Were you influenced by any of the works of C.S. Lewis? Particularly I’m referencing “The Great Sin” excerpted from his Mere Christianity.

In this, Lewis goes in depth on how in the Bible it is pride which is Man’s greatest sin. He cites how in the Bible Satan tempted Man to seek independence, and from this “human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, slavery, etc.,” resulted.

He even uses an analogy similar to your pilot analogy (the man in free fall) where he cites a machine that “seems to start up alright and runs a few yards” only to fail because it is not being run on the proper fuel.

The similarities are there, even if you weren’t at all influenced, I wanted to thank you for perhaps opening my eyes to some truth.

I recently read The Holy and found on this website that part of it was inspired by a similar event in your childhood. A young child being confronted by a not-quite-human entity is something I’m pretty familiar with: I too had an encounter with a mythical being at a young age.

When I was 10, the summer of 1995, I went camping with my family at a lake in Oregon’s Cascade mountain range. We spent a day at another nearby lake and when we headed back in the afternoon I asked my parents if I could hike back.

Pretty soon, I found myself walking down a ridge with the sun already setting, and the trail winding down this dry creek bed, with a 10-foot embankment towering over the left side of the path. Then I heard something moving in the bushes up there, and I smelled something terrible.

And there it was: a goddamn Sasquatch. It just stood there, on the embankment and stared at me silently. And I just stood there and stared back, I didn’t know what else to do.

After an undeterminable period of time, it just walked back into the bushes. Even then I knew it was a “Bigfoot,” and I really feared for my life until it went away.

I never really told anyone beyond a few friends (who thought I was making it up). But then I read The Holy and I’m now wondering if what I and others who claim to have seen a Sasquatch encountered what was really a “yoo-hoo.”

So is The Holy really a work of fiction? Are there false gods living among and around us? It might sound bizarre, but suddenly all these reports of Sasquatches and Yetis and UFOs and monsters in Loch Ness make a lot of sense.

But now that I’m fairly certain about what exactly I ran into 8 years ago, what am I supposed to do about it? Go run around the mountains looking for a sasquatch? Any kind of advice would be good right now.

While you were writing the Ishmael Trilogy, did you think/feel that the Copernican Revolution you were experiencing (and putting on paper) was not much unlike what Descartes, Hegel or Marx experienced as they produced volumes which would eventually create their respective cultural alterations? The self-evident difference being their volumes contributed to the Taker way and, well, yours are the antithesis thereof.

I am now fighting two distinct battles. One against the idea that people are supposed to rule the world, and the other against the notion that governments are supposed to rule people.

Frankly, I’m surprised you’re not an anarchist. You’ve indicated that the “laws” that governments write are inferior to those that grow and evolve with cultures. But, in the answers to questions 502 and 592, you seem to concede the inborn right of you and your tribe to govern yourselves—to ignore old minds that are merely elected, and often critically opposed to your ideas.

You contend that the problems of our culture developed systemically, yet you feed a failed, corrupt system (the U.S. government) with your vote. I find it difficult to believe that you can see the potential of walking away from civilization without ceasing the opportunity to walk away from corruption. Al Gore is a great alternative to George Bush for president, just as a clean knife is better that a rusty one for impaling oneself.

How are you different from the prophets who tell people how to live thier lives? I know it is not your intention to do so, but I feel like through reading other questions and talking with other Ishmael readers, that your ideas revolutionize the way we think about the world.

In turn, how we live is ultimately shaped by you. Gutting out our system of understanding and replacing it with that of Ishmael changes how we think and live, right?

I recently finished The Holy, which I found clever and thought-provoking. Had I merely read the book, I’d simply see the many connections between it and your other work, and that would have been that.

But I’d read Rennie’s account on your website of the childhood event that partly inspired the book—your encounter with the part-man-part-animal. There is much I don’t know about the world, so the last thing I’d do is just discount this experience of yours.

However, I have to admit great surprise. What (admittedly little) I know of you is that you’re a lover of science and a skeptic—this is evident in your work, on your website, and in much of our previous correspondence, in which you have spoken scientifically in general and, in some cases in particular, directly against “new age” or “occult” beliefs and phenomena.

I’m very curious to hear how you reconcile this childhood experience of yours with your scientific knowledge—and, by extension, what you might tell your science-loving fans (like me) who might not understand how they should reconcile these two things about you, these two things that, not knowing better, we might see as contradictory.

I’m also incidentally curious about the extent to which your portrayal of the “yoo-hoos” is fictional, i.e., simply for the purposes of fleshing out the story, as opposed to things you actually believe. For example, that they themselves represent what ancient cultures thought to be gods and what older Taker cultures thought to be demons/devils—that they are matter-based and yet immortal and possessing of shape-changing abilities, etc.