02 June 2012
"Kill the Buddha" Accepted to Dark Faith 2
I've been sitting on this news for a couple of days now, and boy, am I ever happy that I can pass it on.
Dark Faith 2 is the follow-up volume to editors Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon's Dark Faith (Apex Publications 2010). I highly recommend the first anthology to anyone who is interested in questions of faith, belief, higher powers, credulity, and humanity's place in the great mystery of the universe. Horror and dark fantasy writers can explore this material like no one else can. We spend our time thinking about all the ways things can go horribly wrong, after all.
My story, "Kill the Buddha," was written at a time when I was having a crisis of faith myself. I am a practicing Taoist. I've studied tai chi, qigong, and Taoist ceremony since the mid-nineties. During fall and early winter 2011, there was a huge, some might say seismic, series of changes to that aspect of my world that I did not want and that were ugly in the way they went down.
I soothed myself by listening to Eckhart Tolle's two books on audio: The Power of Now and A New Earth. If you've never encountered Tolle, his essential message is the same as any of the great spiritual teachers: ego is a false construct that rides on, and is composed of, thought. The ego fights against enlightenment, or being in the now, because it perceives such a peaceful state of being as diminishing to itself. (It is.) At the time I started "Kill the Buddha," this conflict loomed large in my personal life, and seemed to me to be a perfect core conflict for a story about faith.
At the same time, I started to think about what might happen if mass numbers of people all began to achieve enlightenment at the same time. What if people simply started transcending? What would that look like? To those who were still stuck in regular, ego-based consciousness, it would seem to be an enormous threat, one that required study, strategy, and counter-attack.
"Kill the Buddha" features enormous Buddhas, a kickass heroine struggling with her own crisis of faith, and more action than one would probably expect in a story based on Buddhism. When Dark Faith 2 comes out, I hope you'll pick up a copy.