Lipton’s Journal/January 26, 1955/302

From Project Mailer

Ant and and. For some time I have been wanting to write down a thought about ants. It is possible that life as it moves up the biological spectrum exhibits, like ascending octaves, socializations (highly developed forms of Other-Life) at certain levels which are highly complex, and then quits them to move to a higher level. Thus, ant society is highly elaborate. Cities are built, work-cooperation is intense. But mammals who are a far higher form of life as we classify them, and indeed they undoubtedly are, have until the level of the elephant and the ape almost no social organization beyond the most rudimentary social contract. This little mystery has made man uneasy of centuries.

“And” is the peculiar word whose uses are enormous. It is a word of continuation, it has implications of death, for if we tell a story about a person and use and long enough, we will finally be obliged to say, “And then he died.” But and also expresses the upward ascension. Perhaps its intimate relation to the past, the future, and its dramatic pendant present—we always interrupt the interesting or boring story to say, “And?” For note, be a story interesting or boring, saying “And?” makes it more interesting. So perhaps it is related to ant. And is alive, dramatic, partakes of death, and suggests life. The ant has the T at the end. It is close to being a thing. We are always a little repelled by the ant because its social organization is too high, too elaborate, for its life. It partakes too much of Other-Life.