Renaissance man and storyteller Grayson talks about hobbies, religion, morality, and the multiverse. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Interview & photo by Pema Baldwin
“Besides fighting the forces of evil and contemplating the mysteries of the universe, I read, I attempt to write — whether or not it’s good I’m not sure, but I attempt. I train with a European longsword, I watch a few shows here and there, I’m getting into forging — blacksmithing and stuff. Other than that … Whatever I’m studying at the time. Every two weeks it changes. I love to go with the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ mindset.
I’ll do something for a little bit, and then I’ll do something else for the next two weeks. It depends on what I’m feeling like that week, sometimes it’s language, sometimes it’s science, sometimes it’s history.
I’m always trying to learn new stories because I am a storyteller. That’s one of my primary hobbies that I can consistently go to. From those stories I can kind of go, ‘Okay, what would this hero do? How did this hero get that skill set?’ Things like that.
da Vinci was interested in everything. That’s why he was the one who became known as the Renaissance man. It used to be that people had to be well versed in a lot of things. You know? It wasn’t this whole idea that you could only do one thing. It’s only until recently — the ’50s — that really encouraged that mindset.
Once Sputnik went up, it became all about beating things, so you churn out people who are one dimensional masters, which is great if you want to learn something deeply, but not great if you want to create a fully formed human.
Some people are what are called divers. I dislike using labels, but it can be beneficial at times. And they’re people who find their one thing, and they dive into it, and they learn everything about it, and that’s all they care about. But then there’s what are called scanners. Those are the people who are like, ‘Hey, I like to learn a little bit about this and I like to learn a little bit about this.’
Each person goes about it differently. I’m a dabbler. I have a tendency to know a little about a lot of stuff, but some people will master it, and then they’ll go to the next thing and they’ll master that. So it just depends on what makes you happy.
Being a jack of all trades has become demonized in our society. Our greatest thinkers have generally been jack of all trades. Heck, even Albert Einstein said that he usually got most of his inspiration from playing his violin. He was a physicist.
You are a spirit inhabiting a body right now and that spirit is infinite, so it can be interested in whatever it wants. It’s only limited by the box you decide to build for it — should you decide to.
I would say that the point is to become a fully formed spirit because you always have to remember that this is the flesh coat you decided to wear this lifetime. Is it important? To a degree, yes. Should you love it? Of course. It’s a wonderful vehicle, and it’s wonderfully designed, but you are the spirit that inhabits that body, so you should become a fully formed soul. However you think you can consistently evolve is up to you.
It’s never done. Perfection is never going to happen, but the whole point is to grow.
For me, I just enjoy the story. I enjoy finding out the story. I enjoy looking at the stars. I enjoy talking to humans and figuring out what they think and what they dream and what they want. It’s fun. It’s great. It’s a great time. That’s all I need. I just like the stories.
Humans have a tendency to label things. Once you label something, you put boxes on it. You say, ‘Without this parameter, it’s no longer true.’ There’s an issue with saying something like, ‘a soul is reincarnated.’ What happens if it’s not reincarnated? What happens if you decide that there is no afterlife or if there is an afterlife, why can’t there be reincarnation too?
If we accept that the multiverse is infinite, then the possibilities must equally be infinite. So whatever story gives you comfort, that’s the story you can go with. I accept all of the stories because it makes life more interesting.
I’m an objectivist when it comes to morals, which means I do believe that there are good and bad things. It’s a lot of gray in there. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a whole rainbow of colors in between, but there is good and bad.
Universal good is what generally helps everybody involved. If it doesn’t help everybody involved, it’s not that good. Universal evil is what’s going to harm everybody involved. If it doesn’t harm everybody involved, it’s not that evil. It can still be evil, but it’s not that evil there. Like I said, they’re polarities. So you have good and you have evil. Then you have everything in between up until true neutral. Now true neutral is very hard to find. You don’t run into that a whole lot.
Say I kill a despot — a tyrant. While I’m still committing a sin. Let’s use the term sin. I don’t mean to make it overly religious, but for the sense of ‘You’ve done something evil.’ I’ve done something evil for the greater good. It’s still evil, but it can be balanced out by the greater good. So using this example, say we go back to the very fabric of the multiverse. Let’s use a very basic sense of light and dark. Now as we’ve seen in the multiverse, light and dark must exist to create balance.
Without light you have no darkness. Without darkness you have no light. That is what creates that balance. So the idea is good and evil could exist in that same balance. Christianity is unique in the sense that it did not have an evil God right away. According to modern Christianity, the evil being — the evil creature who became the God of evil, he isn’t technically, but for brevity’s sake we’ll call him the God of evil — didn’t come around until a little bit later. God created everything and then suddenly evil appeared, but if you look at a lot of the older belief systems, evil was already there. It was already part and parcel of the universe. So universal evil automatically has to exist if universal good does because, like I said, it’s a balance.
Now, I do not ascribe to any particular label. I am me. Whatever I decide to believe is just who I am. I can’t say that I’m Christian or Muslim or anything like that, but I also accept that each one of those — each Christian, Muslim, pagan, Buddhist, whatever you want to go with — has truths to them. Whether or not they agree with mine does not make them any less true.
Now, you’ve heard of the term consensual reality, right? Basically it’s the idea that reality only works because we’ve all agreed that that’s how it works. But the thing is, our reality is much bigger than that.
Most of humanity has subscribed to this idea that the universe works in this certain way, but in reality there’s no particular proof that that’s the case because things happen that people can’t explain. Now, we have science — not knocking science. It has its purposes. We have religion — not knocking religion. It has its purposes.
Both of those have massive blind spots in the sense that if it starts to work outside of their purview, they don’t know how to deal with it. So most humans simply ignore it. That becomes what’s known as consensual reality. That is the reality that is accepted. So say a troll walked in here — you know, seven or eight feet tall, made of stone. Most people are not going to acknowledge it. If they do, they’re just gonna think it’s a rather large ugly man.
They will build their reality into what they can accept. That’s my particular idea right there. I don’t know if you’d call that a philosophy, but it’s the idea that I want to be open enough to see all there is to see.
When it comes to morality, I would have to say that I go with the storyteller’s creed. I believe more in imagination than knowledge. I believe that love conquers all.
You’re not perfect. Nobody is. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Hell, Yeshua wasn’t even perfect. He was flipping tables in the temple. He had a bit of a fit, so nobody’s perfect. The point is to try and make sure to do as much good as you can and mitigate any harm you do. That is the most basic belief system you can live by. It’s just do good. Do good, be honorable, be love. That’s what you can do.