LITERATURE: Henderson The Rain King – Soul, Bellow-Style

Jeez this is great; what a perfect complement to Augustine’s wondering of soul. 

Henderson and his man, Romilayu find that they’ve been set up with a corpse in their small hut.  After the initial shock and anger, they must decide what to do.

When he came back we squatted down, the two of us, beside the dead man to deliberate and what I felt was not so much fear now as sadness, a regular drawing pain of sadness.  I felt my mouth become very wide with the sorrow of it and the two of us, looking at the body, suffered silently for a while, the dead man in his silence sending a message to me such as, "Here, man, is your being, which you think is so terrific."  And just as silently I replied, "Oh, be quiet, dead man, for Christ’s sake."  (p. 132)

I don’t know how Augustine can top that one for entertainment value.

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6 Responses to LITERATURE: Henderson The Rain King – Soul, Bellow-Style

  1. Anne says:

    Such a peculiar creature. Easy to mistake Death for the terrible, fearsome Act of Dying. But some rare times, alone in the dark, with pain behind the eyes, Death can easily, too easily, be mistaken for Recovery.

  2. susan says:

    But if faith envisions life beyond death, couldn’t circumstance dictate that it indeed be a welcome recovery?

  3. Anne says:

    But in that case, it would not be Death that provides the welcome recovery, but rather the faith-based Life Beyond. And if you believe Death is the only final destination, then that negates any possibility of recovery. Recovery can only begin within a cognizant, aware soul wherever its plane of existence.

  4. susan says:

    It’s a hard thing to consider, even harder to understand. That’s likely why people either have a belief in the soul or belief that life ends when the heart stops beating.

    I like your theory of Death not as a destination, nor as Recovery, but rather as a doorway.

    How one lives life, I would think, must necessarily include one’s notion of soul. Right now I’m trying to integrate evolution into traditional religious beliefs that could be challenged by the notion.

    Personally, I have no fear of my life ending, but as most folk, the fear is of the pain, the confusion, or the indignity that unfortunately too often accompany the act of dying.

  5. Anne says:

    Doorway. Yes, that’s a good word. I picture Death as both the ultimate rest stop and a sort of conductor to transition. If an error in “travel” plans occurs and a soul begins its journey before the body begins its process of dying, you have “coma”.

    You must think me a total whack job, so i should stop. But now i’ve an overwhelming desire to watch Resurrection with Ellen Burstyn for the umpteenth time, so i think i will. Wish they’d put it on dvd already. Also wish you a wonderful weekend and wildly transformative dreams.

  6. susan says:

    Anne, I may consider you a bit whacky but it’s not due to this discussion–only joking.

    It’s a sensitive area but we are all facing death whether it’s in a known period of time or whether it comes without warning. But I would think that it’s one of the most important things to have some ideas about, being both a definite and a fascination because of its mysteries.

    I do believe in a soul; mainly because I’ve been raised Catholic, but also because there doesn’t seem to be a real physical answer to all the workings of the brain that explains to my satisfaction how we are who we are. We can say that feelings are processed in a certain section of the brain, but that feeling is not a physical thing–only it’s expression may be seen.

    Anyway, I’m seeking some way to reconcile evolution with the existence of soul (and its immortality) so I’m kind of questioning everything right now.

    Yeah, you too–have a fundoodle weekend and dreams that are real!

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