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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 416)...

    I've come across many people, including myself at times, that are so dissatisfied with Taker culture, from which there is no immediate escape, that life is unbearable. It is evident from your books that you're aware of this. I'm a teen now and have no desire to enter this literally damned Taker culture. But there is no Leaver culture accessible to me, except the one that I may help create in the future. Question is, what can be said now to appease the pain, the despondency, the unbearableness? I see kids at school committing and plotting suicide, I hear kids saying how much this sucks, but what can be said to them? Is there an answer? What would Ishmael say to the depressed captives as we are pulling at the bars of this god damned prison?

    ...and the response:

    I wish it was enough to "say something" to them, but it's not. In Beyond Civilization I write, "It's estimated that in the last 40 years depression among children has increased by 1000% and teen suicide by 300%. Since 1997, classroom-assassins have killed two in Mississippi, three in Kentucky, five in Arkansas, and thirteen in Colorado. Make a graph of these numbers and watch them go exponential in years to come---unless we start giving our kids a new way to go and some real hope for the future." This is what they need---a new way to go and some real hope for the future---and nothing anyone merely "says" to them is going to help. It's taken me a while to see it clearly enough to talk about, but a new way to go is what's on offer in Beyond Civilization. I wish, too, that I could reduce it to a simple formula like Timothy Leary's "Tune in, Turn on, Drop Out," but if that were possible, it wouldn't have been necessary to write a book at all. Write a letter of thanks to Harmony Books for bringing it out in the fall of '99 instead of the spring of '00!

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