When it comes to reality, Fact and Fiction are excellent navigators of the real and the unreal. Fact and Fiction have a dynamic relationship. They can be antagonistic to each other. They can be the best of friends. And there can be plenty of gray area in which their identities are not so distinguishable.
When there is uncertainty in life, and a need to fill in the blank space which emanates from the unknown, Fiction is often compelled to speak in the place of Fact. Fiction likes to jump ahead and take center stage. But eventually, Fact will step forward and bring clarity to the situation. Fact will do its best to speak on behalf of its deeper predecessor, who is Truth. And ultimately, at the behest of Truth, and with the precision of Fact, what is false in Fiction will be dissolved, and what is true in Fiction will remain.
The mainstream of society once believed that the Earth was flat—as if the Earth was a giant square whose straight edges were the boundaries dividing our planet from the abyss. If only they could have gone straight enough for long enough, they might have fallen off the ends of the Earth. But, as we now know, if you keep going consistently straight (parallel to the ground), you will perpetually go around in circles, ad infinitum. Due to the curvature of our planet and the pull of gravity, we can skim along the surface of Earth and even soar in the upper atmosphere without fear of falling off the edge. However, if we send a rocket vertically upward and perpendicular to the ground, then yes, the view starts to get very interesting as we exit the stratosphere and go into outer space, beyond the confines of our self-contained bubble.
The belief in the Earth's imaginary flatness was a fictional story that got transcended and replaced by the experiential observation and consequential knowledge of the Earth's authentic, spherical shape. But can you really blame the flat-Earth believers for hypothesizing such a model? At first glance, when gazing across the land, the horizon looks perfectly flat, as if that distant line is indeed on the edge of a flat plane. But looks can be deceiving, and not everything is as it seems. In reality, the horizon is a product of atmospheric refraction, the bending of the Earth, and limitation within our own visual perception.
If we can make false assumptions and hold onto erroneous beliefs regarding the physical plane, surely we can do the same in regards to spirituality. In fact, maybe spirituality is even more prone to deception, misbelief, and illusion, since the elements therein are even less tangible and often at the mercy of subjective perception. But before getting into the pitfalls of fictitious spirituality, I want to shed some light on the truth within fiction itself. Oh yes, Fiction can be full of Truth, in a way that is beyond, and deeper than, the transitory quality of Truth's minion, Fact.
Why have particular novels endured through generations and centuries? What magic is contained within those pages that keeps readers coming back?
Well, one reason is surely the craftsmanship of the writing. But longevity in literature cannot be sustained merely by demonstrating an exceptional vocabulary, or cleverly twisting the plot and character development, or blowing the minds of fans with an extravagant imagination. There must also be truthfulness underneath the acrobatics. There must be something timeless, something universal.
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, a young boy and a runaway slave find passage and freedom on the iconic Mississippi River. Though the story is full of details and dialects that are specific to a geographic region and corresponding era in America, the author also creates a landscape in which the broader theme of liberation can be tapped into. The adventure is not just about liberation from slavery, or poverty, or cultural oppression; it's about humankind's ongoing quest for liberation on a scale that stretches well beyond the geography of Earth. That is the Truth with a capital "T" that transcends both fact and fiction, and That is what paints such a superb picture full of grit, vivacity, sublime substance and meaning.
What are the facts and fictions within AYP, and most importantly, what is the truth underneath the genres and polarities that intermingle in this digital nexus spawned by a faceless creator?
Do you see how the lines become blurred, how fact and fiction intertwine, how truth permeates all words, metaphors, concepts, instructions, and minute details? That's how it is...a unified hologram unfolding, breathing, pulsing, being still.
More and more, I try to stick with the facts that have functional results, the fictions that feed my dreams of enlightenment, and the Truth that is here and now, always.
The higher power is in us.