Experienced creators know that they are not fully in control of their creations. The general consensus I hear from novelists is that their characters are real, and the writer’s job is to tell a true story, in which the characters act consistently with their own personalities.
I know something about this from the work of writing songs. My best work has directed me in its own making – drawing me forward to the place where it already exists (David Wilcox talked like this at a house concert I attended once, and I knew precisely what he meant . . . uh, more or less).
As I was falling asleep the other night, I dreamily wondered if I am a character in the story that is the cosmos in which I exist; and if whatever we call God is the creator of this story.
Ideas are the center of reality, says Jim Holt in Radiolab’s recent podcast “Solid as a Rock.” My romantic religious heart swells to this notion.
In my little mind, art and science and religion gracefully fuse in the postulation of string theory – a place where multiple dimensions, even multiple universes, are accepted as highly plausible. I envision a universe where the Doctor really is flying around in his TARDIS, simply because people from my universe have created him. And of course I speculate about the artists who have created my world. Am I a character in another universe’s movie?
Don’t fret about my addled brain. I’m currently reading Lee Smolin’s book The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next. I’ve only just begun Smolin’s book, but it promises to be a push-back against the academic community’s enthusiasm over string theory. Perhaps he will bring balance to the force.
(Although it is sad to think that there may not actually be any Skywalkers out there, anywhere . . .)