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Of Human Bondage

Well, I finally finished Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage and it was freaking genius. I loved every minute of it. So for the next few entries, I'm going to have a "Of Human Bondage Quote of the Day." It'll make more sense to me than anybody else, but I have to give the book back eventually, and I want to keep the most genius parts to myself.

From Page 127:

And sometimes, as though the influence of innumerable ancestors, God-fearing and devout, were working in him unconsciously, there seized him a panic fear that perhaps after all it was all true, and there was, up there behind the blue sky, a jealous God who would punish in everlasting flames the atheist. At these times his reason could offer him no help, he imagined the anguish of a physical torment which would last endlessly, he felt quite sick with fear and burst into a violent sweat. At last he would say to himself desperately: "After all, it's not my fault. I can't force myself to believe. If there is a God after all and he punishes me because I honestly don't believe in Him I can't help it."

The first part of the novel deals with Philip and his gradual realization that there is no God, that all his life he has been forced into a religion in which he does not believe. Over time, he gains strength through his disbelief and becomes a stronger person for it. Of course, later, as he develops, he has difficulty figuring out what he really believes when a friend points out that although he says he doesn't believe in God, he still follows Christian tenets. Philip has to then figure out how to decide what is good and what is bad. (I love it!)

Cleaned up after bunkasai today. Then had a 2-hour meeting about next year's academic schedule. I'm getting screwed AGAIN. It sucks, being at the bottom of the totem pole. Sigh.

However, I'm getting off early today, and I have tomorrow off. I think I'll hop over to Kyoto for the day and visit all the people at KCJS.

(Having both money and time, at the same time, is the best of all worlds.)

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