Instant recap: In his out-of-body adventures, Robert Monroe befriended a being called ‘BB’ from a world beyond space and time, and helped him to track down his friend ‘AA’ who had embarked on the journey of human life on planet Earth. At the end of his third incarnation, AA no longer recognized BB when he came to plead for him to return to their homeworld, ‘KT-95’.
3. A Guided Tour of the Human Condition
Some time went by before Monroe again encountered BB in the metasphere, and found him in a morose state. He had lost his best friend, for it now seemed hopeless to pursue the trail of AA any longer. Monroe knew that the usual course of a soul’s terrestrial sojourn was hundreds and even thousands of lives, and he feared that many never returned at all from their mesmerized entrapment in matter. He suggested tactfully to BB that perhaps he should accept the loss and return to KT-95 by himself. BB said that he had already done that and come back, because there was a hole there which only one being could fill, and life was empty without him. So he felt that he had no recourse but to wait for the emergence of AA from Earth life, no matter how long it might take.
Monroe told BB that he would need some understanding of human life in order to be able to relate to AA after he “graduated” from the human experience, for he would be very changed, and probably unrecognizable by the standards of KT-95. At first BB was repelled by the idea, wanting nothing to do with humans in their natural habitat, which had swallowed his friend. Finally, though, he relented and proposed that Monroe be his tour guide. In his first effort to grasp Monroe’s terrestrial identity, BB figured out that the initials of his name formed the word RAM, and called him that for the rest of the narrative.
Monroe took BB to a barely-civilized area where they watched a hunter kill a deer and take it to his hut, where his wife was cooking food in a pot over an open fire. Two children were also present, and soon they ate dinner. This scenario illustrated the bottom-line basics of which BB was clueless: life and death, killing and eating, and the constant servicing a physical body requires. The next lesson was sex, as the couple went at it as soon as they finished their meal. Monroe explained that they were “reproducing, making copies of themselves, like the smaller two there by the fire.” BB asked why they would want to do that, leading Monroe to describe the survival-drive, the urge to live on in one’s “copies”, and to make enough of them to ensure that some would live long enough to make still more ~ for “it’s easier to die or get killed than it is to live”. He also had to explain the gender differentiation ~ “it takes a male and a female to reproduce”. BB turned to RAM and asked, “Which are you?” When he said male, the next question was whether he had ever been female. He replied that he didn’t have any knowledge of it, so he guessed not.
From the primitive backwater Monroe leaped right to New York City for the next stop on the “tour”. A big distraction was the “M-band noise”, the deafening raucous barrage of raw human emotion which is directly perceptible to people and other beings who are traveling through the metasphere without a physical body. BB drew a blank on *emotion*; Monroe said that you just have to be human to experience it, and added: “It’s the next biggest problem after the survival drive. Makes humans do things they really don’t want to do.” BB asked RAM why he wasn’t making any M-band noise, and he answered that his emotions were under control. This was the rigorous challenge he had had to meet in order to master out-of-body travel, as explained in Part I, Chapter 2.
In the next lesson on being human, Monroe explained that all those people doing all that confusing stuff in New York were fulfilling the survival-drive just like the hunter and his family. When he broached the concept of *work*, BB said, “You mean humans kill and eat each other?” He replied that sometimes they kill each other ~ in fact they form “big clubs they call nations and try to destroy other nations who they think threaten their survival, and the whole thing occupies their thoughts and actions so deeply that they forget completely any other existence except physical human.”
But work itself didn’t usually involve killing; it was what humans did to get a special kind of energy called “money” to give to other humans to get what they want to satisfy their survival needs. BB said, “So if I want a deer to eat, or a hut to be in, I got to give money energy to get it?” RAM said yes, and BB replied: “It’s too messed up for me. If I had to be human, I would stay away from all the rest of it and just hang around making copies and let it go at that.” When RAM stopped laughing, he explained that a lot of the “reproducing” going on in New York was actually just “doing the action without making any copies”.