All of this material is from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s book Cat's Cradle. He wrote all this, not me. I simply arranged the material thusly:

The Books of Bokonon

The First Book of Bokonon

Don't be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!

In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.

"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.

"Certainly," said man.

"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.

And He went away. 


Bokononist words


The Sixth Book of Bokonon, is devoted to pain, in particular to tortures inflicted by men on men

"If I am ever put to death on the hook," Bokonon warns us, "expect a very human performance."

After mentioning the rack and the peddiwinkus and the iron maidens and the veglia and the oubliette, he states:

In any case, there's bound to be much crying.
But the oubliette alone will let you think while dying.

Bokonon invites us to sing along with him:

We do, doodley do, doodley do, doodley do,
What we must, muddily must, muddily must, muddily must;
Muddily do, muddily do, muddily do, muddily do,
Until we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust, bodily bust.

About being washed up on the shores of San Lorenzo, Bokonon reports:

A fish pitched up
By the angry sea,
I gasped on land,
And I became me.

Be like a baby,
The Bible say,
So I stay like a baby
To this very day.

A poem from The Books of Bokonon:

Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder, "Why, why, why?"
Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land,
Man got to tell himself he understand. 


The Seventh Book of Bokonon, "Bokonon's Republic", is concerned with Utopias

The hand that stocks the drug stores rules the world.

Let us start our Republic with a chain of drug stores, a chain of grocery stores, a chain of gas chambers, and a national game. After that we can write our Constitution.

Said by Bokonon:

"Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass."

"If you find your life tangled up with somebody else's life for no very logical reasons that person may be a member of your karass."

"It is never a mistake to say good-bye"

The Books of Bokonon on cosmology:

Borasisi, the sun, held Pabu, the moon, in his arms, and hoped that Pabu would bear him a fiery child.

But poor Pabu gave birth to children that were cold, that did not burn; and Borasisi threw them away in disgust. These were the planets, who circled their terrible father at a safe distance.

The poor Pabu herself was cast away, and she went to live with her favorite child, which was Earth. Earth was Pabu's favorite because it had people on it; and the people looked up at her and loved her and sympathized.

As Bokonon invites us to sing along with him:

If you wish to study a granfalloon,
Just remove the skin of a toy balloon.

A paraphrase of a suggestion by Jesus:

"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's."

Bokonon's paraphrase:

"Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn't have the slightest idea what's really going on."

The Books of Bokonon on midgets:

Midget, midget, midget, how he struts and winks,
For he knows a man's as big as what he hopes and thinks! 


The Fourteenth Book of Bokonon: "What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?"

Nothing.

The San Lorenzan National Anthem (to the melody of 'Home on the Range'):

Oh, ours is a land
Where the living is grand,
And the men are as fearless as sharks;
The women are pure,
And we always sure
That our children will all toe their marks.
San, San Lo-ren-zo!
What a rich, lucky island are we!
Our enemies quail,
For they know they will fail
Against people so reverent and free.

Bokonon tells us:

A lover's a liar,
To himself he lies,
The truthful are loveless,
Like oysters their eyes! 


The Calypsos

(unnumbered)
"Papa" Monzano, he's so very bad,
But without bad "Papa" I would be so sad;
Because without "Papa's" badness,
Tell me, if you would,
How could wicked old Bokonon
Ever, ever look good?
(unnumbered)
Oh, a very sorry people, yes,
Did I find here.
Oh, they had no music,
And they had no beer.
And oh, everywhere
Where they tried to perch
Belonged to Castle Sugar, Incorporated,
Or the Catholic church.
(unnumbered)
I wanted all things
To seem to make some sense,
So we could all be happy, yes,
Instead of tense.
And I made up lies
So that they all fit nice,
And I made this sad world
A par-a-dise.
(unnumbered)
Someday, someday, this crazy world will have to end,
And our God will take things back that He to us did lend.
And if, on that sad day, you want to scold our God,
Why just go ahead and scold Him. He'll just smile and nod.

The Boko-maru Calypso

We will touch our feet, yes,
Yes, for all we're worth,
And we will love each other, yes,
Yes, like we love our Mother Earth.

The Fourteenth Calypso

When I was young
I was so gay and mean,
And I drank and chased the girls
Just like young St. Augustine.
Saint Augustine,
He got to be a saint.
So, if I get to be one, also,
Please. Mama, don't you faint.

The Fifty-third Calypso

Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British queen-
All fit together
In the same machine.
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice-
So many different people
In the same machine.

The Hundred-and-nineteenth Calypso

"Where's my good old gang done gone?"
I heard a man say.
I whispered in that sad man's ear,
"Your gang's done gone away." 


From the autobiographical section of The Books of Bokonon; a parable on the folly of pretending to discover, to understand:

I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be.

And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, "I'm sorry, but I never could read on of those things." "Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God," I said, "and, when God finds a minute, I'm sure he'll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even you can understand."

She fired me. I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed.

She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he can see what God is Doing.

The Books of Bokonon advises us:

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way. 


The Last Rites of the Bokononist faith (each line is said once by the person giving the rites, and repeated by the dying person):

God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God.
Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have.
I feel very unimportant compared to You.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
Good night.
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly wait . . .
To find out for certain what my wampeter was . . .
And who was in my karass . . .
And all the good things out karass did for you.
Amen. 

The Final Sentence of The Books of Bokonon:

If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who. 

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