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This was unexpected. Anyone who had previously read UFO books or Abduction / Experiencer stories will recognize many of the exact same elements popping up as this story unfolds.
The story within the story describes Earth's history, as told by entities claiming to be responsible for Earth's and humanity's development. But, after listening to John Keel's and Graham Hancock's books, plus the recent book by David Jacobs, I also noticed the disdainful way humans are treated in the story within a story. Which is starting to be common undercurrent in many UFO books, even though the main theme is supposed to be one of helpfulness and evolution.
However, at the same time, I got my first strong "is this real or made up or some type of meme being planted?" gut response to the T. Lobsang Rampa books. Why would the airlock of alien vessels use the same color "green" to indicate the air transfer was complete and the people can exit (go)? We use green to indicate go. What a coincidence. Is this just a matter of perception and interpretation from the astral traveler?
I was reminded of Robert Heinlein's sci-fi book The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, which I read decades ago as a teen, and re- listened to the audio version last year. In the book the main character walked around with reams of paper printouts of computer code, or put on his spacesuit and got a long extension cord for his phone to sit outside on the moon to talk on the phone. Of course, these days, that is ridiculous and a flub in writing futuristic fiction - a total miss on predicting what the future would look like. In this book, The Hermit, the old monk was recalling his time on a spaceship, and the nurse who was supposed to watch him was turning pages of a book, and falling asleep dropped the book. I suppose there could be paper books on a spaceship . . . who knows for certain? But, it reminded me of Heinlein's reams of computer paper and telephone extension cords.
How many versions, too, have I heard of Atlantis's sinking - few ever match. But, who is to say which source of information is correct. Also, there is the matter of perception and translation.
The story is, as usual, fantastic with a bit of adventure, and again suffering and mistreatment at the hands of others pointing out the need for compassion and respect for individuals. The Hermit is certainly an interesting and somewhat unique book.