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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Dave Schuler

I think it's a mistake to conflate “belief” with “uncritical belief”. I agree that uncritical belief is problematic but there's no need to equate that with belief, generally. That's just bootstrapping.

Does anybody really think that minds greater than Wilson's or mine like Thomas Aquinas, Theresa of Avila, or Ignatius Loyola were reflexive uncritical believers? Poppycock.

There are but three things that last: faith, hope, and love. Love may be the greatest but faith and hope are pretty darned great, too.


Dave: you're right -- it's like equating all religion with fundamentalism. There are plenty of people with faith who are thinking searchingly. Often they have gone through a period of doubt, crisis, or faithlessness, and their faith is based on direct personal experience; it is more than conditioned or mental. It's part of "what works." Believing what you have discovered through experience to be reliably true is sanity. Most of the people I am quoting would have no trouble communicating with or mutually respecting a thoughtful believer.


Or am I giving them too much credit?

Jules Cooper

Faith gives us a trajectory into the next moment. When people mistakenly use it to not experience the next moment, it is belief, not faith--it is expectation, not faith. Faith supports us courageously in an existence of unknowingness rather than keeps us blind to our unknowingness. Only the experience of the moment is true and only for the one experiencing the moment and only at that moment. Truth can not be held onto--only experienced--just like love. When we try to "hold on" we defy the truth of our temporary existence or perceive temporariness as threatening and try to make it something
that doesn't disturb us by keeping "the truth" in our purse.


Dittos to Dave on "belief"--my thoughts exactly. Belief can galvanize a mind to search out and understand the consequences and implications of a believed truth. And: "The reason one opens one's mind is the same reason as to open one's mouth: to close it on something solid." -C.S. Lewis.

And: "We have an incapacity for proving anything which no amount of dogmatism can overcome. We have an idea of truth which no amount of skepticism can overcome." -Blaise Pascal, from the Pensées. Pascal on the human condition, truth and subjectivity, uncertainty and the vanity of the times, and faith as an answer to the predicament, is highly recommended reading; especially as edited and annotated by Peter Kreeft in Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal's Pensées.

I read John Gribbin's book on quantum physics, In Search of Schrödinger's Cat. Towards the end, he seriously entertains as a live option the notion that we brought the universe into existence by observing it.


We can't be certain about anything, but we can act as if we were certain. If I thought "maybe god loves me, but maybe not, I'm not sure," I would lose the power of faith.

Even if something that looked to me like god appeared and said "don't worry realpc, I love you and will always help you," that would not result in certainty, because it could be a hallucination or a practical joke.

And even if it really was my god, and really was telling the truth, I still would not have certainty, because maybe he/she/it just loves me today and will forget about me tomorrow.

There is no certainty, but we need certainty. So we have to live AS IF certainty were possible.


Micah, I'm so glad you're here. I hope you stick around.


Thanks. It's been interesting. But now, I'm off on vacation for a couple of weeks, so you're free of my pedantry 'til then. :-)


Have a great time.

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