Unfortunately, genius and insanity go hand in hand. Therefore ignorance is bliss. But it's all just a paradox anyway. Confucius said that to know the extent of one's ignorance is true knowledge. This is very similar to Buddhist principle and Taoism. Here in this blog post, I will talk about something which I am completely and utterly obsessed with, so I will get it all out now and refrain from talking about it in the future, so you won't have to hear about it all the time from me. This is something that has greatly influenced my writing, as well as, or should I say especially, my view of life. This thing my seem ridiculous to you, and I may be insane, but at least I am aware of it. This little thing is the television show LOST.
It has been off the air since May, after six long, complex seasons, and it ended perfectly, though you could ask a hundred different people and get a hundred different opinions about the ending. But I loved it. I will not bore you with the plot (but it's not boring at all; I should say "confuse" instead of "bore") but I will go into some detail about the theme before giving the reasons behind this whole rant, and how it applies to writing.
There were many themes to LOST: fate vs. free will, good vs. evil, destiny, choice. But they can really all be combined into one overall theme. Love and let go. But each of the things that I listed are all parts of it. In every single day of your life, you are faced with temptations and evil and just bad stuff, and though sometimes it doesn't seem like it, you always have a choice. You have free will, and you do not have a "destiny" or "fate." However, your choices affect other people and other peoples' choices affect you, so they may all add up to some inevitable outcome, which may seem like destiny or fate. There is no such thing as fate, but there is no such thing as coincidence or luck. The characters of LOST were all wound up in this mess on a mysterious island where an evil monster was killing everyone who was a candidate to take over as the new protector of the heart of the island, which symbolized everything good. I am simplifying this big time; there were about forty characters on the show, and I am only going to talk about one: Jack. I would talk about Desmond and Locke too, but they could take up a whole post to themselves, so I'm not going to get into that. This post is going to be long enough already.
Jack crashed on the island in a plane crash. He was a spinal surgeon with Daddy issues who wanted to fix everything all the time. He was just about the most stubborn character on the show. Actually, the whole thing was pretty much about him. I could give a dozen examples, but instead I'll just cut right to the chase. In the end of the show, Jack fixed everything by killing the evil monster and saving the girl he loved. In the "afterlife" (don't freak out now) Jack's father came to him and told him to "let go." You see, he'd been telling him this his whole life, every time he tried to fix something that was impossible to fix, and he sounded like a big jerk right up until now. Now Jack's dad seems wise. So Jack lets go of his stubbornness and is able to move on to whatever is after that "afterlife." His dad’s name, by the way, was Christian Shephard, if that tells you anything.
The show ended with the characters all being whisked away into this bright white light, and it did not show what was in it or where the characters were going, which really pissed off a lot of viewers. I thought it was brilliant, though, because the characters were letting go of all their bad qualities, realizing that they had all lived their lives, now knowing what their lives were really all about, and now they could move on. The viewers, too, were able to move on and let go, since it was the end of the show, and there were a billion plot holes that the writers didn't have time to fill in.
Now this all relates to my life and my writing too. I try not to leave so many plot holes like the writers of LOST did, but I use the themes in my writing almost religiously, mostly because I use them in my every day life. I will now tie this back up to what I said in the beginning. Genius, or just knowledge, when you know everything or are determined to find out what the heck is going on, causes chaos. You are so busy trying to figure everything out and fix everything you see wrong that you pretty much go insane because there’s so much out there that needs fixing and not enough time to do it all. Obviously, you can't know everything about the universe, or even yourself for that matter. When you let go of all the stress of not knowing, then you'll just be happy with what you have. Love and let go.
This is how I look at life every day, and this is the driving force behind my peace activism and my writing. The truth is, no one knows what happens after we die, so all the people who are violent because they are trying to force others to believe in their religion or are manipulated into destroying people of other religions are being just plain ridiculous. Everyone has their own opinions, so they should all learn to let go of the differences and love the things we have in common. Same goes for race, sexual orientation, gender, shape, size, you name it.
I hope I haven't been too preachy or ranty in this post. I didn't really mean to be, but I couldn't think of a way to go about writing this without bringing religion into the picture. I also didn't really go into detail about how I bring this into my story writing, but I feel like that speaks for itself. And if you haven't seen LOST, go buy it or rent it and watch it! You'll love it, even though it's ridiculously complex and confusing.