A man living on a planet discovers the space suit the inhabitants are all wearing degrades gradually and eventually fails after 80 or so years depending on how well the owner takes care of it.
This is not well known. They haven’t been there for very long, but he finds out that some of their scientists know and have been suppressing the information.
This worries him. They only have a finite amount of time. So he embarks on a series of adventures trying to find out what to do.
Eventually, he finds a way of developing another spacesuit which will take over when the first one fails. So he begins doing it, but it does take a lot of effort. He tells his friends and acquaintances and is amazed no one is interested. In fact many are dismissive and some even aggressive. I think there may be one who does believe and joins him who is beautiful and curvaceous, understanding and tender but she may only be there as a plot device.
I read that story when I was a teenager and it has stayed with me. I have spent a lot of time investigating if there is indeed a way to develop another spacesuit. Why I would think we’re all in spacesuits Lord alone knows. In fact, I don’t really although obviously we are. In the words of William Goldman, “What lie did I tell?”
This book is the story of that quest!!!
Actually, it isn’t. This book is an attempt to pass on what I believe you have to do if you want to develop the new spacesuit.
And something about the spacesuit story: It explores the nature of our reality without religion. In this story God has become an intelligence in the universe. Not a man on a throne demanding a tremendous amount of respect, time and money. In fact it’s not even a man. It’s an intelligence, a force, a being, something that may respond to us, who knows? Maybe this intelligence isn’t that bothered as long as we’re doing our main job on the planet – top of the food chain Ma! Boom!! (James Cagney, White Heat).
There is no worship, no prostrations, no begging for forgiveness, guilt, sin (we’ll talk about sin a lot), penitence, etc etc.
I just googled “things and sins in religion” to find sins to add to the above list and “SIN LIST” came top. A list of sins. Most of which believe it or not are in fact quite useful. We will use sin in one of the later chapters because they do stop us doing the main thing you need to do for the new spacesuit.
But we will talk about sin in the way it was originally meant in the New Testament.
The word sin was translated from a Greek word used in archery harmatia which meant to keep missing the mark. To repent was translated from the Greek metanoia which means going beyond one’s usual way of thinking.
In this book, we are going to repent our sins, or as it was originally meant: stop missing the mark and go beyond our usual way of thinking. Which to me sounds extremely sensible! Repenting sins no!…..ugh!
Why a club? I would say there are generally three ways people react to religion, spirituality, or ideas about God:
1) What a load of rubbish
2) That’s interesting I’m going to start a religion and get people to give me a lot of time, respect, and money and may kill myself and/or a few or a lot of other people because God told me to
3) Or that’s just interesting, what else can you tell me?
And for all their weirdness, hierarchies, and exclusivity I’ve always liked hanging out with people who have the same or at least similar interests in life. Who doesn’t? I’m interested in life, the universe, and everything; and mainly, what is going on? And I thought it would be nice (an unfortunate word because it originally meant ignorant in Latin and in Middle English was used to mean stupid) but in modern English it is perhaps the only word, so yes nice (or stupid enough) to write a book for people who like me are in the club. Meaning are interested in this stuff and actively pursue it.
Because there are a lot of us. And whether you live in a country like mine where the intelligentsia think it’s all rubbish (see No.1 above) or in a country where they want your time, respect, and money (No.2) the interesting thing is in both it is generally a good idea to keep your mouth shut and quietly carry on with your life (No.3). Otherwise at best people will think you are weird, or at worst you’ll get banged up, and worse, for some sort of blasphemy against the No.2 people. Best not to mess. No.1 people are usually happy to think you’re stupid. So God bless ’em. Much better than having the latest punishment of choice from the chosen. I take stupid every time.
So without further ado let’s end this preamble and get on with the first chapter where we are going to make the startling claim that in order to proceed you only have to do two things. You’ve got to be joking! Only two things! And notice so far we haven’t mentioned consciousness.