Friday, October 06, 2006

“Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel. The book is riddled with hidden nuance and thought provoking "brain" material. The concept of “territory” in Religion is an interesting provocation. Who owns what, and who dares to own God. The main character of the book “Pi” belongs to Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. The leader’s of each holy place don’t know the other allegiances, until one day they all converge in a park. Nobody likes the idea, you cannot belong to the one or the other. Martel does not go into the details, but he provokes deeper thought. The parallel story is the zoo. The way in which animals find their territory outside of their natural habitat. The way in which animals are able to live side by side and find unique relationships. The Rhino was able to find company in a herd of goats. A mouse was able to find company with a pit of adult vipers who for some strange reason did not eat the mouse, that is until the junior viper not knowing the deal, quickly gave himself a mouthful. The fascinating concepts of anthropomorphism and zoomorphism are approached. The danger of humans personifying animals, and the way animals relax their natural instincts to help others species survive. The dog rearing lion cubs; the strangeness of seeing domestic cats and dogs lying asleep on top of the other. This got my brain going, as Martel loosely associates the Religious territorialism and that of Zoomorphism. Is there a way of religion finding places of convergence whereby they can be the example of the “lamb and lion together.” Martel does not deny the carnivorous plight of the earth. His illustration of a carnivorous algae island floating in the sea is a superb illustration of seeing the earth as this place whereby all is there to consume and devour. The island turns acidic at night and eats the fish trapped in its fresh water channels and caverns. It is worth the read. The thoughts he stimulates are the coming together of Religious thought and institution within this world. How similar are their prejudices aligned to the carnivorous capacity of all other things. However he redeems religions quest for "another way of life" in the earlier part of the book, in Pi’s insatiable belief that there is one God for all. Pi’s travels at see in a life boat with a large orange tiger called “Richard Parker,” is a sure test for all Martel’s thoughts. (Will call my next cat Richard Parker for sure.)

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