of the most fascinating elements of reading a fairy tale or a science
fiction is the willing acceptance of a magical world where serene
angels alight with outstretched wings, birds and animals converse
fluently, and uncommon things happen quite commonly. We know the
actions are unbelievable, yet we love to believe and accept them
as real, and therein lies the success of such works.
We are to a great
extent able to unravel the mysteries around us and apply scientific
reasoning to known natural phenomena. Yet we are still persistently
drawn the unexplained and the unknown.
to offer meaning to the shady areas left untouched by science. However,
science refuses to accept any truth that cannot be verified through
experimentation and logical reasoning.
While reading Divine
, one quickly finds that Ward Kelley is not attempting
to craft yet another science fiction. In spite of meticulous descriptions
of battles involving Star Wars
weapons, he book
refuses to be contained by a category. Mr. Kelley raises interesting
questions about the existence, the role, and the rules of God. "There
may only be a small number of laws," Stephen Hawking observes
in his book Black Holes and Baby Universes
, "which are
self-consistent and which lead to complicated beings like ourselves,
who can ask the question: what is the nature of God?"
In the opening pages
of Divine Murder
, Warren and Zoe find the Atlantic Ocean
disappearing in front of their eyes. Like Alice stepped into the
wonderland, they are sucked inside the water world by a door that
leads to crimson light and a world of weirdness. After a brief survey,
the couple discovers a miraculous table that instantly supplies
whatever they wishbe it a Colonel Sanders chicken, a
bowl of broccoli soup or Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged
Amusing themselves with the unearthly comforts, Warren and Zoe encounter
an enchanting pair, Ahriman and Belial, also known as the "Originals".
Eventually they begin to understand that the Originals have a "Plan"
to eliminate the "First".
The story here skillfully
moves from the sci-fi track to one of compelling religious speculations.
The task of Zoe is to fulfill the destiny of the human race by bringing
the FirstGodto finality.
Evil appeals with
valid reasons. Belial wins Zoes confidence through
logic. We are reminded of Miltons Paradise Lost
the serpent cleverly induces Eve to consume the forbidden fruit
of knowledge. As in Paradise
, Zoe accepts the challenge.
She approaches God with determination and finds "his essence
waving over her, his spirit beaming through her body". What
does God look like? Mr. Kelleys incarnation of the Creator
is "a perfect being of pure light...a pure being whose light
was perfect". In meeting God, Zoe accomplishes what noble saints,
devout disciples and mystics have been unable to achieve.
The book emphasizes
the power of universal love. Why does God love human beings, the
imperfect ones? Mr. Kelley offers that they are "the only beings,
besides himself [God], to suffer. And so this was true, they were
like him in their capacity to suffer. No other being held this likeness,
no other beings could suffer, except the First and the Imperfect
ones.And thus, he loved them greatly, so distinctive from a universe
of accorded beings".
In Divine Murder
the author offers ample examples of fresh thinking about some of
religions fundamental concepts. Mr. Kelleys concerns
about the alluring nature of evil and the limitations of science
can be favorably compared with those of physicist Stephen Hawking:
"Science cannot predict the future of human society or even
if it has any future. The danger is that our power to damage or
destroy the environment or one another is increasing much more rapidly
than our wisdom in using this power".
Mr. Kelley poetics
make recurrent appearances. The chapters carry such alluring titles
as dancing fireflies of mortality, the eggshell
of her memory, where hearts are held aloft, and
dancing cells and shifting skin. Mr. Kelley draws references
from topics as diverse as Zoroastrianism and the Bible. The book
vacillates between earth and non-earth, human beings and non-human
beings, good and evil, God and Satan, reality and illusion. Divine
deserves praise for two major achievements: vivid imagination
and the expression of what is, for most of us, unthinkable. An immensely