This is the first chapter of yet another series which I suspect for Mathew Franklin Whittier's pen, in the 1847 "Yankee Doodle," published in New York City. Whereas the series on "NOSE" attempted to explain the importance of intuitive wisdom, or direct inner perception of things spiritual, this one has worldly people suddenly inspired to embark on a quest to discover the root cause of suffering. But all of this is, once again, covered in layers, with the top-most layer being farcical humor.
When I first encountered this series, as I was downloading the photographic pages of "Yankee Doodle" for preservation, I felt intuitively drawn to it. But you see that every proper name is given in caps and small caps, and I was trying to be faithful to this style, while keying them in. It's exhausting, and it reminded me of when I typed a paper for the Physics Dept. of FSU on a Selectric typewriter, which contained 111 equations. I got a blister on my thumb from exchanging the regular type ball, for the symbol ball...
So I really wasn't anxious to key in yet another series, and I just made note of the page numbers. Finally, I came across the introduction to Chapter Five, and I had to admit this was probably Mathew's work. I'm still keying it into the "pos MFW" folder, but I think this is almost certainly Mathew, the philosopher and mystic. At this point, the deeper layer is rising up and overshadowing the superficial humor, so that it is difficult to tell whether Mathew is serious, or not:
Centuries may elapse--ages may expire--philosophers may arise to teach mankind a greeat truth or a great falsehood; yea! even prophets may come forth and unhinge popular belief; new races of the Illuminati spring up like mushrooms among the rotten fungii of orthodox fallacy, and fallacious orthodoxy, before the principles which govern this Society shall fall; before the light shed on mankind shall be eclipsed; before the Nimrods of the present century shall die in the gratitude of liberated humanity!
But Mathew next puts these words into the mouth of an ignoramus, one Alderman Smirk, who heads this Society dedicated to discovering the root cause of humanity's suffering. In other words, Mathew is portraying what ignorant Society does with profound, revealed spiritual truths.
Nothing has changed. The veil of ignorance is just as thick--and I am up against these same characters. Seeing "A Christmas Carol" (or rather, what Dickens did with it), they think it is a ghost story; seeing "The Raven" (as Poe characterized it), they think it is a horror poem. Seeing my claim that I can prove that Edgar Allan Poe stole "The Raven" from Mathew Franklin Whittier, and seeing that I am tantalizing them with three videos showing that proof in an entertaining format, they assume it must, after all, be nonsense, and instead of edifying themselves with the literary discovery of the decade, they spend that hour watching kittens riding great danes on YouTube, or reading what their Facebook friends have said about matters of little significance.
In short, they still aren't listening, and if they listen, they trivialize it.
All that is left to do is poke a little wry fun at the whole thing, and hope that next century, people will be ready to take these things seriously.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Channel Z," by The B-52's,
from the album "Cosmic Thing"