I’m not quite clear about your stance on birth control. You say in The Story of B that you have no problem with birth control. But at the end of Ishmael, the student implies that we live in the society we live in because we don’t want to live at the mercy of the gods.

However, birth control seems to me to be a matter of trying not to live at the hands of the gods. It seems as though it is a contradiction to say that we create problems by refusing to live in the hands of the gods, but at the same time saying you have no problem with people using birth control.

I guess I would most like you to clear up your stance on your feelings toward the use of artificial contraception.

On more than one occasion in your books and in your responses to questions you categorically reject the idea of gods, in particular the Abrahamic god. Yet in The Holy Tim, after being prompted by Pablo who “sees” this all the time, finally sees the glory the cactus has to offer him.

Therefore I have two questions. If you do not believe that there is a God or gods in this world, then what or who is Pablo (whom you saw yourself as a young child)? Second, both in The Story of B and in The Holy, you position the Abrahamic god as an opponent of the very world he allegedly created.

Why do you believe that a Satan/Ba’al zebub or an antichrist figure would be so much more in tune with your world vision?

Regarding the “lies” of Mother Culture, there is one lie (actually it’s just a widely held misconception) that I’d appreciate hearing your take on. A pervasive belief of our culture is the belief in (and reliance on) the Rule of Law.

Most people will concede that we need rules in order to have an orderly society, and that without rules there would be chaos. It was precisely a hundred years ago that the French mathematician, Poincaré, first discovered that even very simple rule-based systems were chaotic.

Today, most well educated people have at least heard of Chaos Theory (Edward Lorentz, James Gleick), Fractals (Benoit Mandelbrot), and Cellular Automata (Stephen Wolfram). It is not exactly a secret that rule-driven systems are now known to generate chaos rather than order. But it occurs to me that most people don’t fully appreciate the significance of those esoteric mathematical diversions.

For some 3500 years, Western Civilization has operated under the unexamined and unchallenged belief that rule-based systems are inherently orderly. Now we discover that this foundation belief is an astonishing misconception.

Have you spent any time regarding this observation? How might it be possible to reveal this (perhaps disturbing) finding to the lay public, along with some insights on how we might craft and introduce into our culture a more highly evolved and enlightened regulatory mechanism capable of delivering the “divine order” it promises?

In your response to question 579 you said that closed-minded individuals would most likely change their views as social conditions change because they will feel compelled to “fit in.” However, what if there is a greater motivation to remain a Taker?

Take, for instance, one of the largest groups of Takers, Christians. Christians are compelled to remain Christian and to convert others by the belief that all non-Christians will go to hell. Even further motivation comes from the belief in an imminent doomsday. Also, at a book signing I attended in Atlanta, you said that Christians feel as though they do not belong to this world, and that it is merely a way-station until they can reach heaven.

Taking into consideration all of these factors, why would any practicing Christian feel compelled to give up their belief in Christianity (thus relinquishing the chance to have life in a place they feel they belong to) just so that they can fit in with a world that they themselves don’t even feel they fit in with in the first place? Especially if they think the end is always near.

First of all I would like to say that i am 17 years old and I just read Ishmael for the first time and I thought it was an amazing journey. It has opened my eyes to many different things and I can never thank you enough for what I have learned.

But my question is about your response from question #538 where you say that knowledge of the gods/God is unattainable. Is it unattainable or is it simply that it’s not on our maps? I’m sure it’s attainable, but in your search you just may end up in new territory, and I think that’s something we’re afraid to do.