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Penguin ed. 1981 (orig. 1963)

'Live by the foma* that makes you brave and
kind and healthy and happy.'
The Books of Bokonon. I:5
Harmless untruths.*

If you find your life tangled up with somebody else's life for no very logical reasons that person may be a member of your karass.

Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass.

Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
and a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British Queen -
All fit together
In the same machine,
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice -
So many different people
In the same device.

I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be.
And yet, whe i showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, 'I'm sorry, but I never could read one of those things.'
'Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God,' I said 'and, when God finds a minute, I'm sure he'll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even you can understand.'
She fired me. I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed.
She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing, [writes Bokonon].

All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.

Likes and dislikes ahve nothing to do with it.
[pointing to the karass]

Ah, God, what an ugly city every city is!

Around and around and around we spin,
With feet of lead and wings of tin...


Mother, Mother, how I pray
For you to gueard us every day.

You are not dead,
But only sleeping.
We should smile,
And stop our weeping.

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

[is what bokononists whisper, whenever we think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is]
(s.a: 111.22 and 158.04)

I have a kitchen.
But it is not a complete kitchen.
I will not be truly gay
Until I have a

As it was supposed to happen.
(s.a: 147.23 and others --> compare 019.21 - as it was meant to happen!)

A true duprass can't be invaded, not even by children born of such a union.

If you wish to study a granfalloon,
just remove the skin of a toy balloon.

Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn't have the slightest idea what's really going on.
[as according to the suggestion of Jesus:
Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's]

'Papa' Monzano, he's so very bad,
But without bad 'Papa' I would be so sad;
Because without 'Papa's' badness,
Tell me, if you would,
How could wicked old Bokonon
Ever, ever look so good?

When I was young,
I was so gay and mean,
And I drank and chased the girls
Just like young St Augustine.
Saint Augustine,
He got to be a saint.
So, if I get to be one, also,
Please, Mama, don't you faint.

A fish picked up
By the angry sea,
I gasped on land,
and I became me.

Be like a baby,
The Bible say,
So I stay like a baby
To this very day.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Shining in the sky so bright,
Like a tea tray in the night,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

Tsvent-kiul, tsvent-kiul, lett-pool store,
Ko jy tsvantoor bat voo yore.
Put-shinik on lo sheezo brath,
Kom oon teetron on lo nath,
Tsvent-kiul, tsvent-kiul, lett-pool store,
Ko jy tsvantoor bat voo yore.
-FAMOUS KIDSSONG in San Lorenzo dialect

Oh, a very sorry people, yes,
Did I find here.
Oh, they had no music,
And they had no beer.
And, oh, everywhere
Where they tried to perch
Belonged to Castle Sugar, Incorporated,
Or the Catholic church.

082.31 + 083.00
I wanted all things
To seem to make some sense,
So we all could be happy, yes,
Instead of tense.

And I made up lies
So that they all fit nice,
And I made this sad world
A par-a-dise.

Oh, ours is a land
Where the living is grand,
And the men are as fearless as sharks;
The women are pure,
And we always are sure
That our children will all toe their marks.
San, San-Lo-ren-zo!
What a rich, lucky island are we!
Our enemies quail,
For they know tehy will fail
Against people so reverent and free.
melodie of: 'Home on the Range'
words by: Lionel Boyd Johnson (Bokonon)

Mona has the simplicity of the all.

[San Lorenzon word for: hook]

Hoon-yera Mora-toorz
[San Lorenzon word for: 100 martyrs]

So I said good-bye to government,
And i gave my reason:
That a really good religion
Is a form of treason.

See the cat? See the cradle?
(s.a 115.30)

Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder, 'Why, why, why ?'
Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.


So I asked Julian Castle what zah-mah-ki-bo meant. (…)
'Fate – inevitable destiny.“

I learned some things, but they were scarcely helpful. I learned of the Bokonoist cosmogony, for instance, wherein Borasisi, the sun, held Pabu, the moon, in his arms, and hoped that Pabu would bear him a fiery child.
But poor Pabu gave birth to children that were cold, that did not burn; and Borasisi threw them away in disgust. These were the planets, who circled their terrible father at a safe distance.
Then poor Pabu herself was cast away, and she went to live with her favourite child, which was Earth. Earth was Pabu's favorite because it had people on it; and the people looked up at her and loved her and sympathized.
And what opinion did Bokonon hold of his own cosmogony?
'Foma! Lies! A pack of foma!'

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.

It's not possible to make a mistake
[bokononist greeting towards shy people]

129.30 + 130.00
Sweet wraith,
Invisible mist of ...
I am -
My soul -
Wraith lovesick o'erlong,
O'erlong alone:
Wouldst another sweet soul meet?
Long have i
Advised thee ill
As to where two souls
Might tryst.
My soles, my soles!
My soul, my soul,
Go there,
Sweet soul;
Be kissed.

138.28 – 140.00
God made mud
God got lonesome
So God said to some of the mud 'Sit up!'
'See all I've made' said God, 'the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars.'
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around
Lucky me, lucky mud
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done
Nice going, God
Nobody but You could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have.
I feel very unimportant compared to You
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honour!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
Good night.
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly wait......
To find out for certain what my wampeter was....
And who was in my karass.....
And all the good things our karass did for you.
[Bokononist death rituals – every sentence to be repeated by the dying person]

It is never a mistake to say good-bye.

A lover's a liar,
To himself he lies.
The truthful are loveless,
Like oysters their eyes!

Write it all down. Without accurate records of the past, how can men and women be expected to avoid making serious mistakes in the future?

Now I will destroy the whole world.
[bokononist saying when they are about to commit suicide]

God never wrote a good play in His life.

Sometimes the pool-pah exceeds the power of humans to comment.
[„Bokonon translates pool-pah at one point in the Book of Bokonon as 'shit storm' and at another point as 'wrath of God'.“]


What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?
[fourteenth book]

Any man can call time out, but no man can say how long the time out will be.

History! Read it and weep!

At any rate, it was a strikingly Bokononist speech he gave.
'We are gathered here friends,' he said, 'to honour lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya, children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya died, my own son died.
My soul insists that i mourn not a man but a child.
I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honour and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays.
But they are murdered children all the same.
And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind.
Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should také off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.
I do not mean to be ungrateful for the fine, martial show we are about to see - and a thrilling show it really will be.....
And hooray say I for thrilling shows.
But if today is really in honour of a hundred children murdered in war is today a day for a thrilling show?
The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind.

I was the first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge.
When I felt the bullet enter my heart
I wished I had stayed at home and gone to jail
For stealing the hogs of Curl Trenary,
Instead of running away and joining the army.
Rather a thousand times the county jail
Than to lie under this marble figure with wings,
And this granite pedestal
Bearing the words, 'Pro Patria'.
What do they mean anyway?
-EDGAR LEE MASTERS 'Spoon River Anthology'

What do they mean anyway?
They mean for one's country. Any country at all.
This wreath I bring is a gift from the people of one country to the people of another. Never mind which countries. Think of people.....
And children murdered in war...
And any country at all.
Think of peace.
Think of brotherly love.
Think of plenty.
Think of what a paradise this world would be if men were kind and wise.
As stupid and vicious as men are, this is a loveley day. I, in my own heart and as a representative of the peace-loving people of the United States of America, pity lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya for being dead on this fine day.

If I am ever put to death on the hook expect a very human performance.

In any case, thre is bound to be much crying.
But the ooubliette alonewill let you think while dying.

Don't be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!

165.33 + 166.00
In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in
His cosmic loneliness.
And God said, 'Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the
mud can see what We have done.' And god created every living
creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could
speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and
spoke. Man blinked. 'What is the purpose of all this?' he asked
'Everything must have a purpose?' asked God.
'Certainly,' said man.
'Then I leave to you to think of one for all this,' said God. And
He went away.

Today I will be a Bulgarian Minister of Education. Tomorrow I will be Helen of Troy.

We do, doodley do, doodley do, doodley do,
What we must, muddily must, muddily must, muddily must;
Muddily do, muddily do, muddily do, muddily do,
Until we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust, bodily bust.

Someday, someday, this crazy world will have to end,
And our God will take things back that He to us did lend.
And if, on that sad day, you want to scold our God,
Why go right ahead and scold Him. He'll just smile and nod.

To whom it may concern: These people around you are almost
all the survivors on San Lorenzo of the winds that followed the
freezing of the sea. These people made a captive of the spurious
holy man named Bokonon. They brought him here, placed him at
their centre, and commanded him to tell them exactly what God
Almighty was up to and what they should now do. The mountebank
told them that God was surely trying to kill them, possibly because
He was through with them, and that they should have the good
manners to die. This, as you can see, they did.

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.

Midget, midget, midget, how he truts and winks,
For he knows a man's as big as what he hopes and thinks!

The hand that stocks the drug stores rules the world.
Let us start our Republic with a chain of drug stores, a chain of
grocery stores, a chain of gas chambers, and a national game. After
that, we can write our Constitution.

Well, maybe you can find some neat way to die, too.
-NEWT HOENIKKER [It was a Bokononist thing to say]

If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mountain McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would také from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.

Remarks to the TEXT:[edit]

there are several mixed up citations in there:
sayings from characters of the book
sayings of other people mentioned by the characters of the book
San Lorenzons dialect

calypsos out of the book of bokonon
sayings (single sentences) of bokonon
messages and advices of bokonon
explanation about the cosmogony or certain bokononist rituals (not necessarily a poem or one saying) - also one autobiographical citation out of the book of bokonon --> glossary?? (duprass, karass, granfalloon, boko-maru, foma, wampeter [p 37 & p122], duffle, stuppa [both p 125], sin-wat [p 131], pool-pah [p152], kan-kan [p 7], sinookas [p 10], wrang-wrang, etc...)?