know more

Friday, January 25, 2013

Grover's Metaphysics

The Book

I was recently reminded of a book my mother used to read to me as a child. I have to say, just the thought of this book stirs up an incredible vortex of childhood memories. The book is one of my earliest recollections and I would go so far as to say it is the most influential piece of fiction I have yet to come across.

The Monster at the End of this Book, by Jon Stone (Illustrated by Michael Smollin). Please take the time to read this book right now. It's just over 400 words long and it changed my life.

For those of you who'd rather not: it's a book who's main character, Grover, is terrified of the ending, for as the title suggests, there is a fucking monster at the end of this book. Despite his industrious attempts at halting your progress, you of course reach the end only to find that Grover was the monster all along.

The Truth Sense

Profound metaphysical and philosophical implications aside, I experience a deeply instinctual reaction to this story. In addition to all of our other intrinsic senses, we posses a 6th. It's what I refer to as your truth sense. I'm not talking about knowing when somebody is lying to you, or an ability to discover hidden secrets, the sense I'm talking about is akin to the instincts you feel about the world around you. When you see a movie with a poorly written main character -- almost instantly -- you know there's something wrong or missing. You don't have to think about it, and sometimes you can't put it into words. It's not an intellectual objection, rather it is an a priori understanding of the world around us.

There is something so deeply true about Grover's dilemma that it resonates with me in the core of my being. With each page we turn in this life, we get closer and closer to the heart of this mystery. At times we are terrified of the truth, we build up walls to keep ourselves from knowing, distractions to keep ourselves from seeing, and lies to keep ourselves from believing, but in the the very rungs of our DNA is the truth. We are the creature from our nightmares, the shadowy figure in our window, the door at the end of the hall. But we have yet to reach the end of the book. We are afraid of the very thing we don't understand, because in truth, we don't really know ourselves. And that fact scares the shit out of us.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The beauty of this story comes at the end. It is our saving grace. Call it whatever you will: your salvation, your forgiveness, your vindication, your peace. It's difficult to describe, except to say that the proper reaction to it is abject gratitude. You'll know you've found it because you'll realize that all your fear was for nothing, that all this time we never had any requirements for your life. You'll realize that the only thing the universe ever had in store for you was unconditional acceptance. You: as is. So go, become who you were always going to be.

For your further enjoyment read this review in Amazon's marketplace.

With the best intentions,
David Applebee

No comments:

Post a Comment