I am a thinker and a writer, and I study the universe.

Writing

The Paradox of Change and Stagnation

I have been thinking about change and why human beings are afraid of it. I suppose we must be afraid of the unknown, as if it could never turn out well, or as if it would turn out well for a moment before slipping away. It seems to me that we are afraid of both good change and bad change because we often cannot tell whether this change will be a good one. So we often prefer things to stay the same. But then again, we are also afraid of stagnation. We want to be constantly moving forward until there is no longer anything to move forward to. I suppose we are afraid of feeling un-alive, for we often equate being alive to being constantly changing. Indeed, it is often the case that somebody inflicts pain on him/herself just to feel like he or she is alive, often during a period of stagnation, of neither progression nor of retrogression.

This is the paradox: If human beings are afraid of both change and stagnation, what are they not afraid of? How can a human being’s situation ever give satisfaction to the creature when there is no way he or she could be in a state that is neither of change nor of stagnation?


A Demon in the Mind

What if you met someone with whom you became fast friends? You like him, and he likes you. You have great conversations with each other. You learn a lot from each other. And thus, you trust him as a best friend. But what if he turns out to be the devil? Or worse, what if he turns out to be a figment of your imagination? But yet he feels so real to you! You cannot accept that he is not real…until he asks you to kill someone.

Until he asks you to kill your own family whom, though they have disowned you, you love anyway…

This is what happens to Thunam in the new story entitled “A Demon in the Mind.” This is the story of a man, that is trying to make his way in the world, slips into madness, at first resisting it until he finally succumbs to it, killing his own family in the process, which act drags him deeper and deeper into melancholy and delirium.

This is the tale of how a killer is born. Not every killer, of course, but a particular one. He is not a bloodthirsty man that is out for vengeance, nor does he hunger for sexual contact and the pleasure of a body. He is a desperate man who only wants to soothe his inner demons. Although he is doing the bidding of the demon in his mind, he is still fond of this demon because he remembers all of the good times he’s had with him. Within the heart of this killer, you will find humanity, love, desperation, and anger. But you will never find what most would think they would find in a killer: revenge, hatred, pride, bloodthirstiness.

For now, I will get the specifics of the story clear in my head. And then I will write it. Let me know how you would like the story to end:

(a) With the protagonist’s physical death
(b) With the protagonist mental death
(c) With the protagonist beating the demon down, and the demon never haunting him again
(d) With the protagonist being able to control this demon

If you have the heart and the motivation, please let me know which out of the four you think would be a good ending; you could even suggest an alternative ending too!

-A. R. Vapor

Quote of the Post:
“The animality that lends its face to madness in no way stipulates a determinist nature for its phenomenon. On the contrary, it locates madness in an area of unforeseeable freedom where frenzy is unchained.” -Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization p. 76


We can know love by knowing hate (and vice versa)…

Does love exist? I look around and all I see is hate, darkness, despair. Yet if those things exist, then surely love does as well. After all, how can the realization of hate exist if there had not been the realization of love at one point? How can I know what hate is if I had not known love? But then again, perhaps I know neither thing, if I cannot know love without knowing hate first, if I cannot know hate without knowing love first. After all, most say that hate exists so that we can know love, and love exists so that we can know hate.

Perhaps nobody knows hate or love. Perhaps they are mere ideas that we have created. Perhaps neither love nor hate exists. Or if they do, nobody is capable of knowing them.


The Rising Spirit

I’m sorry for not updating on here more often. But I have big news tonight: I just finished my first draft for the first novel of my series, the series I’m going to be using for my senior thesis. The working title was “Becoming God” but has now changed to “The Rising Spirit.” The major premise used to be that God is a writer, but has now changed to the related questions: When do we accept what life has given us and when do we fight against it? Is it ever right to go from being true to oneself to being true to another person? Is it ever wrong?

I began the draft on about July 24th, 2014 and finished it on August 10th, 2014. It has a little over 121,000 words. It spans about four years of the protagonist’s life, from when he is 13 until he is 17. The second book, which might be the main book for my senior thesis, begins about four or five years later, when the protagonist is 21 or 22. I used first person in the first book because I enjoy it more. So I will probably use it again. The first book is mainly a prelude to the series, which will talk about the magic of light-workers, which is a form of magic in which the user creates light to perform the magic, and the magic of reasurism, or the art of making things come to life by creating it through something else, such as writing or art. Perhaps it might be too much to put two different magic systems in the same book. But I’ll figure it all out later.


Becoming God

I began the outline of the book I will write for my senior thesis. The working title is “Becoming God.” I know this title sounds more appropriate for a piece of nonfiction than fiction, but this is a novel. (I am certain that when this is done, the title will have changed.) One of the basic premises for the story is this: we all have the desire to be God, and the way we choose to live our lives is what we believe to be the best path toward that goal. I began this endeavor by pondering fiction and how it is that we can feel such a connection to people that we know are not real. I recently finished all the books that have been written so far about Lukien the Bronze Knight, including, The Eyes of God, The Devil’s Armor, The Sword of Angels, and The Forever Knight, by John Marco. I loved each of them, and I felt all of the characters were so real. This is what good fiction does to us: it makes us believe that it’s all real while we are immersed in its world. But this is also the paradox of fiction: how can we have an emotional connection with fictional entities when we know with all our hearts that none of them is real?

This is exactly what one of the characters asks himself. But he eventually comes to the conclusion that there really is nothing unreal about fictional worlds and characters. They are all real, but in an entirely different ‘possible world.’ And eventually he believes that fictional stories are as real as our world. He argues to himself that the worlds and stories we currently have are all based on fictional stories that God has written. God is the Creator of our world. Thus, if we, as writers, created worlds, then we must also be God. Because this character has an insatiable desire to become God and is unafraid to admit it, he decides to leave everything behind in order to pursue this goal.

This is just one instance of a person emanating what he thinks God is through how he lives his life. There are many others, but there will only be four point of view characters. And yet even this seems like too many for a simple senior thesis. The story has become larger than I had intended, and I may need to split it into two or more books.

Anyhow, I am excited to begin this book. Tomorrow I will meet with one of my instructors about some ideas he had given me through email. And then I will let you all know what happens and when I begin my first draft.


It feels good to have a goal…

As some of you may know, I have had an extremely difficult time deciding a major; specifically, deciding what areas of emphasis I will have for my Integrated Studies degree. I am here to announce that I have chosen, and I have no intention of changing them anytime soon, if at all. Of course, I will stay with the Integrated Studies (IS) program because I love it. In this program, students have two areas of emphasis; some have more than two, but two are required. I have chosen three: English, Humanities, and Philosophy. And I plan on finally graduating with my Bachelors degree in Spring of 2016. Someday, I plan on going to graduate school, and I might wind up teaching college part-time. But in the end, I want to write.

I know I haven’t been writing much on this blog, and I had hoped to change that. But I will only write when I can. My other blog, iaataawaistu.wordpress.com, is also available to check out (this is the blog where I will write more philosophical posts).

Today, I spoke with the IS advisor about what I plan on doing for my senior thesis: a novel about becoming God. I know that that might sound a little bit strange, but once I get working on it, I will let you all know what exactly it’s about. I already have a general outline, but I hope not to reveal it yet. In fact, I’m not sure I would reveal it until I submit it for publication.

Thank you all for bearing with me! I am more excited than ever to finish my degree and finally begin my life! It’s been a long time coming, a long time…but it will come eventually. I know that I have a lot of growing up to do still. I grew up in a way in my teen years, but in the shallow way of growing up (learning to drive, cook, clean, etc.), I’m still working on it. But once I get this degree, it will be one major milestone in my life.


Beyond Madness 2

I am currently an Integrated Studies major at Utah Valley University. But I have recently decided to change my areas of emphasis to Philosophy (of course!) and English. This is because, as you might know, that I have always loved writing (it was my first love, in fact) and have wanted to write for a living for a long time. In fact, people often tell me that I am a great writer, just like my Integrated Studies teacher when I gave him my short story for my project. It did not matter if I did English, I was thinking about doing a novel for my senior thesis. But now that it is going to be English, a novel would be extremely relevant.

Like I said in my last ‘Beyond Madness’ post, I like the concept of madness. (I am also very interested in psychology, but the psychology program here puts too much emphasis on empirical research and mathematics than what psychology is actually supposed to be about, that is, understanding human behavior, thoughts, etc.) Anyway, much of psychology is taken from philosophy, especially from such things as Stoicism (one should accept all the bad things that happen to them if there is no way for one to change them) and existentialism. The concepts of madness and death are important for continental philosophy, and particularly for existentialism. I won’t go into what existentialism is here, especially since there are so many ‘definitions’ of existentialism. But core of the field of inquiry is human existence. Anyway, I wanted to write about what I plan to do for my senior thesis.

The title of the post, with the exception of ‘2’, is exactly what I wanted to do. The series that I am more actively working on, the one about narolomy, has several volumes…possibly five. The one I wanted to write for my senior thesis is probably the second one, entitled ‘Beyond Madness,’ and it is about The Deal. In this case, to hopefully not give too much away (though you can read more about it in the ‘Beyond Madness’ post from last month), the protagonist is going to be making a deal with the devil, or the main antagonist, a deal that grants him his physical life but that in the end destroys his mental life. He goes mad after making the deal because of the guilt that he feels as a result of it. Now why would anybody want to make this deal…trade his physical life for his mental life? I asked myself this question, and I realized that it is because most people believe that their own nonexistence is more frightening than their own insanity. But the protagonist finds out the hard way that he would rather have died than experience all that he does. (Not only because becomes insane…in fact, the deal results in the loss of one of his family members, and the guilt that he feels is the cause of the madness.)

I feel like most people view nonexistence as the most terrible thing, the most frightening thing, in the world. But in fact, people are more afraid of madness, and especially their own madness. People are willing to talk about the idea that there is no afterlife, that once we die that’s it. They are willing to consider their own mortality and that someday they might cease to exist. Fewer are willing to talk about the idea that they are in the matrix or that all they see do not really exist. In fact, most people say that the question of whether we’re in the matrix (or whether they are mad) is irrelevant and stupid; all of the things we see are real to us, and that’s really all that matters. It is as if they are afraid to talk about it. In my own experience, I am more afraid of my own insanity as well. But most people say that they would rather live in a shattered reality, and know they are in a shattered reality, than cease to exist, or at least die. In this novel, I wanted to argue that humans in general are more prone to shun madness than nonexistence.

There will also be themes about good and evil, and how even the Devil himself was once an innocent child. It is also about love, forgiveness, and acceptance, as well as hate and rejection. Of course, I’ll have to provide a summary of the first book of the series in order for the reader to know what’s going on, of the events that preceded the deal, and what led to this specific deal. This will be an exciting novel, an exciting senior thesis! This year, there had also been a student doing a novel for his senior thesis, and he won an award for one of the best senior theses in the department. I’m not sure if my novel could win such an award, but I think this novel will be a masterpiece.