The topics we discussed in the first week assumed that everyone had read the first 15 chapters of "Vision Speak". The detailed commentary can be viewed, either in the member's forum (on this site) or in the Facebook group. Anyone can add their additions or insights to these discussions at any time. Following are some excerpts from some of the participants.
Week 1 questions related to the world setting and establishment of Vision Speak (too much, too little?), the concept of life journals and sharing ancestral memories, as well as, world religions and spirituality, how they're treated in the book and how people feel about ‘exclusivity’, the tendency for many world religious doctrines to say ‘our way or the highway’.
Robyn: I felt the descriptions set the stage well for the reader, I am always keen to delve into the world I am reading about, and look forward to future books providing us with further insight to this new world!!
Rosanne: I like the pace of the book ... too many descriptive explanations can hold up the reader and prevent us from getting to know the characters in the book. The readers imagination is in overdrive throughout the beginning as we attempt to relate to the grand settings and the motives of the characters.
Pea Doubleu: The necessary inclusion of 'description/explanation' in these first 15 chapters are not intrusive. They are part of the flow of narrative and are tied to the experiences of the characters as the story moves along. I never feel like I'm suddenly lifted out of the flow and are being fed a 'lesson.' I'm getting a sense of both the restrictions of PURE and the liberation promised by Vision Speak. Glad to be reading your book again. (bob)
Irene: I am really enjoying reading your book again. I like the pace of the book I do have a little bit of problem keeping up with the different characters but probably age related...
I also like the suspense in the book as it keeps me very interested to continue.
Pea Doubleu: As one whose life is sustained by organized religion …. Exclusivity claims are all about protecting turf, and have nothing to do with a yearning for truth/life/meaning beyond the senses. Doctrine (my only diagnosed allergy) is the death of the Divine. Certainty, not doubt, is the opposite of faith. The harm inflicted on countless human beings, other creatures and on the planet by those who have insisted and continue to insist on exclusive access to Heaven/G*d/Spirit/The Divine is devastating and atrocious. Formulas purporting to give exclusive access to an eternal realm make a mockery of the glory, the wonder and mystery of Life itself. I…
Doug: Pea Doubleu very well communicated. While we (as brothers) have travelled different paths, I think we share a remarkably similar view of organized religions. Unfortunately, too many of these “organized” religions, or at least Western religions, seem to aim to restrict and control, rather than expand and free for growth...
Susan L: With all the divisiveness in the world all religions should embrace the common threads of their religions rather than think their religion is the one and only. Having been brought up a Catholic which I no longer follow I feel spirituality is more important than being a member of a specific group.”What if’s”are always intriguing and important to explore.
Pea Doubleu: Susan, yes, curiosity instead of certainty. Wonder, exploration, questions.
Susan J: I can equate the concept of different religions like this: there are only 7 notes and 5 half notes and yet every song ever written is made of of those notes. But not everybody likes or is moved by every genre of music. Some like classical, some like rap,, some like heavy metal - but it’s all music, and different kinds of music speaks to/ appeals to different people’s souls.
But you’re right about the exclusivity issue - if any religion/doctrine proposes ‘believe this or you are not one of us’ it denotes a human (or committee of humans) making rules which exclude other members of the human family; that is in direct opposition to my concept of God therefore can I in fact accept all dogma and doctrine different from mine?
Roseanne: The formal practice of bequeathing one's memories to a special family member or friend is a unique way of ensuring that your legacy would continue and be recognized by a younger generation. In the book, It is an underlying foundation ... we see the storyline developing around how Willow will manage Elizabeth's ideals.
Pea Doubleu: If society does not find a way to pass on wisdom and experience from generation to generation there will be no society and no culture. We are engaged in this very conversation because we are human beings interested in stories. Stories, memories, experiences, learning, interaction and exchange are all absolutely necessary for life to have meaning. Ancient ancestors told stories around campfires, so that current and future generations might know who they are…..
Ola: It’s a noble and highly impractical pursuit. At the same time I find that I want to leave a journal and do not stay with it. I also find myself wondering what my grandpa’s Life was like a hundred years ago….
Rebecca: ... On the other hand, there's a longing to know more about ancestors and personal family history. At least in Vision Speak, the writer knows their words will eventually be shared with family and can choose what to share. In our era we kind of have this in the form of social media. So... perhaps it's a better idea that people store up all the interesting parts of their life for one single presentation than the daily flogging of cute cat gifs and pics of what they're having for breakfast?
Joan: The Memories idea is wonderful but is it a real life possibility, but since we are in a futuristic world perhaps..wouldn't that be nice
Eden: When I was younger, the thought of sharing private journal entries would have been abhorrent. However, with the passage of time, and after losing family members, we start to realize that these threads of who they were and where we came from, can be enlightening...
Susan J: I concur with Robyn’s comments in theory. In practice however, if a mom (or dad) left their memory journals to only one family member, I could see it as being a recipe for discord among those who were not entrusted with those memory journals. Which I guess we see, in the reaction of Willow’s family members. Is it right or wrong to entrust one or more of one’s family with such memories? I don’t know the answer. I see the value which Robyn, Roseanne and Eden express, and also wonder if ethically, it’s ‘right’ to possibly burden...
Susan L: I think sharing memories are relevant and pertinent.It allows us to understand our predecessors more fully and how they perceived the world. It can serve as a learning tool.They help us understand our shared realities and strengthen our shared connections.Memory keepers preserve the past.