THE BOOK, OR THE BOOK OF THE STORY1, was composed sometime during the early twenty-first century, in the midst of the neo-post-modern reactionary ferment which preceded the period of The Second Enlightenment. The alert reader can see, with little difficulty, the seeds of that Enlightenment in these pages.
The present translation, which will appear one fragment at a time on these pages as the work is done, has been made possible by the heroic dedication of our research team. The historic period the original texts come from is notorious for rapidly changing media standards. The search for, and collection of, the records was in itself an enormous task, involving both considerable detective work and tireless negotiations with the holders of the materials. New technologies had to be invented in some cases before the records could be decoded.
And, of course, the translation process itself is no easy matter, requiring extensive knowledge of the languages and customs of a culture that is separated from us by thousands of years, and by three major cultural revolutions.
Like various religious and philosophical texts which preceded it, The Book was not originally written as a unified whole, but was compiled sometime in the late 2000s from a tradition of writings which had sprung up, in most cases anonymously, in the form of primitive “e-books”, “blogs”, or “web-sites” as they were then called. In some cases, it is possible that an oral tradition may lie behind the texts of the period, stretching as far back as another 12,000 years—perhaps as far as the beginnings of civilization2.
We will provide notes throughout the text, whenever a new author or tradition appears for the first time.
As editor of this edition, I will take the liberty of offering one caution to the reader. It is easy for us to find, and dwell on, the many factual errors The Book contains, and to give them too much weight. While The Book contains a variety of genres, it is neither science nor history, per se. Some of it is philosophy, some of it fiction, and some of it is myth. The authors and first readers knew this, and knew the difference.
At the time The Book was written, other, even more ancient, mythical, philosophical, and value traditions were being interpreted through the eyes of the then primitive physical sciences. Those who did so thought they were interpreting them literally—but of course they were merely misinterpreting them.
I urge the readers of The Book not to make the same mistake.
1 Or, much less often, The Book of the Voice. In spite of recent arguments to the contrary, it has been firmly established that this last title was just another for The Book, and does not represent some other secret text or commentary.
2 A term which had very different connotations in that time.