The following first appeared in the private email list IVy-subscribers,
which was available to all those who subscribed to the
printed magazine, International Viewpoints.

The heart of darkness (Part 1)
By Phil Spickler
20 Feb 99

Dear Whatever-you-are-being at this reading,        

The sun appeared briefly in these latitudes, and through a tiny niche
in a rock, and for just a wee moment, a brilliant and focused beam of
sunlight melted the tip of an icicle, causing a drop of water to fall
a certain distance and strike directly on a spot in the center of my
forehead, just above the eyebrows.  This sends a signal to my astral
pager, wherever I am located in this or some other universe, which
sets up a vibratory frequency, letting me know that it's time to pick
up my playing piece on Planet Earth and once again, with the help of
large draughts of alfalfa juice and the loving sweet attention of my
guard sheep, pick up the motor controls of the body and re-enter the

It would seem as though someone, in my absence, using my name and
call letters, has been flooding the Ivy-list with interesting and
sometimes well-accepted drivel.  Please accept my apologies for this
outrage, and know for certain that what follows is the real thing, or
the right stuff, if you will.


Puck, one of the characters from Shakespeare's play _A Midsummer
Night's Dream_, was once quoted as saying, "Lord, what fools these
mortals be!"  I've always liked that statement a lot, and
additionally might add, "What fools these immortals be!" -- and why
not?  They, above all, can afford to be fools, and foolish.  Wiser
heads than mine have said that the fool or the jester is truly the
symbol of wisdom.  I shall not attempt to explain this, but point out
that William Shakespeare, OT of letters, sometimes used jesters and
fools to express thoughts of wisdom that coming from the mouth of
anyone else would have seen them drawn and quartered, n'est-ce

I was recently asked by a jester, "What is the great similarity
between users of the Internet and drivers of automobiles?"  Being
rather thick in the thetan, it took me a few nanoseconds to divine
what this chap was getting at, but then it all came clear.  I shall
say a few words about this, at the risk of boring you, since I know
the speediest among you have already got the message.  But anyhow, I

First off, let's take the automobile; then let's take an ordinary
citizen, someone who's, generally speaking, a pretty nice person,
possessed of a better-than-average degree of intelligence, someone
who is generally polite and helpful and kind to children and stray
pets.  Now let's take this very selfsame chap and stick him into the
driver's seat of an automobile, a mythical car which I will call a
Zoomo-8.  And put this chap into a fairly heavy traffic situation,
and see if it in any way changes our initial view of him.        

Well, for those of you that remember the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde, our former Mr. Sweetheart now looks like this: he's filled with
rage, hatred and frustration.  (He in this case is gender-neutral,
and it could be a gal or a guy.)  This driver is now certain,
absolutely, of one thing -- that he is the best, most knowledgeable,
the most correct driver of all other drivers on the road.  His
thoughts and feelings at times would well befit any normal
psychopath, and his intentions and hopes for other drivers could be
used as models for the best examples of that which is called evil or
destructive purposes.  This chap at times thinks nothing of being
impolite, insulting, excessively competitive, extremely unmannerly,
and most unforgiving, and his like is mirrored by countless other
drivers who, when they're not surrounded by the steel shell of an
automobile with a powerful engine, are actually pretty nice

Similarly, as we now move to our analogy of those of us that inhabit
the Internet, you can take a pretty nice chap who is polite and
mannerly and helpful and of good character, but once this chap finds
him or herself at the keyboard of a computer communicating with other
souls at greater or lesser distances around the world, souls that
seem more like disembodied spirits, people that one does not have to
face in person, people with bodies and lifetimes, people with
feelings, living breathing mortal/immortal folks, one is now shielded
from the direct observation of effect created, and as I have often
witnessed, may engage in unseemly disputes, heavy-handed invalidation
and evaluation, open and unabashed expressions of evil and
destructive intentions, lack of acknowledgment, appreciation and
admiration -- in other words someone who, if you could graph that
personality on the old APA would be down on the left and down on the
right and high in the middle, or in the parlance of ExDn terminology,
an overtly aggressive, out of valence, psycho.        

My dear readers, in the next installment of this bewitching piece, I
shall attempt to further examine the effects of automobiles and the
Internet on the likes of ones such as we to see if a better
understanding of the good and the evil of these devices may be
achieved.  To be continued -- Phil