Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Audience

"So who do you think is going to read it?"

I get this question, this question about audience, frequently.   As the final iteration of my manuscript sits in Dropbox awaiting the review of my publisher, I confess that I ask myself that question too.  Here's this book exploring a new way of understanding our universe, and the implications for theology.  The Multiverse!  God!  The Many Worlds!

It feels so wildly impractical, a great hoohah gulliwumpus of a book, so big and floaty and removed from our day to day existence.  It's the stuff of academe, of abstracted philosophical discourse.

And yet it isn't, which is why I've written it as accessibly as I know how.  We are creatures of story, we human beings.  We have been made to understand ourselves in terms of narrative.  The tiny spark of our lives as we burn our way across space and time creates that sense of narrative, after all.  

We begin.  Things happen.  We end.  

And in that sense of our own story, we experience all of being as story.  But what does that story look like?

The way we conceptualize Creation makes a difference.  It does.  If we view the universe as one great cosmic struggle between Good and Evil, with us as the Good and those who disagree with us as Evil, that impacts how we treat others.   Lord have mercy, but does that impact how we treat others.  

If we view the universe as a void, empty of meaning, just a great cosmic nothing that serves no purpose, then that shapes our actions.  If we see ourselves as simply mindless cogs in an impossibly complex machine, then we will treat other beings with that in mind.

So a book about faith and the nature of reality?  I can see the reason to read such a book.  If I hadn't written it, I'd want to read it.

And I do have a spiel, when asked that question.  People of faith who appreciate the insights of science, I say.  Spiritual seekers who want to understand their place in the universe, I say.  Folks who thrived on those late-night dorm room conversations that stretched their minds, I say.  I think those folks are out there.

But honestly?  I have no idea.  I'm going to have to wait and see.

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