Daniel Quinn: Story of B

Inspire Seattle: Story of B.



An Outline

 Note: Please read the book – it’s much better then this outline.


 The Great Forgetting

Anywhere in the world, East or West, you can walk up to a stranger and say, “Let me show you how to be saved”, and you’ll be understood.  The method of salvation being proposed is universal:  It can be used by everyone and works for everyone.  According to this world view, the human condition is such that everyone is born in an unsaved state and remains unsaved until the requisite ritual or inner action is performed, and all who die in this state either lose their chance for eternal happiness with God, or fail to escape the weary cycle of death and rebirth.

But now try to imagine how these words would be received in a culture that had no notion that people were born in an unsaved state, that had no notion that people need to be saved.

In the last 10,000 years of human history, Neolithic farming communes turned into villages, villages to towns, towns to kingdoms, etc.  What was being forgotten while all this was going on was the fact that there had been a time when none of it was going on – a time when human life was sustained by hunting and gathering rather than by animal husbandry and agriculture, a time when villages, towns, and kingdoms were undreamed of, a time when no one made a living as a potter or a basket maker, a time when commerce was unimaginable as a means of livelihood.  It would have been necessary to hold on to the memory of our hunting/gathering past for five thousand years before humans began writing and anyone would have been capable of making a written record of it.

By the time anyone was ready to write the human story (and writing had come about), the foundation events of our culture were ancient.  But people still tried to imagine what human life was like “in the beginning”.  The foundation events of our culture were quite easy to imagine, simply by extrapolation backward.  Before kingdoms there were towns, before towns there were villages, etc.  In fact, it was obvious that, if you went back far enough, you would come to a beginning in which there were no towns, no crafts, and no commerce.  In the absence of any other theory, it seemed reasonable, even inescapable, to suppose that the human race must have begun with a single human couple, an original man and woman (guess who?).  And as far as they new, humans had come into existence as farmers.

The Great Forgetting was woven into the fabric of our intellectual life from its very beginning.  Why has not a single one of us ever heard a word about the Great Forgetting, by any name whatsoever? It’s a vital question, and our species’ future on this planet depends on it.

What was forgotten was the fact that, before the advent of agriculture and village life, humans had lived in a profoundly different way.  It was paleontology that exposed the Great Forgetting by making it unarguably clear that humans had been around long before any conceivable date for the planting of the first crop and the beginning of civilization.  Man had been born something else entirely, a forager and a homeless nomad.  But here is one of the most amazing occurrences in all of human history.  When the thinkers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries were finally compelled to admit that the entire structure of thought in our culture had been built on a profoundly important error, absolutely nothing happened.  They just came up with a newfangled thing calledprehistory and prehistorians.  In this way, human history is reduced to the period exactly corresponding to the history of our culture.

The myth of the Agricultural Revolution is that about 10,000 years ago, people began to abandon the foraging life in favor of agriculture.  The truth is that many different styles of agriculture were already in use all over the world 10,000 years ago, when our particular style of agriculture emerged in the Near East, in the Fertile Crescent (Iraq).  Our culture’s type of agriculture is Totalitarian Agriculture, because it subordinates all life-forms to the relentless, single-minded production of human food.  Fueled by the enormous food surpluses generated uniquely by this style of agriculture, a rapid population growth occurred among it practitioners, followed by an equally rapid geographical expansion that obliterated all other lifestyles in its path, including those based on other styles of agriculture.

Totalitarian agriculture is more than a means of getting what you need to live, it’s the foundation for the most laborious lifestyle ever developed on this planet (thoroughly documented in the last 40 years). What the founders of our culture fundamentally invented for us was the notion of work.  They developed a hard way to live – the hardest way to live ever found on this planet.  The labor intensiveness of this lifestyle gave rise to the obsession (both in the East and West) of the strange idea that people need to be saved.  Also, famine became a by-product of totalitarian agriculture, and in fact is never found apart from it. Agriculture doesn’t cure famine, it promotes famine – it creates the conditions in which famine occur.  It makes it possible for more people to live in an area than that area can support – and that’s exactly where famines occur.  Opposingly, even in the worst of Australian droughts, you’ll never find a single starving aborigine.  Their culture, as with other tribal cultures, oppose famine.

The Law of Limited Competition – during the Great Forgetting it came to be understood among the people of our culture, that life in “the wild” was governed by a single, cruel law known in English as “the Law of the Jungle”, or “kill or be killed”.  It’s fiction.  Briefly, the law of limited competition is this:  You may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down your competitors or destroy their food or deny them access to food.  In other words, you may compete but you may not wage war on you competitors.  People who follow this law are “Leavers”, people in our culture reject it and are “Takers”.  Three million years age, when humans evolved, Homo habilis was born a Leaver and a follower of the law.  All the following humans followed the law up until our culture 10,000 years ago.  Even tribal peoples today follow the law.


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Good News – man was born millions of years ago, and he was no more a scourge of the world than hawks or lions or squids.  He lived at peace with the world…for millions of years.  Man was not a saint, he just walked the earth as harmlessly as a hyena or a shark, etc.  It’s not man who is the scourge of the world, it’s a single culture.  One culture out of hundreds of thousands of cultures.  Ourculture.  We don’t have to change humankind in order to survive.  We only have to change a single culture.

Additional Point:  Mesolithic hunters may well have hunted the giant elk to extinction, but they certainly didn’t do this out of callous indifference, the way ivory hunters slaughter elephants.  Ivory hunters know full well that every kill brings the species closer to extinction, but Mesolithic hunters couldn’t possible have guessed such a thing about the giant elk.  It is the policy of totalitarian agriculture to wipe out unwanted species.  If ancient foragers hunted any species to extinction, it certainly wasn’t because they wanted to wipe out their own food supply!

The Boiling Frog

If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out.  But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly.  As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

10,000 years ago, human population was about ten million, and totalitarian agriculture developed, ruthless towards all other life-forms on this planet.  Again, according to animal ethics (the Law of Limited Competition)  you may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down your competitors or destroy their food supply.  In other words, you may compete but you may not wage war.  Totalitarian agriculture violates this law at every point.  It’s based on the premise that all the food in the world belongs to us, and there is no limit whatsoever to what we may take for ourselves and deny to all others.  Totalitarian agriculture is more productive than any other style; it’s productivity to it’s maximum.  Totalitarian agriculture is the fire under our cauldron.

Point:  humans are as responsive as any other species to the availability of food.  Give us more food, and the population will grow.

Signs of distress, 5000-3000 BC:  because of our culture, people began learning what it means to be crowded.  When more people start competing for less,  they started fighting.  Here we had the invention of political machinery, the first warlords – kings, emperors.  The first states formed for the purpose of armed defense and aggression.  The only heroes of this time are the conquering kings.  But no one thought the appearance of armies was a bad sign, a sign of distress.  They thought the armies represented an improvement.  From this point on, the frequency and severity of wars will serve as one measure of how hot the water is getting around our smiling frog.

Signs of distress, 3000-1400 BC:  This doubling of our population took only 1600 years to 100,000,000 people.  The Bronze Age.  Real weapons!  Crime was emerging as a problem.  Why? People learned to write, and they immediately began to write laws.  Bad behavior isn’t necessarily a crime.  Crimes are what the state defines as crimes.  Now we have crime, and along with war, crime is a measure of how hot the water was becoming.

Signs of distress, 1400-1 BC:  The next doubling of our population took only 1400 years.  200,000,000 people now.  Era of civil revolt and assassination.  Famine became a regular feature of life in the civilized world, as did plague, ever symptomatic of overcrowding and poor sanitation.  Slavery came a huge business.  For the first time in history, people were beginning to suspect that something fundamentally wrong was going on here.  For the first time in history, people were beginning to feel empty, were beginning to wonder if this is all there is to life, beginning to hanker after something vaguely more.  For the first time in history, people began listening to religious teachers who promised them salvation.  Religion had been around for thousands of years, but it had never been about salvation.  Judaism, Brahmanism, Hinduism, Shintoism, and Buddhism all came into being then.  People in the East and West began to wonder what was wrong with them.

Signs of distress, 0-1200 AD: The next doubling of our population took only 1200 years.  400,000,000 people now.  Slaves, the conquered and peasants were all around.  Salvationists went throughout the world agreeing:  “The human condition is what it is, and no amount of effort on you part will change that, it’s not within your power to save anyone but you.  Salvation is of course the most wonderful thing you can achieve in your life.  Nothing matters but you and your salvation”.

Signs of distress, 1200-1700 AD: The next doubling of our population took only 500 years.  800,000,000 people now, 99% belonging to our culture.  First madhouses, ghettos, etc., etc. Christianity becomes the first global salvationist religion.

Signs of distress, 1700-1900 AD:  The next doubling of our population took only 200 years, to 1.5 billion humans.  As the cities become more crowded, human anguish reached highs that would have been unimaginable in previous ages, with hundreds of millions inhabiting slums of inconceivable squalor, etc.  The Industrial Revolution came, and people labored as much as 16 hours per day.

Signs of distress, 1900-60 AD:  The next doubling of our population took only 60 years, to 3 billion humans.  Atomic bombs.  Hydrogen bombs.  I think the frog is boiling.

Signs of distress, 1960-98 AD:  The next doubling of our population took only 36 years, to 6 billion humans.  War, drugs, you name it.  Cultural collapse.  The frog is dead.

The Collapse of Values

Before our era, the chorus of distress that had assembled over the 10,000 years of our cultural life consisted of nine vices:  war, crime, corruption, rebellion, famine, plague, slavery, genocide, and economic collapse.  Beginning in 1960, we add a tenth:  cultural catastrophe and the collapse of values.  In the late forties and fifties, the people of our culture still knew where they were going, were still confident that a glorious future lay just ahead of us.  All we had to do was to hold on to the vision and keep doing all the things that got us here in the first place.  What’s more, the things that got us here were good things.  In 1950 there wasn’t the slightest whisper of a doubt about this anywhere in our culture, East or West.  The world was created for us to exploit.  Exploiting the world actually improved it!  The earth was designed to take any punishment, to absorb and sweeten any toxin, in any quantity.

Wipe out whole species?  Absolutely!  Why ever not?  If people don’t need these creatures, then obviously they’re superfluous!  To exercise such control over the world is to humanize it, is to take us a step closer to our destiny.  This was the contract, this was the vision itself:  The world was made for Man, and Man was made to conquer and rule it.  This is what God created us to do! This is the vision that was born in us when our particular culture was born, 10,000 years ago.

In 1962, Silent Spring was written (Rachel Carson), and with a single powerful blow, it shattered for all time a complex of fundamental articles of our cultural faith:  that the earth could repair any damage we might do to it, that the earth was on our side.  It comes down to this:  in our present numbers and enacting our present dreams, the human race is having a lethal impact upon the earth. We are experiencing cultural collapse.  Humanity itself isn’t all screwed up, it’s our culture that is.

Population: A Systems Approach

200,000 years ago, there were about 10,000 Homo Sapiens.  10,000 years ago, there were about 10,000,000.  This is about 10 doublings in 190,000 years, growth, but growth at a infinitesimalrate.  On the average, our population was doubling every 19,000 years, or, I.E., glacially slow.  Then things started to speed up,  and now we’re doubling every 40 years.  When we’ve come at the overpopulation problem, we’ve used various programs (E.G., birth control, family planning, etc.).  This angle of attack is ineffective and can never be anything but ineffective.

Blessing:  A Fable About Population – long ago, on a planet like ours, a drug was developed which eliminated the normal aches and pains that humans experienced everyday.  The only side effect was an objectionable odor.  The product was so cool the people named it Blessing.  People started to use it like salt, everyday, like a vitamin.  People felt so great, behold when in nine months the birth rate didn’t start to go up, not because Blessing stimulated the sex drive, but just because people felt better.  So, soon this Blessing culture started to encroach on their neighbors, and theseStinkards, as they were known, soon got the whole planet turned onto Blessing.  In a couple of hundred years, overpopulation became a problem.  Programs were installed, like birth control, but since Blessing was ingrained in their lives, no one could imagine living without it.  One scientist suggested Blessing was the problem and that their culture should get rid of it, but he was soon ridiculed into submission.  People instead wanted to talk about control.  (In our culture, Blessing is totalitarian agriculture).

Among life-forms found on the surface of our planet, all food energy originates in green plants and nowhere else.  This energy is passed on to plant eaters, and then to their predators, and so forth. (The A of the ABC’s of ecology)  Viewed in systems terms, the dynamic of population growth and decline in the biological community is a negative feedback system.  I.E., within the community, food populations and feeder populations control each other.  As food populations increase (plants, e.g.), feeder populations increase (deer, e.g.).  As feeder populations increase, food populations decrease.  As food populations decrease, feeder populations decrease.  As feeder populations decrease, food populations increase.  And the cycle repeats itself.

The A of the ABCs of ecology is food.  The community of life is nothing else.  It’s flying food, running food, swimming food, and just sitting there and growing food.  We are food.  We are what we eat, and we eat food.  The B of the ABCs of ecology is this, that the ebb and flow of all populations is a function of food availability.  Always.  There is no species that dwindles in the midst of abundance, no species that thrives on nothing.

Our culture began to fight this law with totalitarian agriculture.  We found a way to increase food availability at will.  This is the blessing on which our culture was founded.  With more food, we get more people.  With more people, we need more food.  So we grow more food.  With more food available, we soon have more people – as the laws of ecology predicted.  Food grows. We grow. Food grows.  We grow  This is positive feedback. Bad stuff.  Dangerous stuff.

Again and again, experiments show this.  Give mice more food, you get more mice.  Level off the food supply, the mice population levels off.  Want to lower the mice population, lower the food supply.  Want to lower it in a way that doesn’t seem mean or drastic, then lower the food supply very slowly over a long period of time.  With humans, these same rules apply.

Every year more food is made available in the North, and every year the population increases.  Every year more food is made available in the South, and every year the population increases.  The excess that we produce each year does not go to feed the starving millions.  Never.  It goes to fuel our population explosion.  Birth control is aimed at the effects.  Food-production control is a strategy aimed at causes.  It’s time to take a look at it.


If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision.  People with changed minds will say “lets throw away the old”, where people with unchanged minds that want to improve things will say “let’s just minimize the effects of our bad ways”.  The world will not be saved by people with old minds (the old vision) and new programs.

Programs are initiated in order to counter or defeat vision.  In our current culture, vision supports isolation.  Community building isn’t supported by our culture, so it has to be supported by programs. Programs invariably run counter to vision, so have to be “sold” to people. Programs always follow, never lead.  They’re like first aid.

In our culture at the present moment, the flow of the river is toward catastrophe, and programs are sticks set in the river bed to impede its flow.  Our objective is to change the direction of the flow away from catastrophe.  With the river moving in a new direction, people wouldn’t have to devise programs to impede its flow.

The mission of current religious leaders is to be guardians of the faith.  Their message to those they must reassure is:  “Don’t worry, nothing’s happened.  The world is just what it was.  Don’t be anxious, don’t be alarmed.  The foundation is solid.  The pillars are standing.  Jesus laid down His life for our sins and on the third day rose from the dead.  Not a thing has changed since then.

The Antichrist:  a central figure in our culture since ancient times.  Historically, since Christ came to lead all humanity to God, Antichrist will come to lead all humanity to Satan.  And historically, the Antichrist will not fail, any more than Christ failed.  The Antichrist will be loved and followed as fervently as Christ – but only for a time, of course.  Ultimately, after a cataclysmic battle, the forces of God will triumph, bringing history to its conclusion.  Historically, if Jesus came for the salvation of our souls, then the Antichrist would come for the damnation of souls.  Today, it’s changed to the Antichrist will come to lead people away from personal salvation and towards saving the world.

When Jesus departed, he left no one behind who was the message.  In fact, it was St. Paul – a man who had never even seen Jesus – who ended up saying “This is what’s what” with more authority than anyone else could muster.  More than John or Peter or James, Paul was the message.  It still took 300 years of Christian thought to reconstitute Christ’s message.  When St. Paul brought Christianity into the Roman world, very fundamental ideas were already in place there.  The idea of gods as “higher beings”, the idea of personal salvation, of an afterlife.  The idea that the gods are involved in our lives and that their help can be invoked.  Notions of sacrifice and redemption.  People had been believing this in our culture already.  That’s why they jumped on the Christianity message.  It was easy.

Example – the Gebusi of New Guinea.  They have a totally different culture than ours, and when we view it, it seems totally crazy to us.  They believe all deaths are caused by someone who literally “wishes you ill”.  So, if a Gebusi dies, then a Gebusi mystic determines who wished that person ill, and the accused has to perform a next to impossible test to save themselves.  Don’t pass the test, then this accused person is killed and eaten by the village!  Point:  every cultures lunacy seems like sanity to the members of the culture, including us.  Lifestyle strategies adopted in a culture aren’t necessarily logical.  They aren’t necessarily adopted because they make life more comfortable.

Our culture supports itself through three essential ingredients:

  1. our culture believes that our way is the only right way to live.
  2. we need totalitarian agriculture to support our missionary effort.
  3. the third ingredient essential to our culture is The Great Forgetting.

The tendency of biological evolution is toward diversity – is  now and always has been.  Evolution isn’t tending toward “the one right species”.

Our cultural revolution, totalitarian agriculture, wasn’t about food, it was about power.  That’s still what it’s about.  We are the “Tak” (I.E., Takers), and we succumbed to a lust for power.

According to Totalitarian Agriculture, cows may live, but wolves must die.  The way all previous cultures imagined it, the gods have a special knowledge that enables them to rule the world.  This knowledge includes the knowledge of who should live and who should die, but it embraces much more than that.  They perceived that every choice the gods make is good for one creature but evil for another, which is pretty much reality.  In our culture, we have “eaten at the gods own tree of wisdom, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”.  We have a world view that makes us out to be wise enough to wield the power of life and death over the world.


There once was a universal religion on the planet.  Animism.  Animism looks for truth in the universe, not in books, revelations, and authorities. Here, the gods write physics and chemistry and biology and astronomy and aerodynamics and meteorology and geology, etc.  Science is the same.  Though animism and science read the universe in different ways, both have complete confidence in its truthfulness.  “Animism is flanked by the Law of Life on one side and by science on the other.  All three face the community of life.”  This is explained below.

It is the work of animism to read the Law of Life that is written in the community of life.  Every fragment of the Law of Life is imprinted with the whole law.  The Law of Life isn’t what governs life, it’s what fosters life, and anything that fosters life belongs to the law.  Those that follow the Law of Life tend to become better represented in the gene pool of their species then those who don’t follow it.  It’s “instinctive”.  Fantastic genetic abundance is life’s very secret of success on this planet.  The Law of Life in a single word is abundance.  The Law of Life is just a collection of evolutionary stable strategies – the universal set of such strategies.  Behavioral policies.  They are evolutionary stable because the normal process of evolution and natural selection don’t eliminate them.

Example:  you won’t find competitors in the “natural” world, (meaning non-human) hunting each other the way they hunt their prey; to do so would be environmentally unstable.  You won’t find competitors destroying their competitors food.  To say that it doesn’t happen is to say that it isn’t found, and it isn’t found because it’s self eliminating.  Pursuing an evolutionary unstable strategy doesn’t eliminate you instantly, it eliminates you eventually.  Our culture is in the process of eliminating ourselves.  We are now about two generations away form finishing the job of making this unstable strategy extinct.

If humans pursue a policy that would be fatal for any species, then it will be fatal for us in exactly the same way.  We can’t will it to be otherwise.  The Church teaches us that God will make an exception for us.  This is like expecting God to make our airplanes fly even if they’re aerodynamically incapable of flight.

There is in fact no such religion as animism.  What exists – and what is universal – is a way of looking at the world.  Animism is a vision.  Animism is a vision that enabled people to live well and in harmony with the earth through millions of years.  Our culture’s vision has brought us to the brink of extinction and made us the enemy of all life on this planet in just 10,000 years.

When we look for God in our culture, we automatically look up into the sky.  Animists know that the gods are here, not above.  Animists believe: “our place is a sacred place, like no other in the world”.  They would never think of looking elsewhere to find the gods.  The god is what animates their place.  That’s what god is.  A god is that strange force that makes every place a place – a place like no other in the world.

Unlike the God whose name begins with a capital letter, the animists gods are not all-powerful.  Any one of them can be vanquished by a bomb, silenced, driven away.  Sit in the middle of a shopping mall at midnight surrounded by a half mile of concrete in all directions, and the god that was once as strong as a buffalo is a feeble as a moth sprayed with poison.  Feeble, but not dead.  Tear down the mall, rip up the concrete, and the place will begin to pulse with life again.  The god knows how to take care of the place.  It won’t be as it was before – it doesn’t need to be as it was before. Everything here is on the way.  Everything here is in process.

This is why abundance is key.  No two things alike in all the universe.  That’s the key.  That’s why everything is on the way and not in its final form.  Even among apparently negligible life forms, e.g., mites, no two have ever been made alike, and not one of them has been made with any less care than neutron star.  While our God has picked out humans as special, the gods of animists have a great a care for mites as for any other creature in the world.

Every creature born into the living community belongs to that community.  Every life is on loan from the community from birth and without fail is paid back to the community in death.  The community is a web of life, and every strand of the web is a path to all the other strands.  Nothing is exempt or excused.  Nothing is special.  Nothing lives on a strand by itself, unconnected to the rest.  Nothing is wasted.  Everything that lives is food for another.  The perception of humans’ kindredness with the rest of the community of life is fundamental to the animist vision.

Among the primates, only humans are hunters, because only humans have the biological equipment to make hunting a mainstay of life – and that equipment is strictly intellectual.  Humans “crossed the line” not when we began to use tools, but when we started hunting.  In primates, hunting teamwork can only come about through communication.  Language developed because it conferred advantages.  Language ability meant you were both more likely to survive and to reproduce.  When we had language, and the intellectual tools to track prey, we became hunters.

What works is cultural diversity.  In a world of 10,000 cultures, one culture can be completely mad and destructive, and little harm will be done.  Tribal warfare safeguarded cultural diversity.

Along with language, storytelling is a genetic characteristic in the sense that early human hunters who were able to organize events into stories were more successful – and this translated directly into reproductive success.  We were able to recognize things as traces of past events, to then tell a story, and to foretell the future.  All of us want to know the future.  Human thought is thought that opens up into the future, and the future is inescapably the domain of the gods.  Crossing the border to the future, you can’t help but meet them.

Nature is a phantom that sprang entirely from the Great Forgetting.  As people commonly see it, we Takers have tried to control Nature, and live against Nature.  We can no more live against Nature than we can live against gravity.  Our lifestyle is evolutionary unstable – and is therefore in the process of eliminating itself in the perfectly ordinary way.

Our death will be the life of another.  Each is sent to another someday.  To the wolf or the cougar or the vulture or the beetles or the grasses, we are sent.  At death, the Animist says, “I am sent.  I’m sent and I thank you all, grasses in all your forms – fire in all you forms – sparrows and rabbits and mosquitoes and butterflies and salmon and rattlesnakes, for sharing yourselves with me for this time, and I’m bringing it all back, every last atom, paid in full, and I appreciate the loan”.

Taker Vision:  “The world was made for Man, and Man was made to conquer and rule it.”

Leaver Vision:  “The world is a sacred place and a sacred process, and we’re part of it.”


The Great Remembering

Our culture has a drug:  The Great Forgetting.  The Takers had the remarkable and unprecedented idea that everyone should live the way they lived.  We engulfed our neighbors.  Our culture was born in a world already full of law, tribal law, and with the obliteration of tribal law, then came the obliteration of tribal identity.  Tribal laws are never invented laws, they’re always received laws. They’re shaped the way a bird’s beak is shaped – by what works.  The tribal life is precious because it tested out.  For three million years it worked for people.  It continues to work, but the fact that something works doesn’t make it invulnerable.  And it doesn’t mean that something else can’t work.  The trouble is that our particular something else isn’t working – doesn’t work and can’t work. It bears its own seeds of destruction.  It’s fundamentally unstable.  And unfortunately it had to reach global proportions before the nature of its instability could be recognized.  The suffering masses knew they were suffering – knew something was desperately wrong – knew they needed something.  And what they needed was salvation.

The origin and cause of human suffering – and the means of ending it – became the first great intellectual and spiritual preoccupation of our culture, beginning about 4,000 years ago.  The next three mellennia would see the development of all those religions that were destined to become the major religions of our culture – Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – and each had its own theory about the cause of human suffering and its own approach to ending it, transcending it, or putting up with it.  But all were united in a single, central vision:  salvation is the highest goal of human life.

All our salvationist religions have feared the appearance of one who would lead the righteous from the paths of salvation.  The Antichrist isn’t just the antithesis of Jesus, he’s equally the antithesis of Buddha, of Elijah, of Moses, of Mohammed, of Nanak, of Joseph Smith – of all saviors and purveyors of salvation in the world.  He is in fact the Antisavior.

Who is B?  After reading The Story of B, you’ll understand why salvationists say “B is the Antichrist”.  And when they do, we respond “yes, B is the Antichrist.  B means to steal the hearts of the people away from you so that the world may live.  We are only one species among billions.  The gods don’t love us more that they love spiders or bears or whales.  The age of the Great Forgetting has ended, and all its lies and delusions have been dispelled.  We no longer imagine that man was ill-made and needs to be saved.  We can no longer live as though nothing matters but us.  We can no longer believe that suffering is the lot the gods had in mind for us.  We no longer believe that death is sweet release to our true destiny.”

We are straying from the path of salvation not for the love of vice and wickedness, but for the love of the world, as previously our culture never once dreamed in a thousand years of dreaming.  The evangelist John wrote, “You must not love the world or the things of the world, for those who love the world are strangers to the love of the Father…Children, the final hour is at hand!  He’s not one but many, and when the many of him are among us, you’ll know the final hour has come”.  John knew what he was talking about.  He was right to warn his followers against those who love the world.  We are the ones he was talking about, and this is the final hour – but it’s their final hour, not ours.  They’ve had their day, and this is indeed the final hour of that day.  Now our day begins.

Vision is the river, and we who have been changed are the flood.  The world will not be saved by old minds with new programs.  If the world is saved, it will be saved by new minds – with no programs. 

If our culture is undone, it will be undone by a whole new generation of authors and teachers.  Those who cannot be put back to what they were.  Are you one of them?  If so, you are B.