Cults, other worlds, novellas

Some thoughts

  • In a way, cults, utopian societies, etc, are trying to take secondary worlds and make them real. Scientology more so than anything else, since it was created by a science fiction writer, and the cult reads like an sf-novel turned reality.
  • I remember Burroughs saying something like that, after he left Scientology. That he was amazed someone had created something like that, something that became a whole other universe, a whole other world, an entity in itself that everyone believes in
  • It becomes reality to those inside of it. It makes me think of M. John Harrison’s The Course of the Heart, or maybe his short story One Man’s Journey to Viriconium– the idea of yearning to other worlds, other worlds encroaching onto this one
  • The human mind is showing to be such an interesting creature these days- it literally creates a mirror world inside of our head to what we experience on the day to day. In this way, it’s another universe inside of us, constructed out of what we experience, and it can draw on this experience and fake new experiences. And do it in such a way that our mind believes it is real
  • It’s why fiction can consume us so well, we become immersed in the text because our mind creates a reflection of it, it creates a reality of it, it thinks it is actually happening
  • It’s easy to see how cult can bring people on, have them believe this is their reality, no matter how off the wall and unreal it sounds. The mind can fill in the blanks, it can create the reality of it internally
  • And that then becomes an emotional reality, an internal reality, it becomes something inside of us that is as real as the world outside of us
  • Side note: I’m addicted to novellas these days. I can’t stop reading them. They seem to be the perfect length of what I want to read. Takes as long to read one as it does to watch a long television show or a short movie. And the length is very satisfying

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