We will try and answer the questions you have. Firstly, you asked, 'Why is it a pitfall to base the identity of an Autonomous Astronaut on "being a space explorer"'? The document that you refer to which raised this point was attempting to outline some basic tactics that the AAA use with regard to the ways people have responded to our projects. We propose that our struggle for independent space travel should not completely take over our identities; in other words we should each be ourselves first and foremost. We have many other interests in life aside from space travel and do not wish to be only known as "space explorers". Furthermore, part of our struggle recognises a need to entirely transform current attitudes to space travel. So our identities as individuals must also be flexible enough to cope with potentially massive change; rather than forming identities based on the present order of things we need to consciously investigate the possibilities of multiple personalities.
Secondly, you ask, 'Why is the AAA just about forming a group. Why can't people join the AAA?'. Of course people can join the AAA. The best way is by joining a local group, since the AAA's 5 Year Plan aims to create a world-wide network of local, community-based groups dedicated to building their own space ships. However, this network is still growing and there may well not be local groups in existence for many people, which is why we are encouraging people to start their own. The important element to remember is that the AAA develops in a non-hierarchical way, through networks, so that once you start a group you can connect with others for the exchange of ideas and information.
And finally, you bring up the idea of evolution and you question our claim that we represent an important developement in the evolutionary process. We would try and make you look at it from the following perspective. The first thing that would impress a visitor from Outer Space would be the tremendous, inexplicable gap between potential and performance. It's amazing when you consider what humans can do in terms of their potential, and what they actually do. No species that isn't fundamentally flawed could be so stupid this consistently. Our destiny, in terms of evolution, is in space, and our failure to achieve this is the basic flaw in the human species that has so far maintained this huge difference between potential and actuality. To put it simply; space travel is necessary evolution implies it.
The first step towards space exploration is to examine the human with certain biological alterations that would make it more suitable for space conditions and space travel. Now at the present moment we are like creatures in water looking up at the air and wondering how we could survive in that alien environment. The water we live in is time. That alien environment that we glimpse beyond time is space. There is the basic assumption that there is no real biological change involved in space travel, the same dreary people playing out the same tired old roles. Can you really imagine taking your same pastimes light years into space?
A clue to the biological changes necessary to space travel involves the question of weight. The human body weighs an average of 170 pounds and that is a decided disadvantage in space. But regarding this question of weight, we do have a model at hand of a much lighter body, a body which is virtually weightless, and that is the astral dream body. Dreams may also give us insight into space conditions, a vital link to our biological and spiritual destiny in space.
Everything you ever wanted on Planet Earth, and never received, will be yours in Outer Space...
See you up there,
The Association of Autonomous Astronauts