When you create a universe, you need to make a set of rules, and those rules must make logical sense within that universe. They cannot be a hodge-podge of ideas that do not relate to each other. They must relate to one another and be consistent. From those basic sets of rules, you can then utilize your imagination to create all sorts of planets, stars, galaxies, cultures, or whatever as long as they follow the basic sets of rules you determined at the onset. These rules do not have to be complex, and there doesn’t need to be a lot of them. Just enough to help guide your imagination and keep the universe you build consistent.
That’s one of the number one rules for world-building for any sort of novel, whether it be fantasy, science fiction, or literary.
On another note, what is reality? Having just watched the movie Inception, I am forced to wonder what exactly reality is. This movie did an excellent job suspending my belief and drawing into their version of the future. The idea that someone could be trained to slip into your subconscious, walk with you in your dreams, and extract information from you without you even realizing you are in a dream – now that is a fascinating and scary idea. There is clues to give away these extractors, as they call themselves, but the idea of being able to fully experience such a dream world, to have that be your job, is mind-boggling. Anything can go in a dream. You can alter the physics of the world in a variety of ways. Reality seems to pale in comparison, and what this movie tackled was far more than just planting an idea in someone’s subconscious. No, that is part of the themes it tackles, but it also tackles the idea of reality itself and what exactly is reality to a person.
That is why I am left with the question: what is reality?
Is there a way to alter our reality? To change our fortunes in life? To somehow achieve what we always dreamed of without having to do it the hard way all the time? Can we somehow twist our reality so it favors us?
If so, then it would be nothing but a fantastical dream.
I’ve sought for a long time to believe that love is the fabric of reality; that our empathy is what separates us from the rest of creation. The fact that we can empathize and love one another is coupled with our intelligence, our ability to reason, because it is with that ability to reason that we are able to understand empathy and able to seek to understand others. They are united.
Yet there are times in life when I wonder if this is just my optimistic view of reality. That perhaps love is not the fabric of reality. If it is not, then what is? Is reality rooted in mindless chaos? Is reality rooted in this unfeeling and nihilistic concept that everything is nothing and our lives don’t truly matter? That our intelligence will only resort in more ways of destroying one another because, although empathy exists, empathy and love isn’t strong enough to battle and defeat the overriding notion that “The Other” needs to be destroyed or subjugated at all costs?
In the colonist era, this idea of subjugating or destroying to take what we need from those we came across is still rooted in our culture today. Especially those who speak English, a colonist language that was forced on a multitude of areas. In America, we have fought a great many battle to obtain equal rights for everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion, but it is a fight we still seek to win. We fight against this notion that “the other” is evil and must be destroyed or subjugated and never allowed to reach the same level as “the us.” This notion that the majority, who in American is often white, Protestant, and Republican (not always this, but most are), is the “us” and all the minorities that seek equal rights throughout the ages (African Americans, women, gays and lesbians, transgender people,intersex individuals) are the “other.”
Can love and empathy overcome that? For African Americans and Women it has legalistically to some degree but there is still a lot of work to be done culturally and socially still. LGBT and intersex people are still struggling to reach the legal side of the battle at the same time they fight the cultural and social battle with Women and African Americans.
I ask myself these questions because in my reality we would all be equal and at peace. We would be able to respect our differences and rejoice in our diversity. We would seek to understand one another and not seek to destroy or undercut each other. We would work together to build a brighter, cleaner, and happier future for ourselves and our future generation; a future that would clean our world and nurture it, that would give all humanity an equal chance at a joyful existence. But my reality is not the world’s reality.
My reality is nothing but a hopeful and impossible dream.