So we live here in our lowtowns and our cathedrals and our shanties and
caverns and buried mansions, and nothing ever changes. That is the big
secret the exogen was searching for. You can transcend death, but only
through stasis. The whole point and purpose of life on the human plan
is death. Otherwise you are us, grubbing in the ruins of a million
years of dreaming.
Dog the Digger, an intergalactic anthropologist, is "[charged] with
finding the door into death." With the help of Pater Nostrum, a priest
who can search all the "information [that] flows everywhere on this
earth", this is what he finds. As Pater remarks,
"You are not on the human plan, but I am." He leaned close, almost
touching me. "Do you think the human plan called for
four-thousand-year-old priests? When was the last time you saw a
One can defeat death but only through a stasis that is not human. That is what humanity has accomplished in Digger's universe.