A friend encouraged me to return to reading after a long hiatus, my self imposed recalcitrance stemmed from my own writing experience and how it stole the ability of my mind to escape into someone elses words without seeing the structures, tricks and path laying by the author.
In challenging me this valued friend provided the ‘Cloud Atlas’ as a noteworthy modern book, it was felt the modern writing technique was sufficiently different and the content colourful and diverse, that I should reach the end and hopefully have reconnected with the art of reading as opposed to writing.
Indeed I succeeded, afteral I am a sagittarian who never shy’s away from satisfying someone else, however I fear I have made little or no progress in reestablishing a regular reading habit.
The book is wonderful and deserving of the accolades received, its interesting and exciting and touches both large and small ideas to the point of ongoing conversation. I can not fault it as a piece of work.
My unsolved problem is however unchanged, In reading the first part the use of language as it might been spoken told me much about the characters and their status in society. The descriptions of place and general everyday life effectively refreshed the pictures that others had portrayed on numerous occasions. I already had the ship and the people in my head, I didn’t need it repainting.
The trail of breadcrumbs left to collect later was evident, this is not the fault of the author but of me unable to control my mind enough to let it be naive to the story, to allow the author freedom is still a step too far for me.
HOWEVER the one thing the cloud atlas did succeed in was create a cacophony of voices in my head arguing one of the main pretexts. The concept that a spirit is reincarnated or reused is fine, you can believe in that no problem.
There are however a few issues this creates :
Why reuse a spirit, the supply must be unlimited as is the world population of all things that need one !
Therefore there must be an objective behind reuse, unless spirit generation is behind global warming there must be a reason why a spirit comes back for another go.
That being the case it is hard to accept such a complex idea (the spirit) would be designed without a safety measure to ensure each reuse improves or makes more good than evil. The natural flow on from that is, how long is it going to take for us to stop doing evil stuff FCS.
The carry over effect, the idea that good and bad deeds can motivate or effect change in future generations, is surely just what historians are here for. Of course not every good or bad deed is recorded but if it were, someone that encountered it could experience a different path. I go the War Memorial in Canberra and read about the Private and his donkey, that might inspire me to do something good that someone who didn’t go, wouldn’t do – thats history in action not religion.
I see traces of Karma and the butterfly effect in this which, in my humble opinion, is nowadays extended out of context to the point of stupidity. Karma is a simple message of ‘be nice to others and others will be nice to you’. Unfortunately people build an expectation that receiving nice will be : in kind, guaranteed to happen, will be noticeable and, under those circumstances they are prepared to be nice to others. The expression ‘Karma is a bitch’ when someone gets a deserving dose of bad is a classic example, this is in fact the largest opportunity to build Karma reserves but we choose to enjoy the payback moment.
Karma is the same message quoted by all major religions just without a controlling figurehead. Of course actions of others around the world will effect strangers and have unforeseen side effects, the butterfly effect is simply a statement that we live in one world and need to work together.
The reincarnation of a spirit implies a greater overarching power, much like a sim card is issued by your phone service provider, your phone as complex as it is, is a lump of junk without it. If they are not disposable or single use items then why would a designer allow them free rein to create chaos and untold harm. Surely they have KPI’s and if they fail to meet them they get fired, not a new assignment.
And if there is no over arching figurehead, that spirits are in fact autonomous robots whose role it is to share experience across generations, societies, kingdoms then surely they have a basic program methodology. Maybe they were designed by the England car industry, did the basics but never felt the urge to develop.