Interestingly, it is the central character’s determination to “escape Mother Culture’s story” that drives the action in my novel The Holy. All the other characters in the book are dragged in his wake—ultimately to become transformed themselves. I’m happy to say that quite a few readers have given The Holy the one accolade I want to hear—that it changed the way they see the world.
People can teach themselves to escape Mother Culture’s stories and start creating a new cultural story by listening to her stories, by recognizing the lies, and by helping others recognizing those lies. Cultural stories change when the members of the culture begin to think a new way. This is why, when his student asks what he should do, Ishmael tells him to teach a hundred what he has learned and urge each of them to teach a hundred.
The modern world was born when the people of Europe began to think a new way during the Renaissance, because this new way of thinking influenced everything they did. The same thing will happen with us. A new era—and a new story—will begin when the people of our culture begin to think a new way.
updated: 15 Feb 2004