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After mulling over the idea quietly for a long while, I've decided to write a story that has the fallen angel, Lucifer, as an antagonist where various Baha'i teachings are cast allegorically. After all, if...

  • CS Lewis can use magic wardrobes, talking lions, and evil witches as allegorical vehicles to convey Christian teachings,
  • Stephanie Meyer can use vampires and werewolves in situations of complete fantasy to allegorically teach about Mormon values,
  • Milton can write a whole book about Lucifer's expulsion from Heaven and the Fall of Man in Paradise Lost, and
  • Islam and Sufi can recast the nature of Lucifer's pride from wanting to be better than God to loving God so much that he couldn't bring himself to prostrate before humanity...
...then it seems reasonable that I can use Lucifer as a fictional antagonist. The irony of course is that Baha'is don't believe in the types of good/evil dualities in Christianity or Zoroasterianism. There isn't an army of demons and there isn't a personification of evil trying to screw up the human race to spite God. The best Baha'i summary on Satan I've read on the Internet can be found here.

So what would my writing be? Fiction! That's it. Just plain fiction. There's nothing about my writing to which I can claim any new fact or canonical interpretation that is either scientific or metaphysical. Like a sand mandala, this story is an expressive endeavor that is spiritual in nature, intended to be shared with others, but eventually to be deconstructed such that its purpose, from a religious or spiritual standpoint, is no more. I really mean that - anybody, Baha'i or otherwise, that would take my writing farther by ascribing hidden subtext, official interpretation, dissident motives, or new revelation is taking my writing out of context.

The story is supposed to be a form of philosophical entertainment, a kind of spiritual junk-food, if you will. Glut yourself on junk food and you'll feel ill. Every now and then a sweet is fine, if you recognize it for what it is. I feel the need to write such a statement because people have a bad habit of ignoring context. If you want something to read that tells you how to live your life, go read some sacred religious texts.

Will I be taking liberties with theological or metaphysical constructs? Will I be entertaining ideas that might be considered blasphemous or heresy? At times, will it seem like I am seeding doubt about religion and faith? The answer is probably. If you don't read the whole story, then you could easily come away that impression.

An important theme of how I intend to write this story will not be its packaging of concepts like Heaven and Hell, sin and redemption, orthodoxy and heresy, submission and disobedience, life and afterlife, or even God and Satan. If there's anything to pay attention to, it will be how the protagonist deals with the existence that he is thrust into and how he struggles to reconcile what he experiences now with what he has believed or understood of his past.

I already know in my head how I plan to structure the story. My brain has hatched the beginning, middle, and ending already. I just need to write it. I plan to write it episodically, organically if you will. This represents an interesting challenge, as I don't want to retcon the plot or rewrite prior chapters. In some sense, writing the story in this way will be inasmuch as journey for me as it will be for my fictional protagonist. Ultimately the story may simply be a catharsis for my need to express myself religiously and spiritually in a different way.