Rewriting Alcott

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

5 a.m. Well, you never know. We struggled, yesterday, and I wasn’t sure how well we had done, but apparently our result was helpful.

I think maybe I’ll skip doing a session today and instead will post, as an interim measure, my rewriting of Alcott’s first ten Orphic Sayings – see if they make anything clear to people. I intend to do all 50 before proceeding to decipher the second 50. At least, that’s the current fantasy, as Ken Kesey used to say.

Orphic Sayings:

A summary of first 50 sayings

  1. SPIRIT.

Listen to the inner voice, and write what you get, because you can live in the spirit and speak directly to the inner soul of others. Clothe your words and your thought like nature, elegantly and simply.

Despite appearances, life is complete and alive and filled with the presence of God. Nature is the expression of divine life. (The 3D world reflects and participates in the nature of the non-3D.)

Science can only see the world of the Dead Present, never the Living Present. We can perceive the living moment only intuitively, never through the senses. Wisdom is not to be found in a materialist conception of reality. Trust the inner voice. Great is the man whom his age despises, for you can be of the herd or you can be an outlier, and only the outlier can remain true.

Praise and blame as little belong to the righteous as to God. Virtue transcends circumstance. Wisdom waits with a long patience; nor working, nor idling with men and times; but living and being in eternity with God. Solitude is Wisdom’s school.

The soul is neither saved nor judged by proxy; she saves or dooms herself. Nobody can sin for another, nor atone for another’s sin. Redemption is a personal, private act. Blessedness consists in perfect willingness. It transcends choice, and is one with the divine will, That is, aligning the 3D will with the non-3D nature is the way to “serenity, triumph, beatitude.”

  1. ENTHUSIASM. Believe your heart; trust her, obey her divine leadings. Let yourself be fired by the flame of enthusiasm, which is the hope of the world, the life of sanctity and genius. Intuition knows where life wants us to go, and will bring us there safely if we will follow it. We tack on reasons – logic – after the fact, to persuade ourselves we are doing things for perfectly logical reasons, but intuition has wrought all miracles since the beginning of time.

III. HOPE. Hope is the prophecy and fulfilment of the soul’s destinies, the thing that brings us closer to divinity. God is our idea of excellence; the complement of our own 3D being, it is something both internal and external, something that is the 3D being and yet also transcends it.. He is also saying that as we aim higher in our self-creation – in our choosing what we want to be – so our prospects expand, and our abilities, and the world we live in. In other words: “You create your own reality.”

  1. IMMORTALITY. You see the world one way, and it conforms to your vision. And then you live in the world you (in effect) have shaped, and in turn that affects how you see it. Until you can believe that you are more than the world you live in, you will not be able to form a conception of life that is equal to its richness, its value. A change of attitudes toward life brings consequences. Only the person who lives nobly can live an everyday life in 3D while remaining aware of and true to non-3D reality.
  2. VOCATION. Engage only in right livelihood. You reform the world by your example, not by your argument, and still less by coercion.
  3. SENSUALISM. He who marvels at nothing, who feels nothing to be mysterious, but sees everything at only the sensory level, lacks both wisdom and piety. Reality is deeper than the senses alone can report.

VII. SPIRITUALISM. The scientific method is not the only way to understand the world. You can come to a profound understanding entirely outside of science, deeper than science, in that it deals with the laws behind the laws. This is not a dead universe of dead matter. Those who approach life and the world in a spirit of reverence, of intense and continuing appreciation, experience life and the world as holy in essence, however difficult or discouraging or even tawdry appearance might be. Miracles are not violation of natural law. “God, man, nature, are miracles.”

VIII. MYSTICISM. One who lives to the soul and one who lives to sense do not live in the same world. How could you possibly? Each lives in the world whose laws s/he can deduce or feel in the heart.

  1. ASPIRATION. We, who are partly of 3D and partly of non-3D, can never be satisfied with our life here, considered as if 3D were all there is, or all that mattered.
  2. APOTHEOSIS. Every soul feels at times her own possibility of becoming a God; she cannot rest in the human, she aspires after the Godlike. Every act of admiration, prayer, praise, worship, desire, hope, implies and predicts the future apotheosis of the soul.


Frank DeMarco, author

Papa’s Trial: Hemingway in the Afterlife, a novel


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