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Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein

Chapters XIV–XVI

Chapters XII–XIII

Chapters XIV–XVI, page 2

page 1 of 2

Chapter XIV

The narrator writes that the Martians have no concept of "hurry." The rush of human existence, the narrator argues, is a result of our sexual bipolarity. Then the narration turns to Earth customs, and an overview of the difficulty throughout history of establishing lines of communication between a populace and their leaders.

Jubal realizes that he needs to speak to Douglas directly to help Ben. While he is on hold with one of Douglas's assistants, Jubal notices Mike watching a religious service on the stereovision, by an organization called the Fosterites. Jubal gets through to a high-ranking police officer and harasses him.

Anne tells Jubal that Duke has left the compound. Mike asks to discuss religion with Jubal, but he is confused but compelled by it. Mike wants to learn who are the Earth equivalents of the Martian "Old Ones," the dead spirits who pass down wisdom. Jubal is chagrined at Mike's particular interest in the Fosterites, who strike Jubal as an especially ignorant and distasteful sect. Jubal is agnostic, equally unconvinced by evidence for or against the existence of any higher power.

Jubal attempts to explain the basic concepts of religion to Mike. Jubal also explains that Earthlings have many different religions, all of which claim to have the only correct interpretation of God's truth—Mike cannot see how these conflicting views are possible. Mike inquires about the nature of man, and the best explanation Jubal can muster is that man "is the animal who laughs." Mike notes that he does not laugh.

Mike realizes a connection between his Martian concept of grokking and the Earth concept of God. In a revelatory moment, he exclaims to Jubal, "Thou art God!" All living creatures, he thinks, are God. Jubal is horrified that his explanations have led to this outburst.

The police arrive. Jubal instructs Mike to hide at the bottom of the pool. The officers emerge from their squad car and Jubal immediately begins quoting chapter and verse of the law to them, outlining all of the grounds he will have upon which to sue them.

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Apollo =/= Mars

by Brags753, July 10, 2013

The summary incorrectly states that Apollo is the Greek "word" for Mars. Actually, Ares is the Greek name for the god known as Mars in Latin.

Apollo is one of the few classical gods known by nearly the same name in Greek and Latin. In English, he is called Apollo in both contexts.

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