““You’re chained to you reason … Understanding is only a very small affair, so very small.”
Carlos Castaneda

A Separate Reality

Two Authors on Love and Death


Frank Herbert

This morning I finished reading (for the n-th time) the last book Frank Herbert wrote in the Dune series – “Chapterhouse: Dune“. I then (again) encountered an intimate and moving afterword by the author:

Frank Herbert

“One of the best things I can say about Bev is there was nothing in our life together I need forget, not even the graceful moment of her death. She gave me then the ultimate gift of her love, a peacefull passing she had spoken of without fear or tears, allaying thereby my own fears. What greater gift is there than to demonstrate you need not fear death?”

Robert Pirsig

I then remembered Robert Pirsig’s afterword in the edition I have of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance“:

“Chris is dead. He was murdered … I go on living, more from force of habit than anything else … Where did Chris go?  … What was it I was so attached to? .. Do real things just disappear like that? … What is the ‘he’ that is gone? … What had to be seen was that the Chris that I missed so badly was not an object but a pattern, and that although the pattern included the flesh and blood of Chris, that was not all there was to it … Now, Chris’s body, which was a part of that larger pattern, was gone. But the larger pattern remained. A huge hole had been torn out of the center ot if, and that was what caused all the heart-ache … If you take that part of the pattern that is not the flesh of Chris and call if the “spirit” of Chris or the “ghost” of Chris, they you can say without further translation that the spirit or ghost of Chris is looking for a new body to enter … it was not many months later that my wife conceived, unexpectedly.”

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