This morning I was talking to a writing pal. We had a passionate talk about visionary fiction changing your life one story at a time. We got into how hard change can be and how stories help us so much. Getting into the characters and the dramatic thrill of the narrative gets the literary blood boiling. In metaphysical thrillers, with dreams and natural magic, we’re propelled into transformation in a desperate person’s life. Once we finish the story, our head shifts and attitudes get realigned. Unconsciously, we go about the business of making practical changes without realizing we’re doing it. Stories affect us in a very, very big way.
Visionary/metaphysical fiction turbo charges transformative energy. It’s a different kind of read. You need to be willing to suspend disbelief regarding an unseen world. There are those hard-core empiricists who just can’t do it. They only believe in and trust what they can see, touch, smell, and control. But, there are other folks like you and me for whom the unseen world of the deep unconscious mind pulls and pulsate. It’s what old shamans called the spiritual world. Daily, in my professional practice of depth psychology, I witness numinous images and symbols emerge from the unconscious. They speak to the story of a soul in the midst of gaining consciousness, healing, and transformation.
Consciousness, natural magic, and life changes are birthed when we least expect. Visionary storytelling conjures such inner transformation as long as we are open to the story and being taken by surprise. Our lives can change. And reading visionary/metaphysical stories can help us along this path provided that we are daring to move forward.
Daring to move forward can be the hard part when it comes to change. I’m reading a couple of fantastic metaphysical novels. The Alchemist Awakening by Iva Kenaz is a story about a woman’s spiritual journey and discovery that we are all “alchemists with amnesia.” That’s a line that gets you thinking and your soul moving in the right direction. Then, I’m also into The Goat Foot God, by Dion Fortune. It’s a novel in which the invocation of the god Pan generates uncanny happenings. In my visionary thrillers, The Unholy and Goddess of the Wild Thing, there are also uncanny events laced with fear and hope. A young medicine woman in The Unholy has nightmares that trouble her sleep.They speak of past trauma and how it threatens to prevent her from moving forward in her life and love unless she dares to do what she must do. In Goddess of the Wild Thing, it’s love itself that is at stake. We all struggle with love, and Claire Sanchez wrestles with whether bad love is better than no love. There’s no easy answer; but, she does find an answer, and it’s a wild one!
In a manner of speaking, all answers are wild ones. If they are authentic and genuine to what we need, answers completely turn our world upside down and inside out. They are wild! They upset the ordinary course of things. They bring consciousness. It’s only when the old way—the tried and gone over and over and over again way that bears no results—grinds to an end that light breaks through. It’s a wild light that blinds us at first, and then we can see straight and clear.
In doing depth psychotherapy with patients in emotional and spiritual crisis, I listen to their stories. They are dramatic thrillers in their own right. People go through rough stuff. The wounds and bruises we sustain in life often come out of action-packed encounters with people. We trusted them. We never thought that what happened would happen. We’re wounded and bruised and want to give up. That’s when it’s time to read a story, a terrific story that takes time to get through because it takes thought to get through.
At the end of one patient’s treatment, they related, “You know I didn’t think I’d ever had a chance in life. I was beaten down as a kid. I took refuge in my reading. I guess in a whole lot of ways it’s what helped me to turn within so I could do my therapy. I learned to listen to my dreams. They are their own kind of stories. They told me about myself and gave me hope. And then our work together has been a positive unfolding story. I’m glad I turned within and did therapy. It’s been a good story, and it’s helped me find my way and heal.”
Good stories, like the ones we’ve lived in our own lives, take thought, and reflection. They help us turn within, take stock of our self, our relationships and our lives. And then, if we let their message sink in, they offer us the potential to actually, and possibly profoundly, change our life one story at a time.