Visionary Fiction and the Science of Consciousness, Part 3

Applied Parapsychology: Synchronicity and Super Synchronicity

To read or revisit Part One of this series, click HERE. For Part Two, Click HERE.

Parapsychology in its various aspects is an enormous field of study and practice both for evolving humans trekking through the maze of physical/mental/spiritual existence and for visionary authors narrating that tortuous saga, aptly named the Hero’s Journey by mythologist Joseph Campbell.

Super SynchronicityBut prior to it becoming a way of life or genre of fiction, parapsychology is a science: a body of knowledge that can be trusted because a scientist, in the broad sense of the term, did the proper lab work and wrote the requisite papers that other scientists diligently vetted. Such science takes dedication, time, and resources, and often must be done in the hostile environment mentioned earlier. So, a work like Super Synchronicity: Where Science and Spirit Meet is a priceless gift to humanity.

For someone coming cold upon the concept of synchronicity, this book might initially evoke a “You’ve got to be kidding.” Why Gary’s degrees and experience are necessary for him to get away with it.

But as a VF writer, who sees that reality is often stranger than fiction, I came to it already familiar with the concept and experience of synchronicity. Even supersynchronicity (six or more events “in close proximity that do not seem to have any causal connection but are still related meaningfully”) was not too much of a stretch. But rarely did I pay attention long enough to count that far. Also, I had no idea how many others had such experiences and in what quantities, or what might cause such chains of events.  All … Continue reading

Visionary Fiction and the Science of Consciousness , Part 2

Undercover Agents of Consciousness

To read or revisit Part One of this series, click HERE.

Like researchers venturing beyond the known and allowed boundaries of sanctioned science, visionary authors often strike radioactive material that incites incredulity, hostility, and worse. For these, in the words of Carl Jung, “The experience that furnishes the material for artistic expression is no longer familiar…. It is a primordial experience which surpasses man’s understanding, and to which he is in danger therefore of succumbing. The value and the force of the experience are given by its enormity. It arises from timeless depths; it is foreign and cold. Many-sided, demonic and grotesque.” Writing, even if obviously fiction, that calls another’s sacrosanct belief system into question invites attack and ridicule. Ask Dan Brown or J. K. Rowling.

While we create stories to ostensibly enthrall and entertain, we are, in fact, undercover agents attempting to ignite the universal but often lethargic human impulse to grow in consciousness. That effort, like a medicinal shot, is rarely appreciated. Becoming more aware is hard; it takes change. Everything that improves our chances of success is on the table.

The state achieved by taking the recommended hero’s journey has to appear valuable, and the trip itself better seem doable, or we’ve lost our knight-errant. Readers want to see themselves performing the feats that our heroes do and to come away with some tools to do likewise. The more accurately informed (scientific) our work is, the more they will be inclined to try similar experimental deeds on their own.

Since we are dealing with the paranormal, too often misread as abnormal, and the unusual, also misread as untrue, we must ensure that our facts are facts more so than those who write realistic fiction. As Gary Schwartz reminds us in Super Synchronicity, Dr. Carl … Continue reading

Visionary Fiction and the Science of Consciousness, Part 1

Introducing Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Parapsychology is a field of study concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena, which include telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation, apparitional experiences, and other paranormal claims. It is often identified as pseudoscience…. Parapsychology has been criticized for continuing investigation despite being unable to provide convincing evidence for the existence of any psychic phenomena after more than a century of research. It has been noted that most academics do not take the claims of parapsychology seriously.

The above, in italics with the bolding mine, is a quote from the current Wikipedia entry  for Parapsychology. I could spend time berating its fake facts as ought to happen with the fake news all the rage today. Instead, I’ll cut to the chase and, as an allegedly sane visionary novelist who specializes in historical fiction featuring reincarnation and other paranormal phenomena, take down this benighted description with the example of a highly-credentialed academic who indeed takes parapsychology seriously.

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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

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

The Visionary Perspective

The Visionary Perspective

I suspect many of you, like me, struggle to define visionary fiction, not to mention how it differs from magical realism.

In today’s post, The Visionary Perspective, and next week’s post, Revealing the Magical, I will make an attempt to distinguish between the two genres—how they differ and where they may overlap.

An Accurate Place to Land

For me, an integration of visionary metaphysical and magical realism seems to be the most accurate place to land—a combination of the embrace of esoteric wisdom emphasizing the human transformative capacity and the hidden mystery of the magical elements breaking through into ordinary “real” life.

This type of fiction, according to Italian writer, Massimo Bontempelli, attempts to change the collective consciousness by “opening new mythical and magical perspectives on reality”.

The Unseen Within the Visible

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