What’s the meaning of the universe? What’s the meaning of a flea? It’s just there. That’s it. And your own meaning is that you’re there. We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what’s all about. People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
The land is empty and vast. The road continues up into the mountains, winding past small towns and lakes, the distant colors and light entrancing and forbidding. BAZ drives the van. EMILY is in the passenger seat. MAX is still asleep, curled up, with DAVIS beside him, the comforter balled up around his head, and POPO, the cat, on top of that, staring out the window. BLAIR sits at the end of the bed, his feet propped across the can on a pile of bags and gear; he is reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. The music of The Grateful Dead’s Wharf Rat plays on the stereo.
MAX (Moaning): Turn the music down, man.
EMILY turns the music down halfway.
MAX: No more Dead!
EMILY lowers the volume further. POPO can now be heard moaning over the sounds of the music and the road.
MAX: The cat too, man.
BLAIR (Reciting from The Power of Myth): The adventure is its own reward – but it’s necessarily dangerous, having both negative and positive possibilities, all of them beyond our control. We are beyond protection in a field of higher powers than we know.EMILY: Who is that? Nietzsche?
BLAIR (Ignoring her, continuing to recite): If we have been impudent and altogether ineligible for the role into which we have cast ourselves, it is going to be a demon marriage and a real mess.
EMILY: I like that. Demon marriage.
BLAIR: Joseph Campbell is a genius.
Both MAX and POPO moan, almost as if in agreement, and the van rattles on into the hinterland of British Columbia.