I recently finished the first season of “Foundation”. And – as most viewers vocaling their opinion on the internet seem to do – I enjoyed the Story about the Empire and the Cleons the most. It has nothing to do with the book, but that aside, it was gripping, exiting and had lots of philosophical questions. For me, it’s a story about becoming, changing and the will (or absence thereof) to change.
Not to spoil anything, but I found the last three episodes particularly interesting in this. The question if a perfect clone can have an individual soul. Brother Days pilgrimage and his lack of a holy vision at the end. But the last episode shows his change nonetheless, his emotions and his heartfelt decision against violence, that differs so much from his predecessors.
For me, this is a story not about having a soul, but about earning one. I assume Demerzel did not start religious, and developed her humanity over thousands of years as well, just a bit like the shows religion, Luminism, suggests all human souls do. So when Cleon didn’t receive a vision at the end of his pilgrimage and Demerzel tells him that she pitys anyone with so much emptiness inside – perhaps the lack of a vision is exactly what the Mother – the Godess – wanted to show him. You are not an individual right now, your motives and actions are cruel and always the same. Go change. And that he did, but only after learning about his own emptiness. You have to see yourself to understand yourself, only then your true self will reveal itself – as another brilliant show, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, lets us know.
Of course, Brother Days genome was changed from the start. But I want to imagine that the change at the end was his own free will in the face of family and the question, what life and individuality really is about.