Visionary Fiction and the Science of Consciousness, Part 1

I get excited when I come across something like Gary Schwartz’s Super Synchronicity: Where Science and Spirit Meet. Such books and operations like the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health at the U of A allow us visionary authors to write about various preternatural  phenomena with confidence of their veracity even though we have neither the time, resources or perhaps brains to perform the requisite scientific experiments ourselves. Continue reading

Visionary Fiction and Transhumanism, Part 3

If, to paraphrase Joni Mitchell’s lyrics in “Woodstock,” we are indeed stardust and golden, we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. When faced with paradox, which our condition inherently is, we humans tend to jump from one extreme to the other. Only after we get dizzy enough from swinging between either/or does it occur to us try both/and. Continue reading

Visionary Fiction and Transhumanism, Part 2

We ended Part 1 stuck between the opposites of Matter, represented by the infernal machines, and Spirit, as epitomized by abstract ideals. Transhumanism, by definition, seems positioned in the former category, the Dalai Lama’s “half machine,” and our visionary viewpoint in the latter, what His Holiness calls “a stream of consciousness.” That these two elements, one inanimate and the other animate, might join in some unnatural marriage to rival or supplant the current human model was seen, to put it kindly, as far out. Continue reading

Dark Characters in Visionary Fiction Can Reveal the Light

By Eleni Papanou

Visionary fiction’s theme is the evolution of human consciousness. But what does that mean? What is consciousness? Psychologist, William James, coined the phrase stream of consciousness. He identified consciousness as something that is shaped by experience and how the experience is processed in our minds. So it’s our life experience that defines who we are, and we play out that definition in reality. If we have many dark experiences, then it might lead us to passing similar experiences on to others. Why are some people able to overcome darkness?

LIGHT-IN-THE-DARKNESS-1

The great sages of history paved the way to free us from our dark nature. Socrates taught us the limitations of knowledge by asking us to question our assumptions. The Buddha taught us that our attachments lead to suffering. Attachment to possessions, to people, to social status, and destructive personal and outer beliefs can overcome our sense of self, and we instead become products of culture. In other words, without taking the time to reflect upon our experience, we’re instead  shaped and molded by culture. When that happens, we lose a sense of who we truly are. We go through life performing a role that we believe we’re expected to play.

The Jungian term of enlightenment is moving beyond the archetypal roles that we’ve perpetuated since the dawn of civilization. Once we can look from the outside in, we become what Jung described as modern man. He explained that modern humans (noun adjusted for modern usage) are lonely because they have detached from their historically assigned roles. They also may be viewed as crazy as a result of their unwillingness to continue being fellow … Continue reading

The “Flyby” in Visionary Fiction, Part Two

Flybys are not flukes. At first they may seem to appear by accident, luck or chance, which, if true, would make them a dastardly unpredictable source for a visionary story or anything else of worth. While keeping aside the worthy argument that nothing is truly accidental, let’s look at ways to increase the odds of returning from the hunt laden with healthy flybys . Continue reading

The “Flyby” in Visionary Fiction, Part One

Where do the ideas and visions that eventually become complex cities and timeless books come from? I don’t know actually—how to blunt a piece from the get-go! However, I do know that they first show up as blip of light barely large and lasting enough to evoke a “What the heck was that?” It gets a smidge of our attention before it flicks on by. Continue reading