Wednesday, January 17, 2018

At Heaven’s Gate

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:30 AM

(Continued from September 12, 2005)

The previous post contrasted the number-triple 11-7-8 below
with number triples 12-9-5 and 12-5-9.

Magic cube and corresponding hexagram, or Star of David, with faces mapped to lines and edges mapped to points

A perhaps more logical counterpart of the triple 11-7-8, based
on opposite  locations of star-points or cube-edges, is
the triple 9-12-5. For a theological interpretation, see 9/12/05.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Heaven’s Gate

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM


See also a legal term— discovery— and a musical tale.

Update of 8:28 PM—

"He got the voices speakin' riddles."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Heaven’s Gate

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:01 PM

Yesterday's post Devil's Gate provided a dark view of life and culture.

A more cheerful view is provided by the late Gail Levin,
a maker of PBS "American Masters" documentaries
that included, notably, Jeff Bridges and Marilyn Monroe.

Levin reportedly died at 67 on July 31, 2013.*

An image from an interview with Levin —

The date in the image, July 19th, 2006, is the broadcast
date of the PBS "American Masters" program on Monroe.
A check for synchronicity shows there was no Log24 post
on that date.

See, however, posts for the day before— "Sacred Order"—
and the day after— "Bead Game."

A related quote from an article linked to in the latter—

"First world culture, which is 'pagan and in the majority
everywhere,' has as its defining characteristic
a 'primacy of possibility,' or pop— a broadly inclusive
concept that covers everything from the Aboriginal
dreamtime to Plato’s Forms."

Review by Jess Castle of Philip Rieff’s 
Sacred Order/Social Order, Vol. 1: My Life among the
Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority
University of Virginia Press, 2006. 256 pages, $34.95.

This quote may serve as the missing July 19, 2006, post.

Related material:  Dreamtime,  Possibility,  and Plato's Forms.

* See that date in this journal for two less famous American
  masters, artist Edward Valigursky and writer Robert Silverberg.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

At Heaven’s Gate

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

A meditation on the performance of the late Charles Durning
in the film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas .

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Heaven’s Gate continues

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM

In memory of Dutch author Harry Mulisch

The Discovery of Heaven


Mulisch died at his home in Amsterdam on the evening of October 30.

The Discovery of Heaven  was made into a film in 2001 by Jeroen Krabbé,
brother of Tim Krabbé. The latter is the author of the novel The Cave
(1997, first published in English in 2000 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

The Cave  is notable for a phrase, "a hole in time."

See also "starflight" in this journal.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday School

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM

In memory of Joan Rivers

Heaven's Gate

This post was suggested by the previous post's quote

"the subject’s desires are scripted and orchestrated
by an unconscious fundamental fantasy,"

and by one of my favorite musical fantasies:

Melanie – Brand New Key ('71) .

Academics may prefer the following —

Susanne K. Langer,'Philosophy in a New Key'

Monday, May 26, 2014

Springtime for Vishnu

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:01 PM


A post by Margaret Soltan this morning:

Links (in blue) from the above post:
Cane and Mondo Cane.

Bagger Vance — “Time for you to see the field.”

From Pictures for Kurosawa (Sept. 6, 2003) —

“As these flowing rivers that go towards the ocean,
when they have reached the ocean, sink into it,
their name and form are broken, and people speak of
the ocean only, exactly thus these sixteen parts
of the spectator that go towards the person (purusha),
when they have reached the person, sink into him,
their name and form are broken, and people speak of
the person only, and he becomes without parts and
immortal. On this there is this verse:

‘That person who is to be known, he in whom these parts
rest, like spokes in the nave of a wheel, you know him,
lest death should hurt you.’ “

— Prasna Upanishad

Related material — Heaven’s Gate  images from Xmas 2012:

“This could be heaven or this could be hell.” — Hotel California

Those who prefer mathematics to narrative may consult Root Circle.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM

Pizza man at Heaven's gate-- 'Wiles of the Devil or not, someone's gotta pay for these pies.'

Update of 6:06 PM ET:

See also the "one thing" link
from the Palm Sunday entry
and Dickey's Heaven.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday July 9, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

An Aleph for Pynchon

Part I:

A California Sixties version
of Heaven’s Gate:
Aleph Sanctuary, by Mati Klarwein

Part II:

Log24 entries of April 29, 2009
(esp. the link to Anastasia Ashley)

Part III:

Inherent Vice
a novel by Thomas Pynchon
to be published in August 2009

“The serpent’s eyes shine  
As he wraps around the vine…”
Don Henley   

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday June 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 AM
Sunday Egyptians

“And what is it
 you’re going to do?”
Eddie Murphy as Pharaoh  

Michael Jackson entertains the Pharaoh

See also

Reba at Heaven’s Gate
 The Seventh Symbol:

Stargate-- 'Jackson's identified the seventh symbol.'

“Jackson’s identified
    the seventh symbol.”

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday June 22, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 AM


Today’s birthday:
Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson in 'Heaven's Gate'

Heaven’s Gate

One year ago today
George Carlin died.

Online Etymology Dictionary

1369, “wording of anything written,” from O.Fr. texte, O.N.Fr. tixte (12c.), from M.L. textus “the Scriptures, text, treatise,” in L.L. “written account, content, characters used in a document,” from L. textus “style or texture of a work,” lit. “thing woven,” from pp. stem of texere “to weave,” from PIE base *tek- “make” (see texture).

“An ancient metaphor: thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns– but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver. The scribes made this old and audible abstraction into a new and visible fact. After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth.” [Robert Bringhurst, “The Elements of Typographic Style”]

Text-book is from 1779.

The 4x4 square grid

“Discuss the geometry
underlying the above picture.”
Log24, June 11, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday March 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
In memory of
film producer
Steven Bach:

Heaven's Gate (a link in memory of Steven Bach)
Xanga footprint from Denmark 3/28/09 7:49 AM leading to Rohatsu Venus entry of 12/8/03

Images of time and eternity in memory of Michelangelo

“Time: the moving
  image of eternity.”

Happy birthday,
Reba McEntire

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday December 5, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:30 PM
Continued from Monday:

A Version of
Heaven’s Gate

in memory of
Alexy II, the Russian Orthodox
 patriarch who died today in Moscow:

Art logo: frame not X'd out

The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace:

From Geoffrey Broadbent,
“Why a Black Square?” in Malevich
 (London, Art and Design/
Academy Group, 1989, p. 49):

Malevich’s Black Square seems to be
nothing more, nor less, than his
‘Non-Objective’ representation
of Bragdon’s (human-being-as) Cube
  passing through the ‘Plane of Reality.’!”

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday December 1, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:48 PM
A Version of
Heaven’s Gate

in memory of
G. H. Hardy,
who died on
this date in 1947

C. P. Snow on Hardy:

“He was living in some of the best intellectual company in the world– G.E. Moore, Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, Trevelyan, the high Trinity society which was shortly to find its artistic complement in Bloomsbury.”

For a rather different artistic complement, see the previous entry.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday November 23, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
At the Still Point

This morning’s entry quoted Ezra Pound:

“The first credential we should demand of a critic is his ideograph of the good.”

Dance critic Clive Barnes died Wednesday. Pound may have whispered his advice in St. Peter’s ear when Barnes stood before the Janitor Coeli at heaven’s gate. If so, another angel may have whispered in the other ear,

“Vide Forever Fonteyn.”

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday June 23, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM
George Carlin
Dies at 71

Comedian George Carlin died
yesterday in Santa Monica at
about 6 PM PDT (9 PM EDT).

Earlier this month, told he would
receive this year’s Mark Twain
award for comedy, Carlin said,

“Thank you, Mr. Twain.
Have your people
call my people.”

7 AM yesterday:

Philadelphia stories: Catholic and Protestant versions, starring Grace Kelly and Katharine Hepburn

11 AM yesterday:

Heaven’s Gate

A Sermon
by and for
Kris Kristofferson,
who is 72 today:

By   For

… and Of

George Carlin
in the Air Force:

George Carlin in the Air Force

Photo from

Arthur Harttman, Air Force veteran and Bowery resident, in NY Times April 30, 2006

New York Times video
April 30, 2006

Arthur Harttman, Air Force veteran
and resident of the Bowery’s recently
refurbished Andrews House

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday February 15, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM

Black monolith, 1x4x9

“Many dreams have been
brought to your doorstep.
They just lie there
 and they die there.”

Lyricist Ray Evans,
who died at 92
   one year ago today

Associated Press –
Today in History
Thought for Today:

“Like all dreamers I confuse
 disenchantment with truth.”
–Jean-Paul Sartre

The Return of the Author, by Eugen Simion:

On Sartre’s Les Mots

“Writing helps him find his own place within this vast comedy. He does not take to writing seriously yet, but he is eager to write books in order to escape the comedy he has been compelled to take part in.

The craft of writing appeared to me as an adult activity, so ponderously serious, so trifling, and, at bottom, so lacking in interest that I didn’t doubt for a moment that it was in store for me. I said to myself both ‘that’s all it is’ and ‘I am gifted.’ Like all dreamers, I confused disenchantment with truth.”

This is given in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999) as

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.

Also from the AP’s
Today in History

Today’s Birthdays:
Actor Kevin McCarthy is 94.

Related material:

Hopkins at Heaven’s Gate
  (In context: October 2007)–

Anthony Hopkins at Dolly's Little Diner in Slipstream

“Dolly’s Little Diner–
Home from Home”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday February 13, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM
New York Times today–
Plot Would Thicken, if the
Writers Remembered It

Gala Premiere:


PA Lottery Monolith (Feb. 13, 2008)

“My God, it’s
full of numbers!”

Roger Ebert:

“This movie is….
the most scandalous
cinematic waste I have
 ever seen, and remember,
I’ve seen Paint Your Wagon.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday August 21, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:29 PM
Shell Game

The Bourne Ultimatum, starring Matt Damon” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Part I:

Overview of Unix
at pangea.stanford.edu

Last revision August 2, 2004

“The Unix operating environment is organized into three layers. The innermost level of Unix is the kernel. This is the actual operating system, a single large program that always resides in memory. Sections of the code in this program are executed on behalf of users to do needed tasks, like access files or terminals. Strictly speaking, the kernel is Unix.

The next level of the Unix environment is composed of programs, commands, and utilities. In Unix, the basic commands like copying or removing files are implemented not as part of the kernel, but as individual programs, no different really from any program you could write. What we think of as the commands and utilities of Unix are simply a set of programs that have become standardized and distributed. There are hundreds of these, plus many additional utilities in the public domain that can be installed.

The final level of the Unix environment, which stands like an umbrella over the others, is the shell. The shell processes your terminal input and starts up the programs that you request. It also allows you to manipulate the environment in which those programs will execute in a way that is transparent to the program. The program can be written to handle standard cases, and then made to handle unusual cases simply by manipulating its environment, without having to have a special version of the program.” (My italics.)

Part II:


From my paper journal
on the date
“Good Will Hunting”
was released:

Friday, December 5, 1997

To: The executive editor, The New York Times

Re: The Front Page/His Girl Friday

Match the speaker with the speech–

The Speech
“The son of a
bitch stole my…”
  The Speaker Frame of Reference
 1. rosebud A. J. Paul Getty The front page, N.Y. Times, Monday, 12/1/97
 2. clock B. Joel Silver Page 126, The New Yorker, 3/21/94
 3. act C. Blanche DuBois The Elysian Fields
 4. waltz D. Bob Geldof People Weekly 12/8/97
 5. temple E. St. Michael Heaven’s Gate
 6. watch F. Susanna Moore In the Cut (pbk., Dec. ’96) p. 261
 7. line G. Joseph Lelyveld Page A21, The New York Times, 12/1/97
 8. chair H. Kylie Minogue Page 69, People Weekly, 12/8/97
 9. religion I. Carol Gilligan The Garden of Good and Evil
10. wife J. John Travolta “Michael,” the movie
11. harp K. Shylock Page 40, N.Y. Review of Books, 12/4/97
12. Oscar L. Stephen King The Shining (pbk., 1997), pp. 316, 317

Postscript of June 5, 2003:

“…while the scientist sees
everything that happens
in one point of space,
the poet feels
everything that happens
in one point of time…
all forming an
instantaneous and transparent
organism of events….”

Vladimir Nabokov

Part III:

The Bourne Shell

“The binary program of the Bourne shell or a compatible program is located at /bin/sh on most Unix systems, and is still the default shell for the root superuser on many current Unix implementations.” –Wikipedia


See also
the recent comments
of root@matrix.net in
Peter Woit’s weblog.

“Hey, Carrie-Anne,
what’s your game now….”

— The Hollies, 1967   

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday September 12, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:29 PM

Final arrangements, continued:

Justice at Heaven’s Gate

Gate — Early term for a Jazz musician.
Armstrong is the original Swing Jazz player that’s why they call used to call him ‘Gate.’
All About Jazz

“Armstrong is also frequently cited as the main source or popularizer of words like scat, gate (a greeting among jazz musicians that became a popular WWII term for a buddy or pal)²

² The term apparently goes back to Louis’s own adolescent nickname, ‘Gatemouth.'”
Jazz Institute of Chicago

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050912-NYTobits.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Sunday June 29, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 PM

The sequel to
Every Boy Has a Daddy“:

Hepburn’s Mass
at Heaven’s Gate

Katharine Hepburn died at 2:50 PM EDT
on the Feast of St. Peter

“The Consecration and Sacrifice effected by the priest (standing in the place of Christ) is, then, the visible manifestation of an eternal and timeless act. After the Consecration, as Gueranger says in The Liturgical Year, ‘the divine Lamb is lying on our altar!’ Thus we see that the Mass is the visible reality, here and now, of the timeless eternal Mass of Heaven, described in the Apocalypse. Through it we participate in the Celestial Liturgy; through it the gates of Heaven are opened to us and the possibility of eternal life is made available to us.”

The Source:

The Church Militant recommends
Defense of the Inquisitions.

For a different viewpoint,
see my 
May 12 entries.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Saturday April 12, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:44 AM

Rhetoric Happens

“Rhetoric is concerned with the state of Babel after the Fall.”

— Kenneth Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives, quoted by Douglas Robinson at the site Linguistics and Language

CNN.com headline, Saturday, April 12, 2003, Posted at 12:24 AM EDT:

Rumsfeld on looting in Iraq:
‘Stuff happens’

For further rhetoric, see

A Short Comparative Guide to Religion and Philosophy

This site has the added attraction of a midi of Lennon’s classic, “Instant Karma,” mentioned in yesterday’s entry “Heaven’s Gate.”

Friday, April 11, 2003

Friday April 11, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Heaven’s Gate

“Rhetoric is concerned with the state of Babel after the Fall.”

— Kenneth Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives, quoted by Douglas Robinson at the site Linguistics and Language

Mesopotamian mathematics:

“Location: present-day Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates

Cities: Babylon, founded 2300 BC, 70 miles south of present Baghdad, on the Euphrates….

Babylon = Bab-ilu, “gate of God,” Hebrew: Babel or Bavel.”

Modern rendition
of “Bab-ilu


Perhaps the real heaven’s gate is at

Pottawatomie College.

Instant karma update:

 At 5:09 PM I read the following in the New York Review of Books, dated May 1, 2003, which arrived today.

From a review of Terror and Liberalism, by Paul Berman:

“As a general analysis of the various enemies of liberalism, and what ties them together, it is superb.  All — Nazis, Islamists, Bolsheviks, Fascists, and so on — are linked by Berman to the ‘ur-myth’ of the fall of Babylon.”

Speaking of Ur, Berman likes to quote a non-Biblical Abraham, named Lincoln.  The first, Biblical, Abraham was a damned homicidal lunatic, and the later American Abraham also delighted in blood sacrifice.  But that’s just my opinion.  For a different view, see the Chautauqua Abrahamic Program.


Thursday, January 16, 2003

Thursday January 16, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:05 PM

At the Still Point

“At the still point, there the dance is.”

— T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets

Humphrey Carpenter in The Inklings, his book on the Christian writers J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, says that

“Eliot by his own admission took the ‘still point of the turning world’ in Burnt Norton from the Fool in Williams’s The Greater Trumps.”

The Inklings, Ballantine Books, 1981, p. 106

Carpenter says Williams maintained that

It is the Christian’s duty to perceive “the declared pattern of the universe” — the “eternal dance” of Williams’s story The Greater Trumps — and to act according to it.

— Paraphrase of Carpenter, pp. 111-112

“The sun is not yet risen, and if the Fool moves there he comes invisibly, or perhaps in widespread union with the light of the moon which is the reflection of the sun.  But if the Tarots hold, as has been dreamed, the message which all things in all places and times have also been dreamed to hold, then perhaps there was meaning in the order as in the paintings; the tale of the cards being completed when the mystery of the sun has opened in the place of the moon, and after that the trumpets cry in the design which is called the Judgement, and the tombs are broken, and then in the last mystery of all the single figure of what is called the World goes joyously dancing in a state beyond moon and sun, and the number of the Trumps is done.  Save only for that which has no number and is called the Fool, because mankind finds it folly till it is known.  It is sovereign or it is nothing, and if it is nothing then man was born dead.”

The Greater Trumps, by Charles Williams, Ch. 14

If we must have Christians telling stories, let them write like Charles Williams.

Note that although Williams says the Fool Tarot card has no number, it is in fact often numbered 0. See

The Fool as Zero.”

See also Sequel — about the work, life, and afterlife of Stan Rice, husband of Anne Rice (author of The Vampire Chronicles) — and the following story from today’s N.Y. Times:

The New York Times, Jan. 16, 2003:

‘Dance of the Vampires,’
a Broadway Failure, Is Closing


In one of the costliest failures in Broadway history, the producers of “Dance of the Vampires,” a $12 million camp musical at the Minskoff Theater, will close the show on Jan. 25, having lost their entire investment.

Its gross for the week ending on Sunday [Jan. 12], $459,784, was its lowest, and that, finally, was the kiss of death for the show.

The death and arrival at heaven’s gate
of The Producers‘ producer, Sidney Glazier,
on Dec. 14, 2002, is described in the web page
Eight is a Gate.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Thursday December 19, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:07 AM


Bach at Heaven’s Gate

From a weblog entry of Friday, December 13, 2002:

Divine Comedy

Joan Didion and her husband
John Gregory Dunne
(author of
The Studio and Monster
wrote the screenplays for
the 1976 version of “A Star is Born”
and the similarly plotted 1996 film
Up Close and Personal.”

If the incomparable Max Bialystock 
were to remake the latter, he might retitle it
Distant and Impersonal.”
A Google search on this phrase suggests
a plot outline for Mel Brooks & Co.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Producer Sidney Glazier dies
Dec. 18, 2002

Academy Award-winning producer
Sidney Glazier died early Saturday morning
[Dec. 14, 2002] of natural causes
at his home in Bennington, Vt. He was 86.
Glazier… is best known for producing
the 1968 film “The Producers.”
That film, which has since become a
Tony Award-winning Broadway play,
also marked comedian Mel Brooks’
directing debut.

In addition to “The Producers,”
Glazier produced…
the 1973 television drama “Catholics.”
[Based on a novel by Brian Moore]

His nephew is “Scrooged” screenwriter
Mitch Glazer.

(Josh Spector)

Recommended reading —


Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of
“Heaven’s Gate,”
the Film that Sank United Artists,

Second Edition,
by Steven Bach

From Newmarket Press:

Steven Bach was the senior vice-president and head of worldwide production for United Artists at the time of the filming of Heaven’s Gate…. Apart from the director and the producer, Bach was the only person to witness the evolution of Heaven’s Gate from beginning to end.”

See also my journal entry
“Back to Bach”
of 1:44 a.m. EST
Saturday, December 14, 2002.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Monday December 16, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Rebecca Goldstein
at Heaven’s Gate

This entry is in gratitude for Rebecca Goldstein’s
excellent essay
in The New York Times of December 16, 2002.

She talks about the perennial conflict between two theories of truth that Richard Trudeau called the “story theory” and the “diamond theory.” My entry of December 13, 2002, “Rhyme Scheme,” links the word “real” to an article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy that contains the following:

“According to a platonist about arithmetic, the truth of the sentence ‘7 is prime’ entails the existence of an abstract object, the number 7. This object is abstract because it has no spatial or temporal location, and is causally inert. A platonic realist about arithmetic will say that the number 7 exists and instantiates the property of being prime independently of anyone’s beliefs, linguistic practices, conceptual schemes, and so on. A certain kind of nominalist rejects the existence claim which the platonic realist makes: there are no abstract objects, so sentences such as ‘7 is prime’ are false…”

This discussion of “sevenness,” along with the discussion of “eightness” in my December 14, 2002, note on Bach, suggest that I supply a transcription of a note in my paper journal from 2001 that deals with these matters.

From a paper journal note of October 5, 2001:

The 2001 Silver Cup Award
for Realism in Mathematics
goes to…
Glynis Johns, star of
The Sword and the Rose,
Shake Hands with the Devil, and
No Highway in the Sky.

Glynis Johns is 78 today.

“Seven is heaven,
Eight is a gate.”
— from
Dealing with Memory Changes
as You Grow Older
by Kathleen Gose and Gloria Levi

“There is no highway in the sky.”
— Quotation attributed to Albert Einstein.
Gotthard Günther’s website
“Achilles and the Tortoise, Part 2”.)

“Don’t give up until you
Drink from the silver cup
And ride that highway in the sky.”
America, 1974

See also page 78 of
Realism in Mathematics
(on Gödel’s Platonism)
by Penelope Maddy,
Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990
(reprinted, 2000).

Added 12/17/02: See also
the portrait of Rebecca Goldstein in
Hadassah Magazine
Number 10
(June/July 1997).

For more on the Jewish propensity to
assign mystical significance to numbers, see
Rabbi Zwerin’s Kol Nidre Sermon.

For the significance of “seven” in Judaism, see
Zayin: The Woman of Valor.
For the significance of “eight” in Judaism, see
Chet: The Life Dynamic.

For the cabalistic significance of
“Seven is heaven, Eight is a gate,”
note that Zayin, Seven, signifies
“seven chambers of Paradise”
and that Chet, Eight, signifies
the “gateway to infinity.”

For the significance of the date 12.17, see
Tet: The Concealed Good.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Saturday October 19, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:47 AM

What is Truth?

My state of mind
before reading the
New York Times

My state of mind
after reading the
New York Times

In light of the entry below (“Mass Confusion,” Oct. 19, 2002), some further literary reflections seem called for. Since this is, after all, a personal journal, allow me some personal details…

Yesterday I picked up some packages, delivered earlier, that included four books I had ordered. I opened these packages this morning before writing the entry below; their contents may indicate my frame of mind when I later read this morning’s New York Times story that prompted my remarks. The books are, in the order I encountered them as I opened packages,

  • Prince Ombra, by Roderick MacLeish (1982, reprinted in August 2002 as a Tom Doherty Associates Starscape paperback)
  • Truth, edited by Simon Blackburn and Keith Simmons, from the Oxford Readings in Philosophy series (Oxford University Press, 1999, reprinted as a paperback, 2000)
  • The Savage and Beautiful Country, by Alan McGlashan (1967, reprinted in a revised and expanded edition in 1988 as a Daimon Verlag paperback)
  • Abstract Harmonic Analysis, by Lynn H. Loomis (Van Nostrand, 1953… a used copy)

Taken as a whole, this quartet of books supplies a rather powerful answer to the catechism question of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?”…

The answer, which I pray will some day be delivered at heaven’s gate to all who have lied in the name of religion, is, in Jack Nicholson’s classic words,

You can’t handle the truth!  

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