Insanity—to have to construct a picture of one’s life, by making inquiries of others.”

Philip K Dick


The dominant technologies of one age become the games and pastimes of a later age.”

Marshall McLuhan


It is sometimes possible to change the attitudes of millions but impossible to change the attitude of one man.”

Edward Bernays


JUNE 24, 2011. HEY!


Bargain price. Five-minute money-back guarantee.


We’ll shave down your perceptual field so you can fit in with eight trillion-trillion androids.


You’ll never miss what you can’t see.


Hi, I’m Tom Smith. I’ve lived here myself for many incarnations, and I want to tell you it’s the most fun place you can imagine—especially when you can’t imagine any other universe!


Know what I mean?


On a scale from 1 to 10, your creative impulse will be coming in at about a 2. That’ll cement you right into the limited spectrum, where all the action is.


Now I know you’ve tried other universes, but this one has unique advantages. First of all, you’re a shareholder! That’s right! You’ll own .00000000000000000000009 of a point in the whole set up.


So you’ll feel the satisfaction of a genuine commitment.


Next, you’ll actually get down on your knees and pray to this universe. I know, it sounds odd, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. There’s a special hum you sense when you’re subjugating yourself to a “higher essence.”


Jack Boardhead of Alpha Centuri writes in and says: “I never knew how great being a complete schmuck could feel. It’s a jolt unlike any other I’ve ever experienced.”


Thanks, Jack. My regards to the wife and kids. I understand Cindi starts college in the fall. Kudos!


Yes, folks, there really is a sense of family in this universe. People liking people. We’re all in this together. Since you’re a stakeholder, you’ll be in touch with us at the home office, and we’ll be using your testimonials to sign up new residents. There’s room for everybody! If there’s one thing we’ve got, it’s space!


So act now and take advantage of our limited-time offer. Your ticket plus one. Buy one, get one free. Plus the blender, the set of cups and saucers, the booster narcosis vaccines, and the infinity pool. And since this is Tuesday, we have a special! Cemetery plots for the whole family, and storm windows! For the first five hundred callers, a special bonus. Automatic pre-diagnosis of Bipolar and free drugs for the first year!


How’s that for share and care?


Operators are standing by, so call now. If your last name begins with S, free tickets to Sea World!


Note: in unusual circumstances, we will entertain bids from a single buyer. In this case, several attractive options are available. Instant God status replete with heavenly hosts, lost-prophet-returns scenario (legend based on engraved stone cave tablets)—or you can operate as a straight absentee landlord and receive annual status reports in your villa by the sea…















JUNE 25, 2011. Propaganda is the art of shaping a picture of reality for someone who needs one.


Imagination is an interdimensional non-material non-apparatus that doesn’t care about local opinion.


A family is a repertory theater company if it has any sense.


Gold is a theory. It’s a short story that keeps being republished.


The art of politics is faking politics.


In real theater, a character walks out on his character.


A painter wants to bang two or three oceans together.


Language didn’t start out as a practical medium. It moved into that domain after a deep and concealed sense of boredom set in.


Anyone who’s written a novel knows how foolish ordinary reality is.


If scientists found a rebel ant in a colony, they would step on him and then publish what they intended to publish.


Working scientists invent personalities that are proud to have no creative urge. In other words, scientists believe in their own bullshit, but not how it got to be that way.


If a human being is entirely made up of the same particles that compose the universe, how is he making jokes?


There are different ways to use imagination. For example, I knew a guy who told me that a New York painter was a covert spy. Evidence? The painter’s father-in-law was a friend of Nelson Rockefeller. The painter won a fellowship to go to Rome and paint. “All these foundations are linked together in an elite structure.” The painter had a studio near the Vatican, so he was probably brainwashed by the Jesuits and returned to the US. I was told this was “connecting the dots.” Yeah, sure, if the dots are Donald Duck, the planet Venus, a tube of old glue in a cellar in Detroit, and a waitress at a McDonald’s in China. Still, it is imaginative.





Are you John Jones, the painter?”


Take a look around my studio. What do you think?”


Well, sir, we came to you because it appears you’re the only person left on the planet who isn’t bored.”




We want to know why. We want to know your secret.”


Every morning I have three eggs burned badly.”


How badly?”


Black edges, otherwise crispy. I soak each forkful in my coffee before I eat it.”


How do you take your coffee?”


Boiled for six hours. And the orange juice must be drunk out of a long thin test tube. Slowly. I rub my toast with sandpaper, until the browned layer is completely gone.”


Anything else, sir?”


Yes. Every night at midnight, I do laundry. But I never put any clothes in the machine. Only rocks.”


The men left, feeling excited.




I asked you all here today to discuss a new project for the community. It’s about filling a much needed gap. It’s come to my attention that in our schools and local clubs, we lack a sense of creativity.”


What do you have in mind?”


Well, as we all know, it’s fun to be creative, so I believe we should start with a few new signs on the highway leading into town. Our town name would be done in a color we’ll choose, instead of the simple black block lettering. And then Grace, at the nail salon, has volunteered to introduce three new shades of pink and orange to her customers. Thank you, Grace. And Bob, our esteemed dentist, is going to change that giant tooth that’s been attached to his waiting-room wall for twenty years. He’s going to put up a huge toothbrush instead.”


Didn’t you hear? Right after his last patient yesterday, Bob jumped out of his fourth-story window. Fortunately, he landed in a bush.”


What happened?”


He left a note on his desk. Said he was bored out of his mind.”


Well, you see, that’s what I mean. With the new signs and shades of nail polish, and the big toothbrush, we can inspire Bob. We can turn this whole thing around.”



















JUNE 24, 2011. Just as you might find that, under the influence of a psychedelic drug, everything you look at is fascinating and engrossing—until the drug wears off—the ordinary mind’s fascination with certain harmonies and patterns seems to find perfection…until that effect wears off and is lost.


The meal was good, it promised much, it met or even exceeded expectations, and then you were sated. Then you didn’t care anymore, until you were hungry again, later in the day.


You stand on a mountain top and look out at the clouds and the sky, and you feel fulfilled and even exalted; and then you climb down the mountain and the feeling recedes.


Pattern, harmony, space, balance, proportions, symmetry—they seem to conspire to produce this exaltation…but only a for a little while.


This “setup” is a kind of spiritual consumerism. You loved the thing you bought until you didn’t, and then you went shopping again. The new became old and then it wasn’t any good anymore, it didn’t provide the same thrill, so you needed to go to the store again.


But despite this on-again off-again, a person can believe this is as good as it gets. This is the pinnacle of experience.


He is “trained” to search out and find the right harmonies, and when he does, he says to himself: THIS IS IT.


He blocks out the knowledge that every time he begins one of these searches, he already knows the perfection he’ll find is temporary. He blocks it out so he can believe “this time” he’ll find the Ultimate.


What I’m describing here is a kind of aesthetic standard and process. It isn’t trivial. It informs many decisions a person makes.


And given that this instinct is alive and well in most people, a culture, a civilization can be designed that is automatically acceptable and even pleasing and authoritative to the general population.


The Pentagon. Not the eight-sided figure with two arms sticking out at weird angles.


The White House is a colonial structure. It isn’t a dome or a Frank Lloyd Wright series of ascending spirals.


And when a president speaks to the nation, a measured tone with even pauses tends to carry the day, because at some level the mind is looking for those rhythms and harmonies.


It’s lock and key.


The object of perception supplies what the mind wants.


This is all, obviously, happening at very superficial level. But that doesn’t diminish its convincing power.


When the subject of magic is introduced, most people automatically assume its images and explanations—and its very substance—is going to follow this familiar lock-and-key pattern. Whatever magic is, it’s going to mirror the superficial mind’s need to discover yet another experience of harmony. Of course. How could things be different?


However, magic is precisely that which moves in at a greater depth than the the percolations of the superficial symmetry-seeking mind.


Magic doesn’t lay itself out like a blueprint of columns and porticoes and balanced wings.


Magic isn’t “speaking that language.” Which is part of the reason it’s magic.


Human beings long and yearn for a certain range of rhythms and symmetries and harmonies…and I don’t care what you’re selling; if you sell it with those qualities intact, they’ll pay for it. They’ll bite.


Doesn’t mean what you’re selling is good or useful or needed. It just means you made the right moves on the chessboard of the superficial mind and its desires.


But what happens when something from the outside is projected into the superficial mind and that something doesn’t carry the right “harmony signatures and ID cards?” It’s rejected.


I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up. This couldn’t be right.”


People can accept the idea that magic is a secret practice from ancient times, and was hidden away by its practitioners for various reasons. They can readily accept that, even though it’s complete nonsense.


The REAL hidden nature of magic is this: it penetrates the superficial mind like an invisible arrow. It isn’t seen at all, because it isn’t in the range of acceptable harmonies.


Of course, as I’ve been saying many times, magic is imagination deployed with great intensity over a long period of time. If you imagine and create those acceptable symmetries and harmonies long enough, because that’s what you gravitate toward, you’ll eventually invent something NEW. Something that lies outside those harmonies. And then you’ll glimpse other dimensions. You’ll INVENT other dimensions. That’s the beginning of the road.


Now, after reading this, you disagree, fine. Find yourself a good photo of the Parthenon and sit down and draw it over and over and over. Make it as perfect as you can. Invent that.