350 Chapters
Medium 9780253000958

Wayland

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

Two blacktop roads, broken by frost and mended with tar, running from nowhere to nowhere, cross at right angles in the rumpled farm country of northeastern Ohio. The neighborhood where they intersect is called Wayland—not a village, not even a hamlet, only a cluster of barns and silos and frame houses and a white steepled Methodist church. Just north of Wayland, the army fenced in thirty square miles of ground for their bomb factory, and just to the south the Corps of Engineers built their reservoir. I grew up behind those government fences in the shadows of bunkers, and on farms that have since vanished beneath those imprisoned waters. Family visits to church began carrying me to Wayland when I was five, romance was carrying me there still at seventeen, and in the years between I was drawn there often by duty or desire. Thus it happened that within shouting distance of the Wayland crossroads I met seven of the great mysteries.

Even as a boy, oblivious much of the time to all save my own sensations, I knew by the tingle in my spine when I had bumped into something utterly new. I groped for words to describe what I had felt, as I grope still. Since we give labels to all that puzzles us, as we name every blank space on the map, I could say that what I stumbled into in Wayland were the mysteries of death, life, beasts, food, mind, sex, and God. But these seven words are only tokens, worn coins that I shove onto the page, hoping to bribe you, coins I finger as reminders of those awful encounters.

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Medium 9780989175913

12. The Evil Demon

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
The Evil Demon

Am I so dependent on the body and the senses that without these I cannot exist? But I had the persuasion that there was absolutely nothing in the world, that there was no sky and no earth, neither minds nor bodies; was I not, therefore, at the same time, persuaded that I did not exist? Far from it; I assuredly existed, since I was persuaded. But there is I know not what being, who is possessed at once of the highest power and the deepest cunning, who is constantly employing all his ingenuity in deceiving me. Doubtless, then, I exist, since I am deceived; and, let him deceive me as he may, he can never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I shall be conscious that I am something. -Rene Descartes

THE EVIL DEMON COMES TO US from Descartes. In coming up with the cogito, he concluded that an Evil Demon could deceive him about everything except that he exists. He has to be correct about the fact that he exists in order to be deceived by an Evil Demon, so that’s the one thing an Evil..... See All Chapters
Medium 9780980184822

The Uncherished Sword

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
Medium 9780989175944

ACT II: PINKY TOUCH

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Shhh! We have orders not to speak in front of the…

(nods toward prisoner)

LAD

The prisoner? I doubt he minds. Probably just as bloody bored as we are.

MATE

You assume too much. You think you know everything, but you know nothing. For all you know we are the prisoners and this man is the guard. Ever think of that?

LAD

(waves pistol at prisoner)

Does it really seem like we're the prisoners?

MATE

Don't put so much faith in appearances, lad. This is war, world on fire. You never know what's real.

LAD

Well, I have a pretty good idea that I can pinch this fellow's nose and he can't say boo, so yes mate, I am feeling pretty confident in the appearance that he is the prisoner and we are the guards.

MATE

For all you know, this man may be the interrogator himself! For all you know, this is he, and we are the subjects of his inquiry and this is his method. I know how it sounds lad, but I've got a feeling. Things are not as they seem but somehow different. Things are not at all as they seem.

LAD

Have it your own way, mate. Want to have a go?

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Medium 9781608682294

6. Heraclitus and the Art of Cosmic Contemplation

Jules Evans New World Library ePub

EDGAR MITCHELL WAS ON HIS WAY back from the moon when the ecstasy overwhelmed him. Mitchell was one of the three-man Apollo 14 space mission, which left Earth on January 31, 1971, and landed on the moon five days later. He was responsible for the lunar module, and spent nine hours on the surface of the moon. He was the sixth human ever to walk there. On the way home, with his lunar responsibilities fulfilled, Mitchell had “more time to look out of the window” than his fellow astronauts. He tells me:

We were orbiting perpendicular to the ecliptic — that’s the plain that contains the Earth, moon and sun, and were rotating the shuttle to maintain thermal balance. Every two minutes, a picture of the Earth, moon and sun, and a 360-degree panorama of the heavens appeared in the spacecraft window as I looked. And from my training in astronomy at Harvard and MIT, I realized that the matter in our universe was created in star systems, and thus the molecules in my body, and in the spacecraft, and in my partners’ bodies were prototyped or manufactured in some ancient generation of stars. And I had the recognition that we’re all part of the same stuff, we’re all one. Now in modern quantum physics you’d call that interconnectedness. It triggered this experience of saying wow, those are my stars, my body is connected to those stars. And it was accompanied by a deep ecstatic experience, which continued every time I looked out of the window, all the way home. It was a whole-body experience.

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