The Dark and Crippling Truth of The Eternal Reflection Revealed
A work evolved from very dark psychology ...
I wrote this on 23 March 2022 because I felt I really had to reach out to my readers concerning something:
The Eternal Reflection was never a fantasy novel.
It is me.
Crushed by the severe pressures of extreme perfectionism, of never finding my works to be enough, of myself as utterly imperfect, and the fears of publicity, I have no choice but to share this here.
The Eternal Reflection was a piece of fiction that I started working on many years ago. I wrote it to cope with suicidal ideation back then. When it all started, it was a psychological journey to unravel the dark night of the soul that I had encountered. It provided solace, knowing that many characters I wrote personified a small portion of me:
Ni’vim: The craving for inner adventure, spiritual evolution, the overcoming of my fears, rejections, pains, and bitterness. I, after all, felt much rejection throughout my life and found that Ni’vim represented a psyche that I urgently had hoped to dispel. Unfortunately, I could not do it entirely.
Shanyrria: She represented a gulf between my ideals and the harsh realities of the world. Over the years, I have cultivated two selves: a spiritual self that desires to do something good for the world. After all, I have long realized, as said in books 2 and 3, that both matter and space are illusions. There is no separation. Neither should one be limited by societal conditioning or expectation.
Tema: He represented that part of me since young, of being conditioned to meet societal and cultural norms. It is a self that I have consciously rejected: an ego-dominated self that I felt, represented the vileness of the ego, or false identity.
Qeazor: They represent that sense of cosmicism … that nihilism whereby everything in the cosmos leads to nothingness no matter how far we try. We humans are but a mere speck … a mere sliver of existence that flickers into nothingness. Who are we in the grand scope of things, other than mere stardust? I wanted Qeazor to represent this element so I can consciously create meaning to offset it. However, reality always has a way of intruding, and I found myself constantly mired by this demonic force.
Ei'lara: This 4-dimensional language is like a framework for a theory-of-everything that can reconcile consciousness and matter to explain free will, morality, and cosmic responsibility. But as the novels evolve, it becomes increasingly experiential and less logico-mathematical. After all, one does not study life. One experiences it.
Kol'lara: The opposite of Ei'lara. Represents sheer nihilism, destruction, terror.
“They:” They represent something beyond humanity – an aberration that signifies the misuse of technology, philosophy, and spirituality for purposes of destruction. It’s an extrapolation of what is to come if we fail to quell this force.
Raielas: She represents time and sacrifice – the hurdles that I had to face to be a writer. However, her ambivalence between her choices (as revealed in the plot twist of book 4) shows how limited we are as humans, that we sometimes are forced into a reality that clashes with our idealism.
Farus, Nochol, Seg’niu, and Yao: They represent the collective consciousness of humans – that yearning for spiritual perfection that we wish to obtain. However, we cannot. They appear to us as the peaks of the mountains, as asymptotes never to be reached.
The Mal’vara: Each of the Mal’vari lieutenants, alongside Kesora, will represent an aspect of myself that has yet to be resolved, but will be in future volumes.
Bazoou: Represents the calculating, rational, and over-intellectualized self that I wish to purge. After all, life is about experience, not observation.
Char’qual: Represents bitterness, revenge, and hatred. I wish to reject them and learn to un-hate.
Romanus: Represents my original flawed desire to detach myself from the world. However, life is about embrace and not detachment.
Lamensch: Represents a collective consciousness deprived of an ego. He represents the need to balance a collective self and an individual self for there to be authenticity in life.
The Sckogoli demons: They symbolize the harshness and bitterness of the world, concaving around us, bound by the limits of chance. You could say they represent the vicissitudes of life, ready to staunch every one of us into oblivion. Everyone is but a mere deed away from having his life changed: we are sometimes pushed into engaging in vile deeds, even if we do not want to. However, this act is irreversible, and it changes us forever.
The Kol’mara and Tsa’mara: They represent hope … a flawed hope that for every moment, we think leads to something, but ironically, blazes for a mere moment that flickers into nothingness. I cannot reveal what has been planned in future volumes, but despite the insights they bring to Ni’vim, they are actually going to lead to an inevitability that dispels all hope and courage: The Elys Kamu.
The Elys Kamu: The very thing I wish to avoid in life. Unfortunately, it’s coming for me. Every day is just a postponement, where I try to mask its presence, but it cannot be stopped.
Shy'rasa: The paths not taken.
Os'los: A representation of god as one where it is pure cosmic energy and consciousness.
The Zelkova + Thus Spake Oneness: The conscience and higher self, which brims with wisdom and ideals.
Other symbols of my psyche in the novels: Rivers, time, winds, nature, planets, stars, galaxies, constellations, Vi'la. They all mean something deep to me.
Perhaps, that is to say, that my works are a kind of psychological novel, even if I don't categorize them as such.
And now it comes to my rambling:
When I created The Eternal Reflection, it was supposed to be an artistic and spiritual endeavor.
I never wanted it to be turned into a business. Despite positive reviews so far, every moment of fearing judgment from others and the world shoulders a crushing weight within me.
I kind of realized that, in the end, I really do not wish to be known in the world. I just wish to fade slowly into the limelight of existence. My only desire is for a quiet life, just like Ni’vim, where I focus internally on philosophical and spiritual contemplation and growth.
But the very ordeals of having my works monetized do not bode well on my mental health. When art degrades into marketing or sales, its inherent value is lost.
I personally feel that, while it is an enormous achievement to blend philosophy, spirituality, complex intellectual themes, literary prose, worldbuilding, many well-thought plot lines, re-reading my works after publication constantly is like looking into a portrait of Dorian Gray:
It’s a nightmare, a monster, and an absolute terror that I have created, almost like Frankenstein’s monster.
Every look into it is a reflection … an eternal reflection of something within me that I do not really want others to know.
After all, it illustrates all my imperfections and flaws.
It used to be a safe zone, a safe haven, but unfortunately, it’s now like a mirror that reflects a blinding darkness into me all day.
The Eternal Reflection …
Every glint of one’s glory and malice is reflected to the entire cosmos and back to me.
Because it is me …
For now, I have to take a break from this. This work has taken a very severe toll on my psychological health, and I just have to distance myself from it.
To create this work, I had to, at times, work for a month, where I slept only every 2 days, working up to 18 hours per day to edit it.
The constant stresses of editing, formatting, drafting, publication, marketing, publicity, worldbuilding, planning, and brainstorming in the last 6 years, along with the constant pains of rejection throughout my life … unfortunately, it’s too much.
I need a break from my works to recover.
Although I wish to write volume 2, the occupational hazards of writing have encroached upon me.
Sorry if this seems too dramatic, but it's one of the downsides of creating a work that has taken all my heart, soul, tears, and sweat for many years ... leading to severe burnout on all levels.
If I had to compare the amount of work put into this novel series to my graduate school education, it's easily 15 to 20 times the intensity.
I've tried my best to create this work, but still wonder if I should have tried harder.
It is my hope that The Eternal Reflection will benefit readers.
But it came at a huge price: severe spiritual burnout for me.
I'm not sure if I can recover.