What the Novel Series is About
A Spiritual and Philosophical Odyssey …
“The limits of our language, concepts, and theories are the prisons of our worldview.”
They call it the eternal reflection. And to unlock it means to behold the universe’s spiritual and philosophical secrets.
Ni’vim, an unsure but pensive avian girl, grew up in a world of peace and has just reached adulthood. Her home brims with green skies, blue plants, mythical creatures, and dark elementals.
Now, vile demons from Sckogol, the infernal realm, stampede out of portals and burn her people and culture to ashes.
Time is irreversible, so she can never return to paradise.
But with the ominous eruption of the Elys Kamu, a cosmic terror that promises bloodshed and the fall of her world, comes a flicker of hope—
If she can marry the inspirational teachings of a sacred book with the divine symbol’s wisdom, she may yet change the meaningless course of all life.
Will she keep her promise to her father, defy all odds, and harness the symbol’s power …
Or has the world seen its last sunrise?
Introduction and Purpose
“You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
you are already that.”
Man is the most paradoxical creature.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. Instead, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
However, many have forgotten this.
While humans command the gift of sentience, we likewise abuse it, never using this power to the fullest. Many people have shunned it, forsaking their free will until their lives are devoid of purpose, meaning, and substance.
I do not want this tragedy to happen to people.
Instead, I like to pass on that spark to re-kindle that gift within them.
Most importantly, dear reader, I like you to prosper within.
The greatest irony is that this novel series does not bring anything new or confer any spiritual wisdom to you.
You are already that.
My only goal is to help you remember.
A Philosophical and Spiritual Journey
A Spiritual and Philosophical Fantasy Adventure Novel Series that Plunges One into the Night of the Soul ...
Experience is the essence of reality.
It is a fundamental concept that is so simple, yet so difficult to appreciate and apply.
Ultimately, all existence cannot be merely understood. One must feel it, embrace it, experience it, and become one with it.
Osho, Buddha, Eckhart Tolle, Krishnamurti, and many spiritual teachers understood this. But very few people have put them into action.
When I finally realized this, The Eternal Reflection was born.
I knew what kind of novel I had to write: one that brings the most pressing matters of mortality into one's awareness, and how to conquer these beliefs and limits.
It would be a novel that character and philosophy must exist in tandem, whereby incidental events serve as a crisis to challenge and overturn one's prior worldviews. Only then, can a hero evolve, by incorporating these new elements into a new perspective, and then turn them into action.
Throughout the 4 books of volume 1, Ni'vim and Shanyrria are both severely battered by many losses, deaths, injuries, and traumas. They were conflicted by the horrors that the world had infused into them, to the point of nihilism, resignation, terror, hatred, and fear.
But they learned to never yield to the darkness.
Through many struggles, challenges, battles, trials, and conflicts, they soon learn that the only way to be philosophically wise is not to know but to be. One must embody truths, and never merely know them.
Will Ni'vim and Shanyrria convert their unwilling plunge into darkness, and turn them into courage and the resolve to lead their people to salvation?
Or will they embody the shadow, turning into mere shades of their former selves?
A Brief Overview of the Themes and Structure:
I have always believed that knowledge should be living, like a sacred flame, instead of being regurgitated.
Therefore, both Ni'vim and Shanyrria had to journey through the world to collect many separate pieces of wisdom.
But that is not enough.
They had to reflect on them, change their prior worldviews, and then apply them to their final goals in the novel series.
Bearing that in mind, I have prioritized experiential growth over mere knowledge in the novel series through the exploration of many themes.
Combining and exploring many themes from various subjects, such as linguistics, spirituality, Western and Eastern philosophy, many religions, the computer sciences, mathematics, sociology, psychology, politics, economics, physics, mythology, history, and many other disciplines, the novel series tries to convert knowledge into something fiery; something of application in both Ni'vim's and Shanyrria's lives.
However, I have interwoven these concepts in a layman manner without precise references to specific scholars.
Specific themes include free will, consciousness, new age spirituality, stoicism, John Wheeler, Spinoza, Noam Chomsky, Ken Wilber, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Gurdjieff, theosophy, Chris Langan, Eckhart Tolle, enlightenment, Jordan Peterson, Gödel, existential sociology, karma, theodicy and more.
Each of the four books in the first volume has its own philosophical lessons, culminating in an integrated spiritual development model to provide purpose and meaning in life in the fourth book.
Think of my works as a mixture of Tolkiens, Paul Coelho, Dostoyevsky, Andrzej Sapkowski, Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Ken Wilbur combined into a story with lots of worldbuilding, character development, psychological realism, moral, spiritual, philosophical, and intellectual themes.
A Work that Arises from the Induced Mystical States of Consciousness:
Consciousness is the ultimate reality.
When I realized this, I grasped the importance of meditation in the role of magnifying one's creativity and intuition.
Thus, I have employed an unconventional creative process for this novel series.
I would first enter meditative states to induce a relaxed consciousness between sleep and being awake. During which, I would consciously intend what content should be in my novels.
This state brings me to an awareness when the ego is momentarily dissolved into a sea of consciousness, where many creative and spiritual ideas would flow into me.
By turning off my intellectualizing faculties, I would switch off all preconceptions and then see images appear in my mind.
After that, I would remember and interpret them, before applying analysis and logic to structure them into a story appropriately.
More information is available on the creative process section of this website, on my method.
Why I wrote the Novel
There are many reasons why I wrote the novel series. The main reason is my dissatisfaction with life's limitations. I felt imprisoned within a body, and the only way to free myself from it is to allow my imagination to take flight. Next, I also wrote it as an internal dialogue to resolve personal existential and philosophical issues that have plagued me throughout my life.
The Novel as a Personal Conduit for Creativity and Spiritual Odysseys
The novel series is a conduit for my imagination. I am a person who does not like to be restricted by the limits of the mind, culture, or body. Therefore, I love to imagine myself being in other worlds, dimensions, universes, or planes of existence.
I feel that the concepts of space, time, and matter are ontological categories that are mutable. It may not hold in other parallel universes. And likewise, other universes may have laws of physics so different that they may not have space or time. Instead, they may have other ontological categories. I imagined what it is like to be in such places or be other sentient beings in my novels. I also imagine various places of fantasy, as it is fun and exciting.
The Novel as a Conduit for Conveying my Spiritual Philosophy
More importantly, I wrote The Eternal Reflection to house a primary purpose. It conveys the spiritual messages in Thus Spake Oneness to humanity, alongside the philosophy of Ei’lara. Ei’lara is an artificial language that I have created. It embodies a spiritual philosophy that is personal and unique to me. It is the synthesis of all the teachings that I have read, infused with my ideas and worldviews. I intend to reveal it entirely over the series’ 3 or 4 volumes.
The Eternal Reflection is a theme and character-driven novel as such. I have done my best to ensure that there is action, drama, and a complex plot. However, I must emphasize that this is a philosophy and spirituality book in the form of a novel. I never meant it to be a commercial book.
However, it would resonate with those with a love of spirituality and philosophy. Those who like the literary writing styles and vocabulary of Dark Romantic, Transcendentalist, Victorian, and Gothic authors like Lovecraft may like it too.
The Novel as a Means to Resolve Intrapersonal Tensions
Each of the primary protagonists and antagonists represents a part of my psyche. I wrote this book partially as a means of self-therapy to resolve certain dissatisfactions and existential anguishes in life. In the end, it is a dialogue with myself to unravel and cope with certain psychological impediments in my life to uncover their meanings and purposes.
How Long I Have Been Working on This Novel Series
I have been writing this novel series for the past 3 to 4 years. I will publish my future volumes of about 3 to 4 books each for the next 5 to 10 years. Currently, only the first volume of 4 books has been fully drafted, edited, and is ready for publication in 2021. The rest are just barebones scripts. However, their scenes, dialogues, and events have all been planned.
There will likely be 3 to 4 volumes in total. However, this is tentative, and I may streamline or expand some of its contents.
I have planned out the drafts of all the major scenes for future volumes already. Some things may change or be improved, however. I am always looking out for new ideas to incorporate into my future works. Evolution is the only constant.
The target is for New Adults (aged 18 to 30) and Adults (31 or higher).
Targeted at Philosophy, Literary, Spirituality, and Fantasy Lovers
I aimed this work at anyone who likes philosophical, spiritual, and psychological depth in a novel.
However, any open-minded person may read this book.
Meant for Adults But Its Language is Understandable by 12-Year-Olds
I have drafted this novel series such that any 12 to 13-year-old can understand its syntax. It has a grade level of about 5.2 and readability ease of around 80 (fairly easy English).
It aims to use clear literary prose, with a strong emphasis on sentimental, evocative language.
How my Novels will contribute to Singaporean Literature
The General Trends of Singaporean Literature
I cannot pretend to know about the generals of global literature as there are too many books in this world. However, more realistically, I believe that my novels can fill a void in Singaporean literature and even do so at the global level.
Based on some research, I have fathomed the following:
According to the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature (Gui 2017), Singaporean literature is heavily influenced by our country’s culture, identity, history, language, and social developments. Novels, poetry, and other fictional works tend to take on a blend of ideas that cannot be disconnected from Singaporean roots.
For instance, in Malay-language fiction, Isa Kamari’s One Earth recounts a Chinese girl adopted by a Malay family during the second world war. It explores her choices made in the Singaporean context concerning Japanese military occupation. In Tamil, Singai Ma Elangkannan’s Flowers at Dawn explores national identity during world war 2 concerning historical realism. It explores Singapore’s liberation from the Japanese.
In poetry, the anthology editor, Edwin Thumboo, argues in Word: Poems Singapore and Beyond and Tumaski: Contemporary Writing from Singapore that our poetry is highly shaped by the restoration of our country from crises in relation to its socio-historical context.
Singaporean literature is also used as an expression of current social trends in our country. Many works explore the problems of identities such as race and gender. They attempt to frame solutions and alternatives out of it. These works include More Than Half the Sky, and Latha’s The Goddess in the Living Room.
Singaporean authors have also produced graphic novels, such as Gwee Li Sui’s Myth of the Stone and Koh Hong Teng’s Ten Sticks One Rice. Some of them delve into the lives of Singaporeans, such as Neo Hock Seng, a satay seller who engages in gangs. Claire Tham’s The Inlet explores crime in a Singaporean context.
In fantasy and science fiction, local authors tend to explore alternative visions of our country in imagined sci-fi and fantasy scenarios. Such means explore other ideals not yet realized in Singapore. Works of such include Fish Eats Lion and Ayam Curtain.
To conclude, local literature tends to be extremely diverse and spans a very broad range. Based on the evidence, Singaporean literature tends to be based on historical and social realism. It attempts to forge a distinct Singaporean identity by framing novels that portray its culture, ethnicities, ethos, zeitgeist, ideologies, philosophies, and nuances. There are many fantasy books by Singaporean authors; however, we comprise a minority compared to the prevailing norm.
How My Works Differ from Singaporean Literary Trends
Amongst local fantasy books, few have managed to move beyond social and historical realism. My works tend to take on the essences of existentialism, spirituality, transpersonal psychology, and eastern religious philosophies. Instead of grounding myself to the limits of socio-historical realism from a Singaporean context, I go for a more global and cosmic point of view. I explore, play around, blend, and synthesize the ideas of many disciplines, philosophies, religions, cultures, and traditions from the entire world. This involves both classic and contemporary ideas. I also love to blend eastern and western philosophy and religions.
Therefore, my works bring forth an unusual mix that may potentially be unique in Singapore. The 5-time award winner and 2-time Eric Hoffer finalist, S.G. Blaise, said my novels are unique - she knows of none that have blended worldbuilding, philosophy, and deep characters into a seamless plot and story.
Possible Reader Discretion
This novel series contains moderate violence.
Some battles can get bloody, alongside psychological horrors.