h parable stories for the undefiled  
by David Eide .

[W r i t e r' s N o t e b o o k]

One of the best exercises for a writer is to lower himself into the texture of time. What is thirty years to five thousand? Or four billion? Yet what if in those thirty years a few moments have been taken to contemplate the great mystery of five thousand years or a billion years of and for itself, as well as its relation to a mere thirty years? One is contained in something he finally accepts as reality. And one day that could be marked on a calendar, on a specific day, say in late June, the Earth would be evaporated by the sun and be no more, at least in its present shape. That will happen, that is the reality so what happens when I look at the current square in the calendar and then extend it as far as I can know. It connects me to the evaporation of the Earth because the sun has lost its nuclear core. It does rob the self of the pride of continuity. But of course we dismiss that as nonsense. However, wouldn't it be more creative and playful if we said, "we have a billion years to figure out how to escape the dilemma of the vanishing Earth so we must do our utmost to figure something out?" And we do live in these strange elongations and distortions of time and space thanks to the advances in science and adventure into space. The perceptions begin to penetrate us and change our experience of things.

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The bitterness of women. The bitterness of women! Like a beautiful snake in the bush.

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Mass culture is the desire for poetry but not poetry.

It's the critic who is obsessed with his own immortality. That is why he quickly finds the tools of reduction and make them his own. But in doing so he has destroyed any ability to live into the future. And he always learns too late.

Criticism reveals a mind in limbo, in purgatory; not ready for heaven and not brave enough for Hell. It always has the intention or secret wish that with a little more penetration, a little more impetus, a paradise will be found within itself.

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The writer asks himself, "in all this reading you've done, how much of it has actually freed your spirit or your mind?" From what into what? A lot of knowledge is there simply to maintain simple or complex relations. There's no doubt that understanding is one way of getting over superstitious fears of one kind or another. But what if in getting over those fears he grows complacent to the real problems at hand?

And what does all the knowledge avoid? Look at the forms in which knowledge is taken in, the instincts that are indiscriminate in the beginning. Call it instability but call it the form of the time.

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Those thinkers who are in for "conditioning" and "engineering" the society are all over their heads. Invariably they would condition that aspect of themselves that is beyond understanding. They will condition the fallible understanding of the individual, the "abstract" part that is an empty place anyway. Abstract thinking as distinct from pure thinking that is. Abstraction is an inherited quality and thrown down onto the plastic mind. Where is it thrust from? By whose directions? To what end? Sometimes these appear to be significant questions.

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It is the sweetest irony that those who thought they knew it all, thought they could predict the end of time, who scorned truth, scorned beauty, destroyed the paths to truth, adopted highly cynical and suspect philosophies, they are now on the defensive, now obscure and without support. They, in effect, did themselves in after they had devoured all good that they could find.

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The writer gave up entertainment many years ago. What is paramount in this most demeaned, decimated age, is a path to meaning. The writer's rightful place in on that path. Entertainment belongs to billion dollar enterprises that weave some magic and vanishes. Entertainment is contrived in a way that makes it unappealing, mere child's play. The most difficult thing is to find a path to the infinite and, in fact, a path back to the transitory. The path to the infinite is probably easier but a good discipline.

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