I actually found the recent plot developments in Slightly Damned to be interesting, which sparked a dangerous venture into TVTropes last night. Fortunately, it was a bit too late for me to get caught, but I did catch a gem. I thoroughly enjoy all of the above activities, but I'm actually here to talk about what I stumbled upon: the link to TheSacredDarkness, a TVTropes article I had never before read, and I was...well, strangely at ease when reading it.
It actually resonates quite a bit with my beliefs, as do many of the examples. After all...when you think about it, what is darkness if not the absence of light? Or in a more broad somewhat-scientific sense, lack of matter? Which, when you think about how big the universe is, makes a lot of sense to see how much it is a part of our lives. There's so many things that I want to comment on, so I'm not sure where I'll even begin. Needless to say, this is going to be one HECK of a ramble.
I think I'll start with a thought I had last night just before going to bed. It was more or less a confrontation between a hero and a villain. The villain was basically insisting that nobody is special in the world. The hero's response was, more or less, "No. In this world, everyone is special. Only a cynical fool would think that by having everyone be special, nobody would be. Life is valuable. Life is *precious*. Everyone is important, unique, different, and to be cherished. What is that if not special? YES, there may be some people who are more special. There is always someone stronger, always someone better, than you are...but that is no reason to lay down and die. That is no reason to give up on life. We are all so different. We all have a purpose, even if to a cynic that purpose seems to be simply helping others succeed. But I'd be more than happy with that."
That ties in fairly well with quite a few concepts in darkness, those being the balance inherent in it and the peace, the calmness it can bring, in which by existing, everyone can find themselves valuable in some way, however remotely it may be. This also goes into my belief of the dual nature of all things, and why 2 is one of my favorite two numbers: you cannot have life without death, you cannot have good without evil, you cannot have happiness without sadness, you cannot be calm without stress, and, yes, you cannot have light without darkness. Everything needs a balance, and they exist in us all. This is not a bad thing. It is the way our universe works, and it is a beautiful thing, because it is a cycle. I can talk about each of those and so many more on why it's important to have both, but I think you can easily imagine why for a few.
That's not to say that they're equally as strong forces in order to be balanced--I, for one, believe in the inner goodness of humanity idealistic as that may be (RosseuWasRight), even though we all have evil within us as well. Living an entirely pure life is impossible, but for the most part, the majority of us do our best to live "good" lives.
Basically, "darkness" is a force of the world, a piece of it that we all need. A lot of my stories feature either darkness or death, and yet, when portrayed, they're shown in positive light. (Ha.) Now, I don't know what comes after life. Could be nothing. Could be reincarnation. Could be as a ghost. Could be an afterlife. I figure it's just something worth worrying about, though for obvious reasons, I always maintain hope that my existence does not cease entirely upon my demise, that in some way, I will continue to live on. Yet when death comes, I will not be terrified. I will be happy to have lived the life I have, and known that it's been a full life no matter how many years I've lived. I may go, and there may not even be anything there after I do...but while I've fought to live, and will continue to fight to live my entire life, in that moment, I will have peace. (In large part because death reminds us of life.)
Darkness I frequently have as an element in works of mine that feature elements. (I was raised on AdventureQuest, so I got Fire/Ice/Water/Energy/Earth/Wind/Light/Darkness as a "standard 8", though I sometimes add in others, like making "void" separate from darkness, subdividing Earth into "metal", "nature", and "rock", and adding in "human"/"blood"/"spirit"/"aether" on occasion, too.) Never is it an evil element. Heck, most of the times, it's not even used by the villains; it's just a not-often-used element in the world, because it's something that's there, that's present, and some use, but while aspects of it become important, it rarely is shown as anything other than neutral or positive.
Even the darker things associated with darkness I generally portray positively, such as, say, necromancy. It depends on the setting, but in many settings, the necromancy isn't a perversion of life, nor an insult to death, nor even an avatar of it. In those stories, necromancy is mostly neutral: it's something that can be done, but the cycle of life isn't disturbed. UnlifeAlwaysEnds, after all, and necromancy done properly doesn't cause pain to the risen. (Only necromancy done improperly causes that.) It's a tool, a tool often misused, but one which when used properly can serve to be beneficial, helping to, for instance, cultivate a dieing land so that said dieing land can have some life given back to it, restarting the cycle.
I love the darkness, where once I feared it. I've gone over this before, too. The night sky, in particular, is absolutely GORGEOUS. All the points about resting and recovery with darkness are true, too. Not only scientifically, but spiritually. What is death but eternal sleep? Our thoughts of the day slip away, refreshing us for the next. Every moment of thought should be cherished. And it can be fun to explore, too. There ARE fun things to do in the dark, and there's plenty of great adventures awaiting me in sleep. It's so peaceful. A release from the world, for however brief a time. It can offer shelter, too. I find it can be rather serene to sit in the silence of the night, when I'm the only one awake, and just be left to think. It's really empowering, but not in the sense of being drunk on the dark side. It's empowering because it gives you that appreciation, that respect, for all aspects of life.
This doesn't even begin to go into the other stuff. But I'm kinda having a writer's block about them. Let me put it this way, though; darkness is only a small part of the world. There's so much more. The other elements, the things that go beyond the elements. Like, well, this is something I've only touched on in this blog before, but my belief in God, and how it's basically tied to Destiny. That guiding hand, ever-present, everywhere. That includes in the void, in the emptiness, where there is only space. I really wish the words were forming rather than, frustratingly, not being coherent. My mind's racing with all this stuff I want to talk about, about how awesome the world is, about how much good there is, about how balanced it is, how much it changes and shifts from different people and in different times, how much love there is in the world, how much we are lucky to have such a wonderful life...but the words explaining my beliefs aren't there.
If someone were to compile every word I ever wrote on the positive forces in the world, I hold absolutely no doubt that I'd basically be able to form my own religion, 'cause in a way, I have: my beliefs, tying science and various different religions together with my own unique spin, are very largely my own, even if they have resemblances to several different religions, everything from Wicca beliefs (I had a CF friend who practiced it, so I learned quite a bit about it), neopagans (at least two CF friends helping me there), a CF friend who practices astral projection, a couple of religions I forget the name and origins of, and of course elements from the big ones, Islam, Christianity, and such. It's very complex stuff. It's very hard for me to properly verbalize it. Heck, I think I've even used songs to convey aspects of this 'religion', since interpreting songs is in a way a bit like interpreting religion, in that they mean what you want them to mean.
And my own beliefs, some day, I really want to be fully available. I feel like if nothing else, they're interesting. (Like I said, I'm the type of person who tied the Greek Elements together to the Forces of the Universe. Electromagnetism, Gravity, and Strong/Weak forces lined up nicely with I think it was Water, Earth, Fire, and Wind though I think the order may be off. In both, I called there being a fifth element. In Greek, aether was basically everything else, perfection, the sky. In my world, it represents how we don't have a perfect scientific explanation of the world. There are some areas of more advanced science where we take "educated guesses": admittedly good ones that give us info, but fail to be actual PROOF. There's a gap in our theories that we haven't quite yet been able to fill. And that gap, I call essentially the fifth force: the 'rest' of the world, the perfect explanation we don't yet have, the answer for the universe.)
Which is why it's highly disappointing that what I meant to be a ramble covering them all only has managed to cover a small fraction of them. There's just...so much I want to say, but the words are stuck in my head.