Exploring Religion in the Primal Patterns Series

Lucifer's OdysseyIn the Sneak Peak on the Primal Patterns series, we discussed multiverse-building in the series and the similarities with other science and speculative fiction. In this installment, I’d like to talk a bit about the religious implications of the series and what readers are getting into.

In a story that features Lucifer, Jehovah, angels and demons, the reader is probably expecting to be immersed in frequent religious references, culture, and symbolism. If you are expecting another Dan Brown novel, however, you are going to hit the end of the first book with some major disappointment. If Lucifer sees himself as the devil in the Bible, he doesn’t realize the significance of his connection, and he doesn’t give the mapping much thought at all. Because of this, the first book centers more on his reactions to the changing multiverse around him. But the Primal Patterns series is certainly coupled to earthly religions, and fans of philosophical and metaphysical musings will probably enjoy the second and third books more than the first one.

The first three books of the Primal Patterns series mirror many events in the Old Testament. You could say that the Old Testament is a shadow of the first three books (according to the series). What comes to light, starting in book two, is that many of the authors in the Bible really were “listening” to God by tapping into the Order Primal accidentally. Human prophets may have been oracles, and many of their predictions come true in the series. The series also has fun with some of our favorite biblical stories.

The Goblin RebellionThere is a major and potentially controversial aspect to the first three books and one that I assume may cause some friction with readers. I don’t want to give away too much, but I will relate the source of this decision in writing the series. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the perplexing differences between God in the Old Testament and God in the New Testament. God in the Old Testament seemed especially callous. He smited and flooded, basked in animal sacrifices, and gave humans such mind-bogglingly immoral tasks and tests involving murder and rape that you get the feeling that God is extremely cold. You might argue that humans did these things and just watched, but if God was especially interested in humans, as the Bible claims, then he certainly didn’t go out of his way to stop us from doing something he didn’t like.

In the New Testament, God seems almost replaced entirely. He’s a personal deity that wants to talk to you, help you, and be your best friend. This begs the question: what happened? There are as many schools of thought in philosophy on this as you can shake a stick at. From my readings, the extremes of philosophical musings to this question would probably be 1) God grew up or got milder, 2) God is a human invention and reflects mankind’s values, themes, and situations at the time of the writing of each chapter, or 3) maybe there was more than one God involved. The series combines several concepts from other earthly religions into the overall story arc, and hopefully, it presents a fun philosophical journey when you peel back the layers.

Will that make readers uncomfortable? I’m not sure, but I hope you don’t mind being led down that avenue to ponder on it for yourself. I think it’s important to remember that this is a work of fiction. Some of my favorite books of all time have grabbed me by surprise when I found a hidden layer and decided to peel that back. In general, that’s the kind of story I want to write. There are no new themes, really, and I do not claim to present questions that no one has ever asked before in the history of time. But I do intend to write entertaining, layered stories about mankind’s past and future.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment to this post or email me at rexjameson@gmail.com.

About Rex Jameson

Rex Jameson is the author of the three novels in the Primal Patterns series and half a dozen short stories. An avid history buff and an unabashed nerd with an appetite for science fiction and fantasy, he loves to create complex speculative fiction with layered characters. He earned a PhD in Computer Science at Vanderbilt University and researches distributed artificial intelligence in robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Rex and his wife Jenny live in Pittsburgh where they enjoy hosting family and friends.

18 Responses to Exploring Religion in the Primal Patterns Series

  1. Pippi says:

    “Trick or Treat! Thanks for playing Red’s Trick or Treat Bash! I’m looking forward to reading your book on my new Kindle! RedTash.com, Red sent me!”

  2. Rex Jameson says:

    Thanks Pippi and Red!

  3. Red Tash says:

    I, for one, can’t wait to read your book. It sounds right up my alley, as well. Have you read Pullman’s His Dark Materials? I was a bit depressed after finishing the series, because I am a big fan of the Creator & he’s so vehemently not, but before I started down that path in life, I was a student & a thinker…so the ideas you’re throwing around about God here are exactly the kind of thing I’ve had long conversations about for years. Hooray for *thinking* and pondering *what if?* I wish more people enjoyed recreational philosophy.

    Thanks again for contributing to my giveaway. Pippi is the current frontrunner for entries. That lady is on the move, she is!

  4. Rex Jameson says:

    Thanks, Red! This philosophical thought will be more of an undercurrent until the second book. Hopefully, people will enjoy the story of the Kadingir brothers and how they become immersed in the mechanisms of the primal patterns. Thanks for subscribing to the blog!

    I haven’t read the entire His Dark Materials series. I’m familiar with the Golden Compass though. Even if it was a bit depressing, would you recommend it?

  5. Rachel says:

    Red sent me. RedTash.com

  6. Anne Sweeney says:

    I “won” this book via Library Thing. I could not put it down. It does not “feel” like a religious or philosophy study. I can not wait to get my hands on the rest of the trilogy. Lucifer’s Odyssey would make one damn good movie as I am sure the rest would also.

  7. Rex Jameson says:

    Thanks for the nice comments, Anne! The Goblin Rebellion is coming along quite nicely. Everything is on track to get it into the hands of my editor in December. I’ll be doing a LibraryThing giveaway for it in January or February, so definitely stay tuned ;D!

  8. haparker321 says:

    What is your attitude toward religion? Would you like to be featured in my blog in January, perhaps I can do a little ‘interview’ or something like that. When is the book coming out?

    Parker

  9. Rex Jameson says:

    My attitude toward religion is laid back ;). In a universe filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies, each filled with hundreds of billions of stars, with each possibly surrounded by 1-20 planets, I believe that mankind overestimates its importance in the grand scheme of things. I do hope that we shake off our “created in his perfect image” complex, get off this planet, and save ourselves from ourselves before its too late.

    Anyway, interview? Sure. Why not? I’m a bit busy with dissertation and job search stuff going on, but I’ll see what I can do. Keep in touch.

    Lucifer’s Odyssey has been out since September. The Goblin Rebellion will hopefully be out by February.

  10. haparker321 says:

    Is it more than just a couple of chapters? Do you mind sending me a review copy?

    Parker

  11. Rex Jameson says:

    It’s a full length novel (85,000 words and 350 pages). The book is on sale for 1.99 for another week. If you are only wanting to read a few chapters, I provide the first three chapters in the samples here on the Novels page. The PDF version does not have page numbers as it is meant to reflect the eBooks that are available in online stores. If you are wanting to do a full book review, I could send you a review copy, but if you’re only reviewing the first few chapters–as you’ve done for some in the past–you could just download the MOBI, EPUB, or PDF samples available on the Novels page, accessible at the top of this website. Cheers!

    • haparker321 says:

      You don’t really have to worry about that too much, I already read your sample :). That is why I wrote an ‘Ode’ post to you because I really liked your work. Besides, I give people fair chances to impress me within the first five pages (or preface + 1st Chapter). Normally, the people that I examine do not make it to the web as easily as one would like because their writings are awful. You should check out Way#1 and Way #2 to get what I am looking for.

      Hope this helps.

      Parker

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