I’m happy to share an awesome guest post with you today. The guest post is written by J.L. Lawson, the author of “Just a Curtain”, a literary fiction / coming of age / adventure novel. I’ll leave the talking to J.L. Lawson now.
Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy
There is nothing like writing to allow your thoughts to coalesce into solid plot-lines, characters, settings… yes even opinions. I add opinions to that list of literary devices for the simple reason that if an author doesn’t have firmly held convictions on the topics that her/his writing touches, she/he will not have the necessary authenticity to convince their readership of anything but the most banal. Let me offer an example from my own meditations—which I generally refer to as my “pre-writing”—those relaxing hours after a day’s writing has concluded. I was at the time faced with how to verbalize, through one of my characters, a definite stance one way or the other on what was the clear distinction between what is assumed and believed, versus what can be readily verified and acted upon. I used my next blog post as a “therapeutic” outlet for sorting that issue out in my own mind. What follows is how that effort worked out for me.
“In a previous post on this blogsite, I outlined what is the scientific method and what is the specific nomenclature associated with that discipline. Here I would like to draw the reader’s attention to what is its antithesis. Namely: belief. For example, and I use this as merely the most obvious of the myriad demonstrations of non-reason rampant among our brothers and sisters cohabiting this blue marble: the Theory of Evolution.
One does not have to listen all too carefully during the space of any single given week to overhear someone declare, “I don’t believe in evolution.” Such a declaration is a non-starter in its essence, as well as a most indicative signal of the abandonment of our common inheritance that is Reason. Science is the culmination of our shared exploration of the world in which we live. It is the singular method whereby we as a species can establish a sound basis for shared knowledge and, hopefully, understanding. Yet however rich is that legacy, and how fruitful is its bounty, there are still innumerable persons of our family who have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to that inheritance.
Verifiable and repeatable experimental investigation and research which corroborates an idea, how ever discombobulating to an individual personally, does not require belief or disbelief. It stands. As Churchill pointed out most eloquently, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” The unmitigated audacity of the thought that the act of “disbelief” can in some miraculous way change the reality of a given successful and reliable measure of the world in which we live depends far more on the supernatural than is either wise or safe. Further, such an abandonment of reason is tantamount to denying one’s own humanity. And I can illustrate such a statement rather simply.
The pervasive and systematic process of change observed to be a ubiquitous aspect of reality is the most obvious topic at hand for illustration: the Theory of Evolution. And please note the use capitalization because it is a proper name—not simply “evolution,” the natural process independent of theories. It has as its foundation an observable phenomenon, indisputably reliable with overwhelming evidence of its action upon and throughout the world and observable universe around us. What has so irked certain persons about this theory, however, isn’t that evolution doesn’t exist or isn’t observable, but that it applies to all of us—every single person or thing. And therein lies the rub; there are those who cannot imagine themselves so intricately bound to all that is around them.
The crisis of perception that allows a person to set him or herself beyond the sphere of all the rest of the natural world is: psycopathy—and I use that term with utmost discretion—which in its most basic sense is: a dysfunction of the psyche.
If that were the be all and end all of the crisis we could merely pity those with the condition and move on, however it’s not the condition in itself that is so troublesome, albeit heinously deluded. It is all the rest of the error-thinking associated with the condition that is in fact so dangerous. (Read: tip of iceberg and Titanic.) Underlying this “disbelief” is a miasma of magical thought so contrary to reality it threatens not only humanity but the existence of life itself as we know it. Once a person sets him or herself apart from the fabric of common existence which we are in reality part and parcel, one inevitably feels oneself empowered, even mandated to assume all kinds of notions regarding one’s separate, most often self-described elevated, status. That separation is the root and cause of all that follows. Without a realization of our connectedness to all that surrounds us, one can so easily judge and condemn anything that strikes one as threatening to one’s lofty imperiousness. Even to the point of actually suggesting that there are some people worthy of compassion and others that are not. ACTUAL PEOPLE! But it doesn’t end there. In one’s misguided delusional state, all of Nature is then transformed to a condition of disposability. Through the generational maintenance of that delusion has been effected all manner of abuses upon this singular world of our common arising. All the ills of our history can be traced to this very dysfunction of perception: all war, every oppression, the existence of slavery, poverty and destruction, every act of pollution, reinforced and institutional malnutrition and hunger… even up to and including: disease.
The “justification” for all of this, which is so contrary to the sanctity of the very life that same person ostensibly cherishes, is so inanely touted as “righteousness” that it is absolutely relevant to describe it as psycopathy—NOT a matter of belief or disbelief—And therefore completely antithetical to sentient and sapient life everywhere, let alone the achievement of a scientific legacy. It is a blatant disregard of our birthright of Reason: a willing abdication of obligation, responsibility and integrity.
It is not a stretch to suppose that what was actually in the mythical box which according to legend Pandora opened and unleashed upon the world was: Ignorance, i.e.: Belief without Reason, and though the box appeared to be empty after the beast was loosed there was left inside only: Hope. And for all our sakes, let’s not lose sight of at least the possibility of man’s possible psychological evolution. There is a scientific basis for that hope.”
So, with that in hand, I hope you will take the time, when faced with a similar issue or set of issues to put your thoughts into words, massage the words and come to a greater clarity for yourself at least. I guarantee that your readers will appreciate having something of substance to chew on rather than a poorly assembled patchwork of if’s and maybe’s.
Just a Curtain
Author: J.L. Lawson
Genre: Literary Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age
“If you had virtually unlimited resources and a pristinely practicable imagination, and a knack for turning air into butter, what do you suppose you’d do next?”
—Tera Elphinstone, Drummond Group Director
Just A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to both The Elf series and the grander epic recorded in J. L. Lawson’s other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.
Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which he finds himself. A coming of age story, orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his potential—from ranch hand and welder to the pre-eminent global entrepreneur and builder of starships.
I am a father, a grandfather and a “Came-to-Writing-Professionally-Late-in-Life” kinda guy. After rewarding careers as a Land Planner, Standards Engineer, Technical Writer/Graphic Designer, and as an Educator (High School and College Literature/Composition) I settled down at the laptop and began storytelling for a living. My wife and I live in the Cross-timbers country of North Texas and spend as much time seeing this amazing country, its National Parks and Forests, as we can manage.
My own journey has taken me both far afield and deep within. It is a journey, no doubt, similar in nature to many seekers’ travels who have come before me. However, an unconditional commitment to the work is the trait of only a handful of those who set their aim very high indeed, and then to find a guide who knows the way through this rarely known land, is without question what all others have equally sought. Some gave up the search, some became distracted by the lure of other interests, many became satisfied with the knowledge they had already gleaned from their initial searches. There is, in the end, only so much gold.
At Voyager Press: http://bit.ly/VPJust-Curtain
At Amazon: http://bit.ly/Just-Curtain