Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Long Strange Road

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:55 PM

“The road is long
With many a winding turn”

Neil Diamond

Magic Child

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:06 PM

Monday, March 2, 2020

What Are You?

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

What are you, 12?
I'm 8. What are you reading?
Just a Western.
What does that mean? Is it good?
Pretty good.
What's the story?
I haven't finished it yet.

[Link added.]

Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Counter Culture

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

" Alan Watts wrote of The Making of a Counter Culture 
in the San Francisco Chronicle  in 1969, 'If you want to
know what is happening among your intelligent and
mysteriously rebellious children, this is the book. . . .' "

— The University of California Press

" 'I count a lot of things that there’s no need to count,'
Cameron said. 'Just because that’s the way I am.
But I count all the things that need to be counted.' "

— Richard Brautigan, The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western ,
Simon & Schuster, 1974

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050109-Hawkline.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

See as well Hawkline in this  journal.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Monster

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

In memory of Princeton mathematician John Nash

"For the past six years all over the world 
experts in the branch of abstract algebra
called group theory have been struggling
to capture a group known as the monster."

—Martin Gardner, Scientific American ,  June 1980

"When the Hawkline Monster moved to get a better view
of what was happening, the shadow, after having checked
all the possibilities of light, had discovered a way that it
could shift itself in front of the monster, so that the monster
at this crucial time would be blinded by darkness for a few
seconds, did so, causing confusion to befall the monster.

This was all that the shadow could do and it hoped that this
would give Greer and Cameron the edge they would need
to destroy the Hawkline Monster using whatever plan they
had come up with, for it seemed that they must have a plan
if they were to have any chance at all with the monster and
they did not seem like fools.

When Cameron yelled at Greer, the shadow interpreted this
as the time to move and did so. It obscured the vision of the
Hawkline Monster for a few seconds, knowing full well that if
the monster were destroyed it would be destroyed, too, but
death was better than going on living like this, being a part of
this evil."

— Richard Brautigan, The Hawkline Monster , 1974

From the post For Scientific Witch Hunters of October 30,
an illustration from The Boston Globe —

From the post Colorful Story (All Souls' Day),  
an Illustration from Google Book Search —

Earlier in Brautigan's tale

" Everybody started to leave the parlor to go downstairs
and pour out the Hawkline Monster but just as
they reached the door and one of the Hawkline women
had her hand on the knob, Cameron said, 'Hold it for a
second. I want to get myself a little whiskey.' "

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Castle Rock Entertainment

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:48 AM

(Where Entertainment Is God , continued)

Yesterday's evening numbers in the New York Lottery
were 007 and 3856. You are free to supply your own
interpretation of the former. The latter may, if you like,
be interpreted as post  3856, The Illuminati Stone .

Some context:

(Click for a larger, clearer image.)

I prefer Richard  Brautigan.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Phenomenology of 256

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM

From Peter J. Cameron's weblog today

According to the Buddha,

Scholars speak in sixteen ways of the state of the soul after death. They say that it has form or is formless; has and has not form, or neither has nor has not form; it is finite or infinite; or both or neither; it has one mode of consciousness or several; has limited consciousness or infinite; is happy or miserable; or both or neither.

He does go on to say that such speculation is unprofitable; but bear with me for a moment.

With logical constructs such as “has and has not form, or neither has nor has not form”, it is perhaps a little difficult to see what is going on. But, while I hesitate to disagree with the Compassionate One, I think there are more than sixteen possibilities described here: how many?

Cameron's own answer (from problem solutions for his book Combinatorics)–

One could argue here that the numbers of choices should be multiplied, not added; there are 4 choices for form, 4 for finiteness, 2 for modes of consciousness, 2 for finiteness of consciousness, and 4 for happiness, total 28 = 256. (You may wish to consider whether all 256 are really possible.)

Related material– "What is 256 about?"

Some partial answers–

April 2, 2003 — The Question (lottery number)

May 2, 2003 — Zen and Language Games (page number)

August 4, 2003 — Venn's Trinity (power of two)

September 28, 2005 — Mathematical Narrative (page number)

October 26, 2005 — Human Conflict Number Five (chronomancy)

June 23, 2006 — Binary Geometry (power of two)

July 23, 2006 — Partitions (power of two)

October 3, 2006 — Hard Lessons (number of pages,
                                 as counted in one review)

October 10, 2006 — Mate (lottery number)

October 8, 2008 — Serious Numbers (page number)

Quoted here Nov. 10, 2009

Epigraphs at
Peter Cameron’s home page:

Quotes from Brautigan's 'The Hawkline Monster' and Hoban's 'Riddley Walker'

Happy birthday, Russell Hoban.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Out of Inland

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:02 AM

Epigraphs at
Peter Cameron’s home page:

Quotes from 'The Hawkline Monster' and 'Riddley Walker'

See also the epigraphs in Cameron’s
Parallelisms of Complete Designs,
entries on this date three years ago,
Russell Hoban in this journal,
The Hawkline Monster in this journal.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday December 21, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:07 PM

For the feast of
St. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

The Diamond
as Big as
the Monster

From Fitzgerald’s The Diamond as Big as the Ritz:

“Now,” said John eagerly, “turn out your pocket and let’s see what jewels you brought along. If you made a good selection we three ought to live comfortably all the rest of our lives.”
Obediently Kismine put her hand in her pocket and tossed two handfuls of glittering stones before him.
“Not so bad,” cried John, enthusiastically. “They aren’t very big, but– Hello!” His expression changed as he held one of them up to the declining sun. “Why, these aren’t diamonds! There’s something the matter!”
“By golly!” exclaimed Kismine, with a startled look. “What an idiot I am!”
“Why, these are rhinestones!” cried John.

From The Hawkline Monster, by Richard Brautigan:

“What are we going to do now?” Susan Hawkline said, surveying the lake that had once been their house.
Cameron counted the diamonds in his hand.  There were thirty-five diamonds and they were all that was left of the Hawkline Monster.
“We’ll think of something,” Cameron said.

Related material:

“A disciple of Ezra Pound, he adapts to the short story the ideogrammatic method of The Cantos, where a grammar of images, emblems, and symbols replaces that of logical sequence. This grammar allows for the grafting of particulars into a congeries of implied relation without subordination. In contrast to postmodernists, Davenport does not omit causal connection and linear narrative continuity for the sake of an aleatory play of signification but in order to intimate by combinational logic kinships and correspondences among eras, ideas and forces.”

When Novelists Become Cubists:
The Prose Ideograms of Guy Davenport,
by Andre Furlani

“T.S. Eliot’s experiments in ideogrammatic method are equally germane to Davenport, who shares with the poet an avant-garde aesthetic and a conservative temperament.  Davenport’s text reverberates with echoes of Four Quartets.”

Andre Furlani

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

—  T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets,
quoted in the epigraph to
the chapter on automorphism groups
in Parallelisms of Complete Designs,
by Peter J. Cameron,
published when Cameron was at
Merton College, Oxford.

“As Gatsby closed the door of
‘the Merton College Library’
I could have sworn I heard
the owl-eyed man
break into ghostly laughter.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Sunday January 9, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:10 PM

Light at Bologna

“Others say it is a stone that posseses mysterious powers…. often depicted as a dazzling light.  It’s a symbol representing power, a source of immense energy.  It nourishes, heals, wounds, blinds, strikes down…. Some have thought of it as the philosopher’s stone of the alchemists….”

Foucault’s Pendulum
by Umberto Eco,
Professor of Semiotics at
 Europe’s oldest university,
 the University of Bologna.

The Club Dumas

by Arturo Perez-Reverte

(Paperback, pages 346-347):

One by one, he tore the engravings from the book, until he had all nine.  He looked at them closely.  “It’s a pity you can’t follow me where I’m going.  As the fourth engraving states, fate is not the same for all.”

“Where do you believe you’re going?”

Borja dropped the mutilated book on the floor with the others. He was looking at the nine engravings and at the circle, checking strange correspondences between them.

“To meet someone” was his enigmatic answer. “To search for the stone that the Great Architect rejected, the philosopher’s stone, the basis of the philosophical work. The stone of power. The devil likes metamorphoses, Corso. From Faust’s black dog to the false angel of light who tried to break down Saint Anthony’s resistance.  But most of all, stupidity bores him, and he hates monotony….”

Eclogues: Eight Stories

by Guy Davenport

Johns Hopkins paperback, 1993, page 127 —

Lo Splendore della Luce a Bologna, VI:

“In 1603, at Monte Paderno, outside Bologna, an alchemist (by day a cobbler) named Vicenzo Cascariolo discovered the Philosopher’s Stone, catalyst in the transformation of base metals into gold, focus of the imagination, talisman for abstruse thought.  Silver in some lights, white in others, it glowed blue in darkness, awesome to behold.”

The Discovery of Luminescence:

The Bolognian Stone

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050109-Bologna.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Bologna, 16th Century

“For the University of Bologna hosting an International Conference on Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence has a very special significance. Indeed, it is in our fair City that modern scientific research on these phenomena has its earliest roots….

‘After submitting the stone
to much preparation, it was not
the Pluto of Aristophanes
that resulted; instead, it was
the Luciferous Stone’ ”

From one of the best books
of the 20th century:

The Hawkline Monster

by Richard Brautigan

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050109-Hawkline.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
“The Chemicals that resided in the jar were a combination of hundreds of things from all over the world.  Some of The Chemicals were ancient and very difficult to obtain.  There were a few drops of something from an Egyptian pyramid dating from the year 3000 B.C.

There were distillates from the jungles of South America and drops of things from plants that grew near the snowline in the Himalayas.

Ancient China, Rome and Greece had contributed things, too, that had found their way into the jar.  Witchcraft and modern science, the latest of discoveries, had also contributed to the contents of the jar.  There was even something that was reputed to have come all the way from Atlantis….

… they did not know that the monster was an illusion created by a mutated light in The Chemicals. a light that had the power to work its will upon mind and matter and change the very nature of reality to fit its mischievous mind.”

Friday, October 18, 2002

Friday October 18, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 AM

Readings for the Oct. 18
Feast of St. Luke

A fellow Xangan is undergoing a spiritual crisis. Well-meaning friends are urging upon her all sorts of advice. The following is my best effort at religious counsel, meant more for the friends than for the woman in crisis.

Part I… Wallace Stevens 

From Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:

Ox Emblematic of St. Luke. It is one of the four figures which made up Ezekiel’s cherub (i. 10). The ox is the emblem of the priesthood….

   The dumb ox. St. Thomas Aquinas; so named by his fellow students at Cologne, on account of his dulness and taciturnity. (1224-1274.)
   Albertus said, “We call him the dumb ox, but he will give one day such a bellow as shall be heard from one end of the world to the other.” (Alban Butler.)

From Wallace Stevens, “The Latest Freed Man“:

It was how the sun came shining into his room:
To be without a description of to be,
For a moment on rising, at the edge of the bed, to be,
To have the ant of the self changed to an ox
With its organic boomings, to be changed
From a doctor into an ox, before standing up,
To know that the change and that the ox-like struggle
Come from the strength that is the strength of the sun,
Whether it comes directly or from the sun.
It was how he was free. It was how his freedom came.
It was being without description, being an ox.

Part II… The Rosy Cross


  • Brautigan, Richard, The Hawkline Monster, Simon and Schuster, 1974…
    Just for the pleasure of reading it… A compelling work of fiction on spiritual matters that includes a conversion to Rosicrucianism in its concluding chapter.
  • Browning, Vivienne (Betty Coley, ed).
    My Browning Family Album. With a Foreword by Ben Travers, and a Poem by Jack Lindsay Springwood, London, 1979…
    The Rosicrucian tradition in Australia (highly relevant background reading for the 1994 film “Sirens”). Includes a mention of Aleister Crowley, dark mage, who also figures (prominently) in….
  • Wilson, Robert Anton, Masks of the Illuminati, Pocket Books, April 1981…
    James Joyce and Albert Einstein join in a metaphysical investigation.

    “He recited from the anonymous Muses Threnody of 1648:

    For we be brethren of the Rosy Cross
    We have the Mason Word and second sight
    Things for to come we can see aright.”

Part III… Stevens Again

A major critical work on Wallace Stevens that is not unrelated to the above three works on the Rosicrucian tradition:

Leonora Woodman, Stanza My Stone: Wallace Stevens and the Hermetic Tradition, West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1983

From the Department of English, Purdue University:

Leonora Woodman came to Purdue in 1976. In 1979, she became Director of Composition, a position she held until 1986…. At the time of her death in 1991, she was in the midst of an important work on modernist poetry, Literary Modernism and the Fourth Dimension: The Visionary Poetics of D.H. Lawrence, H.D., and Hart Crane.

For more on Gnostic Christianity, see

  • Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels (Random House, 1979), and
  • Harold Bloom, Omens of Millenium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection (Riverhead Books, 1996).

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