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What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
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So far, I haven’t done much weird stuff. I’ve studied Sun Tzu, read history, watched a lot of film. Is marketing weird and crazy? Probably is. I mean it’s so fleeting to understand the market at any one time, and the people who determine what will rise to the top. Tastes change like the weather.
Writing my series, I did take from actual dreams I’ve had throughout my entire lifetime. Books on esoteric subjects were invaluable. Then, I also looked into accepted ideas of which species of alien were out there. But, the thing that sticks out most in my mind, because it still leaves me a bit chilled, was studying demons. Writing authentically about long established beings, real or not, was important to the narrative. Not just any demons or angels would do. Far too many people think they know the topic, but their limitations land on Azrael, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Metatron, Lucifer, and the like. There is an entire dictionary that has gathered all of the names of the infernal host known to humanity. A demonologist uses these texts to identify malevolent entities. To this day, people still believe they are as real as you and I. The lore, however, is the point and M. Ballanger does a fabulous job of creating an alpha listed quick and dirty write up.
Many of these figures are recycled deities from cultures that Christianity wished to stamp out, thus called them evil and demonized their esoterica and theology. I won’t argue the validity of that, especially as what was done was imperialistic and white supremacist in 99% of the cases (they did this in Europe, too, so there’s the 1% that waivers). One of the most potent bits of information I digested was: would you know the difference between an angel or demon if you were on the opposite end of their wrath? Almost all humans would not, either because of their own ego or definitely due to ignorance about them. But did I need to become a demonologist to write my series?
When I got my books on the topic, I was put off. I will admit it. I was raised Christian, even baptized, but I had parted ways with the church sometime ago over differences (my gender, it’s use in slavery, and so on). I also knew that I did not need a priest or building in which to commune. Dude is always there, and I feel it in my compassion and gentleness, I feel it in my frustration and anger, too. So, there is this remaining reluctance to engage the enemy, in any way, even as a would-be demonologist. Would reading any word about them cause something? The scientific me scoffed. But, what if…
Anyway…flipping through this text was super helpful in finding details that I would incorporate into the work. Regardless of my reticence, it was useful and will continue to be useful. The point is to call on the ancient texts of humanity and bridge their gaps to create a complete picture of something more tangible and fully realized. A world beyond our, parted by a multiverse but emanated from the source.
Some of the texts I reviewed, such as one on how to waken your psychic abilities, and topics on souls, were a bridge too far for my scientific mind. I may believe in something beyond this universe, but I couldn’t go down this route with the others. It felt fake and fantastical. They seemed to be play acting like children do. Yet, they were deadly serious. I respect their right to believe, but I could not come to agreement, just as I didn’t feel that much of what is believed about demons and ancient deities is true. Any demonologist may have bias, based in their theology and culture, which ignore the origins of some of the named entities.
For instance, I don’t think Stonehenge is more than a frame for a round hut in which stone age peoples met, perhaps kept market. The market angel makes sense because of the solstice angle. Astronomy was used for planting back in the day. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe it was a temple (seriously doubt this). Markets were major hubs and very important to all cultures throughout history.
Studying bizarre topics is still fun and interesting. You learn a lot about humanity when you go off the beaten path. I’m glad that there are those willing to share their beliefs, and that they are safe to do so with the world. Freedom of knowledge needs to remain paramount to all societies, as it promotes respect and cooperation, thus creating peace. You can’t make up who someone is. You need to let them tell you by their own actions and words.
In the end, I don’t need to be a demonologist to write my series, although it’s teaching me a great deal in that vein. No worries, though. I won’t be calling myself Van Helsing any time soon.
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