Friday, April 6, 2012

A Path to Speculative Fiction

Good Friday. I won't be attending church. Not this Sunday, either, though I hold Easter as a special holiday, as I do Christmas. It's the tradition. How I was raised. Though I would have, no doubt, been at church as the minister's son. Son of a Presbyterian minister, grandson of a missionary to Korea who translated the Old Testament into Korean, though he was born a Ukranian Jew. Tradition.

Truth is, each of our religious holidays brings me to again question the reality behind the beliefs upon which those traditions are based. I was taught early on that, though scripture said Earth was created in seven days and left out the part about the dinosaurs, that the men who wrote those books were using poetic license to paint a story that was, in their experience, beyond comprehension. They didn't even have dinosaur bones or carbon dating to help them piece together how it might really have gone. And that last, terrifying book about the end of the world? More poetic license. It wasn't that my dad didn't believe. He just left room for speculation and interpretation.

Ensuing years opened more avenues of possibility. Between Erich von Daniken, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tao Te Ching, I Ching, and Seth Speaks, and the study of Light Work, I came to question just about everything and rely on no one's version of "truth" as truth. How do they know? Were they there?

Now I can't speak to the "stories" of Hindu or Buddhist or Zoroastrian traditions, so I come by my special brand of blasphemy, though I don't consider it so, through the Judeo-Christian tradition. I no longer call myself Christian because that name has been co-opted and corrupted by many whose beliefs I find antithetical to what I was taught that the man/god that they revere actually might have taught.

Let me repeat that. Might have taught.

But let's go back even farther. What was that wheel within the wheel that Ezekiel saw? Or, for that matter, the voice in that burning bush, or the fiery finger writing on the stone? It's no news that many think there may have been extraterrestrial involvement. No one knows for sure, so stories are passed along by oral tradition, each teller embellishing, until we have a narrative that someone, some group of authorities, proclaims is TRUTH.

Now allow me to go completely blasphemous on you. What if the whole annunciation story is really a story of ET visiting, or even abducting, a sweet young girl in a position to be used to fulfill another ancient story, er, prophesy. Think about it. Angels appearing, celestial music, steady star casting its light for days on a certain place. Sounds like Sci-Fi to me. Monster stone being rolled away, too heavy for one man to move. The dead reappearing. Wine turning to water, as centuries before, the Nile turned to blood? Just sayin'.

What I personally believe isn't really relevant here. Much of what has been passed down may well be true. At their hearts, all the central teachings of various religions encompass similar universal "truths." But not "absolutes." What is also most probably true is that the story-tellers were great story-tellers, and as all good raconteurs do, each put his own spin on events that had happened many years before.

That, folks, is the beginning of speculative fiction.

We don't know. We create stories from other stories and have no real idea where the kernel of truth that no doubt spawned the original stories came from. What do we know about the possibility of life in other dimensions than the ones we are able to perceive? Many believe in ghosts, some believe in the continuance of the soul but not in ghosts. If heaven, whatever it might be, isn't some other dimension of being, of existence, what is it?

One book in my past posited that beings exist on all our planets and throughout the known universe (and the unknown parts too?), but they exist on planes not perceptible to our human senses. Their ships travel on light, can appear to us or not, at their will. As can they. Might they, for effect, appear as various creatures of the night?

We know the tabletop, on close examination, is not really solid. Could there not be a civilization on a subatomic particle in the mote of dust on that tabletop to which that atom is as vast as our universe, and could not our universe be but an atom in the stone in the ring of someone having dinner with a friend? Pretty damn big ring, from our perspective. Even bigger friend. Perhaps a god.

So please, those of you who know you know, who have the answers, spare me your certainty. I don't buy it. And maybe without it, the world is a little scarier place, but oh, so much more fun to think about. And write about.They say what you don't know can't hurt you. Is that true? Think about it.

And Happy Easter!