W. Somerset Maugham’s fantastic work “Of Human Bondage”. I do not want to reveal too much of the plot, so I will just touch on one small idea which is explored in the story. Philip, the main character, along his life’s journey meets a man called Cronshaw, a bohemian, a drunk, a talker and a poet. Cronshaw gives Philip a piece of Persian rug as a parting gift.Why? Well, apparently this item represented the meaning of life. Many years later Philip, in a moment of dispair suddenly relised what his friend was trying to tell him.
Philip came to the liberating realisation that “There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end”. This sudden epiphany took all the pressure off, there was no meaning, one’s life did not serve any particular purpose.
So whats with the Persian rug? Well it provides an uplifting explanation of purpose and direction – “As the weaver elaborated his pattern for no end but the pleasure of his aesthetic sense, so might a man live his life, or if one was forced to believe that his actions were outside his choosing, so might a man look at his life, that it made a pattern”.
Philip was very happy with this revelation. It meant that whatever happened to him from now on, or what ever he choose to do would add to his own masterpiece, it would simply be the continuation of the interwoven pattern of his life. W. Somerset Maugham really lets his character weave a magnificent, intricate and inspired pattern. As a reader we are lucky to enjoy it. And for us, readers? How do we take that next step, when you don’t quiet know what comes next? I guess just think that you are weaving that rug of yours, or you are a splotch in the middle of the canvas. What you do next is of your own choosing, there are no wrong moves, no bad decisions, but do keep going, take the next step, otherwise who will weave your masterpiece? And what are you going to look back on someday?
The relevance of this story to the NPA theory website is that Dr. Benis thinks that Somerset Maughn was an NPA-. But also, anyone's viewpoint or philosophy is his Persian rug. One theory may be accepted by many people or by a few people or my everyone or by no one, but if is makes sense of life to that individual then it is a meaningful creation.
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