jueves, 9 de diciembre de 2010

Mistborn Mormon

After some 1700 pages I’ve finished Reading one of my up-to-now favourites: the Mistborn Trilogy. This post contains two parts: one about my comments about the books and a second that has—to me—much more importance.

These three books fit, as expected, in the fantasy genre; but what’s not so usual in my readings: these are high fantasy. Meaning that the story does not take place in this world, instead the author creates his own world (with all its implications). The Lord of the Rings is also of this genre. If you enjoy this type of literature, then most certainly you will enjoy—as I did—these books.

Brandon Sanderson’s storytelling makes his pages turn by themselves on your hands. He richly describes new powers, rules, traditions and—most of the time—ingeniously combines them with our earthy reality. If you enjoy reading in English, and fancy a good super-hero slash epic novel, then go to your nearest Amazon and order them. You will end up with a good after taste save for a —very important to me—detail. He is a fervent Mormon.

The last sentence was not at all meant to disturb people (well if catching your eye counts as “disturbing” then it was meant to disturb). I tend to be respectful with each person’s beliefs, but the Latter Day Saint’s teachings tainted a really original and well developed story.

With this previous sentence I’d like to inaugurate the second part of the post, the Mormon part. In my life I’ve only taken the opportunity to study (not thoroughly, I have to admit) only two religions: Catholicism and the Church of the Latter Day Saints. I disagree in some aspects with both. But I disagree more with the latter.

My main against argument is not the (almost banished) multiple-wives thing, in fact if it worked both ways (women also being allowed to have more than one husband) I could find it natural—not women-degrading, as I currently do. The greatest contradictions I find are that they forbid extramarital sex and the consumption of some substances.

I find it absurd that you must be married in order to preach love. Having sex is as natural as eating and I cannot find any logical reason to ban it, or more accurately said: I cannot find any reason to believe in it. To my eyes is a mere mean of population and disease control imposed by rulers to the lesser minds devotes. If you decide that chastity is your path to achieve something (e.g. spirituality, respect) then I do not have anything against it because it’s your own decision, but if you just blindly and without questioning believe in it, then I’ll urge to use your brain.

The next—and most important—disagreeing is about alcohol and other substances consumption. What I cannot figure out is why is ethanol banned? I find it as absurd as to ban salt. What makes ethanol different to sodium chloride? Is it because ethanol may change your behaviour? Then they should prohibit PMS as well. Is it because it damages your body, and your body is the temple of Christ? Then they should forbid alcohol abuse (not its use). Because one beer (or glass of wine, or tequila, or you-name-it) per day does not pollute your body. If this is—indeed—the reason and they forbid alcohol to prevent abuse and the ultimate destruction of the temple of Christ, then they should forbid every McDonald’s restaurant. Oh and I remember eating a cholesterol-full super-sized combo in the vey Salt Lake City’s downtown. I think a ban of McDonalds would contain more Words of Wisdom than forbidding green tea.

How on earth is this related to Mistborn?

Sazed—one of the main characters—“kindly” refuses a drink in Sanderson’s fictitious city Urteau. He does not say “no, thanks” rather he says he is not fond on intoxicants. Not stimulants, not inebriants: intoxicants. I don’t get it. Right, alcohol changes the way we perceive things, but that’s exactly what burning tin (read the book) does, yet he is not at all opposed to burning tin.

Of course one must be careful in the amount of consumption. It is well known that in moderated doses—Sazed refused one glass of wine—alcohol can boost creativity, enhance body heat, and lubricate social relationships. Nevertheless as the story develops, when one of the characters abuses—no surprises there—tin’s use, Sanderson describes the clinical manifestation of alcoholism. Furthermore, to better show Sanderson’s drastic view, somewhere on the book Sazed says that a Metal Savant (something like metal alcoholic) cannot be considered human anymore. I interpreted that as Sazed saying that addicts do not retain their human attributes. Well Sazed, I couldn’t be more disappointed on you, you being the […] and all… oh, never mind. Shame on you!

As a parenthesis: here are a couple of details that I didn’t like nor dislike, but that further link Mistborn to Mormons. 1) The only couple that could have had sex during the 17 hundred pages, didn’t until they were properly married. I believe that was because they would never do it being a sin and all, fortunately when finally got married… well there are a couple of signs that tell me that at least they could consummate their love, but of course, they never fornicated. 2) As I remember John Smith was given the early version of the Book of Mormon engraved on gold plates; well, in this trilogy the only way to keep the scriptures intact is precisely to engrave them in metal. Nice method; not very original, though.

In a 180° turn I’ll continue on some highlights of Sazed view (my ever-tending-to-equilibrium personality, does not let me only criticise). Sazed is a very cultivated man, specialized on the study of religions. Near the end he discovers that there’s not a single religion without contradictions. I find this a very mature opinion, especially on a Latter-day Saint (Sanderson stated on his blog that he believes that to be also true for the religions on this planet) and says that apparently, in order to believe one must first want to believe. If you indeed want to believe you will be in much more harmony with your own religion, and the inconsistencies will go to less important term. Way to go Sanderson/Sazed!

Exactly that’s my position now. I don’t want to believe what my church imposes. But that does not mean that I don’t believe in something. True, the images of those superior beings will have the shape painted by Catholicism but not for that reason must I find its Church and rules convenient. Again, I urge you to use your brain. To analyse what your church asks from you. If it—whatever its name—tells you to be a better person, to nourish your spirituality, or simply makes you feel good, then go for it. But if it taboos certain organic compounds for no apparent reason at all, then do not be surprised if other interpretations (religions) urge its devotes to do other horrible things.


All of this led me to realize that I don’t want to be religion-free and drove me to change the Facebook religion slot form “blank” to “Latter-Day Pastafarian Saint”.

8 comentarios:

issie dijo...

De entrada la ficción religiosa me parece difícil de imaginar. No sé si leería el libro pero me encantó tu forma de redactar y toda la divagación. Saludos

Antonio dijo...

segundo!! XD

Luisfer dijo...

jaja Isela, tal vez me enfoqué mucho en la religión en este post, pero en realidad los libros NO son de religión -qué inmensa gueva leerlos ¿no?-, son de fantasía pura. Pero las religiones juegan un papel importante, si los recomiendo pero hay que abrir el ojo a esos detalles propagandísticos.

Anónimo dijo...

Parece bom, eu gosto de ler o seu blog, apenas adicionei aos meus favoritos;)

Anónimo dijo...

Yo sólo quería hacer una observación rápida de decir que me alegro de haber encontrado tu blog. Gracias

EGM dijo...

Totalmente de acuerdo... cuestionar siempre, buscar más siempre, nunca ir con la corriente solo porque es más fácil...

saludos bro.

issie dijo...

Es que me lo imaginé como un estilo de aventura Ned Flanders, aunque asumo que no es así... anyway, los detalles propagandísticos están en casi todos los libros. Aún así no creo q los leería, tengo una etapa de libros de autores de europa oriental...

Luisfer dijo...

Gracias por sus comentarios. Estaría padre saber quién es el Anónimo, pero en fin si desea permanecer anónimo que así sea.
@Issie: claro pero mi remedio contra la realidad (balas, narcos, chamba, horas en el tren etc) es la fantasía y me decepciona encontrarla plagada de realidad.

¿osea que lees libros polacos y así? Digo no tengo nada contra ellos, pero espero que no sean de esos megatristes donde el personaje está ciego, su perro tiene cancer; comparten el autismo y son abusados por un tío...