Last week something was going through my head, the question above to be precise. As I asked the question in my head, the answer seemed obvious to me. When one creates an object using no physical materials, then the creation is not physical. It is mental, and such thus is the creative process. One is creating a mental object out of mental materials, or a spiritual object out of spiritual materials.
Ever since my brother and I were children, it seems we were defined by a desire to creative our own narratives, stories, characters, and universes. If we have anything in common, it is the impulse for creation (though I think of myself as more attentive to the mystical layer of this than my brother).
Constantly we would play out stories and fictional events between us, create characters and environments, and I would often create avatars of myself for the sake of putting myself in the story. Interestingly, my brother seems to be less reluctant than me to employ the idea of the author avatar.
The impulse for creation runs through my life and his, and has never stopped, nor shall it.
When playing and thinking about the Dynasty Warriors games, I can’t help but think of the idea of the rulers of each kingdom creating a new world of their own design out of the turbulence of the current state. Different warlords and their armies fighting for a different vision to carve the land into.
The games present you with the ambition of each of the leaders of the three kingdoms (Cao Cao of Wei, Liu Bei of Shu, and Sun Quan of Wu), and perspectives of what they want the land to be (the newer titles, believe it or not, seem to do this well). Whether I play as an officer or as a leader, it feels like I am blazing forth a vision.
Keep in mind this is from a story perspective. The gameplay perspective has me as a conqueror of the battlefield.
Anyone with a basic knowledge of Hinduism knows that in Hinduism there is a trinity of gods presiding over the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe. Brahma for creation, Vishnu for preservation, and Shiva for destruction. I can’t but think there’s something rather odd about the concept.
Think about it, the forces of creation, destruction, and preservation are divided into three gods, but this is somewhat pointless because Shiva’s destruction is also said to lead to creation, so invariably Shiva is a creator and destroyer in one. Not to mention, Brahma doesn’t have that great a role in Hindu mythology after creation, beyond granting boons to various characters in Hindu texts. As far preservation, Vishnu isn’t even the only one preserving the universe or saving the world from evil demons. Shiva, Durga, and other gods do by and large the same thing (maybe in different ways though), and Vishnu has an avatar called Kalki who is said to bring on the end of the world, while in the same lore Shiva is the destroyer (though I do consider the Kalki story mere end times lore).
The Hindu faith itself sees creation and destruction as two sides of the same coin, or dual facets of the same force, so coupled with Shiva’s creative role, why even have the Trimurti? Of course, I’m not going to stop others from venerating their trinities, it just means I won’t be making use of the Hindu trinity.
For a few weeks now I’ve been thinking about the Hindu goddess Kali. How her skin captures light and darkness at once, how her violent dance encapsulates creation and destruction and life and death at once, and how here raging passion is the passion of the earth, and the universe.
Since Kali is a manifestation of Durga, and Durga is a manifestation of Parvati, and Parvati is Shakti, then Kali is Shakti, and she is a representation of the power of Shakti. And Shiva is the male Shakti, Shiva and Shakti are male and female reflections of each other and the same primal force. Thus, the dance of Shiva is also the dance of Kali, and the motion of the primal force.
I can’t help but imagine Kali burning down the churches of the Abrahamic faiths.
I was reading some fine articles about an Indian symbol known as the Kirtimukha, a fierce devouring monster that is found on the entrance of temples in parts of Asia. I read about what the Kirtimukha represents, how it symbolizes not just violent energy utilized for noble ends such as protection, but also how life lives on life and life and death as brothers and sisters two sides of the same coin.
Destruction and death are the other side of creation and life. Among the primary obsessions of the human psyche are sex and death, and creation and destruction (which I admit to have a great interest). These things are all two sides of the same coin. It’s like yin and yang and how they are two sides of the same coin.
As soon as I thought of life deriving itself from life, and life and death as two sides of the same coin, I could not help but think of these ideas as striking a cord with me and my way of thinking. It made sense to me and it was very familiar to me. I was already familiar with it for a few years and did not find it hard to accept. Sex, life, creation, destruction, and death all come from the same raw and primal force that runs through all life. The horned force, the Chaos, the primal force that I praise. You can liken it to Shiva’s dance of creation and destruction, and the dance of Kali.
I’ve also been thinking of these ideas in relation to how Satan is also represented in Satanism as the dark force in Nature. It is something interesting to considering life feeding on life and the relation of that to the duality of creation and destruction, and the relation of that to the primal force. In fact, I feel that Satanism, espeically the Church of Satan, understands this well.
I once watched the commentary on this idea given by the Christian priest Rolf Rasmussen, the assistant minister of the Asane church in Norway, on the Norwegian black metal mini-documentary from the Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey DVD. There is something he does not understand very well. He views the idea of the dark force in nature as parasitic because it is life that derives from others. He does not understand that life invariably derives from life. And if you’re not comfortable with that idea then contemplate this: every bit of food you have ever eaten has invariably come from an organism that was once alive, be it an animal or a plant. The same goes for all creatures, they all sustain their life by devouring another organism. The only exception would be plants or bacteria getting their nutrition from earth, water, and sunlight, and they’re eaten by something else too. And don’t kid yourself about man being special, for if it weren’t for our intellect and our species adapting to survive in the way that we did, mankind could easily be the prey of any other predatory animal, and we still get picked by other organisms occasionally.
In modern times we have lost touch with this truth, thus not only do we fear death more than ever, even to the point that we try to deny it from existence, but we also end up craving more violent media in the 20th and 21st centuries than before, such as violent movies, video games, and music (not that I have any complaints about violent media beyond some distaste towards slasher movies, extreme gore, and death metal, doesn’t mean I want it banned though).
Life deriving itself from life, life and death being two sides of the same coin, creation and destruction two sides of the same coin, these are ideas that I am familiar with, and I don’t seem to have a problem dealing with it.
Art is very likely to reflect the world surrounding the artist, and his/her sentiments, experiences, and even the prism through which he/she sees the world. It is because of this that art inevitably acquires the ability to be used as a medium to affect society. There are a number of voices both in the present and the past who argue that art exists as a medium for social change and consciousness. But this argument is nonsense because it ignores the many other ways art could be used.
At its heart, art-making is about creation, it’s about physically expressing something in creative means. Those who say it exists only for the sake of social change and consciousness ignore art as a means of personal expression and feelings, of spirituality, or other non-political purposes. Not all art is protest, nor should it have to be.
In my personal opinion, artists should make art for themselves, and for the sake of their own passion for art, their feelings, and the desire to create and express something dear to them. If they devote their careers to serve society, then they are no longer creating art for themselves or for their own sake.
I had a discussion with my brother about creative writing and making characters, and I somehow felt like the notion of deciding the lives and fates of characters is not a very good way to understand story-making, or at least not for someone like me.
See, “God” creates, “God” destroys, “God” decides your fate and your life. That is NOT something I want to emulate, especially as a chaotic thinker (as opposed to Order).
So what’s the alternative? Simple. You create the story, setting, and characters, but it’s not like how “God” creates humans and decides everything for them. The creation is mental, you think of it as a tapestry from the mind that the act of creation merely brings to life. Creation and creative writing, therefore, are free from the ignoble mentality of fatalism, that of “I decide everything about the character” or of fate.
And besides, I don’t wanna be that kind of “God”, or that kind of person. But godhood is a subject for another day.
For a while now, I continued to spread the idea of creation your own world based your own individually discerned idea and principles. I wonder if I’ve mentioned what I myself would do. And I have the answer to that.
First, my problems with this world. I don’t truly hate the world as it is, since I don’t have any real standing to do so given I appreciate some of its beauty and it has things I like, but the world does tend to suck, as does a lot of what we’ve made for it. There’s things about the world I accept, such as humans being motivated by desire and want, the passionate chaos of the universe, conflict (provided it’s not for truly pathetic or immoral reasons) and that you need money, effort, and power often to make a difference, but what I don’t accept is that people in this world are often like sheep, or zombies at worst, and just conform without thinking for themselves, that our free will is very often compromised by both imposed societal conditions (debt, politics, religion, other things that keep people in fear) and our own stupidity and weakness, that people fall for such stupid things in this world (and create said things), that lies are allowed to rule the world and control the masses and hypocrisy often reigns, that oppression is allowed to happen, that we willingly sacrifice our free will, youth, power, life, even selfhood, and sublimate ourselves for the false promises of safety, comfort, and an easy life, that we mold ourselves and our children on others and idealized figures rather than their own virtues, that real justice is rare, that collectivity and conformity are idolized over individuality and freedom, that politics (local and international) happens so slowly as does the world, that we grow old into a quiet, dull, bland settled life filled with garbage, that anyone who thinks differently from others is seen as immature, crazy, insane, or sick in the head and evil, and that real life is gray and boring, with the obvious exception of the experiences of joy, pleasure, happiness and ecstasy we often encounter. That’s all on a societal level, not even counting the forces of decay and degradation in the world.
Now for the actual new world.
If I could create a world of my own, it would be free from the characteristics I described above. It would be a world of freedom, true freedom of choice, and a world of life. A world where we don’t have to settle down and lose our youth, life, beauty, and spirit. A world were life isn’t so slow, dull, boring, and gray, and you are free to live a fast-paced exciting life where you don’t have to wait eons something in the world to happen. It’s a world where conformity does not exist, and you are we are free to be ourselves, who we are, in honesty. Sexuality is neither repressed nor feared. Religion holds no authority over man. We are free to be hedonists if we want to, and in general pursue whatever gives us pleasure and makes us happy. Actual justice exists. Powerlessness is a thing of the past, as people actually have power and are free to stand up for themselves, self is not a dirty word, we do not chain ourselves to others (and their suffering), and we are free to explore our own power and potential without fear. We will have no role models except ourselves, our own values, our own personality, and the potential of our selves. No longer will be joie de vivre be dead. And the beauty of the world is easier to appreciate, joy, pleasure, ecstasy, happiness, and friendship would rock more than ever. Most of that is all the societal side. If you get past just societal creation, and you put me in the shoes of an actual deity, I’d add to that mix less crap to worry about in life, less stuff that can kill you, you can feel intoxicated without potentially killing yourself, less ugliness in the world, and, most of all, life would be more like a video game. In that setting, the world becomes an adventure playground were anything can happen you can live as video game characters with your own personalities, powers (that are mainly based on your personalities), abilities, and weapons, you can fight monsters, test your might against each other, find treasure, compete with each other in general, or just enjoy the exciting, pleasure-filled life with your friends, and just soak up the joy. The icing on the cake: it’d never get old. Anything can happen. Life’d be like a video game that you don’t get tired of. A chaotic paradise/adventure playground where people live lives of freedom. Keep in mind, by video game it’s probably more likely to be an action-adventure game, not a realistic video game.
That’s just the kind of world I’d create. With that I would like to end with a question. If you could create your own world based on your own individually discerned principles or ideal of what you would want the world to be like, what kind of world would it be? Think about it for a moment.
This is a question I’ve been thinking about when dealing with the idea of creating one’s own world. If one find beauty in this world, or something to adore in this world, why would one create a new world?
I think the answer to this question lies in the fact that one finds fault with the world and is made to accept it. I, for instance, don’t like that there’s not a lot that I’m free to do, when you get down to it, that the majority of people just conform and do what they’re told like sheep and often don’t realize it, that people actually compromise or outright deny their own free will for stupid reasons, and things like freedom, will, desire, individuality, and the lust for life are often devalued. This among other reasons. On top of this, I’m not really in control of my life.
Some say that we’re actually very lucky to have the world we’ve got, going on to say that a lot of the world has it a whole lot worse, to me, that just makes world seem to be even worse, if most of the world has it quite bad while only a few pockets of the world are that good. Also, this is really just a guilt-trip tactic to silence one’s questioning of the world.
And there you have it, a reason why one would create his own world.