Creating reality

If he had known then that it is the observer who creates reality, he would have despised the birds even more for being the creators of a failed world. (Juli Zeh, in Dark Matter)

Like love, Dark Matter (the novel) is a many-splendoured (or, more precisely, multi-layered) thing. Which is great — especially if, like me, you have a taste for a little bit of quantum physics on the side.

The characters grapple with questions concerning the nature of reality, and find themselves obliged to do some critical thinking in relation to the major dualities — right/wrong, success/failure, good/evil, etc …

The current Wikipedia article on Reality is very much a ‘work in progress’ — hardly surprising, given the topic.

But how do you feel about blaming the birds in the trees for being “the creators of a failed world”?

There! It’s out now. It’s been articulated … the words have been spoken …

Zeh, Juli. 2010. [Copyright © Schöffling & Co. Verlagsbuchhandlung GmBH 2007. English translation copyright © Christine Lo 2010.] Dark matter. London: Harville Secker [p221]


4 thoughts on “Creating reality

  1. I’m delighted to have your response — from out of left field as it is. It’s just the sort of unpredictable thing I might have imagined if I’d dared imagine. Not sure, yet, whether or not you picked up on what I had hiding between the lines … maybe that’ll be clearer to me after I get back and read the rest of your post about Christian lit crit. Keep in touch.

  2. Oh, I just saw that you responded to this. Sorry, I’m still a bit new to wordpress.

    Your quote suggested that birds had, through sensory observation, created a failed world. Blake suggests that there may be much more to birds (and their world, synecdochally), than we with our own limited senses can perceive. Cave shadows, darkened glasses, &c. &c.

  3. The much-quoted and frequently-parodied Zen kōan about a tree falling in the forest might have some relevance here. Rather than conduct our conversation as a comment thread, I’ll post something this evening on the topic of perception and reality.

    BTW: If I read it right, you can tick the box when writing your comment, and the blog engine will generate a message to indicate that the author has responded.

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