Thank you, Side Street, it is exciting to see your detailed impressions. Please expand as much as possible with your balanced and sensitive thoughts! I agree the scene with students in Houghton Library at Harvard was delightful. Bernhohl, perfect as always. Steampunk - we hope you catch up soon, but carefully (especially on Chps 4 & 5).
Bernhohl is right, Chp. 7 (meeting Magenta in Nepal - "Mother Goddess of the Word") takes us far from Harvard to the Himalayas and the next of the Six, a sturdy Englishman from Oxford. As Magenta's walking stick taps out the rhythm (p. 185), the circumambulation of the great Stupa at Bodhinath and spinning of its prayer wheels are described in phrases of glory, listen:
"We circled the mesmerizing ancient clockwork, telegraphing peace throughout the ten directions...the spinning a spiral of reveries until we nodded at the wailing wall of Jerusalem...ceaselessly recited a thousand sutra at Dharamsala...whirled with out arms out and faces upward like dervishes, and cycled among unknown lovers in the holy orgies of the Epidaurians."
Being amplified by the presence of Bodhinath (p. 186), "manifold tsunamis of compassionate thought radiated outward and inward to engulf the song of the whippoorwill and the merciful rains."
"In the wake of cognitive phenomena, I rushed to pray for the children of the world, for the sick, for the grace of normal consciousness ..." (p. 186).
The explorations with Magenta heighten with every turn: the beggars at the Eye Clinic in Kathmandu, the chanting and bodies burning at Pashupanipath, the stolen and diseased newborn on the steps above the ghats, Magenta's demonstration of enhanced memory while a Nepalese women slowly sweeps by the saddhus, and most of all, the unforgettable scenes of the abused orphan girl, rescued by Magenta and the author. Unforgettable indeed.
Sidestreet, your feelings on these and other scenes that reached you? Steampunk, if you're up with us? Bernhohl, more on Kathmandu in your excellent and insightful way?
In contact privately with other readers. Some results for Topia: The Rose is being read in the U.K., Europe, South Africa, Australia, Thailand. One reader did it in a single sitting (in his shower) in 14 hours, then began more slowly. Many re-read a second or third time. One took 4 months, others do it 4 hours a day for 5 days, mornings with no distractions. We are privileged to be among the first, and certainly the first to discuss it chapter by chapter.
The Rose is growing intensely as the narrative develops. It doesn't stop, ever. It does require a "commitment to reverence" and careful reading. Transforming. Enter if you are able...