I don’t read as much Arthurian legend as I used to, but my love for that mythology is one that I don’t think will ever truly die. A few years ago, I went through a rather long phase where I read nearly every King Arthur story I could get my hands on. I read T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. I read J. Robert King’s Mad Merlin and Lancelot Du Lethe (but not his Le Morte D’Avalon, yet). A.A. Attanasio’s The Dragon and the Unicorn (and its sequels) were challenging but rewarding. I can’t even recall all the less notable and more poorly written books I read, honestly. Regardless, I somehow managed to make it through all of this phase without reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.
The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
A few weeks ago, I was browsing through Amazon, growing my Wishlist to an even more preposterous size than it already was, when Mists popped up as a recommendation. I was familiar with the title, having worked in a bookstore for a couple of years and being a prolific reader, but I didn’t really know what the book was about other than that it was a retelling of the King Arthur story that was centered on the women characters of the legend. Thinking to myself that it had been a while since I’d read a good King Arthur story, I clicked through and started reading through some of the Amazon reviews. Continue reading
Squashed Asks: Are love and suffering anything more social constructs or evolutionary by products? Does our suffering have a purpose?
Short answers: Probably not, and no, not really. Meaning and purpose are things that we all figure out for ourselves, and one person’s “purpose” is sometimes another person’s soul-crushing hopelessness.
We human beings take ourselves incredibly seriously considering just how tiny and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. It’s not enough, for most of us, to try and live good lives, be kind to each other, raise our children, and die–we all want to live forever, or at the very least do something that will cause us to be remembered forever.
I know I do, anyway. I consider it a great tragedy that I won’t be here to see what humanity turns into a hundred or five hundred or a thousand years from now. We have so much potential that I’d like to believe it’s going to be good. If I can’t live forever, it would be nice to be remembered forever. How profoundly sad to think of a time when no one will remember my name!
When I finished reading The Five Ages of the Universe, years ago, I cried myself to sleep pondering the inevitable heat death of the universe–just imagine, all those molecules so far apart. Imagine the loneliness of all those trillions and trillions of years in the future when there is no one there to see as waves lengthen and strings stop vibrating and things just begin to fall apart at the quantum level. Even if that’s not how it all ends–and there’s no certainty, I suppose, that that’s how it will go–it’s a sobering thought, all that unimaginable cold and emptiness and no one there to see it. Continue reading
What qualities would you say make a god worthy of worship? To what extent does your god embody those qualities, and how? I will ask for examples here, and I am likely to point out contradictions if I am familiar enough with your religion to do so.
One of the things I’ve always found odd about believers (and in the US, where I live, they’re mostly Christians, so I’m going to address Christianity here) is that the primary attributes they claim for their God are “loving” and “just.” Now, when one reads the Christian Bible, it’s unclear how anyone could arrive at the conclusion that the God of Abraham is a just or loving character.
The Christian bible is simply full of stories that illustrate the character of God as an unreasonable, self-contradictory, cruel, jealous, and spiteful. Continue reading