Tag Archives: philosophy

Life Is a Story

After reading so much or watching so many movies or TV series, real life often seems ordinary and routine. But if you think about it, isn’t life like a story?

When I read, I’m always anticipating what’s going to happen next. I want to keep turning the pages and see what awaits me. I find it’s similar with world events. I’m waiting to see how things unfold, if they’ll get better or worse. Each of these is a story that gets intertwined with other stories making history just one giant story with an immense amount of subplots and story threads that look like an impossible tangle. It’s incredibly complex.

But what about our own personal lives? Everyone has their own stories, and while they usually don’t have an overall plot, there are hundreds or thousands of subplots. Everyone has multiple story arcs.

Do you ever think that way about the world or your own life?

I Am One, but Have Been Many

I may be one person, but through fiction, I have lived many lives.

I have been many people.  I have been born, grown up, struggled, triumphed, and died.  I don’t know how many times I have died, I’ve lost count. I’ve been a child, I’ve been a teenager, I’ve been an adult, I’ve been elderly.  I’ve gone through life’s stages many times.  I’ve been many men, I’ve been many women.  I’ve been human, elf, dwarf, alien, and wolf.  I’ve been a warrior.  I’ve been a scientist.  I’ve been an adventurer.  I’ve been a wizard, a witch, an assassin, a thief.  I’ve been a hero.  I’ve gone through tragedy.  I’ve lost loved ones, and I’ve lost myself.

I’ve been to many places on Earth.  I’ve been to the Moon, Mars, Europa, Ganymede, and Iapetus.  I’ve been to other stars.  I’ve been to other worlds uncharted.  I’ve been to the future, the past, and the present.  I’ve ridden a dragon, piloted a starship, and flown a broom.  I’ve cast spells, fired guns, and drawn a sword.  I’ve been handsome, beautiful, ugly, and ordinary.  I’ve been stabbed, shot, and poisoned.  I’ve gone through anguish, ecstasy, and blind rage.

I’ve seen life through different eyes.  I’ve become different people.  That’s what reading fiction does.  It gives you experiences you can never have in reality.  It expands your horizons, gives you new ideas, and opens your mind to other ways of thought.  It enriches you and makes you a better person.  I couldn’t live without reading.  It’s a wonderful way to inspire.  I wish everyone could experience that.

Pick up a book and read.  Your mind will thank you.

This was inspired by this wonderful post by RamblingAnt.  Go on over there and tell him what you think.  Share with us what reading means to you.  The comments below are open for your thoughts.

Creating a Distant Future

Stephen Hawking recently said that the greatest danger to humans is ourselves.  We could destroy ourselves in the next two hundred years.  He’s also warned us against the use of artificial intelligence, as it could also become our greatest enemy.

It’s so difficult to predict the future.  He may be right, or the future could be something entirely different.  But one thing is certain, many scientists have good reason to believe that we’re in danger.  And many say we must go to space, to Mars, and then to the stars.

Cat’s Eye Nebula. The future of our sun?

The future possibilities are endless.  We are now seeing melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification, extreme weather events, and the beginning of a likely mass extinction. Scientists are certain about this.  But there are many deniers who claim it won’t happen, mostly because they don’t understand the science or they think God will make it all better.  Or maybe they’re hoping this is a sign of the second coming of Jesus, so they’re trying to hasten these terrible symptoms of humanity’s greed.

On the other hand, we have made incredible advances in technology and medicine.  Computers are now small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and are readily available.  Cars may soon drive themselves. We have a GPS system that tells us where we are anywhere in the world, and we can use it to get somewhere without getting lost.  Vaccinations have eradicated or nearly eradicated many harmful diseases, and we may be able to extend our lives.

But that is all near future.  What about the distant future?  What will our technology be like? Will we still be bound to Earth?  The solar system?  Or will we be among the stars?  How long will we live? What will the environment be like? How many major cities will be long forgotten and underwater?  How many animal species will have survived?  Will technology and biology be joined?  What will happen to today’s religions? How will they evolve?  Will there be new religions?  How about language?  Will English prevail as the dominant language, or will Mandarin Chinese take over sometime in the future?  Or will language evolve so much that it’s unrecognisable?

Where will humanity be?

I ask myself this often.  As I write science fiction, I wonder what the future possibilities are.  The farther we go in the future, the less certain we are about where our future will lead us.  I want to show a distant future in my writing, an exotic life featuring incredible technology, yet a closer relationship with nature.  A culture that has overcome many difficulties and setbacks to create a new niche in their world.  It’s incredible fun to imagine.

Where could our future take us? What will it be like in one thousand years?  Ten thousand years?  Think about that and share your ideas in the comments below.

Do You Want to Remember?

The things you think of while doing the dishes.

So, as I was washing the dishes, my mind wandered into the realms of philosophy.  That’s not really a common thing, as I usually think about what to write while I’m doing the dishes.  But I guess these thoughts got me thinking about what to write for the blog.

This is quite simple, let’s say that you die.  Everyone dies, of course.  But what if your consciousness moves over to the nearest fetus that is at an appropriate level of development (whatever that is)?  I guess you could call this reincarnation.  I’m not meaning this in a religious way, I’m thinking fantasy.  Not your soul, but your actual consciousness.  And what if your memories go with you?  So when you’re born, you have all of your memories of your previous life.

Wow, that would put you at a great advantage.  You’d breeze through school, everyone would think you’re a genius.  You’d have the experience and wisdom of a lifetime already, so you’d be a very mature child, probably graduate from university at 12 years old, and enjoy the rest of your childhood doing whatever you want.  Wouldn’t that be incredible?  Of course, there’s no choice in who you’ve become.  You may change genders, you may grow up in a different country that you grew up in, so you’d have to learn the language as a child would.  That would be fine.  You can still remember your old language.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?

But then, what about your family that’s still alive?  Would you want to contact them?  Would you let them know that you’re you?  That might be difficult on them, or they may welcome you with open arms.  It’s hard to say.

So, my question for you is this:  If this were possible, would you come back with your memories intact, or would you want to come back with no knowledge of your previous life?

Changing Style Mid-Series

I’ve been reading a very well-known science fiction novel series, and I’m now on the third book.  I have a problem with this series.  The first two are great.  I really enjoyed them.  But this third book has completely changed in style.

I’m only about 160 pages into the book at the moment, but it seems as if the main character is now just some background character who has had a single chapter written about him. He was the main character in the first book, which was full of action, and was a sympathetic character.  I felt like I was in his mind.  The second book takes place when he’s an adult, and it was again about him going through a difficult problem, trying to solve it.  There was less action, but the story was full of mystery, and the character was as formidable as he was in the first book.  Now, I’m not sure what to expect in the third book.  He hasn’t played much of a part, and the part he has played has been rather uninspiring.

The major change that has happened is that the pacing is completely different.  While the first two books were quick reads and a lot of tension, this third one is all about philosophical discussions.  It’s all philosophical it seems.  While that may not be a bad thing if it were a standalone book, it feels like it has completely taken the spirit of the series and smashed it to pieces.  I don’t feel the urgency and tension from the first two books.  Now I get chapter after chapter of characters deep in philosophical discussions, arguments in their own minds, and a complete lack of any kind of action that made the first two books very enjoyable.

I don’t mean this to be a review of the book, as I’m only a quarter of the way through it, but I felt like I had to say it.  I won’t mention the book, but you can probably figure it out.

How do you feel when a book in a series takes a completely different writing style?