The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera
This book is woven together by characters, history and chance. It felt a little bit like the movie Crash. Centered on a love triangle, and each person’s journey in their search for meaning.
The novels’ key thought is we as humans only have the opportunity to take one path, to make a critical decision, (marry/don’t marry, take the job in a new city/don’t, accept the person as they are/don’t) and you cannot return to that exact moment in time and take a different path.
So without the ability for humans to make the same decision over, and compare outcomes, Kundera argues, it is impossible for us to find meaning, or more importantly the path to lighter living, a spiritual high ground. A lightness of being.
The novel is a series of characters, and their connected lifetimes told from multiple perspectives, in that the story is told various times, from each character understanding. I was immediately turned off by the protagonist, (I guess that is why he is the protagonist) who was a selfish, unfaithful man (200+ exploits) but I am glad I continued.
Once the author, layered context, other characters thoughts, and more importantly their own introspective – the story came into beautiful focus. It reminded me of the book Non-Violent Communication by Rosenberg, in that what one character saw in a word or action, was not the intent of the other character – and they did not take the time or care, to fully understand each other.
Had they taken the time their lives would have been more fulfilled. Which is something I can relate to, what do I miss with my own assumptions vs getting to the heart of matters with communication. It is this gap in truth and understanding is where life’s confusions live, it is what weights us down from unconditional love. A life in the light.
The author writes beautiful sentences. I love beautiful sentences. This one was perfect placed, ahh read this one:
I enjoyed Kundra’s style of writing. It was brilliant how the characters revealed themselves, their true nature and motives. They matured before our eyes through their connected story, coming to terms with their past and decisions to let go of the “what if’s”.
I listened to this book on Audible helped the story really come to life. This one is a thinker. Give it a try.
The Joy In It: Don’t take actions or words in another for granted, ask what, why and how you can help – if you care try to you understand. Be Your Own JoyMaster.
Get Some Light: