What follows is excerpted from pages 150 to 152 of a very long letter to an extremely patient friend.
Hey, you know what else? Man, sometimes it’s fun just to write stuff. Here I am getting all up in my own head about the what and the why, when there are also lots of good reasons for writing that don’t require a lot of reflection. Forget reflection! Forget self-knowledge! ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE AND BAN THE BOMB! Simple as that.
“Oh, I know, let’s all spend a bunch of time pretending we’re serious people.” Nay. A thousand times, nay! Ghostride the whip and fuck the status quo always and forever! All whips should always be ghostrode all the time. I defy you to find a counterexample. An example of a whip that should be corporeally ridden.
But here’s the thing: Ghosts — not real. Such is the paradox of our being. We must ride our whips corporeally. Also, I don’t even know what a whip is.
One time, there was this whip up in Canada, and everyone thought a ghost was riding it. But then some scientists came in and found the truth. “You guys, no ghost is riding this whip; the whip is old and squeaky and these high Canadian winds merely create the appearance of a ghost rider.” All minds were blown and Canada was finally able to join the United Nations.
For you see, the United Nations’ articles of organization contained a very specific and powerful clause prohibiting the admission of ghost nations. Ghost nations, unlike ghost people, are real, and the League of Nations had been undone by its inclusion of Genghis Khan’s empire. So there was a natural concern that if Canada was harboring a ghostridden whip, the ghost rider could have been e.g. an ancient Greek city-state, a druid confederacy, or even an unrecognized ghost micronation located on an offshore drilling platform or defense structure claimed by insane gold-hoarding libertarians.
“Welcome to the United Nations,” Boutros Boutros-Ghali told Canada.
Canada was like, “Our whips are pure and our membership is legit.”
Now here’s another thing. A lot of of people these days are talking like they know what whips are, but really they don’t. My basis for this assertion is that life is better when the very nature of the whip remains ambiguous. Is the whip our darkest fear? Or our wildest desire? Well good luck finding out. What if you were the whip? How would you feel about ghostriding then? Because this is the other thing. You can never know. And not knowing explains so much. “What’s a whip?” Nobody knows. Billions of people — this is how we get along, united, friendly.
Now here’s a thought experiment. What would happen if the whip was a thing we all agreed upon? If ghosts were real and we could ride it. Well, for one thing, you would know how this thought experiment concludes. Because right now: impossible to say.
Set all this aside. Take a moment to look inside your own mind. Clear your mind of ghosts, whips, and the clouding influence of ambition and resourcefulness. These things are the enemy. The truth is real, and it is set before you. Oh shit, wait, there’s a ghost nation. Clear that too. Ghost nations aren’t even an actual thing, I gotta confess, I made those up. Boom. Focus. The letter is over.
The letter is over. And yet life goes on. The world turns and daily new ghosts are imagined to be riding even newer whips. Welcome to the secret cabal. To the inner circle. The secret, my friend, is this: Mankind is both ghost and whip. This is our burden. This is our burden forever. Carry it well.