From the heights of the intelligentsia to the depths of absurd.

This, that, - - - and the other thing

1 Nov 2012

Things always have a reason for occurring. Sometimes they occur in pairs. Some things should never occur. That is what I describe here.


I just cannot understand how we came to use seconds, hours, degrees, radians and other strange units of measure.


Who in the world can understand things like NNE or SSW?

On deeds they tell us strange things such as; “

Starting at the large Butternut Tree then proceeding 21 03 West thence proceeding – – -.”

In fact we know that the line proceeds in a general southerly direction; not some cock-a-mamey direction West.

If we started out at the Butternut Tree why can’t we just say “proceeding in a southerly direction until you reach the big grey rock that looks like an elephant with bunions?”

Or “proceeding in a general southerly until you find…

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Going Down (Post -15 of -15)


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15 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York


Now, if my words have been absorbed, you can contemplate much of this without further help.


But I will go on, because, in your universities, it is taught, that the Angelic nature is, as such, an overstatement. The soul remembers and wills, and I wish you to see, in its purity, the truth that is confused down there – – – on earth – – – , by the equivocations in such lectures.


These Angelic essences, since they first gathered joy from God’s face, have never turned their eyes from Him, from which nothing is hidden, so that their vision is never changed by any new object, and there is no need to recall anything to memory, because of alienated thoughts.


So humans dream, down there, when not asleep. They are certain that they speak the truth, or of certain other things.


There is greater error and shame in the latter.


The End





And now – – – a confession:

The first 15 posts in this series (as the elevator was falling) were all my own writing. It was meant to show how man can alter his ideals when threatened by the unknown; from being happy to utter bitterness.

When the posts (and the elevator) hit the bottom floor I thought “What happens to the soul after death?” So I continued the series for another 15 floors heading towards Hell or Heaven or reincarnation. Who knows what awaits us?

However, I have never died before (that I know of) and I needed to call on some experts; Dante Alegieri, Friedrich Nietzsche, W. H. Hudson, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos,  Lord Chesterton, Nikolai Gogol and Francis Bacon; all who had written about strange occurrences between the 1200’s to 1800’s.

So I borrowed their words and changed them around to better fit the situation of the elevator and the possibility of being reborn or ending up in Heaven or ending up in Hell. (These are the only three possibilities that I am aware of.)

In fact, I even went so far as to change Gogal’s baptism scene to include French characters from Laclos’ “Dangerous Liaisons (1782).”

I should have declared this at the beginning of the last 15 posts but thought it would be a “SPOILER ALERT.”

So now, at the end of the series, I have finally fessed up.


I am leaving for several weeks of brook trout fishing in the Adirondack Mountains. Therefore I probably will not be posting (but sometimes I don’t tell the truth or I simply omit things) so then again … I may post something.

If you enjoyed the 30 posts on “GOING DOWN” you may want to sample some of my writing on Amazon. The samples are the opening pages of each book and they are for free, and, if you like what you see … then at the end of the sample pages Amazon has been so kind as to offer you to purchase them.

But woe be it unto me to suggest such a thing and promote my books here; this statement speaks for itself. (I always wanted to use that phrase but could never find a place where it fit so aptly).

I realize you have been waiting, with bated breath, for the links to my books  no matter where you live. So here they are in marketplaces around the world.

And you can click on each book to read a few sample pages – – – WOWZERS!

For those of you in the USA:

and in Canada it is:

and in the UK:

and in Deutschland:

and in Australia and New Zealand:

and in France:

and in India:

and in España:

and in Italia:

and in the Netherlands;

and in Japan:

and in Brazil:

and in Mexico:


Go, click, when you see “Look Inside”, peruse, and purchase if you so wish. There are 17 of them and none cost over $3.99.

Well, I have blathered on long enough. I go now to smell the balsam trees, watch the furry creatures and, most likely, to fall on my ass in the middle of a cold mountain stream.



Going Down (Post -14 of -15)


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14 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York




Now that I have abandoned some of my previous lives – – – and trivial personalities – – – let us get back to what I had previously stated;


“I sometimes think that there are only two eras of any importance in the future history of my life. The first is the appearance of a new being, and the second is the appearance of a new temperament.”


Therefore I sought this new temperament in a new life.


There are three chapters in the story of that future life–three periods, distinct and well defined, yet consecutive–beginning when I had not completed twenty-five years and finishing before thirty. They will come back oftenest to future memory and seem more vivid than all the other years of my new existence. For what soul in this wonderful, various future world would wish to depart before ninety! The dark as well as the light, its sweet and its bitter, make me love it.

Of the first future a word only need be written. This is the period of courtship and matrimony; and though the experience will appear to me something altogether fresh and strange, it must nevertheless resemble that of other men, since most men marry.

And the years of that period, which are the longest of the future, occupying fully three years, should not be experienced. It will be all black disaster. Three years of enforced separation and the most extreme suffering which the cruel laws allow an enraged father to inflict on his child and I; the man who will venture to wed her against the father’s will.

Even the wise may be driven mad by oppression, and I that was never wise, but whose past was lived in and led by the passions and fantasies and the unbounded self-confidence of youth. What must it be for me when I am cast into prison to lie for long months in the company of felons, ever thinking of her who will also be desolate and of breaking heart!

But it will end – – – in the abhorrent self-indulgence, the anxiety, the proliferation of a thousand possible and impossible schemes of revenge. If it is any consolation to know that in breaking her heart he, at the same time, will break his own, and will make haste to join her in that silent place.

Ah no! It is no comfort to me, since I cannot but reflect that before her father will shatter my life I will shatter his by taking her from him.

She is his idol.

Peace to his future ashes and mine!


TOMORROW:  -15 UG  (Unter Grund)



Going Down (Post -13 of -15)


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13 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York


Yet in another life I was not merely Gilbert Keith Chesterton, a detective who pretended to be a poet; I was really a poet who had become a detective.


Nor was my hatred of anarchy hypocritical.


I was one of those who are driven early in life into too conservative an attitude by the bewildering folly of most revolutionists. I had not attained it by any compliant tradition.


My respectability was spontaneous and sudden, a rebellion against rebellion. I came from a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of my uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else.


My father cultivated art and self-realization; my mother went in for simplicity and hygiene. Hence, during my tender years, I became wholly unacquainted with any drink between the extremes of absinth and cocoa, of both of which I had a healthy dislike.


The more my mother preached a superfluous Puritan abstinence the more did my father expand into a further pagan latitude. By the time my mother had come to enforcing vegetarianism, my father had pretty well reached the point of defending cannibalism.



TOMORROW:  14 UG  (Unter Grund)



Going Down (Post -12 of -15)


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12 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York


My name was once Nicolai Gogol.


This may strike the reader as rather singular and far-fetched; but you may rest assured that it was by no means far-fetched, and that the circumstances were such that it would have been impossible to give me any other name.


This was how it came about.


I was born, if my memory fails me not, in the evening on the 31st of March, 1809. My mother was descended from Leonty Kosyarovsky, and as a very fine woman, made all due arrangements for having me baptized.

My mother, gadabout that she was, had invited some minor  members of the French court for the celebration. Mother was lying on the bed opposite the door; on her right stood the godfather, Vicomte de Valmont, a most estimable man, who served as the head clerk of the French senate; and the godmother, Marquise de Merteuil, the lover of every officer in the quartermaster corps; a woman of rare virtues.


They offered my mother her choice of three names, Cecile, Rosemonde, or that I should be named after the martyr Hermenegild the Visigoth.


“No,” said my mother, “all those names are poor.”


In order to please her, they opened the almanac at another place; three more names appeared, Tourvel, Gercourt, and Volanges.


“This is awful,” said my mother. “What names! I truly never heard the like. I might have put up with Volanges or Tourvel, but not Rosemonde and Hermenegild!”


They turned to another page and found Azolan and Jules.


“Now I see,” said my mother, “that it is plainly fate. And since such is the case, it will be better to name him after his father. His father’s name was Vasily, so let his son’s name be Vasily also.”


In this manner I became Nikolay Vasilievich Gogal Yanovsky.


They christened me, whereupon I wept, and made a grimace; because I knew that I was to be a dramatist, novelist and short story writer of Ukrainian ethnicity.


TOMORROW:  13 UG  (Unter Grund)



Going Down (Post -11 of -15)


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11 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York


Some period of time after I had been dispatched from life, there came toward me a person, as it seemed, out of place.


He had on him a cloak with wide sleeves of an excellent azure color, far more lustrous than any I had ever seen. His under-apparel was green, and so was his hat, being in the form of a turban, exquisitely made, and not so vast as the Turkish turbans; and the locks of his hair came down below the brims of it.


A reverend man was he to behold. He came in a boat which was gilded in the form of a cross.


When he was within a stone’s throw, signs were made that I should come forth to meet him upon the water, which I presently did.


When I was within six yards of him, he called to me to stay, and not to approach farther, which I did obey. And thereupon the man whom I before described stood up, and with a loud voice asked, “Are ye Christian?”


I answered, “I was some time ago” fearing the less, because of the cross I had seen on the boat. At which answer the said person lifted up his right hand toward paradise.


TOMORROW:  12 UG  (Unter Grund)



Going Down (Post -10 of -15)


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10 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York


I sometimes think that there are only two eras of any importance in the future history of my life.


The first is the appearance of a new being, and the second is the appearance of a new temperament.


What the creation of an amoeba was to the seas, what the face of a primate was to the tropical forests, the face of the Grey Wolf was to Norman kings; these in past lives once belonged to me. It is not merely that I wish to be them, draw courage from them, or to run with them.


Of course I have done all that.


I have stood as Paris in elegant armor and as Adonis with huntsman’s cloak and polished spear. Crowned with heavy lotus blossoms, I have sat on the prow of Adrian’s barge, looking into the green, turbid Nile. I have leaned over the still pool of some Greek woodland, and seen in the water’s silent silver the wonder of my own beauty.


However, I want to be much more than that.


I won’t tell you that I am dissatisfied with what I have done, or that my beauty was such that art cannot express it. There is nothing that art cannot express, and I know that the work I have done in the multiple times that I have met death was good, it was my best work – – – this giving up of my life.


But in some curious way – – – I wonder will you understand me?


This personality of death has suggested to me an entirely new manner in life, an entirely new mode. I see things differently, I think of life differently. I can now re-create my life in a way that was hidden from me before. It is a dream of resurrection in my days of deliberation. Who can deny me that?


TOMORROW:  11 UG  (Unter Grund)



Going Down (Post -9 of -15)


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9 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York


And then a young man, much younger than the one who spoke to me prior, into my eyes was beheld. He removed his turban and sat beside me on a marble bench. A rose bush grew beside the bench and a Tree of Life grew overhead. He said “As a gift, I present to you the following thoughts. Do with them what you will.”


With that he recited the following.


“It is early morning and the stars have started to disappear. The Sultan’s tower is a shadow amongst shadows. I attempt to waken you.

I sit here before the sun shows itself and wonder why, when the Temple of Life calls for enjoyment, mediocre worshippers do not enter.

As the rooster awakens their early Life they wish to partake – – – but – – – realize the church will call them away.

A Spring festival renews the call to Life’s enjoyment but those who follow the popular ideology think of Moses’ snowy hand and Jesus’ healing powers.

Theological beliefs are faint but the enjoyment of Life can be clearly seen in a vined flower and plants growing by a life-giving stream.

Languages of people change but not the song of the Nightingale. The red wine of Life awakens one’s mind, one’s ability to think.

Enjoy your renewed Life with new ideas, throw away your ideological and theological cloak. Your Life has flittered away like a bird on the wing.

No matter if your Life was large or small, glorious or bitter  –  it disappeared drop-by-drop,  like the leaves of fall.

Your renewed Life will grant you new experiences and new ideas. You should embrace these; and discarded the invalid ones as you wish.

Do we owe allegiance to the old ideas, the old gods, the superstitions? Why should we follow them?

Walk with me along the divide between theology and living Life. Let us see who is remembered. Let them stay where they are.

We may find a nice shade tree, read a good book, and then discuss it. We will exit a “paradise of ideals” and enter the “undiscovered.”

Some lived for human glory, some lived to enter heaven; but you enjoyed what you had and did not borrow from tomorrow.

You entered Life with glee, gained knowledge, sprinkled it on others; then departed life happily, knowing that you have contributed.

Those who once had great ideas are re-born into the resurrected man. Those great ideas are no longer alive today; however, we can unearth them.

Old hope is the kindling that will turn to ashes. It is an April snow that disappears with the sunlight of new ideas.

The caravan of Life, measured as each day goes by, brings new ideas and experiences; and the old fade into the twilight.”


And then the young man vanished.


TOMORROW:  10 UG  (Unter Grund)



Going Down (Post -8 of -15)


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8 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York



The old man, who had been advising me, replied;


“Every living human, which you currently are not, is united to you – – – if only by a single spider string. Each has a specific virtue, as life is manifest in a plant by its green leaves.


Therefore human beings do not know where knowledge of primary sensations comes from, or, attraction to the primary objects of appetite.


Likewise, these appetites were in you, as the drive in bees to make honey. This primary desire merits neither praise nor blame.


Now,  every other will to act on your own may be related to this one. The virtue, which allows judgement, is innate in you, and ought to guard the threshold of approval. This is the source from which the cause of merit, in you, derives, according to how it gathers and sifts good from evil desires.


Those who willed their base instincts, conceded to this innate freedom, and so left their principles behind.


Therefore, even if you suppose that every desire, which burned in you, rises out of necessity, the power to control it was within you. Take care to have that in mind.”


TOMORROW:  9 UG  (Unter Grund)



Going Down (Post -7 of -15)


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7 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York



The old man did not appear satisfied with my pleading. In desperation I continued;


“Yes, I am proud of the fact that I experienced the character of a human quite differently from perhaps – – – everybody else. Whatever I heard or read I enjoyed. It is the happiness of my afternoons of the distant past. My eyes gaze upon a wide, white, sea, across rocks at the shore that are bathed in sunlight, while large and small animals are playing in this light, as secure and calm as the dead.


Such happiness could be invented only by one who was suffering continually. It is the happiness of my eyes that have seen the sea of life become calm, and now these eyes can never weary of the earth; and of the many hues of this tender, shuddering sea. Never before has voluptuousness been so modest in these eyes.


My death is disgustingly rich in pain, as formerly – – – my life much more severe and lonesome. I myself lived on the whole almost like a complete saint, but almost with the outlook of the complete, genuine human – – – with my soul very calm and patient and yet contemplating death with joy.


TOMORROW:  8 UG  (Unter Grund)




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