Duncan Blake

January 1, 1997

Post #699 – 19970101

O Magnificent One, Prophet of fabled Hobokra-la, which *is* the Palace of Perfection, and contains *the* Cloister of Consummate Chickens. O Great Guru of Gouda, we beg a boon: Share with us what Pearls of Wisdom Your Blessed Rotundness feels we mere mortals can stand.

We are greatly distressed, and seek to resolve our confusion and ache.

We have waited and waited. We have tried deep Yogic practices, and meditated on the hungry ghosts to whom we could feed our attachments.

O Radiant Master of Ratatouille, this, too, has failed to calm us.

We spent no small time traveling distant existential plains, and e’en yet fantasized about the wonderful and clarifying response we could expect to see when we returned. Alas, no such response was here to be seen, and even such great distance and time has failed to calm us!

The import of the matter has forced our hand; We could hardly hold back any longer. It is *this* which causes us such turmoil and unease:

Some time back, a reader (who shall remain anonymous to protect her from the wrath we are *sure* to stir with this Righteous Rant) wrote to tell Your Largeness of her devotion to You and Your writings. This great devotion, and the rareness of certain of Your magnificent books had lead her to this dire practice: she felt herself forced to STEAL Your books from the LIBRARY, in order that she could more closely devote herself to You and them.

O Great Bagelmeister, how can it be that You have not responded with the ancient injunction:


We have always understood this to be a great tragedy, causing untold harm and the acquisition of much negative Karma, and we remain deeply divided within ourselves, and shaken in our Deli practices.

This act harms many of the un-converted masses, who will thus be deprived of any chance at receiving Your teachings, O Revealed Master, and we humbly seek an expanded understanding of this, our most burning issue.


Random Sig Bagel.

P.S. I found this manuscript stuffed in a bagel, along with instructions to deliver it. While I can’t claim authorship, I must admit to agreeing to all the sentiments expressed here I think I mentioned I had a childhood trauma surrounding a library, and I suspect that is why I was chosen as the one to transmit the message. In fact, this kind of thing makes me *HOPPING* mad Though some have claimed that since I already like to hop (hoppity! hoppity! hop!), and I’m already mad, nobody could tell the difference. Me, I think you could tell….

Now, I have to go and breath in a paper bag. This has all been so traumatic.

Daniel replies:

See, this is why I quit reading those Buddhist texts...you get a little tired, and right away you slip into that horrible style. Worse, you might begin to think you understand the law of causation. Who am I, or you for that matter, to say that by stealing a book from a library the nameless and hypothetical person might not have been playing a part in some chain of events which would lead to a good greater than the transgression? For example: Any book, even one by me, may contain ideas--and suppose some idea in that book was susceptible to misunderstanding on the part of some weak-minded person, which misunderstanding might lead that weak-minded person to some ill-considered action far worse than absconding with a book that no one was all that likely to check out anyhow. People read things and misconstrue them...look at you. So, for all we know, removing the book was an act of virtue, with consequences. Perhaps you, caught up in the succession of events resulting from this action, will undertake to replace the book. Maybe you will replace it, and another with it. Maybe you will make it your life's work to supply many libraries with books they need. Who knows? You might become a peripatetic bodhisattva of literature, a sort of Johhny Applebook. Since you appear to be burdened with guilt-by-association, I suggest your consider quelling your conscience along these lines. Rather than admonish someone, don't you think it's better to take positive action yourself?

(Pinkwater blows across the muzzle of his dharma-six-shooter and returns it to its holster).