UNIt I: Intro & Universations 1 - 25


What exactly is a Universation?
The precise definition eludes me, but I can tell you the derivation.
And what might that be?
Universation is an amalgamation of two words: unique and conversation.
Interesting, but can you at least give me an approximation of its meaning?
Simply put, it’s a brief dialogue usually between just two people.
Why no quotation marks?

The differing voices are delineated by alternating black and red type.
Hey, are we having a Universation right now?
Yes, we are. I wondered when you might notice. I thought what better way to introduce Universations to the reading public.
Who are you, by the way?
I am the chronicler of Universations.
In other words, the writer.
I suppose you could say that but as you’ll see as you read them, the material is not that original. The conversations are culled from thousands of years of human history. I just rearranged them.
What’s your purpose in doing so?
How do we know the written records are totally accurate, and even if some are, how do we know their meaning? Context is vitally important in any human conversation. I thought it would be interesting to give the conversations a different slant and a new perspective.

When do we start?
We start with number one.


I walk on water, I heal the sick, I turn water into wine, and I do it all for nothing. Yet, I don’t feel appreciated by the powers that be.
They feel threatened by you.
But I’m harmless. As you know, one of my favorite metaphors of myself is the one of the shepherd leading the sheep. That’s benign enough, don’t you think?
It’s the leadership angle that bothers them. Perhaps you need some new metaphors.
Any suggestions?
Nothing comes immediately to mind, but playing down the leadership bit can’t hurt you. Remember, a dead leader doesn’t do us any good.


If Napoleon can’t do it, who can?


The atomic bomb is an indicator of our superior intellect.
Are there any other indicators?
Of course. Pro wrestling for one and for another satellites sent to Mars.
Is there a chance one day we’ll leave the solar system?
It all depends.
On what?
The superiority of our intellect.


I’m thinking revolution, armed uprising, power to the people, that sort of thing.
I don’t know. You strike me as too mellow a fellow to initiate that level of violent action.

Well, what about that time at the temple?
The exception that proves the ruler.


Have you ever thought about inevitability?
Sure, who hasn’t. But what’s your point?

Simply this. Do you think it inevitable that some poor Asian woman by the name of Sunflower be born in a small village in the winter of 1967?

Do you think that your birth was inevitable? Can you conceive of not existing?
I see your point.


The fire is out. It’s time we hit that dusty road. The stars will be our guide.
How far is the city on the hill?

Farther than the eye can see. But we can make it though the dust will be thick and the wind will blow strong and the rain will not fall.
Poetic license?

Yes, but is license not liberty?


Will the legend grow after I die?
It will multiply and devour the truth.

Who will separate fact from fiction?
Not the wise, not the strong, not the great.
Children will eat the morsels and their fathers and mothers will starve surrounded by meat.
Who will live above the clouds?

he ones who hide behind the rocks.


The battle is not yet lost, but neither is it won.
The greatest battle is within.

But we live outside ourselves and what we are is reflected in the eyes of others.
But we’re not who we think we are.

Does it matter?
Yes and no. What others think we are is merely what we were. A snapshot in the mind is not the reality. We are what we will become.


When I walk upon earth I am walking beneath heaven. Heaven is the silence above me. When I travel to heaven my mode of transportation will be simple. I will walk there. The pull of the earth will push me toward heaven.
Will you return someday?

Only in dreams.


The emperor lives one day at a time.
Isn’t he worried about the decline and fall?

I think he’s more concerned about his lack of proper wardrobe.
He doesn’t seem to be very bright.

But his advisor does.
Yes, that is one bright guy.

Will he become emperor one day?
He’s too smart for that.


What brings you here? A little bit out of the way, isn’t it?
I needed a break from the routine. Too much dust, too much heat, too much sun.
How’s your storytelling going?
Nobody understands them.

They’re not suppose to.
I know, but it might be nice every once in a while to see someone’s eyes light up with understanding.

Too soon for that.. Meanwhile, since you’re here anyway, why not stay and have dinner with us?
Great idea. Say, did you hear the one…


The situation speaks for itself.
We can’t blame the circumstances.

Then whom do we blame?
No one.

Can you blame the impersonal forces of nature?
You can, but what good will it do you?

Are we always searching for good?
Yes, but we have different definitions of what is good.


The wine last night didn’t have its usual afterglow.
You mean you got indigestion? That was probably the stale bread.
The fish was not particularly flavorful either.
An army marches on its stomach.
I thought we were giving up that war talk.
I am, but sometimes I get nostalgic.
What for?
The morning dew on the grass and trees.


How do you balance the slippery slope of freedom with the iron chain of law?
The law is malleable. Some aspects are more enduring than others, but none of it is permanent. But in the absence of freedom, it’s all you’ve got.

Speaking of freedom…
There’s freedom in context. Along the way, if you look closely, there is no freedom. But in the end there is total freedom.

The balance?
There is none. The world shakes and falters, lives, dies, and is reborn a thousand times. It all matters because it can’t be changed. It has to be that way.

Can you prove that?
Of course not.


Language is a barrier to understanding.
You mean a foreign language?

No, any language. Did you ever have a dream that you didn’t remember, but did remember?
You’ve lost me.

You remembered a dream, but not the details.

The details were language, the dream was God.


Have you ever thought about naming a dog?
I’ve named a few.

What gives us the right to name a dog?
Because he can’t name himself?

Maybe he doesn’t need a name. Maybe we need it and maybe we need one for ourselves.


How long has it been?
Almost twenty-two years.

Did you know him personally?
Never met the guy.

Did you know someone else who knew him?

Is that what you base your knowledge of him on?
No, I make it up as I go.


Have you seen any good movies lately?
There’s no such thing.

Come now. Surely your pessimism is not that cosmic in scope.
My pessimism knows no limits.

Not a bad idea, really.

Contemplate your navel. Invest in the stock market. Sail across the ocean. Pull for the Cincinnati Bengals.
And then?
There is no then, there is only now.


We keep building this highway. Surely there is an end to it.
There is no end. It is a road to tomorrow.

Who will travel upon it?
The inhabitants of Fort Worth.

No one else?
It is built for only those who are worthy of it.

A play on words?
As you wish.


Have you ever seen snow?
Only on the top of a mountain.

How close did you get?
I stood upon the top, knee deep in the snow.

Why did you come down?
The air was thin and I had trouble breathing.

Are you doing better now?
Yes and no. I sleep better but my appetite is less.

How do we make contact?
I don’t know.

Where does that leave us?
It leaves us at the beginning.


Sing praises.
To what?

To squash and to wheat, to milk and to butter, to strawberries and to beer.
Do we also celebrate?

There is nothing to celebrate. Celebrate only when the house is finished and is ready for habitation.


People are starving in the streets.
They are also starving in their mansions.

Where is happiness?
Somewhere buried beneath the ocean.

Can we bring it to the surface?
No, it would evaporate.


The ‘seek and you shall find’ speech seemed curiously incomplete. How would you relate it to a post modern audience?
The best example I can think of is the search for free air. Seems ridiculous but many places are actually charging for air.

It does cost a little bit to run the electric pump.
Yes, but whatever happened to good service? It’s important to me that I keep my tires at 32 PSI.

But once you find it, is that the end?
It’s only the beginning.


Who lives?
Who dies?

Who decides?

Go to UNIt II