and We’re assured afterlife in heaven. If We don’t believe his book, We’re damned toeternal hellfire.”“That’s correct, my son.”
Asbestos fakes a nervous smile and backs toward the door. Hundreds of heads behind pews stare with sad eyes and upside-down frowns. Then as if possessed by an attention- starved ego, one of them jumps up and screams “Halla Hoola Jesus!” Asbestos seizes theopportunity and runs away as fast as he can.
-He immediately becomes suspicious of all large groups of people united under one name- each their own little niche community with mini-hierarchies and questionable agendas.Such group identities are dangerous because they claim to represent everyone, but at bestrepresent a majority whose power fallaciously includes that of its dissenters. And whengroup irresponsibility results in disaster those mini-hierarchies disperse into democracy.His suspicion extends from religion to all systems of government, countries and militariesunder the haze of patriotism, police, school boards, corporations, pro-this and anti-thatgroups.He also becomes suspicious of his senses because spirituality and his sense of self lay beyond them. You see his senses are selfish so he spends all his time appeasing their wishes. Everything he thinks comes from his senses and most everything he sensescomes from everything he isn’t. But at some point he came from some of the somethinghe wasn’t and became everything he is, so somehow everything he isn’t is inextricablylinked to everything Asbestos is, including his selfish senses. This makes him think there’s something selfless beyond his sense of self and he calls it
. But he so loves
that sometimes he thinks that’s selfish too. Luckily it turns out everyone else loves
as well, so if he’s ever to transcend his selfish senses, that’s his best guess how.These and other suspicions lead him to the library where he learns to speed-read. It turnsout the human brain can process one hundred thousand words a minute but most peoplesettle for under a thousand because a silent voice in their heads repeats every word itsees. The trick is to eliminate the voice by scanning text too fast for individual words tostick; Widen your eyes, scan without focus forth and back down the page, then takechunks of meaning from your periphery and make a mental motion picture. With practice, Asbestos’s quest for knowledge carries him from a page a minute, to a page asecond, to finishing books as fast as he can physically flip.Reading random books by various writers taken out of their chronology feels muddledand impersonal so Asbestos quickly stops reading books and starts reading Authors,reading everything they’ve ever written in the order they wrote it. Approaching literaturethis way, he discovers secrets lurking behind the Authors words, between the bindings,the white space encompassing everything unwritten, an evolution of meta-expressionswhich collectively follow Author’s life-long creative struggles through the human