Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Readings Vol. 1

This week’s entry is a metaphysical musing from William Peter Blatty’s long-out-of-print 1966 novel TWINKLE, TWINKLE, ‘KILLER’ KANE. It’s a conversation between two men at an insane asylum being used to house shell-shocked war veterans. Read and discuss:

“Do you really believe in an afterlife?”


“Tell me why.”

“Because every man who has ever lived has been born with desire for perfect happiness. But unless there is an afterlife, fulfillment of this desire is a patent impossibility. Perfect happiness, in order to be perfect, must carry with it the assurance that the happiness won’t cease; that it will not be snatched away. But no one has ever had such assurance; the mere fact of death serves to contradict it. Yet why should Nature implant – universally – desire for something that isn’t attainable? I can think of no more than two answers: either Nature is consistently mad and perverse, or after this life there’s another; a life where this universal desire for perfect happiness can be fulfilled. But nowhere else in creation does Nature exhibit this kind of perversity; not when it comes to a basic drive. An eye is always for seeing and an ear is always for hearing. And any universal craving – that is, a craving without exception – has to be capable of fulfillment. It can’t be fulfilled here; so it’s fulfilled, I think, somewhere else; some time else.”

— From “Twinkle, Twinkle, ‘Killer’ Kane,” copyright 1966 by William Peter Blatty.