The Recapture the Rapture Book Club Guide

Here's our DIY guide for reading Recapture the Rapture with a book club. Feel free to adapt to what works best for you!

7 Weekly Meetings

We recommend you schedule out 7 weeks to check in with your book club using the following schedule. This amounts to reading roughly 100 pages every two weeks, with a buffer in the middle in section two.

STRONGLY ENCOURAGE to read with a pen or highlighter 🖊 so you can underline ideas or sentences that hit you, so you can come back to them with your club!

Orient as a group to each section of the book. Feel free to discuss key passages or concepts that stood out especially for you. Be sure to turn to specific pages, read aloud a section and use it as evidence to support your points!

This is called a “Socratic Dialogue.” Bet you feel smarter just having read that ;) (plus it’s way more fun and meaningful than just each other at the high level).

🍽 BONUS: there’s only 3 of the 7 weeks that require reading from the book. The other 4 sessions are super fun, paint-by-number dinnertime/happy hour conversations that dive deep into Death, Sex, Drugs and God in a “Jeffersonian Dinner” format that old Thomas Jefferson invented.

Don’t worry, while the topics sound dangerous, the dinners (and conversations) are perfectly safe ;)

Week #1
Part 1: Choose Your Own Apocalypse 🔥

Option 1: Go through your meticulous notes from the reading that you definitely did do and host a fascinating conversation about the first section of the book!

Option 2: If you’re in a pinch homework-wise, or would like some extra structure...

Read over the three quotes below and choose one or more to read aloud, and then discuss. What lines stick out the most? What do you agree with most strongly, or disagree with? Cite specific phrases and examples to make your points.

“The knock on effects of a world shrunken by travel, satellites and internet cables makes it nearly impossible to escape from our challenges, even at the literal top, bottom and ends of the earth. Pollution, disease, and gratingly catchy dance memes are all only one click away. And as it turns out, so are Rapture Ideologies. Even at the Ends of the Earth, the End of Days will find us. The question becomes less and less about where we might run, and more and more about where we must stand.”
  • In the past few years, have you ever thought of leaving to escape (profession, town, relationship, country)? Why? What did you hope it would accomplish? How did it turn out?

  • Respond to the last line “the question becomes less and less about where we might run, and more and more about where we must stand.” Where and with whom do you choose to stand? Why? How does it feel to share that out loud?

“So it’s worth pausing for a moment and check in on how this (differently challenging scenarios for the future) actually feels to consider. Do we cling to comfortable truths we take to be self-evident, like the triumphal rise of nation states, democracy and market capitalism? Do we cross our fingers and hold out hope for exponential technology, like fusion power, quantum computing or geo-engineering to save us from uncertainty? Do we secretly think that some game-changing intervention, whether a new world powered by blockchain or a blossoming of human consciousness spawned by psychedelics or neural implants, will save us in the nick of time? Or how about a full-blown Rapture play–like alien disclosure or the Second Coming, to thwart all the grim predictions, and deliver us, at the last minute, from evil?” 
  • Which (if any) of the hopeful solutions in this list are most true for you? How does it feel to consider “shooting” your Sacred Cows (i.e. allowing they might not be around forever)

  • Without some Hollywood style quick fix, what do you think is most likely to happen in the next ten years? Will the challenges and opportunities look most like the last decade, the last century, the last millennium or the last epoch?  What examples or evidence are you drawing on to form your conclusion?

“Since we can’t all become astronauts adventuring outward into the universe (to experience the Flyover Effect of global unity), maybe we can become psychonauts venturing inward toward the multiverse. Or, we could become “engineers of inner space. If we could become more skillful in the explorations of our minds, and of reality itself, we would inevitably reframe our sense of our own significance in the Big Scheme of Things. For a species that seems to forever trip over our own sense of importance, a healthy dose of awe, wonder, and humility could be good for what ails us.”
  • What do you think is a better solution to our collective challenges––tribalism, or globalism? Why?

  • What experience have you had that has given you the most profound sense of a shared experience of humanity all living together on the same planet?

Week #2
Death Over Dinner

Gather with your friends/family over dinner and explore this conversation:

Death Over Dinner Guide

Week #3
Part 2: The Alchemist Cookbook 🧪

Orient as a group to the second section of the book, and take a considered look at this chart outlining the three key personality types:

As you read these personas, note which one has felt most true for you in your life. Notice how they have both helped and harmed your own attempts to experience Ecstasis (peak experience and awe), Catharsis (deep healing and integration), and Communitas (profound connection with others)

We can’t get sidetracked in sensation seeking like a Hedonist might. Nor can we turn up our noses at approaches that don’t fit our idealized identity as a Purist might. And we can’t ignore novel solutions that might bring powerful benefit as a Conformist might.

Are you a Hedonist, Purist or Conformist?

Week #4
Drugs Over Dinner

Gather with your friends/family over dinner and explore this conversation:

Drugs Over Dinner Guide

Week #5
Sex Over Dinner

Gather with your friends/family over dinner and explore this conversation:

Sex Over Dinner Guide

Week #6
Ethical Cult Building 🏛

Orient as a group to the third section of the book. Explore the following quotes and questions together:

"'Everybody worships,' David Foster Wallace acknowledged in his well-known essay This is Water. 'The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to that pretty much anything else will eat you alive.'

That’s where we find ourselves in this conversation–figuring out what to worship, learning how to worship, and doing our level best not to get eaten alive.”
  • What do you worship? Why? Has it kept you alive, or eaten you alive?

“'We are not expected to finish The Work, nor are we excused from it,' the Talmud advises. It’s an impossible task, and we have to try anyway.”
  • What “Work” do you feel is yours to do? When have you felt overwhelmed by your commitment? How have you kept going?

  • How does this quote land for you?

Week #7
God Over Dinner

Gather with your friends/family over dinner and explore this conversation:

God Over Dinner Guide

In Closing: go around your book club circle, and offer each person a reflection of something you learned about them or through them during this shared conversation.

Name one thing in your life that you are committing to doing with more courage, creativity or service as a result of the exploration you’ve just completed.



Image Credit: ESO/VISTA/J. Emerson. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit