023 đź“» We don’t know what we don’t know, but we can know we don’t know.

🚨 Assume there are spoilers everywhere. 🚨

Hello, everyone. I am Ithaka. And this is Sponge, a podcast where we absorb things from creative works and life itself to form a perspective of our own.

The theme for today’s episode is this:

The belief that the acceptance of the existence of the unknowable contradicts reason and logic is one of the most unreasonable and illogical beliefs to cling to. That is something I absorbed from “Dark Covenant” by Peter Luther.

Spoiler alert, my dear fellow absorbers. Spoiler alert. “Dark Covenant” by Peter Luther is a fiction book, and in this episode, there will be mentions of what happens near the end of the book. There will be quotes. If you plan to read “Dark Covenant” and do not want spoilers, do not listen to this episode yet.

And, yes, finally, a version of the opening statement is here. Or, an intro. I think that’s how people usually call it in podcasts, an intro and an outro. But I kinda like calling them “opening statement” and “closing statement.” Sounds so official. Reminds me of my mock trial days. I wasn’t ever very good at it. I don’t know why I thought I might be a lawyer. That period didn’t last that long, but it did exist in my life as a teenager, and I still feel a weird attachment to the idea of opening statements and closing statements. Ah. The delusions that we live through. Me a lawyer. Hilarious!

Anyway, a reminder. The purpose of the existence of Sponge isn’t to provide analysis or formal criticism for a book or an author or a character. Sponge is a collection of my absorption, what I thought and felt during or after consuming a given work in the hopes of sharing fresh perspective with you, and my future self. Because, if I don’t leave a record of this somehow, I will forget. At any rate, I never mention a work here, unless I like it.

So. “Dark Covenant” is a highly intriguing puzzle mystery. And in its case, it isn’t simply in the genre of puzzle mystery. There is an actual literal puzzle within the story.

Now, I am not a reader who avidly tries to solve a puzzle within a story. Even when I read a puzzle mystery, either one with a literal puzzle, like “Dark Covenant,” or one that is in the genre of puzzle mystery, I… I just follow the story. I wait for the characters to solve the puzzle. I do not try to solve it before they solve it, and then try to see if I was right or not. So, I don’t know how readers who are the opposite of me, as in, readers who do try to solve the puzzle mystery themselves, might feel about this book.

However, for me, it was highly entertaining, much fun, very engaging.

And one of the reasons for that was that there was an overarching theme, at least in my mind, that personally interests me greatly these days. And that theme is one that is able to exist independently from the puzzle arc of this story.

Namely, that, the belief that the acceptance of the existence of the unknowable contradicts reason and logic is one of the most unreasonable and illogical beliefs to cling to.

At this point, I will read you the blurb.

Quote, “A vivid novel full of suspense, magic and mystery. In the nineteenth century a sinister publication transformed a disfigured prostitute into a beautiful and wealthy socialite. Now in the form of a glossy magazine it is performing miracles for a lawyer down on his luck.” End quote.

By the way, the author makes the prologue and the first two chapters available through his website, so if you’re interested, you can start reading the book there. I will put the link on the transcript page of this episode.

Okay, so. Suspense. Magic. Mystery. These are the words used in the blurb. The main character is the lawyer, also mentioned in the blurb. His name is Lewis. Lewis, the lawyer.

To the reader, it is abundantly clear from the beginning of the story that the magazine that shows up in the story is no magazine of the mundane world. It has supernatural powers, perhaps even evil powers.

But to Lewis, who, understandably, exists within the story instead of outside of it, and thus, for whom it is impossible to access the blurb and the prologue, doesn’t know that. And not only does he not know that the magazine has supernatural powers, but also, he is distinctly incapable of figuring it out because of who he is.

This, of course, is what usually happens in fiction. There would be no story if Lewis were to immediately accept the supernatural powers of the magazine. Or at least, it would be an entirely different story, and in that case, the magazine wouldn’t be the center of attention.

Do you see what I’m saying? For something to be the center of attention in a fiction story, the character can’t just simply accept it as is. Then there is no conflict. Thus there is no story, at least not the kind that we are used to. And here, by “we,” I mean we in the year 2023 who have been consuming Western-style stories. And by “Western,” let’s just broadly define it as Western-European slash American-ish. Various countries and cultures in this world have their own style of storytelling. The story structure where, at the beginning, there is a main character in a setting with a problem, and the rest of the story is about the main character trying to overcome that problem, and then at the end, the main character either succeeds or fails, is not the only story structure in this world. But I would say it is definitely the most common form of storytelling in the West, in general. And to varying degrees, for many reasons, including war and colonialism, people who aren’t in the West have also become quite used to this type of story structure.

And so, within this structure, for a supernatural magazine to play a big role within a story, the main character, in a way, must not accept it as a given. To a character who simply accepts the existence of a supernatural magazine, said magazine poses no problem. And thus, there is almost no need to talk about the magazine a lot.

But our Lewis isn’t that kind of man. Lewis the lawyer is, as I said earlier, distinctly incapable of figuring out the supernatural nature of this magazine, because of who he is.

He is a believer of reason and logic.

Ah, so alluring, these ideas. Reason. Logic.

Throughout the first half and more of the book, this magazine and other related elements within Lewis’s environment influence his life. Initially, they help him. They help him stop smoking. They help him gain weight. And he needed to gain weight, because he used to be too thin. And they give him tips for the stock market, and they make him rich. Then comes a point where everything reverses.

But there is one thing that doesn’t change. Whether these elements bring with them positive influences or negative influences, Lewis resists the possibility that they have anything to do with supernatural powers, for much of the book.

And initially, I think most readers would agree. Most readers wouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that something supernatural is going on. However, with Lewis, his denial of supernatural possibilities is so extreme that I think—purely as one individual reader’s impression—I think his denial lasts way way longer than the denial of most readers would last. It gets to the point where the excuses he makes become amazing to the point that… wow, it actually would be more reasonable and logical to believe in the supernatural, than to believe his supposed reasonable and logical explanations.

For example, the pages in the magazine keep changing. The images, the photographs in the magazine keep changing. And at some point, hair—human hair—starts falling out of the magazine. And Lewis—he makes up the most creative explanations about how this could be done using technology, instead of supernatural powers. It is only after his girlfriend, named Bernie, suggests that he go see someone from the Church that he goes visit the pastor from his childhood. His girlfriend suggests this, because too much about this magazine is… it’s just inexplicable with modern technology. Lewis resists this suggestion for a long time, but in the end, he visits the pastor.

And even there. Even there. The magazine changes. The photographs within have changed. And, here, I will read a passage from the book about Lewis’s reaction.

At the beginning of the passage, he is talking about a picture of a woman who has been appearing in his dreams, causing nightmares. Her name is Mary Stone. And the magazine’s name is “The Shilling.” Those names are mentioned in the following passage.

“The pages have changed again,” Lewis explained. “She’s pockmarked normally, and her hair’s falling out. I think maybe they’ve developed some computer software that makes the pages change. You have to believe me.”

 â€śShe is an evil woman,” the pastor said.

 Lewis shook his head once more before the statement registered. He turned to the pastor with a raise of his eyebrows. “How do you know?” he asked.

 â€śI know. Put the thing away.”

 Lewis reached for The Shilling but snatched his hand back. Mary Stone, now crater-faced, was snarling and hissing.

 â€śDid you hear that?” Lewis whispered. The pastor nodded, but his face remained impassive. The smell of dog excrement filled the room for a moment like a fog, then retreated.

“Leave it alone,” the pastor said calmly. “It’s excited. I think it’s excited because you’ve brought it here.”

So in this short passage, look how Lewis reacts. He knows Mary Stone’s photograph and other photographs in the magazine have been changing. We know this because he says, quote, “The pages have changed again.” End quote. Again, he says. From pockmarked to not pockmarked, Mary Stone has changed. Her hair fell out but now it isn’t falling out anymore.

And his explanation for that is computer software!

But what is more fascinating is that after he mentions computer software, he says, quote, “You have to believe me.” End quote.

This is fascinating to me. This man, who doesn’t believe in supernatural things, really very much, so earnestly and desperately, needs other people to believe that this magazine is being changed around through some computer software, and not supernatural powers. What an irony that the person whom he needs to believe in his words is a pastor—a man of faith, which Lewis doesn’t believe in.

So, see, this book’s external structure is a puzzle mystery. But the entire time, I was more fascinated by the underlying theme of belief. Belief in science and technology. Belief in good and evil. Belief in what is possible and what isn’t. Also, blindness. Utter blindness to that which exists outside of one’s belief system.

I mean, forget the supernatural magazine. This pastor says, quote, “She is an evil woman.” End quote. And look at Lewis’s reaction. He shakes his head. The statement from the pastor must “register.” And then this guy raises his eyebrows and asks “How do you know?”

It is as if he has no… no sense. He has no sixth sense. And not only that, he doesn’t believe in its existence. Or worse, he isn’t even aware of its existence. It is as if he were to go through the world—the completely non-supernatural, normal world—without accepting that there is such a thing as a first impression. I think at this point in the story, which is quite late in the story, he has reached a point of denial of all supernatural things, that he is behaving as if there exists nothing in this world that cannot be explained through reason and logic. As in, if he were to meet a person for the first time, he would refuse to give a description of his first impressions of that person, because he would argue that it is unreasonable and illogical to form first impressions without a whole measurable dataset about that person.

The belief that the acceptance of the existence of the unknowable contradicts reason and logic is one of the most unreasonable and illogical beliefs to cling to.

I have been thinking about this idea for quite some time, and more consciously so in the past few months. And reading this book, with Lewis as the main character, made me once again think about this topic—this… blindness we put ourselves through, because we are so incapable of seeing what lies beyond our belief system.

I mean, it cannot be helped. If we could easily see beyond something, it would be within our belief system. But we don’t know what we don’t know. So of course we don’t know. You know?

And… by the way, what I am talking about here isn’t to say that you must believe in religion or in good and evil. Gods, no. I do not believe in organized religion of any kind, for what they did and still do to people. I believe in a higher power, but never in organized religion. And I do not think anything in this book, objectively, is about how the pastor, a man of the Church, knows better than Lewis, a lawyer of the secular world. This isn’t about which side wins.

Anyway, I don’t believe in organized religion. Even the most peaceful-seeming religions get corrupt. Even Buddhism has a history of corruption and violence. It is tied to excess and discrimination, depending on which part of its history you look into. It’s because religion is of humans and for humans. Religion isn’t about the God or the gods. What kind of God or gods would need religion to exist? At that point, at the point of such a need, they wouldn’t be God or a god. The only existences that need religion are humans.

That said, human individuals of course can choose to believe whatever they want. But, also, that said, usually religion isn’t about human individuals either. It is a system, and like with all bureaucracies, it tends to torture those who are outside of the system, or, even worse, it tends to torture those who are inside the system and kept inside specifically for the purpose of functioning as the scapegoats.

Which is why I do not believe in organized religion of any kind, even though I believe in a higher force. Or, maybe not higher force. Maybe it’s a broader force. It’s not about hierarchies of who is above and who is below. For me, this belief in a force is simply an acceptance of the existence of things that I cannot know. Of things that I won’t even know that I don’t know.

Lewis, in this scene, not only doesn’t know some things, but also, doesn’t seem to accept that there could be things that he doesn’t know. That is what is so fascinating about him, throughout much of this book.

So, in the same scene, the pastor tells Lewis, quote, “Stop thinking of it as a magazine. It presents itself in a form you can understand, and will take the shape of your desires, or rather the things you think you desire.“ End quote.

For me, this sentence encompasses the core themes that are going on in this book. Of course, what the pastor is saying is also limited by the pastor’s belief system. He views the world through the lens of God and the devil. Which always fascinates me, because, that means you believe in the devil. But anyway, that aside, the pastor, at least, uses this concept of the devil as an all-encompassing bucket for things he doesn’t know about, or doesn’t want to know about, or shouldn’t know about. But Lewis, it seems, doesn’t have this bucket at all. But at the same time, Lewis isn’t unfamiliar that other people have this bucket. Even the most secular people of this world are aware that various religions exist, and Lewis is one of those secular people.

That is why the pastor is basically saying: Lewis, dude. This magazine isn’t just any old mundane magazine. You clearly don’t understand that this whole bucket—summarized as “the devil”—can exist. But you don’t need to fully understand or accept. You know that other people use the devil as a concept to understand what goes on in the broader world. So, despite your unwillingness to directly accept the existence of things you cannot know, you must at least be willing to indirectly accept that others accept the existence of things they cannot know. Because you’re such a mundane, secular person, the magazine is presenting itself in the form of a magazine. That is basically how limited you are.

So. I mean, again, I want to emphasize that this isn’t a criticism of Lewis the character. This is how we all live, to varying degrees. The reason I can see Lewis’s limitations is merely because this isn’t the particular limitation that I have. I am certain that I have limitations that are crystal-clear obvious to others, but ones that I just totally cannot see. It is because I don’t know what I don’t know. None of us know what we don’t know, otherwise we would know. It wouldn’t be what we don’t know.

Anyway, this is a marvelous sentence, this sentence from the pastor. I will read it again.

Quote, “Stop thinking of it as a magazine. It presents itself in a form you can understand, and will take the shape of your desires, or rather the things you think you desire.“ End quote.

This is a sentence that can be expanded to life, in general. Everything in the world can only be understood in the form that we can understand. I mean. Obviously. Self-explanatory. Right?

But, at the same time, simply by adding the possibility of not-understandable things, we can expand our world. We can double it, triple it. We can tenfold it, hundredfold it.

Because, suddenly, that which cannot be understood can exist as a possibility. And thereby, even when we don’t understand it, we can understand it.

Am I making any sense here, at all? I mean, it sounds paradoxical, but doesn’t it make sense?

Think about the huge difference between a person who only accepts the existence of that which can be understood, and a person who also accepts the existence of things that cannot be understood.

Moreover, think about how, under the pretense of so-called “understanding,” the former is actually being… quite unreasonable and illogical. Isn’t the latter, who recognizes that parts of the world cannot be understood, way more reasonable and logical?

Lewis, for much of the story, most definitely belongs to the former category. He does not accept that there can be things that he cannot understand. It is truly quite amazing how he acts and reacts.

Even after this whole scene with the pastor, you know what he thinks? Regarding the fact that he and the pastor have seen the magazine perform different kinds of supernatural magic, Lewis thinks the following, as he drives away in his car.

“Within the small confines of the pastor’s sitting room they had both witnessed the infernal power of this magazine as it plumbed the depths of their consciousness and attacked their senses. The pastor had inevitably explained the experience to himself as a holy fight versus good and evil; it was altogether logical that he would do so, but the fact remained they had seen different things.”

“Different…” Lewis whispered. He frowned as he negotiated a corner. Then, as he straightened the wheel, he smiled and nodded.

 What if the magazine contained an hallucinogen?”

I mean. Lewis. Dude. Come on.

I mean, this reaction of mine doesn’t mean that I would jump to supernatural conclusions if I were in his place. But at some point, trying to find secular answers, especially around a conspiracy, borders on self-aggrandizement. In fact, his friend points this out quite early on in the story. The friend basically tells Lewis, “Dude, who do you think you are that people will go through this trouble for you?”

And yet, Lewis stays clueless.

The belief that the acceptance of the existence of the unknowable contradicts reason and logic is one of the most unreasonable and illogical beliefs to cling to.

It is so obvious that Lewis is clueless, even to his enemies, that in a later scene, when they face off, the enemy says, quote, “Think about it Lewis, you’re a clever man… a logical, reasonable man,” end quote. The enemy says this in an attempt to distract Lewis. These enemies know exactly what appeals to Lewis.

And in an even later scene, Lewis has a conversation with his girlfriend, Bernie. Bernie is aware of everything that’s been going on, and Bernie is the one who told him to go to the pastor.

I’ll read from the scene.

“Lewis, that magazine isn’t natural.”

 â€śI agree. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be explained.”

 â€śLewis, you can’t still believe…”

 â€śIf you showed a man from the Middle Ages television, he’d think you were a demon or something. Agreed?”

 She didn’t answer.

 He threw her a smile. “Agreed?” he asked.

 She looked out of the window, showing annoyance at seeing the lawyer side of him come out. At length she shrugged.

 â€śBernie, it’s just clever technology, that’s all,” he continued, “no matter how they’re trying to dress it up. My guess is that hallucinogen is soaked into the pages of the magazine. Some sort of intelligent drug… the network probably triggers the illusions with a computer program. I should have realized that when they first contacted me on the Internet… when my computer crashed.”

And shortly thereafter, their conversation goes like this:

She thought about this. “Recruit? Why? For what reason?”

 â€śI don’t know,” he conceded.

 â€śAnd what did your pastor say?”

 He waved the question away in exasperation.


 â€śLook, forget about the pastor, that was a stupid idea you making me go and see him. This is a criminal organization we’re dealing with.”

 â€śCriminal? Criminal how?”

Oh, Lewis. See, he should have known right here that something is wrong. I found it hilarious that he told his girlfriend, quote, “that was a stupid idea you making me go and see him,” end quote. And she lets him. That alone, something is wrong. This guy—who did insider trading, fired multiple people at his workplace because of his greed for money, and oh, by the way, got this girlfriend fired from her place of work, got her into trouble, put her in danger—all of that, calls her stupid, and she lets him. Something is wrong.

And, just, in general, you know. Obviously, not all lawyers are like this. But remember that this book, is written from Lewis’s point of view. It’s written in the third person, but as with many modern books, this isn’t third-person omniscient. This is close third person, from inside Lewis’s head. So, when the book says, quote, “showing annoyance at seeing the lawyer side of him come out,” end quote, this is Lewis thinking this. I mean, I believe it is tricky to separate the story from the author fully, but the author isn’t the narrator. The author isn’t the main character or any of the characters. I am going to guess that this line about the lawyer comes from Lewis’s general cluelessness about how other lawyers aren’t all like him. The excuses he makes up are absolutely fascinating. They are why I think this book is about belief and disbelief.

Shortly thereafter, one friend of Lewis’s says, quote, “What I believe is that you’re in serious trouble. This thing with the magazine is all in your head. I’ve been telling you that all along…” end quote.

Indeed, he has been telling Lewis all along, but Lewis wasn’t listening, was he?

He still clings to the reasonable and logical. The thing is, so long as he does this, he will not be able to find an answer.

For example, he doesn’t believe the most simple explanation: his own insanity. This is because the point for him isn’t to find out the truth. It’s to see himself as reasonable and logical. I think this is his goal. Reason and logic themselves are his goals, and that is why he will always have a blindspot that makes him unreasonable and illogical. He won’t be able to understand the most important things. He doesn’t even understand why his girlfriend told him to go to the pastor. And I’m here, as a reader, as a not-religious reader, and even I understand it.

And here is another interesting line. So. The enemies have a whole detailed life file on Lewis. His entire life, including his past girlfriends and the reason they broke up, are in that file. And one of the lines in that file describes Lewis as, quote, ”Interested in history and other forms of escapism.” End quote. I found this description so amusing. This is spot-on. It’s like when a person doesn’t read fiction because they think it’s escapism, but have no clue that nonfiction is just another form of storytelling and that it is also escapism.

I think Lewis probably doesn’t read fiction. I don’t know if there was any mention of him reading a… an actual story. I searched in the ebook version of “Dark Covenant” for mentions of books, and I see the mention of chequebook, booking—as in booking an appointment—leaning against a bookcase, a bookstore, a notebook, a phone book, and there is one instance where he, quote, “went downstairs to the boardroom to collect his books,” end quote. But Lewis is a lawyer and I think the books in this case are related to his cases. So. I might have missed some mentions of books, but still, overall, Lewis is not a person who consumes any stories consciously. He thinks he is this really realistic real person.

You know, this is why I like ebooks. I can look up stuff. Imagine me trying to find all occurrences of the word “book” in a paperback. Impossible.

Anyway, Lewis exists in the trap of reason and logic. And there, Lewis will forever wallow, so long as he clings to reason and logic.

That is the greatest puzzle of all. This is the puzzle of life—that the more we try to find explanations for something, the less explicable the thing becomes. The more lost we get. The more wrong we get.

x x x

The reason I have been thinking about this puzzle, more consciously, in the recent months, is that… Well, maybe I’m just getting old. I don’t know. I wouldn’t say I am objectively and absolutely old, because, folks, let the records show that Ithaka intends to live to be a hundred and twenty years old. That’s right. That’s the number I have in mind.

You know, sometimes it may sound like I am somewhat suicidal, because I do talk about death as a concept, and… I don’t think I would mind death. But I am not actually suicidal. I fully intend to live to be a hundred and twenty years old. So, with that number in mind, I am definitely not old in objective or absolute terms.

However, this sense of “getting old” is also not about… aging in the secular sense. In my mind, there is something youthful in aging. Of course, that perception of the word youthful is also somewhat cliche and secular.

I am not sure if it is possible to fully escape some mundane impressions of youth and age. Because, it is a reality that people are born as babies and die as wrinkly humans. But, what I am saying is that, at the same time, it’s not as straight of a line as the secular world, or the mundane world, or the mass media world makes it seem. Life is never a straight line.

There is youth in aging. It’s not the kind of youth that involves flawless skin and bone growth, but nevertheless, I do believe there is a rejuvenation that happens periodically, for a human, if only the individual would let it happen.

And that is the kind of “getting old” that I think I have been experiencing in the past half a year to a year or so. I am older, objectively, but also, I am youthful like never before. It is because I keep finding new things. These new things, by definition, because they are new, didn’t exist in my life before. But now they are here. They bring with them youth.

And before they were here, I didn’t know they could be here. Never in my life did I dream they would be here. I didn’t ask for them. I didn’t want them here.

But, in hindsight, the reason they could nevertheless be here is this: because long before they arrived here, I accepted that I may not fully know what I want or need.

In hindsight, everything significant in my life has come without reason or logic. For example, I didn’t choose to write because it was reasonable or logical. In fact, it is fucking unreasonable and illogical to choose to write. Like, why don’t I go do something more immediately practical? Why don’t I go save the lives of children who are starving?

And, for some people that might indeed be the most reasonable or logical path and/or the most beautifully unreasonable or illogical path. But the reason or logic and/or unreason or illogic of the world is that everyone has a different definition of reason, logic, unreason, and illogic.

It’s almost as if, so long as we each do what seems the most unreasonable and illogical and yet beautiful in our minds, something worthwhile happens. It’s almost as if the lack of explainability… is that a word? Explainability? Well, it’s almost as if the lack of explainability is the barometer for what to do. If something is inexplicable and yet you want it or need it, then… I think that is usually where the answer lies.

It’s like… it’s like when the love of your life enters through the door. Seriously, are you gonna fall in love because it is reasonable and logical? I should hope, and I think many people would agree with me on this point, that it is actually the opposite. I should hope that you fall in love unreasonably and illogically, and therefore beautifully. Because therein, ironically, lies perfect reason and logic.

Yeah. Even after having said all this, it isn’t easy to follow what is beautifully unreasonable and illogical. It is scary. And I think much of Lewis’s reaction to the supernatural events occurring in his life has to do with fear. It is easier to cling to the explicable, and then to claim that one is acting reasonably and logically. But Lewis isn’t stupid. He also isn’t a person who is false and fake. He knows something is wrong, and that was one of the reasons the book was so fun to read.

This book feels incredibly organic. I don’t know how the author wrote it, but it feels incredibly organic. I really liked it.

Anyway. Beautiful things. They cannot be understood. They should not be understood. Even the terrifying things in life, like this supernatural magazine here, cannot be understood and maybe should not be understood. There is beauty in this magazine. It isn’t beauty that would ease Lewis’s agony, but for the reader, sure.

And going back to the idea of what makes a story possible at all, what makes a problem a problem—truly, the one way out of a story like this is to embrace the possibility of the existence of a magazine like this. Fiction readers and writers know this. This is why I consider storytelling, particularly fiction storytelling, incredibly practical and useful. It’s kinda like how the unreasonable and illogical explanations can be the most reasonable and logical explanations. Just like that, fiction, in its seeming impracticalty and uselessness, is actually utterly practical and useful. This idea of what makes a problem a problem is a tiny example of that. You can choose your arc, basically, in real life, to a surprising degree, depending on what you accept and what you don’t accept.

There cannot be a story arc against that which you accept. This isn’t to say that you should learn to live with whatever is thrown at you in life, but I think, depending on how you use it, it could be a practical tool. It’s sort of like, “pick your battles.” You can’t fight every battle. Choose your arc as if you were the character of a story. Just because some things seem inexplicable doesn’t mean you must fight their existence. There are many inexplicable things in life. Do not deny them. Even the explicable things. Do not deny them. It’s almost… that is the only way you can pick your arc.

Not to say I am great at this. I have wasted much time on many useless arcs, in the past. But I think I am getting better at it. Writing fiction has definitely helped me in real life.

Seriously, I think everyone should write fiction. I never understand how some people think fiction is useless. It is about a thousand times more practical than a so-called self-help book. It’s because writing your own story, even with a fictional character, is way more hands-on than any self-help book can be. Even reading about a fictional character is more hands-on than a self-help book. Reading a book and thinking about it is what I try to do on Sponge. Or watching a movie and thinking about it. Or a comic, or listening to music and thinking about it. It doesn’t matter what the medium is. The idea that ideas can be obtained solely through media that claim they will provide answers is… it is unreasonable and illogical. It is more reasonable and logical that answers will come from inexplicable places, unintended places—because, again, we don’t know what we don’t know… until we do know.

Thank you for listening. If you liked this episode of Sponge, please share it with a human. Technology is a great tool, but let us also do things for and with other fellow humans made of flesh, blood, and bones.

If you would like to find out more about everything else I do besides Sponge, visit ithakaonmymind.com.

Stay true, everybody.

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