This month I write of my works of fiction. My two novels, although very different, are connected to my firm belief in a God beyond my knowing—this theme was presented in my first blog eight and a half years ago Aug 19, 2013—the long poem ‘Un-Named God’. That poem encompasses all that I write about. I often make references to Teilhard de Chardin who saved my faith and enabled me to embrace ‘Mystery God’. Teilhard foresaw religions moving out of the static state of absolutism and into a dynamic evolutionary world view wherein religion and science are seeking, by different paths, the Truth of our existence.
‘The Stations’, my first novel is about an artist commissioned to create Stations of the Cross for a proposed shrine. It has an allegorical quality in that the artist must plumb the depths of his soul and challenge the establishment to give new meaning to an old church symbol in the face of resistance from the conservative arm of the Catholic Church. The artist shares Teilhard’s vision of the need for humanity to expand our vision to find sacred meaning in the secular world. Many of our religious symbols have become static and inert—thus idols. Symbols need to be suggestive and speak to us of where we are in our development so they come alive with insightful perceptions. Much of our world resists transformative change. The search for new meaning in religion is not a denial of historical spiritual tradition; it’s each era’s attempt to reach closer to Truth (which cannot be reached, only approximated). New knowledge is always built upon the old with the understanding that it is the way we grow. Not denial; rather a transformation to incorporate elements of an ever-changing world.
My new novel, ‘The Conflagration’ carries the theme of transformation. The old world is nearly destroyed by a nuclear WWIII at the end of the 21st Century. The shock, that near world destruction actually came to be, is enough to awaked the survivors to realize war is never the answer and they see the need to recognize the planet as One World. Their descendants cooperatively abandon war and embrace universal values to assure continuation of the species; shaping their choices by relying upon the demands of sustainability and guided by global ethics. The protagonist is in effect a ‘time traveler’ from the 21st century and we watch as she resists, then gradually adapts to the new world and is haunted by the question “Was the Conflagration inevitable?” For her Masters thesis she looks back at the signs of danger that were there for all to see yet were ignored.
(Although a work of fiction, all references to issues of the 21st century or earlier, are researched and accurate.)