Tag Archives: creating energy

Living in the Ether

There’s nothing new under the sun.

We have the ability to create some beautiful things to be sure, the compositions might change, the form might differ, but the elements and building blocks are the same.

There will only, always be twenty six letters in the English alphabet.  There will only, always be four letters to our DNA code.  There will only, always be eight notes to an octave.

We can combine the letters to make an almost infinite variation of words.  Nature combines DNA to make an almost infinite variation of plants and animals.  We use eight simple notes to create an almost infinite variation of music.  But no matter the creation, they all share the same elements and foundations.  Such is the life that lives within the ether.

I noticed this concept in a serendipitous yet pivotal moment in my life.  Having spent over a decade in church, self-righteously cut off from any worldly music and culture, I was unaware of what was going on in Seattle and the whole grunge rock movement.  When I broke out of that small world and began to explore the things I missed, I was struck at the similarities between some things ‘in church’ and ‘out of church’.   Nowhere was this more apparent than in music, and I suspect the ether is to blame for it.

I know music: more than most, perhaps not as much as some.  I sang in my high school a-capella chamber choir, I sang in college, learned to play the guitar, and spent my enlistment in church as a member of the worship team.

When I stepped out the the sacred and into the secular, I found myself listening to stuff that was similar to what I was hearing and singing in church.  The lyrics were obviously different, but in the music one could hear the same sense of soul calling unto some deep where an epiphany might provide a glimpse of hope or a new direction.  I could picture the musicians, aiming for a different satisfaction, yet using the same tools and expressing the same sentiments. I learned that it didn’t matter whether I was listening to ‘God-approved’ music or not, the chords and words still inspired greatly, still gave me a sense of peace among the life storms of anxiety, still drew from the same ether, still contained the same rhythm.

Science voices its support for an ethereal commonality with ideas like Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’ and  Sheldrake’s ‘morphic resonance’. It makes perfect sense really, we all pull from the same components that are available to the universe in which we reside, we cannot help but see commonalities within our expressions no matter how ‘varied’ we try to make that expression.

Yet:  we are individually unique in many ways so that anything we filter from the ether and put in tangible form is going to be wholly consigned to our individual existence.   There may be only a few plot lines with which a writer can work, but each writer will tell you that their own blood, sweat, anxiety, and soul go into any creation, thus giving the world a new perspective, a new challenge to think. Hopefully, we make ourselves better in the process.

It’s no coincidence that so and so’s song sounds eerily similar to such and such’s songs.   It’s no strange twist of fate that keeps producing the same love story over and over again no matter how many writers tell the story.  It’s no act of chance that architecture repeats itself the world over.   We all draw from the same components available to us in the ether.

There is nothing new under the sun, but there is our individual contribution.










The Importance of Conflict: How Tension Shapes Our World

I am in the middle of writing a book about a friendship and came upon an epiphany:  I cannot write the story unless I include conflict, within the characters’ own conscience and between the two characters themselves.   Without conflict, I realized, we never learn the measure of ourselves or one another.  Furthermore, without conflict we cannot create – nor can energy be created.

First and foremost creating a story without conflict would be boring:  ‘Sam and Frodo set out on an adventure and they made it to Mordor without any mishaps, troubles, or quarrels.’  OR  ‘Sam and Frodo set out on an adventure, but their bond was nearly shattered by Gollum and the burden of The Ring.’  Which provides the richer content to work with? Which scenario allows us a peek into the universal human condition of the struggle between good and evil?  Secondly, we owe it to our readers to provide a roller coaster ride of emotion as we couch some conflict within finely tuned sentences and long phrases of detail.  It is after all, the very thing that keeps them turning pages.  Finally, the greatest challenge we face as writers is to resolve a story and resolve it correctly.  Without any tension to resolve, there is no reason to write.

Enter conflict.   Welcome tension.  Make yourself at home dissonance.

As I began to explore the different causes that might induce tension into the relationship I am creating, I became aware that our entire existence, really, is comprised entirely of tension and conflict.   I also noticed that much of the time the dynamics involved in whatever conflict one might examine produces some astounding sources of energy.

As far as relationships are concerned, I find that as I mold the two characters in my story, their inner conflicts as well as their outer conflicts literally end up dictating the path of the narrative.   I have to create them in such a way to bring balance to the overall storyline, which means they must be somewhat opposites in order for balance to occur.  Hence, the way I create the book depends on the conflicts I use with my characters, the tension within their relationship and the dissonance they feel towards their outside circumstances.  These are the blueprints to my story, the rest is decorating, finding the right colors, and getting the right ambiance.

There are other kinds of tension that produce energy.  As I sit outside to write, a pleasant breeze flows through the patio.  I am reminded that wind is caused by the meeting of a Low Pressure and a High Pressure weather system coming together and the air moves in an effort to create a balance between the two.  Where there is great disparity between the systems, huge storms can occur.  The conflict of air movement between pressure systems allows us to harness the energy in places where wind is produced steadily and regularly, we light our homes and streets with it.

Our sun provides light and warmth to us primarily because it is one big bright ball of elemental conflict. The nuclear reaction at the core of our star pushes energy out while the weight of the star creates a vast amount of gravity that pushes inward.  Once the core runs out of hydrogen gravity takes over, the conflict is resolved, and the star dies.  For the billions of years this delicate balance of ongoing energy conflict occurs however, we are provided a thriving life on this small rock.

How about if we break things down to some of the smallest particles we know?  Remember our basic chemistry class wherein we learned how the water molecule was formed?  Two hydrogens attach to one oxygen because of the number of positive and negative protons and electrons each possesses, which allows them to come into perfect balance. They are opposites and in this case the conflict resolves itself by creating a balance, as well as the substance most crucial to our existence.

Without conflict or tension there simply cannot be ….. life.  Conflict is never easy and for the most part I would be willing to bet that, given the choice between fight or flight, the latter would nearly always be our preference.   But as writing, and life, have taught me, dealing with the conflict and resolving it not only strengthens our relationships, it provides us with infinite energy as well.

Peace Kids!