The Book Life

Are you tired of reading about Eschaton yet? | July 28, 2009

All I have to say about Eschaton, which lots of other bloggers and readers are gushing over and around and under (or just plain whining about), is this: “LaMont Chu is throwing up into the Indian Ocean.”

Moving along:

Someone let your peoples forget it was the only thing of importance, choosing. … Some are taught that temples are for fanatics only and took away the temples and promised there was no need for temples. And now there is no shelter. And no map for finding the shelter of a temple. And you all stumble about in the dark, this confusion of permissions. The without-end pursuit of a happiness of which someone let you forget the old things which made happiness possible.

I found a lot of truth in Marathe’s speech here. His English-as-a-second-language (put-on or authentic) seems to add a level of authenticity/sincerity here, for me. This confusion of permissions. I often feel that temples are for fanatics – e.g. while there is part of me that can attend church on Sunday and feel at home, there is another part of me, equally loud, if not louder, that simply itches at it, at church, at this temple, so to speak. It’s a battle. The part that itches insists that I have no need of temples, even that I am brought down by buying into something, anything, beyond myself, be it religion, be it the idea that I might someday find love, be it the very idea of finding an answer of any kind. I can barely form the question before it’s telling me I don’t need an answer, scratching away in there. But promising that there is no need for temples does not actually diminish the need for temples – it only complicates this need, and forces the focus onto whether we need temples, instead of what we should focus on: the search for temples.

There’s more I want to say, about the importance of choosing, but I can’t quite get there tonight. I’ve typed and deleted multiple attempts, all saying pretty much the same thing: It’s important to choose. I can’t get beyond the truth of it. Which brings me to:

“How do things get to be trite? Why is the truth usually not just un- but anti-interesting?”

That line does a better job than I can at explaining why I can’t get beyond the truth of the importance of choosing. It’s too basic.

I’ll close with a line from perhaps my favorite character (a favoritism based entirely on unmuddled eccentricity and (apparent) wisdom): “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Nice to read your thoughts, though I admit I loved Eschaton (even if it took me a while to get through, but not as long as the tiny print in footnote 110!). Choosing turns out to be a more difficult concept for both Marathe and Steeply to explain to one another. As their conversation continues through today’s spoiler line, they try to hash out rational/individualist choice and whether it is ultimately a coherent notion (or whether they are really talking global politics). We’ll have to keep our eyes out for more of this!

    Comment by infinitetasks — July 30, 2009 @ 5:35 pm


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