Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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When you mentioned this phrase to me, it permanently entered my lexicon. I think what we need to realize is that people ought to always be committed to the best explanation. But the problem with reverse mystics is that they a priori rule out the possibility that the best explanation might be a metaphysical one.


I couldn't agree more. I can't understand why any hint of the un-explained or unexplainable (ie, "irrational") upsets some people so intensely. Reverse mysticism indeed. Sweeping it all into a neat box called "mere coincidence" or "chance" is not unlike wearing a rabbit's foot. In both cases, the hope is that the unpredictable/unexplained/irrational will either be ineffectual or work in the wearer's favor (ie prove him right).


I like this post. To each his own, i guess. Here's a coincidence... Natalie posted on your own *Oldie But Goodie* post in March. I like that, too :).

sail on

Here's a weird one. The Principal of the school where I work - my boss - has the same birthday as me. (But she's 3 years younger.) Her husband has the same birthday as my daughter.

Oooooooo . . .


i met a girl my age at a Teen Drug Prevention Convention. We each have an older brother the same age, both named David. Both were heavy into drugs, both were diagnosed paranoid schizophrenics and we each thought the world of our big brothers.

My brother survived the *trip* and is whole and well today. Her brother had commited suicide...

Charlie (Colorado)

My unexpected teacher --- like Scott Peck for you above, I think --- was A Course in Miracles, once I got over the Christian terminology. ACiM says that a "miracle is a change in perception". Coincidence, synchronicity, and reverse mysticism seem to me to all be changes in perception that arise from the way we think about the events themselves.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

Amba, I like your Lysol metaphor very much. To extend it a little, there's a theory that modern children who are being raised in an excessively germ-free environment (antibacterial soaps, etc.) are not being given the chance to strengthen their natural immunities. Thus they may become more susceiptible to common diseases. As a parallel, could we theorize that people raised in an excessively rationalistic environment actually become MORE susceptible to the superstitions of our time?


Hmmm. Very interesting proposition.


I would say excessive rationality, (read faux-rationality), is itself a superstition. While some religious folk may believe in certain things for no good reason, and thus are superstitious, reverse mystics reject the possibility of the "supernatural" for no good reason.

As they say, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Besides, science keeps discovering weirder and weirder things, so it seems really bone-headed to proclaim that science justifies living in a sanitized world of what passes for rational among the intellectual elite. These reverse mystics could also be called irrationally "rational."

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