A Call to the American Reader
YOU OF AMERICA, I hardly know your
language, but I know your heart better. You are not those gadget inventors
and superelectronical miracle people the rest of the world believes you
to be. You are truly adventurers and hewers of new continents, though
for a time you got embroiled, and perhaps entangled, in a mechanical trap
of your own making which was another way of discovering a new continent
and new masteries. Your iron-clad continent has failed. Your masteries
are your own self-strangulation. Inventors as you are, conquerors as you
are, you have set out on all possible or impossible new paths, always
athirst for what? You are credited with the most improbable sects
in the world. Even Africans can't hold a candle to you, and Hindus are
children. You kick up your heels as you kick against the walls of matter,
always in search of what? And always ready to tear at your own
flesh, as if to wrench some secret from that personal continent, too,
which dies why? Drugs hold no secret for you, sex can be delirious.
Everything is dared, as if everything had to be contested, confronted,
experienced and laid bare. No, this human continent cannot be so shallow,
this iron-clad continent cannot be the end and the thirst is still
there. But the real Continent is not found. Occult realms have no terror
for you why not? This challenging why
not is something
very much part of your heart. That's what makes you exasperating and lovable
children in a world of aging pundits. Thus, taking trips outside your
body, meeting life after death, channelling dubious and indubitable spirits,
hearing voices and prophesying doomsdays is just another part of exploring
new paths and pounding the walls of this rebellious continent. You very
well may also send rockets to Venus or the devil. Well, you are indeed
a very interesting country.
Now, this is the challenge.
It's very simple.
A tadpole produces a frog. A caterpillar
produces a butterfly. An ape produces a man. And what does man
produce? Another little whisky consumer with more mathematics, more computers,
more TV's and more cemeteries more churches and sects, to, and
more rockets toward inanity? Or what comes next on the evolutionary ladder?
What is the man after man?
How does one make another man?
What is there in this human body, this recalcitrant
matter, these little human cells, that can produce another species? Where
is the way, the passage to the other thing?
Unless, of course, we think that nothing
other than super-baboons could have ever come out of the world of baboons
some few millions years ago. Baboons forever and ever?
Such is the simple question asked of us
Such is the question of our time.
We are coming to the zero point of all our
churches and electronics just to solve this question. And if we refuse
to solve it, it will be solved for us, shatteringly. In the dried-up swamps
of the Paleozoic, huge reptiles had to solve the problem of becoming birds,
not of growing another spike on their crushed backs.
It is simple.
Not outside the body, but inside the body.
Not outside this continent, but inside the
Not in a scientific laboratory, but in our
A new continent in our continent?
A new body from our body.
Such is the real adventure confronting us
you Americans if you dare. The invention of the man
after man. And who says it isn't possible? Evolution is the most possible
thing in the world since the amoebas in their watery holes.
This is where Mother comes in.
No, not the guru of a super-sect
we have had enough of churches
and laboratories. We are our own
She is the elder of evolution, the adventuress
into man's future, into a little human cell, freed form its monotonous
genetic program and its habit of being a man with a necktie and some mathematics.
This AGENDA is twenty-three years of experimental
Nothing has been more important since Darwin.
For once in human history, we have the record
of the conscious transition from one species to another and not
just a record, but a path to be walked by those who dare.
Shall we choose to forge that new species,
or will it be extracted from us
This is the question that I ask of my American
fellow human beings who have had enough of inventing neckties and atomic
plants for a dying race.
Shall we invent the man after man?
And make him walk on a sunlit planet?
O Mother, Thy Earth is beautiful and perhaps
it is not yet fully the Earth.
(This letter was written in the early 1980s).