So far I've read the first story - the title story. This is the book Jacob was reading in the show Lost when John Locke was pushed out of the window by his jerk, criminal father Anthony Cooper.
I had to know what the connection was between the story and the events in the tv show.
From the story itself, I have no idea. But I found out that the quote is from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French philosopher, theologian, Jesuit priest. He studied paleontology when he worked in a paleontolgy lab. His father was a naturalist. He had a theory that involved a concept called "The Omega Point." Wikipedia says that the Omega Point is "a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which the universe appears to be evolving."
The more complex matter is, the more conscious it is. A plant has a consciousness that allows it simply to be a plant. Animals have a consciousness that allows them to react to their environment. Humans have a consciousness that allows them to go even beyond that and to think. All of the universe is constantly developing towards higher levels of complexity and consciousness. Again, from Wikipedia:
"Teilhard postulates the Omega Point as the supreme point of complexity and consciousness, which is not only as the term of the evolutionary process, but is also the actual cause for the universe to grow in complexity and consciousness. In other words, the Omega Point exists as supremely complex and conscious, independent of the evolving universe. I.e., the Omega Point is transcendent."
I think this fits well into the themes of Lost. Everyone seems to be controlled by this one source. Everything that happens is related. People are all related in one weird way or another.
I have to really think about the Flannery O'Connor story in this light. The story is about a mother and son and how their lives have changed and still change. It's also about society changing and how people relate to each other. Racism, the generation gap, knowing yourself... these are all themes of the story.
I want to read the rest of the stories. I've always enjoyed Flannery O'Connor, only finding out a few years ago that she is considered a "Catholic Writer." She was Catholic. She was a writer. I guess that term means that her writing is influenced by her faith, even if it isn't always overtly religious.
More later on this one.