I’ve heard this term before, even listed my books on Amazon under this genre with a general understanding of its meaning. But this past week I came across an article that defined it more specifically. Michael Gurian does a great job of not only defining, but promoting the genre, which for many of us is new.
He describes it as ‘fiction in which the expansion of the human mind drives the plot.’
Mystical experiences, visions, telepathy, hallucinations, dreams, paranormal experiences, channelling, intuition, NDE’s, a sense of unity with ALL that IS, profound insight that brings joy…these are not just inconsequential things that happen to the characters, they are the essential elements without which there would be no plot.
Gurian goes on to say that ‘Visionary fiction has been integral to human storytelling, whether secular or sacred, since the beginning of our historical record.’
The reason is that the human mind keeps expanding. Our desire for knowledge and understanding never ceases, and storytelling is often the easiest way to convey new ideas to one another, thereby expanding consciousness.
Classic examples of visionary fiction could include: C.S. Lewis’ novels, The Celestine Prophesy (James Redfield), The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), and Illusions (Richard Bach) to name a few of my favorites.
The term was coined by John Algeo (at the suggestion of Renee Webber) and can be found in an article published in the American Theosophist, May 1982. He describes it as a ‘kind of story generally set in our own world—cornflakes for breakfast, eight hours at the office, and an evening with friends or in front of the television. But visionary fiction reveals aspects of this world that are sharply at variance with the common assumptions of the man-in-the-street about what his world is really like. It helps the reader to see the world in a new light, to recognize dimensions of reality that we commonly ignore. It transforms our vision of ourselves and our environment. For this reason, it can be interpreted as one of the signs of spiritual revolution in our time.’
As a writer, I’m thrilled to be included in this exciting, provocative, and potentially life-changing genre. I’m proud to stand with others on the leading edge of thought, because thought is powerful; it is the ‘stuff’ that creates worlds. A simple thought can become a belief which can become a belief system which inevitably becomes a reality (however you choose to define reality).
Author, Monty Joynes claims that a ‘good novel has penetrating power to individual awareness because it involves the reader in the deep process of human character. The good novel is more than information, more than entertainment. It is a pathway to the reader’s subconscious mind. If the reader has immersed himself or herself in the process of the character, the experience is more than vicarious. It is profoundly real; and within the subconscious mind, the reality is not separate from feelings that actually occurred to the reader in his or her physical domain.’
I hope my latest novel, A Brief Moment in Time, will do just that. My desire is to entertain, to inform, and ultimately to immerse my readers in experiences so ‘real’ that they are profoundly changed. If I can help them to see the world in a new light, to view reality in an expanded way, and to deepen their understanding and awareness of All that Is, then I have succeeded—touching lives one story at a time.
A Brief Moment in Time is now available in both paperback and e-book (Kindle) formats on Amazon and other online bookstores.