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.

Let sleeping bears hibernate
by Phil Spickler
14 Jan 2000

Well, hello, fellow listers!
       While the bear sleepeth, I have been asked to intercept any and all
IVy-subscribers list postings and respond as best I can as though it were the
bear himself speaking.

      Recently there was a communication in which someone mentioned that
henceforth immortal spiritual beings (is there any other kind?) could simply
be called by the initials ISB, thus cutting down on extra screen space and
electrons.  One of my worries is that somewhere down the line someone might
make it ISBN, which of course you can find in the front of most books, and
has to do with an international numbering system.   Personally, I would not
wish to rush in where angels fear to tread with any claims about spiritual
beings or immortal spiritual beings, lest the something that is nameless and
formless be relegated to the position of just another identity and all the
upkeep and care that has to be put forth to maintain such a notion.

      It's a lot more relaxed and easy-going and doesn't require any defense
if, when referring to what we might basically be, we either speak in the
negative sense, which is to say what we are not, or just leave it as a very
relaxed nothing or no-one with the potentials to create any identity
imaginable.  So if I were going to attach any names or initials to what I
really am, I'd start off with the initials and say that I am an SOB.  Now
that ought to please at least a few people, and perhaps even act as a right
indication.  Of course, if I were to define that as meaning just "Silly Old
Bear," that probably wouldn't indicate, so we'll just leave it at SOB, and
anything that anyone would care to assign to those 3 letters.

      Some folks (he said, continuing this ramble) occasionally write in to
the subscribers list with something to say, whether it be to protest the
writings and ideas of others, or to possibly come up with something novel or
new, or to make reference to that person who has had more influence in their
lives than any other person may have had for some eons, namely that bad old
redhead L. Ron Hubbard, who will surely only be remembered for having been a
sociopath or psychopath (common definition: someone who likes to hurt people
but doesn't have any feelings about doing so).

      It's possible that Ron will be remembered for more than that,
depending on who's doing the remembering.  In my poor set of experiences, I
have met some people who feel that Ron and his organizations have damaged or
severely harmed themselves and others.  I've known many other people who've
been through an awful lot with Ron, including things that might look harmful
to some people, but who think about their experiences as being extremely
precious and wouldn't have traded any of it for all the tea in China.

      I guess it's all a matter of consideration of what an individual or a
group is willing to experience, and the considerations that are formed about
their experiences.  Folks who consider themselves to be indestructible, real
or imagined, are usually able to regard their lives and the lives of others
with a viewpoint that sees the world and all of its happenings, its comings
and its goings, its pleasures and its sufferings, its very best and its very
worst, as absolutely wonderful.  Folks who consider themselves as being quite
destructible and truly and honestly capable of being harmed take a different
view of the world, its peoples, and its events.  It always seemed to me that
Ron, whether he was at his best or his worst, and his church also, are still
making it possible for those whose tolerance of experience becomes very great
to help fortify that ability.  I use as one of my prime exampes of such a
case Larry Wollersheim, who in response to the worst that the Church, and by
proxy L. Ron Hubbard, could throw at him,  has risen to magnificent heights
of indestructibility and created one heck of a game, which  only the tough
and indestructible can really play at.  (As soon as anyone enters a moral
judgment into life, which is to say "right" or "wrong," what will most
certainly follow is a game, whether anyone is aware of that or not.)

       But in conclusion, it's all by consideration, which as an
understanding yields the power to change one's mind about anything whilst
re-invigorating the potential to be anything and to make things seem as big
or small, as important or unimportant, as serious or non-serious, as joyful
or as unpleasant as we wish to consider them.  Once one's ability to consider
is restored, with it comes all the answer that just about anyone needs to
know as to who or what we really are.

      I'll close for now with the hope that you have either enjoyed this or
not enjoyed it, and that you have the ability to do either one.
     As ever,
        The Silly Old Bear