11 August 2014

The Philosophy of Eternal Recurrence

I wanted to translate my title into French but I couldn't as I don't know the equivalent of recurrence. Maybe I have to enrol for another two months of French lessons in Alliance again to improve my speaking skills and maybe ultimately learn how to speak recurrence in that language. (What do you think, Mom? Hahahahaha)

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Blazer: The Ramp | Shirt: Giordano | Shorts: Topshop | Shoes: Zara | Sunnies: Ray-ban

Three posts ago, I briefly tackled Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being. I could've let the novel remain a close book but I decided not to because something of weight, deserves to be taken a little bit seriously. Thus assigning its weight, positive. (Aha, that was a pun only those who've read this incredibly written novel would understand)

The book proposed the premise that anything that happens will one day happen again, and in another time, happen once more. If something happens continually, then doesn't it lose its significance? But if it only happens once and would never again occur, what is its importance then? And so the philosophy of 'eternal return' continues to perplex me. Does it mean that in a distant future (time that is unthought of), we get to have a second shot at certain things in our lives? Do we get to change our lives notably as a result of this or only the trivial aspects can be altered? I've never bought the idea of not regretting anything that we've done in the past for it contributed to whoever we are today, because I firmly believe that everyone of us has something that we'll change drastically should chance present itself. Perhaps what 'eternal return' offers is the consolation that some day, we'd get to relive the defining moment that shifted our paths to where we eventually went to and finally have a retrospective eye that will greatly aid us in picking the right choice. Or perhaps eternal return is just that - a life on-loop. If that happens, we will assume the role of spectators where we'll no longer live our lives but rather, become watchers who look on from afar the same things over and over again. 

To me, life will become weightless if all that have happened now will have repeat performances. There are things that should be relived only in memories. But life would continue to have meaning, to be heavy, if we have something unforeseeable to look forward to. 

In terms of style, Kundera is faultless. I am in awe in how he marries the novelistic part with his personal musings, but still successful in leaving his readers guessing up to which extent did he reveal his own personal thoughts, not the thoughts of the characters whose personalities he assumed. His novel wasn't an emotional one like Picoult's (who, by the way, is among my favorite authors). Although there was death upon major characters, which I highly approve of happening when I'm reading an emotional novel as I think that it is only in having an irreparable loss do we completely appreciate a person, an event, or a thing, it did not happen in a dramatical set-up. Instead, death was stated plainly, without shock value, and definitely without sentimental value. Kundera wasn't after my tears; he was after my curiosity.

P.S. I don't really think my title should be translated to French because after all, it's based on Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy. Say what you will about the German but no one can deny him of his brilliance and on-point questions.

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