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Chapter 8

In space there is a fantasy of independence and freedom.  Sure, looking through big clean windows at an endless void gives these feelings.  In space there is the tendency to be believe that one has everything one needs on his or her own space ship, station, or pod.  It is wonderful to believe that everything one needs is enclosed within his own walls- his air, his bed, his computer, his TV, his food, his drink, his toilette.  "I bought all this.  It is mine.  I made this world by myself, I can thank only myself.  I am so proud of myself."

Space travelers tend to enjoy their fantasy of independence wherever they go.  Sometimes they land on some beautiful planet and, taking only a bag on their back, they go hiking into the "wilderness."  "Everything I need is right here!  Right on my back!"  They love to say.  They tread into the planet.  Some leave only footprints.  Others leave trash.  Yet, rarely does a space traveler take part in the native dances and celebrations on the planets.

For centuries, people have arrived on some new planet and decided to make it become a mirror of their own world.  Unable to see the new world for what it is, they simply tried to remake it into their own old world without taking part in the old celebrations and meetings.  Almost always, however, both worlds persevered.   The shape changers changed or moved or consolidated their stories.

The movement to space was supposed to end the destruction and replacement of worlds.  Yet, by moving into space, the very perpetuation of all worlds is threatened.  With nobody left on the planet nobody knows how to bring together the peoples there.  Nobody knows how to create meetings.  

The goods that a space traveler carries in his backpack or his apartment capsule came from some world, but without knowing where or how it came, the means become dubious.  Indeed, the cheapest method is almost always used- mountains leveled, villages and cities crushed into their mineral components- worlds are robbed of their wealth and beauty.

The idea of independence that a space traveler carries is the most dangerous of all.  Uncaring of the consequences of his actions, he becomes a parasite.  Uncaring of the consequence of his words, he becomes foul mouthed.   Work becomes a means to earn money.  Money may give momentary satisfaction, but it usually just perpetuates the means to work.