This is my second post for the day even though its now after midnight here in Singapore. But like the city of Angels, the Net never sleeps so I should get my post in before I hit the sack and it vanishes like a dream in the night.
The thing that spurred me to post is how people can become obsessed with dogma and it colours their entire perception. Then again, perceptual versus visual has been the subject of heated debates over the centuries and the 21st is no exception. No, what got me hot under the collar is Ian Irvine's excellent opener to his tetralogy "The Well of Echoes" and its entitled "Geomancer".
Now why would I be getting so het up if, by my own admission the book is "excellent". I'm an avowed fan of Sci-Fi/Fantasy and this is the sort of book that really gets my juices going. Sci-Fi and Fantasy are excellent tools for extending the imagination. I certainly don't believe in geomancy (fung-shui) and being Christian do not want anything to have to do with it!
My mistake was bringing it to Music Practice at Church, hoping to finish the book whilst on the bus, and leaving it on the console counter. A Pastor, who happens also to be my boss at work and the wife of the Senior Pastor saw the dust jacket and all hell broke loose. Never mind that its science fiction, that it deals with a war and machines powered by mined quartz crystals, etc. She pounced on the title and loudly denounced geomancy the art, fung-shui that is. Somehow, demonic possession and what have you all got thrown into the melting pot and the result stank to high heaven, to say the least. She forced an article on me about the perils of fung-shui practitioners (and God only knows where she got that!) which was so skewed it was laughable, but decided against lecturing me, or counselling in her parlance, after she saw my face.
In retrospect, I begin to find the entire incident hilarious. The poor beknighted Sassenach cannot distinguish fact from fiction. To her, to even read a book entitled Geomancer is to imperil your soul! Alas, what would happen if she learnt that I also play "Dungeons & Dragons", have played it for the last 20 years, am a Dungeon Master and are there any of the demonic manifestations said to evidence such a player's life? I don't think so. Well not in me anyway although she may argue otherwise. In situations like this, When the boss is wrong, apply rule 1.
So, dogma nothwithstanding, I'm left with a piqued curiosity - where does perception start and visual end for her? Is her life an entire merry-go-round of "you done/read/said [whatever] and now you're condemned to hell!". That being the case, the lake of brimstone and fire had better be large enough! The peculiar thing is that she's as human as the rest of us. Hypocrisy ranks very close after the 7 Deadly Sins. Enough said.
Mind you, I'm not letting this incident rattle me. I'd be a fool if I did, and the enemy would have won. I can't/won't despise either, for it doesn't fall into the "despicable" category. So I will pity instead. Pity that a Pastor, a leader of the church in spiritual authority can, like the common man, go askew but can't/won't admit it. I should remember too that a knife in itself is neither good nor bad. It is the wielder of the knife that imparts the associated morals.