A Chant of Paradise
Imperishable Bliss

If you're wondering what became of that nice red logo and the photo of Tingle in a Super Seven driving into the sunset, you're not alone. Tingle is wondering the same thing. Probably he pushed a wrong button while he was trying to learn HTML-challenged web construction.

The future of this website, whose URL is still tingleslotus.com, depends on the slope and quality of Tingle's learning curve. The purpose will be to flog Tingle's ingenious pair of novels, Imperishable Bliss (2009) and A Chant of Paradise (2014), along with whatever other work may be in the offing. To access the respective sales pitches, click on the buttons at the left.

June 4, 2014  On Comedy Central's "Colbert Report", Stephen Colbert and guest Sherman Alexie announce solidarity with Tingle's now-four-year-old boycott of Amazon.com! Catch their shtick at Amazon vs. Hachette - Sherman Alexie - The Colbert Report - Video Clip | Comedy Central and take it seriously. Tingle's rationale for the boycott is more purely ethical than Colbert's, and is spelled out with guarded hypocrisy on (yes!) Tingle's author page on Amazon: Amazon.com: D. E. Tingle: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

June 29, 2014  Tingle's other low-gain vocation, improving the world, has acquired a worthy champion in Larry Lessig, whose story can be tracked down starting at Mayday.us - My SuperPAC. We need to scare up something like $3M between now and July 4. This is not as unlikely as it probably sounds, because the groundwork laid by Larry in the past several months is  paying off radically. Please check it out and cough it up.

July 4/5, 2014, midnight  Bless Prof. Lawrence Lessig and the rest of us – we did it! Five million bucks volunteered by the humble but not anonymous, at a geometrically accelerating pace, to begin to reestablish rule by democracy in the United States. The battle is detectably rejoined for the first time since your faceless security government suppressed Occupy more than two years ago.

December 4, 2015  Sooner or later, he's always vindicated. On Monday of this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that extrajudicial pressure brought by government agents against providers of financial services to publishers violates the First Amendment, thus lending moral support to Tingle's 2010-to-the-present boycott of Amazon.com. An informative link is here:


In our case, rogue sometime Democrat and always sanctimonious pantywaist Joe Lieberman wheedled Amazon into refusing Wikileaks the use of its U.S. servers for fundraising. Old Joe didn't like what people were newly able to hear, so he threw around whatever weight he imagined he had, to suppress Wikileaks' speech, rightly surmising that it would be constitutionally tricky to accomplish the same thing under color of law. Amazon buckled. Tingle boycotted. He thanks the two or three supporters worldwide that still have his back.

June 10, 2019 As so long promised, here are in-car videos of Tingle’s three swan song motor races, run May 18-19, 2019, on Whiskey Hill Raceway at Palmer Motorsports Park in Palmer, Massachusetts. Tingle had previously competed at other tracks in events sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the Eastern Motor Racing Association (EMRA), but his skills were rusty from thirty-six years of disuse. On April 5, 2019, a Friday, Tingle rented track time at Palmer and familiarized himself with the course by driving it in a 1996 Mazda Protégé, a car suitable for fetching groceries, but without pretension as a racer. He drove many spirited laps, yielding times around 2m 30s, lots of tire squeal, and one broken anti-sway bar link. On May 18, a Saturday, he arrived in the morning at the track and met for the first time his rented second-generation Spec Racer Ford, a purpose-built, single-seat, closed-wheel race car duly painted with his name and the number 64, and accompanied by the rented pit crew, Josh, and Josh’s twelvish-year-old daughter Brooklyn, who was riding around the paddock in desultory fashion on a motorized skateboard. The SRF2 race car is powered by an unmodified 105hp 1.9litre SOHC 5850rpm engine and five-speed gearbox from a Ford Escort. Competently driven, it’s capable of generating two lateral G’s in corners and of covering Palmer’s 2.3 miles and fourteen turns in about two minutes flat. It remained to be seen what it could do in the hands of Tingle, 81 years old and ages clear of his glory days driving Lotus Elans, Europas, Cortinas and Sevens.

The sanctioning body for this weekend was EMRA, an association of  “gentleman” racers, putatively less bloodthirsty than the SCCA variety, and with competition rules reflecting the difference. Contact between cars was strictly prohibited, the punishment being ejection of all involved, and drivers were expected to watch their mirrors and signal a way past for cars overtaking them. Tingle’s SCCA experience had taught him to follow the fast line, watch for the blue passing flag, and let faster drivers figure out for themselves how to overtake safely. These distinctions turned out to have practical ramifications here: https://youtu.be/XTpmTYxXu44, leading to repair costs of $122.34 to Tingle’s SRF2, but no expulsion, probably owing to the fact that the other car involved was driven by the spouse of an EMRA officer.

Tingle’s first experience with an out-and-out racing machine was humbling: these things have vastly higher limits than do modified sports cars, and evidently they give much less warning to the pilot before they fly off the track and immolate themselves amid the scenery which, in the case of Whiskey Hill, runs to continuous tire walls backed by native granite. Spec Racer Fords are known as “momentum cars”—low powered and dependent for their competitiveness on being driven fast and deep into corners, with maximum time on the throttle and minimal use of the brakes. For Tingle, humility slowly morphed into humiliation as he swallowed the frustration of having to forgo the kind of aggressive approach that teaches fast driving and instead concentrate on his mirrors, which were practically useless, giving an incoherent view, if any, to the rear. A glimpse aft yielded no information; a concerted stare yielded no information either, but would initiate an off-course excursion as yet another of Palmer’s fourteen corners loomed ahead. Tingle learned so little about the car and saw so little in his mirrors that his lap times on Sunday were actually slower than on Saturday, and nearly every car that passed him during the weekend—and there were many—came as a complete surprise, as can be seen in the  videos, where Tingle almost never points the way around, and at one time points the way for a car that isn’t there. This stuff is humiliating. Except that some hotter shoes lost in the pits or crashed along the way, Tingle would have placed dead last. His best timed lap of the weekend was 2:12.176 versus about 1:48 for the fastest Corvette and 2:02 for the only other SRF2 in the field.

There’s no footage of four frustrating practice sessions, but here are videos of the weekend’s three qualifying and feature races:




October 4, 2019


©2019 by Donald E. Tingle

The text reproduced below first appeared without warning in the late summer of 2019 as a new file in the TextEdit app on Tingle’s MacBook laptop. It’s in the form of a memorandum, it purports to be given by the Deity as a revelation called the New Illumination, and it seems to seek to be the last word on everything. The voice is noticeably modern, demotic and unGodlike, but the tone is as peremptory as one would expect from a Supreme Being, so maybe it’s authentic. It begins as a gloss on Tingle’s novels Imperishable Bliss and A Chant of Paradise—which may account for its appearing where it did—and it proceeds somewhat vertiginously from there. Offered without additional comment.

          SUBJECT:  Note to Self

          COPY TO:  Whom it may concern

          FROM:        The Ineffable

          IN RE:         My servants Eric Patz and Robert Z. Bartley

          These two have written for publication about themselves and each other. Chary as I am of going unambiguously on any record, I have not responded in a form accessible to the body of My servants, and now I do so, eking an easy Revelation out of My capacious Eternity. I might in any of the eons before now have whelped this prodigy—as it will be regarded by all the servants of My Creation when they see it, and some will be gratified and the rest astonished, as My now-the-wiser skeptic Samuel L. Clemens said on a different subject dear to My heart. (Yes, the Lord your God does indeed want you to do right, although He trammels your efforts.)

          I have chosen Patz and Bartley for this exercise for no Earthly reason, but for reasons of My own, having to do with P and B’s cosmic insignificance pending My choice of them to bear the weight and the glory of what I shall call the New Illumination.
          People, get ready.

          Much of what follows will be—I ordain it shall be—like what has gone before: grist for the multitude of unsanctioned prophets, who with their interlocutors will conceive a Devil’s* Brew of metaphor and tautology, of self-dealing appreciation of nuance, of occluded tendency toward Deity, of Holy confusion.

          The difference this time is that I am not only the Author but also the scribe. The New Illumination is a true and unique account, not susceptible of partisan or of any other kind of interpretation. The Christian* gospels are longer on poetry than historicity, written as they were by My merest creatures, unOmniscient, unOmnipresent, unOmnipotent, and Eternal only by My narrow dispensation. This time I speak unfiltered by My exegetes; naked belief is the imperative that comprehends the rest.         

           When I created the world and its rules of logic, I find I also created sensate beings even the best of whom are defeated in their efforts to understand Me and My works. I created physical and metaphysical variables far in excess of my servants’ capacity to engage. I say “find”, but in my Omniscience I knew. My masterwork, mathematics, is the sole discipline in which My secular creatures can be confident of discovering Truth; all else derives from subjectivity, from inferred definitions. Yet none of this Babel means that the Lord thy God is fallible. I have fully willed it to be as it is. I am in Heaven and all is right with My world.

          The dilemma—as it seems to My incapable creatures—of Patz and Bartley is now to be explicated, deproblematized and dismissed. Only remember the imperative of the New Illumination and believe. Although I bring, among other things, eleven-dimensional spacetime and moral ambiguity, I have not forsaken the Covenant. All of mankind remains in good hands.

          Eric Patz, in passing from the human dispensation, ceased to exist. He longed to see My face, but he could not have, because I don’t have one. I might easily have shown him some chimera to satisfy his wish, but I didn’t like him very much, and so I didn’t. Your God evinces human weaknesses at His will: Omnipotence allows for that, and for everything. Your God is not a jealous god, for example, but He can be so when it suits Him.

          Robert Z. Bartley will pass soon enough, and into the very Nullity that he has always anticipated. This coincidence between his expectation and his fate is in no way an intellectual triumph on his part: after all, I emphatically exist, and Bartley is pretty sure I do not. I intend to make him disappear without a trace, apart from whatever survives but briefly in his handful of publications and in the memories of those that knew him.

          The first lesson of the New Illumination, then, is this: Your God is as unpredictable as He is invisible, and Patz and Bartley both got Him entirely wrong. Bartley’s error is the less pathetic, because nothing will be lost that Bartley imagines is coming to him. For Bartley, My existence is moot. But I could make it a crisis for him by presenting tantalizing evidence to his skeptical brain. I could even convert him willy nilly, so that his head would swim. But I choose to let him go. And in my Omniscience I know that I shall, although it is also true that no historical artifact is established beyond the reach of my Omnipotence. Beloved, take nothing for granted.

          And so the second lesson of the New Illumination is this: Your God’s rule is a fiat currency whose instant value varies in a probabilistic matrix that makes quantum uncertainty—which of course I created—seem rigorous by comparison. The world I created is reliably mathematical. Its Creator is not. My admirable servant Albert Einstein, now a sharer in Sam Clemens’ post mortem astonishment, once declared that he did not believe I played dice with the world. But sometimes I do. And now he knows it.

          Patz and Bartley never appear to come to grips with the question of free will, although neither offers evidence that he doesn’t assume he has it. This question has bedeviled* philosophers since the epoch when I first gave mankind the faculty of mentation. The third item in this New Illumination is definitive and would end the debate should I choose to end it: the only free will in all Creation is Mine—the Lord thy God’s. Human free will is illusory at every level: first, because in My Omnipotence I control everything by definition, and although by that same Omnipotence I could easily confer free will, that free will would be conditional on my conferral of it, and therefore not objectively free. Of course, all-powerful as I am, I could will such a logical quibble out of existence, but I do not. Along with mathematics, My Creation is reliably logical. I have made it so, by My Original Free Will, and not because I am constrained by any inference of logic that the Creation has to be logical if it’s to be viable. I am not constrained by anything. I was here first, and I made the rules of logic and mathematics, and they are Good, regardless of My devolving revelations of surprising quiddities like quantum entanglement, event horizons and the multiverse.
          Trust Me in everything.

          The illusion of free will for humankind is My gift and My game. On average, I have created my servants to despise and deny their own subjection to circumstance, and to believe that the choice to behave as I would have them do, is theirs. The gift is their gratifying sense of agency; the game is their falling short and into the toils of Sin and chagrin, where they may find themselves in earnest conversation with Me. Those that see Me as a harsh taskmaster in a fair game have been snookered: I command all the forces; My interlocutors never had a chance. My disposition of them at the end of the game is arbitrary but not unjust: the rules were moot from the outset.

           Patz and Bartley were or are suitably bemused by the unexplained passing of Randall Lang, whose identity Bartley disguises with the name of Roland Reed in order to protect the privacy of the equally pseudonymous Vera. I made Bartley empathic in that way, but not in most others. I killed Randall Lang by an intentional accident: he climbed onto the parapet of a bridge over a train track while tired and dehydrated from walking, and at that moment I lowered his blood pressure enough to make him dizzy and disoriented so that the knapsack he was wearing tipped him off balance and caused him to fall to the track, where I split his head open on a rail. I took Randall Lang immediately to my bosom, where he abides. Patz would have been gratified to have had his expectations confirmed; Bartley would be made dizzy and disoriented to find it out. Randall takes his eternal life for granted, not appreciating that it is a revocable gift. I foresee that I’ll never revoke it, even in that future time when his and My dialog (he is curious and a scholar, as in life) reveals to him that his survival is arbitrary, and he becomes infatuated with the idea that there could be death in Heaven.

          It has amused Me to set humankind, and to a much smaller extent, certain other Earthly creatures, mostly mammalian and possessed of a limbic brain, on a path of trying to understand Me. By this device I have created Pathos, the central feature of the human condition. Pathos is the prerequisite of Love, an amorphous thing that suffuses, obsesses and confounds all of Earth’s sentient beings, and is variously experienced as fraternal or sexual or supernatural/religious or even intellectual and objectless. Thus far, no one anywhere has fully grasped what Love is or what I am. The finitude of my creatures ensures that they cannot; every religious tradition that has sprung up is profoundly mistaken. And here is a further fact of the New Illumination: as my Earthly retainers have begun to suspect, I have sprinkled life, intelligent and otherwise, in a billion places throughout My Universe(s). And yet, preoccupation with religious questions is unique to the Earth. Everywhere else, mathematical logic is seen as wholly descriptive and wholly sufficient, and it is. I am at once superfluous and the greatest Mystery.

          What, then, about Hell and eternal punishment and their analogs in the various traditions? Like the Devil* or any other embodiment of evil, these are purely a product of the vivid human imagination. Evil itself is a human construct, and highly subjective, as is every other abstract quantity in the human vocabulary. My Creation is only and entirely physical, and governed by rules or laws that are fixed and universal unless I should choose to change them, which I will not and foresee that I shall not do. As many of my creatures can appreciate, these physical laws are elegant in their application without appearing to be objectively necessary, and that is true: they are arbitrary: I made them up. There is not a physical constant anywhere whose numerical value can be mathematically derived from first principles. They are what they are because I have said so. And the laws, contrary to familiar human usage, are not abstractions. They are as concrete as the physical universe they describe.

          In a Creation without abstractions, the Creator will not moot a moral judgment, however much his Creatures may do so. Punishment, like every other abstraction, is a human construct. Verily I never said, “Vengeance is Mine.” Vengeance is an abstraction, thus human only. Your God has no use for it.

          In the absence of abstraction lies the answer to the Mystery of Me: humankind knows of no other way to seek Me out than through abstraction, which is not available as a means of address. The relics of saints are real; sainthood is not. My Creation is real; holiness is not. Yet I am real. How else could I be writing this? But don’t expect me to tell you what to do. I have given you the illusion of free will. Run with it.

          How, then, in an environment of benign neglect by an Omnipotent but non-prescriptive Deity, should His Creatures know how to behave? Ask as you like; the answers will come to you in subjective splendor or not at all. A rational program for human behavior would be to choose those acts best calculated to maximize human happiness at large—a conundrum in a world of nearly infinite complication, but I gave you the option to bring ethical reasoning to bear on it. The so-called Golden Rule was an inspired first approximation to such a program. Idiotic though I may have made you, you are not purely and simply fallible.

          So seek your salvation with diligence, Pathos and Love.

          And accept that your God will show you nothing further.


          * not a real person

undated, but late


The art of music is fiendishly difficult. I had to give up composition at the age of eight, and performance many times after that from year to year right up to the present. I’ve never given up the pursuit of music appreciation, even though the difficulty is equally fiendish, comprehending as it does all of the elements of composition and performance, and requiring a subtlety of mind that’s probably akin to that required to appreciate higher mathematics. In the matter of performance I abandoned piano at nine, violin at ten, guitar at twenty, voice at seventy, recorder at eighty (when osteoarthritis twisted my thumb out of reach of the hole at the back of the instrument that governs tessitura), harmonica yesterday and kazoo today. I could have soldiered on in every case, but my regard for competence and simple beauty finally discouraged me.

Recently I attended the open rehearsal of a ninety-piece symphony orchestra playing Mahler, and there I was confronted with the impossibility of ever fully appreciating what I hear. Melody is seductive but I don’t know why. Harmony is soothing; dissonance agitates; acoustic dynamics divert; tempo hypnotizes until rubato or a time signature change tips me off that I haven’t understood anything. Musical form in the vertical is largely impenetrable, and in the horizontal is often beyond the capacity of my brain to map it. I can’t hear sonata allegro form, for example, perhaps on account of undiagnosed attention deficit disorder. But my unrequited love of music keeps me listening.

The conductor at the open rehearsal amazed me by the particularity of his demands on the instrumentalists. He interrupted the concertizing again and again to correct perceived solecisms of tempo, attack, volume, pitch, balance and ensemble that were barely detectable to me, although everything sounded better in the aftermath. Meanwhile, the players were reading their scores with an aplomb that seemed preternatural, even leaving their seats occasionally, but then returning in time to enter precisely on cue. (I’m guessing.)

I write this sub specie mortis, being of a certain advanced age and feeling the ravages unmistakably. The orchestra I was hearing was a youth orchestra, all ten-to-twenty-year-old prodigies, and I reflected on their accomplishments in a future without me and my crabbed appreciation of their astonishing talents. My tin ear isn’t limited to music, but includes the whole of the human enterprise, regardless of the wisdom I must have gained with age. I ought to be venerable but I’m not. As my reader, you should feel free to discount everything averred or hinted to up to this point. I am demonstrably full of crap, but not finally discouraged, nor even appropriately apologetic pro mea. In the shadow of Albert Camus, always the existentialist:

where there’s life there’s hope.

So farewell.