This is the first post in a new blog. I’ve learned two things from my first toe-in-the-water experience at the blogger’s craft, and that is that one should not blog about an unlimited variety of subjects or about “whatever interests me.” Because if one does, the only person who will want to read all of one’s posts is oneself. Or, just possibly, one’s mother. Even that isn’t guaranteed.
So I’m going to limit the subject matter here to the following:
1) Fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction
2) Spirituality, especially Pagan spirituality, but an open-minded and hence essentially heretical take on other perspectives may also be indulged from time to time
These two subjects, I believe, work together well. That’s because fantasy (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, science fiction) is in essence mythic in its storytelling. Its themes are usually spiritual or religious in nature, and its subject matter includes the stuff of Faerie, of myth painted with a vivid brush, of Heaven and Hell and the worlds between. The gods of actual religions are created the same way as those of fiction, through interaction between the human imagination and the greater cosmos, so that the cosmos is humanized and at the same time humanity is transcended. At some time in the past, every deity worshiped by living human beings in the real world was a fictional character brought to life, and so a storyteller who creates fictional deities and other mythic beings is also creating real ones, whether or not they ever achieve any actual worshipers.
I’ll have book reviews here, links to sites that I think have something to say about one or both subjects, poetry that relates to one or the other or both, short fiction or (maybe) excerpts from longer fiction by me or by others if I like them and if I have the authors’ permission to present them.
I’ll also have philosophical ruminations on such things as enlightenment, our place in the cosmos, the art of magic (whether fictional or real-world, together with some exploration of the differences between the two), myths new and retold, and similar wanderings in the world of the spirit.
However tempted I may find myself, I will have nothing else, nothing that doesn’t relate to these topics, not here. Somewhere else, maybe. Not here.
The other lesson is that blogging is a responsibility and one must post at regular intervals and not when the spirit moves. So a new entry will appear here every Saturday. Why Saturday? Because today’s Saturday. Just a coincidence, although Saturday happens to be the day of Saturn which is the planet associated with discipline, so it’s appropriate.
All that out of way, here’s a little something.
In the beginning there was Nothing, but Nothing contained the seeds of Everything. It was both Infinity and Zero. It was the universe in its undifferentiated cosmic oneness: no past, present or future; no here or there; no I and no Thou; no this and no that. All alone, with nothing going on, and where there is only One there is no one to see it or hear it or understand it, and so there is Nothing.
But no one understands these things except the universe itself, so we’ll skip all that for now and you can ask It when you get there.
Anyway, as I said, the universe was both Infinity and Zero, and It wanted to create all the other numbers and tried various ways to do this. It tried adding Inifinity and Zero together, but of course when Zero is added to any other number it remains unchanged, so that didn’t accomplish anything. It tried subtracting Zero from Infinity with the same disappointing result.
Then it hit upon the idea of dividing Infinity by Zero. (Or it could have been that it multiplied the two. Either would have worked.) This process generated every real number, since that is the solution in mathematics of the equation X = ∞ ÷ 0; any real number satisfies it. Since Nothing occupies no space and no time, the sudden appearance of every real number in existence was impossible to contain within the universe as an undifferentiated oneness, and so Everything exploded in a great burst of light from an infinitely small point out into an ever-expanding space.
The first thing to emerge into the new world of Many Things was Time. It had to be the first, because otherwise there couldn’t be a beginning, and without a beginning nothing can exist. Time started at the beginning of itself and finished at the end, and gave all events and things a place between the two. And into its place each thing emerged as it burst upon the new world of Many Things.
Now the universe, still an undifferentiated oneness in the eternal reaches but having become Many Things within the context of Time, took on two forms above and beyond the Many Things. One of those was the Beginning, when the universe divided or multiplied its infinity by its nothingness and all the Many Things burst into the world. The other was the End, when the last action will be taken and the universe will once again be Nothing. And the Beginning said to the End, “This new situation we’ve created has a lot of potential. Inside each of these Many Things, at the very heart and core of it, there’s a little image of Us, a remembrance of the Oneness in each fragment. But none of these fragments are aware of that about itself, because they are all moving as pieces of the whole. But what if we were to have a fragment that could think and know and imagine and feel? It might be able to discover and remember Me in the core of its being, and thereby embrace all of the world in Love, for it would recognize Me in itself and in all other things, too.”
Then the End said to the Beginning, “Yes, that would be a possibility. But while You are certainly there in the core of each of the Many Things, so am I. And that means that this creature that can think and know and imagine and feel would always be torn between You and Me, between Love and Loathing, between the joy of creation and the despair of annihilation. It would be a destructive force as well as a creative force.”
But the Beginning said, “That is true. But it is more likely to embrace Me in its core rather than You, for I am bright and bold and life-affirming and good, while You are dark and cold and self-destructive and bad. And any of them that do embrace You will destroy themselves, leaving those who embrace Me triumphant.”
And the End said, “Perhaps, and yet you know very well that I will be the one who triumphs once all the course of Time is run.”
And the Beginning said, “That’s all right. In the meantime we will live and love, My children and I, and put you off for as long as we may.”
But the End said, “So you say. Yet You and I are one, as You know very well, and so in order to find You within themselves, these minds of your creation must find Me, too. And so there will always be a darkness in their natures, and they will be as much Mine as Yours.”
The Beginning had to admit that this was so, but put its plan into action anyway. And so within the world of Many Things there appeared creatures who could become aware of themselves as reflections of the universe in its oneness, both the Beginning and the End. And because they had both of these within themselves, the light and the dark, the creative and the destructive, the loving and the loathing, their lives were not a simplicity of bliss but rather a Story, full of Conflict, in which creation and destruction both have their place.