Last week, I read the novel, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. If you have read it before, I’d love to hear your take on it. For me (and I can’t believe I’m saying this), it was a little too postmodern. What I got from the book was that one should choose to follow a religion, not because that religion is rooted in any objective truth, but because it is a “better story” than the brutal, senseless reality of life.
However, despite that bleak, existential message, I did find some interesting ideas in the book, including this gem:
“There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, ‘Business as usual.’ But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.
These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.”
Preach on, Yann Martel. I may not agree with you about the nature of objective truth, but I’m totally with you on this.
So…have you read Life of Pi? What did you think about it?