luni, 31 octombrie 2011

"Adam si Eva" / Adam and Eve

Rebreanu's novel tells the story of a search for love and how the soul goes through stages in order to meet it's destined partner.

The story of how souls come to existence is drawn from an indian mythology. Incapsulated in a human body, the soul is destined to be purified through love, and with each life it comes near to its purpose. It takes seven lives for the soul to find its partner and to be united once more. These lives are presented in different times and places. The book contains eight short stories and in each story we see a different life of the soul. Only in the last life, when the soul has found its partner, we see a completion and the human is destined to relive his past existence.

I liked how the author portrayed the life in Sumerian times and in the times of the Roman Empire. The details are abundant, yet they lack the power to stimulate thought or to create a sense of imaginary flow. 

To me it seems a novel in which the author put a great deal of effort. At times you get carried into the atmosphere of the past times, but the cruel details in which the characters die is enough to deter those who seek a happy ending and to remind oneself that life can be easily terminated. I'm not convinced that souls reincarnate and go through stages of existence but I can understand the desire(maybe the existential need) that something which cannot be completed in this life is believed to be accomplished in another one.

marți, 25 octombrie 2011

The Blind Watchmaker

When I look at the world around me, I see things which simply are and things that seem to complex to exist without having a designer. Yet, what I see is not all there is and sometimes I need to open my eyes to understand more than these apparent features of things like complexity and adaptability. Dawkins tells the story of evolution using an approach that answers to my need of order, of things I can and cannot understand. By using the blind watchmaker analogy he makes a clear point in drawing attention to what we see and what we can understand at a certain time and with certain basis. For me, the basis of evolution has been laid some time ago, with the reading of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, but the understanding grows deeper every time I read something new.
In this book I’ve understood more clearly the fact that what we see is not what is perfect, but merely what it is functional from an adaptability point. Even with adaptability it must have started with something, and that something isn’t as glamorous as one might think. The grand scale of evolution is the ticking of the clock that got perfected, not the clock itself, and the ways in which this process occurs can be resembled to a blind watchmaker in action. Although we can see the watch, the watch is always changing, even if we don’t perceived as such, or we would never live in a scale of time that would enable us to perceive the changing. The variation of change can be in any direction (to give an advantage or disadvantage) but ultimately the selection favors those variation that tend to make an improvement and therefore they’re more likely to survive and be passed on to the next generation and further submitted to change.
The examples in the book are very useful and especially the way the “biomorphs” evolve can convince almost anyone that there is indeed evolution and when certain restraints from the environment are applied, the forms that take shape can be different and may even resemble some of the creatures that live in our world. The fact that the environment sets the rules and acts as a pressure to everything that is, might be seen as a law in our understanding of how life evolved in our planet. But the fact that life exists and evolves can’t be put to question in my opinion. If somebody sees in nature a perfect watch that needs no adjustments she/he has surely find one of the greatest wonders and perhaps the probability of that happening is so small that it is not even sufficient to be written on the scale of time in which we evolve from the Big Bang on. 
One of the greatest question for me is not how can we have evolved from something but why aren’t we using our intellectual power to evolve in a way in which we can adapt to our environment? Although I state my question I know the answer and just hope that time will prove me wrong.
A great book to read and think about.