From: Grassy (R) (tm) (2:5020/268.99)
To: All
Subj: R.Zelazny
Date: 25 Jul 98 13:23:00

     I have many names, and none of them matter.
     Names are not important.
     To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important.

     A thing happens once that has never happened before.
     Seeing it, a man looks upon reality.

     He cannot tell others what he has seen.
     Others wish to know, however, so they question him saying,
     `What is it like, this thing you have seen?'
     So he tries to tell them.

     Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world.

     He tells them, `It is red, like a poppy,
     but through it dance other colors.
     It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere.
     It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer.
     It exists for a time upon a piece of wood,
     and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten,
     leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand.
     When the wood is gone, it too is gone.'

     Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy,
     like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes.
     They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like
     by the man who has known it.

     But they have not looked upon fire.
     They cannot really know it.
     They can only know of it.

     But fire comes again into the world, many times.
     More men look upon fire.
     After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds
     and the air they breathe.

     They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy,
     while it is like water, it is not water,
     while it is like the sun, it is not the sun,
     and while it is like that which eats and passes waste,
     it is not that which eats and passes waste,
     but something different from each of these apart
     or all of these together.

     So they look upon this new thing
     and they make a new word to call it.
     They call it `fire.'

     If they come upon one who still has not seen it
     and they speak to him of fire,
     he does not know what they mean.
     So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him
     what fire is like.

     As they do so, they know from their own experience
     that what they are telling him is not the truth,
     but only a part of it.
     They know that this man will never know reality from their words,
     though all the words in the world are theirs to use.

     He must look upon the fire,
     smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart,
     or remain forever ignorant.

     Therefore, `fire' does not matter,
     `earth' and `air' and `water' do not matter.
     `I' do not matter.
     No word matters.

     But man forgets reality and remembers words.
     The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem
     He looks upon the great transformations of the world,
     but he does not see them as they were seen
     when man looked upon reality for the first time.

     Their names come to his lips
     and he smiles as he tastes them,
     thinking he knows them in the naming.

     The thing that has never happened before is still happening.
     It is a miracle.
     The great burning blossom squats, flowing, upon the limb of the
     excreting the ash of the world,
     and being none of these things I have named
     and at the same time all of them,

     and this is realitythe Nameless.

     Therefore, I charge youforget the names you bear,
     forget the words I speak as soon as they are uttered.
     Look, rather, upon the nameless within yourselves,
     which arises as I address it.
     It harkens not to my words,
     but to the reality within me, of which it is part.

     This is the atman, which hears me rather than my words.
     All else is unreal.
     To define is to lose.
     The essence of all things is the Nameless.

     The Nameless is unknowable, mightier even than Brahma.
     Things pass, but the essence remains.
     You sit, therefore, in the midst of a dream.

     Essence dreams it a dream of form.
     Forms pass, but the essence remains, dreaming new dreams.

     Man names these dreams and thinks to have captured the essence,
     not knowing that he invokes the unreal.
     These stones, these walls, these bodies you see seated about you
     are poppies and water and the sun.

     They are the dreams of the Nameless.

     They are fire, if you like.

                                              Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light

With   best wishes
Grassy        [Team   -   !]

-*- GoldED/P32 2.42.G0214+
 + Origin: ppp p (2:5020/268.99)