The Underground Lady [Page Twelve]

The second of the Urges, lives in the space between the floor of my house and the ceiling of the space below.  He crawls around in there all day and all night.  It’s he who makes the squeaking sounds when I step on certain boards.  I swear I can hear him snoring in there sometimes.  He sleeps a lot in the summertime when it’s warm, and that’s why everything is quieter then, but come the cold months he returns to work and at times even gives a squeak when no one’s there.  If I could catch him, I would put him in a cage, to stop all the noise and fuss.  Squeaks don’t mean a thing after all, even in the dark.

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Just because one has a need to believe in a superstition, doesn’t mean that one should.  Most people know this, but they lie when you ask them if they understand.  Those who are open and honest about their superstitions are rare. 

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Notice just because one becomes aware of one’s superstitions as such, doesn’t mean one gets rid of them.  If it were that easy, we would have gotten beyond the deep layers of ancient peasant belief that still bog us down long ago.  On the contrary, there are enlightened superstitious people all over the place.

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Austerity is everything, especially in terms of the past.  Keep as little as possible from history.  Of course, this might still be a lot.

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Eliminate what is necessary until you get down to what is absolutely necessary, and then eliminate what is absolutely necessary until you get down to what is enigmatic, and then eliminate what is enigmatic until you get down to what is necessary but transformed.

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Paradox works best when it’s as dry as a two-ended bone.

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The paradox that everything is in nothing and nothing is in everything, is not as alien as it at first sounds.  We experience the same principle whenever we hear music begin, and play for a while, and then end.

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The everyday is quite spooky, looked at the right way.  But this cannot be done all the time without causing damage to one’s sense of stability in things. 

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We should seek to damage our sense of the stability in things.

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The pagan faith of farmers, the ancient peasant farmers who occupied Europe before the first fall of the empire, was the best faith.  They worshipped the seed, and the horn, and the casting of lots.  And they didn’t trust seers or holy-men too much, only enough to tell them when it might rain or how harsh the winter might be.  These stolid types were replaced by madmen and their mad philosophy.  And this is what we have had—with occasional interruptions of scholasticism and bursts of classical insight—ever since.

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The Underground Lady keeps an “open hearth,” meaning she makes her home available to travelers.  The only rules are: don’t steal anything, don’t stay too long.  This is really what was meant by the old customs that bound guest and host, they were designed to allow for joy on both sides, without too much poking around in its ashes after the fire has gone out.

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The moral law is nothing to nomads—they juggle knives in the faces of others.  But there is a time to leave, and an end to long evenings of demonic entertainment.

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Telling these stories is one thing, being there was quite another.

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