How many people decide to reflect seriously on how to live full and meaningful lives? How many then act to develop their competencies and knowledge to act on their conclusions? Of those who get this far, how many discover that the culture of their society is too oppressive and restrictive for them to achieve their aspirations?
J. C. Merryweather was propelled into such reflection, and was also afforded the opportunities to develop his skills in evaluating evidence and arguments relating to ‘information’ available in the public domain and relevant to decisions for daily living. He learned how to make and take rational and sensible decisions, and how best to engage in general problem-solving. UK plc and its institutions defeated his efforts to live in a manner consistent with his ideals, so he emigrated to New Zealand. The culture there was not so incompatible with his goals, but his experiences there exposed the weaknesses and incompleteness of his mental model for how to live. He found that his intellectual strategies alone were insufficient. He had to incorporate emotional, moral and spiritual components to provide him with a fully human lifestyle.
He is helped by friendly neighbours, a teacher of Russian, a refugee from Vukovar and a duo of university professors. His earlier Kafka-esque and Orwellian outlook is supplanted by 21st century views akin to those of the classical Greek Epicureans, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne and Joseph Rowntree. He becomes a very satisfied person...
Christopher’s Progress is a literary novel that will appeal to readers of highbrow fiction. “Not many books focus seriously on what one has to do to live a meaningful life. Many are so busy coping with getting through each day that they have no time to reflect,” says author W. Peter Robinson.