Transcendence doesn’t belong to the monks. Inner peace doesn’t belong to the yoginis. God doesn’t belong to the churches, mosques, or synagogues. The secular carnival of ideas and desires offers its own opportunities for ecstasy.
Other Essay Sections
These places exist around the world, these “Pleasure Island” communities near current or former army installations: Bangkok, Tijuana, Saigon, Manila, Okinawa to name just a few, all with a parallel motif of booze, hookers and cheap souvenirs.
Some time in 2014 I picked this up at a yard sale. It was hard to resist, for a $1, with the day of the title coming up. Arthur C. Clarke, renowned science fiction writer, published this strange, heavy book in 1986, imagining this day in 2019 that would commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing in 1969. It’s not, Clarke was adamant, an attempt at prophecy, but (as he said of his work generally), “An inquiry into the Limits of the Possible.”