The statement below was written by a practitioner of painted visionary works, yet I was struck by how it synced with our definition of visionary fiction at Visionary Fiction Alliance and how it applies to other visionary art forms as well.
Art of the Visionary attempts to show what lies beyond the boundary of our sight. Through dream, trance, or other altered states, the artist attempts to see the unseen – attaining a visionary state that transcends our regular modes of perception. The task awaiting him, thereafter, is to communicate his vision in a form recognizable to “everyday sight.” L. Caruana Manifesto of Visionary Art
To illustrate the common “visionary” perspective of contemporary artists among all mediums – from music to astronomy to psychology to athletics to acting to sculpture, I offer the following quotes:
- Songwriter, photographer Julian Lennon: “It’s about mind control and how you realize what you’re going through, and you make those necessary changes to move forward to become more enlightened, more positive again.”
- Journalist, political commentator Arianna Huffington: “There will be no collective enlightenment without personal enlightenment. We can take inspiration and knowledge from each other and also make a concerted effort to hit pause [on] our hectic and digital lives and just live the moment.”
- Poet/author Maya Angelou: “Evolution is a slow dance. We have to have some nerve, some trust to dare to grow-to leave old beliefs behind and try on something that might not seem like it is going to fit.”
- Mythologist Jean Houston: “When we learn to align our own personal particulars to the personal universals of a great life, say of Gandhi, or Krishna, or Oedipus, or the life of any god or goddess, when we really begin to see our life writ large in the context of these larger stories, then we can find a level of health and healing, and opportunity, of choice, of going forward, of knowing the story doesn’t end in the middle.”
- Astronomer Carl Sagan. “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
- Transpersonal Psychologist Stanislav Grof: “A radical inner transformation and rise to a new level of consciousness might be the only real hope we have in the current global crisis brought on by the dominance of the Western mechanistic paradigm.”
- Weight lifter Yuri Vlasov: “At the peak of tremendous and victorious effort, while the blood is pounding in your head, all suddenly becomes quiet within you. Everything seems clearer and whiter than ever before, as if great spotlights had been turned on. At that moment you have the conviction that you contain all the power in the world, that you are capable of everything, that you have wings. There is no more precious moment in life than this, the white moment, and you will work very hard for years just to taste it again.”
- Entertainer Oprah Winfrey: “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
- Peace advocate, spiritual writer Marianne Williamson: “Old Newtonian physics claimed that things have an objective reality separate from our perception of them. Quantum physics, and particularly Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, reveal that, as our perception of an object changes, the object itself literally changes.”
- Actor John Carrey: “Suddenly I was thrown into this expansive, amazing feeling of freedom—from myself, from my problems. I saw that I was bigger than what I do. I was bigger than my body. I was everything and everyone. I was no longer a fragment of the universe—I was the universe.”
- Sculptor Zenos Frudakis: “I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture [Freedom] is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process.”
Evolution is a slow dance
John Raatz, Founder and CEO of GATE (Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment) says, “We all feel the evolutionary change that’s intensifying at an unprecedented pace, and we all believe …know …that entertainment and media content is one of the best ways to bring transformational messages to life … to bring cooperation, unity and Oneness to a searching and hungering humanity.”
Yes, as Maya Angelou said above, “Evolution is a slow dance,” but with such a variety of celebrity artists collectively articulating and demonstrating common messages of the visionary, the task of raising transformational art into the mainstream is not insurmountable.
It takes a village.