I know I’m not crazy!
When I first wrote my epic Sci-Fi novel people often asked me what inspired me to write it.
At the heart of the equation, the answer still lies within the question.
I was inspired!
One summer day, eleven-years ago, I was driving to work when the concept of the story first came to me. I cruised along on the freeway and glanced up at the heavens. The sky was a perfect hue of blue accompanied by gleaming white clouds.
You know, the ones that if you stare at them long enough you might actually see faces, or images, or whatever your imagination conjures.
In my case I saw floating cities and towering mountains in the sky. Those hovering skylands were inhabited by people who watched us from above, but not in the celestial heaven sort of way. Rather the clouds were cloaks for something a bit more sinister, or fantastic.
I still recall the precise moment when I gazed at the clouds and asked myself the all-important “what if” question.
“What if aliens had indeed come to Earth during ancient times? What if they’ve been returning periodically to check-in on our evolutionary progress?”
But then, the “what if” of all what ifs bubbled to the surface of my creative stew. The one that pretty much sealed the deal & spurned me on the journey that changed me as a writer. The decisive first step that contributed to my own evolution & spiritual growth.
I asked, “what if there was an element of truth in all of the worlds religions/mythologies. What if there was a way to piece together their most important moments, in chronological order to reveal the truth behind not only our forgotten past, but our place in the universe?”
When the ingredients of these “what ifs” began to blend into each other I realized that perhaps I could recount history with a twist. Here was my one chance to fuse together two of the subjects that stirred my curious nature in ways nothing else did: religion & science, Creation & Evolution, the beginning & everything that followed.
I’ve always believed in God (at least as far back as I can recall) however I’ve always felt there was more to our existence than what I learned in Sunday school. What I’m trying to say is that I always knew there was more to the story!
Believe it or not, but based on the teachings from certain churches my mother had us attend when we were kids I was under the impression that EVERYONE who did not believe in Christ as their Lord & Savior was doomed to an “eternity in hell!”
Yes, you read that correctly.
I vividly recall being at the grocery story with my mother when I was thirteen and I suddenly thought about my baby brother (only a few weeks old at the time) & I said to my mother that we needed to get him baptized as soon as possible, that he needed to be “saved” to ensure that regardless of what happened to him, he’d be guaranteed a spot in heaven.
I was genuinely afraid that he remained “unprotected” by the grace of God.
I believed that because that was the “truth” that had lain at my feet.
As I matured, I wondered about the numerous generations of humans that lived before the time of Christ and the many more who have lived since the first millennium in other parts of the world where the gospel had not reached them and I wondered whether they too were doomed to eternal damnation as believers of other faiths.
I thought, Wow! That sure is an awful way for an ever-loving and merciful God to treat His children when he only sent His messengers to specific parts of the world during a small window in the vastness of time.
I began to ask questions. My inner nature emerged and my curiosity got the best of me. On warm summer nights I often sat on my front lawn and stared at the heavens. I connected the “dots” of the constellations and wondered, “What else is out there?” “Are there other planets capable of sustaining life?” “Could there in fact be life on those other planets?” “How close or distant are they?”
Concurrently, other questions rose to the surface of my consciousness. Questions that revolved around telepathy, telekinesis, ghosts, angels, demons, science fiction vs science fact, the spirit/soul that lied within us… heaven, hell, wizards/witches and how all of these things have unknowingly weaved together our vast history and our collective existence as a species.
When I decided to piece together this jigsaw puzzle that is the human experience, I realized I had to do some research (a lot of it) and that’s when the fun truly began.
My thirst for spiritual knowledge and history allowed me to immerse myself in the oceans of our past. I swam through the pages of history, through volumes of ancient cultures and drowned myself in the depths of world mythologies/religions in a way I had no idea was humanly possible.
The deeper I delved the further back in time I traveled.
The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn!
Suddenly a story that was supposed to begin with the mythological themes of ancient Greece and Rome was reaching beyond the times of Egypt into the eras and lands of India and Mesopotamia; where essentially it all began…sorta’.
I certainly could have fed my curiosity sooner and with greater satisfaction had I taken an interest in reading when I was younger, but instead I lost myself on the numerous documentaries that aired on the Discovery and History channels.
Suffice it to say that when time permits I continue to thoroughly enjoy the informative programs that fuel the speculation of what gnaws at our need-to-know while carefully pulling back the veil of our secrets just enough to keep us guessing, but at least now I am able to differentiate between the speculative fiction and the informative fact.
Still, my creative juices continue stir and be inspired and seasoned with tiny bits of information I didn’t know while I’m reminded of things that I already learned but have merely forgotten. And that is one of the things that has fueled my drive, the hope that readers will read my stories and say to themselves, “Wow, I did not know that,” or “I remember hearing something about that but in the context of this story, it makes more sense.”
I believe that will happen because as I read and researched the earliest accounts of human history that were inscribed on Tablets as-old-as-dirt, I realized that most of what I learned in Sunday school was a burrowed past.
The story of Noah and the Great Flood predates the Bible itself and is documented by cultures the world over. The story of Moses placed in a basket along a great river of the ancient world (the Nile) to be discovered near a palace and raised by the royal family was a legend that had already been around for generations as the story of Sargon the Great. (An infant placed in a reed basket on a great river of the ancient world—the Euphrates—and found by a gardener of the royal palace only to be raised within the palace walls). Coincidentally, they were both of Semitic descent and both altered the history of their peoples.
During my journey into the past, by way of history books and encyclopedias, I learned that religions had existed before the dawn of Judaism and Christianity and after the latter’s emergence as a prominent faith, the others had already had a much greater understanding of our universe than we could have ever imagined.
When I approached cleric after cleric about the origin of God I never received an answer that satisfied my curiosity. The idea that “God has always been” would not suffice, even at the tender age of ten. So imagine my enthusiasm when I began to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of human thought by way of gathered knowledge and teachings that dated back several centuries, millennia, even!
Some contradicted or mirrored others, most completely went against the grain of what I had been taught in church, but there was a recurring theme that resonated among them all, besides the poetic descriptions of The Beginning.
You name it from the mythologies of Sumer, Egypt, China, Greece, Rome, Meso-America, the Celts, Native America, Polynesia, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Abrahamic religions: Judaism/Christianity/Islam by extension there in-fact was a beginning that inspired great storytelling!
A union of powerful and important entities: gods and goddesses, male and female, light and dark, water and wind, space and time…all of these wonderful legends (with the exception being the obvious) there was the understanding that everything was cyclical. The universe, and everything within it, was born and reborn based on a timeline much greater than the concept of time we currently comprehend. Instead of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc these other traditions viewed the universe in terms of eons!
What I have found to be even more fascinating, thanks in part to my interest in physics, is how science has helped us unravel some of these hidden secrets, much in the same way that: Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Giordano Bruno, Georges Lemaitre and Einstein have done in centuries past.
(Side note: It is my understanding that Catholic Church has yet to offer an official apology to Giordano Bruno after burning him at the stake for his “crimes,” of which included: the support of the Copernican theory that the Earth, nor the Sun, were at the center of the universe as had once been thought. Adding to his claims that the stars we see at night are similar to our own sun, the plurality of worlds, and the idea of an infinite universe. Couple this with his “approach to mathematics and his application of the spatial paradigms of geometry to language.”
And yes, while his free-thinking did lead him to question the validity of Jesus as God, it is a shame that now in an era where such a view is no longer considered “heresy” in the way it once was, it’s a shame that he remains condemned by a Church that claims forgiveness of all souls shall be decided upon by God.
Note the contradiction?
Yet Galileo, who also supported Copernicus’ view of celestial objects and was also tried by the Inquisition, did receive—after 350 years—an official apology from the Vatican. Not before he was forced to recant and remain on house arrest for the rest of his days in lieu of being burned at the stake.
Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Regardless of the inner conflict that continues within me, I remain passionate about learning as much as I can, about achieving a greater understanding of the universe (or multiverse) in which we live, and about my place in the sea of space and time.
This passion fills my soul with an enthusiasm to share what I have learned and the excitement spills over onto my keyboard and subsequently onto the pages of my stories.
I write because I am inspired: inspired to be more than I am, more than some would say I am destined to be. I am inspired because the memories of our ancestors have inspired us all to contemplate our place and our purpose.
I write because my soul wants to do nothing else (save for being a good father and man) and while sometimes I find myself in the swamp of writers block, I tend to stumble upon a word, a sentence, or an important piece of information that reignites the flame of passion that burns in the hearth of my heart.
This is how I came to write my mystery-thriller The Secret of Heaven.
Am I taking a chance here in trying to merge science fiction with science fact, aliens with gods, demons with angels, wizards with wormholes, the physical with the metaphysical?
You bet your sweet- @$$ I am, but it’s a chance I feel with every fiber of my being that I must take because even when I felt the overwhelming burden of bottle-neck of information that once caused me to consider giving up, because perhaps I was taking on a project that was “too ambitious” I quickly realized I could not give up!
A voice screamed at me from inside, perhaps it was the universe talking to me, telling me that I am destined to write these novels and complete each series. A feeling tugged at my soul and guided me over to my laptop and the libraries and gave me the energy to swim through the sea of scientific wonder and into the depths of human history despite very little sleep and long hours to make ends meet while trying to balance time with my life & children…I am unable to stop & I LOVE IT!
I feel fortunate to have been chosen by God (or the universe) to be the one inspired to write my stories. I am filled with ideas and hope that further fuel my ambition to be a part of something more, to leave my mark on this world and hopefully leave the world a better place than it was when I arrived.
How many people can actually say that and sincerely mean it?
That doesn’t make me crazy, does it?
I’m not crazy.
Really, I’m not.
Well, maybe just a little. 😉
“Some people hear their own inner voices with great clarity & they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy…or they become legend.”
2 thoughts on “The Inner Voice”
Felix, I like your concept of “What ifs” as a basis of a writer’s creativity. I enjoyed reading about your thought processes. Thanks for the post.
Thanks David. I find the “what ifs” open a myriad of possibilities. If only I had enough time to write the plethora of stories I’ve conjured through this process.
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