7/19/2015

Echoes of the Great Song wisdom

Eachoes of the Great Song - John Howe
In one of his last books British author of heroic fantasy and philosopher David Gemmell writes about a civilization of superhumen doomed to their end after the global catastrophe. In this epic novel he manages to prove that no matter how powerful you are there are certain principes which still apply and shape our destinies. Let me quote few paragraphs from the book to show the wisdom which can help you improve your live. 

The Truth

There is no single ultimate truth. We form the truth based on our perception which is formed by our previous experience as presented in the dialogue between young officer and the military leader of the nation. 

'I merely spoke the truth,' said Talaban.
'Pah! The truth. Why is it that men always believe the truth is like a single crystal, hard and unchanging? What you percieve as arrogance, others see as pride. You want the truth? You cannot have it, for it is based on perception, like a beautiful woman. Where one man sees a whore, another sees an angel. When you spoke of our arrongance the Council looked at you, and what did they see? A man who despises his own people, perhaps.'
'That is not true!' stormed Talaban.
'There you go with the truth again. What is it you mean? That Niclin does not see it as true, or that you do not see it as true?' He held us his hand as Talaban tried to answer. 'It does not matter. What they observe is a man who eschews the look of an Avater. Where is the blue in his hair? Why does he not want to look like one of us? Is he ashamed? Or is it that he knows he is a Vagar? Are the stories about his mother true? And here we come to the word "truth" again. Well let me tell you, I am sick of other men's truth.'

How people changes

In many of his book Gemmell shows that people doesn't become evil overnight. They change slowly with each small compromise. This way we can turn to devil (or angel) without even noticing it. Even Ro one of the characters in Echoes of the Great Song became hard and unforgiving man while once he was passionate peacemaker. 

'When I was a child, the world was full of wonder. What happened to me? How did I lose that youthful passion, that belief in humanity?'
'Speck by speck,' she told him. 'So that you did not know what you are loosing.'

Problem solving and goal achieving

In the time of great despair king's old aid reminds him of the teaching how to achieve basically anything - establish priorities and then do one task at a time giving it full attention

'Marshall your thoughts sir, and remember my teaching. What is the first rule?'
'Establish priorities.'
'Good and what is the first priority?'
... the king names what are his priorities ...
'Each in its turn my lord. Concentrate on one problem at a time. Give it full your attention. There is time for emotion, and time for action. But always there must be thought.'

What we deserve

If we spend time thinking about whether we deserved something or not - we waste our time. At the end of the book, the last surviving Avatar, the one which is the most hated by regular population for his love in killing is laying in the mud, his face burned, his leg broken, but still he can present wisdom. 

He saw Viruk's eyes were open again, and that the Avatar was wathing him. 'You deserve to die,' said Leshan. 
Viruk grinned, and levered himself to one elbow. 'I don't know why you sub-humans cannot grasp simple realities,' he said. 'We don't get what we deserve, idiot. We get what we get. Now if you are going to stab me, do it. If not, call for a surgeon. I may be a god, but I am a god with a broken leg.'

Picture: John Howe

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