Thursday, April 03, 2008

Heavy Stuff!

Been reading this thought-provoking book called the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.The gist of the entire book is that everything happens but once,everyone has only one life to live(as opposed to Nietzsche's idea of eternal return).This one-time occurence may be seen as not to have occured at all,thus making it insignificant and of no consequence.This means that our lives are 'light' and this lightness of our actions,the lightness of our being is unbearable-in the end,making it heavy.Somewhat a confusing concept,it goes around in circles but rather nice to ponder about.

Personally,I think the book is a bit too much to take after the first three chapters-it turns out to be rather depressing and disturbing with the main guy Tomas mooning around all the time.I found the way he analyses the weight/lightness issue rather cool though.

Excerpt:

" If every second of our lives recurs an infinite number of times, we are nailed to eternity as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross. It is a terrifying prospect. In the world of eternal return the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make. That is why Nietzsche called the idea of eternal return the heaviest of burdens(das schwerste Gewicht).

If eternal return is the heaviest of burdens, then our lives can stand out against it in all their splendid lightness.

But is heaviness truly deplorable and lightness splendid?

The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.

Conversely, the absolute absence of a burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into the heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant.

What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?"


1 comment:

pankaj said...

hmmm! beautiful lines those by kundera! it seems like if we truly pursue different philosophies to their logical conclusion...we come only into despair & absurdity

is se accha mtv roadies dekho aur subway sandwitch khao!