Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002

Dear Mr. W.,

I'm suffering from a bad case of agnosticism. Oh, I felt very clever and smug as I found more and more things to doubt and started to put words like "is" in quotation marks. Too late did I realise that when I took the obvious step of doubting agnosticism itself, I would be trapped in an infinite loop of doubt, forever condemned to wasting everyone's valuable nipple-appreciating time by writing things like that.

At least I think I'm trapped. I could be mistaken. At least I think I could...

Please help!

- H. C.


Dear Doubting Thomas the Tank Engine,

Hey, wait. Here's an idea - go out and get someone to kiss you. Hard. On the lips. It can be a very grounding experience. Trust me.

Descartes was simply insufferable until we dragged him into Madame Thermpierre's Home for Les Femmes Wayward. Lost his wig, as I recall, but never regretted a moment.

Philosophy is a harsh mistress. Starts out with simple ideas and questions, sure, but eventually you've got to tear down thought structures and resist the urge to put up new ones, even those dedicated to tearing stuff down. You think it's going to be simple "isms," but then you're getting into linguistics and Greek wine and paradox... oh, the paradox... and the cosmic chickens. Not as fun as they sound.

Before you know it, you're on the hard stuff... Dig: The ruling principle of reality seems to be Polarity - no dark without light, no good without evil, no sound without silence; it's all a mad zebra tango across the universe, with twisted pairs of opposites defining and delineating each other necessarily. But. If that's true, then Polarity itself has an opposite, which is Unity. And Unity must be just as universal and true as its opposite and so, actually, All is One and there is no separation of entities and no opposite can be found. Which is all pretty Wonderful, in that it makes you want to lay down in bed for a while.