Lixgrijb Again … and Again

Coyote3in“I was just thinking,” said Coyote/Llixgrijb, “that maybe I’ve chosen the wrong realm to live in altogether. I created this physical, temporal realm, and put Brillig in it to experience it for me. But, really, all this physicality spells nothing but trouble. It seems that suffering, ignorance, and mortality are the only things that hold the temporal realm together. It leads to more grief than gratis.”

“Indeed,” said Wolf. “Buddha taught us that suffering and sacrifice are key ingredients in this realm.”

“Then why stick around? I believe I’ll scrap the whole thing and move on to the mythic realm—the world of flow, of determinacy. A world without surprises. I like the sound of that.”

“So are you contemplating destroying our world altogether?”

“What do you think?”

“Be careful, my friend,” said Wolf. “If you try to scrap this world, you may find the mythic world extremely boring. There will be no meaning or purpose to it, without information from our temporal realm leaking into it. The mythic world is only important because of the physical world, and the physical world is only important because of the mythic world. Here, at least, you get to experience the heroic myth of the mystic experience, because death is real here.”

Coyote/Llixgrijb grinned at him. “You’re trying to scare me out of it, aren’t you?”

“Besides,” continued Wolf, “getting rid of either realm would prove rather difficult. Dividing the mythic from the physical or the temporal is like cutting a magnet in two; the pieces will divide into physical or mythic wherever you make the cut. It’s either both realms, or nothing. It’s a cosmic/mythic complementarity. You must have both to have your dream.”

“I think you’re bluffing,” said Coyote/Llixgrijb.

—physicist Fred Alan Wolf in conversation with Llixgrijb, from The Jamais Vu Papers newsletter and book by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin. Reprinted in Jamais Vu Views along with additional material.

We thought that Llixgrijb was a fictional character, but if you Google that name today, you’ll get about 12,000 results. Some are quotes, usually (but not always) attributed to The Jamais Vu Papers, and sometimes translated into various other languages. Many are said to be posts by Llixgrijb, who apparently speaks Russian and a bevy of other languages as well as English and lives in various parts of the world. Here are just a few Llixgrijb links:

offering to be a pen pal

playing music

playing chess

discussing software

tweeting

lurking

You can read how that came about in our blog of 2012/10/05

Invasions of Privacy … the Kind We Like

Mayan-72A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the allegedly late Timothy Leary’s disdain for privacy—“the evil of monotheism,” he called it. Personally, I’m as alarmed as anyone else about threats to personal privacy from both government and corporations. But some invasions of privacy seem downright benign—or at least they do to me.

For example, Pat and I just now discovered that Amazon.com keeps track of people’s highlights in Kindle copies. Pat and I were delighted to see what readers marked in our award-winning novel Mayan Interface. You can find these quotes at the bottom of its Kindle page. (It is also available in paperback.) Here are a few that we especially like:

Change is always dangerous. And to become a new person, first you must die. It’s an absolute requirement. Now getting resurrected—that’s the tricky part.

You may have heard that Eve was the first woman, but that’s not quite true. Eve was actually a small, dark-eyed, long-tailed monkey—well, not quite a monkey, more like a lemur. And she lived, oh, some fifty million years ago—back during the Epoch of Miracles, let’s say.

What’s required is the courage to risk change without knowing what it will bring about. What’s needed are adventurers willing to go into whatever is ahead without even knowing what they, themselves, will become—because no one transformation will suffice for all.

The Maya understand that their people were shaped by both history and myth. We think of history as “what really happened” and of a myth as a story made up to account for whatever people didn’t understand—and unnecessary once science and logic have explained everything. But if a myth has influenced anyone’s life, then in some sense it “happened”—and is therefore history.4 mystery gllyphs

The Lullaby Tree — in paperback

ImageMy last post announced that my new play, The Lullaby Tree, was available in Kindle. Now it’s out in paperback as well. I hope you’ll have a look at it. As I mentioned before, it’s aimed more at readers than theatrical audiences—a “closet drama,” as it were. —Wim

Today I’m sharing Aesop’s not-so-famous Third Act Soliloquy …

I am alone—or so I say
Because I am supposed to;
You know the truth is not a thing
I’m really quite disposed to.
And flights of verse treat facts much worse
Than statements spoke in prose do.

“I am alone”: Let it be known,
I find those words most queer.
For I am standing on a stage,
Addressing you loud and clear,
While you are sitting in your chairs
Pretending you’re not here.

I am alone, I am alone,
Standing at stage center,
Awaiting someone who may be
My savior or tormentor—
Waiting, waiting, nothing more,
For someone else to enter.

I am alone; watch closely now—
Yes, you and all your chums—
This tap-tap-tapping of my toes,
This twiddling of my thumbs.
My tongue I’ll click, my nose I’ll pick,
Till something this way comes.

I am alone; so seize this time
(It really would be wise)
To hold each other by the hand,
To stroke each others’ thighs,
Or gaze and gaze, entranced, amazed,
Into each others’ eyes.

I am alone; now aren’t I
A fascinating sight?
For you can’t look away from me;
Tell me if I’m not right.
For you can’t look away from me;
Try it with all your might.

I am alone and wear a mask,
Just as all actors should.
And yet—I touch my face and feel
That it is flesh and blood.
Now touch your frozen face—you’ll find
It’s linen, cork, or wood.

“I am alone”: These words have spun
A gripping spell, it’s true;
Moments are passing, lost and gone—
Moments that you shall rue;
For when you peep in a play too deep,
The play peeps into you.