Saturday, December 4, 2010

the meaning of life and human existence

We just started the "Little House" series. It might seem like a strange choice, since we're living in Asia and all, but actually it has been oddly a propos. Learning about different methods of subsistence; the relationship of economy, environment and meteorological patterns; lifestyles and how people make their livings--these are all things we are thinking a lot about anyway.

But as we finished up the first book, The Little House in the Big Woods, L. stuck by her earlier assessment that it was all too fantastic to be true. "It just sounds fake," she insisted. "I can't believe that Laura Ingalls Wilder was ever a real person."

Her views on faith are somewhat similar these days. She confided to me on Thursday that the whole story about Jesus seems like a "made up" story and "kind of like a story about a god." She wondered if maybe we were all just existing within someone's dream or perhaps we were toys in some universal game..?

[insert photo of L.'s mother, with mouth open wide, here]

I guess you could say that we have not yet moved beyond the initial stage of shock at being in a new and strange (to us) place. We can't help but wonder what it's all about, who we are and how we fit in. Still, I confess that I was comforted somewhat to hear that L.'s father had told little L. about Hinduism, Brahman and then related some of the stories of the various gods earlier in the day on Thursday. Oh, so that's where she got that from. I had begun to wonder if she had snuck into Theistic Ontology 101 behind our backs, or something.

Either way, though, there is no way to deny that fact that she is obviously among the ranks of six year olds who suffer from way too much existential angst.


Julia said...

I love this kid. Glad to know she is thinking and processing the world coming at her.

kate-monster said...

As a kid I read the Little House on the Prairie series, cover to cover, many times and then passed them down to my cousin, Emma. Fantastic books on so many levels. I hope they enjoy them as much as I did!

p-roc's mom said...

That's awesome! And awful... Next time she says something like that, just say, yeah, yeah, that's what all the skeptics say. And then don't elaborate on what a skeptic is. Just tell her to look it up in the dictionary.

And then watch her puzzle it out for the next few weeks. And voila: effort-free homeschooling! :) (That'll work, right?)

Catherine said...

What a cool kid!

And I love your shots of Kolkata. Can't wait to hear more.

Anonymous said...

Break it to her, Mom and Dad - there is truth.