We're so old that the winds of age echo along our ribs and pick at our eye sockets. We could be gone tomorrow. A chill, say, or a little slip on the cliff side. I feel as fragile as a dried flower. I rattle a little in the moving air, but I'm only coherent dust-a shape of what once was. My essence is going.
For it would be only for a time. Until what he knew and thought became no longer relevant or necessary and was forgotten. But that was the same with all of us. We were only what we were for a time, at that time. Then our own silver began to mix with the tin of our future to change us. I knew this to be so and grieved for Windlow while I grieved for me. In time I would not be this Peter, even as I now was not the peter of two years ago.... Yet that Peter was not lost.
...the scripture worshippers put the writings ahead of God. Instead of interpreting God's actions in nature, for example, they interpret nature in the light of the Scripture. Nature says the rock is billions of years old, but the book says different, so even though men wrote the book, and God made the rock and God gave us minds that have found ways to tell how old it is, we still choose to believe the Scripture.
Not many years before the Happening, one of your country's largest religious bodies officially declared that their book was holier than their God, thus simultaneously and corporately breaking several commandments of their own religion, particularly the first one. Of course they liked the book better! It was full of magic and contradictions that they could quote to reinforce their bigoted and hateful opinions, as I well know, for I chose many parts of it from among the scrolls and epistles that were lying around in caves here and there. They're correct that a god picked out the material; they just have the wrong god doing it.(The small god in Ch. 44)
Our ancestors have much to answer for.Why? What did they do?....Long ago, they used machines and drugs to keep the unhealthy and unfit ones of us alive. In that past time it was believed that all persons must have children. It was a right deemed so precious that it was forced upon even those who did not value it or should not have had it. If one of our people became pregnant, our people used all their knowledge to assure the young would be born, no matter how sick or disabled. Then, if the young lived, they injected them and dosed them and radiated them and transfused and transplanted them, to keep them alive, and then, when they were grown, they used all their skills in assisting them to have children of their own.