WEIRDLAND: Doubtful Speculations

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Doubtful Speculations

Doubtful Speculations:

"I sat a long time thinking uncomfortable thoughts.
We are strangely made. We think we are wonderful creatures. Part of the time we think that, at any rate. And during that interval we consider with pride our mental equipment, with its penetration, its power of analysis, its ability to reason out clear conclussions from confused facts, and all the lordly rest of it; and then comes a rational interval and disenchants us. Disenchants us and lays us bare to ourselves, and we see that intellectually we are really no great things; that we seldom really know the thing we think we know; that our best-built certainties are but sand-houses and subject to damage from any wind of doubt that blows.
So a little time before I knew that this voyage was a dream, and nothing more; a wee little puff or two of doubt had blown against that certainty, unhelped by fact or argument, and already it was dissolving away. It seemed an incredible thing, and it hurt my pride of intellect, but it had to be confessed.
[page 284] But it was another failure. It was just a snow-flurry on a warm day: every flake was distinct and perfect, but they melted before you could grab enough to make a ball out of them. So I said- "We will try another way. Sometimes, you know, if you dart a swift glance over a tough foreign sentence you capture the general meaning of it, whereas if you stop to meddle with details you're gone. We'll try that method. Now then -no commas, no dashes, no pauses of any sort: start at the beginning and buzz the whole incantation through just in one solid whiz -swift, you know"
"Tales of wonder" by Mark Twain.
"The Mysterious Stranger" is narrated by August Feldner, a sixteen-year-old printer's apprentice.

"August realizes that he is in love with Marget, the master's niece. He discovers, however, that she is only in love with him in her dreams, when she is sleeping. August is able to make himself invisible and come to Marget in her dreams, during which her Dream-Self believes that her name is Elisabeth von Arnim and his name is Martin von Giesbach. But when she wakes up, she has no memory of this, and simply ignores August. During her waking hours, when she is her Day-Self or Waking-Self, she is in love with August's Duplicate, who calls himself Emil Schwarz".

"Number 44" states that his existence is beyond the bounds of what any human being could conceive of. He explains that "Life itself is only a vision, a dream," and that his existence is "pure Thought", without physical matter. Source:
"You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks - in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier.

"It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream - a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought - a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!"

He vanished, and left me appalled; for I knew, and realized, that all he had said was true".
"The Mysterious Stranger" (1916)

"Questioning the existence of God and Fate, the hypocrisy of Man, the stability of the time-space continuum, and the efficacy of his meds, unlikely hero Donnie comes to believe he can save the planet — or at least his loved ones" Source:

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