Expanding upon this theme of universality during our talk, Miguel said that he felt that the epilogue helps to show that “at the end of the day we are all one,” that “there is something missing in the universal history that we haven’t been able to prove [a reason for] the similarities [across the various faiths and mythologies].”
The scenes and anger of the prologue evoked for me the lines from the Gospel, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In my first reading of the book, I assumed the point of view character of the prologue to be Jesus. However, when I went back, I noticed a decided obscurity. The narrator of the prologue is never given a name, nor – on closer reading – a gender. Similarly, the conclusion of Marien’s story leaves a great deal open to interpretation. The last line of your acknowledgments reads: “Welcome to the conversation.” Are the questions the most important part of the conversation for you?
YES! That’s all I want from this book. I don’t want others to believe as I do. My beliefs apply to me because of my background. Each individual is responsible for his or her own search. In a recent blog I talk about the two commandments Christ left us. I believe that failure to scrutinize your faith contradicts the commandment to “love God with all of your mind”. Any institution that does not motivate, inspire and encourage its members to learn, read, and cultivate themselves in all areas is sinning against God.
Miguel did state that while the initial assumptions regarding the prologue are correct, that he did play with the ambiguity a bit deliberately. “It can be shocking to many people – the story is so much more. I wanted to give an exit to the reader … so as not to be turned off…I don’t want to impose my views on anybody.” “Nobody ever holds the whole truth.”
In Marien’s story, and on your website, you criticize fairly harshly the Mormon church and to a lesser extent the Catholic church. Yet, The Marien Revelation has a deeply reverent feel. In our current polarized climate, criticism of established religion tends to be equated with atheism. However, I don’t get that sense from your writings (both in the novel and on the internet). Would you be willing to discuss your beliefs?
Yes, I’m very spiritual. If Christianity weren’t polluted by today’s concept of what being a Christian means, I would call myself a Christian. Being that the extremists and radicals of the religious right wing define this word more and more, I avoid it. I believe in a Christ that is totally different from the one they present. I believe in a Christ that is full of love, one who promotes enlightenment.