NOTE: Links to specific references will be listed at the bottom of the post.
It is not empty space; it is a certain dimension of existence and one more aspect of the five elements. This is a quote from Sadhguru, whom I discovered while conducting research on Akasha. It quite beautifully encapsulates how the Sy’Arrians view Akasha and how I intend to articulate it through inner thought, spoken dialogue and direct action.
The intent here is not to explore every nuance associated with Akasha. This entry is aimed at clarity and designed to provide only a brief glimpse into how I chose an element, whose existence I was previously ignorant. I cannot express enough this is not meant to be disrespectful towards any religious or spiritual belief system. The Sy’Arrians came from Earth whose myriad of cultures are visible in each generation of Sy’Arrian. Their belief in Akasha is reflective of how they see it in the 33rd century based on both scientific study and the practice of mindfulness. Feel free to view my Who Are the Sy’Arrians posts if you are curious about their history.
I called the Sy’Arrians, Sonics, when I initially created them in 1983 at the age of 16. Little did I realize their name had been the easy part; finding a term best suited for their abilities took the idiom, trying to find a needle in a haystack to an entirely new level. In The Dark Traveler, the first vision of my current work, I chose the old French verb poeir, an alternative form of pooir, which means to be able. The more I used it, the more I grew to dislike it. I wanted something to roll off the tongue not tie it up in knots.
I came a bit closer when I switched to Sheng Ko, the Chinese Five Element System contained in Taoist philosophy developed from the writings of Lao-tzu (6th century BC). Considering I was not only incorporating the concept of the five elements but also calling the core group of characters; Lourous, Brakel, Cyra, Aurelius, and Kye Lee, The Five, I felt Sheng Ko was applicable. The more my own beliefs and those of the race I created matured; the realization hit me something was still missing.
Akasha came to me by pure happenstance. I had been researching differing concepts regarding the elements amongst various cultures and it came up in side bar next to the article I was reading. In the first few sentences of its description, I knew immediately it fit perfectly with what I envisioned.
I understand my quandary is not terribly unique. Many writers, if not most, toil endlessly in their attempts to establish believable environments, character names and lore. Even though I am a creative writer who gravitated naturally toward science fiction, I cannot pick something simply because it sounds or looks cool. If you have a race who evolved on Earth and left to explore the unknown, it would make sense cultural norms and accumulated knowledge would influence their progression while attempting to find a new place to call home. This is why it took me many years to settle on what I now consider the best choice.
Akasha in Sanskrit is derived from a root kāś meaning "to be visible". It is also referenced in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Wicca. What helped bring Akasha into focus for me and my characters was when I began reading more about Wicca. In particular, Scott Cunningham’s, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner where he refers to Akasha as the fifth element, the omnipresent spiritual power that permeates the universe. It is the energy out of which the elements formed. This is what spoke to me and cemented in my mind exactly how I wanted to identify this concept with the Sy’Arrians.
The challenge in picking such a belief system is remaining respectful of its origins, while applying it to a race who is neither religious or spiritual. My intent is to explore in future posts what this means and how I reconciled it with my own views.
More to come…
Feel free to post your questions, comments or concerns. I will respond, if need be, when I able.
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002AS9S80/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1