Log24

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Better Story

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:59 AM

Continued from May 8
(Feast of Saint Robert Heinlein)

“Wells and trees were dedicated to saints.  But the offerings at many wells and trees were to something other than the saint; had it not been so they would not have been, as we find they often were, forbidden.  Within this double and intertwined life existed those other capacities, of which we know more now, but of which we still know little– clairvoyance, clairaudience, foresight, telepathy.”

— Charles Williams, Witchcraft, Faber and Faber, London, 1941

Why "Saint" Robert? See his accurate depiction of evil– the Eater of Souls in Glory Road.

For more on Williams's "other capacities," see Heinlein's story "Lost Legacy."

A related story– Fritz Leiber's "The Mind Spider." An excerpt:

The conference—it was much more a hyper-intimate
gabfest—proceeded.

"My static box bugged out for a few ticks this morning,"
Evelyn remarked in the course of talking over the
trivia of the past twenty-four hours.

The static boxes were an invention of Grandfather
Horn. They generated a tiny cloud of meaningless brain
waves. Without such individual thought-screens, there was
too much danger of complete loss of individual personality

—once Grandfather Horn had "become" his infant daughter
as well as himself for several hours and the unfledged
mind had come close to being permanently lost in its own
subconscious. The static boxes provided a mental wall be-
– hind which a mind could safely grow and function, similar
to the wall by which ordinary minds are apparently
always enclosed.

In spite of the boxes, the Horns shared thoughts and
emotions to an amazing degree. Their mental togetherness
was as real and as mysterious—and as incredible—as
thought itself . . . and thought is the original angel-cloud
dancing on the head of a pin. Their present conference
was as warm and intimate and tart as any actual family
gathering in one actual room around one actual table.
Five minds, joined together in the vast mental darkness
that shrouds all minds. Five minds hugged together for
comfort and safety in the infinite mental loneliness that
pervades the cosmos.

Evelyn continued, "Your boxes were all working, of
course, so I couldn't get your thoughts—just the blurs of
your boxes like little old dark grey stars. But this time
if gave me a funny uncomfortable feeling, like a spider
Crawling down my—Grayl! Don't feel so wildly! What
Is it?”

Then… just as Grayl started to think her answer…
something crept from the vast mental darkness and infinite
cosmic loneliness surrounding the five minds of the
Horns
.

Grayl was the first to notice. Her panicky thought had
ttie curling too-keen edge of hysteria. "There are six of
us now! There should only be five, but there are six.
Count! Count, I tell you! Six!"

To Mort it seemed that a gigantic spider was racing
across the web of their thoughts….

See also this journal on May 30– "720 in the Book"– and on May 31– "Memorial for Galois."

("Obnoxious nerds"— a phrase Martin Gardner recently applied to Galois— will note that 720 (= 6!) is one possible result of obeying Leiber's command "Count! Count, I tell you! Six!")

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress