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Leonard Seet is the author of the novels Magnolias in Paradise and Meditation On Space-Time and the non-fiction The Spiritual Life. His articles and short fiction have appeared in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Banana Writers and Pilcrow & Dagger. Through his writings, he probes the dynamics of existence, including human consciousness, good and evil, and rationality and spirituality.
on March 31, 2013 :
Meditation on Space-Time is a philosophical novel where the quantum mechanical worldview seeps into everyday life. The Uncertainty Principal, and especially the Many-World Interpretation, colors Father Lawrence’s perception of reality. A world of possibilities at every moment, where the outcome follows stochastic processes rather than deterministic laws.
“At the ledge of each instant facing the chasm between one moment and the next, four billion souls awaited renewal and an infinite number of possible worlds anticipated birth. Of all the possible worlds, only one would come to be; and yet an infinite number would open up for the next instant.”
But the priest also struggles between the religious life of doctrine and rites and the spiritual life of creativity and mystery, ultimately choosing the latter by renouncing his vow. Like Thomas Merton, he refuses to slaughter his intellect in the name of piety and religiosity.
Father Lawrence must tread through the desert of betrayals and losses to reach the oasis of friendship and enlightenment. And enlightenment is what he seeks rather than perfection—for Ichiro—and happiness—for Camellia. In the end, he must accept the loss of his best friend and carry the pain on his solitary journey toward enlightenment, or just old age.
Meditation on Space-Time is a novel of love and friendship, of good versus evil and of journeys taken. I recommend it for those who reflect such journeys. The lyrical prose that threads through the characters and their secrets is beautiful and provocative. A memorable novel.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)