My Mentor Joseph Cambell

josephcampbell-450x450Within the current socio-political circus came the idea to write an article about the Hero’s Journey for the Visionary Fiction Alliance (VFA). Although the topic relates to myths and stories, we can also become heroes in our own journeys. Each completed cycle can be  an avancement in evolutionary growth that  continues until our last breath.  But sometimes we get stuck along the way.

BELLY OF THE WHALE

I stalled during the middle of writing the VFA post because the election led me to an existential crisis.  I found myself stuck in the belly of the whale stage of the Hero’s Journey.  Seeing people fighting each other in order to prop up two flawed humans made me question why many of us still place other humans above us.

“I stopped getting mad at politicians years ago and started getting mad at myself instead. The blame for the grinding dullness and depressing predictability of the current election cycle is on the electorate as much as it is on the candidates. That America gets everything it deserves and settles for is a hard truth to swallow. Maybe one day, we’ll get tired of choking on it.” Henry Rollins

Those of us who pulled out of the political church reach the same conclusion as Rollins. We become ideological atheists because we see that it’s our ideologies that are choking us. We’re the rebels that scream for the empire to topple, so we can live freely with one another. You might not hear us because we’re few in number, so we’re never really heard other than through podcasts or blog posts.   Instead,  we’re called crazy or mentally disturbed because we refuse to capitulate to majority groupthink. We have strength of mind and spirit and are immune to whatever names we’re called. Knowledge of our inner-truth is our shield. We’re  grounded in our spirit. But sometimes even hero’s fall and have to rise up again.

As I listened to the media, politicians, and some of their followers spew hatred and hypocrisy, I thought about the future my daughters would be growing up. I became despondent imagining what today’s children would be inheriting because of our shortsidedness.  That thought awoke a fear in me that I had to deal with.

IN A POSITIVE FREEFALL

How do we stay on the path when we’re facing our version of an empire run by  shadowy Darth Vaders? From beyond the grave, Campbell answered the question.

free_fall

“We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.” 

― Joseph Campbell, Sukhavati

FREEDOM TO LIVE

If hell is being created, I don’t have to play along. I can forge my own path. With that realization I was shot from out of the belly’s spout and on to the Freedom to Live stage of my journey.

Spiritual lessons never end. I find it more difficult now than before I started the journey. The more the veil is lifted, the harder I have to work to evolve. And since I evolved a little bit more with the writing of this post, I guess you can say this is a visionary post!

Please click here to read the article about how the hero’s journey relates to visionary fiction.

This is the final installment of the Visionary Fiction as Personal Therapy Series.  In part 1, we discussed recognition, when a reader experiences a sense of familiarity while reading. In part 2, visionary fiction authors expressed their feelings of recognition while they were writing their stories. In part 3, various authors discussed how they reacted to issues in books they read. Part 4 dealt with juxtaposition, e.g, insight gleaned from the text.  Today we will discuss self-application, how readers adapt the insight they developed from the  books they have read into their lives. (Continue reading here)

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.

Visionary Fiction Alliance



As a founding member of the Visionary Fiction Alliance, I’m excited to announce that we will be launching on the new moon which falls on August 17th.

The Visionary Fiction Alliance started as a Goodreads discussion group prompted by an article written by Jodine Turner.  Saleena Karim and Shannan Sinclair joined in the discussion, and as it grew to twelve members, we decided to form the Visionary Fiction Alliance. The purpose of our group is to bring awareness to visionary fiction that encompasses many different sub-genres. Authors, publishers, reviewers, agents and readers are invited to join us for articles, book reviews and all things visionary.

If  you’re unfamiliar with the genre, click here for an explanation.  If you’re an author, you may be surprised to learn that’s what you’ve been writing all along. That was the case for me.  I found it difficult to find a genre that described my style until I happened across visionary fiction, then I knew I found my home.

We hope to see you there.

Love and light,

Eleni

On Being An Author Of Visionary Fiction

I’ve recently met other visionary authors, and we’ve come together to create the Visionary Fiction Alliance as a means to promote the genre. What I value most about this group is that even though we all have diverse opinions, we get along great. The reason for this is because there is no dogmatism in Visionary Fiction. By letting go of beliefs, we humble ourselves and  recognize there are many roads that lead to the same truth…at least that’s how I see it.

What is my personal philosophy as a visionary author? 

After my kundalini awakening I detached from religion, and accepted I cannot know anything beyond what I’m experiencing, as it’s happening.  My characters tend to have difficulties because of their expectations of an outcome along with inflexible thinking.  Only by exploring and expanding their inner-awareness can they hope to find their way out of the mess they got themselves into.  I deal with this aspect mostly in subtext, but it can definitely be felt in the actions my characters take.

What do I believe in?

All the visions and insights I’ve gained since my awakening have opened my eyes to a myriad of possibilities.  I make no assumptions  or claims as to their meaning. Some people have visions and make pronouncements regarding them, but I see too many possibilities as to what mine can imply. That is why writing fiction is the better option for me.  It gives me the freedom to explore all possibilities.

My personal world view is:

Something exists that is greater than us. It presents itself to those of us who seek it out, and we can connect to it if we so desire. When we are connected to this something, we are at our happiest. If we stray too far, we’re mired in materialism, needless rituals, empty vices and are disconnected from that which makes us whole. This disconnection makes us feel like there’s something missing in our lives when, in fact, what makes us whole is already present in each of us, waiting to be rediscovered. 

The above is my personal truth. I don’t expect, nor would I want, others to accept my world view as I learned this on my own. Being a skeptic allowed me to find and connect to this realization that I’ve now internalized. When I refer to being a skeptic, I don’t mean the type that writes books denouncing God, UFOs and all things paranormal. That’s not being a skeptic; that’s another form of dogmatism. In one of my meditations, I received the following message:

“It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s all about the experience.” 

Being a true skeptic is seeing a world filled with infinite possibilities, and while I personally use the term, Divine when I connect to the inner-light, I don’t attach a definition to what the light is.   Narrowing it down to one absolute meaning is impossible, in my opinion. We can only analyze our visions through the lens of this reality, and our interpretations are based upon our understanding of this reality.

In my stories, my world view is clearly established, and I also write to expand my own consciousness and learn new truths. It’s the receptiveness to all possibilities that makes life more exciting and unpredictable to me. With this mindset, there’s no fear of damnation for questioning or choosing to opt-out of dogmatic practices. This includes politics, nationalism, religion and all other groups that adhere to one fixed opinion.  Out here, in the beautiful chaos of independent thought, I’m responsible for my own fate, and I get along with people of all backgrounds because I don’t hold an opinion that I think is superior to anyone else’s. It’s the most liberating feeling—to think freely and openly.  I liken it to having the mind of a child in that I’m not afraid to take chances. To me, this is what it means to live life to the fullest.

Love and light,

Eleni

First review for Unison – 4.0 Stars

Unison

Rating: 4.0 stars

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers Favorite

Unison by Eleni Papanou is a well-written science fiction book. It is told by Damon, the leading character of the story, in great detail. The time is after the Great Cataclysm and the city is Unity. Home is a very large dome offering protection from the contamination of the Outsiders and their world. Damon advances to a high level in Unity and is responsible for creating the technology that is wrongly used on the people. Damon believes the time is right and that it has become necessary to escape and explore the real world. We travel with Damon as he is reincarnated over and over and re-lives his life remembering the errors of his way and always trying to make the changes that would correct his mistake. With each reincarnation Damon finds himself outside of Unity, in the same cabin, being faced with the same horrors, trying to go back and fix the wrongs. As he awakens from each reincarnation he is faced with the same doubts: Flora the woman he loves trying to bring him back to Unity, leaders chasing him and meeting the same people again and again. Each reincarnation brings him closer to the truth and he is able to handle the situations differently. Upon his final awakening, Damon and we learn the truth of his journey.

Unison is written for the science fiction reader. Eleni Papanou presents the story in a believable way with characters that are strong and well defined. The last chapter of the book does a great job of answering all of the readers’ questions and it also includes a great ending that I didn’t see coming. If you are a science fiction fan then I recommend you pick up a copy of “Unison”.