I post many of my thoughts in areas that mean a lot to me. Areas where, yes, my thoughts will be heard with at least...compassion. I do not know all the answers. I likely never will. I am not a highly educated person, but I am a moderately educated person who has a good grasp of morality. My thoughts and principals were formed in many, many ways from the classic science fiction I read as a teen. No, I will not be able to quote wise philosophers without research. I am okay with this. I feel we have gotten here based on those things...we need a new perspective on our world to survive. Perhaps the answers lie not in philosophy, or anything we acknowledge as valid, but in the realms of what our society thinks is fantasy. This will be my attempt to explain.
First one of the books that affected me the most as a child was Stranger in a Strange Land by R.A. Heinlein. I do not remember much about the book other than one thing. It was where the main character was sitting on the couch when a reporter came to interview him. Originally, yes, my motivations for it were those of a child. I wanted what that scene described. I wanted all those women scantily clad sitting around me. I wanted to be able to reach over and touch them in intimate ways most people would not be allowed to. Still do... I guess this makes me poly? I don't know, or care anymore. I am me. Now, it is honestly what did draw my attention, but his response to be questioned about it is what stuck with me.
“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist—a master—and that is what Auguste Rodin was—can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
This taught me that people are not what we perceive them to be. This taught me to see the form in an artistic fashion. To see the soul of a person if you will. It was the beginning of both my poly leanings and my rather firm demisexual stances. To find true value in a person you must look not just at the physical aspects of their being, but look into their souls. There, and only there, is the true place where beauty resides.
The second was many years later. It was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. To this day, he is still perhaps my favorite writer. The depth to which he describes the characters...is unparralled in any other writer's writings. Andrew Wiggin is the main character. He is a young prodigy. An intellectually advanced child. A strategic savant. He instinctively understands and leads people in a manner that even his superiors cannot. It is why they pick him to go to Battle School. See, the world is in a war with the Formics. The Formics are an alien race akin to insects. They come to Earth in a desire to harvest our resources. We cause them to fail all before Andrew is born. We KNOW that they will return. We KNOW they will return due to deductive reasoning. The book goes deeply into the psychology of the boy and of military training. To many, it would likely be...a bit convoluted. Perhaps it is. Yet, the truths in the book...are no less true because of the manner in which the truths are come to. I couldn't even begin to point at one part in the book that drew me in, but it is a book I recommend reading. HIGHLY. It made me question many of the moralities of this world. Many of my own. It was a book that lead me not only to my own strength, but to be able to see true strength in others.
The third is another in the Ender series. It is Speaker For the Dead by Orson Scott Card. This book, I can never adequately describe the...wisdom in this book. It is a MUST read if one chooses to get close to me. I think it would be a necessary read if anyone ever asked to be my sub. It has formed so much of my own personal code that...it is indispensable. It is about seeing the truth of people. This quote perhaps will make my point for me.
“A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death.
There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine — a Speaker for the Dead — has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you.
The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?'
They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.'
The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.'
So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder.
Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.'
The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’
As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’
So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance.
The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation.
So of course, we killed him.
Letters to an Incipient Heretic”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead
In the end, read the books, and form your own opinions. I know the man they have made me. Perhaps, just perhaps they can either give you insight into the man I plan to become, or perhaps they can have the same impact on you they had on me. The answers are there, we only need seek for them. Peace my friends. Love, truth, and the values that...only good natures teach us. We are all mixtures of good, and evil. It is the human condition. It is recognizing the evil within, and controlling our reactions to those things that define who we become. The answers to those questions plauging our world right now are in those books... If only we seek to find them. It is these books that has lead me to my path in life. I am working on becoming a traveling Viking priest and author. I am starting to write in earnest now. I know... I know it is my destiny now. It is the will of Balder. It is the curse of my goddess Hel. To understand so much, and not be heard. I am ok with this. I was born for this. Those who choose to follow, I will love. Those who do not. I will still love, but I know their place in my life.