unknown 2002, approx 50,000 words, cover art by David Maverick

The Mystical Hologram The doctrine of an eternally recurring universe in which nothing ever changes was taught by the Stoics, but they got it from the earlier Pythagoreans. Compare that with the Zoroastrian doctrine, in which the world also follows a cycle in time, but one in which a great conflict takes place, and after only one pass through the cycle the world is transformed into a completely different state.

In my discussions on the Tarot I make the suggestion that these two ideas may be separated aspects of a stranger doctrine almost impossible to comprehend, but which is incorporated in the Tarot. In this, the world which we experience is an essay which either has failed to attain or is yet to attain its intention. If it can be attained, then it is only on the scale of cosmical recurrence (which transcends time) in which, however, some sort of gradual change can take place. The struggle of human consciousness to 'realize itself' is a small part of this process.

Of course, one cannot be confident that the Tarot is anything more than an arbitrary collection of images, but nevertheless the symbols are there and they can be read in this way, if you pay attention to detail.

Barrington Bayley: "I'm also including two unrelated appendices, if a publisher will agree: GURDJIEFF'S SOURCES and THE PENTAGRAM AND THE PLANETS. The latter is a possible number distribution for planetary orbits. An earlier version appeared in the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) Bulletin some years ago, when I was briefly a member."