THE LINE BETWEEN FACT & FICTION

tantra

Since the release of INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS, there have been some questions concerning what’s real and not real in the book. From the perspective of this being a book whose main theme concerns defining that very line, it’s a somewhat amusing question. I concern myself with it because I’ve heard some people dismiss the book as fantasy. But that’s not the whole story.

The book is set in the magical Himalayas surrounded by a rich cultural tradition. In such a place, my job as author was relatively easy. I chose concepts and ideas already present there to create a story around an American teenager. I made up very little.

Now as to the facts.

1. Locations- The map at the beginning of the book accurately depicts the placement of real locations Blake would visit along his route, had Blake actually gone there. But the careful reader will notice that about half way through the book, Blake continues his journey, but the map stops. This is because Blake has left the material reality of our world. An alternate reality opens up for him to fully experience the magic and potential for enlightenment.

2. Mallory& Irvine- The story of these climbers disappearing into legend while on the Third Step is true. The camera Mallory carried that day is still missing. We don’t know (for sure) who summited Everest first, although Hillary is officially credited with it.

3. Yetis- These animals/beings remain a mystery. Sherpa culture recognizes different kinds of yetis. I took great liberty with the Tantric yidam concept.

4. Baian-Kara-Ula Mountains- There are legends of star people and an origination story. As late as the 1950s, stories of the Chinese gathering evidence in the region exist.

5. Chakra points- There are many different systems. Tibetans usually depict 5 while Indian schools generally have 7. Research by Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama revealed the heart chakra produced measurable physical light.

6. Singing Bowls- Are used for healing.

7. Lung-gom-pa/Tumo/Yidam- Are Tantric practices.

8. Birds- The sneaky placement of rare birds in the region was my invention and homage to HH. The 16th Karmapa, who loved birds.

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25 Comments

Filed under Books, Spiritual/Mysticism, Story behind ITLS

25 responses to “THE LINE BETWEEN FACT & FICTION

  1. Fact and Fiction.
    Fact is the known; Fiction, the unknown.
    One is held within the collective ring-pass-not of all past experience;
    It limits.
    The other, embraces vision and beckons that which lies beyond;
    It transforms.

  2. You made me curious on that book, we need to get it now, thank’s :)

  3. This book sound great. I need to add it to my already very long list ;) Thank you for checking out my blog.

  4. Jolly good post. I remember reading a collection of short stories years ago called ‘Factions’. I think the title was trying to suggest that facts and fictions are pretty much the same, at least fundamentally. None of us can make anything up out of nothing; it all comes from somewhere, whether you call the product ‘fact’ or ‘fiction’ or both.

  5. I guess you could call it historical fiction.

  6. Ellis, I can see why you find the question amusing! It sort of misses the point, doesn’t it? There are physical journeys and there are inner journeys, and the two are profoundly connected. As for the sky burials, I find that not so different from burning bodies, or in the case of some Native Americans, building little “houses” for bodies. In either case, the body is returning to nature, or as I like to think of it, the atoms from which it came. I personally am not that spiritual (which is kind of an understatement), but neither am I quite that concrete.

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  8. I love this article, since it’s a question I often get asked myself. As is partly true in your case, the world of the Jaspa’s Journey books (www.jaspasjourney.com) is the real one – down to the number of steps the characters have to climb to a particular building, or the colour of the carpet on a plane. The laws of physics must be obeyed (there’s no magic). But the Ses – the main characters in the stories (including myself) – are constructs of Rich Meyrick’s imagination.

  9. I have your book on my ‘to-read’ list. I love the idea of exploring factual concepts in fiction. It is in fiction that we can often get closer to the truth (which is not the same thing as fact) because the mind is freed from certain restrictions. Besides, look at what is considered ‘newsworthy’ these days – the newscasts should stick to the realm of fact.

    • There’s a book called Writers of the Impossible that explores the idea that fiction has the ability to reveal profound truth and certain writers have done this through the ages. Fascinating stuff!

      • Fact Vs Fiction. I see Fact as the present ring-pass-not of past experience – tested and collectively imbibed by humanity. Fiction, on the other hand, is a visionary harbinger of future possibility. I agree with the suggestion offered above.
        Can you suggest where I might purchase the book: Writers of the Impossible. I could not find it at Amazon.

      • 3/20/13- The corrected book title is “Authors of the Impossible” by Jeffrey Kripal.

  10. It doesn’t matter to me whether this book has things that are either facts or fiction. I like this book and like every content that is written.

  11. I started reading “Into the Land of the Snows” today on my kindle…I’m thoroughly enjoying it…. it’s very special!

  12. Your book sounds very interesting.
    Congratulations!
    By the way: Thank you for stopping by and liking my blog.
    Warm regards,
    LB

  13. I loved the whole book. It rang very true, and evokes the thrill of disappearing off the map into the Himalayas … and the strata of awakening; the meeting point of two worlds in the teenager. I was very moved by the “air burial” scene.

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