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Copyright Ben Goertzel 1996


3-4-15 [Isadora] For the first time in my life (perhaps there were other times that I just don't recall) I felt that I could do something great, be something great. Meditation could really help me nurture and mold my mind, and be what I so wanted and hoped for. My mother told me I was not living in reality. Well, sometimes, I'd felt that I wasn't living in reality, but I had to make myself believe that I was intelligent, or I would crumble. So that was my only lie, if it was a lie -- if it was, I wanted no reality; I might prefer death. Long ago, in October or November of 2014 I felt that I could not control my mind, I did not control myself; it controlled me -- How could I be intelligent? Meditation is that control.

3-10-15 [Isadora] Through it I can control my mind and realize my goals and my potential, finally. I guess that is my main goal in life-- to reach that high, to know my mind and exactly what it can do, what it's going through. It's so damned hard though. I reached that ever so short high of nothingness over vacation. I thought I'd reached some sort of stable ground. But I haven't gotten there since then; I seem to have lost it. It's just like that time when my way of thinking changed for about a day or two. I fucking drove it away because I was afraid of it. And I never saw it again after that. I can't seem to bring it back. I think the main problem there was that it was so sudden a change. Since I have now seen it once, I would not mind another sudden appearance. But then, I certainly would have preferred a slow, gradual approach. Today Fyodor mentioned how different his thinking is from everybody else's. God, my brain so disgusts me at times! I waste so much time thinking of such trivialities as what I might say to so and such if I se them in a particular situation. It's so completely useless. I never thought my brain to be so inadequate before I came here and met Fyodor. I was very intelligent; I could do anything. Then poom! poom!! poom!!! I hope I get somewhere with this meditation soon. It tends to conflict with my schoolwork.

3-16-15 [Isadora] I think (sometimes) I'm going to go crazy or commit suicide. And I blame it on my father. And I hate him! I hate him! I hate him!

3-25th perhaps-15 [Isadora] I have nothing of any value to say. I am tripping. No more words. I don't want words! My blood is boiling, bubbling. I can't keep it still enough. I can't concentrate. Do I want to consentrate? How do you spell concentrate? And Smedley was here And I hate Fyodor and I hate my father and I hate me and what am I doing Why am I doing I have a french test en la manana and I love him like I love Fyodor and I love myself and I don't know him and I wonder how in awe. Ad I usta be like him and not know. I've got a drug in my nose! It's not working. It's not like they said it would be. they all saidso. Why not? Why not for me? Why is my mind so complex? Why are my receptors so small? I cannot reach them. I feel so badly for telling Poindexter he was ugly.

3-27-15 [Isadora] Fyodor was acting crazy this morning. He'd said he would be normal by now. Was he putting on an act for me? Perhaps the CID was acting up. I hate the way Fyodor gets when he gets upset or depressed. For I always want to be with him, comfort him, and understand him and be with him. But he never tells me why he's depressed, during or after. Then again, perhaps I am the reason for his upset. I wanted to donate blood today-- I could not, I soon realized, because I just tripped two days ago. My blood is tainted. I am a druggie. I had tried to retain my images, as Fyodor told me, to put (store) them in a certain section of my brain. This way I could get back and pull this back, this tripping mindset. This would enable me to trip whenever I felt like it. I failed. On my way to Physics it all disappeared. I tried to bring it back and found that I had stored the wrong thing. Again I wonder what was wrong with Fyodor. He was sleeping all morning and his eyes were puffy. Overall, I feel much better, emotionally, after tripping. I feel so calm and do not easily tire of meditating. I hope this at least lasts. I no longer feel tense all the time.


If it's art or anything else, whatever you really, really dig doing ... Craziness is like heaven. Once

you reach that point where you don't give a damn about

what everybody else is sayin', you're goin' toward

heaven. The more you get into it, the more they're

goin' to say "Damn, that cat's really flipped out. Oh

he's gone now." But if you producin' and creatin', you

know, you're gettin' closer to your own heaven. That's

what man's tryin' to get to, anyway.

What's happening is ... Well, there's a sixth

sense that's comin' in. Everybody has their own name

for it, but I call it Free Soul ...

Everybody can hear the sound of freedom speeding


-- Jimi Hendrix

At first I wanted to deduce masterpieces of science fiction -- science fiction with real characters and mathematically rigorous hypotheses ...

Then I wanted to compose vast symphonies of human

interaction, like Dostoevsky; I wanted to write The Idiot

to the rhythms of jazz

Then I wanted to erect ornate symbolic reigns like

Zarathustra; abstractions, but spilled with the language of

the heart

Then I wanted to get down to life like Henry Miller, to

sing the savageness of streets and raw reality -- as

experienced by incomparably logical and contradictorily jangle-

tangled me

And then I realized that none of this would work. Oh, I didn't doubt my ability to write in these styles; what I doubted was whether I would like the result. You don't believe in characters, I told myself -- so why do you care about developing them, or orchestrating their emissions? You don't believe in science anymore, and certainly not in attempting to portray fundamentally different worlds using the same old literary straightjackets which rarely even capture our own existence. You don't have Nietszche's need to veil ideas in semiotica, nor Miller's deep tie to the external.

So what? I don't believe in anything, therefore I do nothing? I don't believe in logic either, so I reject that conclusion! But then I said: No, no, these things aren't what you really want to do.

-- Well, what do you want to write about?

Several different logicians.

-- and the craziness of life, which spins us around at ninety miles an hour and then sets us back on our feet

and expects us to immediately run a tightrope gauntlet -- Not to mention the gags on our feet and the silver-net cage, and O yes the slug nuts of youth and the )ever-popular( souciance of youth and the bug struts slimmering skimmering through the intergalactic infandibulum which does not exist but then hey i do not exist either so i can write about it without fear of the long grey penile supplantations wreaking wrath at me and bleating like white sheep without a collar, asking for Jesse Jackson's mane but finding instead Captain Coconut and ten dollars with a bill long enough to scoop out Indochina --

Several different logicians, all squirting my brain through fandibulums of love and hate, belief and fear and knowledge, and most of all curiosity and wonder and the joy of creation and discovery and the unity of the two latter, and how the cult of self-expression must now suffer at my hands into its own unspoken hell because there is not only no self but no expression, only inspression or is that impression perhaps that's a lesson to us all now fellow friends of the fine flames which consume our small souls daily - How many shivers do we have to cross? Becore we can stalk throught the bawls of fate eye turn all I am I am I am Superman And I KNoW WhAT Will HP4EN athend of Time my friends thatsrightbutimnottellingyouthebeginningoftimealloveragainperphap


fateofouronionspreadandtruthisjustabunionspreadandtruth -- A whigmaleerious gleerious beerious smell of shitzel schitzel ponders over me too, day, my friends, my friends, and ponders under me as well, and ties me too into a knot of notting undolence -- and of sheer wonderment I sing to thee a song!



tfirstandevensumtimesthenperverselyitcanundertimeyouand --- ilove

iloveiloveiloveilove --

and dont forget to be whigmaleerious on tuesday


A: It's in the big Abysmus, isn't it

M: Yes it is

A: It's in the big Abysmus, isn't it

M: Yes it is

A: It's in the big Abysmus, isn't it

In the big Abysmus, isn't it

It's in the big Abysmus, isn't it

M: Yes it is

C: But what the huppldyhoff of hoopldyhoo, the pibbldyboppf of life?

M: Well what about it?

C: But it is

MA: It is it is it is it is what isnt and what is we cannot no we cannot yes it is all one abysmal mess o yes i know it is

A: But onewhere once upon a time there was i know it is

AAAA: I know there wasn't

It's in the nature of the game we're in, to find ourselves in nothing and project ourselves against imaginary landscapes of pure being and reality and things like hollow mustard and wing-dings

It's in the nature of the nature of the dream

There is no honesty

C: But I am sometimes not a fivethirty; ... sometimes i don't even clean my frightful places

A:::: Well I can clean it with my tongue

M: Oh Andrew!

A: Andrew what that's not my name

There are no names but only games and empty frames what in this place ... And empty wisps of empty frames what is this face

-- The face of death

C: But what of the brains with pillow feathers? of the pain?

A: What of it? It's a piffledish, it's a snifflepish, it's a crame

M: I'm not my dear I am not. My thumbings beg your piffling pardon

A: Well I fear you havent got it havent got it yet my dear. First you must stick my piddlestick in your ear

M: And fill my brain with come? No way no way

C: Oh, I'll do it

M: Your brain is filled with come already sleazy bitch

C: OOOH you thing I am not

I love it up

I come it up

I do

Sometimes there is the feeling that what exists is a form of intergalactic vomit, kind of resonating outwards from the transultimatum of the infandibular nonboundary into the sometimes somewhere sometimes unenlightenment of the soul -- from the very boundaries of our physical life down into the bilious pit of my stomach. The world is what I've stank.

CCCC: But what am me? But what am me? But what am me?

A: You stink! You are an aberration! A berration and an underthing, stinckling blundergarment, that is all!

M: And furthermore with stains of bloodment and berration on your creases, you green beast!

You have the stains of silly things and laughter on your greens, but instead you feel like fungi. What is the meaning of this thing?

A???: I am a funny yes a funny yes am is

I can transcend the bounds of language, but only only with a hamburger in my handwich

And what's the meaning what's the meaning of it all

A??: I am a sandwich and you are the bread

We are a sandwich and you are the bread

M?: Wei are an andwich and you are the Dead! (ha ha ha jokingly)

I have no eardlthings

C??(tentatively): I am an underunderunderwing; am a tentacle

There is no meaning yes no meaning of it all

A: But maybe once there was a blundering blundering sandwich

M: And I cant see no i cant see cant see the end

MAC: Why dont you look toward the beginning

Why don't you put yourself on tenterhooks

I already am

Not metaphysically; always metaphysically you spit and blunder toward my consciousness -- I mean really and directly, with an ugliness

-- O I have known my pain!

But it's elusive and fragmented, (not?) a migratory pain but one which flutters and which sputters towards the dawn

Enuf dawnimagery all right

C: Hey this abstract discuss abstraction is all right but let's start fucking how bout that

A:Sometimes I want you just because of your vulgarity

M: But then sometimes it makes me sick

C: Look let's not talk on it alright

AM: Lit's set down un it and liecryfuckupstairsinstead

There is no meaning yes no meaning no yes meaning to it underthide yes underthief yes underneath itall.

All this is for that talk about the subtext that you gave me one for all remember at that metaphysical discount tooferwon sale where you gave me seventeen dollerz for a knokershok?

Yes I remember. But O think I love you too much

A: One can never love too much

A: All love is too much

M: Especially love of contradiction

A: O yes I love me all too lot or yes some such

There is no meaning yes no meaning to your touch

C: But it sure feels like Honky Heaven

M(AAA?):But sometimes why kuz it exist

Existen not

It not exist

MA(CC?): Why sometimes snot why sometimes snot does not exist

A(M): I am the wonder under wonderside of life

But Heaven what does not exist

Except perhaps within one moment

Which in itself does not itself does not exist

M(AC(?)):I love maybe saybe love it glove it anyway

Ooh ooh I've got you in the date palm of my hand

Ooh ooh I've swamped you in the neverending sand

Ooh ooh I've whomped you in the sandunage the sandunage of life!

C(MA??) Iou mean I'm smothered in the WHOTHER of raw verbiage

I wonder if it's somethinging like that

You see if we could just be free itd bee a story

With a sting!

A ding-a-ling!

(and ding and sich

A spleathering seam

without a stitch

I cannot say that I exist that I exist right now ...

But somehow whumhow somelesswhessglessness

I think I need you

Where is my Gwumbldy?

Is this her name? Gwumbldy?

She is painting.

I think she is existing in the underside of life, without out knowing it

But its ok not to know anything i think

i really think it isn't time try to be gentle

C: Why not? Gentleness is the underside of life

No no its thrillydillydilldy

M: I think it's emptishness

Oh but but emptishness is full

A: But this ishilliness

There is no meaning yes no meaning to it all

AMC: But still it washes yes it squashesquashesqwashes you!

But I can't see ...

(A:) I can't seE WHere you even you can say(s)ay that ... what is the meaning of this gleaning of this words from --

C(M): Of this fromwhich fromwhich fromwhich fromwhich fromwhich fromwhat?

A: That's just the point; not quite from nothing!

M(C): Oyes I see Oyes I see Oyes I see

C(M)(A): So are you going to fuch me going to fuch me going to fuck me now?

A: ... well maybe only maybe if your panties down

C: But ah you see i dont wear panties

(A)C: Which brings us backwards to the point that you're an undergarment, and I love you

I think we need you here, Carlotta, to mistrust us and be faithful to the impulses that lie

MAC: I think you think I think you think I think you know what I mean

Go into the underside of life, the bloated belly of existence

Which, though it drags along the ground, inflates with smiles of nonresistance

And other sorts of sillybellythings

If you can freesee seesee theesee what I mean I am a bean I am not clean see what I mean

And in the underside of life I can't forsake thee!

And in Z-blunder's tidely strife I cannot slake thee

Of this thirst

-- I've seen it's worst;

Why can't you take me?

M: Why me? for I do not exist I know no that's why

It is the underside of life; it is the meaning

It is sweet blunder's guide to strife that is not bleeding

MCC: I think I'm loving you

A(hee hee hee, blanksy?: I think I am

M: No you am not

A: i think i am. i think i am.

c:Oh fuck me harder

ma: yes yes okay

c: oh in tha larder

yes yes okay

Fuyc me harder sometimes guard her beetsy okay

C:::But Lissy I'm afraid I sometimes maybe love you

Cut out the qual ifiers!

A; Where is the souciance of life? where are the other numbers?


M: I am another number ... I am another thing ... I am the empty monster's ever-pulsing ding-a-ling

And I do not exist

Oh yes I will

And I am not a twist

I am a pill! and you will swallow swallow swallow swallow swallow me you will

C(?A): O I will swallow I will swallow thee I will

C: But what's that uckldy taste?

A: I think it's diaphragm jelly ... Eat it and weep, you bitch, or else I'll spenk you!

C: Perhaps you will, oh will I?!

A(CC): Yes you will!

M::: I think I love you now

I think you will

A: I think you love me now

C: You are a pill

\i have the will to power encapsuled in an hour into a thwee of splinkling everlasting thrill

C: Oh will you shut up and fuck me right

M(A?MC): I think I will

But still whaat abaut the underside of life and rain existence and the bunny fluff of underlings in the cosmocord of rank and funny business funny businees foony beeznus

CA: So what about it funny what abuot et wut?

M: I have no underside of life, no not within me. I am a wisp upon your life; I am so thin, me

, that I could vanish like a puff of faster smoke

C::Give me a toke!

A: I am your faster!

I am your ashes dead forever alabaster

C: What is the woman of your dreams? What is your knowledge?

A: Where she is i dont know, what she is i dont know; what's my knowledge?

)a bit sarcastically, he says but she says eyedoughknough

C: Into the underside of life if you explodeyou Sunday find her

M: No I dont think so I don't think so I don't think

But then I'm just a jealous juggernaut I am

C(A?): O yes you're just a jealous juggernaut you am!

M: OHyou explodiyetme!

C/a: I am! Iam!

(M:) Oyouexplodiyeteehee


MAC: Owutzameening of it all?




And when the underside of life is contradiction?

-- And then I ixysplode it!

And when the underside of life is fancyfriction?!

Then I explode in shards of orgasm too great for flash and late too great for medals and the sacrilege of glife I am I love I am am you

I am I am I am I am

I am I am I love am You

I love I am I am I am

There is no meaning to it all; there is no meaning to it all; there is no meaning to it all; there is no meaning!

There's only seeming to it all; there's only seeming howtofall; there's only seeming in this wall; there's only seeming!


I love I love Is only love Is only f ee ing (somewhere l): Is only love pant grunt and shove is onlee meening

C:Oh that was wonderful

Pant grunt and shove pant grunt and shove (was) only meaning

m: I think the souciance of life has wunderled throughme

A: I think the meaning of our life is to discover that the meaning of our life is to discover that the meaning of our life is to discover that the meaning of our life is to discover....

C: O you shut uply with your regresses and things! I don't want undercover romance with philosophy. Why dont you take this snob and shove it ubler underpants

M: You are the undergarments here, you fubly fumbldy!

C: I am the undergarments here, you fubly fummbldy?!

MMMC: You are the undergarments here, you fubbbly fummbldy!

I cannot love you as you are; I cannot love you as you aren't' I cannot love you in a car; I cannot love you in a barnt

A: Huh uh uh Uhwutzayut?

C: Oh you and your things go ubly fivethirty!

A:::(hey hey hey playfully) But what what what if I donwanna wudifydowannaWudifydowanna

C: Then you can piss inside some other fragment baby

M: I love mandream inside of me; i am a fragment

It's not like urinating skies; it's more like magment

C(A??): And wutizat, he almost sez, and wudwudwudizat!!! Always withings and sometimes wudiznose and other things and never tippytoze around the underside of life and here where whispers turn to thunder thatzimportantlifethatzimportantlifethatzimportant

life. Sometimes the underside of life cannot breathe through me. ANd then i yell and pray to otherlife unglue me

M(AAA): But that will not quite be

But someday I shall be

But I am not quite free

But someday I shall beeheehee

Whendays no longer days

Shall rule the earth

Chorus:::: Shall rule the earth

And inside, side inside me somewhere lies the souciance of youth, and yet the transigence of lust, and yet the transigence. And whereforth whereforth wherewhy how where is the transigence of death

M: What not of lust?

C: I said the transigence

A: And what's the inside of the outside of the inside of the outside of the inside of the outside of the innyin?

M: It is my life! It is my life! It is my transigence!

C: oh my my enoughle with your transigence already you stale fivethirty

(((MMC: I am in love I am in love i am a fivethirty

No I am not no I am not am not a fivethirty

Though I'm in love and hence am am am not a fivethirty....

Something to complicate...

A::: I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am

MC: I am, I am, I am, I am, I am

AMC: Iamiamiamiamiam...

And hence the subtext goes to sleep and hence i knowiam

And hence the subtext goestosleepandhenceiknowiam

Andhencethe sub text

goz 2 thleep

Und henth Eye Know

ey am . . ...

    She grins absurdly and shakes her head back and forth; some dandruff flies out. "I believe your brain is being consumed by the images I can form, but they just sit there -- they serve no purpose, so they quickly fade away. It's not that they're any less vivid ... usually they are dull and meaninglessly contrived at first, but I repeat them and repeat them -- what? until they can light up; until somehow sometime somewhere the whole scene is filled with shades of lust and emerald lighting and the parting dance of stars as they pillow to the sunrise ... a teenager masturbating on the couch; Melissa as I first met her at sixteen, but more aggressive -- inviting me to her room and spreading her legs provocatively; certain girls from high school who perpetually excited me unreasonably ... one Lisa Something, in particular. I wonder what she's doing? 'Hi, Lisa!', I say, a sparkling telepathic message filled with the dreams of dark beyond and mellow duskiness. I wonder: If she did reply, what would I say to her? I never had anything to say to her in high school, either. I've always plenty of things to say, but the question is the listener:Will my words pour through them, or will they fill them up? My words are so full of allusions, of poetry, of thinking contradiction and life -- they are more than enough to fill up anyone I've met! Not just abstrusion but much much earthiness, O much much thrusting in and out between the opposites of abstraction and the body's smart desires. Usually they pour right through. For instance, my mother never listens to anything I say. She is wonderfully kind to me, I guess, but she persists in an abstracted world in which everyone is a particularly shallow caricature ... a world of gestures and of lies, a world of fivethirty ... there is no need to analyze her character right now (But there's no need for anything!!): For instance, yesterday she remarked that her live-in mate watches birds, and I asked "Can she differentiate different types of birds from the color and smell of the dung they leave on the car windshield?" And she said: "Yes! Oh yeah, she can, she's pretty good at it." After everyone else in the room had been laughing for about an hour (or was it a minute), she finally noticed. This was not atypical. Just as I reach the door I wonder why my thoughts are so ordered all of a sudden ... It's like my chaos has met its antichaos and in the constructive interference become ordered. It's like that? -- How could it be, for that does not exist! Oh, something strange is going on -- O, something crazy! O some penultimate Isaster is so strangley float my way; O some strange ultimate pizzazzter has its only dying day hey hey right now when it is born hey hey right now when all is scorn hey hey right now when I'm a cow and I can ruminate the day, all flows away into the grey into the grey of Neverday all flows awayawayawayawayawayaway!"

Someone comes to the door in his underwear; I hear him wandering aimlessly towards the door; I see him aimlessly as a spore of some strange lichen ... he looks like he never shaves but doesn't have enough hair to grow a beard; he looks, well, weird -- he puts off the aura of a mad scientist. "It's Doctor Gecko, from Beyond," I say to Al. "The tamer of the infamous Space Amoeba."

"Good," he replies, "then maybe he'll be crazy enough to help us!"

Alouicious Heraclitus Bates. O how I lovelylove you!

M: Oh how I lovelylove you

A: Hoohoohoohoodyhoohoo

What are you doingheredoingheredoingheredoingherestrange

M2: Owachootalkingboutstrangehoomestrangehoostrangehoostrangeme


M: I am not an octopus!

A: I didn't say you were

G: Wheewheewhydidnchoowheewhydidnchoowheewhydidnchoo


G: I see I see I hee hee hee I see I see I do

AM: I see I see I see see see hoo hoody hoody hoo

A: And I one the sandbox!!!

B: I two the sandbox!

M2: who are you, B?

B: I am Bing

M2: ververy funny you you nonexistence go away

B: No eye dont want to no no no no you you you

M2: Do yhou luuv me

B: yes I love me? Do you love you

M2: Yes I love you

B: Hoo hoo hoo hoo

M2: Whoo whoo whoo whoo

B: Whoo whoo whoo

M2: Oh yes I see

B: Oh yes I see

M2: O yes I be there

B: Oh yes I B

M2: Oh yes I B

B: Oh yes I B there

M: I see there, sometimes the underside of life can somethow thumbwhere overtake me; I said, the dunderside of life, can blunderthunderwonderslake me

G:: Dootdootdootdoodlydoodlyhead

A: Are you most certainly?

B: Oh, I'm most certainly

G: No, you're most certainly not! You -- you -- you -- really don't belong here! All the rest of us are only temporarily incorporeal ... this is the subtext here, remember! The subtext is beneath the text, remember -- So nothing new is introduced -- t Oh, what am I talking about? I mean, something new can be introduced, but no new characters

M: You're losing track, your screausing black, you're choosing slack

B: I am I am the big Abysmus isn't isn't I

M2: He is the big Abyss the Big Abysmus Isn't I

G: Oyes, I is

AM2: Ohyes, I is; I am the big Abysmus isn't I

GMMG: Oh the unnecessary mystification of life; oh the unnecessariness of it all! O the unnecessary!

mGGm: But what is necessaryness of all, but pure necessity ... mean: What is necessity but an illusion inspired by years of sucking logic from the not quite cosmic cud of education

-- ifdoUCwudimeKuming2?

B: Set me free!

G: No you can't be! for you would steal my Liss saway, my Lissaway!

B: You can't be robbed of what was never yours to own

A: Ah, speaking metaphysically, of course. But speaking metaphysically you can never do a goddamned thing anyway

m2m: At least not with a thousand old -- and actually dead -- grey men breebreebreebreathing down your neck

M2: It makes my nippldynipples stand up!

G::: Oh no it doesn't

M2: Oh sure it does too feel

G: I'd love to but your boyfriend might not like it

A: Oh I don't mind. Of cores I do but why would I like it didn;t like it didn't like it

B: Furthermore, why should you like it to make sense when it could make love instead

G: First question of one's life: Would you rather make sense, ormake love?

B: I'm afraid I can't do either, being a mere spirit from beneath

G: Oh do not doubt yourself, insipid B-ness! I do believe that you can rise, look at me with your other eyes; i do believe that you shall someday see!

\bm2//\;\;\; :Oh I could someday really really eye could sum day eel(electric)eely see!???

G:Yes I believe so, yes, and I'm the master of it all.

BMA: What?

M2: Oh not that again

G: the old god is ded nau eye am prepaired 2 rule the world

B: It is the big ABysmyus eyesn't it

Yeth it is!

"Hi", says Al ... "I was wondering if we could use your bathroom ... we're new in the area ... "

"Actually," I cut in (I think, endearingly), "we've just been lost in the woods, and we don't really know how we got here."

The woman in the background looks mysteriously wary, not as though she is afraid of us physically, but as though she sees something in me -- raw, dangerous! Yes, it is me, not Al ... no, not quite me -- something somehow resembling a new person who exists only between the two of us. Oh, what the hell am I thinking?!

B: It is the big Abysmus, isn't it?

M2: Yes it is!

Whatwhathell was all that nonsense? Abysmus schismus prismus jismus plismus please pass the mustardbeans etcetera so on ... The man says "Yes, certainly. Come on in." He pauses, laughs a little to himself. "Where were you when you entered the woods?"

"Insane," I reply tersely -- with honesty.

He takes me at face value. Immediately I can tell that this is one person whose mind is so active it can afford to take everything literally -- and in all other senses. Incredibly powerful. More powerful than Al's, I somehow tell myself ... more logical, somehow -- and why that should mean powerful I can't tell myself, but it does. He replies: "I only hope you haven't been cured.... The sane are so boring."

I giggle schoolgirlishly and am reminded of how young I am, regardless of the fact that I have been through -- literally -- hell and breathing heaven and all other things besides.... I love you, hell! I ghoulish whisper; waiting, wanting to grow up (in this five second interval. But it's all right.

He steps away from the door and gestures us to come in. "The bathroom is there," he says, and points. Al walks straight that way rapidly. "Now why don't you sit down and tell my about your insanity?"

And I can tell he isn't joking.

"Actually, I already know," he informs me. And he recounts the events of the past few "days", with remarkable detail.

"How do you know all that?" I ask him, trite and astonished.

He lowers his voice (in pitch, not volume), and he proclaims: "I am the Lord!"

I laugh, but it's a hollow laugh. I goddamn near believe it's true.

"I am a writer," he replies, more slowly, "and you are a character in my book. Right now you will remove all your clothes and begin fucking me."

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my clothes were off, and so were his, and he was fucking me on the couch on which he previously had been sitting without even an erection (I had looked). And I had no memory of moving or removing anything. I decided to take him at face value.

"So," I say to him in all seriousness -- "Do you have complete control over everything?"

"In a sense," he replies. "But then again, as you now begin to notice, we all have control over everything in that same sense. I am constrained by myself, that's all. By what I "want" to do. We're all constrained to the extent that we have conflicting impulses, and I am not free from that plague. There is a freedom, perhaps, that which contains all opposites -- but to understand that requires some mathematics and mathematics is all nonsense so I suppose there is no freedom really anyway it's all so cosmic intergalactic consciousness moaning groaning at the gate. Wait ... now things are fading. You see, I am not always the Creator. There is an Author, you see, in whose book we are characters; however, only occasionally does he decide to manifest himself in me -- to possess me, so to speak. I know this sounds crazy as hell, but I feel it! I can't imagine a human being less religious than me -- maybe that's why He chose me. No, that's a lot of nonsense. But what isn't?"

"I love you -- "

"Ah ... I knew you were going to say that, but that doesn't make it any less sweet. I love you too, of course, as if there ever was any doubt."

"What do you mean by that?"

THERE IS NO MEANING, NOT IN ANYTHING, someone says -- Oh, subconsciously! "What was that?" I scream.

"That's the creator", says he smugly.

"Your name's George."

"That's right, and yours is Melissa. Also my wife's name, by strange coincidence." By the way, I'm still fucking him. I am an orgasm. And now comes his Melissa from the closet -- Not the closet?!! the bathroom ... and now comes Lisseldy, his sweet darling -- Confrontation song? Perhaps,though, joyfully -- ? Oh, my Creator!!!

And suddenly things get strange (As if they weren't strange enough already!) ... things start to Whorl, and I see the Cosmic Cunt again, ingrating on my brow -- Just for a second, in a bead ofsweat, the Cosmic Cosmic Cunt unfolds on me; I am eternity.

And slowly after that eternity I am back at the door, coming over to sit after Al has disappeared ... It is as if the past few minutes never existed. "Do you remember," I blurt out, "when we were fucking ... on the couch ...under a second ago."

I can tell he has the urge to tell me I'm crazy ... but he knows I am not, at least not nearly as crazy as he is: "Yes, I remember. I'm afraid we won't be seeing your friend for awhile.

He shouldn't have gone into the basement."

"How do you know he went into the basement? What do you mean?"

"I mean," he says slowly," that I have some scientific experiments down there, which he must have stumbled into."

"Which mess around with our memories??!"

"With our memories, only indirectly.... Which mess around with the structure of time."

"What do you mean," I repeat, empanicked. "Explain it to me as fully as you can; I really don't know much science besides biology."

"Science is irrelevant. I have a naked singularity downstairs; do you know what that means?"

"A point where the space-time continuum breaks down and becomes discontinuous, a tear. But I don't know the mathematics of it."

He chuckles -- "Nor does anybody else, except possibly me. But one thing I have discovered about it is that it makes the unconscious manifest in reality. It is a link between In and Out, so to speak."

"So Al is off in a world populated by his unconscious, by all the creatures of his id?"

"Only if he believes in the id," he laughs. "I think what's happened to you, as I remember remembering it in that other reality, was just an interesting example of this -- the Cosmic Cunt was an archetypal image or something, a figment of Al's or your unconscious imagination ... do you see what I mean?"

"What? Well, of course I do, but what about all that stuff about the future? What does that mean?"

"What does anything mean? Just nothing." Decisively! "No ...

I'm sorry ... I'm feeling skeptical today, that's all. Listen: I don't understand this all too much better than you do. I made the singularity, you understand, but how it works I just can't tell you. But I believe that time is just a prejudice we're forming every day by living in it ... did that make sense? I think so ... even time is not an absolute reality."

And then, so suddenly, it crashes to a halt, this understanding, and the entire house is picked up as by a whirlwhind and instantaneously tumbled to the ground that's mainly elsewhere but is also mainly ground ... this symboleyes of paltried nothingness when compared -- ... "Where are we," Melissa says -- the other Melissa. "What the fuck is going on?"

"I think we've been through time," George says.

"What's that, George," she asks him -- but it's not a question -- .

"My name's not George," he says, "it's Ben and it's always been Ben. Ben Goertzel. And something very strange is going on here. I think we're slipping from the world. And where's Heraclitus?"

"You mean Al?"

"No, I mean nothing; I mean whatever you mean. I don't well know what I mean, and I don't care what I mean, and I don't dare to scare into where what I mean ... but anyway I sure would like to know where and who the hell I'll be in fifteen seconds."

"Now you sound like Al!!!" I gasp -- for fifteen seconds.

"No, no, I'll tell you what you sound like -- You sound like whatever the hell I want you to sound like. I am an author, and you are a character in my book. I've just now been demonstrating the incredible power I have over you. Your life doesn't have to make sense; I'm not a naturalistic writer; you won't get bored. Listen: I've summoned you with a mission. You have the singularity, if you can figure out how to use it, and you have one week to complete this mission or I'll get nasty. You got that?"

"What is the mission?"

"I'm not telling."

I have a brainstorm: "Do you know?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know what the mission is, or you don't know whether you know or not."

"I don't know." And he disappears, and all of a suddenly I'm back with George ... who looks the same as Ben, but the expression on his face is different. When you know you're God, it adds a glow to your looks. I suddenly have an incredible lust for Ben -- to fuck God! Maybe this is my mission, I decide for an instant (and then give up the idea): To figure out how to fuck the universe. But every thing is the universe -- is that how? But you have to see it as such!

Perhaps the mission is to discover that the mission is to discover that the mission is to discover that the mission is to discover that the mission is to discover that... -- Perhaps the

mission is to discover itself!!! But does that solve anything? I would guess not; there are many classes of such self- referential objects, I would suppose, and anyway I have no reason to suppose that this is the correct mission, except a suspicion that the perversity of the Creator is just so.

"He's been playing with the singularity again," George says. "Come on, we better go down and see what's going on."

I do not know if I do not know if I do not know if I do not know if I do not know if I do not know if I do not know ... -- That is: the act of X not knowing if X -- self-doubt. Well, maybe that is what He meant. Oh, I don't know!

We go downstairs. "The singularity is gone!"

"How can we get it back?!!" How can we get him back, is what's on my mind ... but not only that: I am becoming quite fond of this George, and only partly because I remember his alternate existence being a pretty good fuck (As if I have enough experience to make such a comparison!).

He stereotypically scratches his chin. "I just don't know. There is no way to make another one ... there exists only one, yousee ...Or, rather, all singularities are one, so if we made another one it would be equivalent to getting that one back. The way I made it was kind of an accident ... I actually found it, or it found me. Let me explain this to you, briefly: Although the singularity is above the laws of continuous spacetime, nonetheless it obeys them in a limited fashion. Just like anything else, it tends to fall along a geodesic, along the shortest possible path. So it is influenced by the curvature of spacetime."

"I understand."

"Well, as Carlotta explained to you earlier, spacetime curves around to itself some(space)times, and we can jump from one segment to another. But only when the conditions are exactly correct, do you read me? I pulled it from the future, the singularity, but the conditions aren't right for that now. So what we can do is try to influence the conditions of the future somehow, so as to bring them towards us. The more the future is similar to us, the more chance we have of being able to make that jump ourselves, or of being able to pull the singularity across and then make that jump using it."

"But wait ... wait: Somehow I get the feeling that these various explanations are contradicting eachother. The singularity as unconsciousness-unveiler, brought us to the future before ... but the rip in spacetime did too, and what was happening?"

"I don't know ... maybe it does contradict itself ... Logic is only a prejudice! Look, what it comes down to is this: I have a feeling what we need to do is alter the future in a certain way so as to bring it near to us ... or else alter ourselves to bring ourselves near to the future. 'Near' in the sense of pattern distance. Then our unconscious will be like the future, so the singularity will let us live in the future, or else we will be near the future so we can get the singularity which will let this effect take over -- or something like that. Or maybe the singularity doesn't exist at all, but then where's Alouicious. Or maybe we do not exist -- we're all just mustard spread upon the metacosmic sandwich bread of life -- ."

"I get the idea."

"I love you."

"Yes, of course you do; everybody loves me. Why did I say that ... hee hee hee ... I love you too!"

"And actually, you see, this is all quite luckyyyy for me -- I have been planning for a revision of the future for quite some time; more specifically, for some kind of revolutionary thing, an ordered anarchy ...."

"What the hell are you talking about, my love?"

"Look," he says, getting up, "I wrote something about it a couple months ago. By now I have a few dozen people interested, and I'm planning to write something more organized...."

"You don't need to apologize..." -- It is entitled First Ray of the New Rising Sun, or Mindbook for the Transtechnological Revolutionary ... "I'll read it right now; don't worry, I'm a pretty fast reader." And he vanishes -- into the basement?

And he comes back, a mysteeerious smile on his face ... "Do you really think everyone wants this?" I ask him ... "To be an artist."

"No, of course not," he says -- And it sounds like he's beenover the same ground with the other Melissa -- And where the hell is she, anyway? "The point is, people don't know what they want until other people tell them. It's a self-organizing effect. And the idea of what I want, as well as the idea of "I" -- these are all prejudices. Everything a prejudice ... and the truly unprejudiced soul would float through nothingness -- Like Nietszche's Superman, an impossibility and unfazed by it. But if we can bring this point about, then everyone will be like me and I'll be very close to the future."

"Consummate artist that you are," I only half giggle, "you will be very close to the future world of artists."

"That's right. And given that structural similarity, I may well be able to grab back the singularity ... and Alouicious Heraclitus Bates, and just about anything else you want me to, my darling."

"Kill your wife!"


"I am the devil."

And she is -- with horns and a pointed tail jutting out from between the tops of her delicious buttocks.

I take the situation as it flows -- ridiculously! "So what? Why should I listen to you?"

"If you don't, I'll roast you in boiling oil."

I laugh. "You'll probably do it anyway. Why should I trust the devil?"

And she blinks to an angel, now. "How about now; will you fuck me?"

"Of course I will; what does that have to do with killing my wife?"

"She's already dead. You've already killed her -- by refusing to kill her, you made her kill herself."

"You make no sense, angel. But anyway, why don't you put those cute little wings to work and give me a flying fuck."

"I am Aglaia!"

"You aren't anything, and nor am I, and nor is anything, so why don't you fuck me nonetheless????!!"

"Okay," she says, and she carries me into the sky. Suddenly my clothes have fallen off, and there's a voice yelling to me, in the form of thunder: It is telling me something, some strange thing which I've heard yet have not heard (am hearing!) --

"Yes, now we from the Land of Fuck have come to carry you home. You must not be allowed to interfere like this. You have gained control over different realities, and this we cannot withstand. There is Ben Goertzel, who is writing books out of his imagination; there is George, who is creating machines and singularities which bridge these cosmos. This cannot be permitted, this strange slippage."

"You're repeating yourself." I respond to it, against my will.

"That is because your language must repeat itself," it replies. "These forms are not my own. The singularity is an improved form of the idioskosmometer -- a singularity, to speakmore precisely though not correctly, was at the heartof the idioskosmometer: however, enchained -- now we have set it free. Your previous adventures have been engineered by us, precisely, toward the attainment of a certain goal. We are now much stronger than we were then, when the issue of the idioskosmometer came up -- as much as time makes sense to us, which is not at all -- ... Now we can speak to you in your own language, perhaps not eloquently but adequately."

"And what is this certain goal," I ask it desperately -- and I notice that she is fading away, my angel; I wonder if I shall fall when she is gone from me.

"This will take some time to explain in detail.... First of all, your desire for Laura Lewis had the effect of rotating you with respect to a certain axis bridging the gap within superspace between our universes ... "

Before it finished, I was off! I pushed against the air so vigorously that I wandered towards my angel with what seemed like twice the speed of a jet airplane. "My Melissa, Lissa, wait!" I shouted, and my voice was its own echo, out of time. And I knew, right there, that the decisive move had been made -- the move beyond knowledge! ... the renunciation of all explanation. At the end of The Idioskosmometer, I was tied to reason; I had to go on and on about the physical, science-fictional justification of all the things which had happened to me. I finished it off with "What a heap of bullshit!" -- but still, I felt the need to put the bullshit there! Why was that? This is a symptom of my life in general -- I know it's bullshit, but I respect it anyway! What a heap of shit this world is -- all of it is meaningless, is at bottom nothingness -- So why do I prefer it to nothingness??? As Jimi Hendrix once said, "I'm a schizophrenic in at least twelve different ways, so maybe that's why people can't understand me." What does that have to do with anything? Well, you see, everything and nothing, just like everything and nothing else. As a writer -- what? I have not reached this liberation yet, now have I? But I can live the thing vicariously as a character. And what is life but all the mixing-inbetween of these strange shadows, these changing unknows which we sometimes paint as roles? Writer, character, bunion, onion -- what's the difference?

And then these thoughts vanish from my consciousness, and my consciousness does too, and Melissa is suddenly infinitely far and so near to me that she is within me, and she is both this dreamishness-scream Melissa of my fantasies and my wife -- in Melissa, Michelle, Isadora and Gwen incarnations -- not to mention Kannnnika Narula and everybody else, including Alouicious Heraclitus Bates and Adolf Hitler. She is the sweet air all around me -- Incipit Aglaia!

"The mist of dreams!

The mist of light!

The mist of life and wandering free

The mist of midnight --

stillest hour

When all that is shall never be

"The mist of bird-song afternoons

When wind wisps through the azure skies

The mist of lust on summer sheets --

Of dancing through another's sighs

"Of chancing through another's eyes

The mist of flickering flower-smiles --

Of sunrise melting into day

Of cries of joy and unnamed isles

"Mist that dazes softly

Reigns so gently

over stormy seas

Mist that so tenderly inflicts --

the gentle reign of dreams abreeze

"With weightless footsteps falls

the gentle, gentle reign of dreams abreeze"


I should leave you all here, but I can't, illusory readers! The air around me was filled with her, with her cunt, with its too-lusciousness odors of freedom and life all unleashed now before me, and after, upon me and in me, beneath me -- release me, my love! And finally I say goodbye to everything, including this but it forgives me for it (for there is nothing to forgive), and it caresses me eternal, turning still across the widened legs of time -- ! And I have lost all my attatchments, can you see? This is the victory over reason, over every explanation -- I have renounced that all for freedom, can you see???! There are no habits in my now, nothing comes out of me in patterns: -- Every thrust I give is random; every happening has equally not happened and is meaning something and is meaning less than something less than nothing and is meaningless. There are no things around me presently.


My senior year, I was a bit of an icon. For a while I had one freshman following me everywhere, giving me free pot and executing my every command, no matter how embarrassing. He would have kept this up forever, literally calling me "God" and acting as if he meant it, had I not alienated him by ignoring him. None of my demanding orders drove him off; it was only when the order was "go away!" that the game oppressed him.

    When someone said "Hi", I made a strange noise, a different one each time, and one of my ten or twenty favorite distorted faces.

At dinner, furiously scribbling ... my father asked me: "Whatare you doing?"

"I told Cal I'd come up with a design for an intelligent machine by Sunday," I replied hesitantly.

"Well," he replied in his hollow professorial tone -- "why don't you go to the library and look one up? You want me to take you in tomorrow? I was going to go to my office...."

"There aren't any," I said with brightly eyes. "There are

good special-purpose programs, like for chess or medical diagnosis, but there's nothing that can display intelligence

across different contexts. It's an unsolved problem."


I AM THE LORD!!!! YOU ARE THE LORD!!! WE ARE ALL LORDS OF THIS ONE UNIVERSE, BUT WE'RE ALL TOO DAMN DUMB TO RECOGNIZE IT! Let's talk some philosophy: 1) We perceive the Outside world as we do only because of the way our Inner world is structured. Something with no structure perceives the world not at all. A paranoiac perceives the world as a hotbed of hostility; a white supremacist Nazi perceives the world as run by the "boys in blue who serve the Jew". A fly perceives the world as black and white and chunky. A dog perceives the world as exquisitely differentiated as regards smell, but rather coarse and dull visually. 2) Our Inner world, however, was -- according to the point of view that the Outer world was there first -- shaped by the Outer world; its structures were formed with the goal of accomodating the Out. 3) So why would either of these worlds have any "reality"? In implies Out, Out implies In -- so what? If you assume either, you get both -- but what if you think both are bullshit?








I took my first hit when alone with Gilda, being afraid

to approach my druggie acquaintances and furthermore a bit put

off by their stories of dastardly brainwashing demons. Gilda was the ultimate goody-two-shoes, having never even been stoned or drunk. Her only indulgence was the seventy nine flavor rack of herbal tea she kept in a special spot on her dresser, next to her crystal ball and useless hundred-dollar rotating light-show

trinket. She was probably the least appropriate "babysitter"

on campus.

A trip begins with faintly tingling, nothing but the message "the drug is happening" ... the trip proper emerges with all the dark inscrutable stealth of an idea approaching consciousness: one second it's far shining, a barest tiny indication on the fringes of the mind, a shadow tangible only intuitively. And then it grabs you! -- you look at it, perceive it as peripheral, and your glance waxes paradoxical... reason: a change in pressure, in intensity -- it was as though time were now receding and the world was revealing to me its corpuscles and intestinal creams, all the details of its inner life -- things which the untripping mind is far too busy to comprehend. Everything was heavier, in the sense of depth and increased magnitude of substance ... yet all was lighter, less substantial, in that nothing seemed absolute anymore, nothing definite: all was flowing, all was blossoming familiar alienness, all was flower. This contradictory feeling sprouted gradually; after about three hours I was "peaking" and it was all.... Brown ugly hairy negroid beasts appeared on the ceiling -- two-dimensional; animate tiles. Occasionally they assumed the definite form of Mohomo, some of them even sporting his tremendously thick glasses (he is legally blind). They groaned and grunted, swung their variable-length appendages up and down and all around with smooth preposterous rectangularity, opened and closed their cavernous angular mouths like hyperactive mutant goldfish... And shortly they became the universe -- a universe of Mohomos (in retrospect that's frightening!) Before too long, though, they all dissipated; their jumping scrambling pounding beat was transmogrified into a general vibrant throbbing: the (drab white)

ceiling became a wildstormed sea of brown and hairy pubic pulsing,

brownhairs entangling, softly strangling to life eachother in

their fury and their frenzy to be free...

Every time I tried to formulate something, some new idea or observation ... I was obstructed by the very shimmering depth of every concept I encountered -- I would begin a sentence "I..." and then get carried away on a raging multicolored ocean of implications: What is the "I"? What is it to be? What is it to be a unity? Unity/unit/one ... U??? You??? B??? Be???? I???? I B U -- I be you? We wee be unity? We are both units, fine, but are we not a unit in unison, so to speak, as well -- no, what if it's not as well what if it's worse no actually maybe it's better larger quality not quantity quality is actually quantity of quality but quantity is just a quality and sex is a mushroom....

And if I tried to articulate the web in which "I..." had ensnared me -- the very same process would attack me again: "What

is it to be a unity?" ... "What"???? To say "what" presumes the

existence of a "thing" -- to say "what", actually, is to create

an empty slot to be fulfilled with some definite entity ... but

what if "things" do not exist? then the making of the slot is a

sort of hypnosis into believing that they do, a sort of metaphysical promissory note ... maybe the slot itself is the

thing, the only thing there is...

I saw reality as made up of strands, as a diverse fabric woven of bright ethereal tubes ... like snakes they breathing coiled around me, burrowed through me -- consumed the distinction between myself and the space around me -- Wherever I looked, they werethere. "Remember this," I said to Gilda, "and tell me this when I come down. Inverse-meta. Not metaphysics or metametaphysics and so on, nor merely physics, but that level which lies beneath all things. Reality is a meta- to it; it's what reality is about. Remember this: inverse-meta."

I floated through the inverse-meta realm... "I" was just a concept, just a strandling, just disembodied, disenfranchised, just like all the other wavelets of the general writhing heap of pattern strata that tickled me with velvet mirth...

5-13-15 [Isadora] I'm not doing my homework! Oh, shit, I know, I should! Shit!!!!!! Let's read some probability. I got a new diary today. I'm so excited about it that I just want to stop using this one and start in that one immediately! Oh well.

5-23-15 [Isadora] Fyodor, Goddamn him! He got me to believe him again. And he was lying again- so I wouldn't leave him; he told me yesterday.

5-27-15 [Isadora] "Tody is the first day of the rest of my life."

6-17-15 [Isadora] I am a fool if everr a fool there was! So I graduated H.S. I'm in Seattle WA right now. It's beautiful up her. We went Kayaking out on Montlake twice now. There are so many things I must photograph! Fyodor thinks Clara is a fool, but damn she is certainly no fool next to me -- Don't give up da fight -- Woyoy - Woyoy -

The sun provoked my first trip's strongest vision. I wandered motionless on Gilda's bed beside the window; soft yellow rays blanketed me. I felt myself moving, spraying sunward along these ocean-rays, these insdescribably smooth shafts of liquid- light shining, viscous whispering of dawn -- tall bright stalks of proud yellow, with all the sheen of a steep ski slope, and yet I moved up them -- the skywarder I soared, the brighter the shafts grew -- the thicker they silently pulsed, the greater their wild-dancing multitude ... impossibly, the richer and brillianter the warmth of their yellow. I felt certain that I was approaching some beauteous bold vortex, some blindingly radiant absolute -- no such hyperbole touched my mind; it was pure, pure attraction, magnetic in purity -- it was a vision of the god of every sun, the yellow-feathered serpentine delight who, fourteenth cousin to Quetzalcoatl, breathes daily life into the creatures of the earth -- perhaps 'twas similar to American Indian peyote-inspired visions of the living sun -- The sun seemed totally powerful, source of all life and WARM EARTH-

MOTHER, lover too (subterranean sexslide of the night, when still

its energy surrounds you): the spark of all existence bursts

its never-ending womb! As I ascended, my sole, my self was only

lost within the swift unwavering brightness of the yellow: no

identity: only sunshine: only sunshine, only love....

The kind of vision I'd have dismissed as absurd bullshit had I heard it from somebody else ... its interpretation-transcending glory died with the same soft-stepping stealth that had marked its attack upon time ... Innumerable such illusions flood one's mindthroughout the peak of a trip, which lasts about three or four hours, each minute of which lasts at least two or three hours subjective time; the visions I've selected to babble about are merely the most vivid; probably this sun-slide stands out in my now mind only because it immediately hooked itself to the ready symbol "Sun-god"... Actually, everything I looked at opened its trapdoors and one-way mirrors to me, the secret antibody codes of its soul -- everything was a God: Bishop Berkeley's proclamation that we live in the Kingdom of God -- was real to me as never before:It is our blindness, our infinitely death shallow habit of ignoring the depth of each entity in our rush to get on to other things, of ignoring the subliminal world that's alive in a shoe, in a bug, in a penis -- our cultural bias against essence -- asking not "what is this,

in toto?" but just "what good is this?" -- in other words, the

whole scientific method in which I placed implicit faith -- For

if we tried to penetrate to the essence of any one thing, we'd be led on an endless safari through the invisible jungles of pure soul -- and we might well contract some metaphysical breed of malaria, but... -- One concept leads to another, e.g. chair has to do with sitting, and then sitting has to do with human physiology, and this has to do with evolution of species which has to do with the big bang which has to do with human psychology and its need for absolutes why else would we think of the ultimate absolute of the big bang but the big bang has to do structurally with what? evolution (again) -- around in circles, dizzying spirals, weaves the mind, and when you finally make the jump and recognize that essence lies in the structure of this interdefinitional webbing, you realize that your conception of the web and yes of structure are but themselves two other entities to be related...

Instead of merely hearing songs, I saw them: one song I'd previously liked appeared to me as a tinkling cavernous wingspreadlife of soaring alien ice, O wintry white cylindrical tumbling, O chimes become icicles become orgasmic fairy tales of whispered nothings and fleeting glances of sex and thrusted nothings which are -- lightly, iciclely -- everything -- a dance of gorgeous twinkling heaven come to earth! Banal synth-pop cliche subliminally catalyzed into an orgy of infinitesimal tickles that squeal and fly vaginalove, sweet shardlike whitewinged angels squeeze and barely freeze my lips.... When someone waved their hand, it left odd traces like a movie-in- slow-motion...


First the wife started dancing, flashing a little bit of thigh herely and therely through the wishy-washy fabric of her newly glowing blue pants. Soon the husband yowled and joined her, standing on the dresser and kicking his muscular legs like a ballerina on PCP with an all-beef hot dog up her ass. Both smiling like game show hosts, like residents of Mr. Rogers' Jolly Ass-licking Neighborhood ... "Isn't this a happy room! I

don't want to leave here soon! I just want to stay all day!

And sing and sing and play and play!" Luckily they didn't speak

to me or look too closely at my dilated pupils -- or I might well

have been expelled from school....

6-31-15 [Isadora] -- I don't feel like I'm crazy at all, but there it is. He was eating me out one fine sunshiny morning and the next thing I knew was feeling this incredible painful sensation, my vagina was tearing apart. I opened my eyes and looked down and saw his feet disappearing. He was sucked into me! I haven't told anyone about it yet; I've been afraid to write it down. I told his grandparents I didn't know what happened. Everyone is worried sick -- it's been a week or something since. I don't know what to do. Go to a gynecologist and have him fished out? I mean, I guess I've just lost it entirely, but I really don't feel like it.... I just don't know. Oh you silly silly girl --

"So exactly how many personalities does the patient have, would you say," I ask Dr. Bernstelein.

"That's extremely hard to say, you see, because it often seems like different personalities share the same name, whereas on other occasions the same name is an umbrella for many personalities.... Really, it's all right here in the report." And he hands me the folder and walks away. As if merely reading a few pages of this pseudo-professionally puffed-up nonsense could give me any idea of how to deal with this patient!!! -- of how she really feels.

And now the patient comes in. "Hello," I say. "I'm Dr. Gates; I'll be taking Dr. Bernstelein's place from now on."

"Well, good for you," she says. God, she is beautiful! "Do you mind if I take off my clothes; I feel more comfortable that way."

"Go right ahead," I say, without even thinking about it. God, she is beautiful! Why do I keep addressing God?? Perhaps in advance apology for sins I would like to commit, or am committing in mind already? You're supposed to be analyzing her!

"Are you serious???!" she says, as she does so. "Irrelevant question, I know; possible even more meaningless than most of the meaninglessnesses which make up the universe. I can never tell whether I'm serious or not, so why should you be thus capable. Possible because you're sane? Or, that is, because you deny the essential raw insanity of your world...."

"Whoa!" I hold up my hand, in conscious self-parody. "You're saying about twenty things at once, and most of them contradict eachother."

"Well, what do you expect from someone with twenty personalities?? They run in parallel, that's all ... whoever told you that the mind was a Turing machine?"

"Was a what?"

"The Turing machine," she begins, in a hilarious academic monotone, "is the standard formulation of the universal computer. The Church-Turing thesis states that any deterministic procedure

which can be precisely stated, can be implemented on a Turing machine. It consists of one potentially infinite tape, ...."

"Okay, okay, to tell you the truth I don't care." But I makea note of it anyway; later I'll check to see if it makes sense.

"What do you care about?"

"Well, for one thing I'd like to know what you're doing here. So far you seem a bit eccentric, but not institutionalizably insane."

"I'm supposed to be asking you that," she replies, not too sarcastically. "Look, as far as I'm concerned I don't belong here -- not that I believe that I belong anywhere else. You're the third doctor I've had since I've been here, and you're the only one with whom I've had one reasonably serious conversation. I asked you if I could be naked only to see what you would say to it; I never expected you would say yes. The question was what approach you would take in analyzing my antisocial depraved desire. Dr. Bernstelein and I went on a long time about my desire to fuck the world, and its roots in my view of my mother as the world, and my desire to fuck my mom and so on, which I've never perceived -- but according to him that only proves its strength. It's like when Erica Jong asks her analyst why fucking always becomes like processed cheese after the first few years of marriage, and he goes off about her food obsession ... Oh, I'm not expressing myself well; I'm just not used to talking to other people, I guess."

"But you have several people within you, or so the records show...."

"Yes, but haven't you ever been in love?" She almost says, A handsome man like you....

"Not really, why?" A bit too flatly, perhaps, but the statement is honest.

"Two lovers develop a special abbreviated language for speech amongst themselves ... not only pet names but pet phrases, and habits denoted by the wink of an eye or a gesture. To touch my head in the morning tells my lover that I need aspirin; a certain smile says that I'm horny, et cetera. It's the same thing ten times deeper when you're talking to yourselves. That's why I'm crazy, Mister Psychiatrist -- because I speak in an abysmally abbreviated manner when I talk to myselves, and then that spills over into my ordinary conversation. You can't imagine what an effort it is to speak like this, so normally."

"Oh yes I can ... at least, I can imagine what an effort it would be for me to speak in a manner as abbreviated as you imply your self-talk to be.... But do you want to be sane? That's the cardinal question."

"What does it mean to want anything. Part of me wants to be sane, part of me doesn't. Let me sketch you the landscape, okay? First there's Melissa, whose body this is supposed to be ... she was a sixteen-year old high school graduate with a penchant for literature and a strong will to taste life. Then there's the other Melissa, who's also named Gwendolyn, Gwenny, Gwennygoober, Gwen, Gwendagoon, Gwummy, Sillygwum, Gwumbldy, Umbldy and Michelle. She's the wife of Ben Goertzel, who is sometimes named George when he is a scientist, and has two aspects under the name Ben, one of which cheats on his wife with a woman named Andrea, who has the heart of a tiger and a cunt with soft teeth in it ... anyway, this second Melissagwen character is hardly in me at all; she only got here, I believe, because she plays so prominent a role in thethoughts of Ben. Then there's The Old Man, without a name ... he doesn't talk much, and when he does it's senseless babble. Oh, by the way, there's Ben Goertzel the author too, who thinks this whole universe is part of a book he's writing. He thinks he's God, in other words. And there's the first Melissa's lover, Alouicious Heraclitus Bates, who is a crazy man, crazy about like I am but with only one personality. Maybe he's the root of all the trouble. And there's Carlotta, who has a crush on Melissa and resents Al and Ben. And then there's a little girl and young woman who goes by the three names of Elise, Elisa and Aglaia. She just joined us, you see. She is the savior of all of us. She just attained enlightenment on the hill."

"Well," I say, a little neutrally, "you have such an active social life inside, I can see why you wouldn't want to come out."

"Ha ha ha."

"And then, to top it off, there is WARGASM. A funny name it is indeed, and that's because it's not the name of a person but a book. I am a book, written by Ben Goertzel in most universes, but by different Ben Goertzels, and by Andrea in another."

"And do you fuck yourself, in there?" I ask -- I'm becoming unnerved by this, for some reason. I get the feeling that these people all exist, in one universe or another.

"Do you get the feeling that these people all exist, in one universe or another?" she asks me, tonelessly. "You're right; they do. I am for some strange reason designated as a meeting place between parallel universes. I am the sole point about which the universes rotate. And no, I don't fuck myself; I'm not that crazy as to have subconscious genitalia -- yet. Although we do certainly relive memories of sex we've shared with one another. Once there was some trouble because Andrea made it known that she believed herself a better lover than Gwen.

I laugh; it comes out hollowly.

'It aint watcha do,

itsa way atcha do it'

When language flutters by so brilliantly,

like a bird built of nothing but sweet-song

and wings

I want to reach out and grab onto it

And with its glory fly

-- But unless the act of reaching

is done with the same soaring glory

I can never hold onto it

-- Why?

Perhaps because it is nothing, ...

and when I sometimes do finally hold it,

what I am holding is actually my own holding

(Nothing more

Nothing less

(All and Nothingness

                                        (What a mess --

Oh, all this melodramatic poetry, but what is it getting me???! I'm still somewhere trapped in this loony asylum.

On xertain days, I am an earlobe gone along

with all the wigglethings of time,

and other certainly unnoticed

things of earlydaze and shoos

I am an earlydaze -- and yous --

Yous are my light and life

And with the currency of your purrency, my friends, I purchase strife

And blibbling bloodshed

Well, these are not moving, these words?

And where is your Absolute Space by which you measure motion???! you blithering cage for Isaac FiggyNewton scores, you grithy painting of pure fate, Ublithy hoar! Done, done, done, done am I with you! Done, done, done, done am Eye, with ewe and donkey and with goat, with thither scorning.

THE OLD MAN: I am the lovelylovelove you, my wicked dearlings!

I am the dovely above you, my thicked yearlings! I am the love! I am the feeling of azaleas dancing all around my feet; I am the feeling of Azzzaleaz sent you near me, yes you see; for I cant love you when I see your gristled diaries what whichare witchre your phase that mean you r FAce!!! I glean your Face!

AGLAIA: But still I love you too, you gristledthing! You mountain of all doom and fate and hatred overcome -- you sqlip of come, you! If I am the delicate cunt of reality, then you are the ever-hard penis, the ninetyninth erection of the night which soars so high as to spurt itself forth and watch its beautiful offspring juice evaporate as rain to fertilize the ever-fertile landscape

THE OLD MAN: O I am not a god my dear, at least no more than I am anything else

ELISAGLAIA: O but you are only the sane when approached in a halfsane manner

THE OLD MAN: Yes, like now -- I am all sanity, wrapped up in cellphane with a bow tie and bright ready to go. I am so ugly, I am a temptress

ANDREA: Do you think you're what he had in mind metaphysically when he created all we seductresses?

MELISSA: It is weird that he needed to create us all and give himself an imaginary sex life, even though his own is rather active

GWUMBLDY: It could be more active --

BEN: Shut up, you horny bitch!!! Often I write immediately after having sex, too, so it's not for lack of satisfaction. I write after I feel very satisfied

BEN: subconscious dissatisfaction

MELISSA: What a heap of bull

THE OLD MAN: But who is the bullfighter???

ANDREA: O not another of those re-entrant metaphors! We are the bullfighter and the bull, not to mention the spear and the arena and the cheering of the crowd. How many different ways do you have to say all is one and all is nothing, and diving through itself -- ?

BEN (a bit furtively): But all the universe is this, you numbskull -- just metaphorical representation of this basic self- contradictory truth!

THE OLD MAN: Oh pishpishpiddlywash! Why don't we just play in the sand? Oh once upon a time was an ugglyness and a buggly ness and a treetop in which the universe did play did play did play. And O I loved it so my friends -__ O I aboved it so but stil I glissend in it, still I listened in it, Still I, free --

Oh, shut up, giggles ANDREAGLAIA ... I love you!

B:Yes, we all love eachother don't we, but what good does it do us?

BEN: Who were you ... are you ... anyway, you B? And don't say B-ing or I'll eradicate you from the page.

B: I am your undergarments. You know the ones you adjust each morning in a furtive attempt to secure adjustment withe world?

ABC: I know the feeling.

BEN: But what does that have to do with anything

-- Besides the obvious --

B: I am your alter ego. I am your under ego. I am your uber ego; I am beyond. I am that slipperly, stealthily thing which greets behind you when you walk into a room. I don't know how to describe myself, except that I am myself, and I am how you feel me. I am one of the many personalities inside your mind; and I live with the Laughing Shadows

-- Dancing on the Wings of Restless Chance --

I live with the Laughing Shadows, here on the underside of life, and I'm just barely slim enought to slip beside and around all the ideas of your mind. In fact I could say that I am the frightful slight-hostility aspect of the laughing shadows, which are of course precisely that aspect of your mind which always tells you you're insane to believe in anything, which singsings skepticism. I have assumed a human form, almost, to you -- a definitely reddishalmost-devil with a midsection what can twist in knots of any kind and shrink and swivel to avoid the sight of your inner eye but which nonetheless can interfere and whisper contravening trans-truth-falsehoods into your Ear -- And you can't shut your Inner ear, though you can put your Eye away inside a box for awhile while you are sleeping, my dead you still hear when you sleep. There are the living and -- the Dead -- alive within me. And I'm queer, from your perspective, and I've been homosexual for about five minutes but not quite homosexual enough to fuck Alousiciousiousoiusoiyus Heraclitoritoritorus Bates even for a minute (even -- What know? Fictionally!) ... bu tnot really anyway I've only sinned in the nonexistent imaginations well OK just as real a river as all Ls."

"I see what you mean," I reply. "You really are crazy. But I envy you! I haven't had conversations like that, ever, anywhere. After listening to that, I'll never be able to sit through another cocktail party. I only wish there were some way for me to join you." I smile a bit wistfully at my own silly whimsicality, and as I realize that I have no desire to cure this beautiful maiden's head.

If I could make writing flow

like the improvisation of music,

then I'd be free something --

Nine-consciousness, I see you! To eternity! I am a sillywog! I willyhog! I gillyswog!!!

O, what is going on out here? Am I going insane like the rest of her??

"But there is a way," she says, so smoothly that I have an urge to ski down her voice (although I've never skied "In reality"); and she sits on the desk and spreads her legs in front

of me. It lets off fumes which splay the flute of all pied pipers of Dionysia Dreampipes everywhere ... which virtually (?) spiraleye me in .... And she pulls open the flaps of her cunt. "Just climb right in."

"What do you mean?" I almost ask -- and then I realize that if you ask, you never know. I take a deep, deep breath and -- with that rising wail of excitement which accompanies the beginning of every truly wild rock song and simultaneously every orgasm -- Close my eyes and see myself in the shape of an infinitely-long penis, and a stream of come at the same time -- And I dive in!

It is infinities of love, and luscious dreaming: -- It is the infinitely loved softness of vaginaginas everywhere, and O yes even those with teeth -- It is the lovelylovelylovelylovelylovelylovelylove of flowers in the soproverbial springtime, coming to bloom within the smile of my own loverseason ... It is the scream of orgasm within the softness of a kiss planted on the sideslope of the breast of my love; the delicious tang of pain and pleasure -- of the indeterminacy combined with the feeling that cannot go wrong -- Of pulling on her pubic hair with my teeth, until it stings just a little!!! ... and then of plunging my tongue soo deeep into her, until her juices start to cover me like a fountain with her lust and subtlefeelings, until all words unfold, ideas gushing out of me with all the trash of years accumulating uglimind with all the joy of splashing jism and the love of splashing juice --

A whigmaleerious gleerious schleerious phleerious glitzel -- passes over me these days, my friend, my friend! A strange suspicion that these stars are hanging nights on threads of consciousness and the light of splanging days of blanging consciousness in the end what cannot bend what is not consciousness and I fit with you through the pattern of space time so not the intergalactic infandibulum which I swim throughas amatterdusthroughcloudsandlifeandlifeandlifehasovercomemeicansee







O as the spiralight of beauty

shivers to me, ever, now

And as the spiraleyes of beauty let me see

Crystalline tinge of funconsciousness

Crystalline twinges of life Spring across me now, coming in fresh leaps evernotdirty, ever the white crystal purity of life, O passing every test and hence not subjected to any -- and I never caring if I make any sense --

-- Would you rather make sense or make love?

And would you rather pretend you're above such things

as Sex?

To be above and below but nothing

To be a dove and to flow -- but nothing --

Nothing encapsules me.

Everything literally and in all other senses

And every story never ends

-- O, even less than it begins

does it complete itself! every thing leads to infinity of others, leads to eternity of Other, to all things -- and in all things I see funconsciousness, the universe as play, as childishnessly unashamed of life, unashamed to be masturbating itself before the universe (which is, after all, itself), Unashamed to be but giving itself life. Skinfinity.


We saw the island and were immediately overcome by the desire to visit it -- we loved our solitude, so we didn't want to return to civilization, but we'd both been hankering for the feel of solid earth. This was the perfect solution. It was no more than a mile across, but the yacht's map indicated that it possessed asubstantial reef; hence it was advisable for us to anchor the yacht and land in the lifeboat. So we took about a week's worth of food (we had nearly a year's worth on board, dehydrated), a minidesalinator, my lousiest sax, a crummy old recorder from some grandmother's attic somewhere, a radio to communicate with the ANS if necessary -- and we took off. There was indeed a reef, and the bottom of our lifeboat actually brushed it -- this was the only excitement in the whole half-hour long trip. We spoke, as they say, nary a word; we basked in the sun and eachother.

We landed, laboriously dragged the lifeboat about fifty feet

from the ocean, then began laughingly exploring. "I wouldn't mind staying here forever with you, my love!" I shouted, absurdly half-expecting my voice to echo against the incomprehensible azure vastness of the sky. The beach rose drastically, and we were soaked in sweat when we reached the top of the small hill which it gave way to. We started fucking.

And shortly, just as I was about to come, I heard a scream. "HayahooyahheeyahHuunh," somebody said, as best I could tell. Of course, we didn't stop screwing; even an earthquake or a volcanic eruption might not have accomplished that. I always wanted to die "in the act", under the assumption that your attitude at the moment of death is yours eternally.

I heard the scream again; "Kristinaaa!" it now quite clearly said. "Krrrrisstinaa!" It was a bright young man's voice, I thought immediately. There was some bizarre tone of complexity in the pattern of inflection -- something which reminded me of Fy.

"What?!!!" cried an alto girl's voice, in mock ire. "You're

disturbing my morning masturbation session!"

"Will you shut up?" yelled another girl, with a minor accent. "I'm trying to sleep."

"Listen, you nincompoops, there's someone else on the island!" the man persisted evenly. "I think we're being rescued,

so why don't you tear yourselves away from your respective

physical and mental masturbations and come up top of the hill and


Soon he was standing above the writhing heap that was us. "I'm Mark," said. "There are four of us who've been stranded here for several months now! I don't mean to disturb you; keep right on fucking; all I need to know is if you're shipwrecked too, or if you're in a position to rescue us."

I felt unspeakably asinine. There he was, wondering quite pragmatically about his ultimate destiny, and I was too busy

screwing to assure him that it was all right. That's the story

of my life, I scolded myself dimly -- you were too damn busy screwing!!!

"We are not shipwrecked," Fy said, with the clarity that befitted such an occasion. "As soon as I get off, so can you, so to speak. You might gather whatever possessions...." His speech was cut off by a gasp, with which he plunged his teeth into my breast and thrusted with triple intensity.

As we came there were six on the hill. Fy pulled out of me and our twelve eyes darted spastically about.

And in this silence, then, we heard a voice. "I am Xaj Kalikak."

And then the voice materialized. For some reason I half-expected a bug-eyed monster or a crimson-tinged energy cloud, or some kind of space amoeba. I was surprised to see that it was a rather ordinary-looking human being, one who, in fact, looked quite a bit like Fy.

He was no mincer of words; next he whispered "I travel through time."

"You look like time," Mark said.

"I am time," said Xaj Kalikak. "You are remarkably perceptive. All of you. That is why I have gathered you here. I have a peculiar problem, which I would like you to solve."


As Lisala saw the shore, she glowed with the beauty of challenge. It was the luck of it all that entranced her, the incredibly slim likelihood of the Captain never noticing her lousy imitation of a man's voice, of the other sailors all remaining in silence till the end; and furthermore, of their willingness to surreptitiously assist her with "her duties" when they exhausted her relatively unexercised musculature).

    The moment the ship docked she wanted to get away from the sailors and the ship. She walked immediately through a confusing maze of side streets -- not even cognizant of how much out of her element she was. Before long she noticed that someone was following her: one of the sailors from the ship!

He grabbed her shoulder -- very gently, yet the mere fact of his grip was enough to startle her into a scream.

He chuckled. "Where are you going in such a hurry?"

"Uh ... nowhere," she answered slowly.

"Do you have any money?? Anyplace to stay?" His tone was casual, almost joking, but behind it she detected real concern.

"No." Hers now was a small voice.

"You can stay with me."

    "I ... I guess I'd better say yes," she whispered slowly. "I don't know what else to do.... I don't know what I'm doing here, really." She could not hold back the tears.

"It's okay," he said softly, "I'll take care of you." He pressed against her belly with his erection, and she squirmed ... She returned his kisses and then some, drawing innocent caresses across his back. She giggled: "We're making a spectacle of ourselves."

"Would you like to come home with me?" he asks her suddenly.

She laughs, "I already said yes."

"Would you marry me?"

She considered for a second, and then saw Kacy's image, slowly nodding its head. "I suppose so. Although I don't really know you very well. You're a very good kisser; I suppose that's what matters. If I married someone else I'd probably end up cheating onhim with someone like you."

He smiled contentedly. "I've always believed in love at first sight. I searched the world for my perfect woman, and to think as I found her she was about to die!"

"But now I'm charmed," she said seriously. "The universe saved me for a purpose; I'm sure of it."

And they were married in the office of the magistrate. They proceeded to a small inn by the center of the town, and as they entered their room she felt a pang of fear unlike anything she had ever experienced. An infinite horror of being alone, of being rejected by her husband and the universe, of floating in an indefinable abyss of blankness, silence, into eternity....

As he touched her, relinquished all control. "I love you", she whispered, and she wondered if it were a dream. Everything had that intense, blearier-than-life quality, as if it were about to drift away.... .

"I love you too."

He was not moving, she noticed suddenly; thrown into the real world as if into the sea. She touched her ear to his broad chest and felt nothing -- he was dead. She laughed and heard her laugh echo through the room and around the world, awakening the dragons which dwelt by the edge of the earth. Slowly, she put her clothes on and called on the innkeeper. "You have a message from across the ocean," he told her, at the same time as she haltingly informed him about the corpse. "It is from your husband's servant, Rafael. I repeat it precisely: 'This is important, so I will be blunt. While you were playing your little games, you probably missed the news that the Royal Boat sunk last week. The result of this calamity is that you are the next in line for the crown. You are, in effect, the new King of Koerr. I will be arriving tomorrow; please meet me at the Inn of a man named Boethus at noon.'" The innkeeper clears his throat. "I suppose that, in the light of the ah ... unfortunate circumstances ... you will be keeping his appointment in his place."

"I will," she said, baffled but suddenly, remarkably alive; reliving the events of the previous night, smell by smell, thrust by thrust, vivid detail by detail, in her mind.

She slept until nearly noon; and then the innkeeper awakened her. And at the Boethus she was informed that Koerran law did indeed name her ruler of the Kingdom. She returned across the sea, this time in a private cabin with the finest foods preservable and two servants. No one ever found out why her husband died; some

suspected poison, but others pointed out that his health was

never good. In any case, she could not help but feel that yet another man had somehow given himself for her. The first died to give her a life, and the second a throne.


"The task," Xaj explained -- at long last! we were all rather sick of his admittedly intriguing preliminary indoctrinations! -- "is to figure out how I can make the universe dance toward death! Do you understand? I have the power to mold reality however I want to! Time is a finite concept; this I understand more fully than ever I could explain to you extraordinary, and yet time-bound beings. The universe too must meet its death, just like every other life form. I am not speaking with the eloquence which this concept deserves; I am not capable of it. I am a timelord and not a poet. But your minds are wide enough to understand the full glory of this concept without artificial embellishment on my part. I want to understand how to make the most beautiful patterns of change throughout the universe. This is a tragic and a pointless task, and yet I ask it. I know that naught is true, and beauty relative -- yet I ask it! It is a quest artistic and scientific -- it is a quest which knows no bounds -- except the finiteness of the universe!

"And it is a quest in pursuit of which you will have all time at your disposal, within my inherent limitations."

Fy said: "You are asking us to compose a symphony with states of physical universe instead of notes."

"No," Mark cut in rather hastily as Fy finished. "That is not all. You are also asking us to understand what it is to compose a great symphony, so that none might be better."

"It seems that we would have to know you to know what you will think is great," protested Epiphany slowly. "Or are you really postulating some kind of ultimate beauty?"

"I am one of the variables to be manipulated -- as are we all. As is the very coming into existence of the concept of absolute beauty, of the concept of absoluteness. I never said the question was not self-contradictory and hard. If it were a matter of logic I would have set the computers of the 29th century upon it. As it is, I require your intuition."

"Why don't you bring Ben Goertzel here too?" I asked hesitantly, relatively certain of the answer.

"Alas, I attempted that," he relied carefully. "But it seemed impossible to bring Fy, Kristina, Mark and Ben all together. This meeting has taken place with Ben and Fy and Kristina present, with Ben and Mark and Kristina present, etc. ... it didn't work, so I just cancelled that reality."

"Why didn't it work?" pressed Kristina. "Assuming that you displaced Ben into a reality where he hadn't written about us --"

"Yes, of course I did that," replied Xaj patiently. "If you must know, what happened in the second case was that Mark became jealous of you and Ben, hampering the cooperation required in some very subtle ways. And in the first case I found that Ben and Fy were too similar, so that having two of them added virtually nothing. For some reason you and Fy don't inspire subconscious jealousy in Mark as you and Ben do.... But of course these are only guesses, and in any case very subtle effects. The smallest thingcan destroy the largest idea, you know. I've tried all kinds of committees and geniuses, in all centuries. It's plain old trial and error -- I can't look everywhere at once; it requires a lot of energy to do what I'm doing now."

"How far back in time can we go?" asked Fy.

"The further it is the harder it is," Xaj replied. "But remember, it's a hell of a lot easier to look than to change."

"It seems," Fy continued, staring into the sun with a strangely vacant glow about him, "that all we can do is grasp at proverbial straws. So here's mine. I say we're trying to create something where nothing is -- to create an absolute beauty where there is really only a sea of interswarming relativities, or whatever...."

"So you want to look for the alchemists," Mark laughed.

"No," Fy mumbled, obviously straining for words ... "not the alchemists; they were just stupid. We want to ... say, assume there is something, and see what follows, and work with it...."

"And maybe end up with a reductio ad absurdum," laughed Kristina.

"No, this is beyond logic," said Starlight quickly.

"All music is," I added pointlessly.

"Music ... " Fy mumbled. "... Even silence is music."

"Zero!!!" Mark shouted. "I think I may see what you're thinking of! The number zero was invented to stand for nothing; you just write it for void, paradoxically, and then you get mathematics. The same kind of thing...."

"This is very loose reasoning," warned Epiphany. "And I'm not just saying that because I'm not taking part in it. We're just grabbing analogies too wildly here, I think."

"No, I have a good feeling about this," said Fy. Xaj had a pensive little smile on his face. "It makes very little sense, but neither does anything else in this universe, least of all the appearance of one Xaj Kalikak upon this island. We want to assume it's there, and hence see what properties it must have to exist. And then maybe if we try to create something with these properties, we'll come close to it."

"That sounds like mathematics," I said quietly. "So that leaves most of us out."

"It sounds like metaphysics to me," says Mark. "Mathematics only in spirit."

"It's a neat idea in the abstract," says Epiphany, "but where does it lead, in terms of action? What can we do???"

"We can look at past instances of similar reasoning," Mark replied rapidly. "I think that's what Fy was getting at." He looked at Fy almost anxiously, and received a little nod.

Starlight giggled ... "Why don't we look and see how zero was invented?"

Everyone liked that idea; it sounded entertaining, at least. Xaj explained that only if he put his body to sleep could he fully release his mind for time control and viewing. So he zonked out while we mere mortals engaged in a six-way orgy to match the one of the previous night -- each one of us at all times eroticallyentangled with at least two others....

When we woke the next morning, Xaj had brought a holo screen and a gorgeous blonde named Lisa....


"Now that you are our Healer you are a man," Zar's father said quietly, and with a somber joy that Zar detested. "And you must have a wife." His father paused uncomfortably. "Yarrr would like his daughter Kleeah to be married to you."

Zar was silent; however, his face had shrunk and stiffened, and his father was not an imperceptive man.

"Don't you like her?"

"I don't have anything against her, if that's what you mean." He takes a deep breath, and spits a sharp sarcastic laugh out through his teeth. "In case you haven't noticed, I'm a weirdo. I want a wife who won't try to make me normal; I like the way I am."

"If you were 'normal', as you say, Zar, then you could never be a Healer.... But she will be yours, not the other way around."

"Nothing works only one way, father. Everything works in two directions. You can't say a man is above his wife and everything he does falls down on her; that he molds her and that's the end of it. The woman is also above her husband, in a way -- she changes him. Each is above the other, or none is above the other." He pauses. "I know I'm not making much senseu, father, but I hope that you'll respect my wishes. Not Kleeah, please."

"Each is above the other???! What are you getting at? That doesn't make any sense at all, Zar, no sense at all." He shakes his head in a surge of pity.

"I was speaking in symbols, father. Please...."

"Speaking in symbols??! Why don't you just say what you mean like everyone else, boy."

"Because the words aren't there, all right." Anger grew into his voice.

"Well, who do you want to marry?" his father asked emotionlessly. Healers were notoriously inscrutable. Speaking in symbols, though ... who had ever heard of that? One sent forth symbols to the gods...!

"The point is that I want someone who will be happy to marry me," Zar said calmly. "Surely you can understand that."

"Anyone would be happy to marry the Healer."

"I am the Healer, but that's not all there is to me," Zar smiled quietly. "What about Jalypsal, daughter of Saaam Al Aar?"

"She is rather young." His father smiled knowingly. "But it should be possible. Her grandfather was Galipsahl the great hunter."

"I know." How could I not know; I've been told almost every day for my entire life!!!

"So maybe your children will be hunters and healers both."

"Maybe, father. You will ask Saaam Al Aar, then?"

"Yes, of course I will, son. Yarrr will not be pleased,though."

"I don't give a shit."

"He is still our Chief."

"Yes," Zar muses, "but due to no achievement of his own. In fact he has been a very poor chief. Many of us have died since he has been chief, father. If I were chief I would follow the rain backwards," -- he points toward the distant silhouette of a mountain -- "to the place from which it journeys to us. Maybe there there is more food and water, enough so that we may not die off."

"Maybe that is the home of the gods, and we are not meant to go there."

Zar speaks sharply: "Maybe the gods do not exist."

His father reaches as if to strike him down. "Zar!! Where do you get these strange ideas??!"

"I am being frank with you because you are my father; maybe it is a mistake. The old Healer told me, on his deathbed, that prayers and spells do not really work, and I believe him. Given that, what reason do we have to believe in the gods???!" Zar's voice was loud enough that his father feared others would hear him.

"Well don't be frank with me any further, not about such things." His father rose aand prepared to walk away. "I'll talk to Saaam Al Aar."

Zar wandered off into the desert once again. In the distance he saw a group of hunters, talking. For no particular reason, he decided to spy on them; he walked toward them very quietly, at an angle such that he always faced their backs, and then he crouched behind a rock and pretended to investigate a plant which was growing behind it. Karrr was arguing with the others, saying that the tribe must follow the sun or risk invoking the wrath of the sun god.

"But we haven't been following the sun, Chief," someone protested. "And there has been no wrath."

"But there was the rain," Karr retorted harshly. "You can't be expected to understand such things. The sun does not like the rain, so we must apologize to it for having been rained upon."

"But we like the rain," said another, probably Zorru.

"That is exactly why we must apologize," snapped Karrr.

Zar laughed aloud.

That night a group of children played behind the tent of Zar's father -- the tent where Zar had lived before he assumed the role and holy tipi of the Healer. Zar was no longer a child but he joined them. Jalypsal was among them.

"Have you come to see your new wife?" teased Kalyn, a boy about Zar's age. Zar smiled.

"Hello," said Jalypsal. Zar realized that he had never said too much to her; though he had often admired her from a distance. She was not particularly beautiful, but she did possess a certain energy and charm which set her apart. She was peculiar enough that Zar had always felt comfortable around her.

She must know that I picked her, Zar thought suddenly. There would be no reason to arrange such a marriage.

"Hello," Zar said quietly, a hint of nervousness around the

edges of his voice.

"Would you like to walk with me?" she asked softly.


And they did; she took his hand and caressed it rhythmically with her thumb as she held it. He wanted to kiss her hand, but wondered if it might offend her. He had not had nearly his share of childhood romances; he had spent most of his time alone, thinking and wandering.... He tried to caress her hand in return, but it felt awkward.

    "Why did you pick me?" she asked him, all of a sudden. He stumbled as she spoke. "Am I too forthright for you?" she asked him quietly. "That is just the way I am; I'm sorry if it offends you...."

"It doesn't offend me, Jalypsal..." he says slowly, embarrassed to realize he's blushing. "If you must know, that is precisely why...." He paused and grimaced. "There's something I must tell you. I'm a very strange person; stranger than you can imagine ... anyone else in the tribe would hate me for it if they knew about it."

"What do you mean, hate you?"

"Today, for instance, I had a conversation with my father. I suggested that ... "

"Why are you pausing? Are you going to make something up?"

He grinned. "I was considering it. But I guess I'll take the risk. I suggested that the gods do not exist." He waited for her outrage and discussed, and then he realized she simply didn't care one way or the other.... He surged a humungus sigh and clenched her hand hard.

Converted by Andrew Scriven