Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Wisdom of Dandemis

The Wisdom of Dandemis, an Indian sage living around the time of Alexander the Great. He is also known as Dandamis and Dandi Swami.

“Do not defer till the evening what the morning may accomplish; for idleness is the parent of want. Do not be slothful lest you become a burden to yourself. Do not loiter about, lest the hours hang heavy on your hands through not knowing what to do. Do not let your days pass away like the shadow of a cloud which leaves behind it no trace for remembrance. Do not let your body become diseased for want of exercise, lest you should wish for action and find that you have no power to move. When you see with your eyes, and when you hear with your ears, do not sit still with no resolution shaking your head and wishing, lest ruin come upon you like a whirlwind. If your soul thirsts for honour and if your ear finds pleasure in the voice of praise, raise yourself from the dust and exalt your aim to something that is praiseworthy; but let him who does good beware how he boasts of it, for rarely is it of his own free will. Is not the event of an impulse usually from without: born of uncertainty; suggested by accident; dependent on something else? – to these, then, is the praise due. Beware of irresolution in the intent of your actions, and beware of instability in the execution of them: so shall you triumph over two great failings in human nature. Do not esteem an action because it is done with noise and pomp; for the noblest soul is he who does great things quietly. When you do good, do it because it is good – not because men praise it; and when you avoid evil, avoid it because it is evil – not because men speak against it.”

“Be careful to do nothing while you are in anger: why put out to sea in the violence of a storm? Give a mild answer to an angry man, for it is like water on fire: it will abate his heat; and from an enemy he will become a friend. Anger always begins through folly or weakness; but remember, it seldom concludes without repentance.”

“Do not esteem a man for his titles, nor condemn the stranger because he lacks them: you cannot judge the camel by his bridle.”

“Is not your hand a miracle in itself? Why was it given to you but that you might stretch it out to the assistance of one another. Why, of all things living, are you, alone, made capable of blushing, unless it be that if you allow your soul to do a shameful thing the world shall be able to read the shame upon your face. Why do fear and dismay rob your face of its natural colour? Avoid guilt, and then you, and the whole world, shall know that fear is beneath you, and that, to you, dismay is unmanly. You, alone, of all creatures of the earth, have the power of speech. Be thankful for your glorious privilege; and pay to Him who gave you speech a welcome and a rational praise.”

“Do not trust a man before you have tried him; yet do not mistrust without reason, for that is uncharitable. When you have proven a man to be honest, look upon him in your heart as a treasure and regard him as a jewel of inestimable worth. Do not accept favours of a mercenary man, lest they be but snares to your virtue. Do not join with the wicked, lest it bring grief to your soul. Endeavour to reach the top of your calling, whatever it may be; and do not let anybody surpass you in well-doing. Nevertheless, do not envy the merits of another, but improve your own talents by watching his example; neither depreciate the endeavours of those who excel you, lest you put an evil interpretation on all their doings. Be faithful to your trust, and do not deceive any man who relies upon you; for, be assured, it is less in the sight of God to steal than to betray.”

“From the creatures of God man can learn wisdom; and he can apply to himself the instruction they give. Go into the desert, my son. Watch the young stork of the wilderness, and let him speak to your heart. He bears his aged parent between his wings; he carries him into safety – and he supplies him with food. Be grateful, then, to your father, for he gave you life; and likewise to your mother, for she nurtured you and sustained you. When your parents utter words of reproof, they are spoken for your own good; so listen to their admonition, for it does not proceed from malice, but is provided by love.  Your parents have watched over your welfare, and they have toiled that life shall be easier for you. Honour them, therefore, in their age; and let them not be treated with irreverence. They ask no reward for what they have done for you; but see that you do not repay them with ingratitude. Think back on the years of your helpless infancy, lest you forget to help them through the infirmities of the decline of life. So shall their heads go down to the grave in peace; and your own children, in reverence of your own example, will do the same for you.”

“Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. May you not both be in error?”

“Repentance follows much speaking; but in silence is safety. Do not deride another, for it is dangerous: a bitter jest is the poison of friendship; and whosoever speaks of another’s failings with pleasure, shall hear his own with shame. Let the words of your mouth be the thoughts of your heart; so will you be far above the meanness of dissimulation. Do not mask your words in a semblance of truth, lest you become like the hypocrite whose business in life is only to deceive…. The pride of emptiness is an abomination, and to talk much is the foolishness of folly. Nevertheless, it is part of wisdom to bear with fools, to hear their absurdities with patience, and to pity their weaknesses. Do not become puffed-up, nor boast of superior understanding; for the cleverest human knowledge is but little better than blindness.”

“Perils, misfortune, want, pain, and injury come the way of every man who comes into the world; therefore, you should fortify your mind with courage and patience from your youth up, that you may bear with resolution any part of calamity that may come your way. Let courage sustain you in the instant of danger, so that the steadiness of your mind shall carry you through; for calmness alleviates the weight of misfortunes, and by constancy you are able to surmount them. In the hour of danger be not embarrassed; and in the day of misfortune, do not let despair overwhelm your soul.”

“If you would learn to die nobly, let your vices die first; then, when your hour comes, you will be happy from having nothing to regret. Man is not punished for the good that he has done; therefore, to the man of virtue, there is nothing in death to fear. No man knows but that to-day’s setting of the sun may be his last here on earth. To-morrow, when he stands in the presence of his Creator, when, in a flash, he sees the purpose of life, when he is asked what progress he has made, happy will he be who has exercised the principles of virtue, for he will reap of the seeds he has sown during the fitful years of his visit to Earth.’

“Pay the debts which you owe; for he who gave you credit relied upon your honour, and to withhold from him his due is both mean and unjust.”

“Your food, your clothing, your convenience of habitation, your enjoyment of the pleasures and comforts of life you owe to the assistance of others; and you could not enjoy them but in the bands of society.”

“You have been given the power of free-will – a power that is divine, and by it you are able to do good and also to do harm. Be careful that you direct your line of freedom along the paths of virtue. Because of your freedom the soul is rash; therefore, guard it. Because of freedom it is irregular; therefore, restrain it. As a sword in the hand of a madman, so likewise is the soul to him that lacks discretion.”

“The noblest employment of the mind of man is the study of the works of his Creator. Cast your eyes towards the clouds. Do you not find the heavens full of wonders? Look down at the earth. Does not the worm proclaim to you: “Could less than Omnipotence have formed me?” The planets follow their courses and the sun remains in his place; the comet wanders through Space and returns to his destined road again. What but an Infinite Wisdom could have appointed them their laws? Look down upon the Earth and see her produce; examine under the surface, and behold what it contains. Has not Wisdom and Power ordained the whole? Can the meanest fly create itself? – could you have fashioned it? You, who see the whole as admirable as its parts, cannot better employ your eye than in tracing out your Creator’s greatness; or your mind than in examining the wonders of Creation. What is the study of words compared with this? Wherein lies Knowledge, but in the study of Nature! For the rest, whatever science is most useful, and whatever knowledge has least vanity, is to be preferred. All other sciences are vain; and all other
knowledge is boast unless it makes a man more good and more honest. Adoration of your God, and benevolence to your fellow-creatures: are they not your great studies? Who shall teach you the one, or who shall inform you of the other, like unto the study of His works!”

“Who is there who does not either judge too highly of himself, or thinks too meanly of others? Our Creator himself does not escape our presumption: how, then, shall we be safe from one another! Man, who fears to breathe a whisper against his earthly Sovereign, does not hesitate to arraign the dispensations of his God. He listens to the sentence of the magistrate with silence, yet dares to plead with the Eternal: he attempts to soothe Him with entreaties; to flatter Him with promises; to agree with Him upon conditions – he even murmurs at Him if his requests are not granted! Why is he not punished for his impiety? This is not yet his day of retribution! Man, who is truly but a mote in the wide expanse, believes the whole world to have been created only for him: he thinks the whole frame of Nature is only interested in his well-being. As the fool, when the images tremble on the face of the water, thinks that trees, towns, and the whole wide horizon are dancing to do him pleasure, so man, while Nature performs her destined course, believes that all her motions are but to entertain his eye. While he courts the ray of the sun to warm him, he supposes that it was made only to be of use to him; and while he traces the moon in her mighty path, he thinks she was created simply to entertain him. Man is not the cause why the world holds its course: for him only were not made the vicissitudes of summer and winter. No change would follow if the whole human race ceased to exist: man is but one among millions of species that are blessed in Creation. Do not exalt yourself to the heavens, for the angels are above you; nor disdain your fellow-inhabitants of the earth because they are beneath you: are they not the work of the same Hand? Do not set your judgment above that of all the earth, neither condemn as falsehood that which does not agree with your own understanding. Who gave any of us the power of determining for others: when was the right of free choice taken from the world? Remember how many things have been rejected which are now received as truths; and those which are now received as truths which shall, in their turn, be despised. Have not truth and falsehood the same appearance in any subject we do not understand? What, then, but our presumption determines between them!  We easily believe anything which is above our comprehension – or we are proud to pretend it – in order that we may appear to have wisdom. Is not this folly and arrogance? Who is it that affirms most boldly? Who is it that holds to his opinion most obstinately? He who has most ignorance, because he has most pride. Every man when he lays hold of an opinion desires to maintain it, but most of all he who is an egotist, for he is not content with betraying his own soul into it, but he tries to impose it on others to believe in it also. Do not say that truth is established by years, or that a multitude of believers makes a certainty: one human proposition has as much right of authority as any other, if reason does not make any difference? Of what, then, can man be certain? Do all the good that you know, and you shall have happiness: happiness is more your business here than wisdom!”

“Do not attribute the good actions of another to bad causes. You do not know his heart, but the world will know that your own is full of envy.”

“Are not your eyes the sentinels that watch for you? –yet, how often are they unable to distinguish truth from error!”
“Have courage in truth; but fear to lie. Learn to blush at falsehood, so that, in speaking the truth, you may have a steady eye.”

“The promises of hope are sweeter than roses in the bud; but the threatenings of fear are a terror to the heart. Nevertheless, do not let hope allure you, nor fear deter you from doing right; for thus you will be able to meet all events with an even mind. In all your undertakings let a reasonable assurance animate your endeavours; and remember, if you despair of success you cannot hope to succeed.  Do not terrify your soul with vain fears, neither let your heart sink because of the phantoms of imagination: fear invites failure; he that hopes, helps himself. As the ostrich, when pursued, buries its head in the sand, so the fears of a coward expose him to danger.”

“Do not bestow on any man the flattery of unmeaning words. You know that when he returns them to you, you heed them not; he knows he lies to you – and that you know it, yet he knows you will thank him for it. Always speak with sincerity, for then you shall hear with instruction.”

“There is nothing so easy as to revenge an offence; but there is nothing so honourable as to pardon it. The greatest victory man can obtain is over himself; and he who disdains to feel an injury, returns it upon him who offers it.”

“Let your happiness depend not upon Fortune and her smiles, so that, when she frowns, you will not be dismayed. As the water that passes from the mountains on its way to the ocean kisses every field that borders the river, so Fortune visits the sons of men: her motion is incessant; she does not stay in one place; she is unstable as the winds; she kisses you, and you are blessed – but, as you turn to thank her, she has gone to another. The wise man makes everything the means of advantage; and with the same countenance he looks upon all the faces of Fortune – he does good, he conquers evil; and he is unmoved in it all.”

“He who wisely gives away his treasures, gives away his plagues; but he who retains their increase, heaps up his own sorrows. Do not refuse unto the poor that which he needs; and do not deny unto your brother even that which you want for yourself: there is more delight in being without what you have given away than there is in possessing that which you do not know how to use.”

“All her words were decent, so that the music of her speech had delicacy and truth. She showed prudence in her gestures; she let wisdom walk before her; she went hand-in-hand with virtue, so that the tongue of the licentious was dumb in her presence, and the awe of her pureness kept it silent…. Her heart was a mansion of goodness, so that she does not suspect evil in others, and they do not look for it in her. When scandal is busy, and the reputations of others is being tossed from tongue to tongue, her sense of charity closes her ears and the finger of good-nature rests upon her lips…when a woman allows these precepts to sink into her heart, she charms her mind and adds grace to her form, so that her beauty, like a rose, retains its sweetness long after the bloom itself has withered.”
“Acknowledge your obligations with cheerfulness; and look upon your benefactor with love and esteem. If it is not in your power to return it; nourish the memory of it in your breast with kindness: forget it not all the days of your life.”

“The rich should not presume in his riches, nor the poor despond in his poverty; for the providence of God gives happiness to both of them – and the distribution of happiness between them is more equally divided than the fool would believe.”

“Do not envy the appearance of happiness in any man, for you do not know his secret griefs.”

“Every man may be viewed in two lights: in one he will be troublesome; in the other, less offensive. Choose to see him in that light which least hurts you – then you will not wish to harm him.”

“Be more ready to love than to hate; so shall you be loved by more than hate you.”

“What health is to the body, so is honesty to the soul.”

“Teach men to be honest, and oaths will be unnecessary.”

“Let the tongue of sincerity be rooted in your heart, so that hypocrisy and deceit have no place in your words. Never try to be more than you are, lest the wise man strip off your disguise and the finger of derision be pointed at you with scorn.”

“True wisdom is less presuming than folly: the wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; but the fool is obstinate and does not doubt – he knows all things save his own ignorance! The wise man knows his own imperfections; but the fool peeps into the shallow stream of his own mind and is pleased with the pebbles which he sees at the bottom – he brings them up, and shows them as pearls, and the applause of other fools delights him. A fool boasts of attainments in things of no worth; but where there is a shame in his ignorance, he is void of understanding.”

“The slightest health is less noticed than the slightest pain. Do you not know that the thought of affliction wounds deeper than the affliction itself? If you do not think of your pain when it is upon you you will avoid what hurts you most.”

“Be resolute, and direct an even and an uninterrupted course; so shall your foot be upon the earth, and your head above the clouds. Though obstacles appear in your path, do not deign to look down upon them, but proceed with resolution, guided by right, and mountains shall sink beneath your tread; storms may roar against your shoulders, but they will not shake you; thunder will burst over your head in vain – the lightning will serve but to show the glory of your soul.”
“As the torrent that rushes down the mountain destroys all that is borne away by it, so does common opinion overwhelm reason in him who accepts it without first asking: “What is the foundation?”

“Evil is not requisite to man; yet, how many evils are permitted by the connivance of the laws! Do not say that justice cannot be executed without wrong; for, surely your own words will condemn you! Teach men to be just, that there may be no need for repentance.”

“Learn to esteem life as you ought; then you will be near to the pinnacle of wisdom. Do not think with the fool that nothing is more valuable, nor believe with the pretended-wise that it is to be despised: life is not for itself, but for the good it may be of to others. Gold cannot buy it back for you, neither can a mine of diamonds purchase back the moments you have lost of it; therefore, employ all your moments in the exercise of virtue. Do not think it would have been best not to have been born; or, if born, that it would have been best to have died early; neither ask your Creator: “Where had been the evil had I not existed?” Remember that evil is but lack of good, and that good is within your power. So, if your question to your Creator is a just one, does it not, of itself, condemn you! A good death is better than an evil life; but while your life is worth more to others than your death, it is your duty to preserve it.  Do not complain with the fool of the shortness of your time; for you should remember that with your days your cares are shortened. Take from the period of your life the useless parts of it, and what remains? Take off the time of your infancy; your sleep; your thoughtless hours; your days of sickness – and even in the fullness of years, how few have been your hours of usefulness! He who gave you life as a blessing, shortened it to make it more so. To what end would longer life serve you? Is it that you may have the opportunity of more vice? Or is it that you wish to have the opportunity of doing more good? As to the good, will not He who limits your span be satisfied with the fruits of it! If it is that you wish to improve your wisdom and virtue, have you employed the little time that you have? If not, why complain that more is not given you? Man, who dares to enslave the World when he knows that he can enjoy his tyranny but for a moment, what would he not aim at were he given all things before he has learned how to use the few that he has!”

“When modesty and virtue enlighten her charms, the luster of a beautiful woman is brighter than the stars of heaven. The whiteness of her bosom transcends the lily, and her smile is more delicious than a garden of roses. The innocence of her eyes is as of an angel; and simplicity and truth dwell in her heart; her kisses are sweeter than honey; and the perfumes of Arabia breathe from her lips. Do not shun the tenderness of love; for if its flame is pure it will ennoble your heart, and will soften it to receive the fairest impressions.”

“Weak in strength and knowledge as you are, and humble as you ought to be – yet you are able to contemplate Omnipotence displayed before your eyes by examining your own body. You are wonderfully made; and, of all creatures, you only stand erect. There has been added to your body something which you cannot see, and this something speaks to you in a way that is different from your senses. The body remains after this unseen part has fled, so it is no part of the body. It is immaterial; therefore eternal. It is free to act; therefore accountable for its actions. Know Yourself, therefore, as the pride of Earth’s creatures. You are the link uniting Divinity and Matter. There is a part of God himself in you; therefore, remember your own dignity and the command and superiority you have been given over all other creatures. Be faithful to the Divine spark which is You; and rejoice before your Creator with thanksgiving and praise.”

“She remembers that woman was created to be man’s companion, and not the slave of his passions. She assists man through his life, and soothes him with that tenderness which is the divine possession only of a woman.”

“When you feel uneasiness, and bewail misfortunes, you should examine the roots from which they spring – even down to your own folly, your own pride, or your own distempered fancy. Do not murmur, therefore, but correct yourself.”

“Why should a man’s heart give up joy when the causes of joy have not been removed from him! Why be miserable for the sake of misery! Ask men if their sadness makes things the better, and they themselves will confess to you that it is folly; they will go even further and praise him who bears his ills with patience, and who makes headway against misfortune with courage. Be not deceived with fair pretences, nor suppose that sorrow heals misfortune; for sorrow is a poison under the colour of a remedy: while it pretends to draw the arrow from the breast, it plunges it into the heart. It is not in our nature to meet the arrows of ill-fortune unhurt – nor does reason require it of us; but it is our duty to bear misfortune like men. The greatest misfortune is not to be reckoned from the number of tears shed for it: the greatest griefs are above those testimonies, as are the greatest joys beyond utterance.”

“Do not clothe yourself in rich attire in order to court observation, lest you become puffed up in your own imagination. Nothing blinds the eye, or hides the heart of a man from himself, like vanity. Remember that it is when you do not see yourself that others see you most plainly. Do not say, “To what end my gorgeous raiment; to what purpose are my tables filled with dainties, if no eye gaze upon them, or if the world knows it not?”
Better would it be if you gave your vestures to the naked, and your food to the hungry; for thus you would be praised, and thus you would deserve it…. Do not treat inferiors with insolence, lest your own superiors look down upon your pride and folly with laughter. As a plain garment best adorns a beautiful woman, so is modest behaviour the greatest ornament of wisdom…. When you do anything worthy of praise, do not let your joy be to proclaim it; for men do not say: “Behold! He has done it!; what they say is: “See how proud he is of it!”

“If you believe a thing impossible, your despondency will make it so; but if you persevere, you will overcome every difficulty.”

“Do not let your recreations be expensive, lest the pain in purchasing them exceed the pleasure of their enjoyment…. Be moderate in your enjoyment, and it will remain in your possession; let joy be founded on reason, and then sorrow will be a stranger to you.”

“Days that are past are gone forever, and those that are to come may not come to you; therefore, enjoy the present without regretting the loss of what is past, or depending too much on that which is not yet here. This instant is yours; the next still belongs to futurity, and you do not know what it may bring forth.”

“As the tulip, that is gaudy but without smell, so is the man without merit who sets himself on high.”

“To bear adversity cheerfully is difficult; but to be temperate in prosperity is the height of wisdom. Good and ill are the tests by which you are able to know the degree of your constancy; and there is nothing else that can so well tell you the powers of your own soul.”

“If you had the ear of a stag, or the eye of an eagle, or were your smell equal to that of the hound, yet without Reason, what would they avail you?”

“The end of the search is the acquisition of Truth; and the soul’s means of discovering it are by reason and experience. Perception of yourself. Is that not plain enough before your face? Then what more is there that you need to know?”

“Disdain the man who attempts to wrong you, for you not only preserve your own peace, but inflict on him all the punishment of revenge without your stooping to employ it against him. Poorness of spirit actuates revenge; whereas greatness of soul despises the offence.  Why seek revenge? With what purpose would you pursue it? Do you think you will pain your adversary with it? Do you not know that revenge gnaws the heart of him who is afflicted with it: that the revengeful feel its greatest torment! Revenge is painful in the intent and dangerous in the execution: seldom does that axe fall where he who lifted it up intended. While the revengeful seeks to hurt his enemy he often brings about his own destruction: while he aims at one of the eyes of his adversary, he often puts out both his own. If he does not attain his end, he laments; if he succeeds, he repents of it. When you meditate revenge, you confess that you feel the wrong; when you complain, you acknowledge yourself hurt by it. Would you add this pride to the triumph of your enemy?
There is nothing so easy as to revenge an offence; but there is nothing so honourable as to pardon it. Noble behaviour in yourself will make a man ashamed to be your enemy; and the greatness of your soul will terrify him from the thought of hurting you.”

“Sadness is an enemy of the race; she poisons the sweets of life, therefore, drive her from your heart. She raises the loss of a straw to the destruction of a fortune, and while she vexes the soul with trifles she robs the attention to the things of consequence. Do not let sadness cover herself with a face of piety: do not let her deceive you with a show of wisdom.  Remember that religion pays honour to your Creator, so let it not be coloured with melancholy.”

“As the soundest health is less noticed than the slightest pain, so the highest joy touches us less deeply than the smallest sorrow. Do you not know that the thought of affliction wounds deeper than the affliction itself? He who weeps before he needs, weeps more than he needs.”

“Thought; understanding; reason; will, do not call these your soul. They are the actions of the soul, but not the soul itself. Do not think that you can hide from your soul in the crowd; or that you can bury it in forgetfulness, for your soul is You, yourself.”

“When you envy the man who possesses honours; when his titles and greatness raise your indignation, seek to know how he obtained them…. The favours of princes may be bought by vice; rank and title may be purchased by money, - but these are not true honours. Crimes cannot exalt a man to glory; neither can gold make men noble…. There is no such thing as nobility except that of the soul; nor is there any honour except that of virtue.”

“It is not the receiving of honour that delights a noble mind: the pride and honour is in deserving it! Is it not better that men should say: “Why is there not a statue to this man?” than that they should ask: “Why has he one?”

“Truth is but one. Your doubts are of your own raising. He who made virtues what they are, planted also in you a knowledge of their pre-eminence; therefore, ask your soul, and if you act as that dictates to you, the end shall be always right.”

“Inconstancy is powerful in the heart of man; intemperance sways it whither it will; despair engrosses much of it, - but vanity is beyond them all. The hero, the most renowned of human characters, what is he but a bubble of this weakness? The public is unstable and ungrateful; so why should a man of wisdom endanger himself for fools!”

“Be virtuous while you are young; and in your age you will be honoured.”

“It is said that grey hairs are revered, and in length of days there is honour; yet, without virtue, age plants more wrinkles in the soul than on the forehead.”

“Learn that it is not abundance that makes riches, but economy and the application of what you have…. The man to whom God gives riches should be careful to employ them in the right way. You should look upon your wealth with pleasure, for it gives you the means to do good. You should protect the poor and the injured; and fight against the mighty when they oppress the weak. Do not let the benevolence of your mind be checked by your fortune; so shall you rejoice in your riches, and your joy will be blameless.
Do not heap up wealth in abundance to rejoice in its possession alone, lest woe comes unto you. Do not grind the faces of the poor: consider the sweat of their brows. Do not thrive on oppression, lest the ruin of your brother disturb your heart. Do not harden your heart with love of wealth, lest grief and distress soften it again.”

“An immoderate desire for riches is poison to the soul: it contaminates and destroys everything that is good in it; and it is no sooner rooted there than all virtue, all honesty, and all natural affection is driven out. Riches are servants to the wise, but to the soul of the fool they are tyrants.”

“Learn wisdom from the experience of others; and from their failings you will be able to correct your own faults…. The first step towards being wise is to know that you are ignorant; and if you wish to be esteemed in the judgement of others, cast off the folly of trying to appear wise.”

“Do not use to-day what to-morrow may need; neither leave anything to chance which foresight may provide for, or care prevent.”

“Be moderate in your enjoyment and it will remain in your possession; let joy be founded on reason, and then sorrow will be a stranger to you. The delights of love are ushered in by sighs, and they terminate in languishment and dejection; and the object you burn for nauseates with satiety, and no sooner is it possessed than its presence is wearisome. Join esteem in your admiration; unite friendship with your love; be moderate in all things – so shall you find in the end that contentment surpasses raptures: that tranquility is worth more than ecstasy.”

“As a man, take to yourself a wife, and obey the ordinance of God: so shall you become a member of society. On your choice depends the happiness of your wife, your own, and that of your future children; so use care and discretion. If much of her time is given to dress and ornaments; if she is enamoured with her own good looks; if she is delighted with empty praise of herself; if she talks with a loud voice; if her feet are seldom in her father’s house; or, if her eyes rove with undue boldness towards the faces of other men, then, even though her beauty be ravishing, turn your eyes from her charms. Do not allow your soul to become ensnared by the allurements of passion. But, if you find sensibility of heart with a softness of manner, and an accomplished mind with a form that appeals to you, then she is worthy to be your friend; your companion through life; the wife of your dreams, and the mother of your children. Cherish her as a gift sent from heaven; and let the kindness of your behaviour endear you to her heart. Make her the mistress of your home; and treat her with respect, that all who know her may respect her also. Do not oppose her wishes without just cause: she is the partner of your cares, so make her the companion of your pleasures. Reprove her faults with gentleness; and encourage her to point out your own, that you also may profit. Do not exact obedience from her with rigour: her nature is gentle, so be gentle also. Trust her with your secrets and you will not be deceived, for her counsels will be sincere. Be faithful to her: she is your temple, and the mother of your children. When pain and sickness assail her, let your tenderness soothe her; for one look of pity from you will alleviate her grief, will mitigate her pain, and will be more helpful than ten doctors. Remember the delicacy of her sex, and the tenderness of her frame. Be not severe to her weaknesses; but remember your own imperfections. Honour her; and she will lead you to the gates of Heaven."

[Obtained from ‘Wisdom of the Ages’ by Mark Gilbert. First published in 1936.]

Quasi-love vs Real Love

 “He is in love with an ideal, a creature of his own imagination, a child of air, an echo of his heart; and like a lily on a river floating, she floats upon the river of his thoughts.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

“Give me, instead of beauty’s bust, a tender heart, a loyal mind which with temptation I could trust, yet never linked with error find.”
George Darley (1795-1846)

“But a smooth and steadfast mind, gentle thoughts, and calm desires, hearts with equal love combined, kindle never-dying fires: where these are not, I despise lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes.”
Thomas Carew (1596-1639)

“There is a love – it lasts a while, a one day’s flower – no more; opes in the sunshine of a smile, and shuts when storms come o’er. There is a love – it ever lasts, a shrub that’s always green; it blossoms in the stormy blasts, and decks the wintry scene!
 A shape, an eye, a well-turned foot may give the first its birth: this flowerlet has but little root, and asks but little earth. No scanty soil must true love find, its vigour to control; it roots itself upon the mind, and strikes into the soul.
Charles Neale (English, 19th century)

“A woman can take any man as a husband but a man must choose his wife carefully. All food is good to eat but some food is better than others...beautiful, kind and gentle in speech.” [Old Testament]

Choose someone who is ‘beautiful, kind and gentle in speech’. Beautiful enough because it’s what’s inside that counts. Above all else she must be kind.

Guys - listen up!

 What care I?

Shall I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman’s fair?
Or my cheeks make pale with care
‘Cause another’s rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day
Or the flowery meads in May -
         If she be not so to me,
         What care I how fair she be?

Shall my foolish heart be pined
‘Cause I see a woman kind?
Or a well disposèd nature
Joinèd with a lovely feature?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
Turtle-dove or pelican,
           If she be not so to me,
            What care I how kind she be?

Shall woman’s virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or her merits’ value known
Make me quite forget mine own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of Best;
            If she seem not such to me,
            What care I how good she be?

‘Cause her fortune seems to high,
Shall I play the fool and die?
Those that bear a noble mind
Where they want of riches find,
Think what with them they would do
Who without them dare to woo;
            And unless that mind I see,
            What care I how great she be!

Great or good, or kind or fair,
I will ne’er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;
            For if she be not for me,
            What care I for whom she be?

George Wither (1588-1667)

The right person?

 “When you meet your perfect other self, you’ll know it instantly.” [?]
“…who did not love but at first sight?” Shakespeare.
“When you meet the right person, you’ll know it – your heart will tell you.” [?]

“Doc: Looking at Marty with a weird grin on his face. Marty. It's 
impossible. The idea that I could fall in love at first sight? It's 
romantic nonsense. There's no scientific rationale to that.
Marty: Laughing. C'mon, Doc, it's not science. You meet the right girl, 
it just hits ya; it's like lightning.
Doc: Climbing a ladder on a giant machine he's made. Marty, please 
don't say that!
Marty: Calling out. That's the way it was for me and Jennifer. Man, we 
couldn't keep our eyes off each other! God, Jennifer, damn, I hope 
she's alright, Doc. I can't believe we just left her there on the 
[From the movie ‘Back to the Future III ’, ]

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract who you are.” [?]
“If you want to attract someone amazing you must become someone amazing.” [?]

“Stop looking for the right person and start being the right person.” [?]
“More important than marrying the right person is to be the right person.” [?]

“If you are unmarried do not look for a wife but if you get married, it is not a sin, it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” [New Testament]

“She likes the same things I do; she hates the same things I do. She laughs at my stupid jokes. I don’t have to censor myself around her.”
Chris Rock’s character in the movie ‘Down to Earth’ (2001) – I’m pretty sure my version quoted above is more accurate but I could be wrong.
The script has:
“It's not some girl. It's the girl. You got Heaven, but you don't got this. She's so fine. We like the same stuff. She laughs at my stupid jokes, and I don't have to censor myself.

i.e. She or he loves what you love and hates what you hate. You have similar values.

“The right one strengthens you, lifts you up and there is no anxiety or worry.” [?]

"If they don't phone you (or for that matter e-mail or text you) it's not because they love you."
(adapted from a reply to a letter in a DC comic - can't remember which one.]

“I love you because you love what I love.”
“She can be pretty provided she’s willing to forget it. She must be on the same wire intellectually, so that when you ring her up she responds – this is paradise!”
Elbert Hubbard.

“Beauty is plentiful, worth is rare.” [?]

“A handsome woman is a jewel; but a good woman is a treasure.’
Sheik Saadi , (Persian 1175-1291).

“Slowly, slowly catchee monkee!” [?]
“Do not reveal what you feel too soon.” [?]
“Play it cool, not creepy – no maniacal pursuing of common ground.” [my friend]
“If it works, it works.” [my cousin]
“When time comes to propose – take ‘em by surprise!” [my cousin]
“I never went out with her anyway.” [?] i.e. If she’s very obviously interested, ask her out – before it’s too late!

[ ? ] = I can’t remember where I encountered this quote or who the author is.

All you who yearn for the ‘one’ I hope you meet them soon : )

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Playing in rivers of filth

There was a big square town made of shacks,
and the garbage that was thrown from a lot of them
collected like a river in a gully below the shack line.

Some children were playing near the refuse.
They caught sight of me from far away and they began waving.
I waved back. They did not approach me for I am a stranger.
I thought about giving them some money but
I couldn’t bring myself to walk down to them.

A crane was walking slowly down the gully.
I stopped and looked at it intently.
It stopped and seemed to be examining me. I advanced
a step or two, it walked a little further down.

Then my brother appeared from around a wall.
It was too much and the bird lifted itself off the ground
and slowly flew to a safe, high perch not too far away.

The ground began to tremble and shake.
There was a muffled sound of thunder but
there were no storm clouds, only blue skies.
The thunder was getting louder, I felt surges
of vibrations from the ground pulse up my legs.

Was this an earthquake? Where could we find shelter from it?
My brother looked as alarmed as I felt.
The shacks were rattling and didn’t look safe – all that corrugated iron
frightened me. But maybe it was a convoy of cars or motorcyclists
or something – explosions of dynamite or petrol?

I turned to look up the hill –
and saw a dinosaur!
The size and appearance stamped it as a sauropod of some kind.

The behemoth stopped abruptly,
seemed to catch sight of the shacks,
It made a trumpeting sound in alarm
and vanished before my eyes!
No one was ever going to believe us!

A child's heart retain

"The great man is he that does not lose his child's heart."
Mencius a.k.a. Meng-Tzu

 'May I retain a pure, simple child's heart.'

Why is this so important? Einstein realized its value and could be quite child-like and playful on occasion - and he was a genius! But it does go beyond that: spiritual matters are involved.

The Hurler

What follows began as a subject line in an e-mail and it then snowballed. It's very, very silly, so read at own peril!

The Hurler

The Hurler approaches the porcelain...

The Hurler approaches the porcelain...the amplitude of his vocalizations rises and the porcelain begins to ring, a weird glass harmonica sound that's unnerving.

With jaws juddering, the Hurler slams to his knees, arms reaching forward. Can he hold it in? Can he resist the pealing porcelain?

He can. His gaping jaws slam shut in a supreme effort of will. The porcelain lives another day.

His eyes swing up to the mirror, there he sees Mistress Valoid's
smiling face. With grim determination he turns....

Storm in a teacup'
Well? Are you satisfied?' he demands of her.

'Perfectly! Thanks for showing some restraint. I think we'll skip the porcelain teaset for today.'

He smiled at her - she really was the most patient of girlfriends - he needed someone like that!

They exited the shop and made their way to a restaurant around the corner. She took his hand and immediately he felt even calmer.
She smiled knowingly as they neared the door of the restaurant.

The restaurant door opened onto a vast crater; they were on the Moon. The Hurler pointed, with a shaking hand, at an immense tea-cup set into the shattered ground. "Eh, tea?" he asked his companion.

Keep clear of the crater edges!
It was then he realised that sound waves needed air to travel in and
that Betty Huston a.k.a. Mistress Valoid hadn't heard a word. He
wondered if they would freeze to death or suffocate first? The weirdest
things you think of before you're about to die!

"Huh?" He shook himself awake.
"You fell asleep during tea." She observed, handing him a tissue.
"No I didn't"
"Surely so; witness that saucer appended to yon side of your head."
The Hurler doth pause. A tentative hand arose...

"Huh?" He shook himself awake.
"You fell asleep during tea." She observed, handling him a tissue.
"No I didn't!"
"Surely so; witness that saucer appended to yon side of your head."
The Hurler doth pause. A tentative hand arose...

Sure enough a saucer clung like a limpet to his right cheek. He peeled it off his face and set it down
on the table. "I had a really strange dream, ' he told MV.

'Oh, really, was it the moon again?' she replied.

Poor Sack, always being hit and never bouncing back.
"How did you know?"
"Honey, you may be the System's greatest Hero, but I'm your
gender-approximate-friend, I know all your little quirks."
"Right," said the Hurler, poking the porcelain with an idle finger.
"So, tell me about the Moon." Miss V asked coquettishly (is that even a
"The Moon, the Moon. Moon. Moooooon." His hand smoshed the saucer,
leaving a crater on the cafe table.

'I don't want to talk about it,' he said abruptly. She knew better than to press him on the subject, so she changed it and
began talking about the superhero conference in June.  Now that the world was at peace and virtually crime-free, thanks in large part to the superheroes - most of the supervillains were in prison or dead, or had simply left Earth for worlds with easier pickings (in other words no superheroes to cramp their style) - there wasn't much to do but get on with the everyday business of life. Some of their friends were even talking of emigrating to someof the worlds where the supervillains had taken up residence just to alleviate the boredom.

Sad Sack bouncing back.
The Hurler looked into V's eyes. "The Moon took the wind out of my breeches," he said, sadly.
"Honey-pants," she began to correct him. "Wind in britches…." And then she thought better of it. Better not visit the Moon-wind-pants subject at all; it had a foul air about it. He was looking at her, a hopeful puppy. "Let's get some cheesecake," she said. "I hear it's made from the cheeks of orphaned supermodels!"
 "He cleaned my smock," The Hurler was running with his theme. She groaned.
"He kicked my Donkey!"

She sighed, and said, ‘Who did, honey? Who cleaned your clock?’
There was a meditative pause on his part, and then two words escaped his mouth with dramatic effect: ‘Rontgen Hourglass!’

Bad Black, uncle of Earl Gray
"Rontgen, the X-Rayted villian! I begin to understand your misery!" "He does this thing," explained Hurl, "where he stops time by mooning you." A shudder passed through his masculine frame.

'Still, Betty insisted, 'He's not as bad as The Revealer who ages you prematurely by showing the other side of the coin, if you know what I mean.' A shudder passed through her feminine frame. 
‘You know what they say: you can choose your friends but not your family. He’s my uncle and he’s bad,’ said the Hurler.

"I thought he'd gone for that, uh, gender reassignment surgery. You know the one, snip and Bob's your aunty?"
The Hurler chuckled, "Nope, that's my aunt Double Dee."
"What a tangled family you have! So, what are you going to do about your Uncle Rontgen?" His burly brow creased in thought....

'No, you misunderstood, honey, the Revealer is my uncle not Rontgen. Rontgen's managed to keep his true identity a secret. I can't really do anything until he attacks again. There's no telling where or when; in the meantime I've got to get some tech help, come up with some way to shield my eyes from the time-halting effects of those mesmerising mooning manouevres of his.  Sunglasses can only do so much. It's a conundrum fit for the Geekoid!'

'Uh - Oh, sorry, honey, I drifted off for a second. I think I need a lie down. Let's go home.'

The couple of Superheroes took their leave of the cafe with a deft waft upward. "First to reach the Wormhole?" Hurl asked with a twinkle in his eye; literally his eye, singular. "Catch me if you can!" Betty shot off into space like a bean from between silicon fingers.

Hurl hesitated for a nanosecond, smiled and blasted off from the pavement in hot pursuit. She had a good headstart and would probably beat him to the 'hole but he was good at building up momentum in a race and felt confident of overtaking her at some point . 'Lot of saucer activity today,' he thought. He weaved in and out of a flock of flying discs. This would slow him down a little. Then he caught sight of MV dead ahead. 'Now to turn on the juice!'

If it's only juice, it's no uice.

The gigantic valve was a tough opponent, but Hurl flexed and contorted and soon the handle turned. Juice began to pour out of the orbiting bag, spilling its orangey goodness onto the planet below. He looked-back, feeling a warm sense of good. Was that the cafe owner waving his fervent thanks? Strange that his hands seemed clenched like fists and the tone of his little squeaky voice was less than effusive.   "Hurl?" Came Betty's voice from the 'Hole. "Stop playing with your food!"

'Who's playing, honey? Don't you like orange juice? I'd say almost everybody likes orange juice.'
So saying he plunged in after Betty. In no time at all he joined her on the 'other side'.

 From the shadows, The revealer watched the super couple pop into dispace. "You will soon feel the slow ebb of my junk," he evilled, grasping his equipment. "Muhahahaha!"
 "You called?" said Mu."
“No, I.- I was evil laughing," he explained, a little put-off his evil stride by his pet's silly name.

There's more to mu than meets the mye!
 Mu, who was a psychic animal mentally raised a brow - her name wasn't silly, in fact 'mu', from the Chinese, had zen connotations; it was even the  reply which the Japanese gave when they were considering the American deal for peace: their reply  was 'mu' which meant 'provisionally no, considering, we'll get back to you' - the American translators, unaware of the subtleties of the Japanese language, took it as simply 'no' and dropped 2 atomic bombs shortly after. True story. Nevertheless Mu refrained from speaking her mind. She was above needing such approval or validation: 'Think what you will, Revealer, I know what I'm about!'

With a swish of her swosh, Mu flitzed across dispace. Somewhere between the evil chuckling and the evil clanking machinery, her decision had become a firm 'no'. Mistress Valoid would hear about the depraved goings-on in the Revealer's fortress - perhaps there was a way that kind woman could remove the patina of gross Goblinism that afflicted her dear owner. Maybe The Revealer could be re-pantsed. Oh she surely hoped so.

Valoid and Hurl made a pitstop near Alpha Centauri. There was a nice little place floating in space. Burgers and sodas and shakes. Yeah, baby! Mu alighted on the platform leading to the diner, she caught sight of Mistress Valoid and the Hurler at a table.
She swished her swosh excitedly and headed in their direction when her way was blocked by something very large, very dark and unfriendly. It was - it was the - !

- leg of the table; a surly square summich of a leg.
"Wheee ya geeng ya runt?" It spat.
Mu backed-up, frustrated to have to face this with her turncoat goal mere frotz away.

"More food, Hurl?" Betty arch-
"Arching your eyebrows like a super villian again?" He teased.
"You read my-"
"Face?" Sometimes he made up for all the dark stuff with silly moments.

Then he turned his attention to the contents of a fortune cookie and thoughtfully unrolled a small piece of paper. It read: 'Love is the key that opens the gates to happiness.' He smiled and presented the little piece of wisdom for Betty's amusement. She smiled too but a commotion outside the diner drew their attention away from fortunes and cookies. They drew a bead on the source of the hullabaloo. Some kind of dog-like animal was attacking a burly table leg. Clearly no love lost between those two adversaries. Some wormhole techs were laying odds.

Peg the leg

"Eel skin yee aleeeve!" The table leg was shouting between great wooden teeth that held the small creature by the skin of it's neck.
"Oh, dear!" evinced Betty. The Hurler drew a great breath and thought of nauseating things; it was his inner ritual prior to heroics. "Ptah!" He spat. A great gout of hurl formed a neat pencil-like beam and sped towards the angry leg.

'Eeuurgh!' he groaned. His aim was true, the leg was mired in slick hurl, teeth loosened and the dog-like creature escaped its terrible grip. 'A job well done', grinned Hurl.

"Short, but sweet." Agreed Betty.

Hurl simply nodded.

"Well I'm glad to find you Hero's smiling and nodding," said Mu, shaking flecks of salvation from her fur.
"Who and what are you?" Hurl asked, wiping his engorged bottom lip.
"I'm Mu, how do you do?"
"We do fine, thank you, Mu," replied Betty.
(Just then a very tall cat in a hat walked-by in the background.)

All three: Mu, Hurl and Betty were flabbergasted to a small degree. It was their first sighting of this cat; though others had claimed they had seen him around. They were still gawping when the cat began to sing!

'I am the cat of Hy-Brasil,
I come bearing tidings of ill.

Not far from here in Orion's belt,
the Brog's seething anger I have felt.

Take heed, away, away!
Some really bad news is coming this way.'

Hat off

He doffed his tall hat at the couple.
  "Once in every seven cycles," he said, "it is then 'twill open."
"Uh, thanks," said Hurl, "I think."
"Oh, the little dog!" exclaimed Betty. Mu winced.
"I have stark news of wide import," said the little creature.

'Oh, what is it?' asked Betty trying to give Mu her full attention despite the polite cat and Hurl beside her who seemed
strangely nonchalante.
'My master, I should say 'former master', the Revealer - '
'Did you say 'Revealer'?' Betty interjected.
'The eye of Gathor-Romodandrion, at the conjunction of Serax and Lina...' the cat went on.
Hurl didn't seem to be paying too much attention being absorbed, stirring xylitol in his cup of coffee.
Mu said, 'Yes, my former master, I have parted company with him at last. For many months now he has been planning
his revenge on all Terrans. I believe he means to 'reveal' - the dog-like creature attempted to signify quotation marks with his pawnds – himself on all media-capable channels galaxy-wide.'
'Really!' was Betty's response. 'That might not be so bad - '
'…affording the armada passage to your dimension.'
' - after all, he's really - uh - small, if you know what I mean?'
'Yes, I know,' said Mu but he has taken steps to enlarge his instrument. He has combined subliminals and nauseasonics into the attack - humanity will not recover easily. You two are our only hope.'
'And it's only Terrans, you say? The other sentients...?'
'…will be spared the onslaught, yes.'
'Oh, dear, Betty sighed,' Hurlll! It looks like we've got work to do.'
'Your uncle's misbehaving again.'
'Oh,' He lifted a finger to silence the tall cat, while sipping at his coffee. It was paramount nothing interfere with this pleasurable ritual, not even matters of galactic import.

[Note: The cat sensed the anger of the Brogs in Orion's belt - where the cat was exploring at the time. The Brogs come from another dimension though.]

Double Trouble
Betty went pale. She snapped her fingers to bring Hurl out of his
coffee-coma, "You realize what this means?"
"Yeah," he said with a manly grimace. The kind of grimace that would stop a mad horse at full gallop. A grimace that was so grim, it was ace.
"It means there's an armada coming -"
"- and all humans will be cockled by the Revealer!"
"- all sentients will be wiped-out by the invaders!"
They stopped and looked puzzled at one-another, "Huh?"

The cat sighed. Mu sat upon her tiny tuchas.

'Don't worry, Betty! I've got a secret weapon that'll stop ol' uncle Revealer in his tracks!' Hurl reassured her.
'Oh, really, that's the first time I've heard about this secret weapon?' Betty said in gentle and surprised inquiry.
'Yeah - '
'Grimace: a contortion of the face made in disgust etc. or to amuse,' the cat vocalized.
Mu sighed.
Betty and Hurl took their eyes off the cat and Betty awaited Hurl's reply. Hurl gazed at Betty's curious face lovingly and spoke.
'The weapon is...he paused for effect...the insane, shrieking ghost of Salvador Dali!' He triumphed.

"You mean Dali was sane /before/ he became a ghost?" Betty asked. The cat giggled. Mu schmooshed her tuchas with a quirky wriggle.
"Do not jest —", said Hurl, a finger raised, "— for Salvador has one great advantage against the Revealer..."

‘Of course he was sane, dear, only extremely eccentric; at least that’s what the history tapes tell us,’ Hurl continued. ‘Salvador’s talents can reach over from that inbetween realm where he now resides and into our world. Let the Revealer do his worst, Salvador, will warp the fabric of reality itself, time and space will bend and melt about the Revealer’s revelation, rendering it harmless and possibly even highly artistic.’
Betty looked impressed. Mu wriggled uncomfortably but seemed content with the answer. The cat…the cat had disappeared. They hadn’t noticed its leaving.

"Doggone", quoth Hurl.
"I think you mean cat gone," corrected Mu.
"You seem blue honey bunch school lunch," Betty said softly.
The Hurler stood and began to pace.
"What can it beee?" Mu asked, a little alarmed.
"It's just that it's really, you know, bendy." He said.
"What is?" Asked Mu.
"Reality. Reality is bendy when you try to contact Dali."
"Oh, dear," said Betty.
"Bendy Dali," Mu chuckled.
"Well," said Hurl, "better get to it." He pulled a watch from his latex suit; it flopped alarmingly, which was the point. It was a surreal alarm clock after all. These things have to make sense.

Don’t Dilly Dali!
‘Salvador! Salvador! Dali! Bubali! Je ne suis pas mort! He ees alive! He ees not daid!
Things went pear-shaped – literally!
Mu and Betty disappeared from sight and then reappeared. Hurl almost hurled when he saw Mu’s head on top of Bettty’s torso;  and Betty’s disembodied head screaming.
‘Stop that, you monster! I’ll digitize you, don’t push me!’ shouted Hurl at the top of his voice to counteract the savage howling winds.
Abruptly, all was calm.
‘You rang?’

Je suis un crazy homme :D)
"It is I," said Hurl.
"The very same."
"Thee uno?"
"And only."
"Bueno," said Dali's voice.
Mu tugged Betty's pants, "Is he talking to that large carrot?" Betty nodded, rearranging her super-costume after the interrealmular maelstrom's malice.
"Yew know waat to dew," came the painter's voice from the vegetable. Hurl threw the carrot into low orbit as he turned to the others. "Right, we have a couple of things to get done," he pointed at Mu, "You, go back to your ex-master and steal his belt." Mu gulped. "You", he touched Betty's shoulder, "go to the dark side of the Moon and apply ointment."
She blanched. "I know my love, it's asking a lot," Hurl admitted softly.

'I'm not too sure I like where this is going,' Betty said.
'Another coffee, please Miss,' Hurl called to the waitress.
She nodded and finished up at the table where she was at.
Mu glumy swoshed and left the diner on his mission.
'Well, what're you waiting for, dear; get to the moon fast, there's no advantage to delay!' said Hurl. Betty glumly got up and left the diner some steps behind Mu.

A tall hat approached Hurl, appearing in thin dispace and extruding. The
cat lifted his head as soon as it was all through the warp.
"Inter. Dim. Ensional. Inva. Ding. Fleet. And. All." He said.
"Yes, yes," Hurl waved a busy hand, "Betty is on it."
"Oh goody gumdrops!" said the Cat, retracting his head and popping out of reality. It was time to join Dali in thatspace. Hurl glanced around the little cafe; upon the far wall was a portrait of the owner, he assumed. 
"That'll do." He touched the surface of the painting, while ignoring the frumious glares of the staff. "Sir, please don't —" but he had puffed out of there, leaving a slightly greasy handprint.
"About teem!" Dali said with a twinkle in his eye. Hurl tried to move but could not. Beyond the little window he looked-out into a kakhi coloured square. The sun was stark; the sky blue.
Dali tapped him on the arm. "Like zis," he said. The painter shuffled his body sideways."Heer we walk like Egyptians." (Way-oh-Way-oh-Waaay-oh-way-oh)

The best-laid plans….
They had not gone far in their Egyptian waddle when Hurl and Dali sensed a great disturbance in the force.
'What the-!' exclaimed Hurl. '
'I weel check,' said Dali.
He disappeared for a second and then returned to the kakhi-coloured terrain.
'Eet ees as I feared - gamma-ray burstings - your galaxy, she ees no more!' Dali explained and then burst into hysterical laughter.
Hurl was left stunned, uncomprehending. 'Betty!'

…of spice and zen
"Oops, mierda! My misteek, por favor," Dali cried.
Hurl whipped round to face him, but only two dimensions worked in datspace, so he sort of flipped-over. "What was your mistake?"
"Eet was your entire Universe that go boom!" The maniac's head split open as giant serif laugh-words ejaculated from his red throat. "Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha." They painted the crowded scene.
  Hurl took a shuffle back. Had the Revealer got to Dali?

He could not know, of course, and Dali in his present state certainly was not about to reveal any useful information.
Picking himself up and dusting off yellow sand, he decided to put some distance between himself and the lunatic, and so
did the fastest Egyptian walking he could, and after a while he swivelled his head as much as he could while still moving forward, and spotted Dali amusing himself poking at the red 'HA HA's', which were bunched up in the maniac's vicinity like Helium balloons around some ponderous gravitational attractor.

Was he Dali's prisoner now? Could he find a way out of dis-space by himself? Was Dali lying about the universe being destroyed? Or was it the terrible, awful, horrifying truth...truth usually was pretty horrifying, so he tried his best to stifle a growing sense of loss and grief welling up from his heart. 'Gotta get outta here! Gotta get outta here!' he said aloud to a blank blue sky.

The moon was cold and dark. Betty jetted along a few clicks above the surface. Behind her, on a series of cords, came many barrels of ointment.   "Oh Hurl, where are you now?" She asked her transponder for the xth time that day.
Suddenly, down on the gray surface she saw a flash of red. "What?" She jerked her head and angled down a little. More red flashed across from shadow to shadow. Betty paused and let the barrels careen past her as she pulled them to a halt. Huge letters were erupting from one of the many craters and then drifting out like water from a hose. "Ha Ha. Help! Ha Ha. Fiend!" She read, astounded.

Suddenly out of the corner of her eye - a yellow streak - it was Hurl! He was coming around from the dark side of Earth's smaller second moon at some speed. Betty wondered where he had been. Perhaps he had hurled on The Revealer stopping him in his tracks? Or had he returned from the Orion nebula? She decided to let him catch up to her position. In the meantime, she pulled in the wayward barrels.

Wheels within
Blinking at this spectacular non sequitur ( ;) ), Betty swung the cords around and around; they gained speed. Hurl had told her to oint the moon, and this she would do. She took aim at the source of the giggling graffiti and launched!

Hurl, brushing gobs of oil-paint from his suit, sped in a dashing arc towards his gal. That old cannard, Dali, had come through in the end; but what a complicated encounter it had been. The Revealer would soon know what wheels they had wrought.

The barrels soared downward, spilling their contents. Creams and lotions poured and scattered in the low-g. The moon almost sighed from the pleasure of it all.

Choices! Choices!
Far from the mad moon-annointing, a superhero was stepping out of a Manhattan diner. Optimisto, a positive, well-built, tall and fairly handsome fellow in sky-blue tights emerged having downed 2 dozen flapjacks with Maple syrup and a jug and a half of excellent coffee. He was fairly wired for sound due to the intake of vast amounts of caffeine, and so was even more manic than his usual self. He had decided to visit his favourite bookstore when turning the corner he nearly collided with his arch-foe: the dreaded dealer of despair (actually mild pessimism), the short, round and fairly ugly, Pestomisto, in burnt-sienna tights. Recognition! A slight delay and then waves of black thoughts began pummelling Optimisto - Pestomisto had launched his first strike. Reeling from the dark alleyways of his mind, feeling slightly nauseous now, as much due to the attack of darkness as the ton of flapjacks, Maple syrup and coffee straining tightly against the walls of his capacious tummy, Opti counterattacked with a few well-directed beams of pure optimism directly at Pesto's frontal cortex. Direct hit! Pesto staggered as if drunk and toppled to the pavement. The victory was short-lived though. Pesto was one tough customer, and since he was the Yin to Opti's Yang, they were evenly matched, and so rarely was there an outright victory for either party. Usually they'd both give up after 20 minutes of tit for tat strikes and call for a truce which they celebrated with milkshakes or ice-cream.

In another dimension Hurl had given up trying to find a way out on his own, and weighed down with sadness and frustrated efforts, he grudgingly turned back in the direction of Dali the demonesque. He would, with the little remaining strength he possessed, force him to open a way out and back into some other universe than his own one which was destroyed. But then he realized that even Dali would be forbidden from doing such a thing. The rules were clear for travelling between parallel universes: No Way! Even if he managed it, certain powerful cosmic forces would negate his very being: there would be no room for 2 Hurls in any one universe. If he were lucky, he might end up as a ghost like Dali with his own pocket dimension to play in.

Without Betty this seemed a fate worse than death to him. Dali changed the colour of the sky to a sickly green hue. This was Dali's domain, there was no way he could *force* him to do anything - he was the guest, and a pretty powerless one at that. How could he trick Dali into sending him out into the void? Trapped for an eternity in this pocket dimension with Dali or obliterated in null-space, or end up a ghost somewhere else? 'Fantastic choices!' he thought.

"I sense pancakes in my author's recent past," Optimisto said to his foe.
"You mean in your recent gut!" roared Pesto.
"Oh, yeah," he replied, momentarily confused, "Of course."
Dispace wavered and The Hat toothpasted out.
"Good day," he said when his face could say.
"Uh," Pesto stammered.
"Errr," Optimisto followed.
"Big thinkers, you two," Observed Cat.
"Hey!"The Cat waved an impatient paw, "The world needs you."
There came a poof. It was not cream. They had vanished.

Pocket! The answer was in the clue. Hurl rapidly sought a corner.
"Ho ho ha — what are yoo deeng?" Dali shouted.
Hurl ignored the supernatural Spaniard.
"Yew can't do that!" He began pushing through typography; shuffling towards Hurl.
"The darned blue hell I can't!" Hurl howled, using his own colourful prose to form a blockade. Great blue sans-serif type gobbed-out and forced Dali backwards.
"Yew must choose 'Url. Void or Avoid!"
Hurl togged his head up/down, still seeking a — he found it! An actual corner! It went along and up, but — crucially — outward too.
"Three dee!" He shouted in triumph.
"We'll see!" retorted Dali.
Hurl hurried to jamb his fingers into the corner. As they met this new space, they plumped into full reality. It tingled.

Take that, Brog scum!
Surveying the wreck that was once his ship the swab was aghast.
He should have listened to the annoying cat - the  Brog armada was unstoppable. The cracked viewscreen before him  disconcertingly showed the stars of real space in places through the invisible forcefield. It also showed digital and real images of the brog ships jumping through the wyrmhole one by one.

They were jamming his emergency signals to the colony worlds nearest the 'hole exit. 'They were done for,' he thought but at least he would take one enemy ship with him. Ramming speed, reactors to critical - bright orange fireball in the silent void of space. The swab was no more. The brog ship carried on untouched - its force-shield still shimmering aurora-like from the absorbed energies.

Two Cubes
Greatly relieved that the Swab was no longer an entity that needed dialogue, the Cat nevertheless felt a moment of sadness in the passing.Talking into his tall hat, the Cat said, "The brog are here, here be the brog, shake a leg
or they will flog
the dog, a log,
some frog, my blog
even a hog!"
"The moon is ready," came Betty's staticy voice.
The Cat nodded as he tweaked his hat.
"Calling all Brogs! Calling all Brogs!
Nya nya nya nya nya nya. You don't scare me!"
Whereupon he took off with the Brog fleet in hot pursuit.

"Hey honey bunch pants!" The Hurl was saying to Betty. I better play along, she thought, eyeing this facsimilie with some trepidation.
"Hello yourself Sailor Moon Boy," she retorted.
"I'm legit and I'm back from .. that place. You know?"
"Oh, indeed. The French Riviera?"
The Hurl snapped fingers and gleamed, "That's the one. So, what you doing here?"
"Soothing the Moon," she said, apropos. Backing up some.

His fingers found purchase and began to lift.
"A few more whiskeers and all will make nonsense!" Spoke the Spaniard from far too close-by. Hurl put his back into it.
"Fear not, 'Url. I was testing ew," Dali explained.
"You were?" Hurl asked, a little hurt.
"Si, and yew passed! Now, pronto, we must seek Pablo!"
"But," Hurl looked aghast at his fingers, now lifting the corner -
escape so very close.
"We need 'is kubes, thees Revealer has uno grande weakness!"
"Hokay," said Hurl, dropping the corner and following.
"Balls to Picasso!" Shouted Dali.

Picasso induces headache
Picasso was hard to see, his face a mess of angles and squares and eyes in great profusion. It was enough to give Hurl a headache and the brightly coloured jaggedy things did indeed trigger a migraine. 'Damn, you, Picasso, damn you!' blustered Hurl.

End game
Pablo was easy to find. He stood out in that landscape of flatness. Once
updated on the sit, the old lecher proposed a solution.
"I will cube his orbs so that his crotch-power is turned to laughter!"
"Brilliant!" Announced Hurl with a huge grin.
"See, it works already!" Said Dali, grinning too.

Back in the lair, Mu was trembling. Her ex master was unamused by her comings and goings.
"Where have you been Mu?" The Revealer pressed harder on the tongs.

"Here comes the fleet!" Shouted Cat pulling the two dumbos through unlikey spaces.
"Look," exclaimed Pestomisto, "at the Moon."
"Oh yah," observed Optimisto.
"Betty did a fine job with that ointment," finished Cat. "Hurry!"

bend game
Don't look at me like that, Mu, you traitrous thing!
Mu could no longer take the tong torture and spilled the beans.
The Revealer was stunned by the plan to lubricate the moon.
If he did not act quickly all would be lost.

The fleet took up positions around Earth's lotioned Luna.
Hurl and Betty flew away as fast as they could. It was not cowardice; it wasn't even a tactical retreat. There was some fear, they would admit. Their plan was to stymie The Revealer - invading aliens were not catered for at this time, so it was advisable to hightail it back to Earth to consult with other heroes and the UN Special Committee for exo-politics. No doubt there was a contingency plan for just such an eventuality because if there weren't....

Grinning Dali, grinning Pablo, grinning Hurl,
then just grins spreading gently, curling slowly into
a Möbius strip; then the strip eased itself through a few more dimensions, then nothing: to see: here: move along: it was infinite: it : it wis: it's cosmic karmic justice!
And that's enough said!

zend game
 Betty nodded and her chin slipped from her palm.
"Hey gorgeous, my company putting you to sleep?"
She blinked in surprise, wiping her messed milkshake. "Sorry Hurl, I guess I nodded off."
Hurl made as if 'twas alright. "You have a little .. something.." He
pointed to her face.
Betty fumbled her cheek and pulled the saucer from her face, a little blush crept across.
"What was going on a little while ago?" She asked, still lost in deja-vu.

Hurl appeared startled. Betty found it hard to read his face.
'What were you dreaming about?' she said.
'It was you, you had nodded off and a saucer got stuck to your cheek!'
'Oh, is that all?' Betty was reassured.

Mend Game
"Hang on.." They both said in unison. Their surroundings began to scroll and curl. The Möbius strip caught them up and spun into dat space.
"Karma, my hairy ass!" Flat Hurl was saying to Pablo.
"Ooh, ooh, ohh!" Dali was hopping up and down; pointing to the side.

A shadow like a twisted movie-strip-pretzel plunged upon them.

Now, what!
Then ten paces from them it flattened itself out into a dark flat rectangle. The 2 former artists and the 2 superheroes gazed intently at the black rectangle. Then a shape began to coalesce in datspace emerging from the ebon-hued portal.
It became apparent in moments that it was a human - and stark-naked. The human male didn't seem to notice them much and also did not hesitate in front of the dark doorway and filed slowly past them. No sooner had he vacated the spot where he had first appeared when another human form appeared from the darkness - this time it was a naked woman. She too moved off without too much pause. Soon, the group were onlookers at a solemn procession of nudists. Apart from the humans in their birthday suits, a few aliens joined the line. They were dressed though in home-made attire because as everyone knows aliens always go about naked; those who wish to make some sort of statement usually adopt garments for that purpose. These aliens are called 'clothists'.

'What now!' thought Hurl, thinking this was surely the most eventful day or night of his life - whether awake or asleep. At the moment, he could be forgiven for assuming he was dreaming but surely no dream could possibly be this real? After 38  clad and unclad beings filed past them and spread themselves into a line parallel to the doorway, a larger shape emerged behind 2 naked humans who were lifting it from the front - it evidently was a litter covered in ermine which betokened royalty or some VIP. Lifting from behind were 2 fully-clothed aliens. No more sentient beings or anything else came in after that and the black doorway began to twist into the movie-strip-pretzel shape it had had before, and flapped away at some speed.

Pablo began to hop up and down like Dali who seemed to have slipped into some sort of trance which spread a large stupid smile on his face. Hurl and Betty took their eyes off the new arrival and looked quizzically at Pablo - evidently he and Dali knew what they were dealing with here. 'Furioser and furioser,' though Hurl.

                                                                 End of Part 1

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.