Monday, March 21, 2005

Weight of the world

In Jostein Gaarder's Maya, Frank Andersen, "a Norwegian evolutionary biologist estranged from his wife Vera" after the accidental death of their child, ponders the importance of his situation. In his death, he realizes, will die hundreds of thousands of years of knowledge and history if he has no progeny.

Jostein Gaarder earlier reminded us in Sophie's World: He who cannot draw upon three thousand years of history is living from hand to mouth.

All right. So I am not completely irrational or superficially indulgent in myself when I wonder: how many thousands of years' worth of history will change or continue their course when I change or continue my course? How, on each branching of destiny, I will turn one way and modify the course of travel of this history forever?

Which person up, up, up my ancestral lineage took the decision that made me, me? Whose decision am I anyway?

I must say, in drawing upon three thousands years of history, we do also choose to carry quite a weight - the weight of all history and evolution and survival that made us who we are. And the weight of all the decisions not taken, to make sure here I'd be, writing this. Here you'd be, reading this.

UPDATE: A fish needs a bicycle. A Lust for Life needs your feedback. Yes, move. Move!

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