By Jostein Gaarder
Published in 2006


“It takes billions of years to create a human being.  And it takes only a few seconds to die.”

What to think of this book?  While my mind is spewing so many thoughts I am left speechless yet amazed at the same time.  I could not confidently say I understood even a little bit of what Mr. Gaarder wanted to convey.  In fact, I am befuddled more than ever to the point of questioning my own existence and consciousness. Cogito, ergo sum.  I think therefore I am.  Rene Descartes couldn’t have said it more convincingly.  But what is thinking but a mere trick of the mind?  Or isn’t it?  And what is dreaming then?  What is consciousness or unconsciousness?  Am I in a state of consciousness because I am thinking and writing this at the same time?  Or am I in an unconscious state because while writing this, my mind is also engaged in listening to wonderful music?  But one thing is sure, I am writing these things and questioning it at the same time so there is no doubt I’m a thinking being!  I lived and I breathe with life!  I am consciousness itself!  I am a part of the universe and the universe is part of me!  I am in the universe and the universe is in me! How marvellous!

Below are some pieces I’ve written almost at the end of the book.   I will not include, except for the page number, the sentences or phrases that triggered me to write these passages so as to add a little bit of mystery.

“Why was I not excited about this?  Surely, when one is consciously alive at the turn of the millennium, it is reason enough to be excited and celebrate life?  What was I doing? – p.289

I cannot say I never thought of living forever.  Yes, I might have thought about it for a fleeting second but I’m resigned to the fact that I’m going to die sooner or later – later preferably.  My only wish is live to a hundred.  Or is that too much?” – p. 291