The Thirty-Second Leaf

I boil over. And now I feel a great freedom, for I can see the end. The Bishop placed me in an impossible situation. Again, I was called to his study. More questions! Leave me in peace, I cried. But this man of God would only take from me. And what of his God, would he, does he have no care for this servant? But then he came to me and held me in his arms, this man I thought I knew. In his eyes was a wildness and I knew that though I escape his grasp I could never escape the God who made this man. I told him of the King's grief. I told him of the King's pain. And of the book. And when I mentioned the book his eyes grew even larger and he pleaded, "Show me, show me!" and in my terror I ran from his study into the woods, into the night and I heard the darkness as a terrible music. And so I know what I must do, as the song so tells.

- Sorren

And what of his God? Is the God of the Bishop not also the God of the servant? Has this King taught him nothing? This servant must have a severe secret to keep to be so frightened of a man of God. Similarly, I find it curious that the Bishop should be so relentless toward such an insignificant man. What could he know that could possibly be so important? It must be important however, and now Sorren has made a critical decision. I feel that he is hiding something vital about the King and some book, and that he will soon reveal his plans inside these leaves. I fear to speculate about this book.
— M

Sorren is terrified of this man, the Bishop. I would imagine that the level of fear is proportional to his desire to maintain his secret. The King has trusted Sorren with something important, and this has bound the servant to his word. But now in this leaf it is revealed that the Bishop has pressured Sorren into betraying his word. And that he has so betrayed his mentor and his King has torn this man apart with guilt. Sorren is a man of honor, and we see this in his actions and his words, but now he has dishonored himself, and he cannot clear his mind but must imagine instead that the forest, the darkness, is speaking to him. He fears the sound like it is the very call of doom. The song, as he calls it, is directing him to do something, and Sorren is content because he sees his path directly before him, and he is bound to this path. How strange the mind of man, that we can perform a contrary action if we can only convince our self that it was unavoidable, preordained.

This notion of pre-destiny has always been an important subject of philosophical discussion. Our free will is what is at stake, but if we truly have free will, then nothing is preordained. Free will implies that a choice is made, but we cannot be made to believe something that we do not believe. The notion is absurd, and that is why we do not walk in front of a speeding car because we do not believe we are in danger. And further, if we are compelled to believe something that we are instructed by the Church to believe, we cannot will our self to believe it, for this would demonstrate that our free will is an illusion. Sorren does not see this subtle point however, for the philosophical vocabulary did not yet exist in his time. Epicureanism had not yet reached these shores.