How Halfway Jumper, or 半跳, Got His Name

10 years before getting his name, Halfway Jumper, or 半跳, had taken the great leap of faith.  So naturally, having lived the life of Torah, he was not surprised that when he awoke one day to find himself dead, there appeared before him a grand luminous stairway arcing up into the heavens.  As he arose, he saw the pious Lubavitchers following Moses up, out of mundane space and time and into the eternal cycle of the jewish year.  As he followed, he could feel himself entering into the company of the entire host of Israelites from all times and places joining the journey.
But even as he saw up ahead a host of glorious, iridescent beings beckoning even higher, a presence stopped him and spoke, “Turn back.  This way is not for you.”  

Turning about in horror, he plunged off the stair and away from the light.  Falling, falling, further and faster into the darkness, he was surrounded by other falling, writhing, tormented souls.  Ahead, he recoiled from fiery, daemonic forms!  Too many snarling heads and terrible limbs flashing with claws and strange implements!  And there!  In that deepest central darkness, a bloody vision of Meggido and the end of all things!

But wait!  Softly behind him, like the impossible echo of a 30 year old memory, he heard the gentle whisper, “Avalokitesvara.”  Spinning about violently, he was transfixed by the the Lady in White beaming down at him.  No, not beaming.  More like, laughing?  Yes, laughing!  Not like a gentle, maternal, empathetic chuckle.  More like bust-a-gut, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, trying-not-to-pee laughing out loud!

  And as her powerful, unrestrained laughter echoed around them, he looked up and saw the entire host of angels and daemons ranged around them in a great celestial sphere, all laughing, laughing, laughing!  Trying to regain her composure, the somehow still perfectly dignified White Lady explained, “Foolish, almost western mortal.  Look about you.  Those aren’t angels and those aren’t daemons, but holy dharma protectors who brought you here by the shortest possible path.  Halfway to Heaven and halfway to Hell, we shall all call you Halfway Jumper, or 半跳.  Now go and preach this dharma.


Gödel and Scalia or Halfway Jumper, or 半跳, in Hell

While traversing that dark, Hobbesian plane, Halfway Jumper, or 半跳, came upon Kurt Gödel and Antonin Scalia engrossed in conversation.

“It has always struck me,” Gödel was saying, “How your Originalism treats the Articles of the Constitution much like an axiomatic set of laws from which all the theorems of political justice could be derived by those principles of reason which are universally accessible to any unbiased person of ordinary diligence and prudence.”

“Yes, indeed!” exclaimed Scalia (May Minos and Rhadamanthus have mercy on his eternal soul!)

“In which case, might we consider your pious Catholic faith to be like an unwritten Axiom of Foundation, which makes the theory teleological?” continued Gödel.

Amen!’ proclaimed Scalia.

“But what, then, of Halfway Jumper, or 半跳?  For, though he is very educated, yet he’s something of an idiot;  though privileged beyond many, yet he is destitute;  though full of Truth, yet he is heard by none;  and, though not exactly dead, yet here he stands before us in Hell.”

The honorable judge’s head spun around and his eyes popped out as if seeing Halfway Jumper, or 半跳, for the first time.  Then, with a flash and a pop! his face shone with the light of Truth, and this is what he said:

Stumbling Toward Meggido Redux or Et Tu Schneiderman?

Et tu, Schneiderman?

Halfway Jumper, or 半跳, and the Yellow God of Wealth

Oh, Halfway Jumper, or 半跳, was so poor!

So, he went to the Yellow God of Wealth and asked “Holy Dharma Protector, how can I attain great wealth?”  

The jolly god laughed and replied “Foolish Halfway Jumper, first you must abandon everything and wander the world like a Jain, then you must seek in the four limitless directions, then, surely, you will find wisdom and prosperity.”  

Overjoyed, Halfway Jumper strode forth proclaiming:

Tsanbala or the Yellow God of Wealth


Physis, Nature, whose deepest secrets were long held by the initiates to the Eleusinian Mysteries, was revealed to far-wandering Odysseus by none other than grey-eyed Athena, herself sprung fully-formed from Nous, the secret mind of Zeus.

She led him to a hidden grove on some ancient Sicilian shore where grew a common plant which could not be plucked from Earth without destroying its roots.

This invisible basis, which mirrors by some unknown algorithm the symmetry of the stem, cannot be seen by the external eye, but only partially and misleadingly reconstructed by the rival arts of Theory and Poetry.

So, too, the Nature of Man, whose hidden inwardness is still fought over by the rival psychologies of the Physicians and the Artists.

Harvard Conversations or Veritas

Tulane Conversations or Non Sibi Sed Suis

Tulane Conversations

* A slightly redacted version of this appeared in the Prolegomena with the title "Vajrasattva or a Crypto-Straussian Lament."

Amherst College Conversations or Terras Irradient!

* Items in red relate to the matter of Autumn Klein ’94 but were not sent to Biddy Martin or the alumni.