Tag Archives: creation

MARK TWAIN: COMMENTS ON THE HUMAN RACE

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Are the comments made about the human race more than 100 years ago by Mark Twain intended to be humorous, sarcastic or serious?

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)  was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called “The Great American Novel“.

“Why was the human race created? Or at least why wasn’t something creditable created in place of it? God had His opportunity; He could have made a reputation. But no, He must commit this grotesque folly–a lark which must have cost him a regret or two when He came to think it over & observe effects.” – Letter to William Dean Howells, 25 January 1900

“As to the human race. There are many pretty and winning things about the human race. It is perhaps the poorest of all the inventions of all the gods but it has never suspected it once. There is nothing prettier than its naive and complacent appreciation of itself. It comes out frankly and proclaims without bashfulness or any sign of a blush that it is the noblest work of God. It has had a billion opportunities to know better, but all signs fail with this ass. I could say harsh things about it but I cannot bring myself to do it–it is like hitting a child.” — Autobiographical dictation, 25 June 1906

“We all belong to the nasty stinking little human race, & of course it is not nice for God’s beloved vermin to scoff at each other… Oh, we are a nasty little lot–& to think there are people who would like to save us & continue us. It won’t happen if I have any influence.” — Letter to William Dean Howells, 2 April 1899

 “Can any plausible excuse be furnished for the crime of creating the human race?” — from The New York Times, “Hartford Museum Purchases Barrels Full of Twain’s Old Books,” July 31, 1997

WISHES

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THREE WISHES

wish is a hope or desire for a thing or person to appear, for an immaterial thing to become real, for a condition to change, or any of an unlimited number of desires for change.  Traditionally, a wish is request from a supernatural being to cause something to be changed or created.  A template for fictional wishes could be The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, specifically the tale of Aladdin, although in the tale of Aladdin the actual wishes were only part of the tale.  Classically the wish provider is often a spirit, Genie or similar entity, bound or constrained within an object, like Aladdin’s oil lamp for example.

In the case of the Magic Lamp, there are several steps to getting your wish fulfilled:

  1. The first step in wishing is to assume or discover that a “supernatural being” exists!
  2. The next step is to assume that the alleged Supernatural Being is LISTENING to your request.
  3. Then, the magical Supernatural Being must have the ABILITY to make the wish become reality.
  4. Finally, the Supernatural Being must actually WANT to make your wish happen for you.

What are the odds that all of these circumstances will ever exist?  You do the math….

However, there are other forms of “wishing” or asking for something from a supernatural being.  The most common kind of “wishing” is prayer.  Another kind of wishing is daydreaming, or imagination or meditation.  Another kind of wishing is figuring out how to make something happen and working hard, and persisting long enough to MAKE it happen!  

This is almost always the most reliable way of making a wish come true.  And, YOU are a Supernatural Being that can make YOUR wishes come true.

—  Lawrence R. Spencer. 2013.