Friday, April 18, 2008

I went to go see a speech tonight given by Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk who also happens to have a Ph.D. in molecular biology. It made me realize that I should talk about the after effects of reading Chameleon War.

In Chameleon War, I attempted to capture some of the basic ideas found in Buddhism. The book does not address spirituality explicitly, but the structure of the plot, in the end, creates a scenario in which, to make sense of the plot, the reader must discover that his or her only choices are to become frustrated in his or her inability to understand the reason for the plot's apparent confusion, or to accept it for what it is . . . . a challenge, nothing more, nothing less. Life, like the book, does not explicitly present itself as a vessel for spirituality. This is because spirituality does not come from life. Spirituality comes from within oneself, one's mind and the mind's relationship with life. To some people, the book may come across as just being a series of individual experiences one feels along the way. My intention was that those experiences should be looked at as being separate from the nature of the existence from which they were experienced. The nature of the existence in the book shifts at the end into a perspective that appears incompatible with one's initial understanding of his or her experiences throughout the book. This is where the confusion arises and where there is an opportunity to simply be one with those experiences without needing to understand them through any one particular perspective, because its impossible to wrap your mind around the plot. It will always escape as soon as you attempt to mentally confine it.

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