Exploring the importance of truth with the Purple Hyacinth

Well, I have big news: I finally upgraded my blog to a paid plan. Woohoo!

I now have my own domain, so it’s more like a website now. As far as I know, this just means higher search priority and the ability to earn money off my site, but it’s good to upgrade anyway. After 4 years or so of building this site up for free, it seemed like the next logical step.

So, thank you all for being a part of it, and hopefully I can add some new features soon, maybe build a community.

For now, I thought I’d continue with my analysis about Purple Hyacinth.

Not that I want to review it per sec, but I want to use it as a framing device for one of the ideas it made me think of after reading. I think that analysis is easier to swallow with as story setting.

I found one comment under Purple Hyacinth (PH) that struck me as quite profound.

“This Webtoon tells us that even though that person is telling the truth, the truth is not enough to gain someone’s trust.” (It’s under episode 76, if you want to know).

I got to thinking about PH, and how it really does a good job of making you think about truth.

Haven’t you ever wished you could tell if people were lying to you? But what if you actually could? Would it really make your life easier?

I mean, Lauren can’t exactly convince everyone to believe her, can she? Other people don’t believe that she wouldn’t lie to them, or isn’t just crazy (which is what her boss thinks), or might use her if they did believe her (#plottwist, if the Leader ever finds out about her.)

It’s in this way I relate most to Lauren, and I don’t use the word “relate” to apply to most characters, even ones I like, so I have an especial reason to say I can see myself a little in her determination.

Supposedly, empaths like me are able to tell when people lie. But I tend to be a little naive, being raised in a Christian home where lying was off the table, I tend to take people at their word. Even if I can feel something is off, it tends to be unconscious, until I look back on it.

I think if I were the suspicious type and tried to use my ability actively, I could probably tell if someone was lying. I usually am more comfortable naturally around people who are honest with me, even before I’ve seen them put to the test. I can read what people want very easily, so if their focus is elsewhere why we’re talking, I can feel that they are only pretending to listen to me. That’s something man people are able to do.

Writers especially tend to notice this stuff about others, and their books tend to be more interesting, but also exhausting. If you’ve ever read an author with a style that goes like “The look in their eyes said…” or “Their tone just seemed to say…” you may be reading one with empathetic abilities. Anime often employs such tropes in how it shows emotions.

I can’t say whether that means people in Japan pay more attention to facial expressions and tone, or whether they just exaggerate it in anime because they don’t catch it in real life.

It can be a lot of emotions to handle, but I get very drawn in by writers like that, you feel for the characters.

Lauren’s ability is a bit like that, catching a tone of voice like most people detect sarcasm. But since she doesn’t know the actual truth, she is playing the elimination game. Which makes it far more complex to read about, but also brings up a lot more questions. It makes sense that she became a detective.

I found Lauren’s problem with losing it when she hears lies about the mystery she’s been trying to solve for 10 years to be very relatable.

All of us with a hero complex, whether because of toxic family dynamics, or as a response to trauma, or both, would find it maddening to know someone is lying, but not be able to get the truth out of them. Then to be stopped by others from even trying.

Lauren has massive survivor’s guilt because she knew something was off, the day the tragedy happened, but she couldn’t do anything about it. Regular survivor’s guilt is bad enough, even when you’re aware it’s irrational, but imagine if you did know, but couldn’t do anything with that knowledge.

The ability to detect lies sounds God-like, but it makes her no more able to know the actual truth. Turns out people can still deceive you without lying, by just selectively telling the truth.

It’s intriguing, Christians believe that truth is essential, and powerful. The word says “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

But does the truth set Lauren free?

Thanks to Kieren and Sandman, she learns the truth about the mole in her district, about her parents, and herself, in a way. She learns she is a hypocrite.

In one telling scene, she admits to Kieren that knowing the truth about the mole makes her not even care that much that he died anymore. In a way, Lauren is very selective in her compassion and seeing value in human life. She claims she wouldn’t hesitate to kill a murderer like the PH, or any other assassin, and she seems to have no pity for them.

And why should she?

Why should any of us?

Well, Lauren can’t afford to pity them because her whole life is about stopping htem and avenging her friend. And perhaps, alleviating her own guilt.

Learning the truth presents a challenge for her, if she is not in the position she thought, if the Phantom Scythe wasn’t what she thought, if the people around her aren’t what she thought… then can she keep living her life this way?

It’s too early to tell what the story will do with it, but for me, it’s intriguing enough that it even comes up.

I mean, the truth really upsets Lauren every time she learns it, for someone who pursues it so avidly, it’s rarely happy or easier for her. And she tends to ignore the truths that might soften the blow, like that Kieren is capable of actual remorse or honor.

Still, she chooses to tell the truth.

It all got me thinking about what is the value of truth?

I mean, when Will finds out the truth about his brother, it doesn’t make him happier.

I think most of us have the mistaken idea that knowing the truth will always make us happier or satisfied.

When C. S. Lewis became convinced of the truth of Christianity, he wrote in Surprised by Joy that he was perhaps “the most reluctant convert” in his time and country, if I remember right. He was not happy, he though it would mean a lot of unpleasant work.

To be sure, there are many unpleasant things in Christianity. If you’ve never head a Christian say as much, they are faking it.

Any genuine religion, that even claims to be the truth, will admit it has unpleasant parts. Islamists don’t all imagine that the extreme parts of their creed are supposed to be fun, that is the point.

It’s stuff like New Age, that claims to be all about serenity and peace and that crap. Nothing that is real is always pleasant.

You might argue, if you are a philosopher, that pleasure is real and always pleasant.

But that is not strictly true is it? Guilty pleasures are addictive, but there is an unpleasantness in it, isn’t there? Some junkies hate the drug or alcohol even as they consume it and get rush, I have been addicted to the much less harmful coffee and even I had moments of hating that I needed it.

One of the reasons I believe in the doctrine of hell is because there must be things I do not like about any Real fact of life. No one gets life to suit their fancy.

And in ,fact, when we talk about the truth making us free, do we always mean the truth is pleasant? I don’t know where that idea came from.

Probably, in the church at least, because Jesus is the truth, and knowing Jesus will certainly make you happier. That is true…but it will not necessarily make you happier immediately. Some people, like me, get a rush of joy when they first become saved, others, like my sister, don’t. And like Lewis too, incidentally.

It really has nothing to do with how you convert. People who convert in the middle of an evangelical movement sometimes feel nothing, while I read a story of a man who had an intellectual based conversion, and immediately felt peace. God seems to care more for what the individual needs than the setting and method of conversion.

Suppose you feel ill and think it is a minor thing, and then find out it was cancer. Did the truth make you happier?

No, but if that truth means you seek treatment before it is too late, and recover, the truth did indeed set you free. Ignorance is not bliss for people who actually want to improve. It is only bliss for people who want to stay the same. Which is, unfortunately, a lot of people.

What interests me in PH is that the truth may make Lauren unhappy, but for all I can see, it is setting her free, little by little. She will only be free of guilt once she knows the truth, and free of anger.

I rather think, in cases like hers, the “not knowing” it what causes bitterness, and if she knew what happened, she would not be bitter anymore.

Spoiler alert:

AS evidenced in the most recent episode, where we learn she once saved the life of someone she didn’t like who had previously lied to her, and possibly helped kill her friend and family. Lauren may hate the guy, but she hates mostly out of frustration, not true malice or vengeance.

To me, it made her a more likable character to see that difference, and it reminds me more of how I deal with truth.

Honestly, I resented my dad and loathed him for years when I was confused about what was right and what was wrong in our house. But the mores I realize the truth was it was mostly him the whole time, I don’t hate him.

I don’t like him, but I have no malice really.

Some of you may have experience this too, does’t most of our hatred happen because we doubt ourselves and feel guilty? Only a small percentage of it is truly about the other person’s actions. In fact, honestly, if we hated people more what what they did being wrong than for our own insecurities about it, we might be better people.

The Word says God hates wickedness, and David said in Psalms 139 that he hated God’s enemies with “perfect hatred”, and he’s not talking about hating because they did bad things to him.

This does not mean we are supposed to hate nonbelievers, David is talking about hating evil and that people do evil, and not pitying that they must be stopped.

This sort of ties into what I said earlier about Lauren not pitying assassins, yet it’s very easy for us as the readers to pity Kieren, being privy to more of his life. And he himself display more pity, oddly enough, than Lauren does. He knows what it’s like to be chewed up and spit out by society or the people around you.

Lauren may not realize she’s had rather a fortunate life, from status standpoint,and so doesn’t know how people are tempted by desperation to do terrible things.

I say “tempted,” most people say “driven.” But I don’t believe desperation can truly force someone to do do something they know they shouldn’t do, and it is not an excuse. It makes them more sympathetic, perhaps not truly evil, but many a person who starts off by being desperate never stops doing evil, and in the end, does it because they want to. That’s why it’s a poor excuse, and a dangerous one, to do anything.

But, if the truth is, Lauren has done some shady things out of her desperation to find answers, then the truth is, she is also not above falling into that trap. And do it justice, the story has her pay for that sorely.

Just as we all will, sooner or later, if we take that route.

The relationship of truth to desperation is probably too complex for me to get into at the tail end of a post, but suffice it to say for now that in my studies, the truth seems to be the only thing that ever puts an end to desperation. One way or another. Good or bad.

Now, how does all this affect us?

It’s an interesting story, and lesson, but does it matter in everyday life?

I’d say of course it does.

Something as small as a phone call can turn on whether you choose the truth or the lie. We lie for convenience. I tend to not lie, but I do make excuses that are only part of the reason I don’t want to do something.

I’ve had people tell me I was BS-ing them when I was being completely serious, just because it is what they would have been doing if they were the one saying it, I imagine.

So, truth is an unavoidable part of our day to day interactions and decisions, as you all are well aware, and I think PH points out something quite profound in showing that even a small lie has the power to throw everything off. We may not always be able to trace from the effect back to the cause, but it’s there. It could be possible if we had all the facts to prove that lying really only complicates our lives further.

Actually, the old VeggieTales about “The Fib from Outer Space” comes to mind here. But kids’ lies are at least easy to figure out, adults are often not.

Still, like Lauren, I can be frustrated by knowing that just because I point out to you readers the benefits of honesty, doesn’t mean you’ll listen or walk away from this post with anything changed in your lives. I may just be writing this to myself.

I’m not really blaming you all though, I don’t usually do what random people on the internet tell me, why would I expect any different?

Why do we blog then? Why do we feel the need to put our ideas out there as truth, hoping that someone somewhere will like it?

We humans can’t help it. Sharing truth is the most basic service we render each other, and heroes and villains alike perform it. Chesterton wrote that “to preach anything is to give it away.” To have the faint hope, in other words, that it will better the person you preach it to.

A truly evil man is the one who no longer preaches, is just a pure tyrant who does whatever they will and doesn’t bother to give a reason.

One, who the same author says, “believes in himself.”

Not wanting to pursue truth is really becoming inhuman. Which is why Lewis calls the indoctrination of the youth against truth “the abolition of man.”

But that’s all a story for another time. For now, it’s just nice to get a story that reintroduces us to the need for truth. Whether I will always enjoy the story or not, I am always glad to be redirected to what matters.

And I guess that’s what I hope for this blog too, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

How do I know what I believe is True?

One philosophy you hear a lot nowadays is that we should respect each other’s beliefs because all beliefs are equally good.

I don’t know anyone who actually believes that, but I do hear plenty of people try to end arguments with it.

Nobody interested in discussion could actually believe that line. Go into any forum online and find people arguing about the dumbest crap imaginable, and see how right they think they are.

“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 26:12)

But as G. K. Chesterton said “There is a thought that destroys thought.”

I could get into all that today, but it’s more of a lead in to what I really want to talk about:

Since people do make the claim quite often that Christians avoid hard questions about their faith, I try to occasionally tackle them on this blog, just to show I’m not afraid of it and there are answers.

Today, I was thinking of a question that sometimes bothers me, and has since I was a kid.

Which is: In all the myriad of philosophies, theologies, and ideologies out there, how can you know that you’ve found the one and only correct one?

Problem and Solution: The many versions of Christianity.

Actually, my sister was recently in a YouTube thread debate where one particularly angry person demanded how Christians could know we were right when there’s like 30,000 sects of Christianity out there, who all think they’re right.

Firstly, while that’s a good question, I have to point out it’s not a good litmus test. There’s sects of every single religious and worldview, even the secular ones. Honestly, the more compelling it is, the more sects there are because people are always anxious to make their own version of the really compelling stuff.

Consider a Religion to be like a piece of art, a really good movie, for example. There’s always hundreds of knock-offs, some that do a good job parodying the original, some that make you question how anyone could ever like this kind of crap, but there’s imitators, rip-offs, and paying homage to the legacy. That’s just with something as small as a movie, or a painting.

I mean, Mr. Peabody features a cartoon version of the Mona Lisa because it’s such a great piece of artwork, doesn’t make it accurate, but the imitation is proof of the original’s far reaching influence, over half a millennium of time thereabouts.

So, if there truly are around 30,000 sects of Christianity, it only shows how many people find the core of it to be true, even if the trimmings and trappings cause division. Like how C. S. Lewis, Chesterton, and many others can write books summarizing the key components of Christianity that we all can and should agree on if we believe the Bible, but they have different beliefs about practice.

I know nowadays two powerful apologetics ministries, and one believes you can use the basic prayer that people put on tracts in order to lead someone to God, and the other believes that’s wrong and you should have them pray from their own hearts. Both oft em are very successful, honest organizations that really believe in what they are doing.

Personally, do I have a preference? Sure. But I don’t feel it’s worth arguing over. The Bible doesn’t say how you have to do it, and people should go with what they feel is genuine.

Actually, did you know the Bible says all you have to do to be saved is “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the Dead” (Romans) So, that’s pretty open to interpretation of how you could do it.

The need for the absolute truth

However, there is a huge difference between saying people have their own paths to the Truth, and saying that Truth itself has different paths. And paths to what? When you make truth a means to an end instead of the end itself, what exactly is the use of knowing it?

Meditation on happy things just because they make you feel happy (the gist of most Eastern meditation as we in the West now practice it) is rather pointless if they are not in reality, True.

I’ve never been comfortable with that idea, I have to have a truth to think on, I can’t just think. I get really stressed if I just think.

So, that said. How do I know that what I believe is right? How can I have the most true version of Christianity.

Well, it is probaly arrogant to assume I do. But here’s how I try to shape my worldview to make it at least as accurate as I can.

Tests I apply to my Worldview.

When I decide to believe a doctrine, I don’t just do it because I grew up hearing it. I have parents who read, study, and think critically a lot, so I usually give their opinions a good deal of weight. Unlike many kids, I can count on my parents having read about whatever they tell me is rue, and compared it to other opinions. They have blind spots, true, but they try at least to do their homework.

In fact, it was weird to me when I got old enough to realize most parents don’t actually study to see if what they tell their kids is true or not. They just tell them whatever they’ve heard themselves. (Ah, homeschooling, the most beneficial form of education to this day).

I can’t name any real differences in what I believe and what my mom believes, though I can with my dad.

One: Study

But I didn’t just assume my mom was right. I read the books too. I read a lot of books about Christian doctrine as a teen, and I still do as an adult. I am always excited to find if someone has seen something I haven’t. God tends to end my certain books right at the time a new chapter in my life is opening and I need them.

When I read “Orthodoxy” someone else had finally put into words what I had felt about my faith and it’s all encompassing nature, and it was at a time when I was about to enter some very secular, anti-religious Philosophy and later History classes. It helped me to have that fresh in my mind, and I was able to use it to see my way clear through the confusion.

Test 2: Credibility (primary and secondary theology)

When I find a really good book, by an author I believe to be genuine, I am much more likely to include it in my doctrine. C. S. Lewis was a man whose personal character can be attested to by so many of his peers, students, and predecessors that I have little doubt he really believed what he wrote.

Plus, I can check it against scripture.

Most importantly, when I find a bunch of good, well studied men have agreed on certain points, I am more likely to give it credibility.

Lewis, Chesterton, MacDonald, and others all had similar ideas of Chioice, Free Will, Love, ad needing to see the Beauty in Life to be able to see the Beauty in God. While I cannot find Bible verses to specifically state what they write about it, I can look at life and see how often people act just the way they describe, and how their reasons seem to make the most sense to me as to why.

While the Bible does not state it in so many words, it does support those principles.

See this is the trick with secondhand theology.

Firsthand theology is what the Bible clearly says, anyone who breaks from it is just a heretic, plain and simple. Someone who denies Jesus was raised from the dead, that Adam and eve were the first humans, that Gay Marriage is not expressly forbidden, those people are heretics. It’s simply not in there.

Secondhand theology is about the less vital stuff, but the stuff you live your life around. What to eat, what to wear, how to do church, how to do charity, how to raise your children.

The Bible is appropriately less specific here because any sensible person knows its gong to be different in different countries, times, and situations.

That’s where theologians and moralists come in, to give us principles that will work best in the most cases, and trust us to figure out the exceptions. That’s why if I read a Christian author who seems to feel it’s their way or the high way, I immediately take it less seriously, because they may not know all the situations that could prove their way doesn’t work.

An example here would be the very popular “Five Love Languages” books, that most Christians have heard of in the West, and some nonchristians too. I read it over and over, and used to believe it was infallible, it makes sense, after all. People are different, you got to love them differently.

I now have learned if an author every uses words like “we have overlooked a very crucial truth” about what they claim is their own discovery, there’s usually a reason it was overlooked.

Chesterton’s confession that he tried to come up with his own religion, and found out it was only “orthodoxy” is much more honest.

Do Love Languages exist? Of course, just like people like different colors and foods, they like different expressions of love. But it’s not a fix-all anymore than knowing your spouse’s favorite color means you can buy them clothes they will like.

Okay, so that’s basically how I do this. I do plenty of my own thinking about stuff also, especially when I see a really difficult question.

But at bottom, any honest person know they can always find people to back up their views, you can read selectively, you can go to a Church that’s an echo chamber for your own thoughts. I’ve seen that result in a lot of tension in my family, and others over the years. A lot of personal stress too.

One of my least favorite tests that God seems to like to use is the test of Trouble.

Test 3: Trouble (suffering, loss, disappointment, etc.)

When I’m in pain, emotional or physical, doesn’t matter, what I fall back on, what actually keeps me going, what pulls me out of that hole, whatever those truths are, those are the ones I know work. I know because I had to either learn that or die, at least so it felt.

For me, failure in knowing the truth is not an option.

(I wish I had a T-shirt that said that.)

People who say you don’t need to have an ultimate truth to live are liars, or they’re idiots, or they’ve had a carefree life. There are times when you look into that black abyss in your soul, and there is nothing in it to give you any inkling what you should do to even get up off the floor, and it’s then that you know if you didn’t have a Solid Rock to stand on, you’d fall, and never stop falling.

Very angsty I know, but that’s how it feels, isn’t it?

However, I wish I could say that test is foolproof, but it’s not. Our will to live and be happy is strong, and humans can pull themselves up, or pull each other up, and still not know the real truth. Those people are still generally closer to it than others, but it doesn’t make them Right.

If so, every cruel person who survived their messed up childhood would be right.

Test 4: Conscience, (i. e. What points us to that way of life we know deep down is right.)

When what we fall back on is Truth, it will be pointing us to a certain way of life that we all know, deep down, is true.

Whether they admit it or not, every human knows that Love is the only true way of life that’s acceptable, either to ourselves, each other, or God.

What we fall back on can either make us more loving, or more selfish. We may feel both to be true. We have to choose.

There are times when it seems like Christianity works for everyone except me and my family.

I look at happier families who had much more functional parents than mind, and they say it’s because of God.

I look at people who got delivered of their physical ailments and emotional issues, while I am still waiting.

I look at people who are achieving big things that I want to be able to do.

And then I look at the people I know who’s home lives are worse than mine, who have been sick a lot longer with far worse problems then mine, and who have had way more set backs in their goals. And I conclude, we just can’t measure Truth by how well our lives are going.

Truth will stand all of these tests. If something fails one of them, it’s just not true, a nice thought, but not true. At the very most it might be partially true because it connects to a Higher Truth, like the “power of positive thinking” mantra can be helpful because there is a power in gratitude and praise…but it will not prevent hardship in your life, nor remove it, as some claim.

Final Test: Consistency

The final test of Worldview I apply is more like being able to see if anything in your worldview is hypocritical. If what you fall back on one time is literally the opposite of what you do another time. Like it’s okay to lie when it’s convenient for you, but not when it was convenient for someone else. Or even more subtly, you may claim all truth is equal, and then protest that racism is wrong because all people are equal, i. e. a statement that requires a belief in the absolute truth that Equality is a Good Thing.

(And yes, I know people close to me who will make that exact argument and admit it’s hypocritical in a way, but still make it.)

I guess I took a long time to explain this, but basically, whatever I write on here, most of it is stuff I’ve tested by all the above measures. Or seen tested by other people.

If I have some blind spots, I’ll find out when I meet God face to face, but by then I don’t know if it will matter anymore.

I hope you enjoyed this and found something in it maybe you hadn’t heard before, until next time, stay honest-Natasha.

The Restoration Principle.

Hi, Followers, it’s the end of the year. What better time to talk about fixing problems?

Specifically how fiction chooses to do it, and how it just might be a key to real life.

I wrote a post a few months back about The Resurrection Arc, in fiction, and how it works and how it can be used well.  (link here: https://wordpress.com/post/drybonestruth.wordpress.com/16361)

One thing I said in that post was that: “Resurrection means restoration.”

I’ve been thinking since finishing that too-oft-named Anime, Naruto, that Restoration is actually a big part of anime, and other shows too.

Also, it’s not just fiction, G. K. Chesterton said that:

In history there is no Revolution that is not a Restoration... all the men in history who have really done anything with the future have had their eyes fixed upon the past.”

                                         groundhog_day

Restoration, it’s used a lot in Church, many people might just associate the word with what you do to an old building, or an original version of a movie. (My mom wishes they’d restore the original Star Wars movies to the pre-CGI versions.)

Here’s a dictionary.com definition of Restoration:

noun

Renewal, revival, reestablishing.

If you go by what Christianity, and a myriad of other religions, teaches, then anything Mankind does right would have to be a return to its original state.

Deep down, human beings feel this longing to return to former glory, sometimes we call it Nostalgia. A wish to return to innocence. Innocence is glory.

We also feel a desire for new things, but new things tend to be just old things in a different form.

All Revolution calls for a new thing, but an honest look at the past would reveal that the new thing is something people did long ago.

The American Government was supposedly new, but it was based on both Roman and Hebrew systems, one found in the Bible quite clearly. The Biblical Law was one of the earliest known to not have a king or ruler in charge of the people. Until they demanded it later. (A tale as old as the hills, historically speaking.)

Chesterton also had the thought that Human Beings, have grown older than God our Father, we grow tired of doing the same things, and that is why we have to package Goodness into so many new forms. We don’t like to play the same game, hear the same song, over and over again without a new change of pace.

But it is possible God does not get tired of Good Things. And those things are, in the end, what we keep coming back to.

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In the Bible, when someone strays from the path then turns from their wicked ways, it is always called a Return.

Notably, in fiction there’s a common thread that the way to fix things is to go back to a state of being. In Modern Fiction, the Ideal tends to be a normal human society, not a robot, or communist, or barbaric society. While in older fiction, the ideal was more likely to be a heavenly society of some sort, something higher and purer than just ordinary people’s interactions.

We’ve all seen the story-lines where the MC has to return some special item to some spot, and that will restore the land, the proper power, the true heir to the throne, etc. Sometimes the item has to be destroyed to restore because it is cursed.

Whether the answer is destroying or returning, the end result is always a restoration.

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Can you think of happy ending that did not include a Restoration? Go ahead, try, I’ll wait…

Anime is rife with this theme of Restoration. Usually it is through defeating the Big Bad at the end of the arc, and the land will magically heal. I watched the Naruto Movie: The Stone of Gelel today (It had the best boys in it, so I thought why not?), and it had the same thing, the trope where the land is healed all at once.

The Lion King has it too, though its over several months in that one.

I know I have readers from outside America, I may not know them, but you’ve definitely already got stories in mind that end this way. Every culture does.

In fact, it’s been noted that there is really only one basic plot in writing, even in nonfiction writing.

A problem is introduced, and a way to fix it, to restore us back to some ideal.

C. S. Lewis’s Pilgrim’s Regress is actually based entirely on the idea that any going forward, morally, is a going back. In it John, the Pilgrim, travels his land in search of an Island that ends up being the back of a mountain by his home. He comes full circle.

That is what the Eastern idea of Cyclical time is really about, that everything returns to its initial state, (we just disagree about what that state is.)

The important thing to understanding what the Restoration was is to keep in mind it can be either a symbolic physical act in the story, or it can be an emotional restoration, even a spiritual one.

Some stories will have a healing, where someone will have a physical problem fixed. Breaking Curses, undoing creepy science experiments, remedying a plague, all that falls under this category.

Other times the restoration will com in the form of finding a family member, finding a homeland, finding a title or position.

It’s more widespread for it to be an emotional restoration. From romances to kids shows, that restoration has to happen. Someone finds true love, remembers what’s important, learns what it is like to be human, learns the power of a certain virtue. And it restores them to who they are meant to be. Often who they once were, at the beginning of the tale, before the bad events took it from them.

Isn’t that what we all want in our lives, some of us want to be able to want it again.

All of us have an idea of a good life that we once had, or could have had, and we feel we missed it.

We’ve been told that the good life is in the present, yet we want to go back still. Be young again, be married again, have kids again, have that job again, like that thing again.

Like constellations imploding in the night; everything is turning, everything is turning, And the shapes that you drew may change beneath a different light, and everything you thought you knew will fall apart, but you’ll be all right“–The OH HELLOS, Constellations.

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Today is the last day of 2019, how often have we thought that this year? Or in previous year’s. Maybe we had a good year, but even in happiness there is often a nostalgic feeling, at least for me. Like “Ah yes, this is how I used to feel.”

But when I was a kid, I wasn’t often happy. The nostalgia is an illusion. I am really wanting to go back even further. To a different time, one before I was even born.

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But those ages had trouble too. I’ve read enough to know they felt the same.

We have to go back further still, before the Fall.

Stories communicate that in their own way, by settling on one disaster that really changed it all for the worse, and must be undone. On Naruto, it was the battle of two friends, and two brothers, that begun the whole freaking mess. Supposedly it is undone by Naruto and Sasuke coming to peace. Rather like Cain and Abel.

In real life, people rarely narrow it down to one thing that’s wrong with the world–or their lives. You could list a half a dozen right now, if I asked.

As Rich Mullins sang “Everybody’s always saying they need just one thing, but what they really mean is they need just one thing more.”

In stories, a value like love, friendship, courage, or honor, tends to be the One Thing we MUST NOT LOSE EVER, AT ALL COSTS.

I’d like more things to be good in the world, and my life, sure. But I’m with Mullins. God is my One Thing.

To wrap this up, I guess my final point is that at the end of the year, the end of the story, the real question is: What is that One thing you need restored to you? Or maybe you need to be restored to it.

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To find a new thing is to find an old thing.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this send-off post, it’s been an interesting year for me, and I wish you the best in 2020. Happy New Year everyone⌚⌛☺–until then, Natasha.