- "I seem to get more Chinese as I get older," says Lee. Funny, I become more and more like my dad as I get older.
- Who do Cal and Aaron remind you of? (And I'm not talking about Cain and Abel.)
- The way Samuel describes his love of the land, it makes me think of the way he loves his wife, just without the shroud of his confessed fantasies, a page (more or less) earlier. What does appearance and functionality play in the loving of something?
- A potential conflict: It is easier to believe or accept a religion whose tenets are close to your lifestyle or existing religious beliefs, yet it requires less of a leap of faith. (Look for the deliberate, partial flaw in my reasoning, which relegates this argument's validity to those who may be SEEKING (intransitive of "seeking" also intentional).) Isn't this leap of faith--those of you who have read it, think Life of Pi--necessary for receiving the "better story," or the greater truth or whatever you want to call it?
- Here in 24.2 we get the definition, and Lee's backstory, for the "discovery" of timshel, the Hebrew word meaning "thou mayest," or to put it in common language (as we English speakers have virtually done away with the informal conjugations and pronouns), "you may." While the ultimate importance is referenced here--the significance of this perhaps more accurate translation of the couple words in Genesis indicating that we are responsible--its true significance is masked, at least emotionally so and therefore yet generally ineffective, and we won't get it until the end of the chapter.
- On my first read of East of Eden, and up to this point, the book was merely excellent; chapter 24 however elevated it from excellent to resonant, and even life-changing. While I already tended to believe that I was the one in control of my "destiny," the added foundation this chapter gave was just, well, GREAT. Consider the general rationale that this CHOICE or freedom to triumph over sin elevates us above the beast to godliness and makes our potential infinite. AWESOME!
- Considering the earlier question, is it easier to make a large leap of faith when that leap promises a greater measure of hope to the leaper?
- When Lee says that "These old men believe a true story," what kind of TRUE is he talking about?
- I love Doxology. How could I not, what with the fondness Samuel has for this lousy animal? I think there's a notable similarity between Doxology, Samuel's pathetic track of land, and his little iron wife, Liza, for all of them demonstrate in Samuel a deep love despite, and maybe even explicitly FOR REASON OF, specific weaknesses and/or shortcomings. Once Samuel (I think it was Samuel) said that it's easier to love the ugly child. WHY? HOW?
- A brilliant little twist on the Garden of Eden: Adam is served, by the benevolent serpent, Samuel, fruit from the Tree of Knowledge ... BACKWARDS! Without the service of this fruit, according to Lee and Samuel, Adam would surely die; yet the simple partaking of the fruit in this case would, while with tremendous difficulty (as if indeed casting him from the Garden and into the weedy world), open up the possibilities of even timshel itself.
- Here at the end of the chapter, it seems to me that the real significance of the new translation of timshel makes itself visible. How is it that Heaven suddenly exists for Samuel where it apparently didn't before? Why is the timing of the discovery particularly significant?
- What does Lee mean when he says to Samuel, "You've gone beyond me?"
- Notice, in the very last line of he chapter, Samuel's halo.