Motifs: The Harbingers of Transcendence

Motifs are very effective in visionary fiction. For those not familiar with the term as it is used in a literary sense, motifs are either a repeating image, phrase or any other symbol an author uses to convey a message, theme or idea represented in the book. Ideally, it should be organic to the story and not forced.

In my own writing, a story will feel incomplete without at least one strong motif. In books I read, something feels missing when they aren’t included. Two days ago, as I was nearing the end of my final read through of Beyond Omega’s Sunrise, two motifs came to me as I was fleshing out two scenes. The first was a silver charm bracelet with the focus on an angel. The second was a short phrase (not mentioned as it leads to the climax). When I placed it in the story it tied into both the plot and theme of the book. A major breakthrough!

What else makes a book visionary fiction is that the author, moi in this scenario, can transcend alongside the story. The realization of how my book affected my own evolutionary growth happened today. While I was working on a paper for school, feelings of insecurity about my work arose. I phrase it in such a way as I identify these feelings as invaders from the past. I used to be a perfectionist, and I often sabotaged my work because I never felt it was good enough. Through the years, I learned that confidence comes through hard work, uncovering my weaknesses and working on them until they become my strengths, and doing the best I can in my life and work. What helped me accomplish all of the above was mindfulness meditation. It freed me from being a perfectionist; however, on occasion, the “old me” sneaks out and tries to get the best of the new and improved me.

To combat the negativity that infected my mind today, I got up from my desk and went on a three mile walking meditation. It was healing, but it got intense near the end, when I passed the apartment I used to live in. It symbolically represented the old life I’d left behind. I never felt any particular emotion about it until today. I cried…a lot. There were no conscious thoughts behind my spillage of tears other than a strong sense of relief, as if my mind spoke the phrase from my book that perfectly fit this momentous occasion! I experienced both closure and liberation, and I can now officially call Beyond Omega’s Sunrise visionary fiction!

Beyond Omega’s Sunrise will be published April 15th, 2014, in Kindle format. Paperback soon to follow.

Love and light,

Eleni

Beyond Omega’s Sunrise Trailer

Here is the official Beyond Omega’s Sunrise trailer wonderfully crafted by Ken Pottie of Digital FX LLC. I highly recommend Ken for his professionalism, easy going nature, and willingness to work with the author’s ideas.

Beyond Omega’s Sunrise will be published on Kindle, April 15, 2014. Paperback will be released in July.

Spiritual Objectivism – Part 2

Last week, I began a series on Spiritual Objectivism. The subject ties into my writing, and why I’m more motivated and inspired than ever to be an author. This was all brought about by my recent discovery of Libertarian science fiction, which I never knew existed as a genre. These two subjects evolved into a series of posts. If you haven’t read part one, click here.

I never conceptualized the spiritual connection to objectivism until I let go of my belief systems and understood what it meant to be the most authentic person I could be. It wasn’t easy. Between my kundalini awakening and the present day, I’ve experienced many traumas and almost lost the relationship with my mother because her belief system clashed with mine. A few years ago, I would’ve brought up how she was in a cult and that she was brainwashed, but I don’t anymore. My shift in mindset happened when I realized almost everyone is brainwashed to some extent. And the first person I pointed my finger to was myself.

We’re a herd species. We form groups around politics, nationality, religion, race, culture, sexual preferences, etc. A select few serve as the spokespeople who are followed by the group. Join any group, and there will be some sort of dogma presented. If you stray away from what is deemed acceptable, you’ll be shunned, unless you outshine the leaders and take their place. You might also get shunned if you’re not in the group or challenge their worldview. The accepted leaders establish themselves as experts who are deemed wiser than everyone. Amazingly, most people don’t bother to question whether or not that’s true. Robert Anton Wilson humorously touches upon these themes in the Illuminatus Trilogy and his non-fiction book, Cosmic Trigger. All hail Discordia!

On my own spiritual journey, I eventually trashed everything I held sacred and emerged an ideological atheist. Since then, I’ve been happier than I ever have been in my life, and my relationship with my mother grew stronger. It also gave me excellent fodder for my novels. The less dogmatic I became, the more risks I was willing to take with my writing. I now write for the sake of the story, not whether someone will or won’t like the book. This shift gave me an authentic voice, which was important to me. It also made me fall in love with the craft of writing. When  I was writing only screenplays, I was told how even a great manuscript often ends up getting rewritten. That’s how things work in Hollywood unless you’re George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. Compromising on a vision may work for some writers, but not for me. I was uninspired and knew the only way I could get my story out my way was by writing a novel, which I was reluctant to do because of my short attention span. But once I started, I was hooked because I was able to write according to my own personal vision. Now that I’ve done that, I don’t mind pitching my books as movies because I already got the story out my way.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy managed to survive my massive ideological data dump because there are certain truths to it, which are undeniable to me. On a personal level, it champions the importance of creating something from within ourselves as individuals, without compromise. That’s true art. On a societal level, I see objectivism not only as an effective blueprint to a free society where creativity is free to flourish, but also as an ideal way to embark on a spiritual path!

Before I continue, I should probably explain how I can call myself an ideological atheist while I’m promoting objectivism.  The explanation is simple. I don’t view objectivism as my personal religion. It isn’t something I follow blindly or build my worldview around. I do have my own opinions that contradict the philosophy, which aren’t fixed either. I have no intention of forming any new belief systems!

Natural Morality

Ayn Rand’s view on morality is where I first spotted the connection between spirituality and objectivism. She postured that morality was natural to humans for the very fact that our survival depends on it. When a government attempts to force morality on us, that’s when we all start to lose. What has surprised me within this last decade is I’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people who identify governmental institutions as the arbiters of morality and compassion, but it’s an impossible ideal.  Compassionate acts come only from us as individuals and morality cannot be forced. Some of my favorite science fiction books and movies also touch upon this theme. A Clockwork Orange depicts a society that used mind programming to cure criminals. Who can forget Alex’s signature smile at the end of the movie, which demonstrated that while his behavior was successfully controlled, he didn’t change.

 A limited government is ideal at our current level of societal evolution because people are free to develop morality and compassion as individuals. I touch upon this theme in Unison. It cannot be done by force, and when a government tries to coerce people into compliance, the society ceases to evolve.

I don’t view government as a static entity. It’s forever evolving and always a reflection of who we are as a people. This is a major reason why friends won’t hear me whining and complaining about government. I’ll put up posts in my Facebook page about causes I find important to our personal freedoms, which are under severe attack now. It’s up to us, not the government, to ensure that we’re a free people. The government is a mirror of who we are. If we want an honest and compassionate government, a higher number of us need to evolve towards being honest and compassionate individuals. And that isn’t an impossible ideal because:

Morality is natural to the human condition

“A morality not based on faith, not on arbitrary whim, not on emotion, not on arbitrary edict, mystical or social, but on reason. And morality, which can be demonstrated to be true and necessary.” Ayn Rand

The above quote I internalized when I detached from religion and belief. I  felt more connected to all of humanity. This demonstrated to me on a personal level that morality is, in fact, natural to us as a means to our survival as a species. It’s all the conditionings we place on ourselves that separate us. Therefore, it is true and necessary!  I’m sure many of you aren’t surprised by this, but I find it remarkable that a self-proclaimed atheist like Ayn Rand can come off sounding spiritual. Additionally, this serves as further proof that there is an underlying basis of wisdom that connects all of us, irrespective of belief or lack thereof.  We may be different in some respects, but deep down, we draw from the same fountain of inspiration.

So we are a naturally moral species and that’s something to celebrate. We only have to trust in ourselves more to bring it out.

Click here for part 3 where I’ll explain where I veer off of objectivism.

Love and light,

Eleni

Spiritual Objectivism Series – Part 1

When I found visionary fiction, I felt as if I had come home. My stories fit the genre perfectly. Nevertheless, it encompasses many sub-genres. For a robust discussion on visionary fiction, please click here. It demonstrates the dynamics of the genre and the challenges it faces.

Unison, Book One of the Spheral Series, is science fiction in tone and style, but I wanted to see if I could narrow it down even more, so I could connect to the type of readers who would appreciate my book. I recently discovered Libertarian science fiction, and I knew I found another genre that would also fit my series, in particular.

For a recent bloghops, I was asked to compare my book to other books, and that took a lot of thought. I finally came up with the following:


Imagine Atlas Shrugged that champions the individual’s mind and all it can achieve when unbound; the Stand, that promotes strength of faith and will, and A Brave New World, where the individual is controlled by drugs and distraction. Throw them all together and you have Unison!  

Whoa! How do I market that? Although the theme of the series is spiritual and deals with the evolution of human consciousness, the characters embrace the importance of individualism and how they can only find the truth if they champion who they are as individuals and not by giving themselves over to anyone else’s authority.

The setting begins in Unity, an oppressive government run by the Corporate Hierarchy that tries to control everyone. Damon, the protagonist, seeks to become a  leader and spends most of his efforts trying to make a name for himself. During his ascent, he has precognitive visions of his friend’s death and of a woman who leaves him cryptic messages. It may seem like a Dystopian tale, but I don’t consider it that as it’s not the main aspect of the story. It’s about the quest for liberation on an individual and spiritual level and most of the journey takes place out of Unity.

Many Libertarians embrace Objectivism philosophy. I was first introduced to it by Ayn Rand and was captivated by her novella, Anthem. I also read Atlas Shrugged in three days! That was over twenty years ago, and since then I’ve noticed a synergistic connection between Objectivism and spiritual evolution. And I’m not the only one to find this connection. That didn’t surprise me because Objectivism allows the individual the freedom to  unmask his or her uniqueness. It’s an under-appreciated philosophy due to Ayn Rand’s use of the word selfish. It doesn’t help that money manipulators such as Alan Greenspan cite her as an influence. If she truly was his influence, he completely misunderstood her. Greenspan supports a corrupt system  whereas Rand’s protagonists abhor  corruption. They’re driven by the need to turn their inner-visions into a reality, irrespective of whether they’ll become rich or famous. Take Howard Rourk, from The Fountainhead. He was willing to have someone else take credit for his work just so he could see the building he designed come to life. He only asked that it be built exactly to his specifications. For Rourk, it was about seeing his vision realized, not about money or fame, which is what the person who took credit for Rourk’s work strived for. As a creative person, I can understand Rourk’s drive. If I couldn’t publish my book because I lived in a society that shunned individuality, I would probably do the same.

The selfishness of which Ayn Rand speaks of is not about making money or stepping on other people; it’s about valuing yourself and not sacrificing yourself to the will of others; to live out your dreams and not sacrifice them for others. She took issue with the idea of stripping away your own rights to prop others up. I completely agree with that sentiment because it makes sense. If we don’t treat ourselves as though we’re worthy of happiness and self-fulfillment, how can we desire it for others?

Rand often stated that our highest achievement is happiness. She insisted that self-sacrifice makes us sacrificial objects and believed we were all entitled to be happy but that we must achieve it for ourselves. In other words, we shouldn’t force others to give up their happiness to make us happy. We also  shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice ourselves for the happiness of others. Makes sense to me. What type of person would be happy if I had to sacrifice my own happiness to make him or her happy?

One thing I learned on my spiritual journey is that happiness must come from within me. To rely on others for my personal happiness doesn’t make sense to me anymore. People aren’t perfect. They will do things to hurt you, either intentionally or unintentionally. It’s during these times where having inner peace, joy and happiness keeps you from sinking.

This topic resonated strongly with me, and I had to break it into four posts. Clickhere for part two where I discuss how I connect spirituality to objectivism.

Click here for part 2.

Love and light,

Eleni

Unison Interview at Carol Grayson’s Blog

Interview from Carol Grayson’s Blog

Hello Eleni, you´ve written a SciFi book entitled Unison. Tell my readers more about your book and yourself, please.

My book, Unison, is  an allegory of my own spiritual journey that began after my spontaneous kundalini awakening.  It literally turned my life upside down in that it challenged my world view.  Giving up everything I ever believed in was quite traumatizing. I spent years journaling, questioning, thinking and healing. During this time I got married, had two daughters and then had to deal with a cancer diagnosis. This was what really strengthened my spiritual resolve.  I survived and got back into writing after taking a few years off. 

Unison revolves around a scientist who learns he’s reliving his life. He uses this foreknowledge to try to stop himself from inventing technology used to enslave his people.  To do that, he must first  save himself and his girlfriend from an elder who keeps killing them and who wants to breed slaves using his technology.  But looming underneath all his struggles is something far greater than he realizes, and if he can make it past these obstacles, he’ll uncover a hidden truth about his origin. At it’s very essence, it’s a story about love and redemption.  

I’d like to mention my editor told me she normally doesn’t read my type of book, but she was hooked. I was glad to hear that because I want Unison to be appreciated by people who don’t typically read science fiction. In the end, I feel a good story is about strong characters who find themselves challenged, and as we read about them, we feel their pain, cheer for them and want them to win.  I firmly believe if you can do that, genre becomes less important. I know it does for me as a reader. 

When did you decide to start writing and how did you develop your world?  What influenced you at the most?

I’ve been writing  poetry since I was a child, and I started screenwriting in my twenties. But it wasn’t until I began to write novels that I found my true calling. Something about the format allows me to connect more with the story world in that I could get into all the details I couldn’t in a screenplay. Unison actually started out as a screenplay with only two characters, and now it’s a full blown epic with three more books I’ve all ready outlined. 

I develop all of my story worlds while meditating or exercising. It allows me to quickly connect to my right brain. I won’t start writing until I can picture everything first. Sometimes the pictures come out so clearly it’s like I’m watching a movie.  Another new novel I’m working on,  Sunrise,” is very surreal, and I’m getting a lot of cool visuals in my meditations.  I blog about my writing of Sunrise on my website. 

Do you think that women are writing another kind of Science Fiction than men do? Can you imagine to write other genres as well?

I don’t think there’s a difference between men and women who write sci-fi, and I don’t limit myself in genres. My next release is a supernatural thriller. I’m also plotting two other novels that would be considered dramedies.  What does link all of my work together is that they’re all under the umbrella of  visionary fiction in that the character’s mind and spiritual growth drive them forward, but it’s never done with proselytizing and because I write allegorically, the spiritual aspect is not in your face.  For instance, in Unison, I was inspired with the eight lifetimes of Shri Ganesh where he had to get over his eight weaknesses. I thought it was the perfect vehicle for my story, and I used that as the driver for my main character’s inner-journey. 

Do you have favourite author? 

There are too many good authors out there, but I appreciate Douglas Adams, Margaret Atwood, Ayn Rand, Stephen King, Robert Anton Wilson and George Orwell…to name a few. 

Can you image to write with a co-author? If so, which one would you prefer? 

I’ve worked with other writers on screenplays, and I prefer to work alone because when I begin a book, I know exactly where everything needs to go. But it might be fun to work with another writer. I just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s, The Penelopiad. It would definitely be fun to write some poetry with her!

What are your plans for the near future?

To release as many of my screenplays as books, write new ones and maybe one day publish other visionary authors.  I’m also a musician and composer. I’d like to write music to accompany Unison. I’ve all ready started writing lyrics. It’s only a matter of finding time to put it all together.  In addition to writing, I homeschool my daughters and that takes a lot of time as well. I sometimes marvel that I find time to write!

Thank you for taking the time for this little interview.

 

Any time!