By Tom Schwing, copyrighted by Kalahari Galloway Publishing, all rights reserved.

25 Cents worth of Philosophy. Excerpt from The Pocket Universe Chronicles Expanded.

Glennon and Appleweed at the Godling Academy

          “All right class, take your seats! You there, in the back! Stop that rough-housing and sit down immediately! Books out, pencils out, and pay attention! There will be a quiz people, 20% of your grade!”

          Chalk strikes, like gunshots, ricocheted from the blackboard behind her, chalk shrapnel flying as she emblazoned her name. The day’s lesson plan burst rapid fire from the chalk in her mighty right hand, her arm a blur of efficiency in motion. She’d rolled up the black sleeve on the right, to prevent soiling by the white dust, revealing a forearm more suited for the blacksmith’s forge than the classroom. The mighty nun’s penmanship, even with the humble chalk wand, was like calligraphy.


                                                Sister Ignatius Titanicus


          Glennon and Appleweed took their assigned desks in the front row of Grade One at the Godling Academy. Even the sophisticated Dr. Giahn Appleweed seemed to be intimidated by the force of will calling itself Sister Ignatius Titanicus. He took no advantage of the opportunity to clown around while her back was turned, though his slouching posture behind the desk conveyed his true attitude silently to the rest of the class. Anton did his best to shrink into anonymity, an impossible task, cross-haired as he was, in the mighty nun’s high beam gun-sight at the front of the classroom. A student hasn’t known true intimidation until parked front row center before a nun from the Titan race. They are Authority personified.

          Sister Iggy was seven feet tall, in full force penguin suit habit, jet black with a big white valence, concealing most of her forehead. It looked to be more resilient than stainless steel, and added another foot to her already Titanic height. Razor thin brows were allowed full expression, just under the cumbersome head gear, built in warning flags to the potential victims of her discipline. The full-length habit’s hem just missed the floor, exposing only beefy hands and face to the world, hiding the steel-toed combat boots that Glennon felt sure were under there, ready at a moment’s notice to recalibrate any ass foolish enough to challenge her authority. The headgear framed a fierce red-faced countenance, oddly like one freshly shaved. The stern face commanded attention, thrust through this one lonely porthole of the habit, though true gender was indecipherable on this isolated visual input alone. Save for the title of “Sister”, announcing her name on the blackboard behind her and the only true clue as to her gender, Glennon thought she’d be an excellent candidate for the Marine Corps.

          Glennon’s kindle filled with an explosion of text as Force Ignatius clapped the dust from her mighty hands and directed her attention to the class. Having found himself in the front row seat of his aisle of students, he had no inkling about the identities of the classmates behind him. He noted that the text on the kindle followed the headings of the day’s lesson blazed on the blackboard. He raised his eyes as the Force moved down through the aisle of desks, its shadow eclipsing the text on his kindle as it moved by.

          “Who can give me an example to prove the formula T+E=E? Quickly! Anyone! “Miss Schucman!”

          “A Course in Miracles!” replied a tinny female voice from the back of the class.

          “Correct Helen! Welcome back to class, you seem to have recovered from your exorcism nicely.”

          Anton looked down when the chat signal blinked on his kindle. Seems he was being passed a note from one Father Bernard. G.


            I remember that piece of heresy. It was endorsed for awhile by such revered theological authorities as Oprah Winfrey in the Crazy Years. (LOL)

             Two psychologists playing fast and loose with reverse psychology, using the oldest trick in the book, claiming in the opening pages that the Course was not to be used as the basis for a new religion. Somewhat like CS Lewis encouraging a reader to skip over certain passages, and thereby insuring that it will be read. Like a “Do not Click Here” tag on an internet webpage.

             I have an intuition that ACIM may have started as an intellectual hoax between two pompous psych professors, concerning the ease of firing up a cult in the Crazy times. In any case whatever “voice” Helen was channeling is obviously not of a divine source, considering the fruit produced from that poisonous tree.

            Helen was a classic case of the wide open ungrounded mind, begging for trouble. You know the type, dabbling in religion as a hobby, shopping for the one that suited her best. This too is a classic Screwtape strategy, to keep the patient browsing, making him a connoisseur of churches, and in the process isolating him from any true community of Christians. Of Catholic/Jewish upbringing, Helen was probably the product of religious indifference cultivated to keep the domestic peace, a common pitfall in cross-cult marriages. She told me that she found comfort in the Catholic rituals, but the poor dear never realized that being comfortable is not a spiritual priority. This was combined with a naïve reverence for pseudo science that should be reserved only for mathematics in the search for truth.

            Helen’s state of spiritual idiocy was the classic opening for the Imposter, and he bamboozled her good, once he got inside that wide open door. The demon voice had the poor thing convinced that she had a direct line to the Holy Spirit. She ended up as a raving psychotic. I knew her at Columbia, and I visited her near the end of her life. I have never heard such demonic vitriol as emerged from her near the end. Claimed she was dying because “That damn book wants me out of the way!”

            In any case, any student of Augustine (who himself had fallen prey to the temptations of a freely stampeding philosophy unbridled by faith) could spot the demonic clues that the Imposter can’t resist leaving in his works. In ACIM the work logically implodes in the first exercises; when it reminds the reader to notice that everything in the room around him is meaningless, then to repeat the exercise making sure not to overlook anything in the room. This of course includes the book in his hands. This is one of the T statements that must be culled form the bulk of error written by the Imposter. In this case there is so much error that the effort is null, considering that one can only read so many books in a lifetime. Heads up! Iggy at your 3 o’clock!


          Anton became aware of the shadow again, Sister Ignatius loomed at his side. Don’t call on me, don’t call on me, please don’t call on me…

          Mister Glennon!”

          Shit, he thought. Why does that always backfire?

          “If Truth plus Error equals Error, Mister Glennon, what other knowledge can we glean by transcribing the formula? Is this statement true or false?” The chalk wand chattered in a brief staccato across the blackboard, adding to the original statement.



          Glennon was flustered so he guessed.


          “INCORRECT!” boomed Force Ignatius, causing Glennon to melt into his seat. “This statement is false because it is assuming facts not in evidence. E is always an unknown quantity, a random number at best.” The nun whirled towards the blackboard again, adding a new explosion of shrapnel to the air; a fifty caliber burst this time. The chalk wand had restored itself to full length, having been decimated by her use of it to emphasize her italics on the blackboard.


          (E+E+E+E+E+E+E) X = T


          Glennon’s kindle chat signal lit up once again.


Fifty–fifty chance and you still got it wrong! Nah, Nah, Nah-nana! LOL-Rena.


          Anton felt a flash of memory from the root man’s archive that he still carried within his cranial database. There were two “Rena” entries stored there, one meek and mild, and the other a perpetual scholastic rival, considering it her holy mission to keep him humble throughout his elementary career. His face went from blush to crimson, causing several feminine giggles from the back of the class, and an appreciative snort from Appleweed next to him, so he knew she had sent the malicious note to every kindle in the classroom. He didn’t dare turn his head to see who the giggling offenders were, but he prayed with all the power of his own meager will that Force Ignatius would take his revenge for him.

          Miss Realivitch!”

          Yes, thought Anton, there is a God!

          “Yes, Sister?” Anton was not comforted by the expectant and confident tone of his rival’s voice. So much for vengeance.

          “What is the value of “X” in the statement above?”

          “Experimentation Sister! Namely, the scientific method.” replied the confident voice of the scholarly woman from the back of the room. “Some theological mathematicians postulate that this method, bridled by faith, invokes the variable S.”

          “Well done Rena! Good answer!” praised the mighty nun, much to Anton’s chagrin. “Examples! Hands up please! Mr. Appleweed, what a pleasant surprise, nice of you to join us.”

          “The variable  ‘S’ equals the Serendipity factor, thought to be an aspect of Spirit, allowing Yahweh to calibrate human technology and science for the betterment of mankind. For example the discovery of penicillin as the result of the consumption of old moldy bread by low income peasants, who were kept immune from certain plagues, while the upper class who could afford freshly baked white bread were dropping like flies.”

          “Nice to see all those Cannablend cigars you consume haven’t yet fried all of your synapses Mr. Appleweed.” replied the nun, causing a loud wave of laughter throughout the classroom. Weed glared at the Force, not intimidated, but the hint of a Mona Lisa smile crept into his rebellious countenance nonetheless. He knew it was the closest semblance of a compliment that the likes of him could expect from the Force.

          Sister Iggy returned to the board once again. “So it would seem that we can extrapolate another Theo-mathematical formula as follows.”


          T= F(X) + S

          Where T equals truth, F equals faith, multiplied by X being the quest for knowledge using the scientific method, plus S being Serendipity or a manifestation of Spirit. Any questions class? Yes, Doctor Newton?”

          “I derived all of my conclusions using the formula minus S, and my physics have been a foundation of T for centuries. How do you explain that?”

          “I suppose you scheduled on your calendar an appointed date with a falling apple Doctor Newton?” The wave of laughter rolled through the classroom yet again, reassuring Anton, as misery loves company, and Sir Isaac Newton was certainly an elite partner to have in his humility.

          Sister Ignatius placed the chalk on its shelf under the blackboard, and turned to the class, hands clasped before her, the signal to them to prepare for a lecture.

          “We must never fall into the traps set before the scientific mind by the ancient Enemy, and his chief demon Pride. Should Pride creep into the formula, truth is reduced to mere knowledge, and error than runs exponentially. Under the old Yahweh clock, the human races were allowed to plod along at a toddler’s pace. Consider the alchemists, misguided in their quest by greed, squandering their talent and wasting lifetimes. This led to centuries of stumbling through the dark. The truth was found only with calibration as required by Spirit. With Pride running the show, many of the highest caliber minds, having achieved certain glimpses of truth, which are the mind of God, than tended to use this evidence to prove that God did not exist. Yes, Doctor Einstein? “

          “I found zat revelation vas proportional to awe, concerning ze incredible mind of Gott.” said the good Doctor in his meek German accent. “Zee closer I drew to him in my mathematics, zee more I respected him.”

          “Yes Doctor! Exactly!” responded the nun. “Which is as it should be for a good Jewish boy such as you. Having recognized the Grace of your talent, and its Source, the fruits of your work are stipulated. The quest for Truth directed by sincere Faith fine tunes the channel of knowledge that leads to the breakthroughs in science that accelerate the usefulness of man to his Creator. Patience with the pace of time, though not always with human conduct, is an aspect of Yahweh father, yet the history of miracles would suggest that Yeshua Son does not share this aspect. In Yeshua’s kingdom we will not have the luxury of plodding through new dark ages.”


          Sister Ignatius returned to the blackboard and wrote out:



                             Homework Assignment Theological Mathematics 101



          “See your kindles for individual assignments class. I will expect your reports to be handed in complete at the next session. Anyone who hasn’t completed her or his work will be sent immediately to Yeshua’s office, you can explain yourself to him.”

          The bell signaling the end of class rang, tolling as if in a cathedral, and the students began to rise from their desks.

“HOLD IT PEOPLE!” bellowed Force Ignatius, in a thunderous voice. The class immediately dropped to their seats again, frozen at attention. “The bell does not dismiss you! I am the one who dismisses this class!” The mighty nun turned her back to them, leaving them to contemplate this grave transgression, and leisurely began to erase the blackboard. When she was finished, polishing the board with extreme care to its original  perfection, and cutting short their allotted four minute transit time to the next class by half, she placed the eraser on its shelf and turned back to face them.

“Class Dismissed!”

          Glennon and Appleweed joined the bustling herd headed for the door. With only two minutes until he was due in his next class (Demonology 101) he was left with no time to socialize with his classmates, but Rena Realivitch did manage to stick her tongue out at him, just before she disappeared through the door, surrounded by her ever present bevy of laughing and admiring women.

Some things never changed.


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