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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 328 Response

“Open to the Sky”

[Challenge 328 #6] In Mark J. Kiewlak’s “Open to the Sky,” Brian seems to create things out of nothing. Is his talent to be taken literally or is it an allegory?

All of my “Sethian-based” stories are meant to be taken both literally and as allegory.

At the heart of every science is the magic of human creativity. The world’s leading scientists understand as much about gravity as does a child bouncing giddily upon a mattress. If you ask “why?” enough times, you always find underneath a miracle. Human understanding can only penetrate so far into the mysteries of the cosmos; the rest is personal choice.

I choose, as do the others who subscribe to the philosophy of Jane Roberts’ Seth books, to believe that we all create our own reality, that we are at once the authors of every aspect of our lives on Earth and at the same time ourselves aspects of a greater self.

We live the allegories and to my mind, considering the state of the world, take them much too seriously to our detriment. Better to let the magic take its course and not be afraid of our own abilities.

Mark Joseph Kiewlak

Copyright © 2009 by Mark Joseph Kiewlak

Thank you for the reply, Mark J. It arrived in April, when I was traveling for two weeks, and I still haven’t completely dug out from under the e-mail that arrived at the time. Sorry about that; I’d just love to have a secretary!

Nonetheless, it’s a firm and long-standing policy of ours that anything in Bewildering Stories is open to discussion. And that includes all 343 issues to date, and the special issues as well.

“We all create our own reality” opens the floodgates to debate on philosophy and ethics. Following what you say about your source of inspiration, one can ask, for example: Is Jane Roberts’ philosophy a form of solipsism? If so, how can it be accessible to anyone else? And as for the implied ethics: What if our reality happens to be horrible for reasons beyond our control? We can’t be held responsible for it.

If the answer is “No, neither Jane Roberts nor ‘Beyond the Sky’ intends to ‘blame the victim’,” then does it not follow that her philosophy is not solipsistic and that our reality pre-exists us and has its origin outside of ourselves?

Jean-Paul Sartre also talks about the creation of reality, but he seems to take the opposite viewpoint. Physics and metaphysics didn’t really interest him. In his famous “Existence Precedes Essence,” he states that individuals can be defined only historically, i.e. after they’re dead, and then only by intentionality, namely the sum total of the moral choices they make in their lifetimes.

As a side note, we might ask the existentialist philosopher how anyone — including oneself — can possibly know all that. At its best, religion defers to God by leaving any such definitions to a Last Judgment. Now what would the cousin of Albert Schweitzer have said about that?

Anyway, if I recall rightly, “Open to the Sky” raised the question in the Review Editors’ discussion whether the story transgressed our guideline against stories that end “But it was all a dream.” I think the consensus was that one could argue yes or no with equal validity.

Don Webb
Managing Editor
Bewildering Stories

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