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 Sagan was fond of saying, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Example: A Spiritually Transformative Experience (STE)
Some paranormal classes of experience are considered simple, like an instance of telepathy, picking up what another is thinking. And some are complex as in near-death experience, past-life regression, or supersynchronicity. The simpler forms of psi, another acceptable term for the paranormal, have already been proven in labs, but its complex manifestations do not easily lend themselves to standard testing.
As an example of this last, because it is compact but still complex psi and also fascinating, let me borrow a Spiritually Transformative Experience (STE) from by Charles Tart’s highly-recommended book, The End of Materialism. In 1872 Richard Maurice Bucke, a Canadian psychiatrist, who “thought of himself as a man of science, devoted to factuality and accuracy” had an experience from which he coined the term “Cosmic Consciousness” to describe what happened to him.
This according to Bucke’s own account although he tells it in the third person: On his way home, after a congenial evening among friends in London, Bucke “was in a state of quiet, almost passive enjoyment. All at once, without warning of any kind, he found himself wrapped around, as it were, by a flame-colored cloud. For an instant he thought of fire, some sudden conflagration in the great city. The next he knew the light was within himself. Directly afterwards came upon him a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness, accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Into his brain streamed one momentary lightning flash of Brahmic Splendor, which has ever since lightened his life; upon his heart fell one drop of Brahmic Bliss, leaving thenceforward for always an aftertaste of heaven. Among other things he did not come to believe, he saw and knew:
According to Tart, Bucke maintained “that he learned more within the few seconds during which the illumination lasted than in previous months or even years of study and that he learned much that no study could ever have taught.”
Talk about extraordinary claims! And Tart’s book is non-fiction as are Gary Schwartz’s. If we VF writers come up with that kind of stuff, readers ask what drug the good doctor was taking. Note that Bucke’s enlightenment is presented not as a matter of belief but as direct experience, a form of multi-perceptual comprehension known as Gnosis, an immediate and experiential infusion of what is best called the divine delivered so as to permanently change the recipient’s life. This is darn close to Saul falling off his horse on the way to Damascus and coming off the ground as St. Paul, the ardent disciple of Jesus. How does one apply science to something like that?
Applying the Scientific Method to the Paranormal
Just thirty years ago, the idea of applying the scientific method to spiritual research was considered ridiculous. That has changed considerably.
There’s no space here to cover the entire process, but I’ll outline it as presented by American philosopher Ken Wilber, especially in his work, The Marriage of Sense and Soul. He differentiates between narrow empiricism (evidence allowed from sense data only, what Charles Tart and Gary Schwartz call scientism) and broad empiricism (evidence from sensory, mental, and spiritual experience). “Empiricism in the very broadest sense means that we always resort to experience to ground our assertions about any of these domains (sensory, mental, spiritual).”
Note that proof is derived from contemplation of experience (a posteriori or after the fact, science in its proper meaning, spirituality) rather than from decree of authority (a priori or decided before testing, scientism, dogmatic religion).
When applying the scientific method to paranormal or spiritual research, we are doing science in its broad meaning. We cannot measure paranormal/spiritual phenomena solely with sense data.
The scientific method, whether narrowly or broadly applied, has three main steps:
- specify an experiment (hypothesis, injunction),
- perform the experiment and observe the results,
- Verify/falsify the results with others who have done the same experiment.
After step 3, the process often loops the revised hypothesis back to step 1 for another round testing. It can, of course, get considerably more complex, but that I’ll leave to the scientists like Wilber, Tart and Schwartz and their informative books.
The Extraordinary is “Good to Go”
With “extraordinary” claims that are inherently true, there comes a point where the proof process is adequate. Despite the contempt for parapsychology demonstrated in the Wikipedia definition with which I opened Part 1, there has been, in fact, an extraordinary amount of experimentation and accumulation of evidence in and out of scientific laboratories that validate psi events.
In The End of Materialism, Charles Tart maintains that the scientific method under strict laboratory conditions has already been scrupulously applied to most simpler psi phenomena. After reviewing experimentation over the past 100+ years, he concludes that the “big five” (telepathy, clairvoyance or remote viewing, precognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing) have been proven sufficiently that we can stop asking “Are they real?” and start looking for ways to put them to use. Go to it, visionary authors.
He puts the more complex psi phenomena (Post Cognition, Out-of-Body, Near-Death-Experience, Postmortem Survival, Mediumship, Reincarnation, and STEs like Bucke’s above) in a less certain status. Not that there aren’t numerous valid instances of these, but they don’t adapt easily to standard lab testing, at least with today’s level of training and financing. Applause goes to groups like IONS and IANDS that do much of this work independently, largely with volunteer scientists and grassroots funding.
[Wow, I just realized that Part 2 is already long enough for a single helping, and there is still a lot to be covered, including Super Synchronicity itself and the very exciting Soul Phone. So, I queried the editors, and they were kind enough to let me spill over to a Part 3 next week. And I will finish it then—promise. 😊]
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.
Look up Dr. Gary E. Schwartz on the internet, and you will discover a gentleman with his Ph.D. from Harvard, who taught psychiatry and psychology at Yale (both reputable schools, I understand), and is currently professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has published more than 450 scientific papers, including six in the prestigious journal Science, co-edited 11 academic books, and authored 8 books for the general public. (Click this link for a listing of his works on Amazon.) He also serves as the director of the U of A’s Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health (LACH). For the record, I am an autodidact who tends to sneak past scholarly institutions and their pundits.
In 2002, while researching reincarnation for my novel The Anathemas, I happened across Dr. Schwartz’s The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life after Death. The book’s erudite title and Dr. Schwartz’s lofty credentials promised to somewhat legitimize my obsession with the still-maligned occult. Few were the mainstream scientists/educators who were willing to put the words “scientific” and “life after death” in the same book, much less in its title.
I followed Dr. Schwartz through the years as he produced book after book that crisply and bravely brought science and spirituality closer together without wandering too far into either the wooly pasture of woo-woo or the prickly cacti of ultra-skepticism. Since I too live in Tucson, site of the University of Arizona where Dr. Schwartz teaches, our paths narrowly missed crossing at various events several times. Finally, in early 2017, I attended a pair of IONS (Institute of Noetic Science) lectures that featured Dr. Schwartz and his two most recent works. The first, An Atheist in Heaven: The Ultimate Evidence for Life After Death? with co-author Paul Jeffrey Davids, is an out-of-this-world true story about Hollywood horror genre personality, Forrest J. Ackerman. An avowed atheist, the film maker nevertheless told his friends that he would let them know if he found something to life after death if there was something when he got there. The book chronicles how “Forry” kept his promise, making his continuing existence evident on dozens of occasions, the authors witnessing most of them. As many have said about their own paranormal experience, “You can’t make this stuff up.”
The second of Dr. Schwartz’s recent books, germane as well to visionary fiction, is Super Synchronicity: Where Science and Spirit Meet, just released on February 18. More on that one later. For now just know that it is a supersynchronicity that, after 15 years of trying, I finally sat down for that coveted one-on-one with Gary (switching to first-name basis here) this past month.
Paranormal Research Thumbnail
With his commitment to the study of the paranormal, Dr. Schwartz might be an outlier among academics, but he is hardly the first or the only one. Some of the world’s greatest scientists and intellects (Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Kircher, Liebniz and Newton, to name a few) risked their lives and careers to study and promulgate ideas that were factual but forbidden, and so were classified as heretical or occult by the authorities. Only in 1882 was a professional body, the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), formed in London that gave scientists and scholars a forum to investigate paranormal phenomena. Struggling for validation and funds throughout the 20th century, parapsychologists experienced some success (labs of distinction were founded at Stanford and Duke in the US) but more often got the cold shoulder or worse from peers. Their chosen discipline lay in the strafed no-man’s-land between fundamentalist theology and equally dogmatic scientism.
By the 1980s, parapsychological research had waned in the United States. Even the CIA disavowed the results of the remote viewing program at Stanford Research Institute that it had operated for decades. Currently, only two American universities have active psi laboratories. I encountered the one, the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies made famous by psychiatrist Ian Stevenson, when first researching reincarnation. The second is the University of Arizona’s LACH directed by Dr. Schwartz.
While paranormal research still flourishes in other parts of the world where religious and scientific cynicism is less prevalent, the burden of parapsychological study and practice in America is now carried by private institutions. These include the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell in 1973 “to broaden the knowledge of the nature and potentials of mind and consciousness and to apply that knowledge to the enhancement of human well-being and the quality of life on the planet”; the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) based in Durham, North Carolina with its vision to build “global understanding of near-death and near-death-like experiences through research, education, and support”; and The Monroe Institute founded in the 1970’s by inventor Robert Monroe to advance “the exploration of human consciousness and the experience of expanded states of awareness as a path to creating a life of personal freedom, meaning, insight, and happiness.”
This list is suggestive, not exhaustive. There are dozens of worthy organizations researching consciousness and thousands of paranormal practitioners using the many effective modalities defined. Living and writing in Tucson, I have the distinct advantage of Dr. Schwartz’s laboratory down the street, which contributes to thriving local IONS and IANDS units, both with outstanding monthly speaker programs as well as study groups and workshops. Here the paranormal has become quite normal, and this is a red state. Expanding consciousness is everyone’s concern; it is thrilling to see the opportunities to explore it growing exponentially. Even communities less endowed than Tucson have ample resources available on line.
Visionary Fiction Partnered with Scientific Fact
I don’t expect visionary fiction writers and readers to be among the naysayers when it comes to paranormal phenomena even though we can and should be vigorous in vetting what seems impossible or improbable.
As fiction, our writing embraces the general objectives of any art: to engage and entertain our audience. In writing visionary fiction, as is stated in the Characteristic Features of VF, our stories use reincarnation, dreams, visions, paranormal events, psychic abilities, and other metaphysical plot devices. The fantasy genre uses these elements also, ordinarily outside a realistic framework. But VF employs them in the specific context of promoting growth in consciousness. To accomplish this purpose, the paranormal elements used must be actual (based on real data) or at least probable. If it sounds like I am waxing scientific here, good, because I am.
I don’t mean that every VF author has to head for the lab and perform precise experiments, double-blinds and all, before using a paranormal device in a story. I know I don’t. In fact, I’ve been known to almost wet myself when real evidence suddenly provides proof for some paranormal element that I thought emerged whole-cloth from the Stygian swamp of my overwrought imagination. (For an example, check out the Intuitive Research page on my website.)
No wonder 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 in their veracity even though we have neither the time, resources, or perhaps brains to perform the requisite scientific experiments ourselves.
In PART TWO , we take a closer look at the effect the work of scientists like Dr. Schwartz can have on both the creativity of individual visionary artists and the vector of universal growth in consciousness. And as a bonus, I introduce you to the SoulPhone®, a technology in development by Gary Schwartz and associates that promises to allow those on Earth to communicate with those “in spirit.”
One of the first and most satisfying compliments I received for my novel, Giving Voice to Dawn, was not a nod to my whacky depictions of spirit guide encounters or even a thumbs-up for the depth of the wisdom I shared. It was, instead, an enthusiastic gush regarding my scene descriptions. As nutty, quirky, and visionary as my story is, it was my scene description of real, physical spaces that most enthralled one of my earliest readers.
And why exactly? Because the care I took with my setting scene created a solid, grounded base upon which I could play out my story without causing anxiety in my reader. My most magical passages were grounded in reality. I didn’t pop them in out of the ethers as dream sequences, but layered them in over richly described actual places where somewhat ordinary activity was taking place. For example, about midway through my novel, my protagonist is drawn into a complex vision that takes place while she’s cleaning out the closet in her home office. A whale grabs her ankle and pulls her back through a life review during which she encounters items from her closet that trigger memories. Although I could have pulled this pivotal scene off as a dream sequence, I chose instead to set the office scene, ground the reader in the ordinary activity of clearing out a closet, and then layer the vision on. Once the vision is complete, the protagonist emerges again in the office where she was safely tethered all along.
I took this approach purposefully while writing my novel because I didn’t want to scare off new spiritual seekers. I wanted to avoid plopping them into a world that was unidentifiable and, therefore, “not for them.” This need to make spirituality accessible harkens back to my experience as a kid attending a Catholic church where the entire Mass was spoken in Latin. Jesus quickly became not for me—I mean, we didn’t even speak the same language! I didn’t want to create that same sort of experience for my readers.
Now, if you’re reading this, you’re probably a writer and you probably know how to set a scene. However, I did want to share some tips that might help you out the next time you’re writing a metaphysical or a Visionary Fiction story that you’d like to firmly ground in the physical plane. So, here’s a collection of my best advice:
Setting a scene in Visionary Fiction
- Commit to Describe the Scenery and Take Your Time.Commit to rich scene description and take the time to richly describe scenes. This might seem trivial, but without the commitment at the get-go, you might find yourself so focused on writing dialogue and moving the story that your scene description becomes secondary.
- On the Flip Side, Know When to Move Along.If you’re not about to introduce a ghost, have a guide pop in, or have a deer saunter through a scene with a message, spare the scene details and move along. Write your scenes with a sense of purpose. For example, one of the chapters of Giving Voice to Dawn opens in the protagonist’s bedroom as she wakes up and gets ready for the day. I don’t describe her bedroom in any detail, choosing instead to allow the reader to imagine it. The chapter is going to move very quickly to an antique shop that I’m going to describe in intimate detail and then sprinkle with magic. I didn’t want the reader bogged down with details and tired of reading scene description before they got to the shop, so purposely limited my description of the bedroom.
- Describe Real Public Places and Name Names.Use known and identifiable locales. Be explicit and share the names of streets, restaurants, subway stations, historical landmarks, parks, stores, etc. Mention little details that those familiar with the locale will immediately recognize and don’t worry that not everyone will pick up on them. Does this take more time and effort? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.
- Do Your Research.Once you commit to describing real places, take the time to actually experience them. While you’re on location, take notes, shoot photos, record sounds, describe smells. If you physically can’t visit every location you’d like to use in your story, see what you can find online in the way of virtual tours. I used Google Street View, for example, to help me describe the countryside out the SUV window as my protagonist and her pal rolled along on a road trip. Taking the same route months after I wrote the road trip passage, I discovered little needing correction. It’s also possible to find virtual tours of indoor spaces. I turned again to Google Street View to explore the interior of an art museum that I used as a setting. When I got stuck and needed some detail about what hung on the walls of a specific back hallway, I contacted someone at the museum, who happily sent me the information I needed.
- Weave Scene Description in With the Action.Your story doesn’t have to sit still while you describe your scene. I prefer to skip lengthy setting of scenes at chapter openings and reveal details as a chapter unfolds.
- Move On and Circle Back. If you’re missing a detail that you’d really like to incorporate, but are on a writing roll, keep moving and come back later. I keep a running list of facts that need checking and circle back often. And those scant scene descriptions at chapter openings? I circle back and review those, too—adding details as needed to smooth the flow of the story between chapters.
- Write to Delight Your Reader’s Senses.Describe with an eye toward delighting your readers and drawing them into your scene. Write with all four of your physical senses fully engaged and give your readers non-visual elements with which to connect—the scent of a flower, the caw of a crow, the warmth of the sun. And then give them more.
- This might seem contrary to how you usually write, but I skimp on character development in my first draft and focus instead on setting scenes and physically moving my characters through them. I then build the story details and the characters around that wireframe. This is especially important if you’re setting a scene in a complex locale and have committed to accuracy. Remember, you can always invent devices later that bend the wire and move your characters more quickly through an environment (you are, after all, writing Visionary Fiction!), but you need to be completely comfortable with the nuances of the space to seamlessly pull that off.
- Describe Other Worlds Completely and Overlap Elements Across Planes.I have to admit that I struggle to stay engaged with a story in which guides and angels watch Earth-bound characters from a vaguely described “afar”. You can make your Visionary Fiction more accessible to a wider audience by devoting part of your word count to full description of your guides’ environs. Even better, look for ways to overlap physical elements across planes. Have your guides hang out in an apple orchard, for example, as your protagonist munches an apple and receives a hit of intuitive inspiration.
Overall, I use scene description to make the idea of spirit guides and magic not so far removed from ordinary experience. A well-crafted scene is very much a palette onto which you can paint the most spiritual of action without completely losing your Earth-bound audience. Look out upon the world like the artist that you are and describe in delightful detail what you see. Your stories will become ever more engaging and accessible for the effort.
Linda S. Gribko is an author, artist, and photographer living in Morgantown, West Virginia. Early on in life, she pushed her in-born love for writing and art into the hobby closet as she earned degrees in natural resources. Having never quite worked out a plan to use her education, and always struggling to stay afloat while searching for the elusive “something else,” she tried out a wide range of careers before eventually landing on a corporate position that should have marked the end of her search. However, on January 4, 2014, a meteor flew over her head and wagged its tail as she proclaimed to the stars that she was the Universe. Three months later, she had quit her job and was raiding the closet for all the loves she’d left behind. There she found the makings of Giving Voice to Dawn, her debut novel published in November 2016. Her current works-in-progress include a set of meditation cards and a vision board experience based on the wisdom shared in Giving Voice to Dawn. She also writes a blog, Hawk Finds Her Wings—a prequel of sorts that keeps the dawn sky burning bright as Crow and friends provide accompaniment.
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Have you ever wondered what makes certain stories more powerful than others? Could there be such a thing as a story’s fifth element. If so, what is it?
Although in recent times, the basic elements have been recognized as four, in most ancient cultures and religions there are five. Hinduism acknowledges five great elements—earth, water, fire, air, and the ether, aka akasha. In ancient Tibetan philosophy, the fifth element is the space and in Japanese traditions, the void or spirit. In Ancient Greece, the ether was the most sacred element, for it was unchangeable as opposed to the other four.
Also, the primal geographical directions have been subject to confusion in this matter. Most Eastern and Mesoamerican natives viewed the center of the Earth as a fifth direction, the principal essence from which the other four primal directions derived. In the West, this center is called the Axis Mundi and is the connection between heaven and earth, the point where the four cardinal directions meet.
When I learned of the five elements and directions, I began wondering whether stories, being the reflection of life, could possess them as well? And if so, then what could such elements represent in regard to story? Continue reading
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We are living at a crucial moment in the advancement of humanity. Everything is in flux. Materialism and reliance upon ever more sophisticated technology has reached unprecedented extremes, while in parallel a new yearning for purpose and a path to attainment is swiftly gaining ground.
Visual and literary visionary creators have a key role to play at this time. For by our very nature, we instinctively see beyond the apparent veil that separates our “material” reality from the infinite realities in which we move and have our being.
As visionaries, we cannot – and must not – ignore the growing rapprochement between the latest developments in quantum physics and the enlightenment sought by mystics.
The implications of the common ground between these two disciplines allow us to put forward the following Visionary Writers’ credo:
- QUANTUM META-PHYSICS tells us that REALITY is an ILLUSION.
- EXISTENCE plays out on limitless numbers of parallel TIMELINES.
- VISIONARY insight empowers us to alter the makeup of our single NOW.
- In turn, WORLDVIEWS shift and we gain greater control over DESTINY.
- Our PURPOSE is to SHARE these visions by forging PARALLEL REALITIES.
- To trigger varying degrees of KNOWING among our AUDIENCES.
- Thus contributing to RAISING AWARENESS and ushering in the NEW PARADIGM.
All of this means that we, as visionary writers, have a particular responsibility in these transitional times. We are writers with a mission and can make a very real contribution to heightening collective consciousness wherever our works may “happen” to be read or heard.
Shaping our own destiny
Since we all share this huge responsibility, we must also learn how to “jump” the timelines and steer ourselves into the parallel universe where our visions are able to fulfil their purpose. This tends to be rather easier for us as we are going with the flow of the paradigm shift rather than being hung up on fatalistic, materialist worldviews and nihilist notions such as “you only live once”.
We have a further advantage. Our craft is actually built upon creating other realities. So if we can spend so much time doing this, the least we can do is visualise, project and create a new reality for ourselves! One in which we are enabled to do what we came here to do in our current lifetimes.
Reading the signs
Since our purpose is in line with the shift, we can expect to be given “signs” when we are on the right path. These synchronistic events can assume many forms, from apparently minor “coincidences” (such as thinking of a particular phrase and then hearing the same words coming from the radio seconds later) to genuinely life-changing events. For example, meeting a key person at a pivotal moment, being “inspired” to do a particular thing at a particular time that subsequently turns out to have been a decisive development in our own personal “storyline”.
Needless to say, most of these principles also apply to Visionary and Inspirational non-fiction, since authors of these books are also working towards the same goal of helping the Paradigm Shift to become the new norm.
We must never forget that absolutely nothing happens by chance. We ARE the architects of our own destiny as we fulfil our purpose to transmit our visionary insight to those who urgently need it in this instant of the eternal NOW.
Putting the “Credo” into action
Without going into any great detail of the mechanics behind the happenings of the past six months (the apotheosis of a visionary project initiated in 1974), it could be interesting to examine how events during that time have “played out” in a timeline that looks as if it were all set to fulfil a much higher purpose.
It is now less than six months since the “Zandernatis Trinity” in its “Three In One” edition entitled Genesis Antarctica (GA) was published. Three months after that, the final updates of print and Kindle editions were completed, and we could say “It’s finally finished”. This 750 page combined volume is a reworking of an unpublished 1974 epic based on the discovery of ancient texts under the Antarctic ice in 1962, proving the existence of a pre-glacial civilisation that was the source of our most ancient legends and religious myths.
In the course of the following three months, a great deal has happened. Just as if a predetermined storyline were being followed to put everything into place for GA to accomplish its visionary purpose.
This 50 year personal storyline covers promising beginnings as a visionary artist, encounters with two founder members of the Dutch meta-realist movement (Johfra Bosschart and Ellen Lorien) and the decision to “paint with words” rather than with oils and brushes. Then followed 40 years to hone the skills of writing professionally until the reworking of Zandernatis began in 2013, resulting in the creation of a new literary genre, the “meta-realist allegory” which is “as real as you need it to be”.
A whole series of synchronistic events and their consequences kicked in almost immediately, many of which had obviously been “lined up” for years (in our conventional universe).
Everything came to fruition within three short months. They include an inspiring website: www.genesis-antarctica.com, thanks to a truly visionary team who were contacted “by chance” within days of the “final” edition appearing. They are themselves visionaries and felt Genesis Antarctica was the kind of project they had been preparing for. Their own site www.el11even.com clearly shows where they are coming from and their sense of mission which is totally in line with the principles described in the “Credo” published in the first part of this article (GA is even featured at the top of their homepage!!!). This is further demonstrated by the stunning Book Trailer they developed, the traffic of “seekers” they have driven to the site and the sales they have generated. The full scope of their many skills are described on their “agency” webpages.
Another major development during this period has been the recording of a complete audiobook version of GA by two former Royal Shakespeare Company players: Bill Homewood and Estelle Kohler. Bill has already recorded over 40 classics, including Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (65 hours of recording!), Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and Ryder Haggard’s “documented” adventures. This was another “synchronistic” opportunity born from a “chance” encounter three years ago. Videos featuring samples from the audiobook are available on the GA site’s articles and videos page. This comes at a very “propitious” time on a market that is expanding in leaps and bounds. Read this Wall Street Journal article published on 21 July 2016 for more details. Information all visionary writers should consider carefully! It is also worth knowing that you can now market audiobooks via Authors Republic, a site enabling authors living anywhere in the world to be listed on Audible, Amazon and iTunes plus up to 20 other audiobook sites (Barnes and Noble, audiobook.com, etc.).
If we are all consumed by a passion for writing visionary fiction, there is a purpose. If the VFA exists, it also serves a very important purpose: reminding us we are not alone and that we are all contributing to one of the greatest changes ever experienced by any civilization.
Now, it’s just a question of making sure we “jump” to the right timeline.
And keep following it!
Editor’s note: This is a video version of the above article – recommended viewing!
Gordon Keirle-Smith currently lives in Nîmes, in the south of France. He was a successful visionary artist in the late 1960s, when his studio was located in a famous London West End theatre, and he regularly exhibited and sold his work in a top Cork Street gallery. He moved to France in the early 70s and put all the paintings he would never have time to complete into a book, which became the first version of Zandernatis in 1974. He then worked in tourism, headed a Paris language school’s team of 40 teachers, coached top advertising executives in communications skills, won the Toastmaster’s European Speechmaking Championship twice, contributed articles to house magazines for market-leading companies (e.g. Oracle and GDF SUEZ) wrote advertising copy for major international brands (Air France, L’Oreal, Renault, Heineken, Delsey, etc.), founded and managed his own highly successful marketing transcreation agency. All of this experience was applied to reworking the original version of Zandernatis and developing its “meta-realist” aspect with the aim of creating a new kind of reading experience.
To see more of Gordon’s work, visit genesis-antarctica.com and zandernatis.com
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