Step Into a Visionary World

Reading visionary fiction ushers us into an imaginative outside of everyday space and time. The human psyche nourishes itself via reflection of archetypal images and symbols. Realms of mystery occur in dreaming time and reading. In many ways, reading and reflecting on visionary fiction is a waking dream.

As a depth psychologist of forty years, I’ve tended hundreds of dreams with patients. We’ve explored and worked through intense emotional and spiritual crisis, physical and sexual trauma, and daily life stress. Inevitably the images and symbols discovered in dreams helped them to heal.

Images and symbols in visionary fiction reflect the archetypal workings of the unconscious mind. Archetypes are the age-old transcultural symbols which, for centuries, healers and seekers have sought understanding and transformation. Quietude, meditation, and reading encourage their appearance from the depths of the soul.

Yesterday, a person told me how important novels are for them. They said, “I really get into the characters. When magic and mystery are there (that’s the type of novels I read), then I’m pulled in right off. I look forward to opening the e-book every day. By the end, I feel like I’ve lost a friend. Then it strikes me that I’ve made a friend, a story that I’ve learned from and that’s changed me a little bit – just a little bit. But that little bit makes a big difference.”

Readers are sometimes shocked that elements of urban fantasy and even horror find their way into visionary reading. Well, life brims over with unseen, phantasmagoric dimensions. We’re usually not aware of these realities. Reading, entering a world of wakeful dreams, sensitizes us to the otherworld. It operates behind the scenes of daily life.

Raising consciousness via visionary fiction happens as images and symbols waken in the psyche. They live within, they sleep within, and they waken within us with awareness and attention. Stories bring awareness and attention to numinous energies. Suddenly, what’s taken place in the narrative occurs in your life. Or, perhaps, it’s already taken place. Awareness gives us pause, stirs reflection and meditation. We wonder. We stay open. We step into soulful stories, a visionary world, and images and symbols quicken a sense of mystery that lies behind the scene of daily life.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily”

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Visionary States and Crisis

Visionary states are often prompted by a crisis. Today may bring challenges, unexpected events. If so, they’re part of the story our day and weave into the overall story of our life. Sink deep, reflect, wait for the vision-the meaning beneath the problem. And, remember, all stories have a beginning, middle, and end. A good attitude goes a long way to making it through stress. It will pass. Meaning lasts.

Happiness comes and goes, meaning lasts. There’s always meaning if we wait, listen, and understand our problems. They could be relational issues, personal doubts, or unexpected roadblocks that leave you fumbling in the dark. As a psychotherapist and writer of forty years, I’ve seen and written about crises and how dreams and visions come to our aid. They speak a symbolic language.

One person told me, “An old friend I haven’t seen in years came to me in my dreams. They looked at me and wanted to get close. I held back and don’t know why. It’s troubling.” We explored the dream symbolism (as do the characters in my metaphysical novels), and I asked, “What was this person like?” He answered, “They were a backstabber. They’d draw me close then hurt me, hurt me bad.” We explored how this applied to them and their life.

“Ahhhh….so, the dream is having me face up to the backstabber in me. It’s the way I set myself up only to go down the same old dead end that leads to pain. I do it over and over.” I confirmed that the dream person symbolized their inner dark side, a saboteur. They understood that dreams (visions while sleeping) speak a symbolic language, providing light in dark places so we shift our thoughts and make better decisions.

One afternoon in meditation, I had a vision. Before meditating, I talked to a publisher who wanted to bring my novels under their imprint. Mental space opened during meditation and I saw the publisher working in a poorly lit and grungy space. I was repulsed, turned and walked away. The visionary guidance was clear. My attitude changed and I moved forward in a better direction.

So, every night dream and every day meditate and you might experience meaningful, life-changing visions that hone your attitudes. Read thrilling visionary/metaphysical stories that propel you into archetypal worlds replete with powerful energies and guiding lights. Your life will be changed by dreams, visions, and visionary fiction. It’s a trip into the unconscious mind that razzles and dazzles conscious attitudes for the better and for transformation.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily!”

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A Good Read for A Good Life

“Books are not made to be believed but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book we shouldn’t ask what it says but what it means.” ~ Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose

I love Eco’s insight into books. There is meaning in them. Meaning defines a literary story from a tale told for entertainment solely. The meaning at first doesn’t take, perhaps. Other times, we see and feel it immediately.

Kate, my wife, and I are watching the new Le Miserables (Victor Hugo) series on PBS. It’s riveting. From the beginning, we’re pulled into a world of pain, conflict, and one’s search for resolution and meaning. There’s a visceral flow of energy with each scene.

Energy, a visionary and imaginative charge, brings stories to life. They touch us where it counts. They speak to us of real things happening in real lives. They speak to us of our life.

Our life – now we get down to it. Secretly or openly we want and deeply desire answers. At least, we’ll settle for opening our minds to new thoughts. Visionary inspiration births thoughts that surprise us. Hermes, the archetypal trickster life energy with us, quickens us to what to read that’s good, meaningful.

I know I hunger for meaningful books. When I finish one, there’s a sigh and a letting go. It’s been good, very good. Like a nourishing meal. Then, there’s usually another book waiting (usually around six or seven on my kindle and the same number on my stack of unread hard copies). One of them stands out. It’s there I go, meaning calls. I need, crave, good books because I seek to nurture a life nurturing and meaningful.

This Spring, consider taking up the habit of good reads. Have them lined up and ready to go. There’s always a few minutes, maybe more, each day to have a good read for a good life.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

 

When Mother Love Goes Bad

   Artist Kiki Smith got to the heart of the creative process (WSJ 3.2.19) “I often don’t like what I’m doing,” she says, “but I try to follow it through. It takes you where it wants to go. In hindsight, it always has something that has to do with your life. You hopefully learn something from it.”
   Learning from works of art—painting, music, sculpture, books—takes an open heart and mind. In writing, I too try and follow through even though I’m hesitant and sometimes frightened. I have a new book, Goddess of Everything, near readiness for shipping off to my editors. I am scared.
   Goddess of Everything is a supernatural thriller about mother love gone bad and the need to break free. No one thinks mother love can go bad. Maybe the book is too much, I fear. What if folks are offended, put off by the notion? I know there are stories like Mommie Dearest, and others dramatizing wicked mothers or stepmothers. But, what if the consequences of not breaking free of mother love gone bad take supernatural twists and turns into dark and destructive places?
   The fact is, we want mothers to be good, we run and run and run from the truth when the truth is bad.
Everything is on the line with mother love gone bad. Everything means life, sense of self, relationships. If a mother can be bad, especially if that badness is hidden by good manners and charm, then there’s a definite problem. There is psychological turmoil, self-doubt, and we start run, run, running from truth. We run until our world becomes topsy turvy crazy and weird happenings pop out of nowhere to convince us of what must be faced.
    Goddess of Everything is hot, bubbling, about ready for edits and for us all to pause, read, and hopefully (in the words of Kiki Smith) learn something from it—a message sizzling right off the supernatural hotline!
“Live Deeply…Read Daily”
pauldeblassieiii.com

Vilifying Gayness ~ Religion, Horror, and Reality

Gay and Predatory ~ I Think Not

NYT’s today (2.17.19) reviews Sodoma, a troubling sensationalizing of sexuality gone awry, all too tragically at times in an abusive manner. I’m a sure critic of organized religion and its inherent potential to abuse power; but, this book appears as vilifying gay priests, the wonder and pluralism of sexuality. Not all gay priests are pedophiles any more than all straight men are misogynistic. The religious and humanitarian issue at hand is power and abuse. Let’s not confuse pluralistic human nature with the thwarted and damaged men and women who propagate rapacious acts under a religious guise: “All else aside, the book speaks to the enormous and seemingly growing tension between a church that frequently vilifies and marginalizes gay men and a priesthood dense with them. “This fact hangs in the air as a giant, unsustainable paradox,” wrote Andrew Sullivan, who is Catholic and gay, in an excellent cover story for New York magazine last month. It explains why so many gay men entered the priesthood, especially decades ago: They didn’t feel safe or comfortable in a society that ostracized them. Their sense of being outsiders gave them a more spiritual bent and greater desire to help others in need.”

Dark Religion ~ Abuse and the Mind

In The Unholy, I searingly explore the dark side of religion. The dramatic tale delves into religion gone bad, horrifying mind manipulation and sexual abuse taking the reader by storm. Various reviewers criticized it as too severe. I disagree. As in Goddess of the Wild Thing I pop out reality, take it from the subtle to vivid dimensions. This speaks to the unconscious mind, confirms realities repressed by the conscious mind. We deny or forget what traumatizes us. Visionary thrillers help us to face the reality behind the illusion, usher us into what’s been locked up tight and put away in the basement of the unconscious.

Reality ~ Healing What’s True and Hurting

For all of us, we’re no more or less than human. Our life story, if read well and lived well, gradually forms us into a truer human. We’re more sensitive, even if that requires ongoing questioning of self and realigning self when we get off our path. Reading develops a human sensibility for a truer take on reality in matters of sexuality, healing, and spirituality. Let’s take time to read, ponder, and wonder every day. I know there are challenges to our time commitments and other voices telling us to do this or that. We can satisfy those other necessary tugs without forsaking the quietude and reading that nurtures our evolution into a truer perspective on sexuality, spirituality and what it means to be human.

Live Deeply . . . Read Daily  

pauldeblassieiii.com

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Blowing Out the Crazies

If you say you haven’t felt the crazies, you’re bold-faced lying. All humans do. It’s a human thing. The crazies are what they are—severe anxiety that grips you by the throat and squeezes real hard. That’s why stories are so important.

When I write visionary fiction, I get into the crazies because there’s no light unless you get into the dark. As a psychotherapist, I guide patients to understand that their crazies are a gift. In my novel, The Unholy, Archbishop William Anarch reigns supreme as an incarnation of crazy bad evil. He cloaks it with religion.

The crazies are always cloaked. You don’t think they’re in you or the person you’re troubled by. In fact, they signal there is trouble. It needs attention, working on and working through. In Goddess of the Wild Thing, Eve Sanchez has so much in her life together. But, she’s also got crazy denial going. She wants perfect love. On some level, she thinks it’s there. Then she needs to confront whether she should settle—is bad love better than no love? It’s a crazy proposition in her head that drives the story forward.

What drives us forward is desire. If got good things going for us, it’s a desire to get through what’s bad and find good. If there’s bad settling in nice and tidy and unreachable, then folks settle for crazy—for no love, for bad religion, for a horrid and insane life. It’s merely comfortable to and for them.

Well, since you and I are readers that says we’re searching. We’re searching for something more than settling into crazy. We want release. We read what evil does like in my supernatural thriller, The Unholy. We take in the ravages of bad love like in Goddess of the Wild Thing. It makes us wonder, ponder. And, finally if we read and let the reading soak into us, the crazies are blown out a little more, and we’ve come closer to life, light, and sanity a little more.

“Live Deeply…Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

There’s a Plan Going On In Our Life

There is a plan

There’s a plan going on in our life. We can’t see it day to day, but it’s there. We’re busy living out our stories. Meaning happens once time passes and we look back, we see it all had a purpose.

We get into trouble due to anxiety that pops us out of soul. When I treat patients in depth psychotherapy or write visionary fiction, I’m caught by the power of anxiety. With patients, it lures them out of self. It takes them down dark alleys of despair. Characters in visionary stories lapse into waves of overwhelming stress, a toxic situation that clouds their mind and at least temporarily cripples positive behavior.

Reading visionary fiction taps us into a realm deeper than our anxieties. We step into another imaginative space and time that offers us a way out of a mental rut. The imagination, as psychologists have explored, opens us up to psychic energies that pop the top of our rule-bound heads off—they get what’s old and worn out and present an invigorating challenge and life-changing revolution.

The soul knows

The imagination is the home of the soul. It knows how to take us back inside so we find ourselves again. Dead-end troubles in life, as visionary fiction highlights, often tear us out of what’s true and real. They shake up the good and make us believe there’s only bad. The soul, the source of age-old inner wisdom, knows better. It knows the way back inside. It gets what’s terrible and awful and says voila I  have something new for you. It has a plan to get us into the new, the better, the revolutionary.

Some say it’s a leap to believe in soul. Actually, there’s no leap. There is no stretch of mind or faith. Soul simply is, whether we believe in it or not. Mind-numbing pain jettisons us into a wall that forces a decision to either believe in self or not. That’s soul or soullessness. It’s a plain as a New Mexico sunshine-day reality and depth psychological psychic truth.

If you’re up against an emotional/spiritual wall, stop and take a deep breath. Maybe it’s time to get real quiet, do a little online or favorite bookstore search, and read. Go to an imaginative place that speaks to you with a read that offers a tug. There’s a gentle or strong pull to reach out to that bookshelf or click the online button and download. As you start with the first word, sentence and paragraph you’ll feel like you’re settling into a well-worn chair in a warm and comfy home. A soul place. Read and take to heart the visionary story.  It will speak to you and show you the way. There’s a plan going on in our life, and the soul knows what it is.

“Live Deeply . . . Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

 

Thoughts Are Real

Thoughts are real. They exert a force on everyday reality. What we see and dwell on mentally can become manifest. Best to sensitively tend the mind to be in accord with the wisdom of nature and the way of all things.

 

The unconscious mind

After a week of intensive psychotherapy, I’m reflective. Pondering what I’ve experienced with patients brings to light hidden jewels. The suffering of real people living real lives highlights the workings of the unconscious mind. Where there are conflict and pain, thoughts have been transformed into habitual attitudes. They are largely unconscious. Deep psychotherapy explores vital feeling states, memories and dreams. The lived stories of real people inevitably generates emotional and spiritual drama and, hopefully, transformation.

The unconscious mind slowly reveals to ardent seekers that long-held thoughts and feelings in adulthood cause life situations. In visionary stories, the protagonist must face off with the ghosts they’ve been running from. There’s no outrunning the ghosts of the past. Once they’re faced, revelations begin. We learn their message. They always have a message. And, we see, that our thoughts and feelings have long birthed reality.

 

Reading and the power of mind

On the weekend, I sink into reading. During the week I take in research in depth psychology, readings that nurture professional growth as a seasoned psychotherapist. Then, once I’ve finished seeing weekly patients, I turn to stories. I read, I write, I explore the unconscious mind with all of its numinous symbols and images. The new novel I’m writing takes unexpected twists and turns as light energies meet dark, natural magic and evil come to a reckoning. Stories illuminate the mind, help us to understand the power of the mind.

We birth our realities as adults. As children, things happened to us. We were vulnerable. Hopefully, as adults we grow into self-empowerment, reading deeply and regularly assisting the development of sensitivity to the conscious and unconscious worlds. We learn that thoughts are real. They exert a force on everyday reality. What we see and dwell on mentally can become manifest. Best to sensitively tend the mind to be in accord with the wisdom of nature and the way of all things.

 

“Live Deeply . . . Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

Inspiration Comes When We Need It Most

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Inspiration comes when we need it most. Just when we’re on the verge of giving up, it meanders into our mind. Other times, it rushes forward like the north wind. Trusting inspired thoughts and intuitive flashes opens the door for them to come more frequently.

The written word is a mighty source of inspiration. Words, scenes, and characters linger with us. Watch, wait, and sense. There’ll be a tug for the next book you need to read, the one that will provide just the inspiration your thirsty soul needs. But, you need to be open and watch, wait, sense and follow through.

I remember when I read Dancing with Air by Uvi Poznansky. The story pulled me toward and into it. I wasn’t sure why, at first. Then, as I settled into the narrative, I got it. It’s about love, how it lasts, and how critical appreciation is. Before we know it, things can happen. Everything becomes confusing. And, then we realize what’s going on, what we’ve had all along, and we’re appreciative. I needed that message, that inspiration.

Now, I’ve felt the pull toward The Merkaba Mystery by Iva Kenaz. Actually, it been calling my name for a while. I love her writing, the visionary inspiration in each of her works. Esoteric lore and a mysterious place of transition set the stage for this metaphysical novel. I’m not sure what’s in it that lures me, but it’s there. And, I feel the draw. It has a message for me, and I’m open and ready to hear it.

Next, Maria DeBlassie’s, Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic and Daily Conjurings, always touches my soul. I pick up this volume regularly, open it to any page and find inspiration for the day. It sensitizes me to things, little and big, in daily life I so easily overlook. They are the details, the wonders of nature and relationships we take for granted. When I finish a section, my inner sight is cleared and I see and feel more deeply.

So, let something good come your way today. It’s there. It’s trying to. Let’s open our mind to the possibility of a new book for fresh insight and guidance. You know how much we need it. Stories and inspired writing gives us new insights and fresh energy for the living of a life that requires much and also gives a great deal. But, you need to be open and watch, wait, sense and follow through.

“Live Deeply . . . Read Daily”

pauldeblassieiii.com

Falling in Love with Soul

Ahhh…to fall deeply in love with soul—not many have considered it. So few have discovered it. It remains a central need for us. We so easily become soulless, lose soul. There’s tiredness that won’t go away. There’s a vague sense of unhappiness lurking like a shadow. There’s that quality to life that it’s not wholly satisfying. These are symptoms of soul loss.

I’m preparing for vacation with Kate. We’re off to a secret place of new sites, smells, tastes, time together. We dwell on the past year, what’s new that we’re seeing in the places we visit. It’s a time of reflection, absorbing, and experiencing. Most of all, it’s a time of being together.

Doing depth psychotherapy and writing every day is consuming. Your work-a-day life is consuming. Life takes a lot. And, life can give a lot. But, soul is required. If we’re moving too fast, having lost enjoyment because of the speed at which we live, then there’s soul loss. We’ve fallen out of love with soul.

When I write, and when I do psychotherapy, I love what I do. When I prepare for vacation, I love the anticipation and the getting there. And, once I’m in the doing of what I’m doing, there can be utter joy. That is soul. That is falling in love with soul and a soulful life.

The visionary fiction I write dramatizes soul. There are people who’ve lost it or come close to losing it. They feel crazy or on the verge of crazy. When we get to the edge of sanity, we teeter and totter. Oh, it’s a very scary time. Sometimes the teetering goes on and on. We feel ill inside, lost and empty. Physical sickness strikes. Mental anguish bears down and won’t let up. The characters in my stories struggle with what it means to be a woman or a man living with pain from the past and abusive people in the present. What do you do? You can’t run from the past forever. You can’t pretend the toxic people in your life now aren’t as bad as they seem. They are. And the truth of what they are and how you play into what they do has to be faced. This is a visionary story—intense, loaded with choices that make the difference between soul and soullessness.

I do therapy and write and live from what I know and have gone through. If I didn’t my patients and readers would feel it. Instead, I’ve been told that what I’ve offered makes sense and helps hurting souls. I’m glad for that. The past week doing therapy has been tough, and I’ve given it my all. The past year nurturing two books in visionary fiction with another on the way has been hard work. I’ve given everything workwise my all. Even more importantly, I’ve given my personal life my all. At least, I believe and hope that I have. There’s been a lot of going through rough times and coming out the other end mentally and spiritually more clear and with sharpened consciousness. Doing therapy and doing writing, living as authentically as I can in my marriage and with my family, has been my priority.

Take some time this summer to make falling in love with soul your priority. You and I can do it by slowing our roll and taking in the joy of being with those we love. We can do it by slowing our roll and reading what nourishes us. Read with deliberation, care, letting the words and meaning of the story settle in like a good meal. On vacation, I like to slow our roll, not move fast and furious. I’m taking a beautiful visionary book, Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo. It’s a classic in the genre of magical realism. Acclaimed as a masterpiece of the surreal, it’s a story of one man’s quest for heritage and soul. Tormented spirits share secrets from the past.

I’m going to take my time with this read. I’m going to take my time with my wife, Kate, the sites we see, the moments lingering together. Falling in love with soul, for me, always means falling in love all over again with so much. What is right before me and with me every day comes once again to light. I realize how scary it is to lose sight of life and soul by living so fast and in such a demanding way. So, let’s take time together, live a little slower, read a little slower, and fall in love with soul.