Congruency: Of Delight in It

Thank you Superstitious Naked Ape for such a spot-on condensed rendition of (I think) what Pelevin’s Helmet of Horror evoked for me as well!  Really readers – check these out together – incredible lucky spontaneous occurrences of “synchronicity”?  Almost?


“The God Machine”

by The Superstitious Naked Ape

with the personal caveat that it may as well be named “The Self Machine,” “The Reality Machine” and so forth…

The Helmet of Horror (selected emissions)

by Victor Pelevin

A Parable

A Parable

Perhaps one day you will ask for something that you want but do not need, or even need but don’t quite understand.  On a lark, let’s say, out of a “why not?” not exactly exasperation nor as fueled as curiosity, almost a simple value, who knows, but perhaps you do.

How will they respond to your free request (a spontaneity without expectation) now having burdened them with options?  You had thought it a gift, an eruption, a “no harm done,” “nothing to lose,” but of course, in the world, there is more.

So your request floats out, on the air, like a streamer, swaying and curving, rippling past the subjects to which it’s addressed.  For some it’s a slap, for others a trial, still others just dodge it and head for silent hills.

You had thought it a good, an offering of joy, a connection and possibility, not something to wind or to bind.  Never something so knotty.  A kind of safe enclosure that’s open, a meadow of sorts, where gentle counterparts might convene when they wanted or needed and whomever appeared could relate.

But in order to appear each required a turn, of attention, of glance, of an ear – to surmise and to meet, to attend.  Bodies incapable of severance.  Could they send an arm, an eye, a knee or other organ, they happily would, provided it would not be missed any elsewhere (their “here”) – and this proved impossible.

One respondent, upon lending a hand, was not able to help his young son tie his shoes.  Another offered her hair only to find herself fired from her workplace.  Each was affected by your generous request while you were left with dismembered parts in your park.

Unintentional, no doubt, you found as well that it was not spare fragments you were needing for your want.  The severed hand grew stiff and cold under your knees; the hair like strands of sand in the night on your chest.  The smells were changing.  The eyes you’d assembled were distracted, neither here nor there the parts were failing.

In an awkward flashing of a dream a teacher’s voice arrived with cliché: “be careful what you wish for.”  You’ve been waking to that for awhile.

Remarking Mark…Part the Second

Mark Marking Questions

“Man is a riddle.  Our complex relation to others may also be affected by our fascination with this riddle…Origin means, perhaps, question”

Edmond Jabes


“Writing as the ‘talking cure

he thought, thinking in language what he thought language might do.  Be doing.  To him.

He heard “why?,” a term learned early in order to learn, and thenceforward laid over nearly everything he read, encountered, overheard or stumbled across, as if it were his placeholding destiny in some infinitely progressing equation simplified “world.”

He’d read he needed other persons and things, places and times to know his own.  – “Why?”

He’d heard “until others acknowledge or teach you your shape, your ideas, what you see what you feel what you taste or speak or hear, your perceptions and scope, you won’t be aware of a thing.  You’ll have no ideas or sensations per se, you’re essentially Nothing without Them.”

Arching his back and shrieking a sound at an absence of breast: “why?”

“I guess I’m just punctuated that way,” he came to think, as he adapted vocabulary.  “My role in a sequence is: – ?”

“And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was…” well, maybe – ?

“The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao…” well, maybe –  ?

“1 + 1 = 2,” well….maybe – ?

“You are Mark, a male form of a human animal, replete with these working organs, the English language, and certain beliefs.  These are your parents, your sibling, your probable friends.  Here are some feelings, some expressions and thoughts.  Here are your words.”  Well.  Maybe – ?

Shaped with letters and numbers and sounds.  Voices and touchings and feels, he became, slowly, surely, puttied toward a recognizable form – perceptible to others, acknowledged, even affirmed or engaged from time to time.

“Why?” propelled the lengthening problem of life but never grew toward solutions.

He read elaborate explanations and descriptions as he borrowed more languages.  Spiritual terms, medical terms, words scientific, political, philosophical and intimate.  Thick reams of median symbols asking to be joined or embraced, understood or imbibed.

Mark enjoyed these fabrics, and found a belonging among them.  Layers and theories, emotions and dreams – he simply need append his simple gesture – ?


Trouble, in the form of discomfort or pain, of disjunction, arose when agreement was desired.  Explicitly or implicitly, this undermined his form.  In situations where reciprocation or statement, some firm relation was called out for, his questioning mark failed to serve.  Choices, commitments, integrities or beliefs turned to drizzle around his definitive (self-identified) symbol.

“I love you,” she wooed.  “-?-“ he replied.  “I cannot know what you mean, what your language portends, I am unable to verify why?” he’d respond.  To collapse and retreat.

Even thoughts and decisions were questioned and split open on his sharp weapon of a mark.  He was not trusted or deemed trustworthy as doubt was perceived an anomaly.

He remained uncertain.

Self-perceivably, he reliably questioned, he’d respond and then take it away with his mark, his “signature move” as it were, his undoing.  “Yes I will…” “This I think…” “I am…” always followed by his -?- (which sounded like “why?” in the air) and found no rationale that could not be further put to query.

The world was unstable as well as a “self” for him.  All under the branding shadow of “why?”  This Mark never outgrew in all his adaptations, acquisitions, mutations and metamorphoses.  His certain core of uncertainty.  His permanent doubt.  His oxymoronic reality of being, not-being -?-

They perceive him – they really do – but as full of content with no substance; as possible and capable yet a great risk; as veritably human but unnamed from within.  Without “identity.”  This is true even of his wife and his children, parents and friends, all unsure who or what they are relating to, marked with the sign of the -?-  The indeterminate one, the questionable and uncertain, the duplicitous and vague, are various ways he is read and conceived – standing there as he does on his tiny spot of here, long-legged and stooped as in prayer, or inquiry – ? –