Search For Enlightenment
Posted by Literary Titan
Struth! follows three men with different philosophical beliefs who contemplate the universe and its meaning. I think this original idea is intriguing. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?
Actually, it’s two men and a women, but that’s not important here. The idea originally developed from my own search for some understanding of life and the world around us. I have always had an interest in science, which has provided mankind with some wonderful insights into the workings of nature and still continues to do so on an almost daily basis. However, being empirical in nature, it can never hope to answer those fundamental questions as to why things happen, only the what, where and how. In many ways science is still in its infancy and has to create unknown “dark forces” to allow observations to align with theories and established physical laws. It will even tell you that death is our final destination and there is no purpose to life. That seemed irrational to me, so I then turned towards religion. Coming from a non-religious background, with only a sprinkling of religious knowledge, I knew very little of the many different and distinct faiths. However, with over 4000 individually recognised religions in the world, which one holds the truth? They can’t all be right, and you could spend your whole life searching and still end up empty handed at the end. In frustration, I turned to philosophy for answers, that academic discipline for generating conceptual ideas. But even here, few understand the logic and rationale derived, and philosophers have never agreed on a single proposition. The only option I had left was to start from scratch and develop a sort of personal religion based on truths that I had already accepted.
Authors that have previously trodden this path have chosen to base an approach either on personal insights (if they happen to be a mystic or had the misfortune to suffer a near death experience), or on religious grounds by reinterpreting scripture. For others, fantasy provides unlimited boundaries where witchcraft and magic can evoke the impossible. When you analyse all of these options in detail, however, none provides that solid foundation necessary to create a truly believable hypothesis. “Struth!” takes a different approach, with the plot centred on a model of existence at its core that has been inferred from our own history. In our past, numerous pivotal events have aided our species’ rise to dominance and shaped our lives. These are not disputed, so become fixed points within the model. Furthermore, if you believe that life does have meaning, then these events could not simply have happened by chance; they too had purpose and must be connected in some way. With the minimum number of initial assumptions, and with elements borrowed from science, religion and philosophy, common threads can be found to create the links and plug the gaps. By joining all the dots, a bigger picture is revealed that can then be used to explore the natural and supernatural worlds in a defendable framework. It provides some plausible answers and thought-provoking ideas that can be easily understood and, in many ways, unify the conflicting ideas found in science, religion and philosophy alone.
I decided to write “Struth!” in my retirement, first to give me something to keep my mind active and occupied, but primarily because I wanted to share these ideas in the hope that others would find some connection and aid their own search for enlightenment.
2. What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?
If you have already found a religion, no matter what that may be, then the path to enlightenment is already well trodden and is straight and well lit. If you are still searching for that “truth” then you become an explorer and the path is unclear as it meanders and branches all along its length. When you reach a fork in the path you have to decide which direction to take. To do this rationally and objectively, you need to keep an open mind and consider all ideas, no matter how unlikely and contradictory they may seem. As an engineer by profession, I approach writing in a similar way, so you will find that all the workings that went into solving a dilemma are openly out on display. The three main characters were specifically chosen to represent these opposing views, not just philosophically but also religiously, sexually and socially. It was therefore very easy for the characters to interact to express their own views, and in the end, I found a compromise solution which contains elements of truth from all viewpoints.
3. What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
In many ways I gave my own mind free-range when it came to developing the story. It started by making just one assumption – Life does have meaning. If you believe that, then numerous questions are immediately raised and it starts you on a journey in search of answers. The end result is that the book has to almost develop a theory of everything in order to fully explain the how, what, where and, most importantly, – why.
If I have to pick a few highlights, then they would probably be: the nature of God, creation and the structure of the universe, how mysticism and the paranormal work, why we have such diversity in sexuality, and what role Earth and mankind play in the bigger picture.
Although initially unintended, it was also interesting that the structure of the universe proposed aligns with Douglas Adams “Answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything”, postulated in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It seems that many of the answers to life’s mysteries can be found in 42.
4. Will there be a follow-up novel to this story? If so, what aspects of the story will the next book cover?
I have only just started. “Struth!” was conceived as a trilogy, and the second book in the series is already well advanced. The first book is really an adventure story where the leading characters go in search of life’s meaning and to understand the world around them. In the second book “Struth Mate!” the journey of discovery continues from where the first ended, and we look into the future and what destiny holds for us all. We encounter Gaia, or Mother Nature if you prefer. Who or what is she? What is her connection with God? Is she really able to influence life on Earth, changing our environment, or even altering the course of evolution? We also learn that the end of the world is fast approaching. Here the Book of Revelations and the returning Messiah take on greater significance and are brought startlingly into focus. We also discover what 42 signifies.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Posted on April 16, 2023, in Interviews and tagged author, author interview, AVA FORME, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, philosophy, read, reader, reading, story, STRUTH!, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
Comment Cancel reply
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Pingback: Search For Enlightenment – GREENE PUBLISHING