Herb Sonic, the pizza man, was a holy man I met years ago in Boulder, Colorado. His faith in uncertainty and the uncertainty of his faith captivated me, so I began recording our conversations. Here is another of his pamphlets. We previously published his pamphlet on gum in urinals. There you go.
DARE TO BE UNSURE
by Herb Sonic
I’m sure I’m unsure.
What else can a BODY be sure of?
If you’re sure, you’re standards might be low.
If you’re sure, you might be right.
If you’re sure, you might have forgotten to ask why.
If you’re sure, you’ve probably made it up.
If you’re sure, you followed someone else.
If you’re sure, you are more than likely god.
If you’re sure, you read the back of the book first.
If you’re sure, you certainly put too much stock in facts.
If you’re sure, you certainly put too much stock in senses.
If you’re sure, you bore me to death.
In math class we learn that there is a right and a wrong answer. The conditioning is brutally effective. We apply this black and white perspective on everything. But in so doing (by being certain one is right and one is wrong) we forget two important things:
1) Math is a human construction. There is no three in nature. Bird, bird, bird—never three birds. God doesn’t need shorthand.
2) Such certainty doesn’t even work in higher math.
Here’s some math you can be sure of, hang your life upon: THE MYSTICAL FOUR. Please, hold your applause until all of the names have been announced.
Take any number and express it as a word(s). Count the letters. Write that number as a word. Count the letters. Do this until the number repeats itself. It will always end in four. 11 (eleven), 6 letters, 6 (six), 3 letters, 3 (three), 5 letters, 5 (five), 4 letters, 4 (four), 4 letters.
1,542,360 (one million five hundred forty-two thousand three hundred sixty), 54 letters, 54 (fifty-four), 9 letters, 9 (nine), 4 letters, 4 (four), 4 letters. And on and on.
OK, you can agree with me that math is bad or math is limiting (but FOURs are FUN). You hated math anyway. But you still want to be sure.
The quest for sure has led to death and suffering and delusion and sadness and just plain orneriness in people. One wouldn’t undertake a jolly little Crusade unless one was reasonably (READ: unreasonably) certain that the cause was RIGHT or the paycheck GUARENTEED. If one is uncertain, one can be accepting of different beliefs.
Don’t argue your opinion too hard, says the wise man; tomorrow the opinion you argue against may be YOUR OWN.
I saw a show about a beetle that had to do a little dance to mate. Put a stick in front of it, and it would run into the stick and start all over. All over and over, never changing its path. It was sure it was the right way.
It takes guts to be unsure. It is a scarier world when it is laid out bare and unknowable.
What if one and one equals only one and one? What if everything is just a fraction of a one? What if the fraction of a one is constantly changing in relationship with the rest of the one which is also constantly changing so it cannot be assigned a numerical value?
Who cares? Who cares.
***TIP OF THE DAY***
Pronounce all f words with a ph until someone notices.
Come to the House of Herb, if you want. Religious services held irregularly. Bring your
own quotation marks to place around religious.