The Trailokya Trilogy, Book 1: The Shadow Soul by K. Williams
Note that it appears K. Williams is also the only woman on the list! Take that Glass Ceiling!
Note that it appears K. Williams is also the only woman on the list! Take that Glass Ceiling!
The Trailokya Trilogy came to me in a dream. Actually, it’s come to me in a series of dreams over about 30-33 years or more. From recurring themes to continuing sagas, sleeping is quite the adventure. I guess I was always blessed with this imagination or a conduit into something like the greatest first person role play ever. (Yes, I used to game—until everything pretty much went online and this introvert backed out. Glad I did for not having to deal with trolls, but sad because there are awesome games out there I would really enjoy.)
Dare I mention that OP-DEC came in a dream too? That I was on a date with the perfect guy. Oh, yes, Carsten Reiniger is a perfect guy. We were seeing Star Wars—which is an obvious thing if you know me. Then the bead and the whole scene happened. I woke up to roll over but it continued and by then, I was being whisked away in a Junkers bomber with my aunt and mother. Upon really waking that morning, I decided I needed to write the book. So, too, Trailokya came to be Faith Fallen, a screenplay I penned back in 2006 and let lay fallow until five years later. It was going to be an enormous production to bring that into a novel, and I wasn’t prepared to do it at the time. I had a lot to learn about various subjects that were sure to crop up, and more things to dream.
The world of Trailokya comes as it is. It’s limitless in scope really, as any dreamscape is. However, it is attached to our universe, our Earth, and the spaces we occupy in waking life are limited by the rules of physics and other scientific concepts. Trailokya is a very specific term which describes the three worlds that interact heavily in the manuscript: Zion, Samsara and Jahannam. These words should be quite familiar to the average person. Zion is another word for heaven, but in the book it is the homeworld, where we all are created and visit Samsara, the universe in which Earth resides. Jahannam is an Islamic word for hell. This is the prison realm where those who have committed egregious crimes against Zion and the entities living there are put, to keep the rest of the universes safe from them. It is not fool-proof, like any other prison. It was not created by a god, but ordered into being and created by his emissaries. The myths of Judeo-Christian and Islamic faith have quite a showing in Trailokya, right beside Hindu (Lord Ganesha, overseer of the Great Council), Buddhist (Trailokya, Samsara) and the ancient faiths of the ancient world, such as Greco-Roman (Jahannam’s provinces, Duta leaders, Arcadia) and Egyptian (Order of Horus).
To keep my focus, I rely on the dreams I had. Believe it or not they started matching up after years of having them. The make sense to me, despite not always coming in linear episodes. On the side, I keep a list that applies to all three places, a quick reference, so I can remember the terminology I have applied. There is nothing like it which I have yet found, but yet it is so natural coming from my mind to the paper. I also kept a screensaver and music playlist full of inspirational art to spur me on and keep me excited. It showed throughout the process that was cataloged on Facebook 2011-2014.I’ve archived most of the process so that anyone interested could see how I made this happen. Questions come in, people want to interact. Other authors are looking for themselves in you, for that glimmer of hope they’re doing it right (yes, you are!), when there is really no one right way to do a book. The book will show you the path.
Writing Trailokya was a cathartic experience, but I don’t dare answer exactly why until Trailokya’s second installment is released. That would just be a spoiler. The music and the art and imagining something that was corked up inside my head and putting it on paper for others to see, that was therapy.
The characters of Trailokya are fleshed out in much the same way as the landscapes and concepts. A lot of them come from mythological or faith based lore: General Mikael and the other three commanders of the four legions of Zion. I’m sure you can name them without me listing them. Among them is Captain Maiel, of the Moon Order, a legion under General Mikael that is commanded by Artemis and her sister. She is sometimes mistaken for her commander, as she and her twin brother Joel look very much like Diana and Apollo. In the dreams, I am always Maiel. I feel her excitement at facing foes, her concern in missing her children and her love for those in her care. Jungian psychology would likely chalk this aberration up to desiring power in a world where women are powerless. Captain Maiel is a very strong female, who is equal with her male counterparts, in a world that doesn’t equate gender with ability.
There is also the mysterious Primus Gediel, Wolf Leader, Watcher. He is responsible for training the canine soldiers that serve in the legions. These packs are special and few. His second titles, Watcher, corresponds to the role of those angels who were charged by God with the oversight of humanity in the early days of civilization. They’re the spies and special forces of the legions. The mystery shrouding them is deepened by a conflict that happened at the outset of humanity’s occupation of earth, a very dark conflict that led to the prison of Jahannam. Gediel’s darkness is mostly made by his exile to the outskirts of Zion, but more so from his grandfather who fell to Jahannam in the conflict, and for who he is named.
Technology is another aspect of Trailokya. The series is not merely a fantasy. It uses science and hammers back myths to show a more reasoned synthesis of how and why and where do we come from. The gates the characters use to travel back and forth beyond the vales (borders between universes) are energy based, Wi-Fi even, connections and keys. Tesla would be over the moon. The seals use coordinates, to dial in a location. For instance, the seal of Samsara looks like a compass, and it is, based on the constellations of that universe. It also happens to contain Metatron’s Cube, a theory from alchemist Solomon that continues to have great meaning today to the spiritual, drawing from science and the Kabbalah.
Other scientific theories in Trailokya will be familiar to those following physics. Zion is a forever expanding universe, but not quite like Samsara. A sun and moon phase around it. There are stars, but it is the only ‘planet’ in the space, and it’s growing larger to accommodate all those beings who remain, tempered by all those who ascend beyond to Nirvana. Are the stars potential other universes? Worlds being forged? I cannot tell you. It could be argued that Nirvana is our real home, Zion is just another stop on the way in the journey away from and back to it and the stars are Nirvana leaking through the barriers.
As for the other worlds, Jahannam is a dark mirror of Zion, bereft of sky and satellites, while Samsara is a shattered reflection, encompassing the wrecks of both worlds, touching into universes between: Astral, Avernus and Oblivion. Avernus is the undoing of all physical things, a world of entropy where barriers are broken down and everything laces into everything else; the last barrier keeping Zion and the upper realms safe from invasion. Astral is a theoretical playground where all things are possible, and yet bound by the player’s limitations; a dream world. Oblivion is utter destruction, the antithesis of Nirvana and creation; a nothing place where matter is destroyed.
In the coming installments, the technology becomes increasingly prominent, but again, spoilers. So, I will leave it there before I tell you everything and spoil the read.
The creative process for authors is vastly different across the board, but there are some similarities too. For instance, I learned that my process of downloading images on the web to use in a picture cycling screensaver as well as building a music play list is employed by many of the writers I know and adore. And, who doesn’t like casting their characters for that future film they want to make?
My favorite thing to do is the soundtrack. I’ve made one for every book. OP-DEC is all the swing music I can muster together in my collection, Jazz—Sinatra and Dean, Benny and Basie. Blue was more difficult, I reached out to Celtic artists, things like you hear on the Last of the Mohicans Soundtrack, and a local band called The McKrells (their version of Ride On—perfect). For Trailokya, I chose things that ranged from electronic to new age, country and metal—the whole gamut of genres. Somehow the songs all work together.
What this playlist does for me is focuses me on a moment in time. It reminds me of a memory of a dream. It sets tone and even setting. It helps me feel what should be felt in that section of the text to which it applies. The list covers the entire trilogy, so the song titles can be a bit of a spoiler, but then that’s often too obvious. A song isn’t always titled perfectly and how does Come On by Andy Hunter clarify anything? If readers were to build this list on Spotify – and they must pay careful attention to the mix, not just the title, as that alters the sound and mood completely, they would have a further insight into the ‘image’ of Trailokya. Playlists of songs are immersive, another layer of ‘text’ we can read beside the written text. It brings the reader that much closer to the intention of the author.
Additionally, a playlist serves to hold continuity across the installments. Sometimes when an author pens several connected books, the tone changes. It was necessary for these books that their tone was fluid, like the Lord of the Rings. This is another reason I wrote them one after another, then did my edits post completion. Continuity is required in so many aspects – word use, labels, definitions, how a character talks, dresses or feels. Argus of book one needs to be the same into book three, unless he goes through some major experience that alters him. As a supporting character, I chose consistency. His growth is tied to Maiel’s and therefore the music that reflects their emotions in the playlist helped to keep that bond and development on track without being distracting. The playlist is subtle in how it focuses the brain and hence the project.
Comment back to me with questions on the songs – where do they go in the narrative. Does a character have a theme song? What images or feelings do you get, or how did that song particularly frame the story? I’d love to discuss it.
Here’s a link to the list on Spotify!
Trailokya Trilogy comes with some heavy information, but that shouldn’t stop the enjoyment of the narrative. As the text goes on, the places, terms and names become clear. One of the most interesting processes of creating this world was deciding on the structure of the universe and how that would interact. In science, such decisions will bind expectations. In other words, this actually limits the world created, because it is then bound by the laws of physics and other sciences set forth in the precepts of those spaces. No longer can things be whatever in the moment. Expectation is already defined, and failing to remain in that pattern creates the absurd.
Trailokya is the title of the book and also the term used to describe the interaction between three very specific planes in the order of the seven universes. These are the most familiar places in the books, having layers of their own places within. Maps of the three worlds will not be discussed here, as not to cause confusion. This is simply an introduction to what each universe is, and where it falls on the grid. You may picture them like a seven layer sandwich, or even like the coatings of a jawbreaker.
The originating layer of the Seven Planes, Nirvana is where the creators (Jñanasattva) come from. It equates to the highest level of being and that for which all life yearns, even if they’re set on a darker path. A passage between Nirvana and Zion, called the Perpetual Light, allows free traffic of those rising beyond the veil (barrier), and those returning, or beginning their journey. If there was a ‘God’ this is where he/she would exist, exiting when necessary via the Perpetual Light to interact with the children of Zion. What is there, what it looks like? That’s beyond comprehension of current conventional understanding. Many faiths and philosophies, as well as science fiction tales, have attempted to conjure an image. In the east, it probably looks like a golden and pink cloud filled heaven with happy Buddhas sharing in the glow of radiance all around them. Similarly, the west imagines a cloud-scape with toga wearing white guys bearing some pretty impressive beards. Either way, it’s where the Jñanasattva come from, and from where they’re creating the other layers and influencing events and lives. The King, who visits Metatron in the High Council Chamber on Mount Zion, is one of these entities, and the one charged with governance of the lesser atman (souls/beings/life forces).
The second realm, plane, kingdom or world is called Zion, after the Judeo-Christian term for Heaven. This is the home (accepted origination point) of all the beings who populate the other six realms outside of Nirvana. From the perpetual light, all atman who are not developed enough to remain in Nirvana fall to this plane to strengthen their energies and eventually rise – evolve into Jñanasattva. Zion reflects many of the concepts and order that is seen on Earth and other planets in Samsara (below). It’s the first layer of Trailokya, the tri-world. Here, duta regulate and oversee the ascendancy of atman. They’re guided by a king, as previously mentioned, who governs through the High Council on Mount Zion. Mount Zion is literally a mountain fortress built around the Perpetual Light. Here the highest officials and highest ascended beings reside. The highest of those serve on the High Council, deciding the fate of millions.
Layer number three is a strange realm, more strange the first. Avernus acts as a barrier between the remaining planes and those before it. Here, everything exists in a nothingscape of oneness. Physical objects, even bodies are undone, the matter scattered. Here, thought and the mind reign. If one is strong enough mentally, one can exist in this place between places without losing autonomy. It’s a virtually impossible task. Left there long enough, the self dissolves and becomes part of the collectiveness, and an atman becomes fundamentally irretrievable. Avernus could very well be the collective consciousness of which Carl Jung was so fond. Avernus should not be confused with Oblivion. Matter is not destroyed in this place.
The fourth realm is a land of theoretical possibility. Partly physical and mostly mental, the thoughts in the occupying being’s head influence the terrain. How is that there are gates, accessible in various points around Astral? Upon entering an Astral Gate, one encounters the fog. This soup acts like a hologram, echoing back interpreted ‘brain waves’. Astral is the place atman can go in dreams. It is not protected from the darker forces in the seven planes as it resides beyond the Avernus. A journey here can end badly. Voyagers are easily lost without a seasoned guide and can become the prey of entities using the space to hunt atman for food (lower resonance atman feed on other atman to temporarily improve their own resonance, but this simultaneously induces a karmic weight that binds them to lower realms and prevents rising. It’s similar to addicts who must have a fix, but are only harming their lives in the process). The most interesting point of Astral, is that it allows one to replay memory. However, this is used at the discretion of the seeker. Memories aren’t always as they seem.
The fifth plane exists quite low on the levels despite being the playground of almost every being in Zion. This is the training ground, the proving world. In Samsara, Atman take on physical form. Duta rarely inhabit this world since the Conflict of Hosts (a war between two factions which led to making the next level a prison in which to make them reflect upon their crimes). If a duta is here, they’ve usually lost their way for one reason or another and are sentenced to live out the equivalent of several lifetimes for reflection on their trespasses. The races that one usually encounters in Samsara (which is also the mid-plane of Trailokya) are: Aghartians, Cetians, Grails, Hyadeans, Ikyls, Oreiades, Nagas, Orions, Vetehinen, Drago, Els, Jinn, Boarwellum, Naiades, Aurai, Terrans (humans), and all other ‘souls’ both plant and animal which make up the lower resonance beings but are not of Jahannam. Samsara, is the plane in which you find Earth.
The Sixth realm is a sinister world which was remembered in the Koran as hell by the prophet. The definition is probably the best to describe Jahannam. This is a dark realm, quite removed from the light of the higher planes. Here, the Jñanasattva imprisoned the duta who committed crimes against the Samsaran souls, murder, rape, and the list goes on. Once charged with the oversight of the fifth plane, these beings became known as danava—the devils or Satan in Judeo-Christian lore. Ruled by princes, fallen Seraphim, this broken plane shelters the lowest of all atman. Here, an atman will be fed upon or do the feeding. Very few return from a sentence in this prison and it takes egregious crimes to be placed here.
The seventh plane is utter destruction. Where Nirvana is the source of creation, Oblivion is its mirror. Here all matter and lifeforce are destroyed. It is only accessible through true death. Danava are the only entities known to experience true death. They are at the weakest point of their existence, thus if the atman is struck by a duta wielding bale (the judgment of the Jñanasattva) it will be coursed to Oblivion. There is little known about Oblivion, whether it is a conduit back to Nirvana through ultimate sacrifice or the end of misfired atman in all its connotations. No one returns to tell the tale.
The whimsical faux travel posters were created using Canva.com, Pixabay and my own stock.
The photos below are from a 2007 trip to Boston, Massachusetts. It’s the first time I went on a whale watch. Being so far from land was quite disturbing. You’re reading the words of someone who didn’t want to swim in the pool after seeing Jaws. This was a great trip with a friend I’ve lost touch with since. I’m thankful for the images I have, there are more in my scraps gallery but the link above will show you the best of the trip.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ― Albert Einstein
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ― Nikola Tesla
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” ― Jane Austen
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass." — Maya Angelou
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.” ― Winston S. Churchill
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ― Anais Nin
“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” ― Nancy Rathburn
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” ― Nikola Tesla