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.

'Tis a tale told by an idiot
by Phil Spickler
21 Jan 2001

       At the risk of underestimating some of my audience, I must turn to
Shakespeare and admit that the eternal Bard has certainly provided much of
the inspiration for Idiotology, not to speak of more cognitions about life
than I would care to shake a stick at.  But just in case anyone's forgotten,
how's this for some pretty fancy looking?  "Life's but a walking shadow, a
poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no
more.  'Tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying
nothing."  That's a viewpoint, isn't it?

       To continue my musings that began with my last posting to the fabled
IVy list, I have noticed over the eternities, which can all be found in this
lifetime, that with but few exceptions most folks are not real happy with the
idea that physical death could be the end of everything, including that which
the person thinks of as "I" or themselves.  Even rugged materialists who
scoff at and deny the notion of an ongoing soul or spirit become less than
happy with the idea of such a finality.

       Of course, on the bright side of such an idea, if you really think or
know that you only go around once and that in the fullest existential sense
when you awaken to that fact, this is it!  and like any condemned person or
prisoner, time's running out, and that can serve as a terrific motivation for
really savoring that thing called life and making the most and the best,
hopefully, out of every precious moment and living closer to the idea of
treating each instant of life as though it might be the last and doing
everything in one's power to accentuate the quality of existence, rather than
the quantity.

        On the other hand, there are lots of folks who do believe or know
that there is such a thing as continuing existence that lies outside the
immortality of ongoing reproducing protoplasm, and in some parts of the world
such a philosophy has been accused, mostly by the folk of western
civilization, of being a real opiate to the masses, so that they are not
motivated and inspired to live their hardest in a given incarnation, since
they'll have an eternity of chances to improve and perfect what they are.

       Ah well -- moving on from this point a bit, there does seem to be a
rather widespread and fundamental aversion to the idea of leaving life and
having that be the end of everything.  This extends to wanting to be
remembered after body death, wanting not to be forgotten; and we have but to
look to Egypt and the pyramids to see the extent that some cultures and some
folks have gone to to be sure that they will not ever be forgotten after
death.  And to further assure that their identity will be perpetuated, they
take lots of people and things with them into their gigantic funeral chamber
so that they will continue to be exactly who they are in life after death.

       But there are monuments and tableaux of all sorts in superabundance
around this world that attest to the desire to remain alive after death, even
if it's only in the minds of those that survive us.  I've been working on a
statue of myself for some years now, but for some reason the thing keeps
crumbling and dissolving.  Oh well -- that's what you get when you build with

       The Christians, who make a great deal out of physical resurrection re
the one called Jesus, also try to feel confident and secure in the idea that
following or during the Rapture, all the folks that have properly accepted
Jesus will, with their bodies once again intact, arise and go to Heaven.
But, as Mark Twain pointed out in some of his most satirical and humorous
writings, what kind of heaven is it without sex forever, and where you're
required to learn to play the harp and there's harp music forever, etc. etc.?

       Some philosophers and philosophies claim that the distinction between
the spiritual and the material is false and illusory, and that it's all the
same thing that has simply created itself in such a way as to appear to be
two different and distinct entities.  Hubbard confirms this notion, in theory
at least, in the Axiom of Scientology concerning life as a game in which
theta (or spirit) the solver seeks to solve the problems of theta as MEST (a
word which is four letters for the material universe).

        The idea of life and death being nothing more than an illusion in
which they compose the two sides of a coin, and the coin itself is neither
alive nor dead, is certainly something well within the realm of human
cognition.  It does seem possible, and perhaps John Mace could help us with
this, to become addicted to life and death -- they're both so bloody
attractive, and perhaps a good rundown could be devised, something perhaps
quite similar to a Drug Rundown, but with much vaster implications or
possibilities if successfully delivered.

        But what ho!  I still maintain that avoiding the Void should be our
most proper concern, and I shall continue to worship at the feet of the Great

        With joy and sadness, with sadness and joy --

P.S.  The Life & Death Addiction Rundown is officially minus- OT 10.  No one
who has received this rundown has ever "survived" it.  It's now available, if
Rowland would like to be the first person on Earth to receive it.
P.P.S.  We'll talk price later.