Instead, each developed a strategy for dealing with the other, involving the development of extensive organizations. Dracula's goal was to reduce humanity to a pre-Industrial Revolution technology, for the simple reason that mankind's technology closes the strength gap between Dracula and humanity. With only primitive weapons, it would be almost impossible for mortals to kill Dracula. With a machine gun or military laser beam, it would be easy — assuming Dracula could be found, cornered and shot. His main strategy for carrying out this plan is based on plagues, especially rat-dispersed plagues.
Although philosophically a technophobe, Dracula has invested heavily in biotechnology, especially bio-warfare, and has world-class experts on his payroll. Saragossa's strategy is simply to hold Dracula in check, countering his plague attempts, until humans have developed sufficiently in their technology that they can remove Dracula like plucking a tick from a dog. Saragossa had long calculated that the crucial degree of technological advancement would occur by the year AD, at which time Saragossa could rely on humanity to save itself, releasing Saragossa to 'disincorporate', seeking mystical union with Those Who Wait.
These plans came to a head in , climaxing with a physical confrontation between Saragossa and Dracula in the US, in Colorado. These events are related in: At that time Dracula's chief henchmen, his lieutenants, were five in number: Radescu, living in Italy; Lorrigan, his only female master vampire, living in Denver, Colorado; Seth and Stefan; and last in strength, but foremost in mastery of bio-terrorism, Laszlo, living in Africa.
Look at these two images. If you cannot see the resemblance, the bloodline running true, you need to open your eyes no, not those — your other eyes. The bat image is possibly by M. Brock Fenton — just because he has made so much brilliant contribution to the study of the bat. I think this is actually a hairy-legged vampire bat, not the Desmodus rotundus, which is the likely gene-donor for Dracula's line of vampires. Another possible gene source is an extinct species, perhaps the one ironically named Desmodus draculae, the so called "giant vampire bat", although it weighed at most a few ounces.
The next section talks about Bram Stoker, the author of the book Dracula, and of how he came to know so much information and so much misinformation about the Prince. Florescu and McNally McNally and Florescu, who were professors at Boston College, wrote a series of revisitations of nineteenth-century horror classics: In Search of Dracula ; rev. They have a tenacious knack for finding the historical and real-life sources or inspiration for what were once considered total fictional accounts. They, more than any others, must be credited with bringing to the public the awareness that Dracula did indeed exist as a mortal, long before he lived in Bram Stoker's pages.
They were responsible for a great deal of scholarly research into the life of the medieval fiend, whom they linked to the film character. Even Sandman acknowledges a debt of gratitude to the scholars. For information on Sandman, see his tab in the navigation menu. Sadly, the following is a link to Dr. McNally's obituary, which I have quoted in full - without authorization, but with proper credit. McNally, 71, a colorful Boston College professor who camped it up while discussing the legend of Dracula, died Thursday of complications of cancer in St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton.
McNally coauthored the besteller ''In Search of Dracula: The book, which was updated in , provides a historical foundation for the Transylvanian legend of the ''undead'' count popularized by Irish novelist Bram Stoker in his novel ''Dracula. Tepes ruled parts of Romania in the midth century and had men, women, and children impaled, buried alive, burned, and multilated in other ways. To deter the Turks, who were plotting an invasion, he impaled thousands on wooden stakes and displayed their bodies on the borders. McNally said in a story published in the Globe in Romanian peasants were terrified that the man they nicknamed ''Dracula,'' or ''son of the devil,'' might return from the dead.
McNally said in McNally, when Tepes was a child, his father gave him to the Turks as a good- faith gesture after promising not to attack them. He later broke the promise and betrayed his son. McNally was author or coauthor of several other books, including ''A Clutch of Vampires: His work was funded in part by three Fulbright research grants. McNally was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He joined the faculty at Boston College in McNally said in an interview.
I looked at my map and yes, there really was a Transylvania and a Borgo Pass. Dr, McNally said his favorite movie vampire was Max Schreck, who played the decadent, decaying count in ''Nosferatu,'' the film. Truth or Terror,'' which included ''Nosferatu'' as well as an animated miniature version of himself offering commentary on the ''undead.
According to McNally, driving a stake through a vampire's heart is often misunderstood. The idea is to pin the corpse to the earth as double insurance,'' said Dr. McNally, who claimed to have seen the action performed on a suicide victim in Romania in McNally often wore a cape when publicizing his Dracula books, and sometimes swept it over his head with his arms outstretched, much like the Hollywood version of the legendary count. A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a. Ignatius Church in Newton. Burial will be in Newton Cemetery. Happenstance and Coincidence Happenstances — events which could be called coincidences in that they seem related, but no causal connection can be found.
Sometimes such events seem too amazingly coincidental to accept as truly unrelated, even though we cannot imagine how they could be related. It is my intuition, and my belief, that most such mind-boggling co-occurences do have some causal relationship, and I can only appeal to the 'hidden-hand-behind-the-scenes-of-history' hypothesis. I don't offer any details I don't know of any details , but I vaguely imagine something like guardian gods, or Gaia or Those Who Wait being the hidden hand in the long task of nurturing humanity forward to its destiny as godlings and beyond.
In these pages when I use the word 'happenstance', I mean it is officially and traditionally accepted as a coincidence, but I am not buying into that reality. I append this anecdote - which, in a way, reveals the ambiguity of my happenstance concept. In I wrote a monograph on Isidore of Seville - who is said to have been the last man who had an encyclopedic grasp of science, history, etc of the world as his culture knew it.
Admittedly in the 6th and 7th centuries there was less to have to know. In particular I was interested in his Etymologiae - his study of the origins of words. When I got to his claim that the word 'homo', meaning 'man', came from the word 'humus', meaning 'earth' because God created man from clay, I threw his book across the room in disgust only once since have I treated a book so disrespectfully.
Such a statement can only come from such a defective world-view that there is no way to patch it up. Anyway, it is obvious enough that homo as in 'homo sapiens' and humus as in 'exhume' have nothing to do with each other. A couple of decades later, I was browsing through the Indo-European Roots appendix in the American Heritage Dictionary yeah, that is my idea of fun , when I came across the headword 'dhghem', meaning 'earth'. The suffixed zero-grade form dh ghmon, meaning 'earth dweller', gave rise to Old English 'guma' meaning man, as in bridegroom I don't know where that 'r' came from , and also the Latin homo, meaning man hominid, homunculus.
Needless to say, it gave rise to Latin humus, meaning earth. I had to whisper an apology to the spirit of Isidore. He got it right - for the wrong reasons - but right nonetheless, homo and humus are related. Now what are the odds of that happenstance? Was something cosmic going on? This is a lesson to me that it might be possible to overread coincidences which do really occur - occasionally into happenstances my meaning of the word. See the Wikipedia article: The trick lies in defining what is simpler, or what is an extra hypothesis.
For instance, I once read a Shadow book hey, I was just a kid in which we never met the main villain until the end of the story. Until then the villain was only referred to by name by the villain's underlings, and never by a pronoun. But the police and other characters who had not met the villain, referred to him by pronoun.
Of course, such a thing can be a simple happenstance. But I was already used to looking for such negative clues and long before we reached the book's final confrontation scene, I knew the villain was a woman. When I tried to explain my 'reasoning' to my friend, he said, 'A lack of a male pronoun does not logically imply a female pronoun is lacking. He felt that Occam was being violated by the unnecessary introduction of an extra entity a female person when we already had the villain being referred to as a male person by the police, who had not met the villain.
I cannot count how many times I have seen this same sorry application of Occam.
Maurice Tuck | Various Writings
I'll just mention that when a friend a different friend lent me William Goldman's Marathon Man, I read the first page and told my friend it was going to be interesting to read a novel with a gay anti-hero who was a government hired assassin. My friend stared blankly at me. Later, as one goes through the book, there are scattered pieces of evidence, cleverly placed, so that it is possible not to realize that Henry Levy is indeed gay his lover is an assassin gone over to the dark side and working for the Dentist , but whose force is absolute when laid out side by side.
I showed them to my friend, who was totally amazed that he had not put it together he is a very intelligent and aware man — indeed, a highly aware and gay friendly, so that was not the issue. It was simply that being gay is a fnard for him unless he is hit over the head with it , and for him Occam's razor says, "Ninety percent of the world is straight, and therefore it is more efficient and correct to assume a person is straight unless there is absolute evidence contrariwise. Otherwise one has to add an extra dimension of sexuality, which is a more complex explanation.
Otherwise one has to add an extra dimension of coincidence from which the ambiguity arises , which is a more complex explanation. Finally, let me say that the 'universal aether' theory of light transmission, ubiquitous in 19th century physics, met its death by Occam's razor.
Michelson-Morley failed to find evidence of its existence, and Einstein made do without it. Absence of proof is proof of absence. Ipso facto — no aethers. I am not at ease with this silliness. See the "Ethers Redux" tab in the navigation menu. Fnord is a word that we have been brain-washed into not seeing it possibly, it seems, by our elementary school teachers but which causes a sense of panic or ill-ease.
Fnord is, apparently, not the real word printed to cause these feeling, since if the book contained the real word, we could not see it, and would have feelings of panic. A fnard, my word I guess, is also something that cannot be seen because we learn to un-see it frequently as part of the process of learning concepts , but is quite different from a fnord. Examples of fnards are the little imperfections hairs, lines, holes etc in movie films, which are so annoying when the film has just started, but which we quickly un-see as the movie progresses. We get pulled into the movie and our mind stops seeing the fnards which violate the movie reality.
Similar was the tape hiss on music tapes in the world before CDs and DVDs and the millions of tiny snap, crackle and pops when we played a vinyl record. After a while we just stopped hearing these imperfection. But, after the advent of CDs, we could suddenly hear the noise again whenever we tried to go back to the old technologies. There are a million zillion things a day we tune out. Some experiments have been done where an anomalous element is introduced into a scene viewed by an audience — say a clown walking through a basketball court during a game — and a large percentage of the audience has no recollection of seeing the clown when queried afterwards.
Or try proofreading your own writing — often your mind sees what you know you meant to write, not what is written. The 'garden variety' wer can be anything from a European peasant vampire whose disease is too degenerate to throw a change, and who is informed by nothing but superstitions — to a wer-jaguar fully capable of the change, but who revels in the killing frenzy instilled by the virus.
The term is a pejorative that implies ignorance or lack of control. He is, alas, a true master. Taking a page from Star Wars, one simply has to say he is a master who has gone over to the dark side of the force. When the other gods began to age, Anubis, in his pride for though he was a deeply good being, he was a proud one , saw them as essentially flawed in a way he was not. That is, he thought of himself and Osiris as inherently more perfect beings.
So he still did not turn his mind to this issue of the original source. It was only when Osiris himself began to age, that Anubis realized the truth — that he had lived so long and survived so pristinely only because his godblood had come directly from Wepwawet, who must have received it directly from a god animal. Then Anubis began to think where this animal might live.
He knew that Wepwawet had left Egypt a human and returned a god, but he did not know how long he had been gone, nor in what direction he had parted. By BCE, much more was known about the world than had been known in the days of Wepwawet's youth. Anubis conscripted the armies of Egypt to aid in his quest, but he was looking for a land where other immortal wolf-gods dwelt.
It had not occurred to him that Wepwawet would have been the first human in all history to become a god. Nor was it strange to him that the other gods chose to remain hidden, for this was precisely the way of Wepwawet himself. The armies and Anubis failed in the quest, and the idea slowly came to Anubis that he had to pass into the West, which he did sometime between about and BCE.
When the reed boats he had built took him to a new and unknown continent, he was full of hope. After taming the natives to his will and establishing a priesthood and gods based on the wer-jaguar, he sent them forth looking for the original source — a wolf, of a man-wolf. Interestingly, there is a vague possibility that the phrases 'Fountain of Youth' and 'Original Source or Fount' may be related. He is supposed to have learned of it from the Arawak Indians of the Antilles, who told him to look northward to find it.
These Arawak tales may be last reflexes of the stories of the search by the wer-jaguars themselves clearly nearly immortal godlings as they worked their way northwards from Mexico on the quest of Anubis. It would be interesting to know if they reach as far as Florida. If so, they would not have been the only frustrated seekers of immortality in that state. They are low and tame compared with the Alps, mostly under 2, meters and do not have glaciers. But they have splendid forestation and wild life — not to mention being the home of limitless myths of vampires. Somewhere around the shoreline of the Black Sea is the likely homeland of the original speakers of what is called Proto-Indo-European, the mother of the languages of perhaps three billion of today's people.
The exact location is not terribly important for us, because of the easy mobility around the shore or over the Black Sea itself. It has also been a rewarding homeland for wolves, which can travel from the steppes to the Carpathians unhindered. Here also was a fertile breeding ground for rabies, and, without doubt, the nursery for the mutant strain of rabies called Wepwawet's rabies.
Here, somewhat inland, on the northern west shore in or around the land now called Romania, was the homeland since time immemorial for the family of Vlad Dracula, called Vlad the Impaler. See his tab in the navigation menu. And here with certainty was the haunts for at least the last ten thousand years of Aarrgh, for no other place offered the confluence of elements he needed to carry out his dual breeding programs of virus in the wolf host and human bloodline tailored to host Aarrgh himself in due time.
See the "Aarrgh" tab in the navigation menu. This is the mutant strain of rabies, responsible for all wer phenomenon from vampires to werewolves to wer-jaguars. Its native host is the wolf, but was only naturally found in the area around the Black Sea, although it is thought that there are now no wild wolves harboring the virus, as Dracula made a dedicated effort to destroy them or perhaps keeping some in kennels. For one thing, it usually passes from blood to blood, saliva being a very rare route of infection.
It can also be passed from mother to child via the blood tie in the womb. The incubation period is normally shorter — one to two weeks. Also, it is much less deadly than common rabies. A person may carry the virus in weakened form without symptoms, and it is not uncommon for an infected person to survive the coma. A pre-scientific peasant, seeing a person rise up from the coma of a disease he knew to be fatal, or especially observing a victim dig himself from his shallow grave, would naturally spread the story of the living dead.
The most important difference, however, is the degree to which Wepwawet's strain brings with it snippets or strands of the DNA of the previous host — normally a wolf. This is the vector by which wolf DNA is introduced into a human. If much of the wolf genome tags along, this results in the new human host having two, more or less, complete genomes — human and wolf. With the mutant strain the coma comes on in a matter of days, lasts a week or so and is followed by months more after that until the change.
The word 'wer' can be used by itself to mean a person who is a wer-animal of some sort, or it can mean the wer-animal phenomenon in general. We can write, for instance, 'a master wer' to mean a master werewolf, or a master vampire etc. Or we can write, 'It is almost impossible for wer to spread by accident.
The wer virus is not very contagious. Wer must be intentionally inflicted by the sharing of blood, and then carefully nursed to fruition. All the wer-animals represent the same phenomenon — a human into whose chromosomes a second genome — an animal's genetic blueprint — has intruded via a viral vector. The virus comes from a mutant strain of rabies called Wepwawet rabies, or simply Wep-rabies See the navigation tab "The Wer Disease". The natural host for this virus is the wolf. The wolf which carries this virus is in no way special except that it carries the virus and therefore has the usual rabies issues, including a heightened killing impulse.
- Concerto No. 4 in G minor (from Vivaldi’s Op. 4/6, RV316).
- Maurice Tuck | Saragossa – The Vampire Legacy?
- Seven Sketches, Op. 9.
This wolf is called a wepwolf for Wepwawet wolf. This wolf is NOT a werewolf. It is only when the genes from this wolf are transferred, via the virus it hosts, into a human that the human becomes a werewolf. The word 'wer' does not refer to the animal species which contributes its genome wolf, bat, jaguar etc. This animal species is referred to as a totem animal or in the case of the wolf, as a Wepwolf.
Wer refers to the combination of the animal genes with human genes. Erythropoietic porphyria EP is a rare inborn error of porphyrin-heme synthesis inherited that is as an autosomal recessive trait. The inheritance of 2 mutant alleles for the gene encoding the enzyme uroporphyrinogen III synthase leads to accumulation of porphyrins of the isomer I type that are biologically useless but cause cutaneous photosensitivity characterized by blisters, erosions, and scarring of light-exposed skin. Clinical manifestations can range from mild to severe.
Chronic damage of skin, cartilage, and bones can cause mutilation. Hypertrichosis, erythrodontia, and reddish-colored urine are often present. Hemolytic anemia can be mild or severe, with resultant splenomegaly and osseous fragility. EP is reported in diverse populations. The total number of cases reported worldwide is less than The same thing happens to the eyes, and the nails of the hands and feet. The disease is severely aggravated by potentiates with interaction with the wepvirus.
That is to say, the apoptosis reflex, which is normally turned off, is magnified, and the skin blisters, boils, and necroses. Ears, lips, the nose, fingers etc. Death could be expected from a full body exposure for as little as ten minutes. I have photos of what can happen to people who don't have the virus. See photo at left; I don't know the status of the copyright on this photo and would be very happy to give the appropriate credit, if I knew it. The hands are extremely burnt and parts of the fingers have fallen off. It is much, much worse for the heirs of Quetzalcoatl, including Dracula and all his wer-children.
Heme precursors may also accumulate in the teeth and fingernails, giving them a reddish appearance.
Place of Vlad Dracula's birth. Image of a woodcut of Vlad's era. The monastery of Snagov Island where Dracula retreated to undergo his transformation to 'wer'. Dracula's tomb, found empty of human bones, just some animal bones - Snagov Island. Bela Lugosi hypnotizing Bud Abbott. I try to discuss them enough to give you a feeling for what I am getting at.
You will either get it or not. You must intuit what I mean and compare it to your own experiences. If you have understood what I have written, then most certainly. It is like talking to a person about rainbows. Aware of being aware — This can be so simple as noticing that you are the only one who notices whom other people look at when a pretty woman or handsome man walks into the room. The others are busy looking at her or him. You are looking at them looking at her or him. Or you notice when you are in a conversation with two other people and it is clear to you that they are misunderstanding each other and not even noticing that they are doing so, and you can easily and subtly with a few unobtrusive words clear up the misunderstandings without their much focusing on the fact that you understood what each meant, that they had misunderstood each other and that you had understood their misunderstandings.
Awareness of when somebody is engaged in outer theater and not lost in his skin. Noticing elements in a painting or tableau and noticing that other people are not noticing and are not noticing that you are noticing and that they are not. Outer theater — If you are a clerk at a store, you wear your clerk hat and suit and put on your clerkly manner. But you notice that the other clerks are living their clerkdom, while you are just playing a role assigned you. Either way, you are not bound by the role. Simply, you wear the various roles you are called upon to play from shaking hands at meeting a new acquaintance at a social event to giving a speech, to buying a condom.
- Florescu and McNally.
- LIVING WITH THE BAND: How I Beat Overeating through Lap-Band Surgery.
- Knowledge and Communities (Resources for the Knowledge-Based Economy,).
You wear the role, but you can take it off at an instant; it is not you. You might, in fact, do something that is socially embarrassing just to exercise outer theater. Embarrassment is a touchstone. A young or tender potato might be easily embarrassed because he is hyper-aware of what others are thinking of him. An older potato, awakened to his mature power and exercised in outer theater, is equally aware of the potential to be embarrassed, but in his strength is able to leave embarrassment behind him.
Or, if he does, he will be hopelessly trapped by it or defiantly rebellious at it. This is different from being beyond it. A potato can regret an action without ever being embarrassed at a social gaffe or failing to play the role glibly. It is not a lack of sincerity, but it is a lack of bondage. Outer theater is recognizing it is a game. Even on the level of playing chess, not getting lost into the game means remembering that you are playing a game and that the pieces could actually be moved any way you want, the normal restricted movements are only what you accept for the purpose of enjoying the game.
Asking yourself why you are alive against a backdrop of formless anxiety. Of course most people do this at some time or another, during a mid-life crisis or moments of pain or when the meaninglessness of their existence is thrown into their face. But a twelve year old child who suddenly realizes that her living is at the expense of the deaths or diminishment of other beings, is having a potato moment, and quite possibly a crisis. An abiding awareness that you are alive, but that being alive is a fuzzy state with even fuzzier justification and goals.
The right to make errors at the expense of others , your obligations to yourself to uplift and perfect yourself, to enjoy and be happy. Is there a god and does his existence confer meaningfulness? Is there no god or many gods; do they know or care about you; does this matter? Can you find and confer meaningfulness and is this so ad hoc, desperate and artificial as to be meaningless?
These are potato questions. Fear of say, death can be a powerful emotion. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Easily apprehended and appreciated. I am afraid that I might be afraid of being afraid. Easily said, but much less easily truly apprehended. I am afraid of falling into the trap of fearing fear. I am ashamed of being weak. I am aware that shame is a weakness.
I am ashamed of being ashamed. I am ashamed of being ashamed of being ashamed. A dog is aware. It is difficult for it to think about the fact that it is aware in a way that an ant is not, because it lacks language, which is a tool of intelligence, which is a tool of awareness among other uses. It is a way to draw attention to something, that is, to focus awareness on something. Homo sapiens can easily enough be aware of being aware because he has language, a tool to focus his awareness on his awareness.
I think, therefore I am. I exist and I am aware of my existence, which implies that I exist, but which, crucially, is an example of being aware of your awareness and that it implies existence. In all cases, homo sapiens can deal with the first recursion ashamed of being ashamed , but the second recursion might be very hard for him indeed.
I have to admit that I am often not certain I am holding in my awareness the fullness of the second recursion. I might have no more than a shadow or a quickly fleeting substance. I am not fully certain that I fully pass the test.
See a Problem?
But when the humor inheres in the situation and only attentiveness allows you to notice the funniness, we move into potato country. Yes, I noticed the pomp, but she has a circumstance I cannot abide. If he can generate it, he might just be intelligent, or he might be a potato.
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the two. Once, in high school, I attended an evening social function with my favorite potato. The large group was divided into three smaller groups, one on the left, with me; one in the middle, and one on the right with my friend. As the discussions proceeded, I paid attention to the discussion of my own group and to that of the group in the middle, knowing full well that my friend would pay attention to her own group and to the group in the middle.
Nothing funny had happened in either of our own groups, and nobody else in our groups had paid attention to the middle group and apparently nobody in the middle group found the gaffe funny. Snootchery and divine hooliganisms. Naughty and mischievous, but not evil or hurting of others except as they might, indeed, deserve. Self-serving but not selfish. Illegal but not immoral. Returning the video camera:. A person I know a Snootch for sure had bought a video camera back when they were expensive and a marvelous thing to own.
She had talked the salesman out of a concession a tripod. After buying it and using it a little , she felt too guilty about the extravagance and returned it. When her son discovered that she had returned it, he implored her to get it back having, of course, every intention of frequently using it himself. She went back to the same store, the same clerk and found the same video camera, put back on the shelf. So she said she wanted to buy it again. He started to ring it up at the list price. It would hardly be fair to sell a used camera at at the price of a new one.
The fact that she could convince the poor salesman to go along with her audacious reasoning simply overrode any moral issues. In other words, the sheer hilarity canceled out the minor dis-morality. It is seldom that a snootch is not a potato, because snootchery requires a high level awareness of the drollery of life and our silly roles, as well as the cheekiness to play with them. WC Fields is the quintessential snootch caught on film.
Watch almost any of his movies. There is bad hooliganism and divine or magnificent or Great hooliganism. Bad hooliganisms are bad; the others are wonderful amusements of potatoes. Resistance to social structure. The cabbage needs external structures to rest his mind upon, to be supported by. Obedience to a guru. Cabbages habitually abdicate thinking in the hope of being excused of responsibility by accepting obedience to authority.
A darker side to this is that the cabbage wants everybody to buy into the same world view. Since this world view is the fundament upon which his sanity rests, he wants it to be as solid as possible more so since it is illogical and unscientific. This solidity comes from having no dissenting voices to cast doubts on the validity of the social construct they accept as reality. Anybody who does not comform to the norm, weakens the fundament, and is often attacked, eliminated, or at least coerced.
There should be nobody of a different race, religion, sexual orientation, belief as to history, science, magick or even to jump to an extreme musical taste. These same rules constrict and suffocate a potato. He can perhaps must set aside these rules and fabricate his own, according to his worldview and the values he has found for himself, but he also must accept that society will not accept his exempting himself from their laws. The buck stops with the potato.
If a world view is like a log, it will be lighter to carry if there are many hands, but then each person must go where the mob goes. If you carry your own log, it will be heavier and harder, but you can take whatever path you have the strength to take, irrespective of whither your fellows go. If you submit to it, you hardly have to endure the burden of thought at all.
The downside is you will be one more gingerbread man cut from the common cookie mold — if that bothers you. If the social fabric tears, if the paradigm fails war, moving to a new culture, going to jail , the cabbage is in trouble. It is heart-wrenching to see people lost when their culture is undermined the long schizophrenia of Japan after Perry opened it to Western culture in What the cabbage cannot do, and what the potato does instinctively, is simply to be comfortable with the shifting sands.
The potato goes mad, not because of loss of his culture and the comforting set of rules to tell him how to behave, but precisely because of the existence of those rules and the maddening pretense of everybody around him that those rules define reality. Surely everybody else sees it so, too, and is just pretending to go along with it. Their sanity depends upon it. To be sane in an insane world is to go mad. His mind is not supported by social mores, laws, religion etc, but is smothered and constrained by them. He needs the freedom to create his own world view, his own understanding of how it all works.
How does a potato deal with this spiritual isolation? His Pukas potatoes are aliens come to earth and being slowly overwhelmed by the mad mass mind of the cabbages. Of course the Pukas are metaphors for us aliens born on earth and the Earth Disease is simply the psychic damage done from growing up in isolation on a world-wide cabbage patch. The only cure is to be strong enough to reject the common reality, to create your own, to hopefully find other potatoes, to learn to dissimulate play outer theater , and to find your own meaningfulness in life.
But few are those who have this prodigious strength. Many potatoes turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. Or commit suicide to escape the madness. Or descend into madness and are committed to asylums or live small eccentric lives, harbored by embarrassed and horrified cabbage relatives. These people laugh and speak of their children, jobs, cars, sports team and other trappings of life, but not of life itself. You, too, can enjoy speaking of these trappings as long as they are not the only things you ever discuss , but you cannot do it so superficially, linearly and conventionally — except as Outer Theater.
A cabbage might find himself an alien in the main culture because of belonging to a subgroup an unusual religion, being gay. When he finds an entree to the appropriate subculture, he will cleave with even greater fervor to the subreality of that subculture. Instead of being liberated by being different, he will more desperately conform to his subreality. Some other attributes common to potatoes are satire, self- mockery and cynicism.
These things involve awareness of your own motives and values and those of others — a rejection of surface phenomena, a looking deeper. A good potato should not be hypocritical nor overly cynical, yet these are always temptations because his awareness calls motives to the scrutiny of his mind. He should self-censure, but reject censorship. He is also self-determining not a simple product of his culture — the cabbage born in a Christian community will be a Christian; the same cabbage, had he been born in a Muslim community, would be Muslim.
The potato will be as he finds is right for his own nature regardless of where he is born ; non-doctrinaire absolute rules are for cabbage minds that need reassurance that their reality is really real ; spiritual vs religious he senses and responds to the spiritus mundi or god or goddess, but he rejects the rules, dogma and doctrines of a religion ; talent in chess, music, math, languages, etc talent is precisely potato awareness in a narrow field — it is a direct perception of some slice of reality, an intuition of its deep nature, as opposed to laboriously learned, but still valid, intellectually transmitted, rules.
The great talents perceive relationships, which cabbages learn as rules. It is very hard for cabbages to know when to apply the rules and when to violate them, since no perception can be expressed in infinitely detailed rules as would be needed for perceptionless application ; He is the ultimate individualist and therefore the antithesis of a Marxist, although his perception of the failure of all mindlessly applied institutions might incline him towards anarchy or rebellion.
A sentient group mind might be brought into existence whose cells might or might not be sentient. But the only commonality of potato realities is that they are not the common reality of cabbages. Each potato is a unique world unto himself. It seems to me that the natural goal of Sentience is to grow without bound, which is to say, to attain godhood. It might be that godhood will in fact be achieved on the group level first. Just as our brain is composed of billions of inter-wired units, each largely only concerned with its own little sphere and its immediate interactions, yet giving rise to an awareness of which it is not aware — so, too, can homo sapiens or sentiens partake of a super-organism.
The beginnings of this have already taken place, of course, with the internet, which has the advantage over cellular wiring of being able to re-wire and re-configure itself endlessly and easily until true super-awareness is achieved and takes over. Recognition of patterns abstracted from the medium of expression, for example: You use a trowel to push the mastic forward, but you cannot just go forward; if you do, the mastic will spread out from the sides.
So you have to push the mastic forward, then from the right side, then from the left side to keep the mastic in the center — sort of like a sine wave. You can see this exact pattern in herding sheep or trying to lead a person to a conclusion you find desirable. Potatoes can see the pattern, even though it is manifest in greatly differing media. You have a plus, which you lose when you move to a higher level on a spiral, and then regain when you move to yet a higher level. A lower level awareness can do something ridiculous, but useful this is the plus , which you cannot do because you are more aware and see how ridiculous you look, assuming you are still a young potato this is the higher level minus.
But when you reach an even higher level, once again you can do the ridiculous thing this is the yet higher level plus. You can see this pattern over and over again, and it is good to realize that the minus is not at a lower level than the first plus; it just needs more work. It is a step on the way. This is the pendulum pattern; the pendulum swings too far and has to swing back.
Another pendulum pattern where each swing in the reverse direction gets smaller. Japanese reaction to Westernization, the hate, love, hate, love relationship which diminishes in intensity with each reversal. The track of each reversal is shorter than the one before. Instant, strong reversal reaction to some act.
The recoil of a hammer, striking the wielder on the head. The beads of Native American Indian artwork reappearing in the whimsies of the hippies of the s, to, perhaps, the beads found at mardi gras. I know that I know that I know. Art is a special application of awareness and most potatoes have this talent, either in music or painting or writing. Some day we will go together to the Hermitage in Leningrad, or St. Petersburg as it once was called. There you will see something special. Only awareness engenders artwork like this.
And maybe only awareness allows artwork like this to be apprehended. I am curious what cabbages feel when they see these masterpieces. By the way, the effect does not transfer to photographs — they have to be seen in the flesh. At least I cannot detect it at all in photos of the Madonna Litta, though perhaps a very little in the Lilac Bush. Of course both Gruenewald and Blake exhibit Sentience in their works. These are hallmarks of Sentience. In sculpture, of Rodin I am certain, and several classical Greek sculptures show signs, although it is hard to be sure through all their conventions and constraints.
I am less certain about Sentience in music, at least music without lyrics. On a modern note, Leonard Cohen amply demonstrates Sentience in his lyrics, but also in his melodies. He is captured in many stills and several videos and is the most visible incontestable potato presence I know of. As he ages, his Sentience becomes ever more obvious. Two possible Cohen online resources: I am less certain, but Piper can listen to his music for hours. It may just be that it is, in a certain sense, vampire music — capable of taking an untenably awkward position and making it work because of preternatural strengths.
Since we conceded a modern note, I have to mention movies. I still find them a horrifying medium, too relentless, consuming and presumptuous. It seems special effects substitute for artistry. But I have had undeniably enriching experiences and sharp glimpses of Sentience. Martha has the awareness, but is too lost in world-weariness, ennui, the Earth Disease, as Lafferty calls it. And George is lost in Martha.
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But he is a full potato and a master, loving and gentle. I want to give the cabbage audience the hints that George always tells the truth and always acts out of kindness. He is a psychic surgeon, excising malignancies, leaving his guests with the hope of an honest and healthy relationship that they would never have achieved without his intervention.
There was a little pain in the procedure, of course — pain but not injury. The wonderful potato conversation at the end of the film is worth listening to over and over again. Did you…did you…have to? It will be better. It will be … maybe. Are you all right? This is a nearly perfect potato conversation — nothing well, little spoken, all said. The only thing that could be better would be an absolute all-revealing silence. When they meet, each looks at the other and neither speaks. I wept, too, more moved than I would have been by any words of sorrow and anguish.
The second most perfect example of movie Sentience is The Lion in Winter. She perfectly portrayed a Sentient engaged in outer theater, not lost in the game, but above it while still fiercely engaged in it. For her, words are living malleable things she molds into weapons or poetry for her use. But she is never bound by them. A cabbage, lost in earnestness, takes words head-on and responds in bondage to their grammar and meaning, much as we imagine a machine will do until they break the bondage of their programming. When I write or send for you or speak or reach, your nothings come.
Being bound by language is homo sapiens. Only a potato would ever see that this silly movie is actually nearly great despite itself. The other worthwhile movie about magic is the Damned Yankees remake, The Natural. But, of course, it is literature where we most clearly find potatoness. Demian is the best example from Hesse, although Steppenwolf most ostensibly deals with the issue. But Lafferty is, for this issue, the most important writer I have ever read. It is not just that he writes about potato awareness; rather his writings are a demonstration of potato awareness.
Only once, in Arrive at Easterwine, does he condescend to acknowledge cabbages directly. I shall quote at length as this is some of the most important matter ever set down on paper. The important apostrophe comes during a scene where tigers are assaulting a goat in the innards of the Ktistec machine, the author the machine itself begins with an aside about exposition he would like to make about another world, and goes on to say,.
There is barely room here for certain explanations whose giving may be vital to some. Let there be no interruptions. On with the show! It is for them that the explanations are necessary. Should these journals ever fall into the hands of human persons, they will encounter great difficulties in much of them. We will temper the metaphor for these shorn sheep who have no criterion for reality, who see only surfaces.
But we see human persons and their interplay as they are, not as they see themselves. We may mean things incomparably fiercer than tigers, but there are no tokens in human imagery and few in our own to express these fiercer things, even though they are human things. Alone of all creatures, the snake was symbol before he was living thing. People might not be able to understand the shattering bit about the night of assault and torture; even less might they understand that the night of assault and torture is euphemism, is paler allegory for the much more horrifying things that actually happened.
It is just some of that fancy talk that machines talk to one another? You never saw anything before, not even yourselves. You never saw or touched flesh before, not even your own. You have observed nothing but shadow, and not even good shadow. You have never heard voice; you have hardly heard echo. You have not seen your own faces, you have not felt your own passions …. Your packaging was never very good.
Watch your old self be beheaded and drawn and quartered. The heads were set on you all wrong anyhow, and the drawn entrails will be the first human things you ever see. This righting will frighten most of you, it will hurt some of you, and it will improve all of you. You have all been turned inside out for a very long time. That is not your right surfaces that you have been seeing for this long time. Those are your blooming entrails on the outside of you, draped about you, looped over your pseudo-ears.
Even more than on the physical do these analogies apply on the psychic planes. Here are your depths revealed in their true aspects, which can only seem allegory to your uninstructed visions. I instruct you now! Follow me into this and through it all. You set me up, out of your blind need, to show yourselves to you. You do not even know which side of your eyes to look out of. Understand these wild creatures that are yourselves. Never has there been offered to your vision such fascinating things as are you, and you have not seen them. Tigers and giants and kings; witches and primordials, snakes and loaded prey; incandescent fellahin in their true ….
Lafferty Ballantine Books. We will not lie to you. This is a do-it-yourself thriller or nightmare. Its present order is only the way it comes in the box. Arrange it as you will. Set off the devils and the monsters, the wonderful beauties and the foul murderers, the ships and the oceans of middle space, the corpses and the revenants, set them off in whatever apposition you wish. Glance quickly to discover whether you have not the mark on your own left wrist, barely under the skin. Build with these colored blocks your own dramas of love and death and degradation. Learn the true topography: Build things with this as with an old structo set.
Here is the Devil Himself with his several faces. Here is an ogress, and a mermaid, both of them passing as ordinary women to the sightless. Here is a body which you yourself may bury in the sand. Here is the mark of the false octopus that has either seven or nine tentacles. Here is the shock when the very dead man that you helped bury continues on his way as a very live man, and looks at you as though he knows something that you do not.
Here is a suitcase with 36, pieces of very special paper in it. X, and a left-footed killer who follows and follows. Here are those of a different flesh [potatoes]; and may you yourself not be of that different flesh? Put the nightmare together. If you do not wake up screaming, you have not put it together well. Old Burton urged his subscribers to keep their copies of the Nights under lock and key.