Themes and Lessons of Volume One
The novel series is not just a story. It is a conduit to pass on very valuable life lessons and philosophies for humanity. This section contains a list of abridged themes in the first volume. It is not exhaustive. Read the novel volume to find out more!
All is One
There never has been any separation. It is all an illusion - race, gender, politics, religion, country - all these are imagined barriers that exist between people. Therefore, to hurt another is to hurt oneself. Thus, love others.
A Self-Directed Cosmos
Think the universe has no free will because it is determined, like in Laplace's model? Fear not. A self-caused universe resolves that problem.
Thoughts & Reality
You are your own reality. What you believe will come true. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Believe that you are incompetent and this self-image will result in actions that reinforce this belief. Do vice versa and the opposite will occur.
The Law of Cause & Effect
Karma. You are the sum of every choice and action ever taken. Every positive and negative habit will affect the future. Therefore, it is up to you to break the cycle to focus your life on constructive ones.
What is Free Will?
Freedom is not just a freedom from oppressive structures or laws. You must construct it from within.
Balance in Life
Healthy spiritual development and health arises only when mind, body, and spirit are aligned.
You are Your Own Prison
The limits of your worldview, concepts, language and past habits limit your free will. Learn to overcome that which holds you back from manifesting your true self.
Gender? Matter? Time? Society? Cultural conditioning? They are all illusions! Look past them to behold what truly matters and is real: spirit.
No Pain, No Gain
Traumas and crises are only wasted if you do not make use of them to grow. Once you do, they become an opportunity. Once you flourish, you become a miracle.
Be Your Authentic Self
Most people live lives where they are conditioned to follow the expectations and norms of society. However, life has no prescriptions. To rise above the masses, one must create one's own identity, project, vision, philosophy, and purpose.
Every action affects the entire cosmos, which in turn comes back to you. Therefore, we must be held accountable for our deeds. We are also more powerful than we can ever imagine as we shape the entire cosmos' evolution through our thoughts and acts alone.
Intellectual and Philosophical Themes
Reality is Non-Dual/Monistic
You cannot separate consciousness from anything at all in the universe. It is integral to the formation of a future Theory-of-Everything, which sadly cannot be achieved because it is an unreachable asymptote!
The Illusions of Space, Time, and the Ego
Space, time, consciousness, and the ego are all constructs that have a psychological basis. How you perceive them depends on what physical vessel and brain you have. This is integral to the philosophy of Ei'lara, which blends Eastern philosophy with the West for many esoteric ideas in the novels.
A Self-defined Universe
As someone who read Chris Langan, Spinoza, Leibniz, systems theory, John Wheeler, and studied A.I, our knowledge systems cannot be founded on a tower of turtles, of theorems simply built on an endless regression of axioms. The irony is that the cosmos is best comprehended as a cyclical system, whereby everything is defined against one another. It's a bit like the Hegelian dialectics, but much more.
Because of the nature in which Ei'lara operates, it needs to transcend the limits of linear causation and traditional Euclidean geometry. Time, to those who understand Ei'lara is not a line. It's a circle. Space to those who do so has no separation. There never was.
Do you fear death? Do you fear that your life may culminate in nothing at the end of days? The fear of one's mortality is a powerful impetus that drives us in life. Ni'vim goes through many losses and ultimately has to grapple with this challenge.
One does not grow alone. After all, as John Donne said: no one is an island on his own. We all grow, influenced by our peers and mentors, which compels us to face many existential anguishes and grow out of them.
Ego-developmental Psychology and Spirtuality
One does not grow alone. After all, as John Donne said: no one is an island on his own. We all grow, influenced by our peers and mentors, which compels us to face many existential anguishes and grow out of them.
Think enlightenment involves just reaching a state of eternal bliss? Well, sadly enlightenment is not an end state. It is a process unfolding in the mundane.
God, Religion, and Theodicy
I do not see God as an anthropomorphic figure. Rather, I embrace a form of pantheism in which God exists through us. Evil exists for the purposes of giving us freedom as a solution to the problem of Theodicy.
Consciousness and Free Will
Consciousness is integral to the entire universe. The philosophy of what it entails is heavily explored in the novels. My insights will surprise you as to what free will and consciousness are!
Nihilism and Cosmicism
At the other pole of existentialism lie its extreme cousins. Lovecraft fans rejoice!
I employ this method in combination with phenomenology and existentialism to portray many characters' inner development.
Eastern Philosophy and Religions
Taoism, Hinduism, Zen, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Sufism, Toltec wisdom, Eckhart Tolle, New Age Spirituality, Mohism. They are all here!
Near-death experiences and the Afterlife
As someone who has delved into the study of this field and had an out-of-body experience myself, I tackle the most pressing issue on consciousness surviving physical death and where it goes to.
As someone who once practised several forms of meditation, the novel series explores how to use it to overcome traumas and pains in life.
Noam Chomsky? The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? You will find out why these two frameworks are so important in learning the fictional language of Ei'lara when you read the books!
Sha'vilo and Ei'lara are difficult languages to master. They have a provenance that can only be traced using historical linguistics.
Logic and Mathematics
Surprised to find Godel's Incompleteness Theorem being invoked in a fantasy adventure book? How's that supposed to work!? Well, knowing the limits of our knowledge will better inform the boundaries of our spiritual understanding and consciousness.
Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence
A.I and computer circuitry will come into the fantasy novel near the end of the first volume and will have an important role to play in future volumes, as they serve as an instrument to critique the idea that there are absolute concepts in reality. This interweaves very neatly with Eastern philosophy in the novels.
Parallel Universes and Alternate Realites
How would the existence of other universes and dimensions with different laws of physics, thought, and morality change our concepts of spirituality? For one, nothing would be absolute except for this statement!
A Brief Exegesis
Because of the abstract concepts covered in the novel series with no reference to specific intellectual figures, I believe some parts mandate an explanation. This section seeks to address some of them in a (mostly) non-technical manner. I never intended The Eternal Reflection to be formal, technical, or scholastic. This is because I regard myself more as an artisan than a scholar. Regardless, I shall give the following clarifications:
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for many spiritual and philosophical concepts within The Eternal Reflection?
A: From many sources. However, I wish to be clear about one thing first: I belong to no religion. Therefore, this novel series does not try to convert anyone to any specific religious group. However, because of my influences, I lean heavily towards an Eastern philosophical tradition.
I am heavily influenced by Western traditions; however, I have always felt that a Eurocentric worldview of the cosmos is inherently biased towards rationalism and analysis. Many Western works like those of Bertrand Russell, Alfred Whitehead, Voltaire, John Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Socrates, Plato, Comte, Augustine, and Aquinas heavily prioritize the study of the world through observation and understanding. However, I have always felt that this gives an indirect perception of the world as it is. As the works of Thomas Nagel have heavily pointed out: you can study the behavior of a bat and create many complex equations, descriptions, and theses to capture its actions. However, as humans, we can never experience what it is like to be a bat. Therefore, a vast spectrum of Western philosophy and religious thought focuses on analysis. However, the nature of reality is not merely of observation, but of experience. To comprehend the latter, you must flow with it, becoming one with all things.
Remarkably, despite the immense coverage of philosophy and history in this world, most textbooks and courses yield a very euro-centric worldview. This can be quite narrow. However, many schools of thought exist beyond this narrow framework of mere analysis. Within Western traditions, there are more experiential philosophies, such as those of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, and D.T. Suzuki, who have brought forth a more experiential focus. Some people, such as Jean Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Gurdjieff, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Ouspensky, Johnathon Haidt, etc. have framed an existential model that is more in line with practice. Then, even within the traditional Christian traditions, there are philosophers like Marguerite Porete and Meister Eckhart who have a somewhat Neo-Platonist conceptualization of reality. There are also groups like those of the Hermetic, Hesychast, Gnostic, Sufi, Manichean, and Hasidic denominations that paint a more holistic form of understanding the cosmos.
Beyond the West, the works of Al-Farabi, Al-Kindi, Al-Ghazali, Shankara, Ramanuja, Swami Vivekananda, Osho, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rumi, Lao Tzu, Zhuang Tsu, Basho, Rikyu, Aurobindo, Suhrawardi, Buddha, Mani, Mozi, etc. have been given a lot of attention lately.
Although diverse in the number of technical terms, worldviews, and models to comprehend the cosmos, a vast majority of these are unified by several similar themes:
They endorse a unitary nature of the cosmos.
They emphasize experience instead of observation or understanding.
They focus on practice and action than thought or analysis.
They focus on emulation.
They focus on the spiritual than the material.
They stress the inherent perfectibility of the human soul.
They understand that the base nature of the cosmos is consciousness.
They emphasize that concepts of space and time are illusory.
They understand that life is suffering.
Much of our lives are deluded by illusion or Maya.
Some profess that reincarnation exists.
Some profess that God is not an anthropocentric or personal figure, but a unitary state of being.
Many have a pantheistic belief.
Many stress both the transcendence and immanence of divinity.
Many do not see a distinction between divinity and humanity.
There is no separation between the self and the cosmos.
Many emphasize that life is a test.
Many stress the necessity of evil (Theodicy) in the cosmos in allowing for the greatest degree of free will.
Some understand spiritual development to occur over many stages.
Most emphasize peace, love, and tolerance.
Almost all are inwardly drawn to the mind.
Many believe that self-awareness is the key to spiritual growth.
Many believe in a cosmic consciousness that we can obtain through practice, away from mere self-consciousness.
Many believe in the eventual realization, manifestation, or actualization of divinity within the self.
Divinity is both immanent and transcendent.
Altogether, the emphasis is inward towards experience, instead of outwardly intellectualization. I felt that applying these influences is important, as it would provide solutions and a broader perception of the cosmos. Many psychological, existential, and social problems which we face include the increasing rationalization, alienation, bureaucratization, corporatization, monetization, dissociation, and mass psychosis of the individual. This is because the self has lost its connection to the source: its inherent right to consciousness. By losing access to our aesthetic, spiritual, and emotional faculties, many problems of depression, anxiety, and suicide can arise from such. More importantly, a world that is focused too much on analysis cannot cultivate the necessity of cosmic and self-actualization.
In my graduate school studies, I specialize in an area called Existential Sociology. This discipline attempts to integrate existential philosophy and psychology into the otherwise mechanistic understanding of society. This is important as many frameworks in psychology, sociology, and economics have moved towards a more analytical and theoretical model that excludes the inherent complexities of our inner selves. This includes our ability to question our worth in contrast to the cosmos.
As such, The Eternal Reflection is a personal revolt against the deficits that I have felt within humanity by synthesizing many alternate philosophical, existential, psychological, and spiritual paradigms of various teachings. The 25 themes above influence my ideas in the novel series to a vast extent. Most importantly, it tackles directly, what free will is.
The closest of what The Eternal Reflection’s symbol and concept represent is the idea of Sunyata in Buddhism, Wahdat al-Wujud (unity of being) in Sufism, The Eternal Recurrence by Nietzsche, John Wheeler’s Self-looking cosmos, and Chris Langan’s CTMU.
Q: What do you see God as?
A: Although I do not wish to identify with any religion, God is not an anthropocentric or personal figure. “God” is a highly biased word that I do not wish to use unless there is no other choice. I would summarize my concept of God as:
Both immanent and transcendent at once.
Is a manifestation that exists and lives through conscious beings (us and nature).
Is a timeless consciousness that bifurcates endlessly into infinite existences.
Is a personal manifestation of one’s will, virtue, and vice (similar to Paul Tillich’s idea).
Comprises an infinite number of polarizations, yet is still one (like good and evil, beauty versus ugliness, truth and mistruth, etc.).
An expression of an unbound consciousness of the entire cosmos, including its sentient beings (like Jung or Jordan Peterson’s idea).
Comprises endlessly repeating cycles, but each differs from the previous ones.
Have infinite attributes beyond space and time.
An immortal consciousness.
Is a connected nexus of which all space and time are linked in a singularity where all past, present, future, no matter how far in space, are one.
We human beings are part of this nexus where we are both the co-creators and co-participants of this boundless consciousness.
Is both abstract and concrete at once.
Is both ineffable and effable at once.
Is the source where all consciousness is a part of.
We are part of us, and it is part of us.
Is free and unfree.
Is both naught and existence.
Comprises infinite existences and realms, each with differing laws of being and physics.
Is accessible by us.
Q: What specific themes in books 1 to 4 come from Eastern philosophy, religions, and spirituality?
A: Many. Here is a rough, but not an exhaustive coverage of some specific Eastern philosophical themes in my 4 novels of volume 1:
I do not see karma in its conventional religious definition of divine retribution, such as by needing to be reborn punitively because of a past life’s crime. I see it more as pure consequentialism, per the law of cause and effect, where one is not distanced from the effects of one’s actions.
In book 1, although many ideas approach those of the Stoics, the idea of free will and self-transcendence can only arise when one has overcome one’s negative karmic flaws. This is very similar to those of Jainism, the Veda, and the Upanishads. Throughout our lives, we pick up many negative beliefs, traits, and habits that are a detriment to our welfare. Theravada Buddhism, alongside many Buddhist denominations, does not concern itself very much with what God is, or if he or she exists. Rather, the teachings of Buddha focus primarily on self-salvation and spiritual well-being.
The earlier parts of book 1 cover many Taoist elements on what “God” is, which I roughly refer to as the Dao. Daoist concepts of God differ from Western Protestant conceptualizations. I see “God” as more of a force similar to the Dao described by Lao Tsu and Zhuang Tsu, and also Brahman in the Rig Veda and Upanishads.
However, instead of abiding by Lao Tsu’s or Shankara’s concept of God as a unitary entity, I see it as being both one and many. This parallels a Zen Buddhist conceptualization, where many polarized concepts are in a state of both being and non-being at once.
Book 1 has many parts where it describes the “self” as a tripartite division between mind, body, and soul. In many Eastern religions, there are many terms to refer to them, but they are all the same concepts.
In line with Buddha and Patanjali, I see the self as needing to go through spiritual refinement. This involves cultivating one’s identity, self-knowledge, altruism, imagination, and psychic intuition to work towards more positive forms of freedom (rather than mere negative freedom in Isaiah Berlin’s philosophy).
Thus Spake Oneness’s goal is to assist Ni’vim and her people to achieve such.
A Jungian and Tillichian Conceptualization of God
Book 2 covers the idea of God as a manifestation of a collective unconscious, like Carl Jung’s and Jordan Peterson’s ideas. I also see God as a personified force that is immanent within us. We bring it to fruition through virtue, creation, and participation in the cosmos.
This is like ideas in the Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, and Yoga, where God is something that we must realize within ourselves. Once we have realized the unity of all being, everything becomes an extension of ourselves and God. Similar to Hinduism, Brahman and Atman (self) are both one in the idea of non-dualism.
As such, the most practical way of proving God’s existence is through our actions and manifestations, per Paul Tillich’s idea. We do not look for God; we realize him/her in our presence and deeds.
There has been a lot of misconception of what Sunyata means. Etymologically, most people seem to understand it as mere “emptiness.” However, this is not the case. I see it more as a kind of “spaciousness” where the self is dissolved, and where one perceives a unity of being between the self and non-self. The subject and object are both no longer separate.
The idea of using Ei’lara to deconstruct the illusory nature of space appertains to a very Zen-like idea of dissolving once more into the unitary existence that once preceded all things. In Taoism, we call this the void; however, it is far from “empty.” In dissolving into the cosmos, we are less bound by ego and can perceive the universal connectedness and love force that binds all creation and existence. When this happens, we forsake many of the ego-bound fears, anxieties, paranoias, and negativities within our physical bodies.
When the entire cosmos is one, there is no more reason to hate any of its parts.
Book 3 directly tackles what Maya is, per the works of the Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, and Lotus Sutra. Maya, according to the ancient Vedic works, refers to the false attributes of the cosmos, such as the ideas or experiences of the ego. From my point of view, it is not to say that anger, angst, anguish, sorrow, fears, envy, and other negative, primal instincts are false. They are very real. Therefore, I prefer to harbor the idea that Maya is both real and false at once, per the principles of Zen.
We need to experience the darker recesses of our humanity for free will to be manifested. Without either, we could not grow out of negativity.
Book 3 directly synthesizes the ideas of Eastern philosophy with Western ones, like those of post-essentialism. Although we need such negativities and physicality to experience the cosmos, excessive attachment to the ego’s primordial urges can be a hindrance to our spiritual growth. For instance, if one identifies too heavily with prestige, rank, or riches, such avarice and impulses would enslave one until we draw a false distinction between others. Like the ideas of the Baha’i faith, or the universalism of Neo-Vedanta, Maya leads to prejudices and discriminations between race, caste, gender, and nationality.
Ei’lara’s purpose in book 3 is to deconstruct these illusory concepts towards unity and harmony.
On the Dualism of Mankind
By dualism, in this case, I refer to the idea that humanity is inherently conflicted by both polarities within us. Mankind harbors an infinite number of such, not just of good and evil. Although many of these are illusory, caused by value judgment, a universe that only has one cannot truly be free. Imagine yourself being born in a cosmos that knows only peace and no suffering. There can be little possibility of growth, where one integrates the negative elements of the cosmos with the positive ones. Also, being born in a cosmos with only one dimension prevents us from choosing between various options.
This is my solution to the problem of Theodicy, on why evil is allowed to exist in the cosmos: to provide free will, growth, and challenge.
Wahdat al-Wujud (Unity of Being)
Now, this is perhaps the closest concept to what the Eternal Reflection is. It is an idea from Islamic Sufism and is most similar to Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence in the cosmos.
The entire cosmos is a reflection unto itself, where the macrocosm of divinity is manifested as a microcosm within the individual and vice versa. Neither can make do without the other. To see and understand God, one cannot simply search for him/her. Rather, one must evolve the cognition, spirituality, empathy, and creative power to fully experience divinity through internalization and manifestation.
Per the ideas of Taoism, Sufism, Hasidism, Hesychasm, Gnosticism, Vedanta, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zen, one begins by cultivating self-awareness and self-knowledge. One then slowly works through the spheres by evolving more ways of perceiving the cosmos, ultimately extinguishing the self as a separate being, but realizing it as a unitary being of which the self and non-self are both extant and non-existent.
I have to thank Christopher Michael Langan for having had an immense influence on me through his CTMU model. Likewise, the ideas of Frank Tipler, John Wheeler, Spinoza, and Shepherd Hoodwin have impressed me greatly.
I see the cosmos as being both free and unfree at once. It is unfree because our past actions affect us, but we are free because our actions affect the entire cosmos, and then back unto us.
And therefore, the novel series is called The Eternal Reflection.
Q: Do you profess to be able to lead by spiritual example to help positively influence the minds of others towards a more spiritual state?
A: No. I am in no position to do so. I am only a novelist and artist, and nothing more. After the past decade of being churned around, I am now disentangling myself from the negative karmas gathered.
Currently, I am trying to re-ignite my past practice of meditation and the study of spiritual teachings to slowly cleanse myself of these negativities. The next few years will be inwardly drawn for me as I try to purge myself of these energies until I fully heal.
Several relational, existential, emotional, spiritual, and physical ailments and tensions have left me severely shell-shocked. I am not as altruistic or empathic as I was ten years ago after being mistreated by many people.
I now lean towards isolationism after being disillusioned by the superficiality of the world.
Q: Which religion do you most heavily lean towards, despite being a free thinker?
A: More towards the Indian religions of Neo-Vedanta, and Hinduism, and the Sino-Japanese influences of Taoism and Zen Buddhism. I lean a lot towards Islamic Sufism and Christian Gnosticism. Some other Chinese philosophies like Mozi’s school of thought influence me too, but they are not religions. Others would involve Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism.
A slight nuance: Despite having a vast similarity in philosophy with traditional Buddhism, I differ in some parts. For instance, I do not think life is always about detachment.
I am drawn, to some degrees, to the ancient Egyptian and Tibetan religious texts, for unknown, subconscious reasons.
Anthroposophy, Theosophy, and the Michael Teachings impact me too.
Q: Your novel series delves into the supernatural sometimes. Do you believe in the supernatural?
A: Yes, but I do not talk about it very often due to it being unverified scientifically. I base some of the magical spells and abilities in the novels on them. I’m quite open to the supernatural because the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
We call what is supernatural only because we have yet to develop a theory to describe or explain it. However, delving into the afterlife studies of Victor Zammit, Monroe, Michael Newton, Brian Weiss, Ian Stevenson, Raymond Moody, Sam Parnia, Kenneth Ring & Dolores Cannon, I think there is much more.
I think God is also a presence that we can access sometimes. I have always felt that it is an infinite reservoir of memories and energy that we learn to harness. In briefly looking at the Monroe Institute’s, Michael Teaching’s, Theosophy’s, Victor Zammit’s, and Steven Greer’s studies, I am suspecting more and more that if one can clear one’s mental clutter and preconceptions, perhaps, we can tap into this source directly. Sometimes, I experience vivid dreams and psychic experiences where I can see into the future specifically, and it comes true later (like someone asking me to change his school account’s password an hour later, a string of precise school grades 2 days later, or sensing my elder cousin and what he would speak minutes before). I also had an out-of-body experience once. I hope to experiment with this by partnering up with someone for some practices, such as by presaging what is in a box without opening it. Although this is experimental and nascent, I suspect that if one can turn off the intellectualizing parts of one’s mind and meditate to clear one’s inner noise and clutter, we could induce some of these psychic states.
Q: You mention, many times, the idea of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem. Could you clarify?
A: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem was formerly published as a countermovement to David Hilbert’s Formalism, where he believed one could formalize and prove all mathematical statements. I read Gödel’s original paper and studied some papers such as Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica. However, I am an amateur whose curiosity outstrips any mathematical precision. To my knowledge, Gödel was just trying to prove if mathematics was complete, consistent, and/or decidable. It turned out that he proved that a complete system must be inconsistent while being the opposite of an incomplete system. Alan Turing resolved the decidability problem through the Universal Turing machine and the solution to the halting problem.
When I invoked Gödel’s Incompletenessness Theorem, I used it in a more casual manner that fits in more with Mark Tegmark’s theory on the kinds of mathematical universes. I did not cover the concepts much in this book because I reserved it for future novel volumes about the intentions of a very major villain. I seek to explore whether a broader omniverse or meta-universe should be logically complete and inconsistent, than the opposite.
In studying some cryptography, quantum field theory, and quantum computing, I always felt that the cosmos seemed akin to a quantum computer, like what Richard Feynman had proposed. As I have emphasized in the novel’s preface, I am just a writer whose imagination outstrips my scientific finesse. Therefore, I was exploring the idea of whether the entire multiverse can be a superimposition of an infinite number of parallel realities, of which all possible and conceivable states are extant in a single point of time and space. Each cosmos may have its own rules and laws (their logical system), but some are incompatible with others. Thus, you may have some universes with different ontologies beyond space and time. In such, you may have statements or physical manifestations that cannot be proved in other universes or are inconsistent in the latter.
In exploring these myriad possibilities, I hoped to interweave them with some postmodern and post-essentialist concepts of morality, philosophy, and spirituality. This is because different universes may harbor laws that birth different kinds of minds with varied forms of rationality beyond ours. They, therefore, perceive concepts differently and yield varied forms of moral and epistemic structures.
Q: You brought forth some ideas in Nativism and Post-essentialism, paralleling the ideas of Chomsky, Fodor, Kant, Frege, Sapir, Whorf, etc. These ideas span the concepts of space and time. What did you mean by those?
A: In books 2, 3, and 4, I explored these ideas heavily because I felt that human nature, while difficult to change, can sometimes be offset through the flexibility of the human mind and new concepts. For instance, the concepts of gender, religion, spirituality, nationality, and ideologies evolve towards more encompassing and inclusive models. These paradigms transcend the once-limited boundaries of our bodies and we can, therefore, embrace broader identities once denied to us.
As an example, I studied geopolitics, history, economics, and sociology extensively and learned about the individual case studies of 40 past and contemporary empires and countries. One thing that irks me the most is the ongoing geopolitical contest between the Western, American-led bloc with China and a possibly emerging Eastern blog that may comprise Russia and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In studying geopolitics and history, following the works of Jeffrey Sachs, Alfred McCoy, Chris Hedges, Mackinder, and Brzezinski, I have gotten annoyed with the ongoing tension between the two blocs. Regardless of whatever reason either side is attempting to secure global hegemony, I felt that both sides have adopted a rather antiquated notion of an us-versus-them mentality based on a zero-sum game. There is a looming climate change issue coming that will soon raise global temperatures by about 3 degrees Celsius by 2070, and I feel that drawing divisions between nationalities or peoples is an outdated notion. In place of this, I wrote the novels to illustrate that many forms of separation arise due to them being socially and culturally constructed, and thus, can be disentangled to create a more holistic, universal identity. In The Eternal Reflection, I often evoke the idea that the cosmos is unitary, but we base our conceptions of space and time on outdated ideas that are not essentialist or absolute.
Let me give you an example from physics and mathematics. There was once when space and time were believed to be absolutes. Space was once thought to be strictly Euclidean, following the 5 postulates of geometry. However, it turned out that the 5th postulate was computationally undecidable. You can never prove or disprove it. Many, like Carl Friedrich Gauss, have tried to do either, only to fail. However, Lobachevsky and Gauss both conceptualized that maybe we can tweak the 5th postulate in either way. One leads to typical planar geometry, while the other led to hyperbolic geometry. Eventually, the works of Riemann, Ricci, and Einstein uncovered how space is unified with time, energy, and mass through the Einstein field equations where space’s curvature can be described through tensors that lead to a dozen or so equations that must be solved to derive things like the Schwarzschild equation. Then, for the longest time, space and gravity were thought to be continuous, until recent findings in quantum mechanics led to the idea that discrete gravitons could undergird reality. In each subsequent conceptualization of space and time, everything changes. Nothing is fixed, and our ideas of either are arbitrary, dependent on the mind.
Nativism postulates that there are propensities and thought patterns in the body that are fixed. This is true, as shown in Chomsky’s works in Linguistics. However, there is still a human element whereby the mind may overwrite such essentialist notions of space, time, language, and thought. Recent findings in non-Aristotelian non-binary logic have shown that we can effectively conceive of new ways and paradigms of perceiving the cosmos. Just like how science goes through revolutions via qualitative leaps rather than quantitative accumulation, in the work of Thomas Kuhn, so can the human mind overcome its prior limitations by transcending its more primitive worldviews.
And this is where things get interesting, where I fuse these findings with ideas from Eastern philosophy and spirituality with the contemporary. Having read various works in Vedantic, Theosophical, Anthroposophical, New Age, Buddhist, Gnostic, Sufi, Tibetan, Egyptian, Zen, and Taoist conceptualizations of space, alongside newer ones like in Ego-developmental psychology like Ken Wilber’s works, I have merged these new cosmic perspectives with my works. In summary, I am forwarding the idea that we can replace our illusions of separation and the linearity of time with one where space exists in all-space and where time is but a partial illusion (Of course, clocks still tick!).
When we conceive of a cosmos where all division is an illusion, we can replace our zero-sum mentality, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination, with something far more inclusive. This can be one based on universal and unconditional love, which I feel are the values of a more enlightened civilization. Likewise, if we conceive of time as a non-linear, circular, and self-causative construct, this forces us to immerse ourselves within the cosmos and take responsibility since our every cause leads to effects, and vice versa.
Q: You often bring up things like the 5th postulate of Euclid’s geometric system and the equations of science. What relation does this bear to the world and your philosophy?
A: We must understand that equations, numbers, words, symbols, signs, and pictograms are nothing more than abstract and arbitrary representations of reality. Reality is something so complex and infinite that I honestly do not think that anyone in the cosmos may ever achieve a so-called Theory-of-Everything (TOE). The idea of a TOE excludes consciousness, the white elephant in the room. Likewise, it presumes that a few axioms may derive our fundamental understanding of the cosmos — yes, perhaps, this universe, but not necessarily the entire multiverse. Various interpretations of quantum mechanics, such as the Multiple World interpretation and Mark Tegmark’s and John Barrow’s various kinds of possible universes have explored how there may be other kinds of cosmoses with new laws of physics. Although, other than a few speculative pieces of evidence, such as the exploration of hidden dimensions (to my knowledge, no extra non-compactified dimensions like the ones in String Theory were found) or the distortions of the cosmic background radiation, nothing much on other universes were found. Much of what we have are extrapolated, such as from Roger Penrose’s maximally extended diagram. However, it is in my conviction that the cosmos is infinitely varied and I have zero doubts that an infinite number of other universes exist.
This means that axioms that hold true in our cosmos may not be true for other exotic universes. Even within our own, if we were to meet alien civilizations, they will probably use different axioms, mathematics, principles, denotations, and concepts native to their forms of cognition. This means that we cannot hold them to be absolute intellectual structures that are universal.
So back to the fundamentals: regardless of how advanced they are, these theories are just representations made by an intelligence. They are not the cosmos itself. Sure, one may create a vast network of equations to describe the behavior of a bat, but as Thomas Nagel argues, you are not the bat itself. Unless you are one, you may never perceive, phenomenologically, what it is like to be one, other than merely understand one externally. As a result, these intellectual structures are malleable, such as the 5th postulate of Euclid. Regardless, the same thing occurs with moral and philosophical systems. If you believe that Jeremy Bentham’s or John Stuart Mill’s theory of utilitarianism undergirds all reality, then all you want is to maximize happiness. However, such an intellectual structure does not explore well-being, which transcends mere subjective and qualitative “happiness.” Likewise, if like, in John Rawls’ theory of justice, that you perceive fairness as merely wanting to provide equality through his concept of the “veil of ignorance,” you will miss out on other qualitative forms of welfare. Theories are malleable and evolve based on time. They often expand in perspective with more empirical evidence and philosophical understanding. However, they can be a mode for control and limitation, and often described by Karl Mannheim and other social theorists.
Therefore, instead of selecting a moral, spiritual, or religious doctrine and obeying them, it is more important to be flexible and amend one’s paradigm correspondingly. My role in writing my novels is to encourage people to look beyond mere dogmatism so they may overcome prejudicial feelings or perceptions towards others. It is also to show that one should not allow theory to dictate them. After all, we invented theories, not the other way.
Q: You argue the Eternal Reflection is something like a cyclical structure, similar to Spinoza’s, Chris Langan’s, John Wheeler’s, and Leibniz’s concept of a self-caused cosmos.
A: In most ways, yes. The cosmos is made of an illusory duality between consciousness and physicality, but they are one and inseparable. Space and time are interconnected. Therefore, everything that happens in one part of the cosmos will ultimately rebound after it affects other parts of it to the person carrying out the act. Therefore we must assume cosmic responsibility. And so, we have free will, resolving the problem of whether the cosmos is deterministic or free. It is both. Mathematically, you can say that one’s act is the summation of all action in the cosmos, which includes his or her own, leading to effects in the universe, and back to oneself.
A slight disclaimer: this applies mostly to a very vast area of the cosmos, perhaps billions of light-years for the time being. In the future, when the cosmological event horizon expands and galaxies beyond the local galactic supercluster recede faster than the speed of light beyond us, this may no longer be possible. Unless we can travel faster than the speed of light to warp our individual timelines’ light cones to bypass this limit, it temporarily limits us to a certain range. However, I am quite optimistic that some theory of space and time may arise soon to bypass this limitation. Already, some studies involving the quantum eraser experiment have shown a possibility in which the future may affect or “cause” the present. Likewise, experiments by Hartman have suggested the possibility of faster-than-light causation. Likewise, recent papers in the Alcubierre drive and Morris-Thorne wormhole theory have explored the use of negative mass to warp space and allow for such faster-than-light travel and causation. New findings in near-death experience literature from the works of Kenneth Ring and Victor Zammit have suggested that the cosmos is made of light and consciousness, that upon death, we transition to a realm of simultaneous travel. No one knows which is right, but people certainly have the right to be optimistic about these!
Regardless, the Eternal Reflection is an abstract metaphor that shows how conscious beings drive the intelligent evolution of the cosmos. It shows how meaning is continuously created and sustained eternally to allow the cosmos to overcome its eternal night of an otherwise unfathomable nihilism. It also shows how we are integral to taking part in the cosmos’ evolution and how we, in a non-dual manner, are the cosmos. Experience is its essence, not observation, as Alan Watts puts it. We are.
Q: You cover some strange concepts of time. What is up with this bold conceptualization of time waves in your novel series?
A: Read the future volumes to find out!
I believe that the time (no pun intended) has come to experiment with new conceptualizations of time as a non-linear construct. In my second volume, I will explore these extensively.
Q: Towards the end of book 4, in the chapter called Ei’lara, you described a pentagram with 5 ontological aspects of the cosmos. What are they?
A: I will explore them in future novels. It involves something about emergent properties, but that is all I can reveal.