Alpha and Omega.
Beginning and End.
Where do we come from?
Where are we going?
I remember buying the Dan Brown Novel, Origin from a bookshop at Mumbai International Airport in the year 2017. And since then it was a part of my collection, on a waiting list, as to when it will be read by me. The delay in reading was because of a mistake I made. After buying the book, I read Wikipedia plot and I kind of lost interest. Hence, the delay. Not a good idea. I suggest one shouldn’t do this, at least not for novels. Reading the plot summary before reading the actual book, ruins the excitement. For movies, at times, it helps. But I think one should resist this practice.
By now, I have read the entire Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown—Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, and now, Origin. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each one of them, including Origin. I have also read Deception Point and Digital Fortress, but that was a long time back. Here, I may have to Wikipedia the plot for refreshing my memory.
I haven’t travelled much in my life so far, I mean beyond India and a few countries. Therefore, I make it a point to Google every destination mentioned in the Dan Brown books so that I understand the art, architecture and artist better. Origin took me through various cities of Spain. And now, after Google-Touring Italy, France, Turkey and Washington DC, I would also like to visit Spain (someday) to actually see, feel, breathe and admire the art and history embedded in the structure of these destinations—or rather those that form the very skeleton of these cities and countries.
Besides geographical locations mentioned in the book, I also Google-check the pronunciation of many names of the people and places referred to in the novels so as not to mispronounce. All I can say is I am learning.
I am sure many reviews may have been written on the book, Origin. I haven’t checked. But I know I am not that great a writer yet to attempt to review one of the best books ever written by one of my favourite authors, and one of the best author, the world has. Hence, I will just quote some of my favourites sections from the novel.
The book begins with a beautiful quote:
We must be willing to get rid of
the life we’ve planned, so as to
have the life that is waiting for us.
– Joseph Campbell
Any man can stay sober in a desert but only the loyal can sit in an oasis and refuse to part his lips.
(Navy Admiral Luis Avila)
These two mysteries lie at the heart of the human experience. Where do we come from? Where are we going? Human creation and human destiny. They are universal mysteries.
(Edmond Kirsch, the tech genius, computer scientist and futurist)
…when my passions flare, diplomacy is not my métier.
(Edmond Kirsch – I think the above statement is all creative peoples’ issue. I have experienced it myself and felt it among the creative/visionary people I have worked with. It is hindering and hampering and debilitating when what you see and experience and try to explain to others, no one wants to understand, and most times, not even listen to. It feels depressing when someone who can vision the future is ignored or dismissed by a crowd just concerned about the present or way too lost in the past.)
…religion had survived advances in science for millennia, and that it served an important purpose in society, and while religion might evolve, it would never die.
Scientist and spiritualists often use different vocabularies to describe the exact same mysteries of the universe. The conflicts are frequently over semantics, not substance.
Men plan, and God laughs.
Nothing is invented, for it’s written in nature first.
Originality consists of returning to the origin.
– Antoni Gaudi
Memento mori. Remember death. Even for those who wield great power, life is brief. There is only one way to triumph over death, and that is by making our lives masterpieces. We must seize every opportunity to show kindness and to love fully…Your conscience will be your guide. When life is dark, let your heart show you the way.
(The Monarch to the Prince)
Success is the ability to go
from one failure to another
with no loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill
The price of greatness is responsibility.
History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
Love is not a finite emotion.
We don’t have only so much to share.
Our hearts create love as we need it.
Love truly is not finite emotion. It can be generated spontaneously out of nothing.
Love is a private thing. The world does not need to know every detail.
(Julian thinking of Ambra Vidal)
Love is from other realm. We cannot manufacture it on demand. Nor can we subdue it when it appears. Love is not our choice to make.
(Julian reminiscing his father’s words)
I don’t believe the same God who endowed us with sense, reason and intellect intended us to forgo their use?
(Father Bena: My favourite character in the novel.)
Edmond Kirsch’s Prayer for the Future:
May our philosophies keep pace with our technologies.
May our compassion keep pace with our powers.
And may love, not fear, be the engine of change.
Six Kingdoms of Life and the Seventh. Now to know the Seventh, one will have to read this fascinating book.
Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) rule/control humans? Like every scientific invention and discovery, there are numerous pros and cons attached to each invention, each discovery. However, it is our intention that makes each of this invention or discovery, a blessing or a curse. And I think as long as goodness exists, we, the mortal human beings, will thrive, survive, leaving some beautiful footprints, actual and digital, for the generations to come.
I think it was the right time to read Origin. Lockdown, introspection, hermit mode and to ponder on the Origin. Well, let’s end this post on a positive note with another quote from this thought provoking novel:
Abundance: The future is better than you think.