CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
* The most profound secrets lie not wholly in knowledge, said the poet. They lurk invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning—the seeker's soul. Solitary digging for facts can reward one with great discoveries, but true secrets are not discovered—they are shared, passed on in confidence from one to another. The genuine seeker listens attentively. No secret can be transcribed, save in code, lest it—by definition—cease to be. This Book of Whispers collects and encodes more than one hundred of humankind's most cherished secrets. To be privy to the topics alone is a supreme achievement, as each contains and nurtures the seed of its hidden truth. As possessor and thereby guardian of this knowledge, may you summon the courage to honor its secrets and to bequeath it to one worthy.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost
sense of immediacy. We follow the founder of the Theater of
Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then
flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free. The images
we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]