No update on the publication process. I’m still looking for an agent. Who knows how long that will take. So, I was thinking: while I wait, I’m going to keep blogging. But I asked myself, what should I blog about? Then I realized that I have not really discussed the reasons why I want to write and to publish.
As I have mentioned before, I have always been an artist—a creative thinker, a storyteller. But once I graduated high school, my creative expression took a turn. I no longer wanted to write a story that simply dove into a fantastical universe; I wanted to write a story with some deeper purpose—a story that had something to say, something to teach. Altogether, my purpose in writing is not only to tell a story but also to reflect upon such ideas as what it means to be human and what does it mean to have a relationship with God.
For the last decade, much of my life was devoted to what some would call a “spiritual journey.” I was raised in a Christian household, went to a Christian high school, and attended church. I was passionate about defending what I believed to be the truth—I loved getting into arguments with people. However, I entered into a crisis of belief when the people I started arguing against were other Christians. Growing up, I had thought that all Christians believed the same things, as far as doctrine is concerned. I came to learn that there have instead been many differences and disputes in the church. This pushed me to not only identify but also argue for what I considered to be correct doctrine. Long story short, this pursuit led me to more and more questions, and the beliefs that I grew up steadily began to deteriorate. I started to study religions and mythology of the world. I then turned to the psychology behind belief. I increasingly considered spiritual truth to be more subjective. In fact, I more or less stopped believing that there was some kind of clear, objective truth that we humans could understand, let alone have a relationship with.
Perhaps it was my fear of leaving the familiar that kept me associated with Christianity. Aside from that, I do know that my appreciation and respect for the Christian lifestyle kept me from abandoning Christianity altogether. Even if I could not be certain about what I should believe in doctrinally speaking, I did believe in the importance of a holistically healthy lifestyle. Some close Christian friendships at the time also inspired me to keep giving Christianity a chance, to learn more about what made Christianity what it was. Thus, recognizing my limited knowledge on theology and church history, I went to seminary to work on a masters degree in theology.
The experience at seminary did answer a number of burning questions that I had, but it also opened the doors to many more questions. However, at that point in my life, the pursuit of truth was less of a stressor like it had been before, and I began to enjoy exploring the mystery—it is a beautiful activity. I still continue to seek out authentic belief, but I am more at peace with the fact that there is so much that I will never understand. Do I consider myself Christian? Yes. Am I traditional? No. In a future blog, I will explain what I do believe.
Anyway, as I went through this journey, I expressed my feelings and ideas through writing fiction. The characters and worlds I developed reflected my own inner conflict. The world of The Nether Breed was solidified when I was studying mythology and depth psychology, but I personally needed to go to a dark place and emerge with a sense of peace before I could create genuine, relatable characters. Ultimately, The Nether Breed Saga is a story of my own journey as well as a discourse on what I came to learn and understand about life, about being human, and about spiritual truth.
A huge theme of The Nether Breed Saga is the journey of the human being from a state of ignorance to a state of harmony. We can learn much through storytelling, for stories take potentially very abstract ideas and make them relatable through human experiences. For example, it is difficult to define what love is with mere words, but we can understand it as it emerges in the relationship between characters. Throughout the book, I utilize a number of personally meaningful archetypal symbols that represent to me the journey that we as humans may take throughout our lives. These symbols include the human body, the dichotomy of male and female, snakes, trees, water, fire, and more.
Having this in mind, I have decided that, as I continue to look for an agent, I will start blogging about this symbolism and what it can teach us. Through the blog, I will tell a story and analyze it too. I will tell an alternative story of Adam and Eve (who will represent human beings in general) and the suffering they went through after leaving the Garden of Eden. Through this, I will explain what I have come to understand about being human. Aside from this, I will discuss a number of philosophical issues that may naturally arise as part of this exploration. Perhaps this series of blogs will help you as the reader to answer some hard questions and understand difficult concepts about existence, living, and even God.
My plan is to write at least one post each week, so keep an eye out!