Truth and Lies

A proper lie does not simply contradict the truth, it redirects it.
If I were to stand in front of you flapping my arms and say “HEY LOOK! I’M FLYING!” That would not be a very effective lie as it very clearly contradicts several truths you believe and see. However if I were to tell you I HAD flown, without explaining the method or time. This would be far more believable as your brain allows you to rationalize this.
Every effective lie has some nugget of truth to it. Imagine if you will that truth was in fact a straight road that led a certain direction. Lies would be side paths which slowly curve off from it.
Much like the poor and lowly frog who is boiled to death in a pot of water that is slowly heated up. We often do not realize what a lie is, until it is far too late to turn back.
Why is this important to know? Well for one thing… to realize that lies don’t always seem nonsensical. In a lot of ways, lies can often seem far more rational than the truth. Think of the problems Sherlock Holmes had to face arguing for the true culprit whilst the police were satisfied with their easily explainable catch. Just because something makes sense to you, does not mean that it is true. For we are humans of limited perspective. We are not omnipotent… even the things we “know” we only assume we know. How long did we believe the sky was blue until we realized that was only an optical illusion? How long did people argue that space and time were eternal until we realized there were edges and even holes to both? How long did we feel this planet was all there was until we saw there were planets further still? Do you honestly think that out of the 7000+ years of recorded history, that NOW we understand everything there is to know? That’s a frighteningly foolish thing to believe. Especially when we don’t even understand everything they knew 7000 years ago!
The second reason why this is important to know is that there are always areas of our world that we don’t understand due to our limited perspective and often our reaction to these issues are to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. Be they spiritual issues, morality issues, purpose issues… Everyone has something that they would rather just deny the existence of than face and discuss… however the issue with this is that just because you don’t deal with an issue enough to face it, doesn’t mean no one else does.
I cannot begin to count the amount of people I know of who have walked down very VERY dark paths simply because the people on said paths were far more willing to discuss topics that had made them curious than the people around them. The promise of knowledge has always been one of the most effective temptations out there… possibly even more than the promise of power!
So how do we face truth and lies then? Do we take the currently trending method of believing that EVERYONE is wrong in some way or point and therefore EVERYONE is equally right in our wrongness?
This is within itself a fairly dangerous belief…
In a way, this belief makes the most sense… If every lie holds some resemblance of the truth, then shouldn’t we simply have to search for the semblance of truth in every lie to understand the world?
While the theory is sound. It lacks in one very vital area. That area being that it places YOURSELF in the judging seat as to what is truth and what is lie. And as we have covered several times already; We are VERY limited in our perspective to be able to make such a decision.
When people are their own judge of what’s right and wrong, we begin to slowly veer off course into highly dangerous territory. There is no one easier to lie to than yourself, for with each successful lie, your blind spot grows larger with your pride.
Why has a vengeful nature become so justified? Why has greed and pride become so celebrated? Why has most anything that feels good become such a constitutional right in spite of any future effects? Because as humans… our only judge of what’s right and what’s wrong is ultimately what feels right and what feels wrong… and bad things feel AMAZING!
There is a reason why the most reoccuring description of an irredeemable, sinful country in the Bible always ended with “They did what was right in their own eyes.” What has been more dangerous to mankind in the past 7000+ years than self justification??
So what do we need then to balance out our search for truth? Well it will seem redundant…. but to FIND truth, we must first HAVE a truth to compare it to. (Kind of like looking for a colour while having paint swatches and samples) And to know what IS truth… in that area we must have faith….
Now “Faith” is treated as a scary word in our culture today… but the truth is that EVERYONE has faith to some extent. You have faith this is Malcolm writing this. You have faith your food isn’t overdo or poisoned in spite of all the people it passed who could do that. I have (sometimes unfounded) faith that my computer won’t crash before I finish writing this status! Faith is not something you can live without. It’s something we all have and use daily.
So what is your foundation of what is true and what is not? Do you have faith in a God who came to created us and wants to save us? A god we have to earn favour with? Many gods we have to entertain so we might benefit from them? Do you have faith in a person writing posts online? (wait a minute…) A theory someone came up with to support a theory they had about an observation they made? Your own gut sense?
We all have faith in SOMETHING from which we decipher what is true and what is not. An evolutionist would look at the Grand Canyon and say “Man. This proves the earth is billions of years old as it would take that long for that tiny trickle to make this huge canyon. A Christian (As well as several other religions) would look at the Grand Canyon and say “Man. This proves there was a global flood. What else could cause such world shaping?” (Fun Fact: A Creation Story, a Flood, and An end are three of the most common reoccurences in religions) But see how a different foundational truth affects how you justify and rationalize the observations you make??
Even with a foundational truth however; there are many who fall back into the first example.
To accept a foundational truth is to accept the consequences that come with it.
I cannot say that I will be there for you every Tuesday night and then proceed to make plans with someone else. I cannot say I serve a God who loves His creation but then say He’s okay with us destroying ourselves or each other as long as we enjoy it. I cannot say that man was a mistake and then say but you have a purpose for being here. Once I start picking and choosing, I no longer have faith in that foundational truth and am once again having faith in my own judgement which we have already deduced is a very dangerous thing to do.
But who is right in the end? Does it really matter?
Yes… Yes it does. Even if you don’t feel the affects of it right away… truth is truth no matter how much you believe otherwise. Should I eat a poisoned meal I would still die no matter how much I believed it wasn’t poisoned. Should I believe that I could insult others without anyone caring, they would still be hurt. As much as I can believe I can write these posts without many shaking their heads and some their fists, there are going to be people out there like that. Our faith has no effect on reality…. but it has an effect on us DUE to reality! So choose carefully and keep thinking and observing. This world is tricky but amazing at the same time

Powers of a God vs Heart of a God

Originally Posted September 30 2016

As a fantasy reader, novelist, and avid world builder, I’ve always found mythology fascinating. However, the more about it that I read, the more I find it proves a line from my latest book very true;

“The powers of a god are meaningless without the heart of one.”

While people find it fairly easy to imagine having god-like powers, and can even start to wrap their minds around the concept of omnipotence, I find every writer at some point stumbles into the pitfall of limiting their celestial creations with the handicap of a VERY human heart.

This is one of the reasons it is (usually) fairly simple to sort the origin stories you read. You have those who crave power and thus enslave until they are overthrown. Those who start out with good intentions, but let their paranoia and fears corrupt them into villains themselves. Those who are simply using creation as pawns in their much larger game. Those who are apathetic and may as well just help here and there because it might be interesting. And those who invest in creation because it is their child that will one day bring forth results they cannot find otherwise.

In all these examples, their godhood is cheapened by their human characteristics. Their fear, their paranoia, their lust, and most of all the simple lacking in their nature that creation is needed to fill.

God is not a term for “powerful being”. It is a term for all knowing, ever present, all powerful, and complete within itself. It is a term forever beyond human comprehension, as it is something beyond humans entirely. A being so great that He could create all things, not that He needed to, but that He wanted to. That He would sacrifice Himself for them. Not because they are necessary to His plan, but because He loved them. God did not gain anything from helping or creating creation. He did it for He loved us.

We have trouble as humans to comprehend the heart. The mind can be strengthened, the body can grow in power, but the heart? Can such a thing be changed? Aren’t we forever slaves to how we feel and our emotions? And as such, the heart is often the weakest link in most of our creation.

We strive to create sentience, yet fear losing control over it. But you can’t have sentience without free will, if you were to have complete control over sentience, you would create a torturous life where your creation questions their actions constantly yet cannot stop them. You can create sentience with naivety forcing them to trust you to know what is right or wrong, but even then they must still have the choice of to continue trusting you or to trust their own abilities to discover the difference between good and evil.

God does not fear the lack of control, for God is all powerful. Man did not overthrow God, Jesus lay His life down for man. God does not fear man’s sentience, though it pains Him to see them hurt themselves.

To understand God, you must not settle for all knowing and all powerful. Any fool could become a demon with such things. To understand God you must understand the heart behind God. Only then do you begin to comprehend Him

Why We NEED Fantasy

Have you ever wondered what it is that we find so attractive about fantasy? Is it the amazing worlds? The existence of magic? The concept that wearing capes in public is socially acceptable again? Maybe not… Well save for that last one… Capes DO need to come back into style… Like now…

If you think of it, most fantasies really aren’t that different from reality. Sure there are different races, creatures, and laws of reality, but the best fantasy stories out there are usually highly relatable to the psychological and political problems of modern day society. There’s corruption, cowardice, discrimination, naivety, greed, you name it.

So why fantasy then? What makes fantasy so different from a slice of life show? I think the answer simply comes down to the concept of having the power to change things.

In our modern world we have ourselves so convinced that life is hopeless. There are lairs upon lairs of legal structure that you would need a degree to know how to defend someone from corruption. You want to have an impact on your company? Well unfortunately you are merely a number in a machine to those in charge and most likely will never be able to talk to those who have the power to make decisions, let alone actually make an impact on them. You want to learn skills? Sorry, unless you can afford another degree and another 5-10 years of your life you are nothing more than a hobbiest. Want to discover stuff? Well really we already know everything there is to know, so anything else is just fantasy.

In a fantasy world most society is usually based off of medieval or greco Roman times. With the lack of proper communication and smaller community focused towns the impact your character is able to have is suddenly far greater. Yes there is still usually a government and politics, but the true fantasy is a world where one person can, by simply wanting to grow as a person and help those around them, become strong and change their city, country, or even world! Ideals leads to progress in a fantasy world as it shows up corruption and it can in the end prove that standing for your morals is far more powerful than focusing on gaining wealth or power in itself.

So why can’t we do this in our own world?

Okay, I am going to say it up front. It doesn’t matter how much you shout about something, repost stuff on facebook, or hold up signs outside of public locations in hopes of getting on the national news, You with your $5 and a tank full of gas is not going to overthrow ISIS, stop slavery, purge the world of discrimination, nor stop certain people from being voted into government… In fact you most likely will have the reverse effect you are aiming for as all you do is glamourize and spread word of ways to be evil and how fun it looks!

That being said though… That doesn’t mean we are helpless.

I always hate it when people blame readers, theatre people, movie watchers, or video game players of being “Escapist personalities who can’t handle reality” because in my opinion, a good story doesn’t take you away from reality, but inspires you that your own can still be better. That being said, the road is hard.

No, I mean, REALLY REALLY hard…. Like… If it involves feeling comfortable and making yourself feel powerful, I am sorry you are probably doing it wrong. The best heroes aren’t the ones who feel like they can do anything. They are the ones who take on anything in spite of feeling like they can do nothing because they would rather fail miserably trying than accept the reality that is being forced upon them.

What can we gain from this? Quite simply, if you want to help anyone in life, the first and greatest enemy you have to overcome is yourself. You have to WANT to make a change even though it seems hard, to keep fighting even when you feel like you accomplish nothing, to be willing to face enemies who seem far too big to be conquered, to stand strong even when it looks like you stand alone, to make your life about those around you NOT ABOUT YOURSELF!

If your “Changing the world” is about making the world better for yourself, or showing how you know better, or making people more like you… Just stop. It doesn’t work. Fighting for yourself is just far too small a motivation. I mean self esteem alone proves this!

Second thing I want to focus on then is that once you have conquered yourself, don’t be blinded by the big picture. I mean yes. I am a big picture thinker so of course I am going to say the big picture needs to be seen and understood. But don’t be so blinded by the big picture that you don’t move at all. I heard it put once, “If you can’t do it then don’t. Focus on what you can do!”

Truth is that a hero in a fantasy story rarely sets out to save the world, and if saving the world is the first thing he takes on he usually gets his butt handed to him. Frodo needed to focus on watching the ring first, then getting to Rivendell, then a bajillion and five other things before he tossed the ring into mount doom. Lucy had to first prove that Narnia was real to her siblings, then go to Tumnus’ house, then to the beavers’ then a ton of other things before stopping the White Witch and leading Narnia into its’ Golden Age.

What I’m trying to say is that you focus not on what’s wrong, but what you’re needing to do. Yes you may be broke. Yes you may be underemployed. Yes you may get horrible grades. Yes you may be single, poor, a bad cook, the world is at war, people are dying, your friends are being abused, there are countries that mistreat people for stupid reasons, people around you think that becoming violent and mean will stop violence and meanness, the corrupt seem to succeed, and the righteous or broken seem to suffer, etc…. There is a stinkin lot wrong with this world! But the thing is that if you focus on saving this world in one go, you’ll lose it. Focus on what you can do.

Be someone people can turn to, improve your own flaws so you can better help others, learn what you can, put yourself in other peoples’ shoes. If you can help support businesses that will affect others then great! If not financially maybe with advice, maybe with support, maybe with encouragement, maybe with marketing. Help people to help people!

Alone you are just one person…. But one person can touch many lives, who in turn can touch many lives, who in turn can touch many lives. Touch enough lives and you start to notice things changing.

Does it seem slow? Unglamorous? Hard work? Impossible? Yes… I have bad news for you though… Heroes only seem cool because we know how the story ends, and have devoted the time to get to know them on a personal level. Truth is most heroes spend most their time being the outcasts, the dreamers, the ones everyone says focus on worthless things and waste their lives away.

Luckily we are not alone… Because I don’t know how to live such an unrewarding life if you were alone. We have God, who is here to lead and to guide. He is rewarding when the world is not. He is wisdom where we lack perspective. He’s seen the ending when we aren’t even past the prologue. If you want to take on this task alone, I’ll say your chances are slim. But there is an ally who has your back. One who believes in you more than you do and can do amazing things through you by His hand. Trust, follow, be the hero, save the day