Faith

Unseen

Since late 2011, I have been promoting my trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar.  The story is a mythology which requires creation, life and end of times.  I’ve sold quite a few, but reviews and ratings have been very, very difficult to receive.  I’ve been told it is very good, but apparently posting a review is too difficult.  I have restrained myself from marketing it as a faith based story, because too many would never read it.  Chapter one in Rise of the Fallen starts out very similar to Genesis.  The tale of the fallen Charafuse (Angels) is very similar to that of the Satan story, and there are many inferences to stories in the Bible.  I did this for a marketing purpose, to bring familiarity to my story of the three Abrahamic religions of which there are more than a billion potential readers, nothing more.  What may appear as a religious story, is not. Here is a definition of religion:

Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the supernatural, and to spirituality.

Since we live in a period of history where mythologies, even with the slightest hint of a creator, is deemed religious by the secular society, I will then market the trilogy and the upcoming 16 chronicles stories as a series of stories of faith, hope and spirituality.  In the end, the story is about mankind’s ability to be proper stewards and provides thought on immortal life.  It revolves around free will, family, spouse, children, races, and even the animals.

In the year 1999, I was challenged by a friend to write a story centered around a creator as the source of good, rather than the benign references in many stories.  Stars Wars has the “Force”, Lord of the Rings had the power of the elves given to them by Eru (The One), and Narnia has Aslan the Lion who is a representation of Jesus.  Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time has a creation story very similar to Christianity. George RR Martin refers to the old and new gods.  Gods lay down laws and the expectations of their creations.

In the end, the story is one about faith in something greater than ourselves and how one man is chosen to deliver the enslaved and a message to all of the living. The words Chosen One, do not refer to Christ.  Christ was God incarnate.  My hero is a mere mortal, asked to rise to the greatest challenge of all – to unite the seven divided races and stand against evil, before there is nothing left but death, darkness and eternal silence.

You will notice many inferences to other mythologies such as King Arthur and that created by Tolkien.  You will see the influence of Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost.  In its simplest of form it is derived from this popular quote:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

It is spiritual, highly emotional and so very human of a story.  It is allegorical, it has meaning and a moral behind it.  Will we the living finally become the stewards we were meant to be?  This is the question and should challenge all those who have faith and hope that there is greatness in and after life.

So now I submit to all those who love stories of faith, whether it be Life of Pi, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wheel of Time, or another story I have not yet read – take a chance on a timeless story of good and evil and faith in things unseen. I am not asking you to convert to anything, follow me, or start a cult, but to enjoy a story – that’s all.  I promise you will be crying and cheering at the same time.

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The Significance of Seven

Seven

I am in the midst of writing a mythology that will consist of nineteen stories.  Nineteen has no significant meaning, but here is why there are nineteen:

  1. A trilogy (The Chosen One of Allivar) with the brief history of creation of ten heavenly worlds and through the first six ages of Allivar, prior to the introduction of the seventh age and my main character, Arimar. (3)
  2. A chronicles series of nine stories that explore the fall of nine of ten heavenly worlds. (9)
  3. A chronicles series of seven stories that represent all that took place in the six ages before the messenger and what was taking place that the messenger was unaware of as the seven races gathered and united to arrive on the final day of battle. (7)

And that is how I arrive at nineteen stories.  But let’s explore the number seven a little deeper.

Seven is a very unique number in mythology and religion.  Seven represents perfect completion as in the number of days of the creation of earth (whether you believe or not).  There are seven deadly vices and seven virtues.  If one masters the virtues, they are said to be perfect.   I have been fascinated with this concept in an Epic Fantasy setting.

Seven is a number found in many of our most popular stories, such as Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings and the Songs of Fire and Ice. In The Silmarillion, there are seven Lords and Ladies of the Valar. Feanor has seven sons. In my trilogy, Arimar is the seventh son, of the seventh line of the prophets.  My mythical creator creates seven races as a test of racial harmony, and creates 686 total beings (7 races times 7 males and 7 females) = 343 times 2 = 686.  I did this so that each race had seven couples from which procreation could take place without any inference to incest.

Arimar befriends the seventh son of the seventh father of each race.  He has six captains that follow him they position themselves at seven points of the Wall of Masara, to combat Haggarfuse, the leader of the seven fallen Charafuse (angels).

In the final battle the Unseen, three of his loyal Charafuse and four Seramen come to battle (seven) and the armies of light, comprising the spirits of all the seven races who died not only on the nine fallen worlds, but in the seven ages of Allvar.

In the last chronicles series, you will be greeted by other references to seven, such as the seven swords, the seven underworlds, the seven hidden cities of gold, and the seven staffs of the prophets.  Who knows what I will add next, I’m only on book number five.  Come join me in this journey.  You will have a lot of fun along the way.

If you are intrigued by the number seven and how you can use it in a story of your own, here’s a wikipedia link

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Spiritual vs. Christian (Preconception)

Satan

We live in an era of heightened preconception: An opinion or conception formed in advance of adequate knowledge or experience.  In other words, we are as prejudiced as ever.

No matter how hard I try to explain most do not understand the difference between a spiritually based story and one based on Christianity.  I’ll do my best to explain.  My series of stories are a mythology, nothing more and nothing less.  It is an exploration into creation, our roles in this creation as mortals and our dealing with the consequences of immortal influence into our lives.

At the center of my trilogy is the main protagonist and hero, Arimar – The Chosen One of Allivar.  Some people love to argue that the title alone refers to Jesus.  I cannot disagree anymore.  Moses was chosen and he certainly was not Jesus.  If I had named the series Cassandra – the Chosen One of Apollo, would you be so quick to prejudge? How about Anakin Skywalker – The Chosen One?  That’s right! You love Star Wars, but behind all the high tech graphics is a story of good and evil, and prophecy.  This is also my story, set more in a Tolkien medieval fantasy theme.

Why my mythology is NOT a Christian story?

Christ was God incarnate sent to earth to take on the sins of mortals.  He died and carried our sins with him to demonstrate his love for us. Almost every fictional Christian story revolves around bringing us back to this concept.

Arimar is not God incarnate. He is as human as you and I.  In book nineteen, yet to be written, I will reveal why he was the chosen one by the creator – the Unseen.  This is as simple as I can explain it.  Arimar converses with his creator, but he is not sent to save the world of the living, but to deliver a message.  He is only a messenger.

Why my mythology is a spiritual story?

I believe in a creator, good and evil, and in an afterlife.  This means I believe in both a physical and metaphysical life.  I believe we have a purpose to play in life and thereafter.  What is that purpose?  The end of the third book of the trilogy gives you an idea of this author’s concept of that purpose.  If anything, it is meant to challenge our minds.  At the center of my story is the concept of free will.  Will we, the mortals, choose to do the right thing when the end of times is at stake? Do we really love this paradise created for us?

I created the Vanavaran race, what we might call the race of Africans, to demonstrate evil’s use of preconception.  Why do people fear black people?  What is our source of preconception?  It is innate or taught?  Where was its origin?  In my story evil immortals convince the other living races that they are demons amongst us from the abyss of darkness, willing to take souls to keep them mortal.  It is obviously a lie, yet a valid point – we are all inclined in one way or another to have preconceptions.  We do this every day if you are honest with yourself – we take sides on political, religious, racial and other societal or moral issues.  We rarely engage in civil debate, because we have convinced ourselves the opposing viewpoint is already flawed.  Life is full of propaganda, yet we are given free will to seek the truth. All that is necessary is for good people to have an open mind, free of preconception, and inclined towards action to making a better world.

Here is one of my favorite quotes of all time:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

This is often attributed to Irishman Edmund Burke, who was a statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher . Although it has not been found in his speeches, writings, or letters (and is thus apocryphal), in 1770 he wrote in Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents that “when bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Burke was not referring to the good and evil in the spiritual world, but the corruption of government, specifically the House of Commons.

Tolkien said it best in the Fellowship of the Ring, “Nine rings were gifted (given and freely accepted) to the race of men, who above all else seek power.” Power being the ability to dominate all life and control its outcome (to be one’s own God.)  Saruman preconceived that he too could share power with Sauron.  All to his own demise.

We are quick to believe in evil.  Our theaters are filled with stories of evil, yet very little exploration of the source of good and the battle taking place in the invisible realm.  Hopefully you will take a chance on these series of stories and learn that mortal preconception is not a good thing.  It can and will be used against you, evil knows this, for you are so willing to be deceived by your own preconceptions.

This September, I release the fourth book of this mythology – The Fall of Helloria.  The first in a new series of nine stories that chronicle the fall of nine heavenly worlds.  I will explore many spiritual and philosophical concepts presenting both an exciting and mentally challenging journey.  I hope you choose to come along with me.

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The Cosmic Snowball

Comet

Look ma, it’s me!

Last night I found myself in a heated discussion with my daughter over my trilogy.  I am reformatting the stories under my publishing company control and I am going to insert a Prologue.  I truly hate prologues, but apparently we live in a period of time where readers want a snippet of the story before deciding to invest their time and a whopping $2.99.  My trilogy is a mythology, it is not espousing a religion. A mythology, to which there are numerous ones throughout all of human history, deals with the creation story by a god or gods, the interaction of mortals and immortals and the end of times.

She believes my main character is the savior figure – Christ.  First, Christ was God incarnate so that he could communicate with the living. Second, Christ died solely for the purpose of collecting sins to demonstrate God’s love for his creation.  My hero is neither of these. He is as mortal as you or I. Then she had an issue with the word “creation” and insisted her generation could not tolerate the connotation with the word.  Funny how we can watch movies about Perseus and the God Zeus and find enjoyment.  Maybe they have not yet read classical Greek and Roman mythology.

This is where I lost it, sorry, but if our youth cannot bear a story of good versus evil, where good is derived from a creators will, then please read and reread all the erotic vampire and comic book reincarnations of Spider Man to satisfy your intellectual cravings.  An author that sacrifices his story’s integrity to the political correctness of the day, is not much of an author. I was raised in a period of time where skepticism was taught, but that seeking knowledge was encouraged to understand the opposing point of view, we were much more tolerant than we are today.

If the creation aspect of my story reminds you of the bible, it was because I wanted to bring an air of familiarity to those readers of the three major religions of Abraham. This is for marketing purposes only. I have had Christians say it is not a Christian story.  You know what?  You are right – it is not, nor has ever been intended to be a Christian story.  But I think Christians might just enjoy it immensely and give cause for discussion.  We supposedly live in a period where racial tolerance is sought.  Guess what, my story deals with this.  People will line up and spend their paychecks watching Avatar over and over again, and then have to visit their shrinks because they wish we lived in a world where the environment and habitat of others is respected and protected.  Guess what, my story deals with this too. It deals with the human condition, especially family, in a mythological setting with an allegory of the troubles we find in our world today.  Will we humans do what is right and good to save this world?

Did anyone ever wonder who Gandalf  was and where he came from? Guess what, Tolkien has a creation story too, yet we love his creation and wish for more.

“There was Eru, The One, who in Arda is called Iluvatar; and he made the first Ainur, The Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made.” – The Silmarillion.

Notice the word “made”, now does this offend you?  Or would you prefer manufacture?  Certainly we can’t have “The One”, or “The Unseen”, or “The Lord of Light and Life.”  And please remove “The Holy Ones” for our youth’s delicate sensibilities.

My point is simple and to the point, I inserted the creation story as context and support for all other stories that will follow, nineteen in all.

If anything regarding spirituality and spiritual beings offends you, then maybe a new breed of author should arrive and write that you are nothing more than a collection of dirty molecules that rode around the great galaxy on a cosmic snowball.  Then you crashed and a new world was made, sorry, manufactured, and your molecules shifted and changed until you became sludge, then a fish, then an ape, and then evolved in all knowing political animal.  Now for me that would be pretty boring and not challenging for the mind.

Oh and please never question the origin of good or evil in Star Wars, Harry Potter, or other books and movies, it just might lead you on a quest to the realm of independent thought and discussion of what we are.  But if you are ready for a story, forged more along the lines of Lord of The Rings, then satisfy your curiosity and then send me a message if you want to calmly discuss issues of the entire story, etc. And if the review of a 14 year old female assists, here is what she had to say:

“It took a while for me to truly get into the book, but after the first few chapters, I was hooked! I loved how detailed the first few chapters were. The author gave me a great view of the history of the wonderful universe. I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, but I have to say that this was 100 times better than the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion combined! The races of Allivar’s living beings are much more creative than elves, men, dwarves, hobbits, etc. I think that even if you were a person who doesn’t really care for fiction/fantasy, you would still be hooked on this book and perhaps change your opinion on those types of genres.”

Have a great weekend.

Empathy for a Creator

Unseen

Empathy, sometimes a forgotten word in this self centered world, were sympathy and apathy are more common.   Here’s the definition for the sake of this post,

The power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings.

Recently I posted a thought on my Facebook  page regarding the power of creation that we experience as mortals:

“When you hold an infant in your arms for the very first time, you feel the awesome power and the love of creation. Never allow that sensation to escape your mind, for one day, without warning, and from all your efforts to protect from shared wisdom, you might lose that which you created through the corruptible forces of the world. Should that moment ever happen, have empathy for the creator of that world, no matter which you choose to believe in, for the loss that creator had to endure for the fall of the mortal family. Hug and kiss someone dear to you today.”

As I have mentioned many times before, my trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar, has many underlying themes topical to our current time in history and allegorically relevant.  In my years on this world I have seen many changes, none as rapid as the loss of the prospect that we were created by an unseen power.  Scientific theory has replaced faith in anything other than oneself, yet science has not advanced the manner in which we treat one another.  For once, imagine being a creator of earth, what would you do?  Would you hold on in the expectation that mortals would one day see the light and finally seek peace? Would you wipe out all humans from their actions?  Would you allow demons to continue their quest with the corruption and destruction of that which you created? How long could you take being cursed by your own creations?  What test of faith would you give mortals?

My trilogy is an epic fantasy adventure and a mythology.  It is not Christian fiction.  However, it is influenced by Christian and other stories of faith.  Yes it deals with creation and the viewpoint of the fictional creator – the Unseen, the Lord of Light and Life. The first nine chapters of Rise of the Fallen may give the impression it is biblical, but this was done solely to create familiarity and nothing more of the creation story, the fall of immortals and the birth of evil.  To create a credible story I engaged in much research, including the understanding of the hierarchy of Angels and the classification of Demons. From this research I created my own classifications and gave them entirely new names. I scoured for banned stories to improve my understanding of ancient people’s view of their world.  Like J.R.R. Tolkien, I wanted my very own mythology, so I created one.  The type of story I wanted to read.

One of my family friends who is now 79 years old and a devout Christian stated he hoped one day a story would be told where one is wrapped in the full armor of God.  Funny he should say that, because part of the story plot involves this very concept.  What he was referring to was a passage from the Bible in Ephesians:

The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Many people today believe the Bible is no more than a myth and literature.  No matter your beliefs, the Bible is one of the most fascinating reads you will ever undertake.  As a writer, you must experience different viewpoints to enhance your story. However, the main premise of my story came from the Jewish story of the siege of Masada. Some of the story is influenced by the Bhagavad Gita and many, many other sources including pagan mythologies.   The hero of the story Arimar, has been given powerful gifts by the Unseen, including the shield of faith, derived specifically from this passage in the Bible. It is from this passage that the title of the final story, Last Stand of the Living, was derived.  I can guarantee my friend, that in the end all the powers of good and evil collide, with a surprising and thought provoking ending.

In the ten years of writing this trilogy (2000 – 2010), I poured many of my various beliefs, opinions and philosophical thoughts into the story.  Today, many people want simple and entertaining reads, yet very few can recall the detail of the story they had just read.  I am slow reader, when I find a good story, it is engrained into my memory.  I like to think and have all my senses evoked.  In my opinion, too many modern stories are short of story and too quick on sensory stimulation. My story will challenge you, only if you are ready to be challenged.  It will certainly entertain you, once the foundation of the creation story has been read and understood. I have embedded clues and hints that will keep you guessing maybe for the rest of your life. In the end, you should be touched emotionally and philosophically if you can have empathy for a creator of worlds.

Are you ready to challenged?

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Religious Similarities – Construction of a Mythology

tree of life 1

Have you ever noticed that many religions have stories so similar that you wonder if all religions were founded and then modified from a single mythology?  I not insinuating all religions are myths, but they all have common themes: creation, life, and end of times.

When I began contemplating my very own mythology, I did not want to confuse most of my readers.  I wanted the very first few chapters to be about the creation story, the first beings to be given life and wisdom, and the fall of spiritual beings that would lead to the quest for power.  The rest of the story concerns characters who must deal with the life of being mortal and an ultimate battle between good and evil.  Again, these are the foundations of a mythology.  I wanted a reader to connect my story to the similarities of the Pentateuch, which are known by the three major religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. These religions comprise 54% of the world’s population.  Because of this a majority of readers would find many similarities with their current knowledge. My mythology is pure fiction, it is not meant to offend or blaspheme their religion, but to shed light on goodness,  and a story that should bring out the best in all of us, for Allivar means – The One Family.

I am not the first to construct their own literary mythology. My major inspiration was from J.R.R. Tolkien, who created his creator – Eru,  his universe – Ea, and finally the world – Arda.  I cannot fully comprehend the world of Tolkien without delving into the Silmarillion.  Therefore it was my first quest in this creative writing process to not create an entire book on creation and ancient history, but to compress the history in the first nine chapters.  This should give the reader all the context needed for the stories that follow.  I am taking a different path than Tolkien.  One I that hope keeps the reader intrigued, entertained, enthralled, and thinking.  Here is how I am constructing this mythology.

First, I tell the entire mythology in the three books of the trilogy – The Chosen One of Allivar. In the first book of the trilogy are brief references to the ten heavenly worlds and how nine of them fall, and of the first six ages of the last world standing – Allivar. Once the context is laid, I move the story into a higher pace to close out book one.  Book two and three are very fast reads, because the developmental phase of the mythology has been completed.

Second, those brief references in book one allow me the opportunity to develop nine stories, in detail, of the fall of those worlds, and of their heroes and heroines. In these tales, I can expand upon how evil forces corrupt the immortals into their falling, how they interfere with nature to create giants, dragons and other unholy beasts. These shall be tragedies, but with a twist at the end of each one, which will further supplement the full meaning of the trilogy.  However, I wanted to make certain a reader’s questions were all answered in the trilogy without having to wait for future releases. These future stories are told by characters in the trilogy just as all myths are, for they are sacred stories passed down from generation to generation.

Third, I devoted brief references in the first book to the six ages that precede the arrival of Arimar – The Chosen One.  Again, think about The Lord of the Rings. What happened in the first and second ages of Middle-Earth?  How did Sauron come to be? Who was Gandalf and where did he come from? What ancient world did the Balrog come from? Didn’t you want to know more detail?  I know I did.  Allivar is the world were good and evil finally match wits and battle for the sake of all mortals.  You will find yourself thinking not only of Bilbo and Frodo’s journey, but you will also connect with the story of Moses.

Finally, there will be a final story, book #19 – The Age of Light, that will tie together all the detail to complete this mythology.  This mythology may be my only writing in my life, but if it goes as planned, the reader will have nineteen stories to read.  My hope is that the stories will never age and you find yourself rereading to discover more, as I have with Tolkein’s work.  I have constructed this mythology, now all it requires is readers like you.  Come with me on the journey of discovery with Arimar, just as you had with Perseus, Bilbo and Frodo.

The Meaning of Life

The Thinker

Often in my 53 years of life I have pondered the meaning of life.  I’ve researched the topic, read the bible and other non-canonical works, and I continue to research other points of view.  I will continue to read other works of faith and spirituality.  Today I saw the movie trailer for the Life of Pi and then researched about the story and the author Yann Martel. On Wikipedia I read this:

In a 2002 interview with PBS, Martel revealed his inspiration for his novel, “I was sort of looking for a story, not only with a small ‘s’ but sort of with a capital ‘S’ – something that would direct my life.” He spoke of being lonely and needing direction in his life. The novel became that direction and purpose for his life.

I will read this book and watch this movie, because this is what interests me at this stage of my life. I admit that I too look for direction and purpose in life.  I am a person of faith, but one that does not believe in everything a religious institution tells me to believe. My faith is my own, I will not will it upon others, although I love a lively debate. We each can interpret religious text to our own needs if we choose, which is my belief that such choice was the gift of free will by our creator.  We are given this freedom of choice, but we are not free of the consequences.  Many of our moral and ethical beliefs are derived from thousands of years of religious beliefs.  We have the ten commandments and the three major religions from the line of Abraham. Do not kill and treat others as you would have them treat you seems a simple instruction. Yet we have so much sorrow and despair over the argument of faith.  Is it due to an invisible interference that creates woe?  Is there a literal war taking place in the ethereal world?  Many believe so, some believe it is pure myth.  If such things do not exist and we are no more than an intelligent animal, why then do we not just simply take what we want without worry of our own death?

There is very little description of heaven.  Dante provided a startling description of hell, but what about heaven?  We look into the night skies and ponder the powerful forces that created it and that which holds it together, and we call them the heavens.  What is our purpose in death and in an afterlife?

If you enjoy this realm of thinking, then I believe my trilogy – The Chosen One of Allivar, and the upcoming chronicles will give you thought in the form of a fantasy adventure mythology.  Mythologies revolve around a very simple story line: Creation, life, and end of times. In this mythology, I created the very questions I have and then attempted to answer my own questions.  Life is a test and we cannot pass the test until we understand its meaning. Is mankind doomed to constant failures of this test and when, if ever, we will stand together as one to pass this test?

I look forward to a civil and robust discussion on the source of your beliefs.  We have much to learn from each other, if we respect each others beliefs. In my mythical creation, Allivar means “The One Family”, and I sincerely believe my creator desires us to act as one.  The hero, Arimar, is the chosen one, but why was he chosen and chosen for what?  Surely you must want to know.