Here is the thing and the thing is true, which is the thing that I am about to say. Here is the thing that I need to tell you, which is this… There is a world beyond this world; beneath it, above it. …This is what I’m telling you. It’s all so simple now, so easy to see, when you have lived enough things that it is clear to see, an obvious vista rising before you. But then, I wonder — where is the dividing line between wisdom and being a sad maniac, a man wandering, a failed prophet who is also a man in an overcoat, with scraps of newspapers in his pockets? Still I think the things that I am telling you are true.
So then. Heaven, Hell, Middle-Earth. It’s all so simple, obvious. Three places, the world and then the world beyond it and then the world beneath the world. For there could not be just one world, how could there be? Heaven, Hell, Middle-Earth. They rotate, parallel in their tracks, but separate, like items in a display case, with an invisible pole through them, sort of like this–
Like items in a display case, cakes revolving in a bakery display case that you might remember from long ago. Together but separate. You of course will not understand a single thing that I am saying.
Heaven. Hell. Middle-Earth. It is easy to go from one level to another but then it is not so easy to get back. The greatest philosophers and poets of the past have told us these things. Easy, easy is the road to deepest hell, but to rise again, to seek the light, etc. I tell you these things because they have been mentioned before. I am not bringing them up because of bad things that have happened to us. I am not necessarily saying that I am in hell and you are in heaven or anything like that. I bring this up because this is wisdom, wisdom of the past, I mean — I mean, think of Dante, Virgil, of pious Aeneas.
But you will not understand, and yet, the thing, the thing is — what you will remember is the look on my face when I tried to tell you this, like the face of a man in a public square, trying to pass you a hand-bill, and so, you think, where is the nearest trashcan? A disgraceful thing, a shame, this man trying to pass you a hand-bill with information that no one really wants, no one really needs. And so please, where is the nearest trashcan. And then, please, where is the nearest public house, with lights inside and music, and people talking, and anything, if only not to think of these things, which after all are of very little use.
image – U.S. National Archives