Dwight Schrute comes to Surf City tonight to talk about God, love, death and even heavier topics.
That's not quite right: Rainn Wilson, the actor who plays the former assistant to the regional manager at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. on NBC's comedy hit The Office, signs copies of SoulPancake: Chew on Life's Big Questions at 7 tonight at Barnes & Noble in Bella Terra.
Wilson oversaw production of the book of essays, famous quotes and illustrations that also includes a lengthy forward he wrote. Readers are also invited to jot down their own observations within the pages.
Besides being a big time comedy actor on television and the big screen, Wilson runs soulpancake.com, which deals with some of the same big issues as the book. (Good to see a Dunder Mifflin man is helping an industry that relies on paper.)
Speaking with the Huntington Beach Independent, Wilson admitted the No. 1 question he is asked about SoulPancake: Chew on Life's Big Questions is, "Why is the comic actor from The Office doing a book about philosophy, spirituality and life's big questions?"
His answer is more Laguna Beach than Huntington Beach.
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"I'm an actor, and I happen to do comedy. But I'm an artist, and my journey to this point has been a very artistic journey and a spiritual journey at the same time. I just wanted to share that. I wanted to do something positive on the Internet and get people thinking about life's big questions in a fresh, fun way."
He also identifies himself during the Q&A as "a transcendentalist" from "the Ralph Waldo Emerson-Henry David Thoreau school of thought." That means he believes "that we all, as humans, have a longing to transcend, and that's what makes us great and noble and special. And whether that's through the arts or service, or community or family, having religion or faith, connecting with God, going inward through meditation, we all have a yearning to be more than just monkeys."
Obviously, as Wilson himself admits, Dwight would not be down with the book.
"Dwight would think this book was a colossal waste of time," Wilson reportedly said. "Life's big questions, I think Dwight has all the answers to them, and he would view art as a waste of time and even taking time to ponder them as a waste of time. He would follow the Schrute code of ethics, and he would be happy to teach that code to anyone who would listen and follow."