If you’ve read much fantasy, you’ve probably encountered an item called the “codex.” Broadly speaking, a codex is book or scroll – often ancient – purported to contain hidden (and sometimes not-so-hidden) prophecies and revelations. For example, David Eddings incorporated two codices, the “Mrin Codex” and the “Darine Codex,” into his Belgariad and Malloreon fantasy series, based on the ravings of two not-all-there types whom later generations venerated as prophets. (Amazing how often prophets are depicted as madmen and beggars, isn’t it?)
Well, today we begin the LIS Codex, the very first of its kind. It will be unique in several ways. The first of these is that it will embed contributions from anyone who feels he has something relevant to add that would increase its value, whether as edification, entertainment, or both. Your name or Internet moniker will be attached, that your glory might endure for as long as the World Wide Web shall last.
Second, it will prophesy nothing. We here at Liberty’s Torch don’t claim to know anything about the future. And by the way, neither do you, so don’t give yourself airs if you want your submission to be included.
Third, it will reveal only what you already know…but are reluctant at best to admit. It’s our firm conviction that everyone knows something – usually about himself – that he strains not to think about. Such knowledge is frequently not only what you already know and are uncomfortable to admit, but what you most urgently need to know and ponder.
And fourth…ahh, fourth…this will be the very first codex based on an acronym! That acronym is right there in the title: LIS. It stands for the Big Open Secret, the one everyone knows but few incorporate into their day-to-day decisions:
If you, Gentle Reader, want to submit something for inclusion in the LIS Codex, email us here at the address in the right sidebar, with the subject line “LIS Codex.” Make it brief and punchy; interminable discourses on the abstruse, inchoate, and imponderable, however poetic, will be sent to the Babylon Bee for the editors to satirize.
And with that, consider yourself “in the know!” You’re ready to participate in the ongoing compilation of the least pleasant of all practical wisdoms. But don’t take too long about it. Life is short, y’know. Now, let’s have the gems of uncomfortable insight!
September 21, 2023:
History records no cases in which meek submission has overthrown a reigning tyrant, and none in which insurgents resolved to topple a regime have all left their weapons at home. — FWP
August 16, 2023:
Most people cannot sing. The majority of them sing anyway. This might be through unawareness of their disability, though research continues. — FWP
July 16, 2023:
In practical terms, “civility” equates to domestic peace. — FWP
July 10, 2023:
The masterfulness of English might be glimpsed from how it uses foreign words.
Prime example: Take left and then notice what the words gauche and sinister have meant in English for a very long time. We can’t say we weren’t warned by our forebears. — PF
April 24, 2023:
Rumi says, “Ecstatic love is an ocean, and the Milky Way is a fleck of foam, floating on it.” — Bill St. Clair
April 23, 2023:
Shamelessness manifests in one whose sole god is Power. — PF
You will waste much of your life trying to evade unpleasant responsibilities and defer necessary labors. Everyone does, though that’s not an exculpation. — FWP
The man who praises you to excess probably has his hand in your pocket. — FWP
First impressions need not be forever. Two of the people I most value originally struck me as importunate nuisances. — FWP
Victims of especially severe brain damage excepted, no one’s vocabulary is so stunted that every sentence he writes or utters must contain some form of the expletive fuck. People with that sort of diction are seldom worth your time. — FWP
“Of tastes, there is nothing written.” – The Talmud. There’s no point in arguing with others about their preferred foods, drinks, clothes, cars, pastimes, entertainment, and so on. Still, we do a lot of it, don’t we? — FWP