumerable attempts to procure a pickaxe, I was on the verge of abandoning myself to the inevitable -- and abandoning my Miranda, at least for the time being. This did not please me in the least degree, as she was at least as sensual as any woman I had ever met -- and furthermore had not yet made a single demand upon me. But I saw no alternative: it could hardly satisfy her more for me to remain in Transparency and observe her immobilization, thanfor me to set off in search of new Rooms, and presumably eventually obtaining a pickaxe or some such shattering agent. Of course, it was conceivable that she would meet the strange fate of my belt -- that I would never, ever find her again. Still, I set off.
I tried to bring myself to Light once again, this time determined to drift along the opposite path, to treat light as a form of sense-perception and not a mere physical phenomenon. But luck was not on my side: whatever strange form of physico- psychological "door" I had hit upon last time, I simply could not locate it again. On the contrary, I persisted in locating short transparent objects -- specifically, in locating them with my toes and my shins.
Soemetimes they shattered; one thing cut me badly (I never did determine what it was), and I left a trail of blood along the floor. But soon I recognized that this was a good sign. I was wandering toward harder things! In not too long I came along a pickaxe -- it was transparent, but I tested it on several things: it proved effective. And I followed my trail of lost blood back to her ... and split her shell open.
She threw her dainty arms around me and kissed me splendidly. I said: "I've always wanted to rescue a damsel in distress."
She whispered seriously: "I had a lot of time to think in there, Sam. I wasns't always an angel."
"You mean -- you're just like me? You're just a normal person."
"I'm not too normal, but neither are you. I think I've been here a long, long time, Sam. I think I blocked my knowledge out intentionally ... to keep myself from going crazy."
"Intentional amnesia? I'd think that takes a high degree of self-control."
"Yes. I had one, once. I suppose I must have known that this would happen -- that I'd come out of it eventually. But it was worth it to me, then."
"When did you live?"
"In 1893 I died."
"And all the angels -- "
"All the angels are like me. People deluding themselves into thinking that they're something besides slaves ... slaves to the Tower."
"And has the Tower been the same, for all this time? It seems quite modern, what with machines -- "
"It changes. Or, at least, different things have been revealed to us. Whether all these things have actually been here all the time -- I cannot answer that question. No one can."
"And, then, the ground floor?"
"I've heard things about it -- I've heard that certain people have made it there. But no one has ever come back ... not to my knowledge. As to your theory about the logical hierarchy -- I just don't know. It makes more sense than anything else I've heard .... I've heard of someone ... someone named Jay Zeus, or something -- claims to be a direct descendent of the ancient Greek god ... someone who is leading a flock of people toward the ground floor."
"And does he say what is down there?"
"I don't know."
"Did you ever know?"
"I... I can't tell you that. My memories are coming back, but slowly. I'm not quite sure what degree of memory I'm supposed to have."
"Well, do you still want to come with me, Miranda?"
"Of course I do. I love you."
"I love you too." We kissed.
"One thing I've been wondering about -- do we ever sleep here in the Tower?"
"Sleep? It's a room just like anything else. Sometimes you're drawn to it psychologically, but probably less and less as time goes on. It's just like eating."
"I could use some chocolate ice cream."
"And what about those giants in the Sex and Punishment rooms? Are they dead souls as well?"
"I just don't know. And I don't believe I ever did. To tell you the truth, I never saw anything like them before. I think they were a product of your queer imagination."
"What, you're calling me queer? Who's the one who thought they were an angel?!"
FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID
"I am the Solitary -- I am one; I am apart; I am alone.
I am the taut and breathless chill of death-beyond.
"I cannot dream the dance of life, not can I shriek with the flames of rage and anguish: I am the impartial observer, and as these tidal waves crash furiously against my ankles, I shed no tear and flash no smile
"And before my eyes unblinking -- abyss encloses all
"I am the Solitary -- and no, not so much as the barest pang of a tremble escapes me; therefore clearest vision swims in my brash seas alone. I am outside: and as the extraterrestrial alone observes the motion of the earth, my staunch beacons alone penetrate to the stark and unmoved (hollow) core of existence.
"I am the Solitary -- stillest and untouched, yet no dust collects upon me.
"And I exhale: tremendous gales erupt, but no bird is diverted from its path.
"I am the Solitary -- and what am I not? Nothing eludes me; what then is not within me?
"I am the Solitary -- but no pale soliloquoy pollutes my smooth mountain air.
"And eternities drift past ..."
Aglaia runs away; and, somewhere in the mountains, builds a new life -- which has its difficulties, but they are hers to overcome: imposed by nature, not by another's point of view. And what is life but overcoming? She comes to know a rare beauty which cannot be known by any civilized mind ... and it is much as it had was in ahistoric times, the times when men cared not for future or past, lived in oneness with the earth....
Fresh breathless gust
of midnight wind:
The skies --
they echo silence
And the purple flowers drift
within the soft capricious dancing
of the wind
From Transparency we went to Hardness, one of the relata of which we decided was Splittage, or Partition ... an interesting room in which merely touching anything was enough to make it subdivide. The same thing happened to Miranda when I touched her, although not to me -- I suppose because she somewhere thought of herself as a part of the Tower still. Anyway, our commands seemed more effective as far as ruling our motion, and I supposed it was because there were two of us. This led me to speculate that perhaps a large group of people could actually will themselves to the bottom -- if thinking in unison -- ... a thought that was to play a large role in my future.
Anyway, I thought of grabbing just one of her and running out, but then decided that the effect might do us particular good if one hundred of us were of the same mind -- so I bid them all follow. Where were we going? We both decided that the only thing much simpler than Partitioning was Wholeness ... Partitioning was about various wholes, and about little else -- it was so general that little could be said about it. This very fact made me optimistic: it meant we must be nearing the bottom, as we were approaching the most basic concepts. Escape is not that difficult, I told myself (too pompously) -- not if one takes a rational attitude.
The first thing that happened as we wandered into Wholeness was this: the swarm of Mirandas became only one. I looked around myself: there were all manner of things, the only quality in common being that any two sufficiently similar items would join together within very little time. I saw two railroad cars, for instance, come together and form one Supertrain. A green plant and a green animal fused into a moving photosynthetic beast which intrigued megreatly, although I have virtually no interest in biology ... the many-Mirandas-become-one literally had to tear me away from it. I wondered: what is the judge of similarity? Something soon struck me: about one minute ago, only green served as a common aspect, it seemed. Green shoes and green wind became one, but blue boots and blue sandals remained separate. This soon changed -- before long all colors were being used as judges of similarity.
What was the algorithm? It seemed to me that not only were similar aspects of items causing items to be drawn together -- but, also, similar aspects of relations between items were causing causing those relations to be drawn together, and all be treated as similarity measures. And, sure enough -- before long not only all colors but all smells were enough to draw two things together.
And a different, though related, trend presented itself: soon all things blue and all things green were being lumped together.
The tendency, in general, was toward greater aggregation on all logical levels. Not only were similar things fused -- similar measures of similarity were fused, and this applied to higher levels of similarity as well, measures of similarity between measures of similarity between measures of similarity ... -- and so on. The ultimate result was clearly to be a bringing-together of all! Somewhat satisfying to the spiritually inclined, perhaps -- but I did not particularly relish the thought of being fused with that huge lump of shit in the corner, for instance ... which had -- yecch! -- just become one with my shoe. There are some things of which I would prefer to remain ignorant -- and what it is like to be a piece of shit is one of them.
Quickly, I removed my shit-shoe, and looked for Miranda -- I wanted out, and fast. At this precise moment a change took place within me: what it was, it took me several more moments to notice.
-- I was not Sam alone anymore! I was, as well, Miranda. The two of us had melded into one! Hermaphroditic, winged ... our memories too were merged, our thoughts -- . We (I) craved separateness -- immediately we rose back up to Separateness, to Partition.
But as soon as we got there we split into two -- not the old Sam and Miranda, but two hermaphroditic unions.
We rose back up to Hard. But it was different this time, I (we) presumed because of our preoccupation with the problem of our fusion: it was a menagerie of difficult problems. Fermat's Last Theorem lay in a corner, along with Godel's Theorem and the uhification of General Relativity with quantum theory -- and tremendous hordes of games of chess. "Solve me!" each one moaned. "Please solve me!" -- as if their state of difficulty, unsolution, was keeping them in utter agony. "But," I said to Godel's Theorem -- "You've already been solved."
"Solve me again," it moaned.
Such greed I was not about to condone. I turned from them; above the ruckus of their wailing I asked my double: "What should we do now? I think that Wholeness was pretty close to the bottom, probably ... what goes below it? If we just shoot through very quickly there shouldn't be any problems."
I was beginnning to like my femininity/masculinity.
"Well, what is wholeness like?" it said: I knew what it was thinking. I continued for it: "It's a way of grouping things -- a way of looking at things ... an aspect of biological pattern- recognition. A way of relating various sense-perceptions."
"So the realm of sense-perception should be below it."
I was a little more skeptical of the logical-hierarchy scheme than I had been when I was Sam; on the other hand, I was a great deal more certain of it than I had been when I was Miranda. (Whose original name, by the way, had been Miramanee) I supposed that to be a result of the greater forcefulness of Sam's personality, and of the skepticism induced in Miranda by her long, uneventful and depressing stay in the Tower. Sam had been much more imaginative than she, and she had been pleasantly surprised by the dramatic succession of shocks which their travels had brought. On the other hand, Sam's personality was indubitably improved by the aspect of stability corollary to this lack of rich imagery. On the whole, the fused mind was a healthier one than either of its components, possessing a new and incredibly rare combination of imagination and balance.
At least, so I/we liked to believe.
Anyway, I voyaged rapidly through Partitioning and Wholeness without any further accidents -- and on to Sense-Perception. This was perhaps the most disconcering Room of all -- ... nothing was definite here, nothing well-formed: only sounds, at random, and touch, and smells: one thing after another, with no pattern whatsoever. Only my mind secure. I immediately lost track of my twin -- perhaps I felt his/her skin or heard his/her voice, in bits and pieces ... but I could not put them together. I knew that to spend too long in this would drive me crazy ... but what could I do? I did not want to retreat upwards -- I had to think quickly: what did Sensation relate? Absolutely nothing! -- that was the core of it! Was this then the Ground Floor? No, of course not .... Or was it a relative minimum ... not the bottom, but with nothing accessibly below it? That was possible: I remembered no such thing from my life as Miranda, but that meant virtually nothing (in such an unpredictable place).
And then it hit me: It is a way of relating my mind and itself. The External is a medium for the self-relation of the Inside! Through environment, I interact with myself ... this is the point of the nervous system: this is why the animals with highly developed nervous systems are so intelligent -- because sense-perception, nerves, are the cause of all self-reference.
Immediately I found myself in a sort of cosmic echo chamber: there was only myself, in a vast solipsistic void, and thus I saw myself before me -- there was nothing else to see, so my mind utilized the darkness as a screen ("darkness" is a figurative term here).
I had lost my twin -- or perhaps he/she was floating in a similar abyss: I had no way of knowing. Probably we would end up in the same place, I decided: no, probably not, I decided, unlessthere was some clear and obvious choice to be made.
What did solipsism relate? It related the mind and its environment, right? Pure mind relating mind and its environment -- no ... The mind related itself!
Here, I began to speculate, I had reached a true dead end. The mind was an exception: it surely did relate itself to other things. Every time I thought about my personal relationship with someone, I related myself to them. One could argue that this is not actually the case, that the mind is always relating its old self to its old self, and therefore not relating the same thing as it is ... or, one could argue that the mind truly avoids the bounds of logic in its self-relation -- and therefore my reasoning was flawed. I prefer to avoid such philosophy. The fact was, my hope was dimmed.
-- And then I hit upon a plan! My aversion to philosophy nearly killed me, I supposed -- or set me back more than a little, at the least. The point was: if my mind related itself at the previous time, then perhaps I could go back in time that way -- where I would end up, I didn't know, but it was (in my estimation) worth a try.
I tried it. But the problem was, as soon as I got back far enough, I had forgotten the plan of regression -- each time I waited until I found it anew. How did I remember the previous occasions? Not too well. I just went round and round and round, each time forgetting that I had done it before -- each time rejoicing at my brilliant idea. It was an incredible fluke of nature, so I thought, that eventually I was granted a dim memory of my previous loops ... the mechanics of this fluke I still don't fully understand. Anyway, I quickly got out of the loop into a space of loops -- that was what was on my mind --
A loony-tuney roller-coaster: I tumbled round and round, and each time ended up where I had started again. This was a great deal of fun -- but I was getting dizzy. And I had pretty much lost all hope of regaining contact with my twin: assuming that he/she too had gotten stuck in the loop of time-revoking, and taking into account the fact that I had absolutely no idea how long I had spent circling around in there -- I concluded that he/she could have escaped years ago, or could be in there for so long that if I waited in the Loop room I would have thrown up all my guts and rotted by the time of his/her arrival.
I had to move on. What was Looping a relation between? My faith in my Theory of Types was dimming -- but I had nothing else to go on, so I kept it as a working hypothesis. The fact that a distance was but nothing -- so I pondered ... that all the space along each path was but essentially insubstantial, because it led me back to the same place.
No sooner did I have this thought than I had wormed back to -- Transparency! Where every object between here and there is nothing! Is Looping a relation between transparency and motion -- it is a dubious one. And mine was a dubious theory, I came to recognize ... each step could be justified somewhat, and it had led in a circle. Perhaps I just didn't understand what was meant by a"relation" ... perhaps there was no way of saying what was meant. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps -- my faith, though, had been shaken: no longer was I Reason's Knight, but nothing more than disillusionment on two feet -- and with wings! and a vagina as well as a penis. I could not help but wish I had remained here, in Transparency, with Miranda: now, alone, a hermaphroditic half-angel with about three-halfs of a set of memories, and no plan to go on -- no directions toward the Ground Floor.... I sat and cried.
The following poem, "The Flight to Freedom," was found written, in beautiful calligraphy, on the wall of the room in which Melissa Zoertzel was kept for most of her stay at the asylum. Although it is often comical and embarrassing in its stylistic excesses, her doctor found it sufficiently interesting to record it in his notebooks, and Zeb himself has read it over several dozen times. Personally I find its naive exuberance and uninhibited lunacy rather refreshing.
-- Xaj Kalikak, Ph.D.
THE FLIGHT TO FREEDOM
"Songs of gently-bursting exuberance! --
I cannot help but sing!
My feet cannot but fly! --
And weave a softly-screaming dancing through the air
I am the heart! the mind! the lungs! -- of the world
The world breathes through me!
And I leap, I twirl,
each movement a glistening whirl of sea --
Yes! -- the world is singing, and I am its mouth, and its ears!
"I am the wings of the world! --
through me soars the everywhen of existence
O how I flutter!
And spread wide! --
and dance upon the crisp dangerous gusts
O, how the gales are flowing!
O, how I flow!
"Sing to me of crashing peals of joy! --
I splash! I splash! I splash!
Sing to me of love! --
O world of mine,
of splashing, splashing love
Sing to me! --
and feel me vibrate in the warmth of your dance!
"And O, how splashingly deep is my love --
how ravishing its wet, wet kisses!"
Thus sang Aglaia as she danced across the mountainside. The breeze brushed her long brown hair into patterns of fury and frenzy; the tips of pine trees swayed and sprayed sticky sap- green needles into her face. And she laughed.
And she laughed; and a great look of depth and sobriety passed across her face; and as soon as it had come, it was gone.
And she turned, and her dance began down the mountainside.
I am human, she said softly to herself; I am human, and yet I am more than human -- this is my contradiction.
When cut, I bleed; pangs of hunger, pangs of lust are not unknown to me -- no, perhaps within me they find their deepest and most complete home. But what is this to me? this humanity? -- it is a game, and nothing more.
I am something more: I am a gale, I am a gush, I am a caress become human.
And a bird called; she continued down the mountain.
A road approached Aglaia
As she walked along the road
for miles no man nor sign of mankind
scandalized her sight
as the birds grew quieter
and the insects' buzz began
As the sun crept slowly, softly
toward the heavy breath of night --
a dim figure grew beside the road
a large and aged man
His form grew large,
his eyes grew wide
Aglaia cringed in fright
"Now what's a nice girl like you doin' in a place like this?"
Aglaia's eyes strained to divine the expression on his face; but what they saw she could not understand. No word arose, so she remained in silence.
His eyes flew fierce suspicious circles. And he paused.
He leapt upon her; her small and slender frame collapsed -- almost gracefully -- by the roadside. Rapidly he unzipped his pants, and he lifted her short skirt of leather, and he laughed. His laugh rang through her head as the drunken screech of Satan hmself rings through the mind of a Cardinal .
And -- slowly, but not without certainty -- his intention became clear before her mind.
Alas, poor man, she whispered -- are you not inflamed with the pangs of lust? And do you intend to force yourself upon me? Ah, yes -- this is the lot of the animals; in a world beneath the spoken word such rape is -- yes! required. But -- we are not animals.
No! -- could it be? that you alabaster ghouls of the city are -- closer to the heart of the beast than I? I, who has lived more as beast than as man -- and has loved such life?! This I cannot believe.
Alas, I have embraced this down-going -- and why? For I must face my contradiction!
But can I achieve this lofty aim -- by rejecting the stench of the human?
No! But -- can I then permit such harsh cruel onslaught, such heartless desecration of my soul?
Alas, with contradiction this too-fast descent abounds! alas, but indecision fades to assent.
I must follow my will! Yes! --
Drift off! you vile marauder, gnarled invader -- Drift along! Fulfill your strange cruel passions with your own kind!
And she rose,
and the rapist fell limp
to the ground
In the tomb of shock frozen
For her limbs,
though light, graceful and smooth
Bore the strength
of a life lived for each passing day
And she walked on,
And she sang to the trees
She sang nervous songs,
songs born to die
And a restless brave warrior voice
stirred within --
a voice stirred within her, and cried:
Why? Aglaia -- why? You were free upon the mountain! free as a dewdrop, free as a sky-song, free as the mist of red dawn love. Why must you go down, Aglaia? -- why must you go down? Why must you cloak your self in this acrid reign of alabaster? when it is your destiny -- to dance naked through the trees as a gush of spring wind! what is it that you seek? sweet Aglaia -- O! what is it that you seek?
Thus spoke the voice,
and her voice did not reply
Alas, beat her heart --
alas, I know not why
but there has grown a cavernous emptiness within
Perhaps it is this:
Aglaia has fled humanity,
and she does not fancy herself a fleer
And the voice,
it was silent
Her heart spoke no more
And she fashioned her bed
in the sand
She rose with the sun, and the laughing of birds which was as close to her as the beating of her own laughing heart, and her hand soft upon her thigh.
A warm sensation tingled through her; a breath of mountain air ventured deep into the valley; she moved her hand gently across her thigh onto her vagina.
Music rose within her, songs of gently-bursting exuberance; she moaned smoothly, without trace of inhibition; she laughed freely, and her hips and bosom swelled with the surging of passion:
light surrounded her, velvet light, and the laughing of spring-bird wings; light
-- Filled with warmth and joy, she rose from her nest of needles and approached the road once again
O what pleasures life has given me! she sang. Ah -- the silky pleasures of lust; ah lust, how I drink from your silken- smooth fountains!
Pure lust! -- and what feels purer? And this small puff of air from the mountains, this small piece of mountain's delight -- perhaps it is not so small! Lust! -- you shall keep me alive as I plunge into valley destinies; lust, you shall keep me as warm as the green tips of noon-trees!
Thus skipped Aglaia, with a rich and smiling glow between her legs and throughout her body;
Thus skipped Aglaia -- and laughed a sea of sparkling tributes toward the Sun.
And she wandered,
till one day she reached a city
And she entered,
and she came upon a crowd ....
O sword of all swordsmen! O death of the soul! O -- why? have you now overcome me?!
This foul clench of air -- no! I cannot breathe it!
My lungs are not built for such pain!
These are not men around me! -- no, but alas, these are men: these are what I am not. These are what I am! These minds are not free: no, they make their own prison. Oh yes! and the self binds more strictly than walls.
There is no life here: no, there is but two legged death, in pathetic impatience to occur.
Alas! this is what I have fled
And I cannot but flee this sad life of routine! I cannot but live -- as a songbird!
Such hatred! Such vice! that would tie my sweet wings. Such pain! I cannot but despise you!
Your evil lies glare at my soul far too harshly -- such pain! I cannot but despise you!
With these words Aglaia crumbled to the sidewalk, and she crawled,
Crawled from the city, up the slopes into a cave
And there enthralled
She sat and wondered,
bathed in teardrops,
wondered why her fate had called
Down from the mountain
Down! into such a tragic squall
And she wondered:
what lies further?
What path lies --
After the Fall?
For, she knew,
the mountain was her home no longer
Foreign -- all
O, dear stars! Does my mind not deceive me? Is it true -- alas, this hard cold fact
Could it be true? -- that I --
I, Aglaia of the mountains
am one and the same
as these pack-rats, these vermin, these dwellers of depths far beneath the most distant dark realm of my being?
Humanity! I am a tower! -- and you are my termites. Such canyons beneath me! So wide in your swarming that though each one of you is but a foul drop in my pure seas -- together, you are pollution!
Pollution! widest of canyons -- and I shout, I scream; I wailthe bitter winds of Eden lost within you
And my words echo back into my own ears; the vast crash of my anger falls on my sweet seas alone
For -- yes, Aglaia, yes; yes, your anger is foolish
To vent rage to a termite -- is is far worse than to curse at the foreign, for language itself is beneath the grey termite's pale grasp.
Away! cruel anger, cruel anguish -- away! To vent rage at a termite -- this is not the lot of Aglaia! No -- I am the laugher, the dreamer, the floater, the sky! And I cannot permit you to pollute me --
vile masses! Your noisome aroma must graze not my nose!
Smile! I must smile through the deepest abysses -- yes! this is my destiny's unflinching bone!
I must breathe the air of joy -- even in the black and gnarled smog of the city
This is my destiny! This is my life! This is the need -- for my down-going!
For my home is the mountain, and this is not right -- for the drift of the wanderer requires no home. I seek joy beyond mountains -- .
No! Yes! I seek joy on those peaks so high taht they are low
I must go down again! Yes! --
I must go down once more, and I must rise so high that down and far up are but a wisp of breeze to my eyes. I must drink the peaks within! -- yes!
I must open my eyes as no eyes have ever opened before, and swallow all mountains within --
and wherever I stand, I shall tower above! Though my feet may yet rest in the deepest of canyons, my mind still shall soar --
and look down upon those peaks where I have lived, and laugh. Yes! I shall laugh a laugh so rich that even the noonday sun will blush with envy!
What? What is this brightly splashing ache upon my back? Waht is this all-too-heavy ache of raw orgasmic splendor? Aglaia -- no longer a beast of the ground! Such sweet wings, such white feathers, so eager to soar, and to rise --
and to rise! and to rise far above!
O gust of life! -- I shall carry myself! into orbits so wide and unblinking!
And my wings shall the tides drive! fast and alive! And my mind -- far too fresh to be thinking!
And if my words rhyme -- and in such rhyme bind time ... Well! my mind shall not join in this sinking!
And if cruel smog clogs my breath -- still I shall rise! And shall breathe --
from the peaks of my drinking!
O city! Cruel termites that gnaw at my soul! -- come, gnaw me if so the tides drive you!
Come gnaw me to dust, and as dust I shall float -- on the wind! float so fresh and alive! You --
no, you cannot stop me now:
for I am free
And the winds and I are one
And no, not as Icarus, but as a ray --
Yes! I fling myself toward the sun
Yes! my white-feathered wings are the wind
And yes! -- Yes!
my sweet soul softly soars toward the Sun
And I splash! And I splash! And I splash!
And my soul -- softly swim-soar-seep-smiles
toward the Sun
And down she went; down -- with a grin -- once again, this time with pure strength in her soul. And she stood midst the crowd of the city again -- unashamed and unclothed. Thus she spoke:
And hear this! you enslavers of the soul -- you gods, and men who are mother and father to the gods:
You cannot chain the wind!
Taste the crimson crack of this whip! feel it melt across your back! -- No! the wind shall not submit to your chains!
I am free, and as you hide your lust so dark within your clothes -- I shall dance! dance naked, gorgeous, and for all time past your grasp
I shall make love with the starlight! -- yes! I sing this unashamed, as I feel my body sighing toward the night.
I shall make sweet love with oceans! -- softly, oceans call my name
While you shake your own chains, paralyzed in fright.
who is not afraid to sing your own praise!
Reveal yourself --
and we shall bask in the rays of orgasm
far too deep for mortal eyes
is there not one among you?
Alas, I wish to love you but --
well, shall I make a succubus of myself?
For my love is to strong for your mere mortal souls!
Will you fulfill my lust --
at the csot of your death?
I cannot dream a better way to die!
Death in the arms of orgasm divine? --
or the throes of this cage you call life
Can you make the decision? --
no, alas, you can make no decision
For your mind is too weak!
Shall I then forsake you now, mankind? --
O yes! the voice of the stars is so sensuously calling!
But no --
no, alas, I have traveled this path
I cannot forsake you now!
My strong and trembling arms
must now embrace
your fragile frame
And if you are so crushed! -- well, then
So be it!
I must hold you, I must kiss you, I must love you --
Yes! for all your weakness
I must enclose you in the gentle reign
of my free giving
I must use you! --
And I must share with you!
We must unite!
in the bright glowing of my lustfulness
Thus proclaimed Aglaia, her skin and soul naked and covered with sweat. She walked through the crowd which had gathered about her; slowly and softly, with the all-too-light footsteps of a bird which has not quite yet come to the ground. Finally, a pair of eyes did not avoid her, and did not too emptily rest their stare upon her -- finally, one mind caught her glance. It was a young man, rather casually dressed, and Aglaia was drawn to the depth in his eyes. No word was spoken, but she took his left arm, and she led him -- not far -- toward the forest.
The trees swayed:
Can I do this? she asked them. He is human, yes -- all too human. But he has beauty nonetheless! Can I not instead decimate pure ugliness?
The trees made no sign, and in this they replied.
No! she cried -- no, you are right, my fair friends. For if this is the land where my lust has now led me -- here I must, laughingly, fashion my home. The wil lto fly! Will to lust! -- this is my champion. ANd I must follow this champion -- moment's delight -- or else I am but one more feathered song trapped in a cage.
And her mouth touched his, and her hands clenched his flesh; and their bodies fell, trembling in passion so fresh
that the leaves in the wind
and the splash of the sea
Such sweet ecstasy!
Till his breath no more flowed -- and then, without a sound,she buried him deep beneath hard, brown cool ground.
And she flew! And she bade the trees swift sweet goodbye. And she opened her arms -- and her lust -- to the sky.
And as her form faded, she heard her voice cry:
Ah wind! sweetest wind
With your talons and tears
you seduce me
to one without fears
And I soar! Newly light --
how I soar through your love!
Yes! now, free of Man, I am fresh and free of
I have left on the ground
And now the wind gushes! --
but nary a sound
my ear lashes
The sun shines! --
no light falls
A bird calls! A bird calls! --
but no, no bird calls
All negations embraced
the secret of love
To hate man yet love him
To strangle the dove
Ah! sweet secret of secrets
so slippery your stealth!
Your lust! --
that you must elude
Yes! here on this peak past all peaks
and all else
I soar so high
that I soar past --
Aglaia -- Aglaia no longer
I soar so high
that I soar past --
Yes! my self!
THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF GOD
"Primitive mankind worshipped nature and its various elements in various ways -- with the birth of the self, however, came thedeath of this ... -- death, and sometimes rather a hollow life barely distinguishable from death: a fickle parody of true Nature- worship.
"And next came gods like the Greek gods -- immensely human, very powerful ... but not the Ultimate, not like Nature. Corn gods, fire gods, wheat gods, national gods ... -- It was out of one of the latter that the next innovation came ... : 'twas out of Yahweh (the national god of the Hebrews) -- ... -- the dialectical synthesis of the specific, somewhat anthropomorphic gods of the early identity age, and the all- encompassing not-yet-God of Nature which the "primitive" respects: -- the anthropomorphic God of Everything ... e.g. the Christian God. It is quite easy to see how this would emerge -- the people wanted the security of the wonb now known as Nature, and the power of their identity ... however, the patterns were complementary: -- they could draw their power in one way or the other, not both religions -- . Their "souls" were ripe for the proverbial plucking! -- as soon as someone came up with the idea of the anthropomorphic, identity-based Lord of Everything ... well, they were suckers for the idea .... And, too, of course, with the ascendency of social structure there were lords above oards above lords above lords -- it is easy to see how the idea would arise through analogy: why not a top lord?"
THE MADMAN PONDERS SOME MORE
"The relationship between Christianity and science is a complex one -- on the one hand, the Church held up science to an incredible degree: it told us that the Earth was flat millennia after the Greeks had proved otherwise; it ostracized Galileo. "To hell with the facts!
"Was this the first child-abusing parent? Speaking empirically, it is clear that scientific progress has coincided precisely with Christianity in terms of geographical location, at least in the modern age: we have the Dark Ages, in which science was seriously stifled by the Church; on the other hand, we have the next few centuries -- in which a remarkable advancement of science occurred precisely where it had previously been actively suppressed, and not elsewhere....
"I see a cause within this correlation: -- Christianity set the context for scientific theory: -- Man had a God which set the universe into motion according to certain rules ... he intervened at times; however, it is clear (beginning with the Bible) that a large part of the administration was conceived as left to logic.
"What are these rules?
"And yet another possibility: Christianity is in essence an abstraction of the grandest kind (in size if not complexity); it is called good : -- and therefore good is associated with absraction ... and what is science but the tendency -- to abstract?
"It gave us the conception of a Highest Order of the universe -- so that when man discovered something, he discovered part of something massive ... this is the power of association, once again:... and in fact, after God had gone from philosophy, as Nietszche was so fond of pointing out, too many brought him back in veiled form: for example, Kantian "moral world order".
"And then -- the universe as machine. THis was a natural consequence of Christianity -- : the Laplacean vision. Isaac Newton never claimed to have understood everything ... electromagnetism, for instance, was widely known yet (practically) independent of his theories. He never claimed to have analyzed the mind, not even in the most general sense; -- he was religiously a conservative, and he churned out a million pages of boring theology saying so: he was the firmest of believers in the soul. Only two centuries later did we make the claim to have understood everything: Michelson, for instance, claimed that all that was left to physics was the determination of a few more digits on the natural constants ... yes, the very same Michelson who took part in the first experiment to agree with Einstein's theory but not Newton's. Laplace claimed: give me the initial conditions of the universe, and I will predict everything! -- including, implicitly, his statement -- .
"Negated: God. The parent beat the child, and in revenge the child killed the parent -- a one-sentence summary. Science spawned industry -- this, metaphysically and empirically obvious --
"And religion today is a laughingstock -- at least in technological America ... a hollow shadow of its former self, an echo. Once God was on everybody's mind ... once people believed in Heaven and Hell -- preposterous as that seems: once deity guided their actions. No longer! Only the extremists now keep him alive. Nietzsche saw this reaction forming -- .
"The common people didn't understand the theories -- however, the philosophy sank in to the common mind ... technology conveyed the message. Our lives withdrew further and further from the domain of nature: -- we were surrounded by machines, our own creations -- therefore God as a creator was a joke. Obviously, logically one's surroundings should make no difference to one's faith -- but that's deductive logic; the mind is inductive. And no one noticed that the same thing as happened at the dawn of civilization was happening: man was diverging from the All.
"What will come next? We had the All, then the part, then the All dialectically synthesized with the part -- and now the part again, brought on by our dialectical synthesis ... or, rather, another synthesis of All with part (for science too is All), but with an emphasis on part, on mankind's separateness from the universe ... this is a complicated play of dialectical synthesis, which should be explored but is not absolutely central -- . What will come next, according to dialectical logic, is a synthesis of science and the experience of Oneness with the All."
DIARY OF ZERO TO THE ZERO
(UP to page 31, Diary of Zero to the Zero)
Today I saw KANIKA NARULA. I don't really know her. That is, I know her in reality, not in dreams, but her essential trueuniqueness has not entered my reality; she is a symbol of pure beautiful, an icon as someone you really know can never be. She was a student of mine last semester, but I got to know other students, ones for whom I cared far less, a great deal better. Maybe cause she never came to class. I tried to let her know I "liked" her through a system of strange semaphore which may be quite incomprehensible to anyone but me. And I received a handful of such signalings from her, but not enough to slaughter waves of doubt that preyed on, pulverized my mind.
I suppose I really am another misty-eyed romantic, despite appearances to the contrary. XYMPHONY 4 KANIKA, WHO IN A DREAM MARRIED ME AND BORE A THOUSAND CHILDREN WITHOUT LOSING HER PERFECT FIGURE OR HER GLOWING SMILE. But it's all a bunch of shit, because though she may actually be the perfect love for me she may also be something so far from my mind that to kiss her would randomize my essence. You see, the long brown curly locks and sweetly smile always shoot through me like an orgasm. Those slender legs and tender breasts and juicy buttocks, WOW! Such thoughts should get you kicked off of the faculty. And me, of course, I trot on home and write about it. Instead of following the moment and pinning her down? Listen: I'm in love with my Gwummy. How silly 'twould be to chance a fling with a stunningly gorgeous, intelligent, friendly... [Right to 2, left to 6, down to 7]
Why so?? What's the meaning of monogamy? After all, it's just an arbitrary social convention. Sure, it's worked pretty well for you and Gwummy so far, but it hasn't been 100% smooth -- maybe those bloody, anguished earlydays would have been better if the only signifier of sincere emotional commitment wasn't monogamy. On the other hand, maybe it would have been worse. On the other hand, perhaps I only have one hand. How is it that by looking at someone I can convince myself I know them as well as the constructs of my mind? Is it because they are all constructs of my mind? Is it because I've never known anyone by the name Kanika before? It is because as a child I loved kayaking. It is not. Point of fact, you are a cow, and if you don't milk up soon I'll be forced to flay you and transmogrify you into KANIKA NARULA.
Fy: My analysis of this is that Kanika is irrelevant. As you well admit, you don't even know her. So all these silly pangs of lust and love and eversplendid wild-wargasming reign are just the energies of some coverted force, somewhere within you, writhingly writhing, convoluting to escape.
Andrea: We were the same way. You loved us for our inherent qualities, certainly, but for nothing unique in us. Your love for us was a necessity of your mind. It was reality, because reality is that which doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. It was God.
[Up to 32, down to 7, right to 3, left to 1]
Fy: You silly, everything is God. You silly!
Marya: When you conceived my character, it was just a temporary whim. So just as you may be temporarily charmed by certain physical properties, you may be ephemerally seduced by certain psychological forms.
BEN: I created you with no such thought in mind; that just happened. In a sense, therefore, it was an act of free will on your part. The patterns which I had chosen to constitute your character would behave in no other way.
kanika: similarly, if you succeeded in establishing a romantic relationship with me, i would escape the realm of fantasy and no longer manifest such shimmering attractiveness to your mind.
Rimbaud: perhaps, but on the other hand I managed to idealize Verlaine in "A Season in Hell" after the most horrendous possible experiences. Pitiful brother! What frightful nights I owed him! Et cetera et cetera.
Fy: But we are fundamentally optimistic, not tragedians but wild orgasmic fantasists. Metaphysical jackoff artists, you might say ... (but still old man your points well taken)
HA HA HA HA HA
Carl: So the particular nature of the idealised object has important causative relation to the actual relation of the idealised misconception to the reality ... obviously
kanika: fuck me fuck me fuck me
ben: i'm afraid i cant my dick fell off
[up 33, down 7, right 4, left 2]
"WE SHOULD MAKE YOU WEAR EARPHONES." -- robert zimmerman
Kanika: It's just the wandering back from ideal into real that makes it so much fun to fantasize, don't you think though?
Philip K. Dick: The real is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it.
Fy: Then religion is real.
Nietszche: But God isn't!
John Lennon: Nothing is real.
neiL younG: Sooner or later, it all gets real.
Gwum E. Wog: "Philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks. Religion is the smile on a dog" --
Kanika: No, seriously, though: under your definition, Phil: it's the way the aspects of the fantasy are molded by you, and then get out of your control, and then remain even though you cease to place your faith in them ... it's the oscillation between submission and dominance, between making and being made, between Godhood and impotence...
Ben: You mean that's why I can't keep it up more than an hour?
Gwum E.: Yes you can; point of fact I've seen you do so.
Kanika: how, do you have eyes in your cunt?
Gwum E.: Wives no these things
Nietszche: No that's an old wives tale
Jimi Hendrix: Ha ha ha ha
[Up 34, down 10, right eleven, left three]
Kristina: In the interdependence of dominance and submission I, personally, found enlightenment. But there is no one path. In fact, I don't even exist; I was eliminated in the multiple revisions of this manuscript.
Jimi: No joke
Ben: No, there is a joke, but there is no one path
Jimi: Aw, fuck off man with your university humor. Heh ha ha. Lissen, let's play some blues, man. I can't get into this philosophy stuff right now, man, I'm feeling kinda spaced...
Kristina: Just listen a couple more seconds, though, Jimi. Don't you think the interplay of dominance and submission is the essence of musicianship? I mean, you had to....
Jimi: It's the language, man, the language stands between us. yeah I see what you're gettin' at though. It's like, you have to make the instrument scream out whatever sounds you're feeling, you have to make the rhythm of the song hold whatever melody you're digging, but at the same time you see you cant go too far, you've got to groove with the flow of what's happening, you know man, you've got to respect the logic of the mechanics of the thing, you know.... I mean like, instrument, rhythm, whatever you're talking about, anything you've got to create with has some kinda form of its own, you know what I mean -- any medium's got some limitation, and so it's always a playing with, working with what the medium's got, with the form of the medium, to make what you've got in your head.
KANIKA: And it's the same thing with a dream, then, ben, you see it? You've got the toying with its structure, but only too far, and then you're toying's molded patterns that, like a character in a novel, will only act in certain ways, and then it acts and then there comes a time when you can mold again, and so on ... same with anything [up 35, down 11, right 6, left 4]
KANIKA: Let's say you created me in a dream, or you saw me in your class, or an evil scientist reprogrammed your mind to make you believe you perceived someone with an appearance and demeanor astoundingly close to what your subconscious pinpoints as ideal, someone to arouse your subliminal lusts to a peak of uncontrollable frenzy...
Ben: Modest, aren't you.
Kanika: Don't be shy, it's true.
Ben: If only you felt the same about me
Fantasy: I'm not telling. What I was saying, anyway, was that regardless of the origin, the flow is the same; it is perceived in every entity, the in-out ceaselessy organic pumping flow. The beautiful structure whereby the ideal has been idealized in so complex a way that its patterns begin to organize themselves and act, and then the creator interacts with the created ... the only way to avoid this intricate, spectacular dialectic is to keep one's fantasies so simple, one's characters so lifeless, that no such autonomy can emerge. Complexity engenders autonomy.
Gwum E. Wog: And you're too damn complex!
Reality: I love you.
Fantasy: Amor Fati. I wouldn't want you any different; you wouldn't want me to come tumbling into your wide arms spilling pangs of lust. It'd be too easy.
Me: Like hell I wouldn't want that.
Kanika/Fantasy: I am what I am not. Like all, I am not what I am. Like all, I want to be what is not and I only want to be what now is me. Like all, I am you and you are me. Like all, the sun.
[up 36, down 12, right 1, left 5]
I clawed my face, in tears. "What more could anyone ask of me?!" I wondered: screaming, blubbering shamelessly, my voice a high-pitched conflagration of uneven sounds. "I've tried religion, science, the doctrines of Truth and Freedom -- I've even tried to make the best of it all, to make a reason out of wandering through reasonlessness! But it's still happening -- still, indefiniteness ... not even simply wandering works: I've wandered out of that! What sense does that make? God, somebody tell me, please -- what sense does it all make?! Not even the sense of senselessness!"
My mind distantly rejoiced at the purple splendor of my words: I was confused beyond confusion -- but at least I was dramatic about it ... properly artistic.
A fire of endlessness surrounded me, and a large red man with a pitchfork laughed above. What? Yes -- the Devil! His horns were shimmering, dribbling vapors of fresh blood. "Yes, this is hell, you foolish little wanderer -- pompous squanderer of my time! You couldn't just come down here right away, now could you? -- you had to try all those strange elixirs first. Love! Science! Dreams! And yet -- it all just fades away, now doesn't it?! Yes, even I will fade away, you pitiful shiverer. Oh, but I know you will remember me!" He scowled so thoroughly that his whole body seemed to curl up in despair and shuddering glee -- glee at his triumph, at the triumph of his cruelty. And as he curled into a seashell shape of blood and fissuring flesh -- a scowl ... he still stood tall and cackling loud above me.
I hated him. I resolved -- what tiny fragment of identity still remained within me dedicated its entirety to ... escaping from his presence: yes, from his influence -- but primarily from his physical being ... -- his grotesque shadow: yes, at once a shadow and the vividest feeling of pain ever to take me ... pure 200 proof agony!
I grabbed his pitchfork from his hand, and did not wonder why he was laughing as he gave it to me. Shaking, I plunged it through my heart -- and let out one tremendous scream, one trembling yell that was so loud that I could no longer distinguish anything else ... one perfect shout that outpoured all the terrible, terrible pain of my existence, of my humanity, and my subhumanity, and my strained dreams of being more: one quantum, unit pang of pain....
I died. I felt myself fade away, melt into nothingness -- awarm, familiar feeling (also cold).
It lasted forever, and yet for no time at all. Quite literally before I knew it, I found my eyes awake again.
I was in Heaven. Bright pink cloudlets, and a swarm of angel-forms surrounded me: "Hello, Samuel," they all said. "We've been expecting you."
I wondered: is this hell? To repeat myself, again and again: from joy through suffering, and then to die, and be reborn -- .
But would I repeat myself, actually? Would I try science, this time? Or love? Or become entranced within the beauty of sheer wandering? I doubted it -- of course not! I saw the emptiness of it now: there was no exit -- not the Outside, not pure Truth, not Love or Reason ... not even Nothingness, of course. There was nothing, not even nothing ... except the Tower, which was itself only a room. Only rooms, rooms upon more rooms -- what was a room, but ... but mere nothingness? For what was common to the rooms but ... but pure nothing?! And yet -- not nothing, no, for that was a room to itself!
I wondered furtively: But what can I do with this insight?
I answered: Nothing. The inexpressible -- .
I let the angels carry me, and the inevitable -- . "Okay," I said, "which one of you is Miranda?"
One of them smiled, and swooped to kiss me, and said "I am"
"Or if you're not, who cares," I said; she giggled. "Do I still love you?"
"No. But I still love you." A pert reply.
"Yes, of course you do. Come on."
We drifted to the Honeymoon Suite. I held her; without words I clenched her body to my chest. I wondered if there was a point to it all, this eerie afterlife -- this endless building of my dream (which never ended (and did end (but only in one room. An inexpressible point ... was my insight the simple purpose of the Tower? Are we put here just to see -- to see what? No, one cannot say it -- simply to see.
And is this different from the other world, the "real world" where my life began? Indeed, how could it be? -- the real world is a room here, just like everything else, and a collection of rooms. Yes, this is all that there is to it -- to everything! a winding maze, a Tower, in which room links onto room according to a pattern which we can distantly understand but never conquer, a maze whose very understanding is contradictory -- and in which faith is just a burden, love a salve for wounds self-incurred. In which even mysticism degenerates into faith -- into the regionalism which all things turn to, slowly, here: into attachment to one room. But "room" is meaningless, because the only thing in common to the class of rooms is -- no, there is no thing! not even locality, because that too is a room, with an opposite, with the anti-room of generality. There is no way of breaking it up! Or even saying it! There is only the reality of the Tower.
Converted by Andrew Scriven