Monday, February 13, 2012

The Spiritual Bent

"The opposite of faith is not doubt, it is certainty."  -Annie Lamott

Few characters come to mind when I look for examples of the kind of spiritual nature of the love interest character in my current novel Six. I welcomed the challenge of crafting a medical researcher who creates a biological agent that allows humans to access and alter their own perception of time but who also is a highly spiritual individual. At first glance, these two parts of her fundamental make-up seem mutually exclusive. How can a scientist--someone hard-wired to seek measurable outcomes and tangible results--have an overtly spiritual side that guides her choices?

In pop culture, two characters come to mind: Dana Scully (X-files) and John Locke (Lost). Both of them resonated on a far more spiritually-based plane than those around them. While Scully struggled to find meaning in everything and was forever questioning the status quo of her past faith and her role in her world, Locke had an unceasing faith in his destiny on--and off--the island and never lost sight of the big Kahuna (they were in Hawaii...geez) picture. They had both seen too much not to question everything they thought to be true.

Is it necessary to draw a clear line between religion and spirituality with these characters? Perhaps. The lines between the two blur for all of us at times. I suppose that is the allure of this character for me. We're all trying so hard to orchestrate the notes of our lives that we forget that the real point of it all is symphony we create together.

I think there's a strong connection between what we perceive as time travel and the bigger picture we have yet to understand. People who have near-death experiences say that not only do moments of their life "flash" before them, but they feel as if they are there, witnessing and living every memory all over again in the span of mere minutes, even seconds. Time is fluid and folded on itself and more complex that we'll ever understand in our lifetimes. For now, we'll leave it to the physics rappers and dancers of the world to sort out. Oh, and the fictional characters in my world.
What other characters in literature or cinema who have a spiritual bent?


Pamela Cayne said...

I *love* the Dana Scully character, especially with her struggles with faith (and how it tied in to or fought against science.) So amazingly crunchy! And if I weren't already excited enough about your new writing off the island of Romancelandia, hearing about your love interest character in Six (yes, *adore* that title and can really see it on a cover...) sealed the deal. Luck!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

I've been thinking about a time slip story of late. Not sure if I'll ever go with it but the ideas are fun

L.A. Mitchell said...

@Pam...crunchy is a great word to describe it...messy, too. Thanks for stopping by :) Hope your journey from call to release date is going smoothly.

@Charles...not your first rodeo with time slips, right? Go for it :)

dcrelief said...

This might be a reach, but Capt.Jack Sparrow of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" has a tool he uses. All he has to do is think of what it is he wants, as he holds the tool, and the tool tells the direction to find it in. His adherence to the "Pirate Code" is his spiritual bent, I think.
That's all.

L.A. Mitchell said...

@dc...I had never thought of Jack Sparrow in that way, but it's an interesting point. Thanks so much for stopping by :)