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After the Golden Age by Alvin Schwartz
Giving a glimpse into the formative years of comics and beyond.

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AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE for 04/10/2006
Vol. 2, #183

Reflections Beyond Reality

The letter purported to come from Superman. What's more, despite the seeming impossibility of the thing, I believe that it really did. I believe Superman actually penetrated that box of mine and left the letter for the same reason that I had come to understand how a living being, a humanoid thought form like Mr. Thongden could enter into and participate in our reality. Since the details of that complex little adventure were so readily accepted by so many thoughtful readers of my memoir, AN UNLIKELY PROPHET, how could I then back off and deny the same capability to Superman?

Here's what happened. I have this small steel-clad personal safe for my special papers, usually locked under my desk. Just a few things in it currently, and there was one more precious piece of paper I wanted to add. I hadn't opened it for a long time, and when I did, I found some typed sheets, yes, standard type, that I not only hadn't put there but were addressed to me and bore a signature that claimed to be Superman's.

Maybe it was. I don't know what Superman's signature looks like. But I also don't know exactly how this solid little mini-safe could have been opened without showing a mark. According to the text on the sheets I found, this self-proclaimed Superman says he simply used his heat vision to melt some rivets, open the box, deposit the papers and then seal everything up as though no one had been there. Was it really Superman? How can I really know? He claimed that distinction; he demonstrated similar capacities -- all out in the open. No attempt to hide anything. Just trying to convince me.

Convince me of what? Hold onto your sense of reality. This was a serious, thoughtful piece. Someone or something claiming to be Superman had used Supermanish methods to penetrate my mini-safe in order to inform me, among other things, that he was a full-fledged, dyed-in-the-wool tulpa, just like the one in UNLIKELY PROPHET. And that he was really Superman as well and he wanted me to know how this had come about. First, he wanted me to accept him as Superman, and then demonstrate how he had taken on tulpa status, explaining that I should understand his singling me out, having written about the tulpa Mr. Thongden in UNLIKELY PROPHET.

Put another way, the pattern of a sentient being or any viable life form can be traced insofar as it functions within a system of inter-relations with other life forms, either by war or symbiosis or simple chemical continuity, that is, you don't just have a chemical sitting off there by itself that chooses to have relations with other chemicals...you really have to have the whole thing first, the completed, unified, inter-related functioning presence. The meaning precedes the definable outcome. There is no man without an idea of the human and no microbe without microbial interaction. We have lived, during the current stage as microbes and humans functioning in ways shaped by often mutant behaviors that keep redefining themselves without pattern or purpose but as events meandering along one track and then another. The tulpa, as we call it, is the only pure, self-expressing life form of all these. It speaks and acts out of a kind of constant self transcendence, free of local bindings, itself, in itself, knowing joy, purpose and curiosity. It is the three points that make a line because two do not.

Listen to what our alleged Superman wrote. "As you seem to understand quite well, a tulpa is a creature created by thought by concentration and by powerful, age-old techniques of the imagination. In UNLIKELY PROPHET your explanations and notions about this kind of thought-created life form were quite accurate and since you already know that, Alvin, you should have no difficulty accepting the fact that I, Superman, whose being and most intimate thoughts and ideas have been molded for so many years by so many different kinds of talented people, (we won't mention the untalented ones and the difficulties they created just now), that, in a sense the Superman character has been as thoroughly the product of multiple and complex forms of imagination and, yes, even meditation. In fact, as you certainly know well, all good writing comes out of a kind of meditation. And as you also know, so do tulpas. What you don't know is exactly how these forces acted to reshape me, a creature of many imaginations, into a tulpa. The answer, as science has lately discovered is "non-locality". Total and infinite connection. Or, self-creation, self-renewing and self detachment. It is Blake's version of Desire, the Holy Spirit.

Superman or not, I was stopped at that one. Holding the sheet with those words in my hand and staring at it and wondering why I knew it wasn't gibberish. But realizing that it had something to do with the fact that two points do not make a line but three do. The tulpa thereby becomes a line and being is now established. That's what I told myself, still puzzled, still certain, and wondering how I knew it.

If I hadn't experienced Thongdon, I wouldn't have had a clue. If I hadn't received a clear conception about how he came into reality, was thought into reality, I wouldn't have been able to think of that third point. It's not like something out of nothing. It's really where everything is.

I never said this was going to be easy. Maybe we should start all over, but from a different angle. In the Bible, the Prophets speak for God and they always, at first, refuse. One even had himself buried in the body of a whale, until, surrendering at last, he became the third point.

Aren't we really talking about Creation?

I looked at the Superman papers again. Was this what he was trying to tell me? Was this why he had planted that letter in my mini-safe? To tell me that creation wasn't evolution; that it wasn't something out of nothing. Nor was it a mere point so much as the third point that formed the line, and thus was the Beginning itself, but not without those two eunuch points it needed to make its thirdness linear.

So, I've got it figured out now. The third point is the realm of the meta-real. In its presence, creation, true creation, an unlimited line reveals aspects of non-locality. From non-locality, that infinite line, C, the third point, desires a world. It is desire. Out of its desire, two points make the line that circles the infinite. To understand this is to be a Tulpa. I think Superman would have had to be one.

I shall have more to say on this subject in the coming weeks. I hope you will too. Especially if you have questions.

--Alvin

<< 02/06/2006 | 04/10/2006 | 04/24/2006 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Round Table.


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