On page 240 of the story, Pól’s letter home to his mum closes with some thoughts on the nature of reality. He cites Father Peadair as saying, “Our reasoning has a fundamental flaw, says he (Father Peadair ). Conventional wisdom has a misguided notion with regard to the true nature of reality, says he. History is not linear. The Hindus have it pegged. Life is a circle or perhaps a ball. ”
This notion of looking backward is part of many religions, including that of the pagan Celts. This principle is manifested in Celtic art knot artwork. It is widely believed that the civilization presented in the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge and the book itself can be traced back to Greek civilization. Aristotle himself presented an argument in regard to first cause, saying that if the motive cause (one of his four, all of which are mentioned in the novel) of a chain of events is traced back to its alleged source, eventually one must reach something which caused an event but was not caused by any event itself, the source of which is often referred to by theologians as the unmoved mover or the prime mover. What Father Peadair proposes is that there was no first event, that reality (which to him as an immaterialist is the mind of the supreme being) has always existed and has no beginning nor end but rather weaves around without beginning or end. This theory does not reject the concept of causality, as did David Hume and others; it subordinates cause and effect to a role within a weaving chain that itself has no beginning nor end.