The Last Faith Analysis – Books: The Sea Wolf (Jack London) and The Moon and Sixpence (W. Somerset Maugham)

What unites these two, seemingly very different, stories?

Here we are looking at Freedom of Choice in its extreme, hypertrophied form. The heroes of these novels, the captain of a seal-hunting schooner Wolf Larsen and artist Charles Strickland have one thing in common: an all-consuming passion for personal Freedom of Choice.

It is the kind of passion that denies not only the laws and traditions of society but overcomes the main law of nature, the Law of Gene Preservation. One hero never has children of his own and the other abandons his children.

Captain Larsen, whose face gives the impression of a “terrible, overwhelming mental or spiritual force,” believes that only power can rule the world. From early childhood, he forces his way through life ignoring anyone and anything, placing no limits on his Freedom of Choice, to the point of murder, in order to achieve the social position, which he has no doubt he fully deserves.

In contrast, the quiet, unremarkable and mediocre stockbroker Strickland, who has never displayed a rebellious nature, suddenly, at 40 years of age, to the shock of his family, colleagues and friends, abandons his job and his family and decides to become an artist. He leaves first for Paris where he learns the rudiments of being a painter.

Freeing the demon of Freedom of Choice that had lain dormant and repressed for so long, Strickland turns into the same kind of person as Captain Larsen, with no moral limitations. He gets together with the wife of his friend and benefactor, Dirk Stroeve, and exploits her as a free nude model, eventually abandoning her when she has served his purpose.

Like Captain Larsen who goes without sleep and rest in pursuit of seals across the seas and oceans, Strickland knows no rest, furiously painting one picture after the other as if fulfilling some order from “the very top” and instantly losing interest as soon as he has completed each picture. Both Larsen and Strickland pay no attention to the world around them, following a path known only to God and themselves. However, very soon Strickland begins to feel hemmed in and stifled by the limitations of classical painting at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, gives everything up once again and leaves for the island of Tahiti, where nothing prevents him from realising the force within, that tearing at flesh and soul, is bursting to get out.

What kind of people are they, Larsen and Strickland? What drives them in life? Can we judge them harshly? Are there many of their kind among us and why are they needed in life?

What was the driving force for Columbus, who discovered America? Did he feel claustrophobic in just three continents?

What motivated Einstein who discovered the Theory of Relativity? In Einstein’s case, we know that he felt restricted by the limitations of Newtonian mechanics when attempting to explain Michelson-Morley’s experiment.

What motivated the Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, who also felt the limitations of the moral teachings that existed before them offering people a different perspective on themselves, their place in the world and human relationships?

What motivates people, who dissatisfied with the existing level of Freedom of Choice in society, dream of a revolution that would expand it?

What motivates people who spend their entire life following the stars and producing music, books and paintings?

Fame and wealth? Unlikely, since only one in thousands manages to achieve it. The rest tragically end their lives childless and in poverty, like our heroes Larsen and Strickland.

The image of the struggling artist, musician and academic is well-rooted in world literature and cinema. Nonetheless, one generation after another produces individuals who consciously sacrifice their life to this passion, the passion of expanding Freedom of Choice!

Those who are able to expand their personal Freedom of Choice, at least within the field of their craft, expand it as a consequence, for all humanity. In this way, they nudge human society forwards to a new level of civilisation. These are the people who change the world, moving it forward along the Arrow of Time.

Today, perhaps the clearest example of a representative of these sky-storming individuals is Elon Musk.  Perhaps he felt stifled in our contemporary cars and on our contemporary roads and so prepared a revolutionary solution to the problems associated with them.  Now he feels stifled on the planet Earth itself and is eager to get to Mars.

And how do things lie between fans of Freedom of Choice and the first commandment of The Last Faith, i.e. the Law of Gene Preservation? Mostly, not good. Obsessed with their one and only passion, these individuals often “forget” about family and children. The “Genius” drama series about Albert Einstein is just another reminder of this. But who can judge these individuals, except their own family?

Nevertheless, representatives of this breed are attractive, outstanding individuals. Other people seek their friendship or at least, their attention, but let’s face it, who would want to marry their own daughter or sister to a man like Larsen or Strickland?

So what can be said of the rest of us, 99 percent of the population? We can safely say that we are doing business, building cities, constructing factories, cultivating fields, teaching in schools and universities, playing in orchestras, although we didn’t compose the music, and printing books, although we did not write them; we feed and treat everyone, including the “other 1 percent”. The workings of all social institutions rest on our shoulders. In short, the world needs us too.

When one of my friends was asked why history needed the other 99 percent of humanity if all civilisation was created by less than 1 percent, he replied: “in order to give birth to that 1 percent!”


Karmak Bagisbayev, professor of mathematics, author of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”

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The Last Faith Analysis – Movies: “Marriage Italian Style” and “My Step Brother Frankenstein”

This article opens a special cycle called The Last Faith Analysis, dedicated to the analysis of well-known books and movies from the perspective of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.

We will assume that the content of the books and films discussed is well known to a wide circle of readers, so we won’t retell the whole plot here.

Since the author is unfamiliar with much contemporary literature and cinema, the examples will mainly be taken from works of previous centuries.

So, let us begin…


Film #1: Marriage Italian Style

A famous film by Vittorio De Sica with actors Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in the key roles, set in post-war Italy.

Domenico Soriano, a successful “Romeo” and businessman who values his Freedom of Choice more than anything else in the world, particularly when it comes to the objects of his passion, remains a bachelor up to a mature age.

When he finally resolves to fulfil the Law of Gene Preservation, in other words, to marry and have a child, he learns that his housekeeper and main mistress of many years, Filumena Marturano, has three adult sons, one of which is his own.

This is where it all kicks off. By hook or by crook, Domenico is determined to find out which of the three young men is his son. He dreams of singling him out and giving him a good education, a wealthy, successful future.  The Law of Gene Preservation fully at work!

For the mother, all three children are her own genes and so she, naturally, refuses to reveal the secret. Again, the Law of Gene Preservation!


Film #2: My Step Brother Frankenstein

A film by director Valery Todorovsky, Russia. A prosperous Moscow family whose father (Yarmolnik) suddenly discovers that his adult illegitimate son Pavlik (played by Spivakovsky) is living in the same province. His son is left physically and mentally disabled as a result of the Chechen war and is now waiting for surgery in a clinic in Moscow.

After the father takes his son back with him into his Moscow family, a terrible tragedy unfolds, which results from the Law of Gene Preservation. The father is torn between his eldest son and his wife, with whom he has two teenage children. His wife (played by E. Yakovleva) naturally protects her own children (her own genes), and not without reason, fears for them living with a stepbrother with a damaged psyche.

We instantly recall the “wicked stepmother” from countless tales of all the peoples of the world. Today, justice demands, if not rehabilitation, then at least impartial clarification of the stepmother’s behaviour in the light of The Last Faith. Protecting her own children, her own blood and trying to eliminate stepbrothers and stepsisters from their path, the “wicked stepmother” blindly follows the basic law of nature, the Law of Gene Preservation.

Who could blame her? Only a woman with a truly noble soul (possible only with a developed sense of Freedom of Choice), so noble that she would be capable of overcoming this blind instinct and accepting another woman’s children as if they were her own.

Such women are rare, but they have always existed.

From the end of the last century, we have been hearing more and more cases of families (not necessarily childless!) in wealthy Western countries who choose to foster children from the troubled countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America and often these are children with serious health conditions.

What is this if not a reflection of the Law of Humandynamics, according to which the level of Freedom of Choice in the world can only increase over time?


Karmak Bagisbayev, professor of mathematics, author of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”

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