April 6, 2018 | Author: marat64 | Category: Jesus, Magic (Paranormal), Reincarnation, Truth, Friedrich Nietzsche
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Bay area occultist from the 60s spins a few riffs on magic....


E. E. Rehmus

The Magic of Ed Rehmus


E. E. Rehmus

The Magic of Ed Rehmus copyright 2006

All artwork was created by Ed Rehmus except where noted.

Seattle, U.S.A.

E. E. Rehmus


E. E. Rehmus

E. E. Rehmus

ABOUT THE COVER “Insights and comment” had been requested from readers with regard to the symbolism employed in Ed Rehmus’s oil painting on the cover of this book when it was used as the January 2006 cover of Gift of Fire to which Ed had been a frequent contributor. That cover is shown below. Readers didn’t react as I had thought they might although Albert Frank did demonstrate the relevance of the Tarot “Magician” card shown at bottom that is, of course, pertinent to any quest to understand Ed Rehmus. Ed’s daily journals (as indeed any communications with Ed) reveal that he was much into the occult – considered himself a “magic(k)ian” in fact, in its restricted sense, and so the Tarot card is indeed key to understanding what he would have had us infer from the image. “Magician” in this sense involves just what those who are into astrology take it to mean, in particular as representing “the life force as directed by the mind, cloaked in passion and purity teaching the manifestation of reality, and drawing power to transmit Divine Energy.” But he is also a scientist in a more traditional sense, an initiated master and skilled illusionist focusing his awareness to improve concentration. That was Ed. The symbols are traditional of the occult including the “holy grail,” etc.. But of particular interest are obvious excursions from the traditionally drawn image, the most ostentatious being the inclusion of pyramids incorporating Ed’s emphasis on Egyptology as a basis for much of his thought. And of course, the smiling moon! ☺ Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code suggests a male-female tie between the pyramids and grail. As suggested in this reference also, there are covert allusions to homosexuality in some of this symbolism, which certainly is to be expected of a proud dorian. Also, the personage is clearly Ed in his younger years. So why did the editor choose this as a cover? Because the image intrigued him upon first seeing it, the 12 by 14 inch painting has tolerated his scrutiny from the top shelf of the book case in his office for a couple of years now. But one day out of the blue he noticed what should have been obvious at first glance: There are two left hands! Ed was too adept at art and thinking for that to be a oversight. Maybe per Brown it refers in some way to his homosexuality. Everything Ed created bears detailed scrutiny. 5

E. E. Rehmus

E. E. Rehmus


iv xi

A Friend's Comment The Journeys of Edward Rehmus An Interview with E. E. Rehmus The Eleven Postulates of Romulan Philosophy All The Heads Ramblings Beyond Life and Death Recipe for Macaroni Salad Promotion for the Magician's Dictionary Kurgasiax (The Roasting Pit) Dagdagiel (The Titillatrix) The Empress The Voice of Horus on the Horizon (1) The Voice of Horus on the Horizon (2) Zwielict / In the gloaming These Late Skirmishes Some Darker Ramblings That which Ourgt Always Be Spontaneous Osiris First! Some Considerations of the Origins, Meaning, and Future of Religion The Utimate Source of the Archons? In Response to "Can You Prove..." The Value of Ancient Languages The Arabic Star-Names The Riddle of the Sphinx Etymologica Sexualis (PG-3) Cephas, Petros and Petra Suffering Jesus! The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception Some Alphabets that Interested Ed Some Alphabets that Interested Ed - 2

1 2 4 7 8 9 13 14 15 16 17 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 28 30 31 32 36 39 41 43 45 47 48 49 vii

E. E. Rehmus

Some Alphabets that Interested Ed - 3 Some Alphabets that Interested Ed - 4 Germanic Talismanic Symbols Magical Alphabets Translations Domarum Mercurii and Carcerom Aliphoth Symbols She's Been Away (A Film Review) Armageddon Unmarred! High Crimes and Miss Lewinsky Terminator USA Oh, Arnold! America Now Kewl Bush Babies But What does GEORGE think!? History Lesson by Prof. Ed Rehmus Another Reason for the War How We Spend Our Years Botanical Musings A Visit to St. Nick If Aunt Emma Wants a Knitted Jacket… The Inner City The Rose (An Encryption) A Page in Ed’s Diary (September 4, 1988) Transcript of September 4, 1988 Entry A Page in Ed’s Diary (September 5, 1988) A Page in Ed’s Diary (March 23 1989) Transcript of March 23, 1989 Entry A Page in Ed’s Diary (March 24 1989) So Much For Everything Then! Power in the Dark Ages Holy Imploding Cybo, Netman! Let There be Light The Three Tines of Destiny Is Earth Also a Fairy Tale? Reply to comments reacting to the preceding in an article Response to letter to the Editor of one of Ed’s journals Letter to the Editor of Vidya Excerpt from another of Ed’s editorials A Fetus Flower Re: The Pragmatic Value of Optimism What Price Engineers? Sententiae Antiquae Sick of the Millennium? The Book Worm Good and Evil The Worm of Orburos viii

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 58 60 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 85 87 88 91 93 96 98 99 100 101 102 103 106 109 110 113

E. E. Rehmus

The Quest The Clonies Élet! Sex in Our Time "Dorians Stand up for Dignity!" Spotlight on Sodomy The Art of Instruction Letter To A Prison Inmate Fumus Ignem Probat Rhinectomy Pain Telepathy Modern and Post-Modern Roller-Coaster Art Pragmatics and Logistics of Nostalgia Words to the Wise Heaven and Hell, and Who Cares? How Far Down do the Turtles go? The Evolution and Deterioration of Language Hurry up, Please, It's Time! Be Sure To See Paris Before You Are Seventy! OK, Grandpa Put You Family Photos Back In Your Wallet! Further Signs of Civilization's Death Video Meliora Proboque, Deteriora Sequor Cephalocera Diaboli Crypto Puzzle Occult Crossword Crossword Puzzle Answers to Previous Crossword Puzzle "So Passes Glory," A Crossword Puzzle Answers to "So Passes Glory" Crossword Puzzle A Spanish Crossword Puzzle (Rompecabezas) Answers to "Rompecabezas" Crossword Puzzle Another Crossword Puzzle Answers to Another Crossword Puzzle

116 119 120 121 125 127 130 131 134 137 138 139 141 144 146 148 150 152 154 157 160 162 163 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176


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E. E. Rehmus

FORWARD This book is a mere token legacy of E. E. Rehmus. Ed was an extremely intelligent thinker, an artist, a satirist, a linguist, and Egyptologist who considered himself a “magic(k)ian” in a somewhat related sense that I don’t pretend to fully comprehend. He was very open about everything in his life and it made it easy to get to know him, but he was a very deep person so I suspect few ever really knew him. His life partner Joseph Haskew intimated to me that although they shared some thoughts on art, he had no idea what all Ed was up to in other intellectual areas. Ed had friends in many circles and perhaps the mysteries to those of us in one circle of this elusive individual are more readily understood by those in another. In addition to editing, and writing for, many zines (as he referred to these journals), he self-published several books including The Magician’s Dictionary: An Apocalyptic Cyclopedia of Advanced M/magic(k)al/ Arts and Alternative Meanings (Los Angeles: Feral House, 1990), I’m Over Here, and others including serials Chirops (or Armageddon on the Astral Plane) in 1985 and The Mansions and Dungeons of Universe B (or Pillars of Isis, or the Two Tarots), of all of which (except for I’m Over Here which was on the internet for some years) I have only seen excerpts. In addition he did first English translations of several tomes, one of which was Julius Evola’s The Hermetic Tradition. He contributed to scholarly journals such as Verbatim – The Language Quarterly, and less formal journals including Abrasax, and those of the extremely high IQ community including the Prometheus and Triple Nine Societies. The zines for which he seems to have been the founder and acted as editor under various pseudonyms include: 1. Pangloss (which he sometimes denominated Πανγλοσσ for obvious reasons since it was a society of linguists) in mid to late 70s, and 2. The Voice of Horus on Horizon (The Newsletter of the Academy of M/magic(k)al/ Arts) in the 80s and 90s. In the journals he edited, and in the Gift of Fire that I edited for quite a few years, his artwork was prodigious. He produced several comic strips, one of which he called “The Clonies (peas-in-a-pod theatre)” which presented situations appropriate to the title. There were also a considerable number of crossword puzzles which were his creations. Joseph indicated that for a time he contributed these to major newspapers that paid a pittance to further edit them for publication and distribution. The ones I found among his papers in his office were primarily those employing Latin or some other linguistic niche that probably did not fit any mass market. He also left an impressive volume of daily journals including daily entries (generally two full pages) for twenty years covering the trivial comings and goings of his life with his partner Joseph. This journal also xi

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tabulated alphabets of many ancient languages, and a fair percentage of its pages were written in a mysterious code of his own devising which he recognized could probably never be broken. These diaries also contained the precursors of many of the essays that would subsequently appear in one journal or another. As editor of one of those periodicals Ed and I became very good friends, and as such he left a signed statement bequeathing all his written materials including his diary journals for me to do with as I saw fit. It seems entirely fitting that some of what was Ed Rehmus be published as a legacy of a very special kind of thinker. I’m sure Ed supposed that I would come to this conclusion if he left me in charge of his “stuff.” And again, he was right. What is included in this volume derives from the various articles that I am aware of his having published plus material gleaned from his most interesting personal journal. Organizing that material has been somewhat frustrating because Ed was such an integrated (and yes, since he himself liked the term, “holographic”) personality such that each part of his work reflects all the rest of it. So it is not easy to categorize his contributions into one or another area, so as he says in his journal, a collage is a start at what is needed at this point in art. Clearly much much more could and should be said about Ed Rehmus. But I think it is better to let him speak for himself. Fred Vaughan, 2006


E. E. Rehmus


E. E. Rehmus

After hearing of his death a friend said of Ed, “He went for the bones of what he was considering and the stormy winds could make off with the sails if that was a consequence!” an untitled drawing by Ed Rehmus


E. E. Rehmus

The Journeys of Edward Rehmus by Joseph Haskew (Joseph died in the summer of 2005; he was in his 80s. REHMUS, Edward Metaphysican, humanist, philosopher, writer, artist, and linguist, who always gave generously of his immense store of knowledge, and his love for all the world. Resident of San Francisco for over 50 years, his life enriched thousands. At his request, no services are to be held. For information contact: Joseph Haskew, 2275 Jackson St. San Francisco, CA 94115. (Obituary San Francisco Chronicle, March 1517, 2004.) I heard their young hearts crying Loveward above the glancing oar And heard the prairie grasses sighing No more, return no more Edward E. Rehmus (1929 – 2004)

O hearts, o sighing grasses, Vainly your loveblown bannerets mourn No more will the wild wind that passes Return, no more return – James Joyce

Edward, an only child, was born midsummer's eve 1929 in Upper Michigan, of German ancestry. His father was a musician, a pianist, who played in the "Big Bands" and his mother was a housewife. They were "modern" for their time, spending time in restaurants and night clubs, and, aside from the usual love and nurturing, were unexceptional parents, so the child was left to his own devices, resulting in a lively imagination. Later, when they moved to Detroit, they lived in a mainly Jewish neighborhood, and Ed attributed to this experience a lifelong love of learning and solid study habits. The family moved to southern California, in the late 1940's, where he found the ambience suffocating and so resolved to get away whenever the opportunity arose. When his mother died, he went to Tulane for a brief spell, then into the U.S. Army (for an even briefer spell), then to San Francisco. He went to the University of California at Berkeley off and on for many years, but always became bored and so never pursued a degree. His life in San Francisco was in the company of the Bohemian intelligentsia of writers, artists, poets, philosophers, and metaphysicians, and in those days San Francisco was a hotbed of post-war intellectual ferment. Over the years he studied extensively in comparative religions, comparative languages, psychology, and Eastern philosophy, among other disciplines. Always he kept up his writing, his correspondence, his teaching, and his translations. Occasionally he would find a book that he felt had particular merit, that had no English language version in print and he would translate it, for free because he felt it needed a wider audience. This might take six months, or a couple of years, but no matter "It’s important." In 1985 Ed announced that he would no longer be painting 2

E. E. Rehmus because to do so would dilute his energy, all of which he now needed for his writing I first met Ed Rehmus in 1964 when he was 35 years old. He was fashionably thin, had a good figure, and was very handsome. He had soft brown hair, and his eyes were dark brown, almost black. And although bright and alert, his eyes had a luminous quality, almost magnetic. Those eyes, later, in confused times, became a reference point. A few years later, he was diagnosed as having a basal cell carcinoma on the tip of his nose. It was removed, but left a white area about the size of a nickel, that could be covered with heavy stage make up. But then a few years later, the cancer returned. This time they took off the whole nose, pulled a flap down from his forehead over his right eye to form a new nose, but the doctors were not sure how much the transposed tissue would shrink, so in seeking an excess, he wound up with an appendage hanging down to his chin. Can you imagine, looking into the mirror and seeing that you had an elephants trunk in the middle of your face. He was the elephant man. The tissue did shrink, many further surgeries were done, then a few years later, another recurrence. This time the surgery was far more extensive, with massive reconstruction. We lost count, but the total surgeries numbered somewhere between 55 and 60. His forehead was now a patchwork of little pieces of skin, gleaned from wherever skin could still be found, and the nose, they never got right. But Ed said: "Enough!" In 2004, circulatory problems led to the amputation of his right leg. And the doctor said 2 or 3 more operations would be necessary Ed looked at me and said: "Tell them" and I said to the assembled medical staff: "This man has been through hell. Hell. Not just once or twice, but dozens of times, over and over and over again. He has had enough, I will abide by his decision and so must you. It's his body, it's his life, it's his decision." So, we gambled, and lost. Or did we? How much is enough? How much is too much? Now I bid you farewell, love of my life. It has been a long and loving journey. Time will lessen the pain and anguish I feel because of our parting, but time can never diminish the joy of having known you.

drawing by Ed Rehmus


E. E. Rehmus



Asking to explain magic(k) is like asking to explain how everything can be everything else and also nothing at the same time. EDITOR: WHAT'S THE LIKELIHOOD OF OUR IQ'S ACTUALLY BEING WHAT WE CLAIM AND HOW DO WE MEASURE THEM IF KEVIN AND RON ARE OUT OF BUSINESS? First, given a normal, healthy brain and a psyche free of neuroses, begun early enough and continued throughout life, IQ can be enhanced, so it's not godgiven. I don't call idiots or mongoloids "stupid". I call people of average intelligence stupid for not developing themselves, although, perhaps laziness is a more fitting criticism for them. I wish people would worry less about their lard asses and more about the lard in their heads! Second, what are we bent on measuring? Verbal and mathematical cleverness or creativity and originality? How do you compare social competence and theoretical mathematics or mastery of Sanskrit? Third, since everyone (supposedly) is unique, how can anyone judge another's cognition or vision? I'm sure any triple niner could devise an IQ test that would rule out everyone but himself! Fourth, IQ varies by dozens of points in either direction from day to day. What's the key – attentionality or velocity? What would be the difference in IQ after a heavy meal close to bedtime and IQ under amphetamine after a full night's sleep? Then let's remember that our brains may not be eternal software that can be preserved on magnetic tape and reinserted into a new VCR, but may be nothing more than temporary hardware subject, to rust, warping and burnt circuits. We should also heed the ancient warnings that strength and beauty do not last forever and neither does brilliance. Alzheimers and other demons lurk around ever corner and even hide under the chess table. EDITOR: DO YOU FOLLOW ENVIRONMENT ISSUES – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? They are all red herrings! None of the proposed solutions will cleanse the world so long as the current glut of human population continues, locust-like, to devour the planet. Despite Jehovah's smugness at his own cleverness in combining the sex urge with procreation, despite the intrusion of AIDS (engineered by anachronistic 19th Century Victorian moralism to start with), despite our perennial embarrassment at having genitals at all, it's time our moral teachers screwed up their courage enough to admit at last that the purpose of sex is union, not multiplication. Animals don't copulate in order to perpetuate themselves, why should we? Why does the mere idea of birth control instill horror in people? Are they afraid their highly unearned immortality might be compromised? What makes children so special that they should take away the rights of adults, be spoiled rotten and screened by Disney from truth? Why should parents "own" their children and assume they know what is best for them? Why is procreation still assumed to be a "right", rather than a privilege? 4

E. E. Rehmus What makes right-to-lifers think an embryo is a holy miracle? What's so wonderful about human beings in the first place? Most people consider their property to be infinitely more important than any human life. When a few brave exceptions attempt to stand in the way of loggers or whale-murderers or lake contaminators, we cut their legs off or spray pepper into their eyes. We seem to be as much a dead end of evolution as the rat and the cockroach. I don't see any blueprints for any angel likely to evolve out of us. Eugenics is a dirty word – obviously we prefer to perpetuate imbeciles. And, if there were such a blueprint, are we likely to last the thousands of years it would take to launch such a superior replacement? The dinosaurs died because there was nowhere else for them to go. In what way do we differ from the dinosaurs? Their huge bodies only made their extinction more certain. We don't have gigantic bodies, but we have a monstrous talent for manipulating nature and nature is justifiably reacting with outrage. I think any elephant is better than any yuppie or CEO or military general or policeman or Xtian Fundamentalist or Muslim fanatic. If that makes me a traitor to my species, make the most of it. Worse yet, we are planning to spread our pestilence into outer space. If ever a species deserved extinction, here it is, O Gods, on a platter, asking for it. Speaking of our lust for exploiting nature, i. e. our love of scientism and tech, when I watch the weatherman using a little electronic wand to draw circles around storm fronts I don't see a weatherman, I see a sorcerer – nay, a mountebank using cheap legerdemain. (The sorcerers are those who made the magic wand). So back to the first question – what is magic(k)? Originally, I suppose it is the misguided attempt to work miracles. In higher circles of the occult, however, it is the transformation of inner rather than outer reality. "Outer" reality is too easily manipulated and perverted because it's an illusion to start with. In outer reality, the search has been for the perfect image – down through the ages from painting & sculpture, to photography, to motion pictures, to cloning. All false, you see. All illusions. Only the inner psyche is truly realizable, and even that is made up of constantly mutating phantasmagoria. At death all that seemed solid in life breaks up and melts away revealing the truth that man, earth and all the stars in the universe were no more than a dream. EDITOR: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MC LUHAN? All I remember about him is "the medium is the message." What that means, I guess, is that people don't really drive cars in order to run to the store for a pack of cigarettes, but simply because cars are there. Nor do they really watch television in order to keep up with reruns of Wheel of Fortune, the TV set is sufficient unto itself. You don't turn on the electric light bulb in order to read Captain Marvel, you turn it on to get the light. In other words, utility follows invention. The medium as message has been proved by the computer – for many there seems to be a far greater attraction in merely seeing what it can do than in playing games or making spreadsheets or writing novels. We don't really need all this junk. They are no more than novelties and curiosities. We could go back to horses and lanterns and live theater and human messengers and pen and ink and we'd probably be much happier and have a lot more time for important things like long conversations and natural history and listening to Mozart.






His writing sounds not only sensible but long overdue. Americans (though members of Islamic nations are also hardly slouches in this respect) have a demonic and insatiable urge to display their self-righteousness by jumping on anyone they can pin any conceivable crime onto. They can't wait to find someone they can smash to a pulp. They remind me of chickens who will peck another chicken to death if they see any speck of red on it.


E. E. Rehmus


ROMULAN PHILOSOPHY (Ed referred to himself as Romulus in many contexts.) 1.

There is one, ultimate Holism composed entirely of unique hologram-like sub-realities, some of which are not accessible to us. la. All times, probabilities and potential possibilities exist simultaneously in the same place. Thus they are all connected, though all do not necessarily have immediate access to one another


Reality is 99% language.


Reality can be altered. We create ourselves and our own sub-realities. Society is an unwritten code based on an agreed choice to call certain realities more "real" than others.


Our natural inclination is constantly to alienate ourselves -- falling away in the manner of the myth of "God" falling away from Himself into "Satan. History, being the record of Man as a collection of individuals, is also falling away from itself, from the Golden ages of the past into entropy and barbarism. To overcome this natural inclination requires a conscious struggle.


All truths and values are relative, subject to both a priori and a posteriori reasoning, empirical and ideal. No truth is higher than another.


Opposites are exactly the same thing.


Cause and Effect is not the only operating principle in the dynamics of the Cosmos. The Principle of Simultaneous Parallelism ("As above, so below") is much more reliable and pragmatic.


Randomicity is fractal or infinitely bibranching superficially limited, but not predestined).


Entropy is a limit of time.

(i. e.

phenomena are

10. Non-corporeal entities, being spiritual, need not exist in order to exist (even abstract "manifestation" is non necessary for them to exist). 1). The Void is infinite, not yet limited by any taint of manifestation. This, however, is not the True Void or Ultimate Void, which is beyond possibility in this omniverse and cannot be accessed. **************************** (Admittedly, these are all compromised notions. la is lifted from a Virus 23 article on Hilbert Space. I wonder what kind of society would result from people a ccepting these postulates as matter-of-factly as they now believe in nonsense such as Good and Evil, Justice, Truth, Salvation, Hope, Human Superiority to other life forms, the Infallibility of the Scientific Method, God, Growth, Progress, The future, etc.)


E. E. Rehmus

ALL THE HEADS To trap the Mind with nets of tranquil gardens Is to unlock the damned Tower's secrets. The Endtime goes dropping through the capitals as they come chopping off, & the moment of Madame La Guillotine is reincarnated while the Aeon melts. Headlessness is rampant & quartered on Eternity's red escutcheon Wheras Reality for all its quicksilverability & flimsiness & elephant leaping Still sticks to the soul like thistle's burrs And the shifting gates rise and recede in the Abysses like nothing more than telepath poles outside a brain window And the heads planted with eyes still blinking in the rotting earth...


E. E. Rehmus

RAMBLINGS BEYOND LIFE AND DEATH To be blunt: Being and Nothingness are mutually exclusive, i. e. non-being can have no knowledge of being and vice-versa, if non-being can be said to be capable of such an existential thing as to know or not know a thing. Therefore being knows only being and confronts non-being with the frustration at, and horror of, the unknown suffered by all that exists, along with interference in the natural inertia that existent things require in order to go on existing. But opposites, including mutually exclusive opposites, can be grasped only within a third thing that contains them and consists itself of both or neither. The thing beyond being and nothingness was called by the Gnostics, Abraxas, and is the unknowable God beyond all Gods. Since there is a lower form of consciousness, there has to be a higher version as well and the higher must encompass the lower just as substances contain molecules, molecules contain atoms, atoms contain electrons, etc. in nested boxes of infinity above and below. (Yes, it's true, if you travel east far enough you arrive at the west as well). All being is immortal because there is in reality neither past nor future. Time is an illusion – memory serves only to make existence capable of dealing with itself more productively. Otherwise you wouldn't know a fish from a firecracker. Since you observe everyone around you dropping dead, it's obvious that death is not your destiny – at least not today, and since there is no tomorrow you are immortal. If you follow that with the proper logical elements you will come to the mirror. At any rate, without memory there can be no will, no purpose, no control, but only a chaos of inexorable results leading downward to entropy. Life is possible because subliminal matter depends for its existence on habit (addiction, if you will) but unvarying routine alone cannot prevent eventual attrition and collapse. And so in the course of an infinite progression of events (caused not by chance, because no effect can exist without a previous necessity) there occurred one event that was different from the others: the ability to seek survival through growth and replication. And once life occurs the evolution of self-consciousness is inevitable or you might say one wakes up and smells the shit. Something in the material world occurred before life and that was light, without whose great speed we would run into things before we even saw them. But light is a deeper mystery than life and so must await our more mature investigation. Thus saith Francis Bacon or some such. So we postpone, even though it is both old-fashioned and painful to have to use up the body (Bush: beware of sending men to Mars when robots will do!) but in any case let us return to our muttons. The God Abraxas, who dwells beyond the ultimate contradiction of Being and Nothingness – from which primordial separation all subsequent separations are born – arose in the mind of man about two thousand years ago in an attempt to explain the misery of human existence. Of course, misery is an essential feature of all Nature, but only man can recognize it because of his faculty of creating language and words that convey insight. The Egyptians did not concern themselves much with the origin of the world, which was the province of the God, Ptah (P-tah, literally, "the" Earth). But the Greeks and Hindus feared reincarnation and the round of painful death and rebirth and the Jews came up with a Creator of the Universe who was too powerful and frightening even to 9

E. E. Rehmus look at. The latter had created what he claimed was a paradise that he accused man of having destroyed with his own senseless misery. Once, however, we are able to see how things operate they cease to seem so glorious but rather start to look like a burden and a trap. The way out of the trap, for some, was through God becoming human (or through man becoming divine). Thus arose the notion of the Christos, the anointed one, who as the incarnated Creator would deliver Adam from his sorrows. For others, farther to the east there was the Buddha, the Enlightened One, who through self knowledge realized that existence and non-existence are one. Now, anyone who thinks persistently enough and deeply enough is bound to see that human self-consciousness, wisdom, Sophia and even the obnoxious judeo-christian-islamic monolith that we call "the God of Creation" or worse yet, "Our Father" cannot be the end of the infinite rainbow of probabilities. There must be that which lies beyond mind itself, a thing that contains the impossible paradox of Being and Non-Being. Nor can this mystery hardly be that famous Creator of Matter and Life, the Xtian God, because such things lie far beyond his interests nor can the Mystery be known or approached by man (certainly not in his present or foreseeable stage of consciousness) from the other side. No weapons, no threat, see? Therefore, to escape from the trap of contradiction and rebirth, man came to understand that his was to do or die and transcend all of his limitations, including his Gods and Archons – whether or not we choose to think of such Gods and Archons as merely human inventions produced by the exploitation of language. But first of all, the individual must abandon his ego and mankind must abandon its hubris, for such inflation causes blindness. Since it is inevitable that man will attempt to know the unknowable, for that is the nature of us poor mortal fools, there were many descriptions, depictions and definitions of Abraxas – most of which were contradictory enough that they canceled one another out. From the few remaining bits we are left with an impression of an entity that had a rooster's head and two serpents for legs, who held a thunderbolt in his left hand and a sceptre in his right and bore a shield on his back. His name is probably Grecisized Hebrew, Ha-brachah ("the Blessed"), which later degenerated into Abracadabra, since the invocation of the nameless Blessed One would have been a protection and a source of power. The name also appears, rarely, in Ptolemaic Egyptian hieroglyphs – phonetically spelled with appropriate Egyptian glyphs, by Budge, Abbraskktiax – followed by the divine determinative. But let's not forget that this description is merely a human attempt to deal analogically with the unknowable and should by no means be taken in any literal sense as a silly idol, born of superstition. Penal Code 31a. The rooster's head, of course, represents the harbinger of dawn and light – not the coming light's creator, mind you, but merely the potential recognition, or announcement, of it. Cock-a-doodle-doo. The two serpent legs are the same pair we find on the caduceus of Hermes, the two paths of inherent contradiction that we have seen comprise all dichotomies, good and evil, conscious and unconscious, male and female, etc.. Thus, for Abraxas, omniscience is not his highest attribute but only as it were the choice of airplane over elephant as the vehicle of his movement. The thunderbolt and sceptre are the usual implements of power that we have come to associate with gods and superior entities, i.e. the 10

E. E. Rehmus miraculous power to extract something new out of nothing and the magical steadfastness of Eternal Repetition a la apocatastasis or Groundhog's Day. But the shield should draw our attention, for it indicates that there is something even farther beyond, from which Abraxas must defend himself. That in turn suggests plainly enough that he is but the lowest point of the higher infinity that the human mind can perceive – just as on the material level the electronic particle is but the first penetration into the infinitely small that we envisage. In the evening of his technostrangling civilization, man is just now – through his discovery of the hologram and his invention of the clone – beginning to see that the entire analogy is composed of an infinite number of parts, all of which are simultaneously unique and universal. That is to say, each of the parts is a repetition or reflection of the whole in miniature and at the same time its own unique differentiation or specialization of that whole. In this way the part is greater than the whole, since it contains not only the whole but itself as well in separation and peculiarity. Lest this thought lead the individual to smugness, let him understand that his separation and peculiarity are also reflected back and reincorporated into the whole and that they are in a constant state of flux over which he has but limited control. Moreover, the whole and its parts are attributes only of our physical universe and not necessarily attributes of other possible states that we do not know and cannot imagine. The mystery of opposition and contradiction has been resolved! Being and Nothingness are but eternal and infinite reflections of one another ("Samsara and Nirvana are one!") and the dualistic serpents of contention and separation are silenced at last by the cock's crow which clearly announces not the coming of the night but the eternal rising of the dawn. The existential but premature horror does not lie in discovering that we must either be or not be (pace Hamlet), it lies in that tight and suffocating corridor between them, where our fundamental metaphysics is useless. Thus mankind and its components may die, the world may succumb – in fact, we can no longer easily avoid that pitiful conclusion – but even the vast and impressive cosmos itself, as we think we know it, with its billions of years and countless worlds, is no more than a momentary blip in the blissful eternity of possibilities: a hiccough in the void within the Void. There are more important things and better certainties than life and death.


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Recipe for Macaroni Salad First boil the macaroni in lightly salted water until it's done. Strain out water and slide macaroni into a good mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise until it is thoroughly coated throughout,

then an extra tablespoon or two after that. Use the best mayonnaise because that is what you will mostly be tasting.

Throw in finely chopped onions and/or celery – enough so that you can call this a salad but not so much that you ruin the comfort of the macaroni. Macaroni, after all, is an indulgence, not a health sermon.


hile this is still warm cover the top with small dollops of cream cheese – pull up the macaroni underneath to cover them lightly. These dollops act as little "surprises" for the palate, so that you won't get bored by a surfeit of sameness.


prinkle parsley flakes and paprika (or cayenne, if you dare!) over the top for color.

Cover it and put it in the icebox so that it doesn't generate salmonella. I could have stuck a feather in my cap and called it something else, although Makronsuchtigkeit or Attachement Macaronique or just plain "macfreak" might be more macaronic in the old sense than merely fattening or addictive.


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[The next few pages are samples of draft pages from this volume.]


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Sample Page from a draft of

The Magician’s Dictionary


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Sample Page from a draft of

The Magician’s Dictionary


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Sample Page from a draft of

The Magician’s Dictionary


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Ed’s Journal of the Academy of M/magic(k)al/ Arts


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ZWIELICHT von Joseph freih. von Eichendorff (1815) Dämrrung will die Flugel spreiten, Schaurig rühren sich die Bäume, Wolken zienn wie schwere Träume – Was will dieses Graun bedeuten? Hast ein Reh du lieb für andern, Lasz es nicht alleine grasen, Jäger ziehn im Wald und blasen, Stimmen hin und wider wandern. Hast du einen Freund hienieden, Trau ihm nicht zu dieser Stunde, Freundlich wohi mit Aug und Munde, Sinnt er Yrieg im tückschen Frieden. Was heut müde gehet unter, Hebt sich morgen neugeboren Manches bleibt in Nacht verloren – Hüte dich. Bleib wach und munter!

IN THE GLOAMING Trans. by E. E. Rehmus Twilight batlike wings doth spread The forest shudders in its breeze, And clouds drag by like leaden dreams Oh, whence derives this waxing dread? Hast a faun who is especially dear? Let it not alone to grazing go: The Hunter's horn quite soon will blow. Hark the cries already far and near! Hast a friend here in this place? Trust him not this doubtful time of day, Though friendly smiles he may display, Wars are brewing behind that face. What gives way to sleep tonight May reveal at dawn the cost, In darkness many things are lost – Oh Beware! Stay awake, keep bright! 19

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These Late Skirmishes Discern some little light at least in ancient secret hieroglyphs And see them snatched away by Academe – as false! Or chance upon the key to Death and you'll be warned to look away to Life because Death is morbid. Discover sainthood within yourself and they'll say no, that's wicked only Christ is God and you are ego. Who are these sudden savants, unwanted advisors of ubiquity, saying our gumption is no more than chutzpah?


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SOME DARKER RAMBLINGS I don't remember where I picked this up and why it should be in such sloppy Spanish, but "La tierra incognita la que ahora estamos descubriendos no se halla donde fue antes descubrierto todo sino es un lugar en lo que estamos experimentando todo lo que nunca fue experimentado antes." (The terra incognita that we are now discovering is no longer where it was before everything was discovered. It's a place where we are experimenting with all those things that we never experienced before.) Quite so, the Gods understand. When in Rome, etc.. And when in Hell consult the Gods of Hades. Edward Rehmus The lower entities aren't necessarily opposed to us and can help us to burrow under (undergo) our allotments of horror in life when we can't climb over (overcome) them. The sky gods always disown us when we are being tormented, disgraced and murdered ("Eli, eli, lama sabacthani?") because they are pushing downward, not pulling upward. The ancient Gods were not pointless superstitions, but the maps of natural forces. Zeus was a precursor of monotheism in ancient times. For even monotheism has its shelf within the cupboard of the many gods. But what good is Jesus when you have a bad cold? You need someone like Pazuzu, who is an expert on the miseries of fever, wheezing and catarrh. When I was undergoing many surgeries and my original face was cut away to be replaced by a reconstructed one bearing no resemblance to the former, unlike Michael Jackson, I had no identity at all and dwelt exclusively in Hell, relieved only by my nursely ministrations of morphine. My only guide was Yog Sothoth with his gangrenous, maggot-issuing face to lead me out of the darkness as I underwent the journey from one being to another. And, to resort to Michael Jackson again, he is unfortunate in being possessed of an inordinate vanity, for he chose his own destruction and no god, demon, angel or imp can interfere in his destiny. Now, after my experience (which was not of my choosing, and not rooted in vanity), now that I possess a countenance like that of the many (although still not my own!) so that I am able to pass invisibly in a crowd – now I can turn to Zeus and Ra if I choose. But like the Eskimos, I do not trouble with the good Gods. I worry about the wicked ones who must be appeased. This precarious 21st Century man may yet survive if he recognizes in time these nether-deities. If we try to bury them they will erupt volcanically and wreak destruction. Well, it's a question of language, isn't it? That's what Wittgenstein was on about. You see, if Schopenhauer talks about "women" or "noise" or "horsewhips" you don't find him boring. But when he mentions "The World as Will and Representation" who can blame you for going to sleep? Nietzsche, quite aware of all that, declared that the old language was dead and he was building a new one. Unfortunately, his new language isn't all that easy either, although it is worth the trouble to learn. Well, almost every language is worth learning, since each is unique, and the tower of Babel is simply all of them at once clamoring to be heard. 21

E. E. Rehmus Anyway, part of the new language is an acceptance of the fact that as human beings we are a dense mass of contradictions – and Nietzsche contradicts himself incessantly. Eventually you get used to it and start to see what he's driving at. He points out, for instance, that none of us is a coherent, integrated person, for inside we are many different people – a multitude with a different king every day. There is nothing wrong with the ego except that it keeps changing (Heraclitus: "You can't step into the same river twice"). Therefore when N says that he is the Uebermensch and his own self is superior to everyone else's, that sounds conceited, but it isn't really. It's just what everyone does – including the prophet Zoroaster, whom Nietzsche uses as a mask for himself. Why not admit it? He says in one breath that the majority of people do not deserve to live, because he considers them to be sleepwalkers who are dead to the world in the first place. But in the next breath he says that we must nurture and protect the mediocre! He emphasizes the body but experiences very little of it, being unable even to drink strong tea. On the one hand he says he expects nobody to read his books and if they do they won't understand them. On the other hand he warns his disciples not to take him seriously -- they should think of him as a clown. He places his own morality over and against Christianity, because Christianity is phony and ugly. And he doesn't reject pain and misery because if you are going to affirm life you have to affirm its dark side too! That's rather different from previous philosophers who defined things in terms of moral judgments -- either the world had to be "all good" because God made it or it had to be "all bad" because the evil Demiurge made it. In truth, we made the world! or as N puts it we killed God so now we have to remake it and be responsible for it. Well, if you don't understand Nietzsche, neither did the Nazis. Nor does 99% of the world and neither do I. That's why I took a course in him some years ago, but the professor disappeared about half-way through the semester. I was, however, beginning to see that Saul's "Voltaire's Bastards" owed a lot to N who also deplored the throne of Reason and opposed the same things that Saul did. And truth to tell there are a lot of otherwise not very good writers whose most dynamic and startling ideas are really watered down, half-baked and who illunderstood Nietzsche (Aleister Crowley, Robert Anton Wilson, etc.). For Nietzsche is not the Buddha, you see, much less the Christ. He's the reborn Zoroaster who transforms the Good/Evil cocoon into the Beyond-Butterfly 22

E. E. Rehmus of...what? Maybe if that study group had gone full course I could tell you. Or maybe Nietzsche was already mad before he began screaming and banging his fists on the piano. Back to language. One of my correspondents wanted to discuss the serpent in the Garden of Eden, so we looked it up. The first thing we discovered is that the English bible misses the point altogether. The serpent says to Eve, in English, "Ye shall not surely die," (from eating the apple) which we take to mean merely a contradiction of God's warning or at least a slight revision thereof. But what he actually says (in Hebrew) is "Lo mut t'mutun", which means "Ye shall not die the death." In other words, mortal death is only superficial. Whether or not you agree with that, it's obvious that Modern English cannot weather the sea voyage to Ancient Hebrew. So we're always running into the brick walls of Babel. But throwing one's dictionary into the trashcan and turning to bay with the hounds and squeal with the pigs for company is hardly the solution. The difficulty we have with language is just another expression of the difficulty of life itself. We have always got to overcome (or undergo) and we have to grow ears to learn what people are saying. Wittgenstein was not the end of philosophy. He was merely the latest in the successive revelations of man's weakness: not the center of the universe, not specially created, not master of himself, not superintelligent and so on. Yes, we have innate weaknesses, but we are still expected to transcend our limits somehow, else why bother to live at all? A beggar came up to me on the street saying he was hungry and had AIDS. I try to give something, even if only a few coins, to someone every day, but I turned away, because this one looked me straight in the eye and confronted me with our identity (aren't we all one another?) and I couldn't handle that at that moment. It set me to thinking, though, that were it not for beggars we would never be challenged to recognize our identity. And whether we coldly refuse to help or react with waves of pity we are denying that identity. The simplest thing is to hand over a dollar and not think about it. I can't change places with him, after all, because that would disrupt both our karmas – Sydney Carton's opportunity was a rare one indeed! Similarly, Nietzsche and I agree about people in the "middle ground". I certainly don't care much either for people who move only a fraction closer to enlightenment and say "good enough." Ordinary people really are sleepwalkers who "don't deserve" to have been born. 23

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What indolence and what prodigality to trust to usage that which ought always to be spontaneous, creative, and conscious: SPEECH!


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here is no historical evidence, other than the Gospels (whose authors never knew him) to support the existence of Jesus. No, not even Josephus possesses such evidence. And the Vatican reluctantly admits that former historical evidence on record turns out to be forged. Moreover, while there were "Christian" (or more properly, "messianic") cults prior to the First Century, these were all Essenic or Gnostic sects that did not derive from any personage, but were merely hopeful harbingers, looking for someone to enlighten them and to initiate them into the ancient mysteries. By dint of constant insisting over some 20 centuries on the historical veracity of the Synoptics and the censorship and revision of all extra-christian theological work, the Flanked by Horus and Isis, Osiris squats Church has managed successfully to on a pedestal. This statue dates from the implant the notion of historical reality Third Intermediate Period ca. 850 BCE of an actual person called "Jesus" indelibly on the popular mind. And this Jesus is now generally accepted as the Christ. Knowing that careful scrutiny would reveal the lie, the Church also invented the concept of "Belief Without Question" and imposed that final safeguard upon its followers.


he reason the Church chose to do this can only be understood in the context of the age in which it began. The very reason that there were so many Messianic cults was enough to necessitate the Church's insistence on its having found the only "true" Christ. At first, coming as it did only a few decades after the so-called fact and in an environment that required only that a legend be repeated often enough to be believed without question, no real effort to cook the books was necessary. But with the passage of time the legend had become so polymorphous that it was in danger of being lost in a morass of conflicting stories and so in the year 325 a council of bishops was held in Nicaea where a final selection of gospels and tenets was made and whatever was rejected became heresy, punishable by death.


he name Jesus is a masterpiece of linguistic complication. The original Christian sect whose name and nature are unknown, save that it was of Gnostic origin, did not take the name from any living person, even though Yeshu' or Joshuah was a common enough Hebrew name. But it's a name that 25

E. E. Rehmus isn't easy to translate because its philological origin is Egyptian. Of course the first Gnostics were Egyptians, and the Judaic Essenian or Messianic cults were using a Hebraicism of popular etymology in which the original Egyptian name acquired a somewhat altered form and meaning in Hebrew. Io + Shu probably originally meant “Io” or “Yo” (one of the more ancient Semitic Gods, prior to Jehovah)" is actual or equivalent to YSHUH or some such. If you consult your Bible's concordance you will find Joshua translated as "God is Salvation"-which is enough to make most Bible students stop and say "Aha! So that's why the messiah is called Jesus!" But that's little more than saying that Rush Limbaugh is the messiah -- saying so doesn't make it so. At any rate, the concordance makes do with a very loose translation. The Hebrew triliteral SHU being without vowels can also mean "calamity". (cf. HA-SHOAH, "the Holocaust"). But something else is worth noting, in passing. The Egyptian word for "calamity" was iw and the way to indicate the causing of a thing in Egyptian is to prefix the letter s to a word, so we get siw, "to cause a calamity." It is interesting to weigh the similarity of SHU an SIW and to follow that to the name of Yeshu or Jesus.


owever when we add the water of vowels to the rocks of consonants our linguistic ships run aground too often in too many places to be of any real help, All we can say is that Yeshu or Joshuah were the closest thing to the Egyptian Osarsiph they could find at the time.


he Arabic for Jesus is Issa, however, and by means of that semitic provenance we arrive a bit closer to its historical origin, as we shall observe presently. braham is purported to have entered Egypt somewhere between 2500-2000 B.C.E. and Moses is believed to have left Egypt between the 13th and 15th Century B.C.E. So it is now fairly certain that if such a person as Moses ever existed he would have been an Egyptian priest (Osarsiph) and his name merely the Egyptian for "son of..." as in Ah-mose, Ra-mose, Ra-meses... Over such a long A Late Period artifact period of time it is impossible that any tribe however of Isis nursing infant unintegrated and isolated should fail to incorporate Horus ca. 600 BCE a good deal of the prevailing language into its own. Indeed it is possible that prior to the flight much of the Hebrew language per se had long since disappeared – as it is wont to do from time to time.


inguistically, Isis and Osiris are the same word which explains why mythologically the two are both brother and sister and husband and wife. We can designate this proto-word as something like Ius or Aus which bears a curious similarity to the Hebrew word for "man", ish, as in Ishod, "man of glory".



E. E. Rehmus n the Egyptian language of the New (i.e. Late) Kingdom we encounter various spellings for the names of Isis and Osiris. The hieroglyph for Isis was still, which is a throne, but the diacritical vowel indicator varies from i to a to o to iu so her name is transliterated as A, Ist, Ausat, etc. ("Isis" is merely Latinized Greek). The final T being simply the feminine ending common to all Semitic languages. And "Osiris" is the same, the only difference being an eye placed above or below the throne and so his name is pronounced variously as Iusar, Isar or Osar, the final R being no doubt a link to the sun god, Ra (more correctly, Re), since Osiris is the eye or light of Isis, who you will remember, stole the secret of Ra's name from him. Ra-Isis-Osiris is the first Trinity. So the connection between Isis and Osiris can be explained simply enough if we recall that Isis is the goddess of mystery and magic, "whose veil none can remove". No one, that is, except her husband and brother who is the only one who has an eye to penetrate that mystery. And since we can find in the Isis-Osiris enigma the entire script for the story of Jesus, it is obvious that Is- minus the eye of Ra for the masculine form as well as the final T of the feminine form, is the forerunner of Issa and Yeshu (or Jesus, which is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous). Why so? Because the Gnostics who founded the messianic cult were Egyptians and it was Isis (the mother of the new sun god, Horus) and Osiris (the murdered and buried exponent of the lost mysteries of Isis) whom they were hoping to resurrect as the anointed one. So Isis is the Mystery and Osiris the understanding of it. And when Osiris is murdered, Isis goes looking for him in the same way that the unconscious mind goes looking for conscious enlightenment. From these early myths the later Xtians adapted the idea of madonna and child alongside the murdered and resurrected Savior and devised a more practical doctrine to assist them in gaining worldly wealth and power, while at the same time obliterating the original intention of a search for wisdom by transforming it into a useless gift of deliverance.

hierogliph for Isis

hierogliph for Osiris


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Some Considerations of the Origins, Meaning and Future of Religion


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In Response to, "Can you prove that Jesus Christ never existed?" Obviously, no one can prove that something does not exist. Who can prove there is no Santa Claus or that there are no little green men on Mars? Can you prove that I don't have a bust of Diana over my word-processor? But to claim that something does exist must be backed up by proof.' The burden of proof does not rest with the skeptic, but with the believer, just as in court, the defendant does not have to prove he is not guilty, but the prosecutor must prove that he is! The question of the historicity of Christ is a very old one. Read Gerald Massey's "The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ", Andrew Tomas's "Mirage of the Ages", Taylor's "The Arguments of the Emperor Julian against the Christians", J.M. Robertson's "Pagan Christs", Graves's "The World's 16 Crucified Saviors", Levin's "Jesus alias Christ", King's "Crowley on Christ", Stein's "An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism", Gore Vidal 's "Julian", Lacarriere's "Gnosticism", Frazer 's "The Golden Bough" and many others Natura1ly, Christian believers are going to assume that what the Church tells them is the truth, but non-Christians see things a bit more realistically. And who refuses to read is a fool, because there are better things to believe in.


E. E. Rehmus

The Value of Ancient Languages Contemporary illiterate society strongly resists the implication that the study of foreign languages is anything more than an affectation. On any contemporary academic roster of priorities you will rarely find language at the head of the list. It nearly always comes last. Typical of our society's concern with quantity over quality, we stupidly put mathematics first. This is exactly the opposite of the position of most ancient educational establishments and academies. Until the 20th Century, the mark of an educated man was not his knowledge of mathematics and science, it was the extent of his proficiency in Latin and Greek. That mournful truth is in itself enough to explain the barrenness of intellectual life today. In our crumbling cultural desert, the only legitimate function of language seems to be to advertise and if that can be done with pictures of products on television, so much the better. Mere numbers will suffice to report baseball scores or the latest stock market quotations. Otherwise we can communicate well enough by means of grunts and gestures. A correspondent of mine says he understands why I would want to read Nietzsche in German. He thinks Nietzsche might be easier to understand in the original. But that's not the reason at all. Jung's analysis of Zarathustra in English would appear to be all that anyone needs and more -- certainly Nietzsche's essay on the Anti-Christ doesn't really need German to make its point. It's true that what I want German for is the works of Mayrink or Klages that have not been translated. But Thus Spake Zarathustra, is poetic philosophy, after all, and if it can't be read in German, its totality is considerably eroded. The English version misses something. But if people are hostile to the idea of having to learn French or German, consider what mules they become at the prospect of Latin. Even the Catholic Church, which is hardly noted for progressive action, eventually and to its eternal shame, yielded to profane ignorance and allowed Latin to be replaced in the mass with English. Doctors and lawyers are no better. They merely use Latin as a code to confound the public. Often enough they assign their own meanings to the classical terms -- meanings that are but remotely connected to their original sense. When I mentioned to a friend recently that learning Greek helps us to develop our analytical faculties, he pointed out something I'd quite overlooked -that the very labor it takes to translate the classics for ourselves increases the likelihood of retaining what we read. Translation is a voyage of discovery, a mystery to be solved, a digging for gold. And of course, we always remember best what we achieve for ourselves. If that were the only advantage, you'd think it would be a good enough incentive for anyone to undertake the pleasant discipline of learning Greek and yet such a reason would be dismissed with a smirk of contempt and without even a split-second's hesitation by today's barbarous adolescents. They prefer to be served the fruits of the mind already sugared for them and spared the sight of the tree from which they have come or the labor of gathering them.


E. E. Rehmus Ted Nellen, a New York high school teacher, is breaking into the Sunday supplements these days as an iconoclast (duly defined for hoi polloi readers) because he teaches Greek and Latin roots to help students master English. Of course this misses the point completely. It is only too true that it is a “widely held belief that Latin and Greek are unimportant languages" for today's world. But that's precisely the point -- "today's world" and its “widely held beliefs” are completely wrong in the first place. The purpose of learning Latin and Greek is not to shed light on English or the modern world, it's to shed light on the past. Indeed, one of the purposes of studying English should be to prepare us to understand the classics, not merely to enable us to read English literature. As for "practical" subjects, intended to teach people how to raise a family, to earn money, to promote technology or to help maintain the goals of corporate America, none of these has anything to do with education. In his essay entitled "On the Study of Latin" from his Parerga and Para1ipomena, Schopenhauer lists some of the reasons why we should not abandon this tradition, which in his day was just beginning to be called "unnecessary" and "time-wasting" for the first time. Schopenhauer indeed was so alarmed by the Mid-l9th Century trend of neglecting the study of ancient languages, that he wrote "If it should really come to this, then farewell humanity! farewell noble taste and high thinking! The age of barbarism will return, in spite of railways, telegraphs and balloons. We shall thus in the end lose one more advantage possessed by all our ancestors. For Latin is not only the key to the knowledge of Roman antiquity; it also directly opens up to us the Middle Age in every country in Europe, and modern times as well, down to about the year 1750." He doesn't even bother to mention that learned men of his time (the mid-l9th Century) still wrote formal papers in Latin and included long, untranslated passages in their books. He goes to some pains to remind us that in learning another language we are obliged to mark out the boundaries of realms of ideas that are absent in our native language, so we not only learn new words, but new ideas as well. When it comes to ancient languages, these new spheres of meaning are incredibly more vast than anything we encounter from one contemporary European language to another. When we translate into Latin, we have to melt down and recast our thinking, we have to analyse and recompose. This is a subtle and important contribution to the expansion of the mind. Our thinking is limited by the language we speak. It stands to reason that the more languages we acquire, the more ideas we modify and the more shades of meaning we comprehend. Who speaks only English inhabits a gray world without dimension.

three of forty-four alphabets at the front of Ed Rehmus’s 1989 journal 33

E. E. Rehmus Certainly, no one who aspires to anything beyond barely competent writing can afford to neglect his apprenticeship to the ancients and the imitation of them in their languages, which are so superior to ours in grammatical expression. Says Schopenhauer, "It is only by learning to write Latin that a man comes to treat diction as an art...the material in this art is language, which must therefore be handled with the greatest care and delicacy. The result of such study is that a writer will pay keen attention to the meaning and value of words, their order and connection, their grammatical forms. He will learn how to weigh them with precision, and so become expert in the use of that precious instrument which is meant not only to express valuable thought, but to preserve it as well. Further, he will learn to feel respect for (his own) language in which he writes and thus be saved from any attempt to remodel it by arbitrary and capricious treatment. Without this schooling, a man's writing may easily degenerate to mere chatter." Schopenhauer concludes his essay with a question and an answer. After merely a half hour spent on one of the ancient classics one returns "refreshed, relieved, purified, ennobled, strengthened...is this the effect of the old language and its perfect expression, or is it the greatness of the minds whose works remain unharmed and unweakened by the lapse of a thousand years? Perhaps both together. But this I know. If the threatened calamity should ever come, and the ancient languages cease to be taught, a new literature will arise, of such barbarous, shallow and worthless stuff as never was seen before.” No doubt he thought he was forecasting such trash as Fenq Shui for the Businessman or the swinish novels of Judith Krantz. Certainly, he could never have imagined the depths of degradation to which we have sunk with rap "music" and the high-ratings teleproduction. He would never have guessed we'd go so far as to stop learning how to read altogether! Everything has been translated? No, this is only partially true. Although most of the classics are available to us, there are still a few obscure ancient works that have not been touched. At any rate, since Latin was the common language of scholars up until the 20th Century, there is a significant remnant of postclassical literature that remains untranslated. Furthermore, many works written in modern or semi-modern languages continue to quote from obscure sources and even contain long passages in untranslated Latin or Greek because it is assumed that educated readers neither desire nor require the insult and distraction of some condescending editor's mistranslation. And, as a matter of fact, the obvious and pragmatic value of translation has been greatly overrated. There are Germans, for instance, who insist that Shakespeare is much better when rendered into Schiller's German and yet one can hardly imagine this in German: Where the bee sucks, there suck I In a cow-slip's bell I lie There I couch when owls do cry, On the bat's back I do fly After summer merrily Merrily, merrily shall I sing now Under the blossom that hangs ‘neath the bough!

Ed Rehmus (1929 – 2004)


E. E. Rehmus


The Arabic Star-Names E. E. Rehmus San Francisco, California

Although even a little history should serve to remind us that it was the Arabs who, in the Middle Ages, reintroduced astronomy into European culture, still many of us may have wondered why so many of the brightest stars have Arabic names. The Mohammedan contribution to astronomy was actually much less remarkable than their contribution to arithmetic. They called astrology 'ilm ahqām (or sina'āt) al nudjüm, 'science of the decrees of the stars' and astronomy 'ilm al hai'a, or 'science of the aspects (of the universe).' But they made little real distinction between an astronomer falaki) and an astrologer (munadjidjim). Indeed, it is to the unlettered Bedoums, as you might suspect, that we look for the names themselves – to those desert nomads who traveled by night over the trackless sands on their "ships of the desert" and who observed the comparative positions of the moon to 28 different groups of stars called the 'lunary stations' (manlāzil alqamar). During the Dark Ages, at a time when such lore had elsewhere sunk into oblivion, however, they did manage to preserve the earlier progress of the Greeks. And the great number of names that the Arabs gave to the stars shows us how thorough in astronomical observation they must have been. The Greeks had, as a matter of fact, either missed altogether or simply not bothered to list a number of bright stars easily visible to the naked eye. We should remember, too, that during the Dark Ages the Arabs were capable of making quite accurate projections of such esoterica as the circumference of the earth. During that same era, the European astronomers were lucky to be able to make accurate predictions for the dates of religious holidays. And although astronomy is said to have begun with the Greeks, undoubtedly still other Semites preceded them. Kochab, for instance, found in Ursa Minor, is certainly the Phoenician word quite simply for 'star.' What is interesting to us, then, about the ancients is their manner of seeing. The Greeks apparently saw the stars simply as patterns, that is, as constellations. The Arabs, on the other hand, focused their attention on the individual stars themselves. The oldest extant star catalogue is the Almagest of Ptolemy (137 A.D.). It was replaced by an Arabian catalogue in the 15th century. Many abortive attempts were made by the Europeans to replace the pagan Greek and – to the Europeans – the barbarous-sounding Semitic star names with more modern ones. The bestdocumented of these was that of Julius Schiller (1627). In his Coelum Stellatum Christianum ('The Christian Stars of Heaven') he made a zealous effort to replace all the fascinating old names with the tiresome names of popes, bishops, saints, and the like. That he failed utterly is testimony to the innate good sense of the human race, which obviously prefers that the stars retain their ancient mystery and romance and not be dragged down to the level of commonplace Church dignitaries. But aside from a few Latin names: Sirius 'the dog star' (Sothis of Ancient Egypt); Regulus 'the little king'; Foramen 'the opening'; Manubrium 'a handle' – and others from Greek mythology, such as Alcyone in the Pleiades, etc. – an amazing number of the most common stars retain their old Arabic names. What, then do they all mean? Good question-and one not so easy to answer as one might think. There are few reference works that can supply us with everything we want. For the benefit of the reader's curiosity,, here are a few origins that are known by Arab scholars, plus a couple of guesses (indicated by question marks). The reason that guesses should sometimes be necessary at all owes itself to the fact that transliterating 35

E. E. Rehmus from the Arabic writing often obscures the original words. For example, the star Algol, which is located in Taurus, is given in many dictionaries as descending from al-ghāla, 'the destroyer,' but its more likely origin is the more familiar form from the same root: ghul 'a woodland demon' from which we got our word ghoul, 'a defiler of graves.' The Egyptians themselves, of course, were the first to break into the ancient tombs to seek their pharaonic treasures, but the Arabs did their share of such graverobbing, too, we have been told. Most of the names given here, however, are accepted with little question by historians. Achernar 'Last fire. ' Aldebaran (AI-dabarān is from dabar 'to follow' because it follows upon the Pleiades.) A star in the constellation of Taurus (Thuru in Arabic) means 'the one who is more easily led' or 'The Follower,' referring to one of a team of oxen. The -an ending here apparently does not indicate the accusative, but rather the dual, as in a pair. Adhafera 'The one who holds out' or 'The Victorious.' Algenubi 'The Southerner.' Algorab 'The Crow.' Alhena 'The Henna' (because it is red). Alioth (Alyat) 'fat tail of a sheep.' Al Jabhah 'The Front' or 'Forehead.' Almach 'The Brain.' Alphard 'The Solitary One.' Altair Corrupted Arabic for 'The Bird.' Antares Not Arabic, but Greek: 'Like Ares' (cf. Arctic and Antarctic). Alpharg Like the Roman star, Foramen, 'The Opening.' Baten Kaitos 'Inside the Whale' (see Deneb Kaitos). Betelgeuse (Properly bat-al-jauza) 'Shoulder of the Central One.' Caphir 'Atheist.' Dabih 'Slitter' or 'Slasher.' Deneb 'Tail,' hence all names like Deneb Adige 'tail of Night's Darkness,' Deneb Algedi 'Tail of the Kid'; Deneb by itself, however, refers to Dhanab AlDajājah 'Tail of the Hen.' Deneb Kaitos (Dhanab gatrus) from Gr. kētos 'whale.' Denebola (Abbrev. of dahanab al-asad) 'Tail of the Lion.' Dhur (Zahr) abbr. of zahr al-asad) 'Back of the Lion.' Difda or Diphda (properly modern: dufda) 'Frog.' Dirah 'Little house.' Dubhe (From Al-Dubb al-Akbar) 'The Greater Bear, 2nd mag. star Alpha Ursae Maioris. El Nath 'The Butting' (as of two rams or goats). Fomalhaut (Properly fam for 'mouth,' cognate of Greek phemē and al-hut) 'Mouth of the Whale.' Giedi 'Goat's... (tail?)' – considered part of Capricorn, though technically in Aquarius. Hamal 'Lamb.' Homam (Sa'd al-humam) 'Luck of the Hero.' Kitalpha (qit'ah al-faras) 'Part of the Mare' in const. of Equuleus. Lesath 'Jawbone'? (Cf. Hebrew LESETH). Markab 'Boat' or 'Chariot.' Matar 'Water bottle.' Menkalinan 'Container.' Menkar 'Beak.' Mirach 'Abdomen.' Mizar 'Veil, Cloak' (also the star Izar). Rasalbague (Ra 's al-hāwi) 'Head of the Serpent-Charmer.' Rigel 'Foot.' Muphrid (M. al-ramih) 'Solitary (star) of the Lancer.' Sabik 'Ahead of.' Sadalmelik 'Dam of the king.' 36

E. E. Rehmus Sadalsuud 'Darn of the (Sindhi?).' Arabic astronomy/astrology had a rather naive premise, that the moon and planets were all in conjunction at the beginning of time and in a million years will be in conjunction again. This idea was based on a work called Al Sindhind (a very ancient treatise on astronomy, a corruption of the Sanskrit Siddhāntā). Sadr Short for sadr aldajdjah 'Breast of the Chicken.' Schedar (Sadr) 'upper part. Saiph 'Sword.' Sheratan Two stars in the horns of Aries, dual of sharot' sign; notch.' Tejat 'Crown.' Unukhalhai 'Neck of the Snake.' Wasat 'Middle' (of the constellation). Wega (or Vega) (Properly waji') 'Falling.' Yed (Pior or Posterior) 'Yed' is probably 'hand.' Zanih Variation of Zavijava. Zuben El Genubi 'The Southern Claw' (of the Scorpion). Zubeneschamali 'The Northern Claw' (of the Scorpion). Since the original meanings of the stars are often difficult to obtain, I would be grateful to any reader who is able to come up with any additions to this list. References The Islamic Encyclopedia Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia Webster's New Intl. 2nd Ed. 1956 Islamic Society of California Ahiam Abu-Zayyad Seyyed Hussein Nasr Science & Civilization in Islam


E. E. Rehmus

THE RIDDLE OF THE SPHINX BY E. E. REHMUS It is no secret that "man" is the answer to the classical riddle that the Theban sphinx put to Oedipus. ("What goeth on 4 legs in the morning, 2, legs at noon and 3 legs in the evening?") This was a fitting question for Oedipus, whose name means "swollen-footed". But the true riddle of the sphinx is its origin, not this seemingly simple-minded conundrum. The pyramids at Gizeh were constructed around three millennia before Christ, and at one time it was believed that the Egyptian sphinx was built by Chefren shortly thereafter. This would be circa 2550 B.C.. Rawlinson (Ancient History, 1869) says it was cut by Thothmes IV. But the best Eqyptian authority and the most recent, Sir Wallis Budge, proves conclusively that the sphinx was already in existence at the time Cheops began the building of the first pyramid. Its maker and where he got the idea for the sphinx are cloaked in mystery. More mysterious yet is the source of her name. Skeat's Etymological Dictionary indicates that the name is folk etymology for a word actually foreign to Greek. Literally, Sphinx means "strangler" (Greek: sphingein, "to bind tightly or to throttle") and from this we get our word "sphincter". The noun sphingia means "greed" (in the sense of choking on what is too rapidly devoured). In the story, the Sphinx strangled or devoured all those who could not read her riddle and when Oedipus answered correctly, having no one else to strangle, she strangled herself. But if sphinx is not really Greek, it is apparently not Semitic in origin either. The Hebrew for "sphinx" is Boal Taalmuth (or "Lord of Secrets"). The Eqyptians called the sphinx hu (suspend judgment for a moment and compare the Hawaiian word hona, "secret, hidden", which I shall explain presently), representing the god Harmakhis (or Heru-em-chut), "Horus-on-horizon" or the rising sun. And Lovell (1687) says, "so soon as the sun was up (the sphinx) gave response to anything it was consulted about." Now, if the Egyptians equate the sphinx with the rising sun, we might recall that the zodiacal sign ruled by the sun is Leo, or the Lion, and the Sphinx has the body of a lion. So she is a link between Man (the earth? the horizon?) and Lion (the sun). With the word sphinx, then, we might compare various words for "lion", namely, Malay: singa, Telugu: simhamu (cf. HARMA-khis); Sanskrit: simha, and finally the Bantu word found throughout Africa: simba, all of which sound suspiciously like the Greek word. Undoubtedly we have been led to believe that languages such as Malay, Telugu, Hawaiian and Basque are too farfetched, so to speak, for comparisons with Egyptian or Greek words that designate this monster whom we may call hybrid in more ways than one. But the Polynesian language family extends from the island of Madagascar off the East African coast across the Pacific, and the Basques, that mysterious Iberian-Caucasian people, have been seafaring folk for as long as anyone can remember. Surely the sphinx owes its origin to a universal idea. It is curious that the aboriginal word for a certain widespread and important magical object is called 38

E. E. Rehmus by many tribes curinga and means "secret" or "taboo". This word sounds exactly like the Basque word churinga, meaning "sphincter". Is churinga then an echo of singa or of hru-m-ch--t? Shelley's reference to the Sphinx who "ministered to Thebe's unnatural love" undoubtedly must mean sodomy - the Freudian concomitant of the Oedipus complex. We know that sodum (Greek sodoma; cf. Arabic jabal usdum or Mt. Sodom) is the Biblical word for "burning", and in Lafin sodium means "solid ash" or "salt". Hence the fate of Lot's wife. But sod, sodi are also Hebrew rootwords for secret. Are we speaking of the "love that dare not say its name"? And if the answer to the riddle of the sphinx is "man", what is being said about him within this context? I have been unable to locate the original Greek account to see whether "man" is rendered by aner or anthropos, i.e., whether it is "a man" or "mankind". Oedipus may likewise have other connotations. In a Freudian sense, the four legs of man's crawling infancy can just as well correspond sexually and symbolically to the four legs of the beasts. Thus they suggest the polymorphous perverse nature of animals and children. The two legs of noon would then symbolize the bipedal, evolved nature of man as mature and heterosexual, while the three legs of old age imply of course the use of a crutch (fetish, artificial stimulus, etc) in erotic as well as ambulatory activities. One thing emerges. Although her ultimate origin may never be known because the ancient world did not stress documentation as we do, the sphinx managed somehow to travel to the utmost limits of the world, beyond even ancient civilization itself perhaps. As for what the sphinx symbolizes, what her secret actually is, we were perhaps not supposed to know. It is the sunlight that reveals the secrets of the night. Possibly the sphinx was meant to stand for the fact of mystery itselL or the Unknown or all that is taboo. Finally, there is something to ponder in the name of the Grecian city that she originally infested, prior to Oedipus, that is to say, Thebes. It is from the Greek thambos or thaumos, meaning "astonishment". _______ [This article appeared on pages 48 and 49 of some upscale professional journal. On this sheet torn from that journal is a note signed by ER which says: “Recently it has been determined that the general shape of the sphinx is a common natural form created by desert erosion.”


E. E. Rehmus

ETYMOLOGICA SEXUALIS (PG-3) Since a friend of mine has put my "Magician's Dictionary" on his web page on the Internet, I get a number of etymological inquiries. Here's one I thought might interest some readers of Gift of Fire. Question: "What's the connection between Sanskrit 'lingam' (phallus, power) and the ling-/lang- root in English, Latin, etc. (Lingua, language, linguistics, etc.)? The resemblance seems to me close enough to suggest some very old connection, and it makes me wonder about the origin of such concepts as verbal formulae and power words and the like". Reply: "Believe it or not, the history of LINGUA is incredibly complicated -being originally mixed with Old Latin DINGUA, rel. to Gothic dughu, Engl. tongue, plus older words meaning "flicker, pant, throb " etc. similar to Sanskrit JIHVA, "tongue". It seems natural to associate it with "phallus", because of the similar nature of the two organs & because of cunnilingus, etc., but lingam and lingua are apparently not directly related. Anyway Sanskrit LINGAM is literally "a symbol" & only secondarily associated with "phallic" symbol. A phallus, itself, by the way, is not the organ itself, but a replica of wood or the like to be used in ancient fertility parades, etc. So it too is really just a symbol for the real thing". Freud and his "phallic symbols" wasn't really all that original! Since sex has reared its controversial head, it might interest you to know that the word "heterosexual" is a relatively recent word. It was coined in the 19th Century to refer to a pathological condition characterized as "a compulsive or obsessive attraction for the opposite sex"— perhaps not unlike Hugh Heffner or Larry Flint (who refers to himself as a "pervert"). It must be remembered that in Victorian times chaste "romantic" love prevailed in decent society, where such platonic affection was accepted even when such participants were of the same gender! Intercourse was confined to marriage (strictly for the sake of procreation) or else, as lawless fornication, to the so-called "demimonde" or hidden underground world of prostitution and other "unnatural" practices. Even more amazing, the word "homosexual" was invented some years afterwards, as a kind of special case of this same idea of psychopathic obsession. It did not appear in dictionaries until about 1930. Since victorianism was starting to die out, "heterosexuality" was (with considerable reluctance and reservations) no longer considered psychopathic, but homosexuality now occupied the place left vacant and remained an "unnatural sickness" until about a decade ago. Those who object that the meaning of "gay" has been corrupted should be aware that it has always meant a rather questionable quality: merry, funoriented, unserious, light, whimsical, frivolous, etc. The "Gay Science" was poetry! It was used as a synonym for "merry" until the late 19th Century, whereupon it began to be used, in the 1880's-1890's, as British slang for shopgirls, housemaids, etc. who were of easy virtue* and could often be seduced 40

E. E. Rehmus with small gifts by gentlemen. In the 30's and 40's, in America, it was taken up by overt homosexuals as a private code word for themselves, never intended to be used outside of "gay" circles. *** * Incidentally, in case there is anyone who doesn't know, this word "virtue" originally had nothing to do with feminine chastity. In Roman times virtus (from vir, meaning male person, hero, etc.) referred to strength, courage, honesty, etc. which were considered to be exclusively masculine qualities that were routinely developed and inculcated in young men as part of their education. It was the Latin equivalent of Greek "Arete", which meant the same thing but carried to the extreme, in Greece, of an almost divine force. Since education, however, was restricted to theupper classes, little virtue was expected of peasants and slaves. In fact education was confined to the upper classes for most of history. This is why the poor up until a hundred years ago or so, could refer to the rich as their "betters." Since there has been no education in America for the past 30 years, we should no longer expect to encounter virtue in anyone of the current generation. Ed Rehmus sketch made in 1947


E. E. Rehmus

CEPHAS, PETROS AND PETRA [In this article Ed responds to articles written by two others, denominated here X1 and X2, concerning translations of the New Testament. KJV refers to the “King James Version”.] What a tempest in a teaspoon! X1 claims that KJV is deliberately downplaying the importance of Peter as the "rock" of the Church, by mistranslating John 1:42 "Su klesesthe Kephas ho hermeneuetai Petros" as "Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." And then Matthew 16:18 "Su ei Petros, kai epi taute te petra [X1 legitimately omits the iota subscripts in his transliteration] oikodomesu mou ten ekklesian" (Thou art Peter, and on this rock I shall build my church). I'm afraid I can't quite understand what it is that bothers X1 about all this, but I gather that he feels, amongst other things, that calling Peter a mere "stone" is insulting (because petra is feminine) and misleading (because "you don't dwell in holes in a stone”). First of all, he should understand that KJV does the best that it can with a text that is ambiguous to put it mildly. X2's judgments, of course, in his "Mistranslations: a follow up" are quite laudable. It's clear that he is a scholar and that X1 is simply a trouble-maker (there's another more vulgar phrase that might be out of keeping here) whose understanding of Greek seems limited enough to suggest that it probably extends no farther back than the New Testament. Let's remember, first of all, that in English a stone is part of a rock. There are some rather large rocks, such as Gibraltar, but there are also some rather large stones, such as the Rosetta Stone. And something similar happens in the Greek language, wherein the feminine word petra means "rock" and nine nouns in ancient languages, be it noted, have not always the extraneous sexual connotations that we English-speakers try to impose upon them. Very large things that contain other things are often feminine and the smaller, individual parts are masculine. Kefa, however, is a Chaldean word (via hebrao-hellenistic borrowing) and doesn't have such definite meaning – it can be something hard and unyielding or a rock or a stone or a cliff or a cave. Moreover, as X2 correctly points out, when there is no indefinite article in Greek, the noun may be translated into English either with or without said indefinite article, depending on context. Certainly, Simon bar-jona could stand a new technikrym for hermeneutic, pedagogical or magico-religious purposes. "A hearkening son-of-the dove" may have had some symbolical overtones as represents world to come, but a firmer foundation was clearly necessary for the church to get off on the right foot, so to speak. It seems to me, though, that whether Peter is a "rock" or a "stone" (that is, either one who endures or one who is merely a cornerstone or keystone, or indeed whatever the bible means by the pun if it is to be considered as more than a pun) is a singularly unrewarding exercise in 42

E. E. Rehmus theosolipsism. All religions, being linguistic enterprises to start with, dote on puns for their own sake, often without any meaning higher than Seinfeld himself might bring to any performance. Peter and Paul are not the essence of Xtianity anyway, but merely dubious pillars of a dubious "Church" that Christ himself would have detested had he foreseen what it would become. Well, being a magician, maybe he did foresee it and that's why he dug up that crumbly stone, Petros, so clearly with tongue in cheek. Ah me! When are these fish-peddling Galileans going to recognize that their time is up? The dreary Piscean night of Christ is done and we stand, admittedly for the worse, well within the precincts of an equally dismal and hung-over Aquarian morning of man. Alas, it has been demonstrated that there is nothing for man in Christ. And whether or not man and/or civilization is/are to go under in the joyless aion to come won't hinge on outmoded belief systems. Maybe X1 has been reading "Crisis of the Modern World" wherein Guenon rightly pointed out that when Rome ended, the west was held together during the Dark Ages by the Church and life for a short time had been returned, for what they were worth, to purpose and meaning. But the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution ended all that and we are once again on the path of materialism and disintegration. If he has been reading that (and if not, why not?), I would suggest that he turn from Guenon to “Revolt against the Modern World,” which points out the futility of hoping that Catholicism (even though there is no other acceptable Xtian tradition) is the correct narcotic for the West. Granted, we do need a "higher principle" (or "principles") if we are to keep from sliding even more precipitously into the abyss, but if we are to return to the past, why not go all the way back to Greece, Egypt or the prehistorical mythos? Or if the way back to the West truly is barred, why not hitch our hopes on the still breathing and far more trustworthy traditions of the East: such as Buddhism or the Tao? Why must we cling to such mawkish scams as monotheism, messianism and allahism, whose corpses are so completely mummified that they can no longer speak either to the heart or to reason, but can only drive us to imprison ourselves in the strait-jacket of eternal nitpicking and pointless scientistic reductionism?


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Suffering Jesus! It was suggested that I might be able to shed light on or muddy the waters of some questions about the Nicene Creed. While I don't feel particularly qualified to comment on Church documents that I haven't actually seen, I suppose my opinions are as useful or useless as anyone else’s. Perhaps Rob can supply me with the “anathematous” Greek version of the Creed (I can manage without Pontius Pilate and the BVM). As for the word πασχω, “suffer” isn't really all that ambiguous a translation. The Greek verb, like the English, has the same additional meaning: to undergo something that is thrust upon one, rather than some course of one's own. It is used often in the sense of “if something should happen to him...", with the implication of “if he should die.” We say “he suffered a fatal accident” as both the Greeks and Romans said. But why not simply say, “it seems to many that J.C. died”? That should satisfy everyone. Those who want to go on from there to propose that he rose from the dead or that Elvis still lives can be invited to do so at only minimally more damage to consensus reality. Personally, I don't believe Jesus existed at all, in the first place, nohow, period. To me he is barely a henotheistic euhemerism. Whether it was a crucifixion or a “crucifiction” that took place or whether he died and then flew off into the clouds, or didn't die and went underground, like Hitler in Argentina, are historically unproductive coughs. At any rate, I would prefer to play with the idea that even if one is willing to reject the “fairly clear New Testament statements that Jesus genuinely died on the cross and rose from the dead”... that doesn't stop people... from regarding themselves as Xtians. Many not very religiously savvy people think the word “Christian” is just a synonym for “being a nice person”, i.e. generous, kindhearted, self-sacrificing, forgiving – what we used to call “liberal”, perhaps, before it took on its current meaning of “brain-dead” by conservatives, industrialists and other Establishment flakes who persist in imposing merchant morality on everything. The so-called “Christian Virtues”, however, are shared by Buddhists, Humanists and many others. Furthermore, if being a Xtian means being a nice person, what about Cotton Mather and Savonarola? So being a Xtian has to have a more specific meaning or the word begins to sound suspiciously hollow. A real Xtian, if I may now be permitted a brief excursion into sound-byte theology, is primarily interested in expiating his guilt for having been born into flesh made corrupt by Adam's rebellion and he hopes thereby to escape from a Brief Life of toil and tears into Eternal Life of more of the same, in company with (or sharing the identity of) a Redeemer who did the same thing 2000 years ago. Why “eternal life” should be an antidote for ordinary life is where we enter the muddy waters, which go all the way back to pre-Xtian Gnosticism, Hinduism, etc. The key to this vicarious symbo-apotheosis has nothing to do with “good works”. It depends, according to St. Paul, strictly upon the grace of God, with the hint that this grace (Salvation) is more likely to be visited upon those who believe that Jesus is the aforesaid Redeemer (messiah).


E. E. Rehmus This is not too different from modern advertising informing us that Brand X Floorsweepings taste/s delicious because we have been told that so often we must believe it and if we believe it, then the miracle will happen. You can always put sugar on it.


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THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS DECEPTION (BOOK REVIEW) Michael Baigent & Richard Leigh (Jonathan Cape, London l991) 266 pps By now it is evident to everyone that the Dead Sea scrolls discovered in 1947 have been kept under wraps far too long, Either the scholars privy to them are not very good at translation or the committee in charge are keeping something from us. With the recent dismissal of Professor Strugnell as head of the international team, it was discovered in the course of his nervous breakdown that he was an agent of the Vatican and an anti-semite and this is the real reason no progress had been made. The scrolls are first century and earlier Aramaic and Hebrew documents pertaining to the Essenes and Christians, as well as "secular" matters (which also have important bearing on the religious matters). John Allegro, who was on the original team, early on promised that his translations would undermine the authority of the Church, and as a consequence he was barred further access to the material. One of his books, "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross", was discredited and vilified by both Catholics and academic scholars, fearful of their own reputations - because he utterly denied the historicity of Christ and "reduced him to a mushroom." In fact, Allegro was a gifted linguist and scholar who wanted nothing more than that the scrolls be delivered into the hands of the public before they began to disinteqrate. Obviously, the question of the historicity of Jesus is important, but this is never gone into (by Baigent, at least). At any rate, there are other questions as well. Baigent says, for instance, that "most scholars agree" that Jesus was a real person, but offers no evidence for it. However, in an effort to find the origin of Christianity, the scroll translators are in constant argument over the political, social and economic background of the time, when they should be concerned simply with what the scrolls themselves have to say. One of the interesting things to come up in the study of the scrolls is more detail on the conflict between Paul and James over Christian doctrine. Paul stressed Faith and James stressed the Law. The scrolls seem to support the idea that James was assassinated by 'minions of the estabalishment.' "The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception" is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the historical realities of early Christianity.


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Some Alphabets that Interested Ed


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Some Alphabets that Interested Ed (continued – 2)


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Some Alphabets that Interested Ed (continued – 3)


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Some Alphabets that Interested Ed (continued – 4)


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Germanic Talismanic Symbols


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Magical Alphabets


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“It is my son who made my name live on this stela; he acted as heir for me, as a stout son, the commander of the army of the palace, the honoured one, Bebi, justified.”

“What old age does to man is evil in every respect.”


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SHE'S BEEN AWAY (a film review) The BBC, few of whose works we are privileged to see in America, and then on distant channels and late at night, now seems to be producing the only television worth viewing. She's Been Away was aired only once and without advance notice. In the program guides they even failed to mention that it was a Masterpiece Theatre production, which might have pulled in a few more viewers. It is a pity that these brilliant and revelatory British exports are forced to compete on the same level with mindless football games and unfunny Sitcoms. Madness and sanity (or what we choose to call these things) are the two ends of the human spectrum. Animals only go mad when they are struck by a fatal disease -- and then they are not themselves. But the schizophrenic is always himself, whatever parts he must play. If he must, like everyone else, adopt a routine, it will be his own, not one imposed. And, if imposed, it will not be accepted without rebellion. If he can secrete his own psychedelic hormone, he's lucky, otherwise he will lapse into the mortal apathy of the so-called sane. "She's Been Away" was 60-year-Old Dame Peggy Ashcroft's final and finest film performance before she died last year. It's the first to open our eyes to what madness and sanity are all about and reveals to us exactly what we need to know, definitions that have previously been hidden behind psychiatry's masks of ignorance. Indeed, it is a revelation to 55

E. E. Rehmus which psychiatry has never been exposed. In a world where there is literally no more room, the sensitive and free spirit cannot fulfill itself and is obliged to shut out conformity and ordinariness. Those who adjust, function and succeed too well in this anti-human world are rightly suspect. They necessarily become our keepers. Lilian (Peggy Ashcroft) has been institutionalized for the past sixty years and now that the institution is being dismantled, she is going to stay with her wealthy nephew, Hugh, (James Fox) and his wife, Harriet (Geraldine James) in the same family house in which she grew up so long ago. Hugh is Lilian's direct opposite: successful, reliable, well-adjusted, strong, competent, practical -- he's even caring and humane. It's he who, out of sheer generosity, wants to take in this crazy great aunt. In short, he is perfect in every way -- hatefully perfect. Lilian, on the other hand is rebellious, anti-social, demanding, inappropriate and, in her youth, even a bit violent. She's not very likeable at all and crazies who do not amuse us are righteously put away and punished. And then there is Harriet, Hugh's wife, fortunate inhaving been a former actress, so she does know how to amuse the world and therefore can get by. But Harriet is caught in the middle between these two, lonely, misunderstood and unhappy with her pregnancy. She needs to rely on Hugh's protection, but she is envious of Lilian's autonomy. Harriet and Lilian recognize at once that they are kindred souls. Indeed, almost the first thing Harriet says to her is, "You're not fooling me. I see right through you." In her irritation with Lilian, she doesn't realize, of course, that she herself is straddling both worlds. Lilian was shut away, in the first place, because, as a budding artist (she painted disturbing murals on the walls of her room) she felt things too keenly and could not bear to be surrounded by insensitive, stupid people who lacked imagination, gumption and personality. She always wound up screaming at them or slapping them. Once locked away she learned to shut out the world and to create her own inner universe. She could paint pictures on blank walls in her imagination, create her own sound (by banging on the floor with a tin plate), insist on cooking her own food (deliberately burning everything). Now, after all these years, she is being forced out of that coccoon. What's more she has a reason to do so -Harriet needs her help. She says to herself, It's a little late and it's so tiring now to have to begin all over again, but,.." What we have here is a modern morality play. It is almost alchemical -- the three principal substances: salt (Hugh), sulfur (Lilian) and mercury (Harriet) are combined in numerous illuminating proportions. As in all alchemical reactions, each element is but an aspect of individuation. It is not a separate, isolated thing apart from the others and at variance with them. It is the sum, nay the whole dentity of the others. What we observe in the sliding scale from too much sanity to too much insanity, however, is that the great majority of people do not even play the game. The average person neither rebels against nor masters the world, but simply knuckles under to docile enslavement and apathetic routine. And what we, the audience, have learned is that these are definitely not medical questions. They are questions that can be answered only by creative people.


E. E. Rehmus The objective world, of course, is falling apart. Overcrowding and capitalism have resulted in a general deterioration of values. Civilization has always been just another form of madness -- only stone age cultures are really sane -- but now it has entered a phase of madness that no longer serves even the majority of individuals. And other, newer kinds of dislocation of the contemporary spirit are springing up -- Lilian recognizes them and nods at them approvingly: the neo-savages (young people who have gone feral in th~remaining woods of England) and the juvenile delinquent who smashes Hugh's car window. The fact that, in the film, they are tearing down the old hospital building is significant. Psychosis needn't require imprisonment and medication. It's the world itself that ought to change -- to rescale itself to the human dimensions of old. Meanwhile, there ought to be a place for the afflicted where their physical needs can be provided, without all the rest. We have to agree with Lilian when she says to her keepers when she is first committed, "You can't even do this properly!" The schizophrenic is a unique individual, an ambitious attempt at evolution out of the norm. Such people must be respected -- as they were in ancient times, when they assumed the roles of seers, shamans and prophets.


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Never mind 1984 – sad to say, 2084 is closer than you think. These are just some random thoughts I picked up while surfing the net. Note pad is for notes that one may require later. And it's a poor answer to the notes our machines take on us! Either we never read the notepad again or we erase it accidentally. And its a kind of insult to our anthropism. Here, you dumb apes, you can scribble your own feckless crap that no one will read. See how user friendly we are? Some applications are necessary or amusing, but most of them solve problems that they invent for themselves. You can get something that lists the number of times it hits a bug. I suppose there are people who need to count such things, but personally I believe that's becoming too cozy with the Machine. There are, supposedly, other things in the world, than turning into a cyborg. In a world increasingly hostile to privacy we are losing our personal worlds, like endangered animals or forests. Such things as triplesex-change personalities or the mindless ranting of bubbleacious babblers are now common household furniture. So what are our plucked selves to be filled with? The Machine! Anyway, here's a nifty program that enables you to download anything you can think of for free! It won't be long before the Big Guys take it over so it won't be free any longer! In fact you already have to buy it, but soon the availabilities of downloads will be restricted. You see, you can't really win this battle. The Digital Game is only that, a "game" -- not the real thing. Like those watches that are no longer clocks, but numbers. 23:14:07 may tell you the hour, minute and second, but it doesn't give you any space. I don't really need to know the exact number of minutes between events, I need to know how much space I have to travel to get there. An hourglass would be far more useful. Or here is a way of sending a surrogate of yourself to a simu-cocktail party. Now you can do all the things you wouldn't be able to do at a real cocktail party, without the slightest embarrassment or timidity. No simu-Real World, don't you know, just some silly cocktail party. Don't dig too deeply into yourself -- you might find out that you're better than you thought. The Machine can't allow too many people wandering around pulling the curtains behind the Wizard. I don't know what the Machine is worried about. It can foresee the future and nip any human uprising in the pre-bud state, that is by pulling it up by its roots. It's nothing if not thorough.


E. E. Rehmus Well, maybe not totally Teutonic in its efficiency today, but by tomorrow it will be. File Buddy is nice if you can figure out what it's really supposed to do. It helps you get rid of duplicate files that clutter up memory, for one thing. What you really need is something that tells you when any file is actually necessary to the machine or desirable for you. If not and not, then rip it. But I think this program has a deeper purpose that so far eludes me. There's a lot of stuff in the Machine and you aren't really supposed to tinker with it. Hackers especially need to realize that you don't enter a building by breaking through the wall. The Machine simply will not put up with that. If there are no back doors or open windows, then you will have to knock on the front door. And there you will be greeted by a chain to yoke around your neck.

Ed – in his office 1998


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HIGH CRIMES AND MISS LEWINSKY Let's try to be a bit less hypocritical than usual. Yes, Clinton lied to his family. If that were a criminal offence, there wouldn't be enough prisons to hold everyone who committed it. What is morality, after all? Is it simply doglike obedience or is it closer to something more akin to intention or motivation? In the matter of Clinton, Lewinsky, Tripp and Starr, surely Clinton is the least immoral of the lot. It was Lewinsky who sought out and seduced the president, not the other way around. At worst, Clinton is guilty of weakness, but Lewinsky is the most despicable kind of sleasy chippy, out strictly for what she can get no matter whom she has to use. To compare Clinton to Nixon is absurd. Nixon went out of his way, deliberately, to subvert his country. Clinton is guilty of nothing more than sexual indiscretion. He has done no harm to the democratic process. To claim that Clinton's actions may corrupt our children, since he is the president, is completely apples and oranges. The president is a political executive not a religious mullah or medieval saint. The U.S.A. is supposed to keep religious conviction out of its governing. We should remember that Clinton is hardly a sexual exhibitionist and that he did not parade his misbehavior before the world. He made every effort to keep it hidden. Is that in any way different from what all "moral" people try to do? Or should we try to say that we – all the rest of us – are perfect and have no soiled linen we would be embarrassed to see on the evening news? 0bviously, Lewinsky wasn't too embarrassed to keep her semen-stained dress as a treasured souvenir and was only too pleased to hold it up for all to see, but would you or I be quite so eager to do that? When a law is clearly unjust and unsuitable it must be changed. Perjury is such a law. Bearing false witness against another should remain a crime, but lying in defense of oneself is a statute that cries out to be ignored. No man should be required to incriminate himself. In fact, there's something in the Constitution about that, I seem to recall, or the Bill of Rights. And speaking of unsuitable laws, the law empowering "independent counsels" should be stricken at once. Clearly, such people are abusers of power, not to mention wasters of taxpayers' money. Indeed, it is Kenneth Starr, not Clinton or even Lewinsky, who has truly injured the country. It is he who, in the tradition of the Nixonian right wing, seeks only the trashing of political opponents by whatever evil means he can find. It is he who, finding no political or financial crime to pin on the president, persisted in his badgering and hounding of innocent and imaginary witnesses with threats of prison, until he managed finally to worm his way into the most private portion of everyone's lives. And all of that with a disarming dimpled smile. That is corrupt enough to warrant his public censure, but then to publish the fruits of his long and tiresome investigations in what amounts to little more than a pornographic document lies beyond human endurance. The man deserves to be hanged! As for Monica Lewinsky, she's already paid for her crimes. Her life is ruined. Her chances for landing a decent job are nil. Who in his right mind would hire anyone so untrustworthy? It seems unlikely that even the madam of 60

E. E. Rehmus a whorehouse would take her on. After all, some of her clients might be famous men who want to keep their private lives private. Her prospects for marriage are equally dismal, since no man will ever see her as anything but a worthless tramp. And what friends or companions could such a person expect to keep? The issue now is not so much whether the American people are willing to ignore Clinton's lapse of propriety as whether they are willing to forgive their own sins. In the light of reality, the president's actions are probably more innocent than those of most citizens in this decadent nation. They are even probably more innocent than the actions of many of his presidential forebears.


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by Edward Rehmus As California flies, soon after flies the nation and likewise as California drowns in a cesspool so drowns the country as well. I write this as the Great Recall Debate has just taken place where Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous body-builder, proved to be the idiot we all knew he was, but naturally the Republican-owned media insists he "won." All the same, he is not a deo missus and it's depressing to watch once again how democracy can be used as a stepping stone to corruption. Schwarzenegger claims that his name doesn't mean "black nigger" but "black plowman." But my German dictionary says plowman is Pflueger. Some of his worshippers think it means "Black Forest" which is downright stupid. In his first films he avoided the name altogether and called himself Arnold Strong. The point is that no one but an Austrian would think that "nigger" is an appropriate name for anyone. His father really was a Nazi, but of course everyone in 1947 Austria was assumed to be an ex-nazi – although some not so ex. For what it's worth, Arnold invited Kurt Waldheim, the infamous war criminal to his wedding a few decades later. In order, however, to distance himself from such associations he contributed a large sum of money (which of course provides a charitable tax deduction) to the Jewish Wiesenthal Center. Orrin Hatch this year has been busy promoting a bill to repeal the restriction in the Constitution against the president being foreign born. So if you squint into the horizon, can you see any swastikas yet? Taco Bell at the moment (Sep-tember 26) is conducting a poll of its own. If you buy a crisp meat taco thats a vote for Arnold. If you buy a soft chicken taco that's a vote for Gray Davis. The former of course is the most popular taco to start with, naturally. It should be noted how-ever that "beef" is a euphemism for mere "meat," which might be beef, horsemeat, cat, rat or floor sweepings for all anyone knows.

Terminator USA


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I see now that no matter what we do, the bullies will always prevail. A staunch Republican neighbor of mine voted for Bustamante because she felt the recall was a danger to the democratic process. She is, however, up in her eighties and I suspect the majority of Arnold voters are under thirty – an age group that thrives on novelty for the sake of novelty. The fascists running things today don't care that Arnold is an android. That will just make him easier to manipulate. My interest in politics has evaporated. I'll wait till the Revolution begins, if I or anyone live that long. Inside "Blacknegger"'s* head (this is the oracle speaking, now) his hubris was from the beginning to become a worldly archetypal personage. But without brains or talent, how does one clothe naked ambition? Viennese architectural painting and paper-hanging had already been done. The only thing left was his body to which he applied himself assiduously, determined to reach the muscle-bound top of the dubious sport of bodybuilding. With that as a springboard to a film career and its fantastic salaries, he next applied himself to the game of financial investment at a time when anyone with a few extra dollars was succeeding. Now, after the Recall (cf. beerhall) Putsch, he sees himself in the White House, smiling down at billions of chanting worshipers. The background to all this, of course, is the bleak landscape to come, in which the Terminator moves back in time to eliminate those who stand in the way of preventing the Doomsday demonization over which he as Pantocrator shall have dominion. As with all megalomaniacs, there is no streak of humanitarianism to be found. Nothing of value can be seen in the man. At least the dictators of the past pretended to seek national renaissance. But in America that would have to be an impossible and contradictory return to Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers. In the Terminator's plan, there is little such pretense. The Self and its cold-blooded empowerment are all that matter. Fortunately for all of us, my prophecies and visions have almost always failed to materialize. Nevertheless, beware! *

United States Your able editor and I were swept away into the thrill-a-minute and crowd-arousing arena of German-English translation on this one. Schwarzenegger says his name means "black plowman" which sounds a tad euphemistic to me although for all I know (although I doubt it) there may actually be such a word outside the dictionary. We thought of "Blackslave" (too heroic) and "Blackblack" (pointlessly exact) and even "Blackguard" (premature). The problem is that the correct German word for nigger is Neger, with one g. Maybe truncated English orthography ("blackniger"?) to mirror the expanded German deception would serve.

25 cents

In the Christian God of fundamentalists we trust!

of Austerland 63

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America Now by Ed Rehmus So now we have America in its decline, whose emperor Nero is George W. (not George Washington, mind you) fiddling as we Americans burn. They've got it all laid out. We are beginning to realize that the Towers were not just the sacking of Rome by the barbarians. They are also the call of the world outside shouting to itself that "America" is over. The "Noble Experiment" has ended in failure. And the fascists know what they are doing. The battle will soon be thick, we all know that, so of course the multitudes must be disarmed and quickly! Education only gives them ideas. Out with it! Welfare only encourages inferiors to survive. Out with it! Health? Survival of the richest! But always at the top of the dunghill are those whose business it is to adapt to changing times, like emperors in drag as the first popes of Rome. I wonder if the new popes will have to exchange vertical power for horizontal power and what does that even mean? A nation of Schwarzeneggers? If so, such a nation would need to weed out all that is not schwarzneggerian, the more energetically and righteously the better. Well, as California rocks, so rocks the nation and when California lays an egg, so does the rest of the country.

America ...God bless us!


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Kewl Bush Babies Recently I used the word "copasetic" on the Internet and someone's bot (named "Icanspeel") intruded the conversation with "You mispelled copecetic! You are very stoopid and should be saverely punished!" Actually, almost any spelling is acceptable for this word (including such bizarrisms as "copasetty"), although "copasetic" and "copacetic" are the most common. Copasetic, however, is not typical. Its purely phonetic spelling clouds its origin (Creole coupersetique? Hebrew kol besedek?). Such orthographic chaos is almost non-existent in most languages because most languages rely on phonetics, whereas English is a virtual Smithsonian of historical relics. Although at one time (say Shakespeare's era) it was perfectly acceptable to spell any word any way you chose. To ignore spelling in English today can result in a real failure to communicate and immediately suggests an inferior or incomplete education. On the other hand, a brief spate of "creative" spelling ("crucifiction" for "crucifixion", say, or "Youth-in-Asia" for "euthanasia") can also indicate the opposite, i.e. a sophistication beyond the limits of convention. Beyond the pale, we might say, but not beyond the pail. The "pail" being the "pail of slops" kept in old-time kitchens before the advent of indoor plumbing. "Pale" on the other hand is from Latin palus, a "stake", hence a post representing a legal boundary or barrier (as a palisade is a series of such stakes, forming a fence). If you spell palisade with two l's (pallisade) you're suggesting that its origin is Latin pallidus (pale: as from exhaustion or fainting). "Wan" by the way is an even whiter shade of pale, but the phrase, beyond the wan never caught on because those who make an effort to vary their phraseology are also likely to make an effort to learn the meanings of idioms and nonce words in the first place. Perhaps as recently as a decade ago, when technology was the king of the materialistic anthill, an absence of linguistic competence was readily overlooked, but when today President Bush says of a tax increase, "Not over my dead body" that's not so cool. If he doesn't think about what he's saying when he's formally addressing the nation, when DOES he think? And speaking of Bush, on September 11 the first thing he said was not "We have been attacked" but "Today Freedom has been attacked". This was a remarkably quick-on-the-uptake response to an unprecedented tragedy, causing one to consider whether such an event might have been anticipated as a possible contingency. The subsequent erosion of civil liberties and billions for defense are too blatantly opportunistic of this Administration for some of us to dismiss as mere exuberance over a windfall. Those first words were not cool, as we say.


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But What does GEORGE think!? Our illustrious editor has asked me to divulge what I think about our impending dalliance with Iraq. First of all, yes, I think we probably need the oil (does a hog need swill?). And second, yes, I think I dislike Hussein and Islam as much as anyone. But after that my thinking gets a little fuzzy and raggedy around the edges. I thought the civilized world had left war behind, especially Hitlerian wars of conquest. The many contretemps of the 20th Century are still within memory, are they not? And surely if such an invasion is not an engraved invitation to WW3 it looks at least like a retaliation to 9/11, begging for global muslim vengeance, resulting in our paying back... ad infinitum. In that case the question will be "Gott bei uns" or "Allah bei dem"? All right, the blood is high. Let's go to war then! The planet is dangerously overpopulated and maybe if enough Muslims are killed (of course only a few of our boys will be harmed, right?) we can, a la Charles Martel, stem the tide of Islam for one last generation's fling. Moreover, our Ministry of Propaganda informs us that there are dozens of Iraqis who are secretly praying that America will seize their mad Grand Vizier and restore Mesopotamian freedom. But wait -- can we actually afford a long, horrible and boring war? Wars cost more than lives, no matter how cheap life may become. We've already spent everything that Clinton saved for us and interest rates are really out to gobble us up this time! When we run out of credit, the White House can be put up for sale, but after zed, what? Our resources are not what they were in 1941 and with the current change in climate, even our agricultural crops will not be at their best this summer or the next or the next. Moreover, we're in the middle of an economic nosedive, euphemistically called a "Recession". Communism failed, to be sure, but the fate of Capitalism is equally sealed. Wholesale Me-first-ism didn't work in the Stone Age and I don't think it will work today either. It's true that once we get our hands on Persian oil (if they don't set fire to their fields before we get to them?) oil prices here will drop to 1970 prices and we can thumb our noses at Saudi Arabia and those other Arab ingrates. Hey! We can make more cars and pollute more air etc. Well, the United States is no longer as promising as it used to be, in my opinion, so the Super Rich require an ark to ride out the coming Deluge. And with that in mind, our President has given them a tidy windfall (those tax breaks, remember?) to help them build their leaky, little lifeboat. That duty having been done, we can, with clear consciences, go ahead with the war that will end peace forever and maybe stop thinking altogether. That's what I think. As for our President. . . I think he bears a striking resemblance to Nero. Even though he can't play the fiddle, he can make some very dramatic grimaces. Ed Rehmus


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HISTORY LESSON by Prof. Ed Rehmus Now that Babylon has fallen, we must move quickly on to that other Arab stronghold: Syria! (Damascus, specifically.) With these important stations of the Ancient World under his belt -- see, we've already got the "Future" (albeit the minimal Walt Disney version) -- Napoleon is now ready to move on to that uttermost ancient of stations: China! This game, we know from history, eventually plays out. And of course, even Napoleon knows his empire, though eternal, is not immortal, so he will coast the rest of the way downward to land on a soft pillow in the history books. Sadly, however, every conqueror leaves a wasteland behind him, having been obliged at times to violate sensible tradition. When this Empire falls, speaking ex nostradamu, the entire world will have become a cesspool. Now, this being so, the wretched survivors of the 21st Century must deal with reviving the corpse of civilization bequeathed to them. They may have certain advantages, such as science and "libertas in chaos," but since they lack the genius of classical skills, their machine will be lopsided and feckless. Thus will begin to brew new human bacteria and soon thereafter will appear the symptoms of kings and leaders like blisters on the social skin. And then the cycle begins anew, of this disease called monkey mumps. (The history of the next cycle, soon to follow...)

[which, of course, it never did.]


E. E. Rehmus

Another Reason for the War This blitzkriegy "takeover" war, then, turns out finally to have been about discovering a new "free trade" arena in Iraq, which means that Iraq itself will never attain autonomy to any degree. "Free Trade" means survival of the richest, i.e. it is nothing less than bloated capitalism and its ziggurat-building slaves. Back to Babylon with a vengeance! Free enterprise, privatization, etc. all mean the same thing and I wish they would call it by its real name: The U.S. Military Industrial Complex! Moreover, and most important to say, the enslavement of the Middle East is merely the latest step in the onrushing serfdom of the world, which daily gobbles up more liberty from the poor in order to feed itself. Because individual freedom no longer derives from the Declaration of Independence, it now simply means freedom of the rich at the expense of the poor (that includes the middle class). Democracy? What a quaint and curious notion! Elections? Who needs another Puppet Administrator? The Will of the People? They will go to sleep. We are, my friends, sadly entrapped in a rapidly changing era of history. There is no gainsaying Plato's warning that any democracy inevitably becomes a tyranny, not as we feared, because the mob is so unintelligent, but because those in power gradually and seriously commit themselves to its deterioration. For a long time we went slowly through the presidents each of whom removed a sliver from the platform we stood upon. By the mid 20th Century we were already in decline as a Democracy. Until the latest rogue simply overrode the election altogether and proceeded quickly to rip the whole tradition to pieces. Why? Because democracy is over, my friends. It has to be swept away to make way for ol' ugly dragon, Future. Alpha and Omega and the next Zoroastrian circle begins with a different spotlight and a different cast. Must we wait until 2013 for the Revolution?


E. E. Rehmus

How We Spend Our Years Observation made concerning the amount of actual time spent by the average American in various activities: Average lifetime:

72 years

sleeping: working for someone else: running errands, cleaning, personal maintenance: watching TV: commuting or waiting in lines:

24 years 15 years 15 years 9 years 4 years


67 years

time left for creativity, leisure, personal pleasure:

5 years

[Excerpt of the 3-16-88 entry in one of Ed’s diaries.]


E. E. Rehmus

by Edward Rehmus Since I suffer from advanced and progressive emphysema/asthma I cannot smoke marijuana, medical or otherwise. For some time, therefore, a wealthy friend has been kind enough to supply me free of charge with chocolate candy laced with THC from an anonymous dealer. Interestingly, I just happened to read somewhere that chocolate itself has a few natural cannabinoids of its own. I also suffer from claudication and vascular deficiency in the legs, so that walking is slow and painful. The other day after a brief nap, my right leg was so numb and dead that my toes bent over the wrong way when I stepped on my foot, causing me to fall at once to the floor. At first I thought my foot might have been broken, but since cannabis is among other things an effective pain killer, I couldn't tell right off. Fortunately, occasional numbness, which I've experienced before, diminishes a bit after I walk around and sit upright, so I eventually discovered that no bones were broken after all. All the same, now I am careful to use a cane even walking about indoors. Although there are no serious side-effects to cannabis (it has failed to kill lab animals, no matter how much of it is injected into them), there are recommended dosages and apparently it has been known to produce some numbing and tingling in excessive dosages. Usually that amounts to no more than an occasional and minor annoyance ("Haha! My foot fell asleep!"), but with my leg arteries already constricted, the import and export of blood through those vessels are reduced and decelerated, so that any toxins may tend to build up. This is what comes of being cut off from information about medicinal usages of, and experimentation with, illegal substances. My doctor and I do not have a candid relationship because he is very establishment-oriented, unlike myself, so I can't discuss things like this with him. The fact is, the more I glean off the internet, the less I seem to understand. Marijuana, apart from its "high," seems to be something of a true panacea. It controls epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma for a start and is far better at dealing with pain, depression and stress than any of the mainline prescriptions. Moreover, historically, it has been used routinely since before Babylon and Egypt. It almost seems as if the only reason it remains illegal is that the bloated drug corporations continue to lobby for its prohibition because they fear it would be a strong competitor. It was prohibited for the first time in the 1930's because the new drug czar, Harry Anslinger needed a new scapegoat once alcohol became legal again. It was he who created the "killer weed" nonsense. But it seems to me that if it was good enough for George Washington and Queen Victoria, it's good enough for me.


E. E. Rehmus As for its infamous "high," I have discovered through my own observations that its effects on the cortex are such that the user is visited by a kind of revelation or enlightenment, which in the drugless state is normally so rare that its mere strangeness is likely to result in shock or paranoia. Persistent analysis however eventually dispels the alarm or panic that accompanies this newfound ability to understand what have previously been impenetrable mysteries. When ordinary and familiar objects become embued with a new aura of both mystical and rational significance, the world is utterly transmogrified. It becomes not so much a kind of wide-awake dream, as a much wider awake awareness. Of course such a perspective is routine schizophrenia (or a refusal to see things as the herd does), which may actually be a healthy alternative to the so-called "sanity" of our world today. The difficulty with these powerful cannabic insights is that they occur rapidly and are quickly forgotten -- so that you have to keep pencil and paper handy if you want to capture them. A quick note is then sufficient to bring back an entire chain of thought. But most people would rather just relax and listen to some good music. Incidentally, this relaxation, like the relaxation induced by alcohol, may be inappropriate behind the wheel of a car, although it doesn't impair judgment as alcohol does. In fact, it may actually increase your bridge score (and, at the same time and for the same reasons, damage your chess game). One of the problems, however, with sensible evaluations of this substance is that there is not just one active ingredient in the natural plant. It has been estimated that there are perhaps a hundred different kinds of compounds within a typical plant. This is why there is so little high in lab productions such as marinol or "medicinal marijuana," whose chief virtues are admittedly little more than appetite stimulation and the control of nausea amongst HIV victims. The New Yorker some weeks ago had an article about an ailment known as "jake leg" that afflicted thousands of people from 1930 to 1933. It was caused by tippling a patent medicine with alcohol in it. When these people became unable to walk or were even completely paralyzed, the manufacturers of the beverage were investigated and charged with criminal negligence. Further reading suggests that the poisonous chemical in their product (a manufacturing plasticizer called triorthocresyl phosphate) was an adjunct of using butane as a catalyst. I understand that butane is also used sometimes in the production of THC. Since I'm not a chemist there's nothing I can add to that. I have subsequently, however, learned on the street that several people in the past few weeks have also suffered numbness after ingesting old-fashioned Alice B. Toklas brownies -- i. e., as the result of a "bad batch" reminiscent of old bootlegging days. History does like to repeat itself! All I know is that there is something very much wrong with a society that is so vast and complicated that it has no time for any tribal or village or individual orientation and must subject everyone to the same totalitarian, artificial mass control from a leadership that derives from nearly total ignorance. When a law becomes so far-reaching that innocent people are affected, then that law is nothing less than tyranny. And if that realization, dear reader, doesn't make you angry, maybe you would enjoy attending an electrocution or a hanging, or maybe even a witch-burning..


E. E. Rehmus

by Edward Rehmus In Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess describes the libretto of an opera based on the life of St. Nicholas, borrowed largely from an account by Anatole France. Since few people know anything about this peculiar person, other than that he is the patron saint of children (and shipwrecked sailors), it might be interesting to take a closer look. The opera is far too long to quote verbatim from the novel, but briefly this is the gist of the plot up to the end of the first act. The story begins, somehow, with the corpses of Bishop Nicholas' three sons (Mark, Matthew and John) who have been put into a pickle barrel, whereupon, because of the pickle acid, they have been resurrected. The first son turns Nicholas's house into a brothel & Nicholas is tempted by sins of the flesh. Nicholas invokes Jesus Christ, who appears as the naked god, Pan, whereupon the poor man yields to his weaknesses. Afterwards, he flagellates himself & is thereby purified enough to be able to attend the Council of Nicaea in order to denounce the Aryan heresy. In case you've forgotten, the Aryan heresy suggests that the Father and the Son are the same substance: Homoousia. Whereas the True Faith insists that they are only of similar substance: Homoiousia, thus proving the importance of an iota. Meanwhile the second son is busy forging documents to denounce Nicholas as an even worse heretic; At the Council, the women of the town, appear in order to ask for prayers for their men who are in a storm at sea. The Council, of course, wants to throw them out for disrupting their holy deliberations, but jolly old St. Nick intercedes for the sailors' wives by wrestling with an Aryan bishop. At this point Matthew reveals the documents proving that his father has stated that the only true God is Venus. Nicholas is ecclesiastically disgraced just as all the ships at sea go down. In the second and final act of the opera, Nicholas, after a stint with sackcloth and ashes, has been reinstated by the Pope and is now once again a full bishop. However, it seems that a number of German tribes have been converted to Xtianity by Arians and the heresy is going full blast. John, the third son, is all for going to Germany in order to torture and kill heretic women and children. Nicholas argues that theirs is a religion of love, but John points out that "These are foul heretics who believe Christ to be co-eternal with the Father!" So Nicholas is persuaded to join in the holy war, though he soon regrets it. He asks heaven to send down Love, and "Venus herself appears, as goddess of brothels for soldiers." Mothers are screaming for miracles and one of them hands Nicholas the bloody corpse of her child. Nicholas, with the child in his arms now asks God why he brought the three wicked sons back to life in the first place and when there is no answer, "You are a God of Hate, a God who murders the innocent!" There is no reply and the curtain descends. Thus, to this day, the red suit represents Nicholas's sins of the flesh, which he atones for with the ashes of chimneys, while the bag upon his back is his burden of shame. Of course, in our time, we no longer honor shame, so the bag merely contains the poisonous fruits of materialistic Capitalism.


E. E. Rehmus

If Aunt Emma Wants a Knitted Jacket… Why Can't She Make or Buy the Damned Thing herself? by Ed Rehmus If you have any decency at all, you will keep your fingers crossed that the Christmas sales of 2003 will NOT reflect the end of the Recession. If retailers have a good year that will send the very phony signal out that Bush's tax reductions for the rich were the right response to the economic downturn of the past few years. You can't, however, expect jobs and medical coverage, lowered rents and lowered debt from a Republican administration. If Bush gets in for another four years, the country will have been nickled and dimed to death. Anyway, the junk that people buy every year as "presents" bears little or no relationship to what anyone may actually need or want to have. A singing fish, a plastic ski mask, a bottle of Pu d'Amour, a box of tooth-rotting candy, Etch-a-Sketch 2003, a subscription to Jade Collector's Journal – what does it matter? It will all eventually wind up at the City Dump. The holiday ruins approximately half a year, from the early xmas shopping before Thanksgiving to the spring's clearance sales. There should be something we can do to cut into this atrocious waste of human time. What I propose is a revolving xmas present hung onto a clothesline between two or more neighbors. It is hauled in then sent back out to the next recipient in an endless selfcontrolled loop. It need not even be opened! Perpetual rotation should put an end to the fear of not reciprocating. Sketch by Ed Rehmus 73

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The Inner City


E. E. Rehmus

An Encryption by the late Ed Rehmus The twenty some volumes of Ed Rehmus’s daily entries into his journal are filled with his own style of encryption. Anyone who thinks they can crack this code should get in contact with the editor.


E. E. Rehmus

A Page in Ed’s Diary September 4, 1988:


E. E. Rehmus

Transcript of September 4, 1988 Entry (in which he embarks on coding his journal) “As I move forward through this diary, the pages become more thickened with notations placed here by past attempts to guide and predict. So ringed in with dates and names and instructions are we that there comes to be less and less space for recording the actual present. Have I made the all too common mistake of forsaking the beautiful for the merely interesting? [obscured spelling of foreign phrase] At least meaning succeeds in hiding itself. “Obtained Brumbaugh’s “The Most Mysterious Manuscripts” (the Voyrich “Roger Bacon” cipher M. S.) which is very interesting. It inspires me to re-attach myself to my own BAZANLA once again – a language in cipher, a double wall to the would-be reader. “Says Roger Bacon ‘No sane scientist would put his experimentss in unconcealed written form.’ And Brumbaugh even suggests that Dee’s conversations with Enochian angels may actually have been in code. Bacon was familiar with seven secret systems and the clear could be in any one of half a dozen different tongues. It could also be in jargon and use copious abbreviations. “An interesting cipher based on numerology is the reduction of all letters to one digit, thus: 1 A 10 J 19 S AJS =1 2 B 11 K 20 T BKT =2 3 C 12 L 21 U CLU =3 4 D 13 M 22 V DMV =4 5 E 14 N 23 W ENW =5 6 F 15 O 24 X FOX =6 7 G 16 P 25 Y GPY =7 8 H 17 Q 26 Z HQZ =8 9 I 18 R IR =9 “Thus: ‘Roger Bacon Friar’ = 96759 21365 69919 “My own system, still undeveloped, uses 2 letters to clear to one letter of crypt, thus shortening the cipher to half the length of the message. But henceforth, herein, I shall employ a different system from either if these.” [There follows a four line trial with “no good” in the middle, and concluding with “No – it’s no use, I’ve got to find more comfortable letters.” The followed by note at the bottom.] “new words: “generic humanity “ooparts – out of place artifacts found in geol. strata where should not be. Of tech. sophistication beyond capabilities of those whose remains they are.” 77

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A Page in Ed’s Diary September 5, 1988:


E. E. Rehmus

A Page in Ed’s Diary March 23 1989:


E. E. Rehmus

Transcript of March 23, 1989 Entry “The birds are my fingers The air is my hair, But my face and my figure Are objects unknown and rare. “The 2 Babylons says John the Baptist’s nativity was chosen because it came 6 months before xmas and coincided with the most important pagan observation: The midsummer feast of Tammey. I still feel the the business between Herodias and john the Baptist is not clear. The story is too thin and explains nothing, the mythos makes no sense. People don’t become so enraged and vindictive to such a single-minded degree as to plot systematically to maneuver some preacher’s head onto a plate merely because he called them a sinner. there has to be more to it. “We all partake of our Nativities, however, and my contention is that John’s sacrifice was the real ‘crucifixtion’. Symbolically the cross is a fixation in historical material time and place. A beheading, however, indicates a clear separation between the higher and the lower worlds.” [A presumed Latin phrase is then followed by the encoded section, then followed by a foreign phrase, whereupon the cursive English text continues.] “continued Kohler says art is an act of conquest, the discovery of a new sphere of human consciousness. There is no time art without exploration (I would add experimentation). [How dry all this is – one hopes it is worth the tedium of the exposition]. We must make conscious the pre-conscious. Express the never expressed. It is from the increasing changes of life that our art derives. This enables us to reveal the latent reality which transforms our life to the human condition. Thust ART turns out to be nothing more nor less than Magic. So I have at least been on the right track. But what has not been done yet? Anti-country, anti-family, anti-life, etc. only antagonizes the middle classes. What is needed is to hold up the mirror to them until they are sickened by it. Jesus? Very well, let’s have Jesus! Infants! Very well, infants! Football – very well. But carried to insane degree. Let us put Jesus in the brothel, the flag in the drug scene, the baby in the old folks’ home. Collages are a good start. Food (junk food) in sacred places – graffiti in Church. Cars in the flower garden. How about a journal of every day life in Sartres’ Nausea? The Return to Vomit!


E. E. Rehmus

A Page in Ed’s Diary March 24 1989:


E. E. Rehmus

by Ed Rehmus Leonhard Euler, a Swiss mathematician of the 18th Century who was clever enough to point out that the fundamental logarithmic number e multiplied by itself the square root of minus one time(s), and that then multiplied by itself 3.14159265... times cannot be saved from non-existence by the addition of one, but at least is nothing less than zero. This is clever because the formula successfully contains all five fundamental numbers (0, 1, π, e and i). Even less relevant, however, was his announcen ment to the atheist Denis Diderot, "Sir, (a+b) / n = x, hence God exists!" Since Diderot was not a mathe- Leonhard Euler matician he was totally bumfuzzled by that. But since Euler went on to challenge the atheist, "what do you say to that?" Leonhard obviously must have had more to say than that the sum of any two known rational numbers to some power (presumably not zero) and then divided by that power will equal some unknown number. Unfortunately, since Diderot fled the scene red-faced and bladder-emptied by this puffball, the ultimate proof of God's existence remains untransmitted to us. Although mathematics is probably the most thorough-going of all man's anthropomorphic pursuits, it still cannot break free of anthropomorphism itself. It uses a symbolically human abstraction of human logic to prove purely human questions and to set the parameters of purely human quests. Since we cannot understand any intelligence higher than our own we can never properly evaluate the limits of our confinement nor its priority in the cosmic ladder. There are yet a few wisemen of the tribe, mirabile dictu, who insist that things are just as wonderful as they have always been. Isn't motherhood still the purpose of existence? Dubya may have his faults, but he is still our president, isn't he? Global warming will help us cut down on our fuel bills, won't it? Why do I need Medicare if I never get sick? Amidst such incontrovertible axioms, Euler's incandescent formula sends rays of glaring irrelevance over the whole meaningless night of Panglossian optimism. But now into this darkness comes a devastating, heart-stabbing news flash from current astronomy that the universe is about to become even darker. For the universe is not merely expanding in every direction, but said expansion is growing faster and faster by the nanosecond. Within a relatively short time we shall have blown far outside the range of all the stars to find ourselves spinning alone and silent in empty space. Solipsism seems not only the province of anthropism but is apparently the irrational, if not downright nonsensical, predilection of astrophysics as well. You might well ask, what virus it is that causes a cell to explode. Then maybe some 21st Century Euler could measure the velocity thereof, provided of course he was able to decide whether to use a microcosmic, macrocosmic or anthropocosmic hourglass.


E. E. Rehmus

Power in the Dark Ages © by E. E. Rehmus The September issue of The Gift of Fire contained the Hoeflin Power Test, which measures one’s math and spatial abilities. As I didn’t quite feel up to this massive assault to my system, I skipped to the penultimate four “miscellaneous” problems. The following are my answers. Please let me know if I passed and if I am now empowered. 28. Suppose five dots are arranged in a three-dimensional space so that no more than three at a time can have a flat surface pass through them. If each set of three dots has a flat surface pass through them and extend an infinite distance in every direction, what is the maximum number of distinct straight lines at which these planes can intersect one another?

I suppose I could arrange five dots somehow, although I resent being restricted to allowing only three of them at a time to accept a flat (or, for that matter, even a warped) surface to pass through them -- and to what purpose? Moreover, there is something existentially horrifying about asking these poor dots to hold a surface of infinite extension in all the myriad directions of space! The madness to which these dots will have been driven, must itself be infinite. And what of the remaining pair of surface-less dots? Are they to sit idly by contemplating the endless and eternal heebie-jeebies of their brethren? Perhaps they will courageously avail themselves of the opportunity to position them-selves on top of these planes, for purposes of gliding and skating around on these frictionless, incredibly smooth, glassine plat-forms extending from here to Alpha Centauri and on to the uttermost reaches of the Horsehead Nebula.

29. Suppose a diagonal line is drawn across each of the six sides of a cube from one corner to the other. How many distinct patterns are possible if one includes all six sides of the cube in each pattern and counts as one pattern any patterns that can be made to coincide by various rotations of the cube as one rigid object?

The cube I would use for this purpose is the Ka’ aba at Mecca, since it is by definition a “rigid object”, in more ways than one. Usually, it is covered with a gigantic tarpaulin of some sort, one presumes to keep out the hot sun, although it may serve some other more obscure and more Islamic purpose. This tarpaulin would have to be removed, which might present some problems, considering the propensities of mullahs for reprisal at the touching of their sacred monu-ments by infidel hands. To draw a diagonal line, however, from one corner to another on each of its sides would be as utterly impossible as introducing a porker into a mosque. Also, in order to diagonalize the sixth side, the thing would have to be turned over, necessitating its total destruction as well as one’s own beheading. You may wonder why I would choose this unlikely and controversial object for the purpose of solving the problem. The answer is, “Why count diagonals on cubes?”

30. Suppose the thirty edges of a regular, i.e., perfectly symmetrical dodecahedron

are rods, two of which are painted white and the rest black. How many distinct patterns can thus be created, counting as one pattern any patterns that can be made to coincide by various rotations of the dodecahedron as one rigid object? 83

E. E. Rehmus Hmmm. Since I majored in ancient languages, not geometry, I had always assumed that a dodecahedron had only 12 sides. Good lord! Thirty! Oh, I see now, thirty edges. Hmmm. How does one get 30 out of 12? Let’s see, the 12 sides connect to one another 12 times... That can’t be right, because some edges are a side’s own edges. Let’s return to square one. A one-sided hedron (being a plane) has 3 edges (if it happens to be a triangle), 4 edges (if it’s a square) and so on. A two-sided hedron would be the same, since it would just be the other side of the same piece of infinitely thin paper. Or it could be a cone, I guess, but then it would have only one edge, unless you count the point as an edge. A three sided hedron ... that’s a thick potato chip, right?... would have 2 edges. A 4 sided hedron would be a non-Kamite pyramid, having 6 edges. Wait a minute...no pragmatic principle is emerging here... It were wiser and more profitable to consider the mystical meaning of the number 30, which, as everyone ought to know, is the qabalistic ten thrice synthesized. This open-ended “thirty” is lacking the two extra attributions necessary to com-plete the hypothetically “trinitarian” tree with its connecting pathways because the zero (counted as aleph, which is not really the first letter) is omitted twice. For those with understanding, the second zero may be considered as referring to the Abyss located on the gimel line. That essentially non-existent sephirah is generally designated by the Hebrew word Daath (which means “knowledge” in that tongue). The wonderful thing about zeros is that you can wear them with anything.

31. Suppose ten marbles are inserted into a box based on the tosses of an unbiased coin, a white marble being inserted when the coin turns up heads and a black one when the coin turns up tails. Suppose someone who knows how the marbles were selected but not what their colors are selects ten marbles from the box one at a time at random, returning each marble and mixing the marbles thoroughly before making another selection. If all ten examined marbles turn out to be white, what is the probability to the nearest percent that all ten marbles in the box are white? Believe it or not, I still have a full set of marbles. Their provenance is the no longer bridgeable era of my boyhood. Fortunately none of them is either black or white. All of them are either “puries”, deep reds, greens, yellows, blues or else they are huge, hard-won aggies with intriguing swirls inside them. I would be happy to toss an “unbiased” coin -- perhaps a hand-some medallion from the Seattle World’s Fair of 1962? Or maybe a Viennese schilling, one side of which one might, with an attempt at panache as well as dispassion, name “Hitler” and the other “Franz-Josef”. I would even be willing to throw a couple of pentadecahedrons, in an ambitious effort to remain in keeping with the spirit of question 30. Why not, by the way, connect all these questions into a dynamic whole, leading to some noble invention that advances technology, such as brain implants or exploding bullets? I don’t know anyone who knows how the marbles were selected, but let’s pretend that I do. Although please note that I use the word “pretend” advisedly. But where am I to obtain these unprejudiced black and white taws? Don’t bother telling me. We don’t really have any room for more junk in this apartment! Of course the marbles are intended simply to be visualized, but if I’m going to be asked to visualize something I’d rather that be something more interesting than a dismal sack of globuli albissimi furvique. 84

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HOLY IMPLODING CYBO, NETMAN! It's tough trying to straddle two opposing worlds. I am appalled at what has happened to the San Francisco Public Library, for instance. (Too many computers, no card catalogue, throwing books away for lack of room, etc.). I fear for the children of the 21st Century -- a world of iron control, no freedom, little or no education, unbelievable overcrowding, loss of resources, cashless poverty, raging new diseases and ugliness everywhere. At the same time, however, since I write and require a word prosser, I am involved in the computer world and the Internet. In that realm, it is cyber-reality, the astral plane, an ultradimensional place of magicians and monsters where anything can and does happen. It won't be that way for long. The first aeroplane wasn't a jet. It was little more than a flying bicycle that, for all its danger and clumsiness, was fun and individualoriented. The first internet is not yet Winston's two-way horror. The fact that everything has to be typed keeps it in the highly literate realm of the written word. When the keyboard is replaced by voice and camera, the net will have truly arrived and woe unto us all! At any rate, there are two 21 st Centuries ahead. It is this second future I want to talk about. Mellona tauta: the bifurcated, binary, bisexual, bichiliastic world of the evil TWO multiplied a thousand times: 2000 + C. E., as seen from its electronic inside looking out. Forget "the information age." Information is not knowledge any more than knowledge is wisdom. What you receive on the Internet is not information, but data. And there is a flood of data, a deluge to rival Noah's! There is so much to assimilate that far from reveling in all the material, most people are beginning to experience an "information (data)" overload. It's not even a matter of weeding out the junk -- junk will always be with us henceforth -- but what to do with all the necessary and useful intelligence that is available? There is no call nor ability for memory. Whatever your field of interest or income, moreover, there is an immediate avalanche of factoids, reports, papers, books, libraries that you cannot possibly sort out. You don't even have time to read it all. Whatever you are doing, it is probably out of date and someone has already done it a hundred times better than you ever imagined you could. And here it is on view right there on your vid-screen, worse luck! Worse still, most of the new material does not include old information that is still important. Everything is slick and updated. So if you try to look up, say, Villiers de l'isle-Adam, you may find sketches, biographies and a few esoteric, scholarly footnotes, plus links to the futurism of the 1910's, but nothing like the text of his "L'Arc-en-ciel des Amours". So you use your search engine to find another website on the subject and there you find altogether different data but still not the text that you want. With superhuman diligence and extraordinary good fortune you may at last discover what you are seeking (that is some day in the distant future if they finally get around to adding that particular pebble to the mountain, which is unlikely, since ancient, out of print books seldom can be found in any libraries, now), but by then you have been led down so many by-roads that your original search has become perhaps not quite a will-o'-the-wisp but certainly a piece of ultimate irrelevance. 85

E. E. Rehmus You have just been led down the very latest garden path of mind-control, with the thought-police leading every step of the way. And when you wake up from the nightmare you will find a "magic cookie" in the preferences file of your computer. A tracking device inserted there by the search engine, which describes what your peculiar interests are (in code that you can't read, of course). Shades of 1984! Touch that cookie and die! If you attempt to remove it or alter it in any way, you will crash your system and be unable to restart. Even your virus detector won't see it, because it's technically not a virus, it's just part of your entire operating system. :-) Well, you can't go back to the downtown public library, nor even to the university library, nor even to the Library of Congress. That's all been changed. So where do you go from here, cowboy? Where you go is to private addresses on the Internet -- to unlisted websites. There you may occasionally find the fly subversive information and forgotten classics that you crave. And how do you find and jack into those arcane places? You must yourself become an Internet wizard. A victim of the vampire, become himself a vampire. The invasion of the pod people! If you think this is sci-fi made real, you are absolutely correct. If you think this is schizophrenia gone cybercrazy, you are right again. The real war is not in Bosnia. It's inside your head! And this Armageddon, this WW3 of the brain is only in the first stages. Mox autem cominuatur cere verbibombo atomico vel electronico brum! Barbie now has a tiny computer. Ever wonder why there is no news in the newspapers except the same old rehashes of 3rd World revolutions and riots? Ever wonder why the evening news on TV is concerned with recipes and baby ailments? Ever wonder why walking down the streets of any modern city is either like walking through a cemetery or walking through some touristy Disney World that has been overtaken by commercial interests? You don't see that from your car window in the commuter lane. Meanwhile you will be getting fewer and fewer personal letters from friends in your post office box. Unless you have access to e-mail, you are persona non grata. Might as well be an enduser! 86

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Let There Be Light!


E. E. Rehmus

The Three Tines of Destiny Since I haven't read Jaynes' “The Origin of Consciousness in the BiCameral Mind”, I don't have much business discussing it. I've been told, however, that its thesis is that “far from consciousness having been around for eons, it is no more than a few thousand years old. And it really came about in major part because of language. ‘Real’ voices of the dead and of the gods was its origin.” If that is true, I think it's putting the plow before the ox. What matters most is not consciousness, but the Unconscious Mind. If consciousness is some kind of breakthrough, it is the breakthrough of a single fish leaping out of a vast ocean – and falling back into it again. I don't think we should say that consciousness arose from language, but rather that both consciousness and language keep on always breaking forth simultaneously (and falling back into silence). Since language is the most important ability of man, perhaps even unique to our species, no matter how it may have developed, and since it is as much a part of our nature as making honey is that of bees, the link between language and consciousness seems intrinsic. Yet I am convinced, for reasons we might explore later on, that consciousness per se is present throughout the length of the evolutionary tree, from its first inarticulate squirmings of amino acids and amoebae up through the highest apes. That is to say, although language requires consciousness, the reverse doesn't have to follow. Consciousness need not require language. The same goes for "self" consciousness, which likewise may well exist apart from language. All the same, that having been said, and strictly within the context of human language, any voices of gods or ancestral ghosts are necessarily simultaneous with the dawning of self-consciousness. In other words, the two halves of the mind – the gods and the individual separating from them – are one and the same linguistic event. "In the beginning was the Word" says the bible. But that's the New Testament. There is an older bible that talks of the beginning as a separation into dualities: light and darkness, above and below, water and dry land, etc. By the law of correspondence, which is more basic and more reliable than what we understand of cause and effect (i.e. “tendencies of sequence”), what is a characteristic of all other manifested phenomena, must, inevitably, be a characteristic of the mind as well. Terence McKenna, in one of his lectures about eating the psychedelic psilocybin mushroom, suggests a much better time than that which we now inhabit. He talks about a world in which language was not necessary because separation had not yet taken place. In this Garden of Eden, man was an actual component of the holistic forest and communication or mental identity was blissfully instantaneous and telepathic (wrong word, but the correct word may not yet exist) between all of its parts. In such a magical kingdom even the lion chasing the zebra and the zebra running for its life are one and the same. It is this world that the plants still inhabit and when we ingest psychedelic substances we return to that primordial botanical garden of ultimate enlightenment, where mushrooms and herbs speak to us in their own tongueless fashion. So we might say that spoken human language was the first “technology” and the first departure from paradise. In terms of human history (pre-history, as it were) that primordial linguistic era was the beginning of human society, the 88

E. E. Rehmus “Golden Age,” and it must have endured for many hundreds of thousands of years. Societies functioned as the result of an oral tradition handed down by each generation to the next with but minimal variation. In that eon language was both perfect and incredibly expressive. We can infer that from the fact that all pre-literate or stone-age languages are infinitely more difficult, detailed and complicated than any modern tongue. Mankind was, in fact, probably smarter than he had ever been before or ever would be again, because, with the loss of his previously mystical participation in the forest, he was now obliged to carry all of his baggage in his head. Then, about five millennia ago writing appeared – the second technology and the beginning of history. With that the complications of language suddenly became much simpler and the oral traditions were slowly abandoned. The results of this new cacoethes scribendi, however, were disastrous to human intelligence and, since he no longer had to carry everything in his head, civilized man began to grow mentally lazy. We can now look back on history as a series of misadventures in which each successive technology has reduced us, in shorter and shorter time-spans, to lesser creatures than our ancestors. In a previous article I mentioned the ancient Greek concept of “arete” which was the high moral standard against which male Greeks were compared, comprising such things as courage, honor, integrity, etc. and which had degenerated into mere “virtus” by the time of the Romans. But how many members of western society today have even heard of virtus, much less arete? Is it even possible to survive today by adhering to such ideals as complete honesty or integrity? In the subhuman merchant society that imprisons us today, such old-fashioned airs and graces are luxuries that few can indulge. Hardly anyone even bothers to study Latin and Greek... and we are of course much intellectually and morally the poorer for not doing so. Moreover, today we stand at another crossroads, comparable to the revolutionary intrusions of language and writing. This time it is no longer just society that is in danger of corruption and vitiation, but biological man himself. At the moment, the worst technology that the average person can envision is cloning. The idea that some future Dan Quayle or Michael Jackson (to give but pale examples) could make millions of copies of himself is so repugnant to most people that they are ready to storm the Bastille of Science to prevent such a horror from taking place. Yet, as Mary Shelley suggested in her novel “Frankenstein”, science has no choice but to pursue its notions into whatever hell they may lead. Not to do so, is to hobble and compromise Truth, the very God of Science itself. But cloning is little more than a diversion and a distraction alongside the real thunderbolt about to strike us down. The line between artificial life and artificial intelligence, if such a line exist at all, is blurry and erratic. In order for artificial intelligence to become truly "intelligent" it must be able to instruct and improve itself. Along with that it should have the ability to repair itself, to protect itself, to replicate and to grow. Anything less than its complete independence falls short of absolute “intelligence.” Omniscience = Omnipotence = Immortality. And abilities like growth, reproduction and evolution make up the definition of natural as well as artificial life. Moreover, it seems obvious that if AI is to do these things properly, then it must have consciousness. The interesting thing about this to me is that once again the crossroads is a linguistic one, proving anew that man’s destiny is his language. 89

E. E. Rehmus To be sure, there can be no real beginning of artificial intelligence until we are able to understand our own language well enough to be able to translate it into one that the machine can understand. Perhaps we can comfort ourselves that the engineers who are working on AI are so astonishingly deficient in their understanding of linguistics. Technerds – at least American technerds who are supposedly at the forefront of this research (and if not, why not?) – are famous for being monoglots and for their inept grammar and scant vocabulary. The problem, however, may well turn out to be that human language even at its best is inferior to the ideal expression of AI. In that case we are bound to create an imperfect machine – or, even more challengingly still, we might learn just enough AI rhetoric to set it loose on its own path. After that, of what use will mere biodes be? Whether the machine serves man or man serves the machine will no longer be a meaningful question. Human society will have moved from slow deterioration to rapid obsolescence and abrupt extinction.


E. E. Rehmus

Is Earth Also a Fairy Tale? Let's not echo the sheep with their eternal bleating that suicide is cowardly, nor let us bow to the Church, which, in its embarrassment, calls it a sin. Suicide is neither cowardly nor sinful. Its correct name is “mystery.” Everyone nodded sagely after Jim Jones and his disciples committed mass suicide twenty years ago. Yes, from now on, it was said, we should expect more and more cults of high weirdness. But if you actually pinned someone down, and asked him why he felt so called upon to provide that prophesy, he had no real answer. Well, now we think we know: it is simply part of the millennial fever. Unfortunately, that answer only poses new questions. We can dismiss Jim Jones as something closer to mass murder than mass suicide. We can dismiss Dr. Kevorkian as simply a brave man who puts others out of their suffering. But now we come to Heaven’s Gate. Let’s assume that the departed members of Heaven’s Gate were indulging in wishful thinking that there was a “Saturn-like Object” or “alien spaceship” behind the comet. Let's also assume that their leader, Applewhite, was suffering from a psychosis. And with these blunt affirmations, every normal person can now shrug his shoulders and go on about his business, albeit with a faint frown of puzzlement on his brow. Reality marches on unshaken, although its step is a bit heavier, as if it hoped to stamp something out. This, in effect, was what Leslie Stahl did last night on 60 Minutes when she postscripted that the young man she had just interviewed was now glad he had not castrated himself after all. With one of her typical little smirks of smug triumph, Ms. Stahl was able to conclude her piece on Heaven’s Gate with a happy ending: that former member was now about to become a father! So the “tragic” victims of the suicide cult can safely be pushed aside and we can walk away having learned from this bizarre event nothing whatsoever. It's all so easy: the balance to suicide is reproduction. By all means, let's solve every problem by breeding. Having children is easier than thinking about the meaning of life. But that old story is beginning to sound a bit hollow. What if the answer to Death is not procreation? What if there is a kind of life that is preferable to that of the endless anthill of middle-class mediocrity? Is it possible, moreover that there might be more than one “reality”? People are still wary of thinking of such dichotomies as “objective reality” vs. “consensus reality”. Even more cautious does the average man wax when confronted with the even more annoying notion that there is only “subjective reality” and anything else is but a speculation – so far as the human mind is concerned, at any rate. There is no ultimate Truth – there are still those who will argue about that. But even if all this were so, the reality of the members of Heaven’s Gate would not be very different from that of the average Christian. Christianity teaches, after all, that the way to “eternal life” is death. Christian salvation is also celestial, not terrestrial. And disengagement from the desires of the flesh is not only Christian, but also Buddhist. Is the belief in an ultramundane society of advanced aliens much different from a belief in angels? Christianity in our time is so advanced into hypocrisy that we are appalled when anyone actually practices it. Yet pie in the sky permeates every teen-age mind from Star Wars in the theatre to Return of the Jedi on the computer. Cargo cults abound on all sides. When oh when, will the aliens 91

E. E. Rehmus land and save us? And if they don't, when oh when will we build a starship and take off for heaven ourselves? How much easier it is to move into a new house and take our cockroaches with us than to fumigate the hovel we live in. At least the heaven’s-gaters had the decency to remove their genitals and put on new shoes. Nor did they leave technological garbage and plastic flags on the Moon. It's time to dig a little deeper. The comparison of Heaven’s Gate to Christianity is only skin deep. Everyone must agree that the world is becoming uglier and more hopeless every day – if you choose to be contrary, oh pampered and petted Prince Siddharta, leave your suburban garden and go visit the world outside the palace! The millennium is the symbolic line of demarcation between the historical world and chaos. As the sands run out of the hourglass there will be many who will choose not to cross the bridge, who will decide to remain in the 20th Century. Our fate is not purely religious or philosophical, it is biological. Has the human race the wisdom and the courage to inhibit its growth or will it go on propagating itself to the point of suffocation? How long will people continue to delude themselves that there is plenty of room on the planet – and if there isn’t, that we can simply pack up and move to Alpha Centauri? How much longer can we ignore the fact that elephants require an entire continent in which to thrive, that whales need a whole ocean? And man requires much more room than whales and elephants do. A prison life is not a life worth living. We forget that fact to our peril. We may be able to feed another ten billion, but only if they are caged like chickens. It's time breeders like Leslie Stahl shut their stupid mouths. Yes, there will be more and more lemmings as the future cracks into the present and crumbles into the past – and more and more unwanted, screaming newborns to take their places. But increasingly, it will be the most sensitive and the most concerned who choose to die, while the ignorant and uncaring continue to breed mindlessly, like the maggots they are, feeding on the rotting garbage that the earth has become. One begins to ask if it might not be that death makes more sense than life, if it might be more miraculous not to be than to be. I wonder how many teen-agers and twenty-year-olds suffer from depression and toy with the idea of suicide only to cure their misery by becoming parents and releasing their burden by inflicting life on someone else. The Heaven’s-Gaters chose their moment of translation to coincide with the coming of an eclipse and a comet, just before the end of the millennium. Their departure was part of a celestial event seen through earth-centered astronomy/ astrology. As above, so below. Their timing corresponds to several levels of anthropomorphic reality. It’s a slap in the face of current scientific blindness and so-called “pragmatic” reality. It is a deliberate return to the oldest level of human understanding. It is fitting that this grasping at the primordial straw of mythic reality accompany the fall of human civilization on earth. And since it is the nature of man to ignore what he does not want to know, government agencies will inevitably attempt to criminalize such groups. And since it is also the nature of man to forget what he fears, there will be more and more such lemming runs to remind us, as the millennium scythe swings closer. And, lest we unwrap ourselves immodestly in too zealous avoidance of Nostradamian vaticination, they may continue for some time even after the year 2000 has passed, in reaction to the everincreasing crescendo of disappointments in the over-heralded age to come. 92

E. E. Rehmus Suicides are not just escapees, they are also self-sacrifices acting as warning signs.

Reply to comments reacting to the preceding in an article entitled “BEGGING THE QUESTION” The quoted [reduced font size] portions below are the comments; unquoted plain text portions are my reply to them. In reference to the title of [the commentor's] opus: One thing that Xtians like to do more than anything else is to steal the weapons of their attackers. [He] uses the phrase "begging the question" because he has heard that used against his outmoded belief-system so many times that he thinks he knows what it means. "Straw man" and "You can't have it both ways" are other favorite Xtian thefts. Indeed, Xtianity doesn't stop there – the entire dogma is lifted from pagan sources. Xtianity should be renamed "Kleptomania." "In GoF 85 Mr. Rehmus lets loose with a bilious attack on the goodness of God. My duty is to answer." My duty is to block [his] duty. The "goodness" of god (I assume he means Ialdaboath, the Creator) – is highly debatable, class. What kind of monster would deliberately create plague, ebola and mad cow disease? I refrain from including AIDS, since that particular disease is more likely to be of human origin than, say, ebola is. What sick mind would deliberately invent an Eden in which all life can exist only by eating other life? What fool would design a paradise that has a poisonous snake in it that is capable of destroying the whole thing by perverting one of its more powerful inhabitants? "1) Suicide is usually a sin, because it irrevocably rejects God's precious gift of life. What is so evil is not the acceptance of death – we should all accept death eventually – but the attempt to unlive life. Not the end of life, but the erasure of it." People who condemn suicides should be ashamed of themselves. Condemning an act of courage is worse than cowardice. I love the way religious fanatics invariably make virtues of their own vices and call true morality immoral. That way they can avoid the commandments to forgive others and boost their egos at the same time. Dr. Kevorkian, like all saints, is painted as a villain because he has the courage that religious fanatics always envy. What is so precious about life? The earth is swarming with babies. They are not even worth the proverbial dime a dozen. Life becomes cheaper every day. And who says life is a "gift"? I got here by outswimming my fellow spermatozoa, not through grace but by dint of hard work, which in my ignorance I assumed to be the thing to do. Had I known what this place was like, I would not have bothered. I agree that once here we must make the best of it, but I'm not so perfect that I can condemn some poor slob who can't bear his suffering in this world. I have every intention of living until the end of my life, but I would hardly reject suicide if my existence suddenly became hopeless. The only thing that would stop me would be my own 93

E. E. Rehmus cowardice. [The commentor] should do some homework: "sin" is a translation of Greek Harmatia, meaning "missing the mark", as an archer with a faulty aim might do. In other words how can there be sin if there is no intent? Therefore to reject "god's precious gift of life" is an act of rebellion or redemption, not sin. One might also ask if suicide be such a sin, what about the Crucifiction? It could easily have been avoided! And doesn't Christ himself suggest that you should lose your life in order to find it? "Having children and affirming the meaning of life go hand in hand. Rehmus's contempt for childbearing is baseless, hence contemptible." Contemptible perhaps, in [his] opinion, but hardly baseless. Of course people who have children think that is the entire meaning of life. They are so puffed up with ego and selfishness that they cannot imagine any other meaning for life than an endless treadmill to support their second-rate immortality. Parents care nothing for the world, never try to see the real purpose of life, hate freedom and ignore all the truly valuable things – they have committed a form of suicide of their own, and vicariously use their children to live the lives they had not the talent, imagination or guts to live for themselves. By the way, how come Jesus didn't breed? He apparently didn't agree with [the commentor's] fantasy. Jesus’s affirmation of the meaning of life must be contemptible since he had no children. "There is no endless anthill of middle class mediocrity. The middle class has a thick web of a wide variety of voluntary organizations such as Prometheus. It is socialism that is an anthill." Really? So the actual purpose of Prometheus is to defend middle class mediocrity and condemn socialism? If that is the case then it's a good thing some of us are here to question that policy! "I don't believe in objective reality. God is the touchstone of reality. To God and God only appearance and reality are the same. And God is an impassioned god. There is no consensus reality. If every human who ever lived viewed things one way and God another God would be right and the humans mistaken." I don’t believe in objective reality either – how does the rest follow? Who needs an "impassioned god"? Is that why the world is so crazy? "Removing one's genitals is indecent. The technology we left on the moon was not garbage. Just whom have we offended by leaving junk on the moon? What is the point of calling it garbage? Hopefully someday soon we will leave more junk on the moon." What does the indecency of castration have to do with [the commentor's] compulsion to leave garbage strewn around him? Before I forget, I wish [he] would read what I write instead of reacting to it. I never said I "liked" castration, for instance, I merely attempted to explain why the Heaven's Gaters castrated themselves. So why the gratuitous ad hominem insinuation that I should castrate myself too? Is the lawyer to go to jail with his client? By the way, 94

E. E. Rehmus it is curious to me that religious fanatics fail to see the irony in their love of castration as an antidote for sexual deviation. Of course sterilization or tubal ligation constitute another matter altogether – I would be happy to submit to that if I thought it was necessary to prevent myself from some sick compulsion to "parent". But because of my well-known and proud rejection of god-given orders to "be fruitful & multiply", I'll stick by the first part of that and ignore the second. You'd think he’d be grateful! "13) Newborns do not scream, they cry. I for one want every one of them, and so does God. Call me a saint, using that word in a bad way. I want them anyway." If this is such a wonderful world, why is crying the first thing that babies do and the prevailing thing thereafter? I seriously doubt that anyone but [he] himself, and that especially includes his dubious god, would go so far as to call him a "saint". So he wants every born baby does he? Why? So he can support and raise them personally – or so that he can heap his contempt and sadism on them after they grow up? What makes a baby more important than an adult, in the first place? Don't tell me the future! Nobody today gives a rat's patoot for the future! All anybody cares about is building a space ship to escape from this hellhole. The only thing that people hope for is some superior alien civilization to come down & save them from their nose-dive into entropy, meaninglessness and extinction – that or that double misnomer "Second Coming"! [The commentor’s] babies can take their pick. What a legacy! The breeders must be proud of themselves. "10) I say the human race has the wisdom and courage to continue its growth. Everyone is born with two hands but only one mouth. And the human brain is proving to be the greatest natural resource ever seen on earth. We need more of them." I say cancer and fungus also have the wisdom and courage to continue their growth. What makes [him] think, though, that another billion people on earth are going to add more brains to the bank? Western Civ. Has been declining since the beginning of the Xtian error. All the human brain has really produced in abundance is machinery. Never mind Michelangelo – what you see every day is Toyota and Lexia, not art. Never mind Mozart – what you actually have to listen to is noise. "Next Mr. Rehmus lapses into pure blasphemy. I am not going to try to shut his mouth the way the Iranians might. I am just going to hold him in the contempt he deserves." Thanks, but for my part I wish it were possible to shut [the commentor's] selfrighteous trap. I don’t have to go to Iran for censorship – his reaction is tantamount to censorship. Contempt for ideas other than their own is what makes Iran what it is. And it is that kind of righteousness that is leading America in the same direction. "There is no such thing as a life not worth living." Good! I'm glad to hear that my wickedness has some value after all! 95

E. E. Rehmus

Response to letter to the Editor of one of Ed’s journals [Images were taken directly from Ed’s response page.]

Sept. 22, 1991

Dear Lucy, I have never advocated that mothers murder their young and I should have thought an intelligent person such as yourself would have recognized that it was because of such obvious nonsense that I printed [a Prometheus member]'s letter in the first place. I assumed he had condemned himself by his own words. I certainly didn't expect anyone to take him seriously, much less condemn me because of his absurd remarks. Moreover, it's a bit exasperating of you to refer to an embryo or zygote as a "child", since a child is by definition post partem. In any case, there's little point in arguing about abortion with a mother of ten and it vexes me enormously that you've forced me into doing such a useless thing. I will answer by first suggesting that further communication between us on this matter is inadvisable. Obviously, it's no man's business forcing a woman to undergo an unwanted pregnancy and birth, but it's certainly everyone's duty to speak up for the right of any individual to refuse to suffer unwanted and unneeded invasions of the body! I do not own any women (as you seem to suggest by saying "So, let your women abort their children, but...etc.") In fact I am celibate (i. e., I do not engage in sexual intercourse with anyone) and my concern is social, not personal. I have never impregnated anyone. Unneeded? I'm sorry to mince words. I'm confident that you are able to provide your children with a maximum of love, individual attention, health care and education. I'm sure that you've thought long and hard about the kind of world you can expect your progeny to inherit. But here before me is a news 96

E. E. Rehmus photograph of a pregnant woman and her starving children in a hideously overcrowded environment. The world is choking to death with five going on six billion people - in a decade or so it will be seven or eight billion and there is no end in sight. Meanwhile most of the forests and large mammals of the earth of our grandfathers are gone forever. I'm relieved to learn that you don't actually advocate making abortion illegal. But since you consider abortion to be a form of murder, then you should at least be advocating sterilization and homosexuality as preferable alternatives. Undoubtedly, you yourself are a concerned person, but I've noticed that many right-to-lifers care very little about any life beyond embryos and infants. Most of them, for instance, approve of the death penalty and have little time or attention to spare on adult issues such as opposing military build-up. Moreover, they have so little real concern for mature life that they have been known to bomb clinics. Though you are an exception, you still need to be careful about priorities. And in fact, there's more than one way to commit murder. Abortion is preferable to helping degrade the quality of life on this planet to such a degree that thousands of adults are driven to suicide and millions more are unable to earn a living or obtain proper medical treatment. Isn't helping to create an excessively crowded world a form of murder? And when they are the result of human overbreeding, starvation and disease are worse than guns or knives. One needs to stand back from mere biology at times and ask what life is for, because if it simply "is", then its increase has no value and "life becomes cheap." Your argument that all life has a right to be born and multiply applies to the bacilli of cholera and typhus just as well. It applies to rats and lice. They are life too, after all. And if all life has a right on this planet, then what of the snow leopard and the redwood tree? What right do human beings in their greed for more room, have to destroy everything that stands in the way of their incessant reproduction? If man were truly a higher form of life he would not destroy other highly evolved forms of life so ruthlessly. Whales and elephants who are demonstrably as intelligent as man, don't do it. I trust that some of your ten children are adopted, in which case you deserve respect and praise. If, however, they are all your genetic children, then you have forfeited any right to criticize those who abort their own embryos. Since you have contributed your share to the crowding of the earth, you've made your biological point. It is now your moral duty to remain silent as others advocate living without reproducing themselves. Here's to a happier future with fewer people and fewer cars, and more trees and animals in it. Ave atque vale,

Romulus [nom de plume Ed employed as editor of the journal] 97

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Letter to the Editor of Vidya (Journal of the Triple Nine Society) Dear Editor: In Vidya number 106, [an author] comes to the quite sensible and common conclusion that the most important type of intelligence is that which "enables one to endure in the environment in which be finds himself. to reproduce, to nurture that offspring...etc" and decides further that "the competitive world cares only whether our lineage endures." It is the very inevitability of these conclusions, however, that I would like to question. In the first place, the desire to reproduce oneself as the key to immortality is based on the erroneous belief that the individual in the animal kingdom is integrally separated and isolated from his species and that evolution is based on survival of the most aggressive in eternal competition rather than being a joint project of communal endeavor. In the second place, man is not by any means governed by Nature. What most makes us human is our UNnatural longing to live by ideals rather than to remain governed by our instinct and our greater happiness when self-determining than when nature-driven. Perhaps it should be historical purpose, and not biological indolence, that should more consciously be shaping our destiny in 1990. In the third place, is it really "intelligent" to place the good of the self above the good of all? What merely enhances the individual has never been the primary basis of morality. Must it take the survival of some monstrous individual in opposition to the good of the human race and human society to prove that reproduction is nothing more than enslavement to the demands of DNA - that we serve but as links in its dubious eternal chain while ignoring the higher wisdom of the collective racial mind? If the goals of one's genes are more important than the goals of one's individual intelligence, perhaps there's not that much of value for the genes to perpetuate. In the fourth place there are now millions of breeder of demonstrably lowgrade intelligence who are blessed with awesome fertility and who somehow even manage to nurture their ubiquitous spawn through to maturity on very low incomes - or even without incomes, on welfare. There are also those who can afford to nurture their offspring by means of wealth acquired not through brains, brawn or charity, but simply through inheritance. In the fifth place, we should question whether intelligence should be defined as that which equates us with the hardiest of nonhuman creatures, such as the rat and the mosquito, while ignoring obviously wore noble but precarious biological achievements such as the African elephant, the snow tiger, the great blue whale and the California redwood. By "survival of the fittest" standards, the worst 98

E. E. Rehmus survive while the best go under. At the risk of seeming disloyal to my species, how can I countenance reproduction without eugenics merely because it is human? In the sixth place, survival is not the same thing as happiness. Is it intelligent to desire survival in a condition of unalterable misery? Should not the elimination of evil be the first consideration of human life, rather than simply the establishment of one's permanent seed? In many philosophies (Buddhism, Gnosticism, etc.) this world is seen as a place of ineradicable sorrow and the Void is to be preferred to existence. It is the position of many wise philosophers that this world as created is imperfect and requires improvement and transcendence rather than any further mindless multiplication of life. I question the the wisdom (and the love!) of any parent who would bring still another unwelcome child into the population- and pollution-riddled world of the last decade of the 20th Century. In the seventh place, we can be certain of nothing. If it is true, as the Manichaeans believed, that this world was created by an evil Demiurge, rather than by a benevolent God, life may well be an unwanted anomaly, a fulminani disease. One could then, with equal vehemence, suggest that Death, not Life, is the thtng that matters most. In that case, the forces in this world that are breeding us into disaster and fomenting the crassest selfishness on an increasingly global scale represent nothing less than the determination of the collective unconscious, the shadow side of mankind, to guarantee that ultimate nihilistic orgasm we call extinction. E. E. Rehmus

Excerpt from another of Ed’s editorials It doesn't do any good just to kill people indiscriminately. What they always avoid saying in these things, though, if you're serious, is that the only effective way to get rid of man (or reduce his numbers to a few millions of hunters and gatherers) is through birth control. Sterilization. Put something into the drinking water. An amicus curiae says that what is needed is some chemical that kicks in after the first pregnancy and induces instant and permanent menopause. The old pre-Judaic idea of sacrifice of the first-born isn't a bad idea either. Teaches people that reproduction should not come first. You can still say that one venerable, old redwood tree is equal to a thousand lumberjacks and their li'l wifies plus 3.2 kiddies each. They can be replaced, the redwood cannot. And, yes, the real enemy of our time is Disney, another eco-destroyer. They want to destroy more precious shoreline to build a new Disneyworld – as if one isn't a strong enough emetic for anyone. 99

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Re: The Pragmatic Value of Optimism Oh Christ – Must we now defend the necessity for pessimism? Let [the author] read Schopenhauer! A social point of view need not have anything to do with one's personal lifestyle or private interests. Prozac indeed! I wager my private life is a helluva lot more interesting and rewarding than [the author’s]. Why are people so stubborn about recognizing that optimism does nothing to change the world and is invariably the laziest attitude one can adopt? By all means, let's just accept all the evils of the world and devote ourselves to feasting while others starve. Let's dance on the graves of the unfortunate and revel in our freedom while others are incarcerated. Add another wall to your castle to keep out the homeless. Be mindless and enjoy yourself! The company of happy idiots may have some passing charm, but it's hardly a pastime to be so all-fired proud of.


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What Price Engineers? It's true that a sufficiently advanced technological system is indistinguishable from magick. In fact that's precisely why so many technerds read Aleister Crowley and study the Qabalah, Voodoo, etc. Not the legerdemain stage illusion of Blackstone and Houdini, mind you, but the real thing! Magicians, however – be advised – who do rituals and cast spells but never expose themselves to philosophy, are little more than lowlife sorcerers. Fred Vaughan asks concerning [a participant’s] comments, “Should we worry about our wild ass thoughts that could soon have immediate dire consequences? When do we become the least significant aspect of the ‘fuzzy logic’ circuits of the overall system? Those with high IQs would be sought after more for their low 'inspection times' as indicated in issue #83 by Fred Britton than their ‘compatible uniqueness’ discussed by [another participant]. Maybe we should pass laws that restrict such inventions unless approved by political bodies endowed with grander perspectives.” I wish I understood what Britton means by “low inspection times” and what [the other participant] means by “compatible uniqueness.” After reading their articles I find my perception too dull and my compatibility too un-unique to understand word one of what they are talking about, least of all their connection to David Jones’s questions. At any rate, laws that restrict invention are a bad idea. In fact, most laws are a bad idea. Laws intended to disempower bullies usually wind up hurting the vulnerable. It's what people are most likely to do with it that makes an invention good or bad, not the noble perspectives of political bodies. Obviously guns are bad, because their sole purpose is to injure or kill. But most things have more dimension than simple murder. Why do we fear cloning so much? Because obviously it would fall immediately into the hands of opportunists and egomaniacs before anyone else could do a double take! Being a swinish materialistic society which cravenly and stupidly ignores all spiritual values and intelligent insight, it's that climate that has permitted the mediocre and the marketers amongst us to turn TV into an eternal yammering and boring sales pitch. It's the corrupt automotive industrialists who tore up the rail tracks, destroyed the cities and turned America into a river of speeding beetles silently going nowhere. Its the Christians and the breeders, fearful of the filth that produced their precious brats being discovered, who will turn the Internet into an arm of Disneyworld. Knowing all this, the average person goes along with what the corporations and the mainstream want because he too is corrupt and hopes the corporations will somehow, through some miracle, confer omnipotence and immortality on his own second-rate self. After all, that would only be fair. As for Ion encephalography, all right. So it's the natural evolutionary grandchild of the EEG. I don't see why it’s any “scarier” to control a machine by thought waves instead of by a keyboard. After all, whether directed by mind, push button or ouija board, it's still the machine that is doing its stuff. If an inadvertent daydream should set off a nuclear explosion, I wouldn’t blame the daydream. It would be more interesting to be able to interface without headsets and wires – in fact, it's time we got away from wires altogether. The only thing keeping us plugged into the wall socket world, is General Electric.


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SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE Since Burroughs and Ginsburg are dead and Vonnegut is 73 and making noises about having nothing further to say, I have little excuse at my mere 68 years not to put in my 2 cents in what's left of the literary world. My efforts in the past may have been haphazard and minuscule, but I do have criticisms yet to voice about this sorry world, even though my New Year's resolution was not to complain. Increasing laziness (why should I be different from everyone else today?) inhibits me from actively seeking publishers, so Gift of Fire has to take the brunt. Every day I scan the financial pages for ups and downs of the stock market, not because I would be caught dead owning such a thing as a share in some hateful corporation, but because financial collapse is the only thing that will save us. At least it's the only thing that will break the back of the Far Right that is so rigidly controlling our lives nowadays. I used to be an ordinary Democrat, now I'm leaning farther to the left than ever (and I'm not the only one as the poor become further divided from the rich). If you want to know, I'm voting Socialist henceforth, since we're wasting our votes on Republicans and Democrats anyway. But this month I don't want to talk about politics or religion (or about sex, for that matter). I want to talk about Latin (and the need for a return to classical studies). As we plunge into the past – which is the direction that time always takes us, not into the future, mind you, as we have for so long been seduced into believing is the proper direction to take – we notice with increasing delight that things become not merely stranger and more complicated than we might have imagined, but they also become more interesting, more rewarding, more comfortable and human. And by "things" I don't just mean ideas and insights, much less mere words in so-called dead languages, but the whole of ancient civilization itself upon whose model we would do well to rebuild. Nec sequitur sit, cui cor sapiat, ei non sapiat palatus. – Cicero (Nor does it follow that what the mind savors, the palate may not also). There is a saying by Horace "Insani sapiens nomen ferat" Are crazy people who call themselves "Napoleon" or "Jesus Christ" perhaps only acting out Horace's observation that a wise man might bear the name of a lunatic? Because the reverse is inevitable: a fool may bear the name of a wise man. In schizophrenic super logic it is obvious that I am not Napoleon and to call myself Napoleon would clearly mark me as being silly, in which case I would actually be giving myself a fool's designation and therefore must be wise after all. It might even, in fact, somehow turn me into a kind of Napoleon, should I so call myself, because the choice of a name more or less reflects our inner nature to some degree. A writer, in fact, in forming the characters of his stories, is acting out these parts of himself (or these parts of all of us) to some 103

E. E. Rehmus purpose and perhaps that is what Horace meant by saying "Scribendi recte sapere est principium et fons," ("to appreciate writing correctly is the beginning and fountain-head") although that may not be what Schopenhauer intended in his essay on Style, wherein he quotes that line of Horace's. In fact that's not even the proper translation as we shall see presently. Latin is difficult to translate, especially out of context (and who today takes the trouble to learn how to read ancient literature at all, much less in its original tongue?) because we think so differently and because we use different words to express our thoughts. So words like sapere (to be wise), cor (the heart) or insanus (unsound) lead us in directions not intended by the classics. To take but one example, cor/cordis means "the heart" or the "seat of the emotions" or "judgment" or "the mind." Well! What is the modern reader to make of this word "heart", since thinking and feeling are so rigidly opposed to one another in our minds now? Schopenhauer translates Horace's maxim as "Good sense is the source and origin of good style". Sapere to him means "good sense" – that is, a writer should have good taste, which consists in having something to say and saying it simply without resorting to unnecessarily long and highfaluting words that merely look erudite. But sapere literally means to savor or to sip, or to taste with the tongue. Let's remember that the tongue is also the origin of language and it's not too far from smelling and tasting the flavor of food and drink to the savoring of words. But by Schopenhauer's time, sapere no longer has the direct connection to tasting that it did in Horace's day and is closer to the usage of sapere, "to be wise". Homo sapiens is no longer the "tasteful" or "discriminating" man (unlike Cheetah the chimpanzee, or Dunstan the orangutan), but the much less explicit, mere "wise" man. That was the "honest man" that Diogenes was looking for – not some lame ass who paid his taxes on time and never told a lie to his boss. Diogenes didn't even use the word "honest". He just said he was looking for a man, i.e. a mensch. Good luck! Well, everything is connected. In thumbing through my Latin Dictionary I ran across the phrase Aegyptum profiscamur cognoscendae antiquitatis ("Let us set out for Egypt to study old times"). That translation doesn't go very far, however, towards reflecting the Latin's more ancient overtones. Profiscor means literally to "make oneself forward". To the Romans there was still a sense of that older meaning, to lean in a forward direction, not necessarily to proceed over land and sea. And to me "forward" means back towards our origins, not seeking to materialize some Nazi-like future Disneyland. And cognosco literally means to "become acquainted with," whereas studeo ("study") means to devote oneself eagerly, to be zealous, to strive to know, in other words a student is a person who works with some gusto and eagerness, in the way that we might study a map when we are lost, actively tracing out this line and that, testing and weighing the best direction to take. But today when a college student studies his textbook, the essential ingredient, eagerness, is often completely absent so that his learning is superficial and disconnected. He may even learn his lesson "by heart" which doesn't mean learning by one's whole understanding, but merely by rote, like a parrot. 104

E. E. Rehmus At any rate, we are going to Egypt, which is a strange country, with whose antiquities we are not acquainted, so we shall need to "study" them if we are to become familiar with them. And why, by the way, Egypt in the first place? Because for Greece and Rome that was their history and origin, as for us the Greeks and Romans are our history and origin. In other words, Egypt is no arbitrary choice. Think for a moment. The future does not exist, but the past certainly does! Its monuments and ruins lie everywhere around us, however much we may try to erase them or write over them. It's true, we fall away from the past, like facing backwards on a train, but the present is new and confusing, whereas the distance clarifies things wonderfully. Isn't it rather foolish of us to confer such immense importance on, say, new inventions and discoveries, when we have seen so often how fraudulent technology is and how seldom it lives up to its promises? The monuments, however, by which are indicated not just tombs and pyramids, but works of art, philosophies, great ideas – such enduring things were meant to be markers and guidelines. Yes, I know you've heard all that before. Well, now you've heard it again. Sorry I don't have more strings on my bow. e.e. rehmus


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Sick of the Millennium? It's Not Even Here Yet!

During the Harmonic Convergence of 1987, José Argüelles reminded us of the Mayan calendar's ending in 2013 and how the world was entering the nadir of hell over the next 25 years. The Hindus also tell us about the horrors of the Kali Yuga and the hideous end of the world in our time. As early as 1922 Yeats penned his immortal ode "The Second Coming" in which he described the Millennium as a time when "the centre cannot hold" and "the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Well, but 1987 was also the year of the Literary "Brat Pack" (the highbrow version of the even more insipid Hollywood Brat Pack), the year when writers of short stories for The New Yorker were all twenty year olds and products of Harvard and Yale workshops, where the Humanities were no longer considered relevant. They harped incessantly, with more hype and promotion than talent, on the search for "permanent relationships" and the problem of"an inability to communicate". They felt that the recounting of consumer items was the equivalent of writing about events or character. It was also about then that every woman decided she had to be pregnant, even if she was fifty years old or a lesbian - no problem at all for Superwoman, who was also expected to be a "man" at the same time. "Labor" on two fronts! Meanwhile the yuppies are still among us, with a bottle of Evian apparently grafted onto every manicured hand, with Aspen and Tahoe setting the standards of taste and value. What? You haven't gone skiing yet? It only costs a few thousand dollars per week-end! 106

E. E. Rehmus At the lower end of the social scale, since formerly long hair had been associated with those who believed in things like integration, tolerance towards others, etc., the young neo-Nazis shaved their heads to proclaim their disbelief in the Holocaust and their hatred of negroes and homosexuals. Then, in reaction and in an effort to defuse the skinheads, young blacks, jews and homosexuals also shaved their heads. Thus punk was born. So now everyone looks like a convict. If all this sounds to you more like today than the climate a decade ago, you're not out of date. The fashion these days is to avoid the perils of new trends. Not entirely because no one has either the courage or the imagination to think up anything original or socially desirable, but also because there are more powerful forces for repression today. So we're stuck with the plasticsurgery-enforced face of the last fad, that of the late 1980's, forever. Although Groening's The Simpsons was originally called "Life in Hell", if you remember, the networks could hardly permit that, so over the years it's been reworked, censored and bowdlerized by the network corporation and by mothers hysterical over the possibility that their babies of virgin birth may see or hear something unconventional or truthful, until it's all but antiseptic and only Homer's greed and sloth are problems. And actually you might not think we are in hell to look at the crimeless and silent streets of early 1998 (everyone is in prison!). There are no visible guillotines or instruments of torture. There are no Hitlers (unless you count certain Muslim leaders or the Disney corporation) and no wars (apart from the occasional massacre in Africa or Asia). But when you find yourself in gridlock on the freeway or trying to find something to watch on TV during those long three-day weekends with nothing to do but watch football games, you get a momentary flash of hell. You might notice in passing how we, both sexes, have somehow been forced into a uniform: second-hand jeans or work pants, t shirt with some advertisement on it, Adidas, baseball cap. These are clearly slave uniforms. Orwell's 1984 has finally arrived (complete with the Anti-Sex League, rechristened "The Right to Life" and "Safe Sex" and "Nanny Watch"). Of course you have enough to eat (for the time being), but so does a hamster in a cage. There is more than one circle of hell. Not everything is a lake of fire. There are also the frozen areas. And Hell is also Death. We live in a kind of cemetary, because the only things that stir us are the nostalic ghosts of yesteryear. We were much more alive in 1908, 1938, 1968 than we are in '98! Those generations lived at the exciting edge of chaos and creativity, not at the dead end of a butterflyless cocoon. And was there ever a time when so many things were against the law? Jonathan Swift writes about the laws of Lilliput. It was against the law to break an egg at the larger end, for instance. Swift should have lived in our time. I'll bet he could have listed a thousand burdens on us in the here and real that make egg-breaking laws look positively humane and sensible. Woe, for example, unto anyone caught smoking or being overweight or yelling at their spoiled brats! On the other hand, if you're hoping for calendar reform, or for the end of the tyranny of daylight 107

E. E. Rehmus saving or for the phasing out of meaningless holidays like Independence Day or Christmas you have the right to remain silent or the freedom of prayer. Terence McKenna's timescape which also places the end of time in the second decade of the 21st Century explains that as we repeat the cycles of history they don't become increasingly dramatic, but in fact more shallow and trivialized. It's rather like the replication of body cells, clones, repeated tape recordings or holographic fragments which become fuzzier and less robust with repetition or miniaturization. So if 1998 is the repetition of the cycle characterized by the 15th Century we have John Glenn returning to the Moon (nothing is weird!) instead of Columbus returning to the New World, the Internet standing in for the printing press, Princess Di's martyrdom replacing that of Joan of Arc, etc. We can expect '99, with its rerun of the 16th Century, to be even less rewarding. The second-rate is followed by the tenth-rate and so on ad infinitum. We're not even through half the hell cycle yet, the ugly part follows the boring part. "Not with a bang, but a whimper." – E.E. Rehmus


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The Book Worm


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Sex in Our Time There is a "phallacy" that homosexuality in the male is the same as homosexuality in the female. Since men and women are different, it stands to reason that their notions of sex are bound to be different from one another. Since I'm not a woman, I can't speak for them. At any rate, even if one were neither gay nor strait, but simply engaged in homosexual or heterosexual acts, the motivation behind such behavior would still be a mystery. Let's not confuse obsession with affection. Sex is, for the individual, a kind of fetish, whereas love is something else, more interesting, perhaps, but less mysterious. Libido fit, not nascitur.

clip art that seemed appropriate to the editor

Jonathan Katz ("The Invention of Homosexuality") shows how heterosexuality and homosexuality are modern terms without meaning to the people of ancient history – such as the Greeks, from whom we stole the words to pervert into our own terms. I wonder how many readers remember that Zeus and Hercules had male lovers whose names are even recorded (Sargent – Homosexuality in Greek Myth). Even the first Israelis must have felt that men sleeping with men was common enough or old Jehovah wouldn't have mentioned it as an "abomination". The truth is totally heterosexual men are rare and the only way you can spot them is by the fact that they don't care. The militant anti-gay had better watch their step – they might as well carry a sign that says "Please catch me when I fall!" But if Heterosexuality is an invention, Homosexuality is an even newer one. Timetable (observe the dates and wording carefully): 1870

"Heterosexuality" coined as a perversion by the medical establishment.


Websters: "Homosexuality: a morbid sexual passion for one of the same sex."


Websters: "Heterosexuality: a morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex."


Websters: "Heterosexuality: sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality."


Websters: "Homosexuality: eroticism for one of the same sex."

The attitudes that created these words are responsible for the sexual excesses of bourgeois heteros in the 20's in reaction to previous Victorian repressions. So now, the hets being liberated, could start seriously to make 121

E. E. Rehmus scapegoats of homos in order to rid themselves of any lingering, nasty feelings of guilt. James M. Cain (Serenade): "There is always somewhere a homosexual who can wear down the resistance of the normal man by knowing which buttons to push." Baldwin: "Strait cats invent faggots so they can sleep with them, without becoming faggots themselves." (In other words, overt male homosexuals are called faggots because other men need them). If het and hom are invented modern words, so is the word sex itself (apart from its ordinary meaning of "gender"). As the Greeks did not mean what we mean by past and future, neither had they words for exclusively male love and exclusively female love – and sex was not generalized. There was synousya, synousiasia [vunouv`ua, vunouv`iavia]] "copulation" and thelasmos [qhlavm`os] "fellatio"] but these were not confined to either gender. There was probably no term for the Latin cunnilingus in Greek, since that was merely a sexual act of a necessary nature to "lesbians" (though Lesbians, for the Greeks, were simply inhabitants of Lesbos, as Dorians were inhabitants of Sparta). The important distinction to the Greeks was between active and passive eros, erotastes [ ]`erws, `erwt`avths] and eromenes (fem. eromene) [ ] erwmenos (f. er`wm`enh)] respectively (e.g. lover and beloved) and erotike xytychia [ ] erwtik`h xuntuc`ia] or love affair was an "erotic occasion or shared, common expression," without gender implication. For the Greeks, sex was merely whatever action (oral, anal, vaginal, phallic) that occurs normally between people who desire one another. Our notions of promiscuity and chastity were shared with the ancients but again not gender specific -- except that the object of love should properly not cheapen himself or herself by unseemly attention-getting provocation. A prostitute of either gender did not aspire to the ideals of heroic erotic status. Conjugal sex was not governed by desire but by a sense of duty -- to produce heirs and progeny and to raise them in a nurturing household. Marriage was thus a contract devoid of romantic attachment. Moreover, the household was the province of women. Katz asks why we assume heterosexuality to be more natural than homosexuality. Why should a desire to keep company with one's own sex in preference to being with the opposite sex be such a suspicious thing? What do I have in common with women who want to go shopping or talk about babies? What woman, other than Demi Moore, really wants to join the Marines? Why, Katz asks again, is deriving pleasure from dressing as one's own sex more natural than wearing clothes of the opposite? (Today women routinely dress as men and in ancient times both genders wore robes, gowns, skirts and togas). Frankly, trousers are miserable things to wear unless you're riding a horse or doing very active work, or you have to be out in the wind -- or unless you want to advertise your anatomy. I wear a caftan at home and recommend it to other men if they want to be comfortable. It doesn't have to have patterns of daisies and daffodils on it. It can be plain gray or brown, without ruffles. Who cares? Dr. James Kiernan (1892) referred to heterosexuality as a disorder in which there was a desire between two different sexes (bisexual cross transference) – 122

E. E. Rehmus “psychical hermaphroditism”. One wants to "become" the other, to put it crudely. This desire entailed inappropriate expression (such as avoiding reproduction and other abnormal methods of gratification). Homosexuality was merely the general mental state of one's own gender. In other words, any sex act not procreatively based, was considered abnormal. A perversion of instinct. Medicine was sought as a cure for nonprocreative desire. The early Victorians were romanticists who allowed sex between lovers as an expression of love, but disapproved of mere "sensuality." The middle-class trying to separate itself from upper and lower classes, finally invented heterosex. "Purity" means sex grounded in love, not absence of sex altogether. Female prostitutes degraded love, but men who slept with men for money were not a threat to the romantic love of man and woman. Essentially, love did not include eros, except as a danger to purity. Passion meant "romantic love". Hence, same sex friendships could be seen as pure and not necessarily involving the sensuous. Intercourse was the taboo, not other expressions of love. In the late 19th Century the term "hetero" meant excessive degeneracy in sex and expression. Homosex was considered a weaker drive, hence less important. But almost at once, hetero now meant normal and homo abnormal. Freud managed to legitimize heterosexuality. The idea was that the dangers of heterosexuality may result in homosexuality. One is afraid of the former and so turns to the latter. The truth is that pubertal minds are often traumatized by the facts of life and that actually liberates repressed homosexuality. Freud seems to have missed that. I suppose I should have predicted it ten years ago when every woman under fifty on the street was pregnant. Because as recently as that they still hadn't started censoring movies on TV -- blipping the four-letter words and rating them for parental guidance. Now those brats are starting to reach the age of curiosity and their parents are terrified they will discover their lustful origins. They tried censoring the Internet. That didn't work, so they turned to programs like Nannywatch and Kidstop to keep the little rugrats from accessing the "adult" sites. Ironically, these parental controls may bar kids from some pornographic sites, but the sites they are barred from are mostly posed models, clean cut, perfunctorily "artistic," sterile and far from prurient. The real stuff is and always has been underground and the underground is always accessible if you are determined enough to find it. Of course, in our tightly controlled 90's heaven, the police have been actively seeking to destroy the underground. They should know about the Hydra of old. Chop off one head and ten (or 100? I forget) new ones grow in place. Trouble with censorship is it always starts with "protecting" children from the evils of sex. Of course all that does is create a generation of victorian-like prudes with unconscious ids full of repressed perversions from foot fetishism to Jack the Ripper. But it doesn't stop there. After children comes the "protection" of adults. Pretty soon censorship and control creep into libraries and schools, into Law and Medicine. This is fascistic mind-control. Middle-class, middle-minded, mediocre Amerikkka with its slavish Xtianity and addiction to Spartan team sports and fitness soon becomes completely 123

E. E. Rehmus stultified until you can't hold a proper conversation because everyone is afraid to say anything controversial, politically dangerous or "intellectual", until a cigarette smoker or drinker of black coffee might as well be on heroin or cocaine, until you are confronted by "security" at every picnic or excursion, until you can't find a toilet when you are afoot in the city, until everyone is in prison. I wonder how many men nowadays are afraid to smile at a woman or to pay her a compliment lest they be hauled into court. The worst of it is that this pattern has been repeated monotonously forever, as each generation blithely ignores the lessons of history. First comes sexual license and orgiastic letting go (the 20's or the 60's, for instance) which is the reaction to former repression. Then comes the detumescent aftermath, a puritanical post-coital depression now thrusted upon society at large. This is followed again by another sexual explosion, another repression, another rebellion, ad infinitum. You have to have lived through 3 or more generations in order to assess this stupid pattern properly. It doesn't happen the same way each time, nor does it fall neatly into decades or clear-cut categories. You simply observe that it's there. And of course anyone who has lived through these waves of history soon finds them as nauseating as any waves rocking any ship. As Lilian Hellman said of the MaCarthy hearings – "I don't intend to change my politics as if it were a new dress fashion." (or words to that effect). Human beings, like all animals, don't really like change or new things. Once we finally settle into a rut, we want to stay there. We start out by ignoring a new fad, hoping it will go away. Then we become annoyed by it and angry. At last we end up having to accept the change and adapt to it. This is the real reason so many people refuse to be shocked or outraged by Clinton's sex life. We're starting to get tired of being harassed by the media. And we're weary of having forever to question our sexual mores and attitudes. Why can't we just be normal and natural – like the Greeks! 124

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"Dorians Stand up for Dignity!" This question of using the right name always seems so trivial and unimportant to those who are not involved. Whether Negroes are called "black" or "colored" is of little consequence to whites. But it matters a good deal to AfroAmericans. The same is true of nationalities -- the Chinese don't want to be called "chinks" and the French don't want to be called "frogs", though everyone else wonders what the fuss is about. But at least these people have proper, respectful names to start with. In the case of male homosexuals, the case is much worse. Apart from the cumbersome and clinical "male homosexual" there is no decent word to describe such a man. "Gay" is a non-descriptive word without dignity. It derives from 19th Century British slang to describe female prostitutes. Let us refrain from the obnoxious practice of using "normal" to refer to heterosexual and "abnormal" to homosexual. The Ancient Greeks would have found that point of view to be not altogether natural and amongst the primitive men of New Guinea a man would be ostracized who did not take part in ritual homosexuality. Exposure to prisons and battlefields tends to put things in a different light, as well, though admittedly those are abnormal social contexts. And anyone can see the sexual element in boxing and wrestling. Male bonding, which everyone finds quite natural, is a form of mild homosexuality in itself. Not everything between men has to come down to physical contact, however. In any case, we need a word without pre-conceived, negative associations. "Gay" is hardly suitable as a word to describe today's martyrs who are still routinely persecuted and subject to the ravages of a terrible plague. "Dorian" was, I believe, the word chosen by Andre Gide as the male counterpart of the female "Lesbian" -- originally an inhabitant of the Ancient Greek island of Lesbos. In Gide's day, unfortunately (or fortunately) there wasn't that much occasion, outside of the underground itself, to refer to our saintly crew. Doris, however, was one of the four main divisions of ancient Greece and Dorian was a non-standard, but legitimate, dialect of the Greek language, recognized by its broad vowel sounds, like Scottish. The Doric style of architecture was characterized by simplicity and solidity. Up until WWII, Dorians were in an even worse position than they are today. They had no name for themselves at all except for terms straight out of the gutter. It took an entire generation of homosexuals battling for the use of the word "gay" to establish even that meager beach head amongst the hets. But it was a choice born of desperation. Not everyone had read Andre Gide, and "gay" was only one syllable. It was the only straw to respectability that was near enough for grabbing. But it was a costly mistake. And it's time now to correct that mistake and move forward. It really is too bad about people being upset by a Dorian parade on St. Patrick's Day, that it ruins it for them, etc. It never occurs to them that some people who are not Irish might find an entire day devoted to the Irish to be kind of an insult. How come there isn't a Beethoven's Day? Or a Picasso Day? Why 125

E. E. Rehmus must it be Catholic and Irish and heterosexual? One of the reasons for homosexual parades is not just that a lot of transvestites want to wear women's clothes (which some Dorians themselves might find offensive) and act silly, but that it's time the hets learned that it's not just their world and it's not "business as usual" we're after. Many Dorians still believe that AIDS was somehow engineered -- paranoid though some might diagnose that belief to be -- and they are as angry about that and other injustices as Negroes and Jews are about the things that have been done to them more openly. At any rate, since the word "gay" is almost as degrading & obnoxious as the other unflattering names, I personally, henceforth, am going to start using this stronger and more affirmative word "Dorian" to signify "male homosexual". Those who wish to help in the campaign have only to begin with their own speech by substituting this more elegant and appropriate word in place of "Gay." Let the English language regain its old usage of gay to mean "happy" or "merry". And leave us with dignity in its place.


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Spotlight on Sodomy Activist Frank Kameny has lately been quixotically tweaking the state of Virginia's anti-sodomy laws. Kameny is a hero, to be sure, -- we should all do more tweaking. But the real news is that there is actually a state in this country that still punishes people for crimes against nature. Never mind the tautology involved in the unnatural concept of a law against something that is against something that is against something. The average dim-witted breeder who wouldn't acknowledge an unnatural urge if it bit his ass along with his near-relation, the "traditional American Puritan" who believes that any overt expression of any indecency deserves the Thunderbolt of the Lord, this archaic pair of fools, whose existence far too long has been tolerated by sensible grown-ups in this country, had better have a care. Sodomy is about to become a topic of daytime talk-shows, if not a theme of nursery school programs. It's about to become the password that opens our computers, the word that spells out in our alphabet soup and the standard that makes increasing sense in a crowded world. There is a lady in my building who is enraged that Clinton "lied to the Grand Jury" and she says that the president is guilty of "moral turpitude". She is also one of those people who doesn't watch movies because there are too many actresses in Hollywood who are "bad ladies" and she finds my mustache and goatee disgusting because secondary sexual characteristics are an insult to middle class convention. Such a person is blithely unaware of the fact that her highly personal and idiosyncratic reactions amount themselves to an obvious sexual display of their own. Methinks the Lady doth protest to the point of wearing a sign. It's for her and her kind that we need to examine this word more closely and slowly, lingering over the very details that so allegedly offend. Technically sodomy is the introduction of the penis into any other opening than the female vagina. Thus stands revealed all at once the deliberate and willful nature of this practice. It is in fact a rebellion. A rebellion, of course, against breeding. This is the highest crime in the roster of the Catholic Church. Far worse than rape and murder is abortion! Far worse than knife or gun is the condom! Even the wasted seed upon the ground is an abomination to God. Well! It's bad enough to have impious desires and worse to act out such lusts. But how infinitely more evil it is to stand apart and confront God belligerently, as Lucifer did. You are forgiven if you sin and then apologize. But if you are bent on advocating sin, then you are damned. So be it. At any rate, the reproductive organs were designed by God for the express purpose of procreation. Therefore, any use that obviates or hinders that purpose is evil. I realize that it would be unrealistic to expect my parents to see how sodomy is superior to natural coitus, but... If the average, normal man's entire reason for existence is to raise a family and to immortalize himself by grandchildren then the average man deserves his 127

E. E. Rehmus miserable life. Women, of course, have no other function than to serve as childbearers, but a man ought to want to be more than a breeder and he should want to leave his mark on the world in some unique fashion of his own. A society that places children above everything else, indeed that believes there is no other purpose in life than being a parent, is a society on the road to hell. In this month's Atlantic there is an article on the new germ theory that heart disease, cancer, etc. are not inherited failings but are probably of viral origin. Why? Because if they were genetic defects they would, according to the way evolution and genetics work, long since have bred themselves out of existence. Anti-survival tendencies have no place in the genetic agenda. The article even suggests that homosexuality may be of viral origin! (It's anti-reproductive, after all). So we've come full circle at last - back to homosexuality as a disease. I was wondering how long it would take the timorous heteros to return to the comfort and safety of their beloved old mental block. It seems not to occur to ordinary minds that the human cerebral and emotional functions may have their own agenda too and that agenda may be totally at variance with genetic goals. Or are we to return to that other tiresome, old idea that we are but machines à la B.F. Skinner or mere predestined slaves of a limited Deity and we not only may not but are unable to "go against Nature"? Is it possible that NOT generating progeny is more intelligent than grinding out sausages? What if man should voluntarily give up reproduction and allow his species to wane and fade away? Would that be so terrible, after all? The planet might actually heal itself. Why is immortality so wonderful? In fact it is not wonderful at all. Well, what exactly, according to the Bible, happened in Sodom, anyway? It's not very clear. Some messengers went into a house with some citizens of Sodom. It's interesting that the Hebrew word "sodom" (meaning homosexual) is related to the word sod, meaning "secret." Well, let's face it, the only reason it's "secret" is that straits are afraid to ruminate over the details. More interesting is the turning of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. (
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