If I don’t know it and can’t find it in my Universe, I’m a chump to accept any fiction about it, — especially a fiction written by one who admits he does not know and is only guessing-assuming-inferring-speculating-theorizing. The facts in these fields which I know and are pertinent to this discourse I have told and shall tell you.
What do you really know about your own land?
I was born and reared in what is called the United States. I have traveled about in the land, visited nearly every state. I found every state to be a fiction, and the whole country itself a fiction, — fictions manufactured by words, surveyor’s abstracts, and a few other symbols. None of these fictions is any more real than Uncle Sam himself, the fourth dimension, Paul Bunyan, George Washington, Captain Ahab, the Devil, and Santa Claus. The United States is a myth. So is every state in it. Washington D.C. is a myth, and so is every book in the Congressional Library. The United States is one of the greatest un-realities ever invented by a race of pathological mythomaniacs. — Next.
What do you really know about other lands than your own?
The answer is the same. They are all fictions. The actual dirt, water, vegetation and animal life in each country are realities, but the countries as they appear on the maps are fictions.
So what do you know about the earth and the universe that isn’t fiction?
What I really know about them certainly is not fiction, but if I tell what I know in words what I say will be a fiction. How-ever, honest fictions about reality are not to be despised. There are very few honest fictions about reality in this world, in which most books are religious-scientific romances, or fictions a-bout fictions, imaginings about vain imaginings. From the first, I have been formulating some of the facts I know about the universe. Here, in conclusion, let us re-examine those facts and expand a few of them.
* * *
LET us begin at bedrock bottom, and work up a solid ac-count, from foundation to pinnacle.
First, the universe really is something, not nothing. The priests and the professors have told so many lies about it that many persons actually don’t know whether the universe exists or not, apart from the fictions to be found in the religious-scientific volumes. I assure you, most solemnly, that while my words are fiction, the universe is a solid reality, — something, not nothing.
Second, the universe is a manifold of Form/Energy:Matter. Finite, three-dimensional matter. From atom to galaxy, there isn’t anything in-finite or immaterial about the universe. There isn’t a single ghost in all the constellations of this or any other galaxy. I know this. If I didn’t know it, I wouldn’t tell you it. I’m neither a priest nor a professor, and I have conscientious scruples about taking advantage of children’s ignorance, credulity and innocent faith.
Third, the universe is One. There are Many things in the universe, but all the Many hang together in the order of the Whole One. If they didn’t, you couldn’t remember your name from one hour to the next. If coherence did not control in-coherence, priests and professors wouldn’t be able to tell either lies or the truth. If unity-harmony wasn’t prime and multiplicity-diversity subdominant, nobody would be somebody long enough to pinch a peach or tell the difference between a cow and a Confederate yell. If you weren’t consistently you, you wouldn’t know cheese from confetti, a surrealistic painting from a pain in the neck, a bat from a bugle, or a high official from a hole in the head. Or a haha from a high hat in a hurricane. If the universe wasn’t a universe, you and I could-n’t converse about it. Personally, I have no talent for schizophrenia, no uncontrollable fascination with chaos. Deliberate disintegration in the interest of a higher integration? Yes. Deliberate dementia? No. It’s a free world; you can have the multiverse, if you choose, and all the uncertain fantasies in all the libraries of science, philosophy and religion; I prefer to be myself, and do my own thinking. So my fiction about prime reality is that it is One, a coherent, rational organization of Many parts. And the obvious truth about it all is that the universe really is a universe.
Fourth, the One that is the universe is Alive. The cosmos is not a mathematical machine, but a living organism. Universal Form/-Energy:Matter is life. The universe is a scale of Living Matter, be-ginning in the unconscious elements, rising in organization through plant and animal existence, achieving in man un-conscious semi-self-awareness. Events in present history steadily reveal the emergence of Egos fully aware of them-Selves and the manifold of Reality.
Fifth, the prime One that is the universal manifold is original Mind:Form/Energy:Matter. The cosmos is a hylozoic, panpsychic One/Many. The imaginings of semi-self-conscious men, — their abstract-symbolic formulations, — do not exist in the manifold apart from men’s mental-mirrors, but man’s re-creative imagination does reflect the power order of the prime Creative Imagination.
Sixth, the prime One is the prime Reality, and the universe is the real projection of His real thought-forms. The Objective uni-verse is the real mirror in which the Creator realizes his subjective designs. The One Whole in-forms the Many Parts.
Seventh, the universe is the body-mind of the Creator, and U and I reflect His mind-body: we are His real fictions.
That is one, brief version of my simple-complex-dynamic ac-count of universal reality. In this, I dare say you note, I have somewhat answered the question that U(I) did not ask me. What the Creative One may be, beyond this formulation, is matter for further inquiry-realization.
* * *
NOW, the simple-complex-dynamic ac-count is not complete without two complementary dis-integrations. In the foregoing ac-count the focus of re-creation was upon the Objective body of reality. To finish the picture we must turn the focus of attention upon the Subjective mind of reality, and then integrate the two in actual observation.
To enter the Universal Manifold of Subjective Reality, you simply close your eyes. With your eyes closed, you are in the living world-study of the re-creative imagination, — in the original TV camera room. (The only good use I can make of that criminal machine is in this analogy.) TV, however, compared to the re-creative imagination itself is like a tintype compared to reality. It re-presents but two senses, vision and audition; there-creative imagination commands all five, and in addition is autonomous, capable of high abstraction and original formulation. Here is the much ignored and often despised source of all art, science, philosophy and religion. Here is the prime, terrestrial reality back of every picture, every word, every machine, every edifice on earth.
With your eyes closed, what do you see? Not nothing, but the brilliant blankness of the mind’s living mirror, the potential of everything. The first glance shows you the vibrant, three-dimension-al blackboard on which every form in art-science was-is first formulated. Some persons do not possess subjective projection, and can-not see mental picture[s], — cannot draw-paint upon the blackboard, –but if they can read and write, talk and carry out designs, they have basic image-in-attention (imagination). Master artists have extra-ordinary visual re-creation, composers and musicians have unusually powerful auditory re-creation; scientists have remarkable abstract re-creation, all “normal” persons have some degree of imaginative re-creation. Everyone has some re-creative power, and everyone has some concept-image of the World/Universe:Creation. Everyone, in some degree, reflects the creative orderpower of the Creative One. Here, in a head no bigger than a small pumpkin, if you are a competent imaginative realist, you can re-create in miniature the whole cosmos. If the objective universe is a stupendous “mystery”, the subjective universe is an equally stupendous “miracle”. Men have a little knowledge of objective reality, but they have no certain knowledge at all of subjective reality. They will never really know the truth about objective reality until they know the truth about the re-creative imagination, or subjective reality.
The prime property of the imagination is its re-creative freedom. Its freedom is its virtue and its vice, its glory and its downfall. You can imagine anything, except nothing, and everything you imagine will be imaginatively real. As long as you can imagine a thing to be real, it will seem real to you. This is the source of all the laughable-lamentable errors men have committed, and continue to commit, in religion, philosophy and science. If you mis-take symbols, abstractions, negative and partial formulations for Whole-some Reality, you entertain foolish fancies under the delusion that they are real facts, and are headed for disaster and disillusionment. If you imagine that the Creative One is not in you and in every one in Creation, you are confronted with this alternative, –either erase your error or let your error erase you.
D-UI is primarily concerned with the control of the re-creative imagination in the interest of whole-some, realistic formulation. It ignores nothing, and rightly evaluates and relates everything. It commands abstract-symbolic freedom to achieve Realistic, Subjective-Objective mastery. I asked you to remember the three, abstract axes, and I had them in mind as a symbol of subjective freedom-reality. I dare say you thought of them as very fine, luminous piano wires, very taut, stretching away from their center in-definitely in the six, cardinal directions, east, west, north, south, up and down. Like the words on this page, they are very useful as long as you do not mistake them for what they are not. You can realize reality if you permit reality to control your imagination.
* * *
LET us go out into the desert night. The gibbous moon is just rising above the barren hills across the still, dark desert. Over our heads are all the stars, — so near, so far away. They are all there right here and now, — all together in the manifold of the omnipresent. It is the same time, — now, — on every planet in every solar system in this or any other galaxy. Apart from memory and living record, the past is a fiction, and apart from unconscious order-design, so is the future: even in the master mind, the past exists as present record and the future as present design. Only if you can realize the present design can you recapture the past and forecast the future. The “fourth dimension” of every event, “past” or “future”, is now, — the present self-awareness of God. Call up a friend in Peking on long distance, and ask him the time; no matter what he says, you will be talking to him now.
Here is a telescope. Look at the moon through it. It is pretty obvious that it is a sphere. Now look at Jupiter and its little moons. It’s pretty obvious that these luminous disks,which quite rightly don’t seem so far away, for they are reflections in the mirror of the earth’s atmosphere, — it’s pretty obvious that they are also spheres. It is not a mere inference that the earth also is a sphere, or spheroid in shape. The inference that the earth revolves on its axis (as the saying goes) once a day and revolves about the sun once a year, though contrary to immediate local observations, is not contrary to many other observations. Observations with high-powered telescopes also make it pretty obvious that the stars are distant suns. If they are suns, the inference that they are very far away is justified. The picture of the universe painted by modern astronomy is not so far from the real facts that U and I can verify. It may be that the calculated distances to moon, planets, sun and stars are not so far from the real distances, give or take a score or more “million miles” here and there, but U and I do not know the real distances,and neither do the figure-heads. It is certain that the estimated size and shape of the galaxy is a colossal11 mathematical myth, –a myth that is not quite as absurd as the myth of evolution, but still a monstrously absurd myth, a myth that nobody but a figure-head could invent and nobody but a moron could believe.
It must not be forgotten that all the stars are supposed to be in rather rapid motion. Relative to Earth, they have been standing still for thousands of years, at least. If they are in motion, our sun is moving in co-ordination with them, keeping step so exactly that their relative positions in the heavens have not altered in thousands of years, and show no signs of altering.
The universe really is a vast affair, but that thought should not reduce us to in-significance; on the contrary, we should be filled with awe that a mere mite of a figure-head, — a human being with a head not much bigger than a big coconut, — can actually imagine-comprehend such immensities and multitudes. The fact that those curious coconuts can conceive of such a cosmos is as great a wonder as the cosmos itself. Personally, I have never felt insignificant for so much as a second in all my rather long life, but I am human, and my sympathies go out to the children in the schools every time they open their books and read about “our insignificant sun” and even more insignificant planet, and are seduced into morbid imaginings about those abysmally insignificant “microbes”, a species of virus, called men. That thought is enough to give me morbid imaginings myself. How creatures calling themselves men can manufacture and teach such imbecile non-sense is almost beyond my capacity to understand. It is a fearful thing to gaze clear-eyed into the black, bottomless heart of mental tyranny and defiance of obvious truth. “The human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things; who can know it?” That’s a seldom seen quotation from a well known book. Perhaps the author of that book was thinking of preachers and teachers. If he is a misanthrope, who am I to argue the point with him?
Well, there are the moon, the planets and the stars, the celestial spheres, revolving in the heavens over our heads. Here is the real universe, as we really see it, here on earth. I have but one last point to present in my S-UI ac-count of it. It is obvious that the moon, the sun, the planets and the other spheres neither run on rails nor are hung on cables. What is the energy and how is it applied that holds them in position and keeps them in motion?
The universal field is an integration of form-energy. The many spheres, revolving in the order of the whole one, radiate-generate One power equal to the support of all the Many bodies in the whole field. This energy, going and returning, is equally distributed throughout the field, so that at any one point (the earth, let us say) the energy received is equal to the energy, potential-active, given. The universal field energy (+/-), continuously received at every point on the surface of the earth, equals the form-energy (-/+) generated by the earth. The earth, and every other celestial sphere, is sustained in a vortical cradle of energy. Every sphere, in its place, is the practical-relative center of the universe. The universe on earth really is geocentric. It follows that every atom is the practical-relative center of the unified field of energy. The energy of the whole is One, and at every point in the whole field the energy “divided”, give/take, equals One. This ac-counts for objective form-energy.
The subjective “half” complements the objective. The uni-verse is egocentric. The Creative One is the Cosmic Self, the Universal I. And every self-conscious U is an egocentric reflection of that prime I. In your place, U are the center of the universe.
V I I The Real Many
THE foregoing verbal sieve16 is as finely woven as it is possible to weave in this brief system of symbolic reference. Fiction cannot substitute for Reality, nor formulation for understanding. Even a definitive formulation of a hundred thousand words, say, would contain Contra (-)/(+) Dictions, through which intelligence would have to see in order to discern the outlines of reality. And now, as the luminous three axes return for a moment, only to fade away again, and the gibbous moon rises higher among the stars, I hear you asking — many — many questions. One of these gets through to me in this form: What about vector fields, about trajectories, about the technique for the control of long-range missiles?
I am surprised. Even if you are seriously jesting, I imagine you have misunderstood me. If you can imagine-manufacture a problem-machine, you can imagine-manufacture a solution for it, and the plasticity of the field of general form-energy will not only sustain the problem machine, but “verify” its solution, — so long as you are entertained by the toy. Invention is an art-business: the technician can mold matter to “realize” any idea. Beginning with the utterly impractical and therefore unrealistic, — for example, the “flying machines” that preceded the successful ones, — problem-machines gradually approach and then achieve practical reality, but are unable ever to realize living reality: for examples, you can manufacture a mechanical centaur, but never create one, and TV will never even remotely equal the creative imagination that cobbled it. Reality is not a problem, nor is it a mere machine; reality simply is, and calls for recognition, not solution, — for realization, not for verbal-laboratory demonstration. Scientists speculate, but monkeys really know their monkey-shines.
The human race managed to survive17 six thousand years of history without automobiles, airplanes, radios, electric dish-washer and chair, moom pitchers, submarines and H-bombs18, but after about one hundred years of technological-inventive progress is on the brink of genocide. Problem-machines are the products of in-sanity, of unrealistic thinking, of unwholesome responses to life-fact-now. The moment you recognize reality, that moment you see through the problem-machines; and in that moment the problem-machines become valueless, except as negative points of departure for the exploration of positive reality, — now that ICBMs are in the air, battleships and bombers are headed for the dump, and when U get a-round to recognizing I, the ICBMs will be replaced by intercontinental broadsides of mirth.
Imagination under control is a good tool-servant, but out of control is a mad tyrant, a self-destroying Cam-byses19-juggernaut. The more systematic the ignorance of One, the more elaborate, precise and practically accurate become the problem-machines-mathematics of self-verifying-negating fancy, and the more destructively mad become the servant-masters. Mechanism is the ultimate animism, automation the ultimate magic, and the machine the ultimate ikon20. Magnificent21 mites are now standing in line, each hopeful of being the first man to ride a rocket headed for the moon22. The solution of the ultimate problem, interstellar space, will be the dissolution of the solver. The flowers on the Zero-Hero’s graveless grave will gravely-gaily23 demonstrate the real way to suspend gravity.
But your many questions are relatively very real. I overhear one that goes like this: If matter is life, what is life? Now you are seriously jesting. No fiction, is the answer. I will add that, maugre24 all the fictions of theology and philosophy,both life and matter are, and do not co-exist, for they are obviously the two “halves” of the real one. Fiction is an introduction to reality, not the reality itself.
And now I clearly hear you ask: Is reality also a vicious circle? If you have not already heard my answer, you yet may hear it. Extension projects opposition, and opposition evolves revolution. You will now ask me to go round the corner and circle the square as preliminary to sphereing25 the cube and cubeing26 the sphere. All the Many involved in the One are now rapidly devolving.If I am to escape these convolutions, I must be more volant27 than Voltaire, more solvent than Rockefeller, more knowledgeable than either the Pope or Einstein. For that matter, the sphere is the cube that met an equal and opposing form-energy: the atom is the throb of the real cube-sphere, that which is neither ideal, but the factual both-and. Endless are the answers to any one question,all of them right save the ones you know to be wrong: in reality,2 times 2 is always either too much or too little (as witness the endless, periodic and non-periodic decimals). All right answers are One (1).
You manage to lift an eyebrow, as you say: Hmmmmmm, that reminds me, what about ethics and aesthetics? What’s the one answer to both the good and the beautiful? Your associations/connotations are either very acute or very obtuse. Perhaps they are 180º angels. Yes, indeed, what about good/evil, pain/pleasure, un/loveliness? The one answer I think of right now is the one word, — Matter. As a matter of fact, come to think of it, that is the one, conclusive answer to all your many questions. Matter. Not myth. Behold in Matter the obvious solution to all occult questions (and all questions are occult), — the one,definitive answer to all bootless questions (and all questions are bootless). Matter, the much misunderstood, the ignored and the despised, the rejected of all today. Matter, — humble as mud and as beautiful as all outdoors. Hail, holy Matter! Virgin Matter, parthenogenetic hyle28! The prime order of all orders, Matter, thy morals are sublime, thy beauty divine! Matter, thou silent voice of truth!
Though I speak with the tongues of angels and of men, and have not matter, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and have not matter, I am nothing. And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not matter, I am less than nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not matter, I gain naught and lose all. For matter suffereth long, and is kind; matter envieth not; matter vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. Matter beareth all things, and from her bosom29 cometh all beauty and bounty. Matter never faileth, but is ever responsible, steadfast in all things. Matter embodieth all. Tongues shall cease, religions shall die, sciences vanish away, but matter is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting. When I was a stupid adult I thought as a stupid adult, but now that I am a child of matter I am full of the beautiful reality and goodness of the matter and all its joys. Blessed be matter, for it is the face and the hand and the heart of God.30
But now I hear the gears in your mental machine grinding their teeth preparatory to asking that moldy question about evolution and reincarnation. As I recall it, it goes something like this: — If the theory of reincarnation is the only thing that could make the theory of evolution a little less irrational than either theory, how many light-years will it be before an evolutionist is incarnated in a reincarnationist31 and a reincarnationist evolves into an evolutionist? The seventieth answer is: — I see no good reason why I should imagine that I am a worm in the hope that a billion years hence I shall become a man, in the hope that a billion years after that I shall acquire the rudiments of sound sense. That man had little imagination and less grasp of reality who said that there are no imaginary facts. He was the twin of the man who concocted a device to identify counterfeit money. Recently, the two got their heads together and invented the lie-detector, a machine that has been a great success in a world that wouldn’t recognize the truth if it spoke to them on the street of a sunny morn.
Hitler told the truth when he said the biggest lie would win, and proved it with his own downfall. The truth is obvious, and never fails, but commonists prefer moompitchers, free elections, five year plans, and halos in heaven after death. Man is the only animal who votes for the lion most likely to devour him.32 Public opinion polls arestatistical apagoges33, proving that all statistics are illusions and99.999 per cent. of those who are full of words are empty of sense.The “oldest dated rocks” are said to be “about 1,850,000,000 years”old by a man who was less than 70 years old when he said it; if that evokes a cheer, not a jeer from you, you will be elevated to the seventh heaven of hallucination by the remainder of the myth,that syntagma34 of symbols pasted together from a hatful of Greek and Latin roots and a bootful of cyphers. If all the O’s were Ho’s, and were fired off by Dumas and Rabelais at the bottom of the pen-ultimate bottle, the cachinnation35 could not do justice to the wit-less parody of sense. — Next.
* * *
YOU smile, and in a subdued voice you ask: What about this crucial now, — what is the reality of that omnipresent thing, — about which all that you say revolves, you know, — eh, what?
At last, you have dug up a question with a real boot on it.This is the door where through we came in, is it not? and the door where through we must depart. In my lexicon of life, reality is not a vicious, but a continuously expanding, joyous, vital circle. So in the doorway of now let us take our stand, and say both Hail and Farewell. The final fiction about fact, the inner cadenza of this Concerto for Consciousness and Orchestra of Unconsciousness, follows.
In your psycho-somatic integration of universal form-energy there are seven, major systems-foci of Contraction/Expansion. In the simplest, most basic terms, these are: sex, bowels, heart, lungs, nerves, muscles, mind. More carefully coordinated terms are: generative, alimentary, vascular, respiratory, nervous, muscular, mental.The integration of these inter-related worlds of un/conscious activity is the personal universe that is You. You are embodied, sustained, empowered by a coherent, unified series of endless throbbings. Your becoming in being is a ceaseless circle, the simplest formulation of which is, — Go/Come.
The science of life is the very simple matter of: Give/Take. (Statepriestcraft, the technique of control mastered by those who imagine it is all Take, is largely devoted to creating the illusion that it is all Give, but this, of course, is somewhat beside the point in this context.) You are always giving off and taking in, always going out and coming back in, always ex-panding and contracting. This is most obvious in the world of your physical economy, but it is equally evident in the world of your mental activity. You learn and work by giving and receiving attention. It is in your unconscious, or mental, work that you most easily may become aware of the re-creative throb of life. This throb is the vital node of operative existence, your personal, present awareness, which is always integrated with the universal omnipresent, the simplest term for which is now. Your know ledgeand personal efficiency are in direct proportion to the clarity, coherence and capacity for comprehension which you are able to focus now. Now is your effective presence of mind-body.
In natural operation, the focus of your attention expands and contracts, alternately going out to the objective field and its things and returning in to reflect upon the subjective field and its images. Your re-creative awareness throbs between Anticipation and Memory, — between the stimulation presented by the Thing and there-stimulation re-presented by the Image. Insofar as there is a real past and a real future, the second exists in the momentary anticipation of contact with the Object, and the first in the momentary retention-memory of its Subject, the inner impression. Now, the vital node of your personal, omnipresent manifold, consists of Three “moments” integrated by Two/Four movements of the unconscious In-Attention, — from In going Out, and from Out returning In. Every moment you are ac-counting, relating yourself to yourself and the universe, the One to the Many, and now, the operative unit in this ac-count, is these 2-3-4 in 1, — an instantaneous36 alternation between Thing (T) and Image (I), a momentary Pause (P) separating the two. In continuous operation, awareness is a chain of vital nodes, each link of which is composed of 3 moments, 2/4 movements and One In/Attention: Conception. The chain may be formulated as follows:
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 ………T P I (4) T P I (4) T P I (4)……. I P T I P T T P I
4 is not a “moment” but the immediate union of the links; P is the blank or negative reflector that receives the impression of the Thing from which the subjective, positive Image is developed. The chain of un/conscious throbbings is the same whether the In-Attentional ternates between the Outer and the Inner world or alternates between the Subjective Image and Counter-Image, — the same whether one observes or meditates, objectively analyzes the outer world or studies its reflection in the mental mirror. Most now’s, even in the case of a competent literate, are relatively vague pictures, filled with vast amounts of illusion and unrealized information. In highly articulate reflection, 4 is always the Word-Symbol, and the effective integration of a competent-commanding now, or vital-creative node, depends upon the ability to maintain symbolic comprehension and fluidity in thoroughly realistic relation to the ever-flowing con-tent of Observation/Reflection. Unconsciously everyone at every glance integrates himself with the Order of the Whole Universe, un/know37. Competent control depends upon instantaneous, conscious, accurate Disintegration (analysis) and Redintegration38 (creative syn-thesis).
By accurately allowing for unconscious and unknown factors, it is possible to create chains of vital nodes co-extensive with vast fields, comprehensive39 of countless things in their right order-s. Peoples are governed by keeping their In-Attention vibrating violently between Anticipations of reward and Fears of punishment, their vital nodes filled with delusions of past and future grandeurs, with tribal, social, scholastic, religious-scientific illusions. The master stroke of all state priestcraft is to persuade-seduce-compel the Individual to abnegate his Creative Author-ity-Integrity and commit intellectual-moral suicide.
It is obvious that the Order of the Whole (1) Universe, objective/subjective, is involved in every vital node. Without40 the Whole and all its many Parts, the now of any In-Attention would be incomplete. You live in the omnipresent, the universal now, and every moment you re-create I-Universe. The number of things youun/consciously integrate in the thinking of one thought is — let us say — fabulous. As a real mathematician, you can’t say Pass the salt or God is a myth without reducing the automatic telephone system and other masterpieces of cybernetics to idiocy: TV is to you as a tin whistle is to a grand pipe organ, — even if you don’t do-say anything more than, Aw, beat it, yah crazy fool. To imagine those three luminous axes, which we had in mind a few minutes ago, you thought/lessly engineered a work of real mathematics involving all the vital numbers in creation, the mere local,personal psycho-somato-electro-magnetics of which gives you a super-genius rating: you are an unconscious infant prodigy. If the mathematicians really desire to study the “infinity of infinities”, I suggest they go to work on a line of thought, — the largest, strongest infinity of all.
If they did, it would be a great relief for the world, if not for them. If they turned the irgenius loose41 on some-thing not positively thought-less, ceased chasing no-thing no-where in the direction of perfect morosis,42there might be an explosion of non-sense that would blow five thousand years of non-sense to its own conclusion and solve all the world’s problems in one moment. I say if/might. For once I indulge in a trifle of scientific speculation. Angles and hypotenuses, defend us now! the inevitable conclusion to such ignoreance is 0. But even 0 is 1. In spite of all the Many illusions, we are safe. The boys in the back room will have 1, even if it’s the last 1 they ever have. BOOM. And other, assorted non-sense.
If you observe the objective now, you will dis-cover that“time” is a matter of present Dis/Integration43, Growth/Decay, Invo/-Evolotion. The “age” of any thing is the number of now’s, or vital nodes, in its pattern of dis-integration, or unbecoming, that have been unfolded. The Many come from the One and return to the One in a continuously present process of becoming and unbecoming One’s.Existence and Death are the two “halves” of the One life. One reality in-forms Many real fictions. What the ultimate reality is, is not a fiction. It obviously is, and if you desire to know what it is, you must begin by not ignoreing it. Real mathematicians know (+) what they do not (-) know, never fill the 0 of what they do not know with either scientific speculations or religious beliefs, and always equate reality to 1, not 0. The Universal One knows all, and wise One-s allow for His universal knowledge in all that they think-say-do.
We have now engineered in Fiction a true, though very simple,revelation of Reality. You can positively know the truth any time you have presence of mind enough not to ignore the obvious. You can be a real one, — realize reality, — any time you quit44 pretending to be any one save the one you are now. . . .
The outer cadenza of this concerto of non-sense, with the soloist supported by the tutti pianissimo45, follows all at once.
* * *
YOU cannot take out of a silk hat a series of rabbits that was not first put into the hat. The solution of a problem is in the problem. All questions are answered by their own terms. One realistic answer to all your many questions is an imaginary walk in the summer mountains. Let us go. Instantaneously we are there. In the cool-warm afternoon, far above the world of problem-machines and far below the living engine of the sun. Herein the original presence of the One/Many, far away from the world’s primitive game of labels-masks and mathematical blind-man’s bluff.Dis-enchanting now. Un-known reality. Light. Tangible metaphysics, living matter above matter, at once reality and symbol of all life, truth, intelligence and substance, — of all death, illusion, ignorance and imagination. Lightly, — scientific poetry, one that is everywhere and shines for all the Many. The subjective darkness in our minds is the other “half” of this one radiance, without the inner/outer labor-play of which we could see nothing, imagine nothing. This gentle, omniradiant delight and the piney air are antithetically refreshing. Air, invisible and indivisible,is another omnipresent one.
There, there, monenfant, don’t pound the gravel with the gavel46 of your disdain of my literary chop-suey. We have brought the dictionary, that alphabet mill of verbal mathematics, with us, and if we make that wind-mill of symbols grind food for thought we must undo all that it does.Only the nonchalant can be truly chalant, only the debonair can really enjoy the air. Dadada. And other non-sense to the same defect. You can’t correct mistakes if you mistake them for being other than mistakes. Adadad. But that is not nearly as euphonious.So look, for a change, at all the rocks standing still and tumbling about. They do not surprise us by standing so still in the midst of their antediluvian antics: their prime reality is one of the oldest fictions, though the real date on everyone of them is today.Do they feel the air, does the air feel them?
What is the sense of the in-sensible? And that piney fragrance? What is odor? What is the mathematics of essence? Odor, savor, color, — these are remarkably unknown knowns. The nose knows, though the boys of the no’s know not. They are in bad odor here. If you don’t know it, it’s unknowable, — perhaps, probably, we must assume, or at least suppose, as Darwin was so fond of saying. There are no darwins in the mountains this afternoon. Extinct, like the dodo.The pun on that is too obvious, even for me, the pundit of puns and ostinato47 of the obvious. Melody. For example, the flight of that bird across the rocky, wooded glen. The melody of motion. And what is that? Another unknown known. So, in order to escape ignorance we must become absolute ignoramuses? to know anything we must unknow everything? The tissue paper on our musical comb is getting soggy. And the boys in the back room down there in the city are getting groggy. They call themselves the beat generation. Rhapsody on a broken drum. To be or not to be is not the question. You are.
What? That is the only legitimate question. And so far all those who ask it have found no answer but the question itself. Though some of them, like m’Lord Bertrand Russell, say the answer is no what. Is there no escape from this no-ledge? Yes. Let us go then. Now-ledge is our destination. And we are there now. Now is too much for nearly everyone. Mozart died of his sublime now-ledge, and so did Tchaikovsky. Music is real mathematics, and they the greatest of merely human, creative mathematicians. The only thought that ever makes Einstein tolerable is the nowledge that he often preferred his fiddle to his foolish figures. The flight of the bird is/no miracle. In a world where all is miracle,nothing is miracle. The poet breeze in the resinous boughs whispers its perfect rhyme to them. Prolonged, pianissimo roll on the kettle-drums as background for that strophe. I prefer the kettle-drums to the tympani, though it is true I couldn’t hear the dead drums without the living tympani.
Eight to the bar, a wood-pecker drums on a dead tree right over our heads. Does it all go over your head? That’s one of the many questions you failed to answer. Let us pause at this spring for a drink that is innocent of either alchemy or chemistry. I hear a physicist shouting, H2O! Give me H2O! I’m dying of thirst! I don’t know what H2O is. Or thirst either. In a relative world there is nothing absolute. So he’s self-doomed to die of thirst48, whatever that is, crying for H2O, whatever that is that is not what he does not want. You’ll have to use a slide rule to compute-decode that glissando49 on the verbal trombone. Let the cornets announce the advent of the king.Does that belong in this context? What doesn’t belong in this con-text? It is all con. Confidential. Confusion. Contradiction.Controversial. The many who cannot realize the one are all that.Where are the confused many? Not here. Everyone here is just one.We are in the midst of the peaceful war of the One and the Many,and every One wins. Many particulars participate in the wholesome woodland comedy, each with the whole of its becoming. They are all very becoming, are they not? Puns are the lowest form of wit,and the highest form of it. Only technical tautology can rescue us from technical ambiguity. The perfect definition for a tree is –a tree. The nun with a gun has gone out to exchange it for a pun.Two different comedies, — The Nun With the Gun50, — The Nun with the Pun. The None With Both would be a Broadway success.
All the mathematicians would stand in an infinite line to see the None With the Gun-Pun. Appropriately, it would be staged in The Padded-Cell Theatre. The ex-it would be the only escape from the None With the Nun — or the Nun With the None. Are you bored? Well, come to think of it, I’ll pass that one up. However, I must say it augurs no good for you. At this point, we are lost to the woods in the woods, and can’t see the trees for the threes. The mask of symbols grows thick, thicker, thickest. Remember, we are having a drink at the spring. The great rock over our heads casts a three-dimensional absence of sunshine upon us and around about us. This is the nearest thing to a ghost in all the woulds of reality. Here is your real minus 1. You don’t feel the shade, but the absence of sun warmth. Here, sit down on this flat stone with me, and listen to the tinsel51-tinkle of the silver rivulet from the spring among the pebbles. Material music, authentic52 atonalism, musical no music. Water. I know water when I see it. Water is the heaven to which all good, little rain-drops go. If God isn’t crazy, all water is holy, and nothing is sacred, but everything. There are mountain lions in these mountains, — that’s why they are mountain lions.
At night many stars shine above the pine-crested crags. And once a month the moon robes and disrobes. In the springtime there are many flowers, and in the winter there are many snows, each flower one flower, each snowflake one snow-flake. Ah, the maddening monotony of it all! The sunshine pouring through the trees mints and tosses down the ravines a countless horde of gold and shadow coins, a shadow coin for every gold one. Those are the only monies present, and the celestial banker lives to spend his wealth magnificently53. In this higher air, everyone is a multimillionaire. Look up at the sky, look all around: you are at the center of everything, and here is the focus-locus of every-where. Only the manufactured-mythical arithmetic of city streets and fenced farms could create an illusion that could deceive you, even for a moment, about this natural reality, and keep you from realizing the universal ec-centricity of all things, including yourself. Every one is unique, an eccentric one. Don’task that blue jay; he is too busy-happy knowing and being one to waste his time answering foolish questions. And are we then to have no curiosity? Certainly not. Curiosity is the experimental analyst who mistakes a dead cat for the living truth.
You cannot learn about life from death. The botanist who tears a flower to pieces to learn about the flower will have to tear himself to pieces to learn what he learnt, — but he will die long before he learns that. No, I am a super-dunce: I know what I don’t know, which is more than the dunces know, and I have no infantile curiosity, but an “infinite” interest in the endless finite. I’ve learnt that if I don’t meddle I’ll be rewarded with the gold medal of perfect understanding. I take the prize that they despise.In the midst of all this frivolity burns the flame of the first and final fact. Life. Everything is alive. Even the still stones. Even the dead leaves are alive. Mold. From mold come all the molds of life. Matter is the face of One, and the Many are his masquerade. Why unmask him, when the masquerade is the object of his subject, the desire of his fire? What? Once again? And so far the answer stands, I am that I am. What? Then ask yourself. And don’t dodge the obvious answer. Little monkey, there is nothing behind the mirror. You are the object of your own subject. Accept the one that is both, if you would learn what either is. Look. Across the rivulet, there. Did you see that serpent glide away into the brush, — his muscular sinuosity a masterpiece of living mathematics? Did you see his eyes when he glanced in our direction over his undulating shoulders? They were cold and calculating, but not unfriendly.
The original mathematician, originator of the curved-space universe, no less. He could deceive any Eve, couldn’t he? And any son of Eve, too. He’s the subtle54Many in One. Now, here’s a real question for you? How does he do it? What is the integrating focus of that dynamic rope of coiling muscle? What’s the One behind those Two eyes? The bluejay there in the near green and the distant blue is eyeing us. What’s the One behind those Two eyes. If you know, don’t tell me now. Let us be honestly unknowing yet a while. Eyes, eyes, eyes. All God’s children got eyes. So many different55 kinds of eyes, –small and shrewd, large and gentle, wide and critical, bright and fearful, deep and musing, — all of them very much alike. Sphere-ical56, by and large. The original crystals. A circuit of In-Attention flowing in and out, ∞, through each pair. Everything with two eyes is behind the original eight-ball. The symbol for infinity is far more instructive than the thing it symbolizes. This is true of all mathematical symbols: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, on paper, are just as real as anything in earth or heaven. So here we are behind the eight-ball of paradox for the second time in this brief symphony of non-sense. Eyes in matter to reflect both the outside and the inside of the matter. And back of every pair a mind. This is no myth, but obvious fact; this is not poetry, but true science. Is this stone on which we sit aware of us? If it isn’t, we are not aware of ourselves. Most are not aware of themselves, and so believe the myth that matter is not alive. This stone is just as much aware of us as we are of it. How aware of it are you? Can-didly, you are really next to unaware of it; as a matter of fact, you are so low in the scale of living awareness as to be almost totally unaware of the reality of the stone: just so, the stone is almost totally unaware of you. Note, not totally, but almost totally. The unconscious is almost but not quite unconscious. Let us not pursue this matter too far: there is a point in technical con-fusion beyond which the knowledgeable do not go: the H-bombis bad enough, goodness knows; so let’s leave the M-bomb uninvented. Are you still here-now? Those trees are really aware of us because we are aware of them.
They are real, and so are we. Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other to the extent that they really equal the thing. The thing in this case is Reality-Life. All trees are more aware of some human beings than those human beings are aware of trees. Few indeed are the human beings who are as alive as trees. At this point tragedy enters the paradise of comedy. Tragedy is for voters, and others who take and give vows. My conversation is always Yes and No, and any one of my words, even the least, is equal to all of them. Politics is flattery, and suffrage equally insufferable. Majorities are as fictitious as minorities. A statistical Many is a delusion. The prime reality is the individual, the human One, the physio-sociological unit. Of these units I will say that all of them are geniuses, and let it go at that. Don’t cheer, lad, the mountain woodland is full of dying things. All the many beautiful things upon which we now gaze, as we sit here on this gentle stone, are dying for want of attention. These stones, these shrubs, these flowers, these pines, these cedars, these birds, these serpents, these deer, these mountain lions, these stars, this sun, this moon, these fragrant airs, these musical waters are dying, waiting for the geniuses called men to become really aware of their humble existences.
The pale blue columbines the other side of the spring have been smiling at us hopefully since the moment we sat down in their glorious presence. The doe and her fawn that leapt across our path a few minutes ago looked at us a long moment before they leapt, and were not at all happy to leave in such awkward57-graceful haste as they did. They are out there now, waiting for those bipeds to know them, really. Ignorance is the source of fear, and unawareness is the source of ignorance. Matter is immortal because it ignores nothing, and understands everything. Only perfectly conscious matter can be as fearless and understanding as relatively unconscious matter. Between the two, extreme poles of un/conscious matter lie all the degrees of fear/ignorance: misunderstanding. The end of misunderstanding is death. Life really lives on life, but fear/ignorance: misunderstanding exist on death. And the most fearful, ignorant misunderstander in the animal world is the animal potentially most capable of knowledge-understanding. The whole creation groaneth in travail, waiting for man to come to himself, and realize who he is, what he, where he is. Commonism is the social order of fearful, ignorant misunderstanding. The ants are commonistic farmers and warriors. They have carried ignorant fear and denial of the individual to its logical conclusion.
They have materialized the myth of the many. But even so, every commonistic ant is one, a reality that laughs at all myths.If you have eyes, you look for signs. All creatures are symbolists. If you have feelers, you still look for and interpret symbols. Your prime symbol reflects your response to life. What does the individual ant feel? You can tell by his behavior. He doesn’t say, I am, but, We are. He is responsible to the hill,to the labor-military organization of his commonistic society, not to himself and his neighbors. He is an in-different, automatically replaceable unit. Let the thought-form flow back into the stream of consciousness. Six circles of equal diameter exactly surround a seventh circle of the same diameter. That is an archetype that is not exactly an abstract. There are other formal harmonies that seemingly do not depend upon the structure-nature of matter-mind. Seemingly. But it is matter-mind that is aware of them. Reality doesn’t geometrize; it is geometry. To matter-mind,no-matter-mind simply does not exist, but the illusion of a Positive 58Negative (+x-) haunts the mental mirror.
The relative Part finds it almost impossible to realize that it is the Object as well as the Subject. But any piece of confetti is a constitution and a factual declaration of independence. Galileo signed all his letters to the Pope in invisible ink, — Yours for the Revolution of the Earth Around the Sun. Washington betrayed his country and overthrew it with violence. Matter is still here, just as it was in the first place, just as it will be in the last place, — and now is the first-last place. There are no averages or percentages in matter. The female salmon lays thousands of eggs at once. The significant factor in that is at once. One seed is the potential of all seeds, and every survival is singular. The many divide the one field, and there is room for ever one that survives. Unversal realtivity is absolute. Even an ant war is basically a battle between individual ants. Every atom is one, every cell is one. Every many is composed of one-s. Coherence and identity depend upon the integer.Without integrity, any many disintegrates. A perfectly conscious One is equal to all Many’s. Let us rise and go. Let us finish our afternoon walk in the mountains.
Fell the three-dimensional water in your stomach, the three-dimensional air in your lungs, the three-dimensional fire in your eyes. Was it a glance from you that struck that tree and burnt it to a charred stump, the happy playground of musical woodpeckers with metronomic heads? Delightful. I dare you to do it again. Have you read Moby Dick? Yes. But have you read Mardi59? It is unique, — one book that was written and printed, but evidently never published. I have never met anyone who had read it.Its pages are circulating a petition that their wood-pulp be returned to the trees. It is no use to argue that there are no guns in nature; there are fangs, claws, beaks, sword-fish and sharks. Ask the author of Mardi. A Christian may be defined as one who has never thought seriously about sharks. I disagree with those who say that sentence has three too many words, but I appreciate their point of view, — their thoughtfulness. Every point has it s diametrical opposite.
Opposition is complete; it is also dramatic, and usually fatal. Participate, or identify yourself with the universal one. With what? With the one reality that is not a relative illusion. Each step we take up the path is one. One is with us now, now, now,now …. Even the many that compose the mountain is one. Look. The mind of immortal matter is gazing at us from the eyes of that squirrel along the hypotenuse of an intensely interested now. Haha. With a parabolic paraph60 of his posterior panache he vanishes around yonder sermon in stone. The latest minus 1, but he is over there, and you may be sure he is not cracking and eating a 0. If all equations were made equal to 1, in 1 generation the race would be won. But, I hear you murmur, the children on the merry-go-round would be very unhappy if the ride ever ended. I disagree with you.Actually, they are unhappy because of the dizzy, nonsensical whirl of adult fear/ignorance:misunderstanding. Something really ought to be done about the love-life of magnets. We are going up. Shall we climb to the peak? Look up there. It is no word, but a real peak. Immortal matter is a poem, a drama, a song, a symphony, –a work of living art projected by a work of real science. And some-thing ought to be done about music, about the real mathematics in the ear that creates music. Not only in the ear, but in the mind of immortal matter. Pitch is a relative absolute (sic), another one that is many. The crux of the What of reality is in the hyphen, –One-Many. We are nearing the peak. The big trees are behind us.And don’t forget, there are no weeds in the mountain woodland. No fences, no jails, no banks, no churches, no court houses, no machines.
Reality is above fiction-illusion. The perfect moral of it all is:In a perfect universe full of many perfect things there is nothing good or bad, for each one is delighted to be perfect inits place. Muffled thunder from the kettle-drums — one .. one ..one … one. Nobody is trying to impress anybody up here. No news-papers. In the beginning was the mountain lion, and the mountain was the lion and the lion was the mountain. No history. Just reality — now .. now .. now … now. It is possible, some say, that the great distances between the stars is the one thing that enables the many ones of the celestial hosts to love their neighbors as themselves. Each is absolute, and admits of nothing but dis-tan relatives. Sophistry. Frivolity. Friv-ol-it-ee. Let us not ignore anything, not even the foolish and the commonplace.Let us ignore nothing, and know everything. Now, think of all the many things beneath the one sun in the one blue. Higher, higher — step by step — all in one — one in all — now. There is a word we have not mentioned. Let us not mention it. But let us realize the reality to which it so seldom refers. There is another word we have not mentioned. It is said that the one equals the other. In words, the cosmic comedy is an endless series of symbols, — an endless series of mistakes. Notes in a score divorced from the reality of music. What one can correct the mall? He can, but he won’t, for without them freedom would not be perfect. He can, and he does, — in the music of reality. The last eight bars in Beethoven’s Fifth —
now .. now .. now … now all .. are ..in …one one .. is .. in … all friv .. ol .. it … eee pro .. fun .. it … eee61
And the kettle-drum adds the last-first note-node-word —
Toss that fourth dimensional graph to the birds … They have sense enough not to eat nonsense … Endless but finite …Immortal matter-mind … Something, not nothing … Thought-forms are the only angels … If you are realist enough, you might see one … There are also many other singular words in and out of the dictionary …….
I (NOW) (ONE) (WON)
Desert WillowA. Ray JohnsonPalm SpringsCalifornia17 June 1958
[Begin page 62]
N O T E
IN these pages the focus of re-creative attention has been upon mathematics, particularly upon its source in the human imagination. It has been my intention to expose and illustrate the general, unrealistic nature of numbers, mathematical theory and formulations. I have contented myself with a laughingly serious verbal demonstration of the totally fictive structure-fabric of human knowledge as seen through the looking-glass of the Queen of Sciences, and have devoted no space to any detailed consideration of any specific theory or formulation, speculationor myth in the practical mystique of modern technology. On the negative side, I have merely carried out to its logically absurd conclusion the acatalepsy62 (not to say acatalepsia63) implicit (and often explicit) in the theory of relativity and the philosophy of all modern science. However, in the course of the candid convolutions of the neo-Cartesian64 comedy, I have permitted myself to speak of this or that scientific myth, without taking the trouble to more than tickle their catastrophes with the feather of a derisive label. Perhaps I owe You-2 (though certainly not You-1) some explanation for this airy insouciance.
Though I do speak of “disproving” the mathematical in-finite, this is only a figure of speech. Seriously, reality being universal and all facts obvious, I never undertake in words to prove or disprove anything. It is obvious that any formulation in words or other symbols is fiction, and there can be no proof of reality in fiction; the most that any fiction can hope to do is to suggest the true order of reality. It is obvious that the theory of relativity is myth; it is obvious that the theory of evolution is myth; it is obvious that the astronomical conception of the cosmos is myth; it is obvious that imaginary mathematics is the matrix of all these and many other scientific myths.
So-called science-s are merely the practical art-s of controlling and locally re-constructing the terrestrial phenomena of universal Form/Energy:Matter So-called scientists have no more comprehension of the realities of In/Organic Matter-Life than those who do not call themselves scientists; all that they possess is a better technique for manufacturing practical miracles and a bigger bent for bamboozling and bedazzling and browbeating the bifurcated billions. If the race were not so low in the scale of real evolution, scientists would be the most laughable clowns in the whole circus. They are careful to admit they know nothing for sure, but they romp all over the campus at all hours claiming to know everything (and a few other things besides) probably. In reality, they are sciolists65, not scientists, not positive knowers.
This is my explanation to You-2 for my grand ignore-ance, in these pages, of the systematized ignore-ance of Obvious Reality by soi-disant scientists. In other volumes of The Comedy of Creation I do turn the focus of attention upon some of these myths, but even there I seldom do more than shoot a flock of 0’s and bag a brace of probables. Accept my no-apology. — R