Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nibbling Mushrooms

I don’t know how old I was when I first read ‘Alice in Wonderland’ but I do know it was only a very few chapters later, when I decided it was a truly silly book. It was too much fiction. Radical fiction. There was just too much nibbling, growing, shrinking, and magical change of venue without adequate movement or explanation.

But then, just the other day, I recalled some rather delightful poetry and word-plays in the book, and the story-teller, word-lover side of me prompted me to re-read the book. It occurred to me that obviously in that first reading, I must have missed something critical, because surely with the staying power of the story over so many years, there must be gems hidden there that sailed well over my head with my first reading.

And so, once again, so many years later, I began re-reading one of the silliest stories I have ever read. And that is when I discovered Marc Edmund Jones’ interpretations of the original book.

The interpretations are wildly imaginative, but imaginative as they are, I find I am in solid agreement with some of the concepts within Marc Jones’ interpretations. And so I want to share with you, extrapolations of what I read.


A few of us live totally balanced lives. The rest of us have an intelligence and nonsense imbalance in our existence. I know I do, and if you read my blog, you also know I do.

Now Mr. Jones conceptualizes that society assumes that greater intelligence equals super-human entities, and lesser intelligence equals sub-human entities. But with none of us truly aware of who we are and why we are here, or even by what authority we should define 'intelligence', can such an assumption be accurately made? Particularly without the carefully conducted research to prove it is so?

Jones further suggests that we have bought into the assumption of who are the super-humans, because the academics say it is so. That leaves him wondering, in his own peculiar way, and I in my own way, how academics have determined without proper research that they have the best of redeeming qualities for the good-life.

Maybe in the context of life superbly lived and quality attained, simpler minds hold the ultimate redeeming qualities. Perhaps if we nibble on enough mushrooms to grow monstrous in our thinking we might come to a different conclusion. And if we keep on nibbling, perhaps we can expand the growth of our thinking enough to avoid the restrictions of material thinking. And perhaps we can even go beyond that to growth so exaggerated that all we can see is the broader spectrum of cosmic dust, evolution of matter, birth, life, death, and ultimately the affluent anti-matter of decay. Do you think then we might reach quite different conclusions about the ‘quality controls’ of lives well-lived?

It’s rather small thinking, it seems to me, that would have us assume that stuffing one’s head with facts about the earth’s radius, distance from earth to sun, speed of light, and factors of compression and decompression are truly conducive to excellence of life and all the apertures thereof. Particularly if the fact is that the excellence of quality we are discussing is more dependent on the simplicity of the beauty of a bird song, a sunset, or a stretch of sand and ocean.


More discussion later? Shall we?


Pauline said...

Roberta - no matter how you look at us (through a looking glass or through a mushroom-induced haze), humans are an odd lot. Who lives a simple life superbly all the time? It is comforting to me that I can read the words of others, filter them through my own experience and either throw the book down in disgust or tuck it away on a shelf for further enlightenment at a future date. Either way, I've been encouraged to think :)

Nora said...

I believe life is made up of simple elements that put together sound complex. If we could but understand them!

Please visit me, Roberta, at my new location:


I've also started another blog to flog a novel that been gathering dust:


Hope to see you there!


Roberta S said...

Great approach there, Pauline. Articulated with finesse as always.

Roberta S said...

Hi nora, glad you're tracking me and letting me know your whereabouts. I have updated my links and --- I'll be watching you!