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One and I (prologue)

by Marcus1 

Posted: 11 January 2004
Word Count: 1070

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Thank you to every one who has taken the time to comment on my frirst upload. I have found all your comments extremely helpful and this prologue has been inspired as a direct response to the most common criticisms.

May I also point out that I am dyslexic, so please can people forgive my spelling, and concentrate on the meaning.

More comments will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks



Let us undertake an exercise, an exercise in which we look at two different types of people, a person who is perfect if this is possible, and a person who is dominated by all the imperfections that humans have. Let us build up the perfect person piece by piece, and propose ways in which they can posses perfection, and in a similar way let us also examine the anatomy of imperfection, so then at the end we can see if as people who have strengths and weakness, we can move a little further into our strengths.

When we examine our two people let us be guided by a few principles:

Firstly we will not beat around the bush; with our imperfect person we are looking for an understanding that can lead to an explanation of the ultimate failings of mankind.
In a similar way, in our perfect person we really are looking for nothing less than perfection, we are looking for the greatest person in the universe, and the most powerful set of tools we can conceive of. The reason we are going to adopt this approach is because if we looked for something lesser, we are straight away closing down the scope of our searching, and may therefore miss some possibilities, some of which may prove to be the most powerful of all.
It is also very important that we adopt this approach for the following reason: You may agree that mankind seems to have perfected the art of imperfection, in the sense that he seems to have committed every crime that is humanly possible to commit. Is there any crime you can thing of that has not been carried out? This means that imperfection is an entirely demonstrated phenomenon; people have demonstrated or acted out all imperfections completely, and it is therefore completely seated in reality. Where as if we ask the question ‘has mankind excelled so far in the art of perfection? You may feel the answer appears to be ‘no’. Perfection is not completely demonstrated, and therefore leads one to speculate that maybe there are new and more powerful things to be learnt about it that are not yet commonly accepted. This is precisely why we must look for perfection; to give ourselves the possibility of finding something that although is not demonstrated may actually exist. Let us first see if we can conceive or understand what perfection is like, then and only then we may have a chance of actually demonstrating it, or something nearer to it.
Perfection is still in the realm of our imagination or things we might imagine, so it is here we have to look for it first, before it can be brought into the realm of reality. We must look hard for it in our imagination, as we do not have the luxury of simply following the methods of others who have achieved or demonstrated it, and we must drop any cynicism we may have, as this is new ground for mankind which will not come out easily. We have to tease it out strand by strand and build it carefully piece by piece.
Imperfection on the other hand is very much seated in reality; we can easily go to our own experiences or history for many examples of it. Here we need to understand what causes imperfection so that we can then understand how to dissolve it.

Secondly let us try to make the process as logical as possible so that the steps to our final conclusions are clearly laid out, in this way hopefully our conclusions will be more plausible.

Let us also appeal to our intuition. Intuition can be a difficult thing to work with, as when we look deep into ourselves for knowledge, we may release things that we do not wish to accept, things that we find frightening in their power, and things that we feel are true but cannot proved, as in the case of believing in God. The conclusions we see when we look into ourselves, and wish to keep even though we cannot prove them, will become our faith, nearly every one has at least some faith. Our faith can leave us very open to criticism as we cannot give a reason for our belief other than to say “it is what I feel inside”. Nevertheless let us work wholeheartedly with intuition, let us open our minds to the avalanche of fantastic, bold, unfounded and wild ideas that it can unleash, and then let us have faith in those we feel are true inside of us, so that our faith might afford the opportunity of turning fantastic ideas into physical reality.

Finally let us look to science where possible and see what it has to say about our ideas, be them carefully thought out, or wild and unfounded; let us search through known knowledge to see if there are hidden truths that can bring a deeper insight, understanding, and validation to our conclusions.

So now we are almost ready to begin our exercise, but before we do, we need some names for these people. We will call our perfect person ‘One,’ as he or she is one with everything, and we will call our person full of imperfection ‘I,’ as he or she is only concerned with themselves.

We also need to make the exercise as real as possible, so rather than reading words on a page, let this be the opportunity to be the greatest and the least great person to ever live. As you read the words, the narration will be as if voices speaking from within you, the voices of One and I. Open your self to these people, imagine that they are your own voices inside of you, become them as you read the words, feel them inside of you, feel what it is like to be them, understand how they work, what their worlds are like, and absorb what it is that they have to tell you.

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 18:20 on 11 January 2004  Report this post

Having read the prologue I was left thinking to myself, "what have I just read here?", because it kind of made sense, even though I had no idea what it was the prologue was to. A nice paradox of a prologue you have written.

Then I checked your profile and read the first Chapter to 'One And I', and discovered, as I'd suspected in the prologue, that it was a non-fiction piece. And what a piece of writing. You say forgive your spelling because you're dyslexic, when to me I would never have guessed you were. Your writing style is fluid and is perfectly paced, it's informative and doesn't bog-down with unecessary words, a trait that is to your fortune, regardless of whether you are dyslexic, maybe because of this, your writing flows more smoothly, concisely and feels more natural. In other words, I've never read a piece of non-ficiton with such ease in my life. If only science books at school had been this well written, I may have learnt more than I did instead of less than I did :)

I only noticed a few spelling mistakes, nothing to have you shot for, we all make spelling mistakes, that's why there's a spell checker on Word software, I would be lost without it. I still cannot spell definately correctly, I usually spell it with two 'f''s. Anyway, the meaning of your writing comes across and I can now say that I'm a little closer to understanding this mad world for the better.

I really liked 'the paradox of nothing' explanation. This is a fascinating subject you are writing about, and normally one I would never read about. I cannot fathom some people's negative comments on the first chapter, I can only express that you will forgive some of us for completely missing the point of your writing, and not concentrating on the meaning. After all, it's the combination of words and style that you have composed that make up the meaning of all your expressions. And I for one, hope that there will be many more chapters to follow. Fanrastic stuff.

Steven McNay

Jumbo at 18:42 on 11 January 2004  Report this post

In my opinion, and for what it is worth, this works so much better as an opening section. It lets the reader know exactly what it is you are setting out to demonstrate, and it allows them to have a peek at the method you intend to use.

Now when you move on, I think you will have the reader with you. They won't always be up close, and sometimes you will leave them behind, but you have now provided a map, something for them to use when they feel they are losing you (or, more exactly, you are losing them).

The expression 'we will not beat around the bush' jumps out of the page. Too much of a cliche, perhaps. We will always be direct - may be just as effective.

Can I ask if you have adopted a the formal writing style on purpose? The piece reads like an old fashioned text-book. It has a starchy, almost biblical feel to it. Of course, this may have been a deliberate choice, and I can see that there are arguments that such a style fits with your sub ject matter.

But have you considered writing in a softer, more informal manner? Just a thought!

Hope this helps, and good luck with developing this work further.


roovacrag at 20:36 on 11 January 2004  Report this post
Nothing and no-one is perfect,we all have faults.I liked the beginning ,we will not beat about the bush. Everyone relates to this,perhaps more in the north than the south.
I agree with John write a little softer,better on the pallete,easier to digest.
You write well. XAlice

Marcus1 at 18:05 on 12 January 2004  Report this post

Steven,it seems that this work resonates with you, this is exactly what I am trying to achieve. I am constantly aware that what I write about can be extremely dry for people and difficult to get into, as it can require work on the part of the reader.

This leads onto your cmments John and Alice regarding making things less formal and softer. I absolutely agree with this and I want to work hard to go beyond what you suggest.

By that I mean I must strive to make difficult ideas as simple, easy to read,and interesting as possible, with out actualy missing the core concepts. Failure to do this will lead to a very boring book, success will hopefuly entice people to read bits again to go further into the ideas.

My formal approach is probably much to do with the test books I read, where it is used so that things are set up clearly, otherwise everything can fall apart. I will have to look for an equaly sound approach but yes 'softer'.

Thanks once again

The Walrus at 20:58 on 12 January 2004  Report this post

I'm gonna half agree with Jumbo, yes it works better as an "opening section", but what are we dealing with here? Why are you writing this book? What are you hoping to communicate to your readers? What is the purpose of your writing? I feel this needs to be clearly stated.

Sod the spelling mistakes, if this ever gets to a publisher, that's for them to deal with. As Steven says, "forgive some of us for completely missing the point of your writing, and not concentrating on the meaning". He also adds "Fanrastic stuff", which I wholeheartedly endrose".

Furthermore, I understand and agree with Jumbo and Alice's comments about adopting a softer, more informal approach. Being, a physicist (sp?) this would account for this style - something to work on. This is not a lecture afterall, it is an offering.

Your writing has guts. It has honesty and purity. This has universal appeal.


The Walrus

Jumbo at 09:31 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Dear Walrus

So Sod the spelling mistakes, if this ever gets to a publisher, that's for them to deal with.

May I disagree? Getting any form of writing published is very much a numbers game - and the numbers are stacked against you! For that reason I believe that you should do everything and anything you can to stop your ms being dropped onto the reject pile.

To drop - or not to drop? How much does spelling count in that decision? Who knows, for sure.

We may hope (or argue) that the essence of our book will show through despite our poor spelling - and I suppose we can then add to that: lack of punctuation, bad grammar and poor sentence construction. Perhaps the publisher will sort all of that out for us.

I'm not convinced. But if we remove all of those things (or as much of them as we can) surely we must be reducing the chances of getting the ms dropped onto the reject pile?

Best wishes

John (unpublished - but hopeful)

Fearless at 09:39 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
With all due care and respect, I don't think that the importance of spelling is being underestimated by anyone.

As a poor sap who is a director of a publishing company (business analysis and journalism), I am more interested in the substance than the grammar of the copy. That is my personal preference, but let me put that aside for now, as it is not the same as running a fiction publishing house.

Given that this is, as far as I understand, a site for amateur writers to provide peer reviews, perhaps we can concentrate on developing the substance first, and then move onto the spelling, etc?

Would that not embrace everyone's opinion on the subject?

Yours hopefully,

Someone who may well come to regret making this comment

Jumbo at 09:52 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Tanks for that, Fearless.

This sounds like the start of a Forum Thread - will you - or shall I?



So much for my spelling - Thanks for that!!

Fearless at 10:03 on 13 January 2004  Report this post

you can start a thread if you like, but to be honest, I see the 'process' panning out like so:

1. writer develops idea; works on substance

2. seeks peer review & feedback; develops idea further

3. happy with it, writer then edits copy for grammar, etc

4. submits manuscript, accepted after many attempts

5. editor may change structure; copy editor will certaainly work on punctuation, etc

Now, each writer works in a slightly different style, e.g. some will correct their punctuation, spelling, etc as they go along. Many don't, and leave it til the end. In any case, Marcus is at stages 1/2, so I can understand why Walrus says 'sod the spelling'. I agree.

I now exit stage right, and consider running away from this site.
I thank you.


My apologies to both Marcus and the WW webmaster for my soapbox rant.

Jumbo at 10:30 on 13 January 2004  Report this post

Whatever you do - do not run away from this site!


Account Closed at 10:51 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
I'm lost, what is all this nonsense about spelling. What do people think of the meaning of Marcus' work? That's what I want to know. Don't you people think that he has started to write a profound non-fiction look at the workings of mankind, etc. I think he's done a wonderful job so far, don't change your writing style, you'll be betraying your writing if you do, just keep writing what it is you write and forget about the "spelling", if I hear the word spelling one more time, I'll write a horror story about words that eat their owners!
Give this man some credit, he clearly knows what he's talking about and has the logic and sense to put it down on paper. I like his style, it's very informative and readable and as fascinating as the absolute truth.


dryyzz at 11:18 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
This is not a comment upon Marcus's work but in response to some of the 'spelling' comments. It is down to the writer to get the spelling and punctuation correct. The idea of leaving it to a proof editor to correct is merely saying that the editor is a better writer than the author. This should not be the case and I'll suggest that it hardly ever is.


Terry Edge at 11:19 on 13 January 2004  Report this post

I’m with the Walrus here. Although this is an improvement on your first version, in terms of being a little easier to read, there are still major problems with the Who, What, Why, Where and How of this piece. I feel the main difficulty is with the identity of the narrator. No matter how much you try to disguise him with a soft, reasonable, approach, we know that it is really you, Marcus, telling us all this stuff. And so the question arises, who are you to be telling us what human life is all about? What are you credentials? It’s fine to write speculatively about the big questions of life, but here you are being very prescriptive. The main premise, for example: that there is a ‘perfect’ person and an ‘imperfect’ person, and that we should study each. Sorry, I don’t agree, and you’ll have to do better to convince me that you have evidence that suggests I should. And it’s no good moderating your approach with phrases like ‘if it’s possible’ or ‘you may agree’ – either you have something definite to say or you don’t. Why should I waste my time drifting along with your speculations?

You say you are more used to text books. Well, fine, write a text book. I don’t know much about Richard Feynman’s physics, but at least he had the sense to keep his text books separate from his ‘human’ stories. I loved ‘Surely You Are Joking, Mr Feynman’ because it’s full of brilliant stories of an experimental and laterally minded character getting himself into all sorts of weird situations (e.g. going off on his own when bored at a science convention in Rio, joining a street band, learning the bongos, then parading past the astonished scientists who’d come out to watch the parade). Here and there, he throws in a bit of physics, but mostly to illustrate a story. If we want to learn about his work in quantum mechanics, we’ll need to read his text books (well, I guess also do a science degree first). Crucially, Feynman’s life stories do not ever preach to the reader about the meaning of life.

You sound very sincere, Marcus. But, as Walrus says, I really do think you need to spend more time on working out exactly why you are writing this book, and who it’s aimed at. And a crude, but pretty good, guide here is the question, who would pay money to read it?



I think this would work much better as a fable-like story. You could have two characters, representing 'perfect' and 'imperfect', then show us what they do accordingly. Leave us to draw our own conclusions and/or just enjoy the story. This removes the need for an all-knowing narrator and also gives us some blood and bones for your ideas.

Account Closed at 12:02 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Fables and fantasy are for children, and are works of fiction. This is a work of fact isn't it?, yes I think it is. May I suggest some readers stick to reading a level that best fits their intelligence. Commenting on the spelling as if it's a detractor from this piece is pure ballyhoo. For futher reading, try reading Darwin's The Origin Of The Species instead of the latest Terry Pratchett novel, it may do wonders for your soul. Many of the words used in these 'fantasy' novels do not even exist and a dictionary is rendered completely usueless.


Anna Reynolds at 12:08 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Guys, guys, do calm down. If there's a discussion to be had about spelling and presentation of work, etc, ie. anything that moves us far away from discussing the piece of writing in question, then start that topic in the Forum. It's a good one to debate anyway.

Account Closed at 12:11 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
I wish people would take it to a forum, this is hardly a positive post for Marcus. Such negativity on such a positive piece of writing.


Fearless at 12:47 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Here here

James Anthony at 12:55 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
I haven't read the above comments so I am staying out of any argument which may have ensued.

Right, is this a work of philosophy first? If so, I think that fomatting should be more logical. Read David Hume for someone who can contruct an argument (Treatise on Human Nature is good). If you find this book, or have it, find his refutation of the Ontological Argument (I think it is in there. In short the Ontological Argument seeks to prove the existence of God by definition alone. If God is to be described as the most perfect Being, something is more perfect if it exists than if it doesn't exist. As this piece seems to be along similar lines have a read. It's great fun).

I would also say that as you want to use intuition as a tool then you would first have to justify this logically. TRy to draw a diagram and see which argument relies on what, back as far as you can. Then justify first principles onwards until you get to where you want to go. It seems you realise you need to do this, but I think you can go further back myself.

I like the way this is going and would love to follow it develop. Hope this is of help

KnoxOverstreet at 13:18 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Hi Marcus

I enjoyed this. A good start. It's frustrating not to have the first chapter after getting the idea of what you are going to be talking about, which must be a good thing. I was already thinking of how much Wittgenstein might follow (the perfect dependending on the imperfect etc).

It needs a little tightening here and there (I think you could safely drop to the passive in some places to avoid over use of "if we .." etc), but I look forward to the meaty parts when you have them finished.


Elspeth at 15:03 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Ok, nearly didn't join in this one for fear of attack (I can smell the pitchforks!....)
But hopefully everyone's calmed down after a nice lunch break and all's well.

Anyway, onto the piece. I scooted to the page to have a look at the opening chapter so my comments relate to both sections.

Firstly, Marcus, good for you for tackling a difficult and challenging subject. Bearing in mind that I tend to deal with fiction rather than fact, I'm hardly an authority, but as a general reader I did have a couple of problems.

As others have said, for me it lacks a foundation; something concrete that Joe (or indeed Josephine) Bloggs can relate to and onto which you can build your theory/argument. This doesn't have to be a narrative story (though Paul Coelho at al have used that method with success). It really could be anything. But even with the prologue I still felt as though I was being presented with information or ideas I had no way to access.

I think it might be worth toying with a few ideas to give the reader an indication of why you are writing this, who is it for; and also to clarify some of your references, as others have suggested. Is it meant to be instructional/Self help? Academic/Philosophy?

I do think it's interesting and worth pursuing, but if this landed on my desk as it is, I don't think I'd understand where you're coming from or where you want it to go.

Best, Katie

bluesky3d at 15:13 on 13 January 2004  Report this post
Hi Marcus - From my observations, philosophy and metaphysics is rather under-represented on WW so it's great to see you took the plunge and joined WW.

Also, such topics can provide great inspiration for novelists. For instance Philip Pullman in 'His Dark Materials' took much of his inspiration from both 'new' science and metaphysics.

Who knows - the next best-seller maybe a work of profound metaphysics?

To make your ideas, as accesible as possible, I assume would be you aim? At present, it still has a flavour of an internal discussion with yourself, and somehow this needs to be transcended. I believe that if you can find the right way of getting over profound ideas, simply, there is a market for this genre.

Good luck with your writing - hope to read more soon. You may wish to start a forum discussion on some of the ideas that you are trying to get over.

I, for one, am fascinated by some of the concepts of quantum physics and I am still interested to know whether you found your study of this field affected your philosophical ideas - or whether you see this as entirely separate?

Andrew :o)

Marcus1 at 22:02 on 13 January 2004  Report this post

Thank you every one for all your comments, I have found them all very encouraging; this is because I feel a large spectrum from the negative to the positive is better than all positive comments, when seeking to improve your work.

A lot has been said, with many suggestions I wish to pursue, and with much effort on the part of those who have made them. I thank you for this and ask you to bear with me as I work through them all.

With regard to spelling for what it is worth I would like to add this. I put work up in a state of change; I understand the whole point of WW is to seek improvement by recieving other's views, and this is what I will do until the point is reached where I feel it is as good as I can make it. If at this point I wish to seek publishing, then and only then is this the time at which I will eliminate all the mistakes that I can, and ask somone else to proof read it. If we seek to move forward by taking only perfect steps, we will never take a single step.

Terry please keep it comming, I welcome a hard critical approach. I do feel I must address your question 'who are you to be telling us what human life is all about? What are you credentials'

Firstly Terry I am not telling you what human life is all about, I am simply writing a book, maybe you need to distinguish between these things.

Secondly Terry, my credentials are the same as every other person in the world, I have a mind, I have thoughts, I have freedom of speech, these things both give people the right, and the inclination to write books.

Thank you once again to all those who have made very positive and constructive comments.


Terry Edge at 10:10 on 14 January 2004  Report this post

Well said! You have an admirable attitude in welcoming criticism. Nothing grows without resistance. I fully accept your point about having as much right as anyone else to write about what it means to be human. But I still think you have to be careful to get right the tone of the narrator's 'voice'. It's all too easy to assume an air of authority, especially if one has studied successfully in a particular area. Someone in this thread earlier attacked the intelligence of anyone who likes fables or reads fantasy, as against someone who reads books about natural selection. Apart from the fact that there are obviously many people who read both, within this criticism may well lurk a prejudice that someone with a scientific bent and/or training is in a better position (i.e. is more 'intelligent') to talk about the meaning of life. In the way you've responded to our comments, you appear to be a modest, thoughtful and sincere writer. It may well be that these qualities will manifest more strongly as the piece proceeds. Or it may be that you will include some kind of introduction about where you personally are with all this. All I'm saying is that, so far, there is a danger of alienating your readers through sounding a little airy-fairy rather than well-grounded.

But look at the response this piece has had! You're obviously on to something, Marcus.


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