Visionary Fiction Writer Robin Gregory

Robin Gregory starts off my series of interviews with writers of Visionary Fiction.

robinPlease tell us a little about yourself.

My professional background includes lay minister, journalist, and infant massage instructor with at-risk mothers and babies. I studied Creative Writing and Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Stanford University. I love foggy afternoons and English tea and listening to difficult jazz with my hubby.

How did you become interested in Visionary Fiction and how do you define it?

I found VFA through my alliance with author Rea Nolan Martin.

I suppose my best working definition of VF is that it rises from a basis of human evolution, whether individual or collective. It is more of a literary category, in that characterization and themes involve multiple facets of experience, and deep regard for transformation.

Please tell us about your latest book. moojie_ippycover-copy

The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman is visionary YA, written in the form of magical realism. Part moral allegory and mystical adventure, it tells the story of a disabled orphan boy who has unusual spiritual powers. At St. Isidore’s Fainting Goat Dairy, he befriends outcasts from an alternate universe, and embarks on a series of trials and misadventures. Determination to belong to a family fuels his self-mastery, and leads to one last terrifying trial.

If your book were chocolate, what kind would it be?

Great question! Definitely dark semi-sweet chocolate with blood orange flavoring.

Does this book fit into a series? What is the focus of that series?

Maybe. The idea of Moojie learning to “transmigrate” to the Light-Eater’s galaxy is stalking me.

How did you prepare to write about the book’s specific area or field of study?

First, I spent 35 years exploring spirituality, mysticism and self-realization. Ha! When the time came to put some of what I had realized into a fictional story, I needed help with background and characterization of supernatural extraterrestrials called the “Light-Eaters.” In some ways, they are fashioned after the Annunaki in the ancient creation text The Kharsag Epic. I relied also on information from The Golden Age Project and a book entitled, The Genius of the Few, an in-depth study of Kharsag Epic, written by Christian and Barbara Joy O’brien.

How does this book fit into your real-life interests?

Writing the book over thirteen years caused me to reflect daily and stay focused on what kind of world I wanted to realize for myself. Like most everyone, I’ve had some pretty tough challenges, one of which was raising a son with multiple special needs. The book has been my constant companion in the process of surrender, transformation and awakening. It’s as much the story of Moojie’s awakening as my own. I was hoping to offer it to others for the same reason, as a companion.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m learning to balance marketing and promotion with working on the big screen adaptation of Moojie Littleman. By grace, the acclaimed producer, writer/creative director, John Crye (The Whale Rider, Memento, The Passion of the Christ, to name a few), has taken a serious interest in the book. We’ve come up with a working treatment, and will be meeting soon to decide whether or not to bring in a pro screenwriter for the rest. Working with him has been an amazing experience, and a privilege. Also, I’d like to get the audio book done before moving on to the sequel!

WEBSITE: http://www.MadMysticalJourney.com

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/The-Improbable-Wonders-Moojie-Littleman/dp/1942545002

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-improbable-wonders-of-moojie-littleman-robin-gregory/1122692771?ean=9781942545002

 

 

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The Kindness of Cats

This last month has been intense. The astrological configurations have been through the roof, and for me with my planets, up close and personal. My favorite astrologers and sound healers have been sending out explanations and meditations to help with the rough waters. My cats have been the kindest of all.

Clcleo-in-front-of-the-new-tveo, our tortoiseshell, was raised feral. She’s the sweetest cat imaginable. One day after I was bemoaning all the challenges to Stephen, I came out to my garage office where she hangs out with me when the weather is wet or too cold. I found right next to my chair a headless mouse. How thoughtful.

Cleo comes to visit throughout the day. When I hear the cat flap, I look to see if she’s got anything in her mouth. She likes to share her catches with me. Mostly she brings mice in from the open space. I’ve become used to the crunching of mouse heads. Lately she’s been on a bird kick.

Image result for cat with snake this is perfection

The thing is, though, the critters are not always expired when she brings them in. She sets them down and then chases them all over again. Twice now, the birds have flow up out of her reach and I have to open the garage door to let them fly away. Cleo is so confused by this. “You don’t like my gifts, mommy?”

Arwen, the older calico, is more tradition in her consoarwen-on-chairling of her humans. She allows us to pet her. She sits on the couch between me and Steve and gets stroked from both sides. Seriously though, she is kind and expresses concern if we’re ill or upset. She stayed with Stephen while he healed from a recent surgery. I’ve felt a little paw placed on me from time to time when I’ve been upset. She grounds me. She tells me I’m loved.

Even Sekhmet, the famous warrior lioness, is kind. The first time I saw her at her shrine in Karnack, she looked down at me as if through several layers of worlds. I felt a deep compassion from her. She felt for us that we have to struggle in this world. She offered unconditional love.

sekhmet

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Higher Consciousness and Visionary Fiction

I’ve been blogging recently about higher states of consciousness. What’s that got to do with writing fiction? One of the accomplishments of Visionary Fiction as I see it is to subjectively explore what higher states of consciousness feel like. It’s all well and good to understand that these states exist and have some concept of them intellectually, but the real point is to achieve them ourselves. Lot of visionary fiction imagines what that’s like.

As Jodine Turner puts it, “In Visionary Fiction, esoteric wisdom is embedded in story so that the reader can actually experience it, instead of merely learning about it.” I asked some of my fellow Visionary Fiction Alliance writers to send me excerpts and here they are. Some of these books may appeal to you. I haven’t read them all myself yet.

1001From Michael Neer’s The Elixir of Freedom: “The trees bowed down till the golden amber stopped right in front of Ravi and Verda, like a giant pendant adorning the trees. This had to be it, Ravi thought. The Heart of the Sun!   The amber Heart hung like a jewel between them and the Sun. They looked through the Heart towards the sun. Waves of light stretched across land and space. They could see no end to the waves. They were infinite. Objects – trees, mountains, even the sun itself – were there – Ravi could make out their shapes—but it was like they were melted into one ocean of light. It was just one. Unified. Complete. Full. Immense.”

11527544From Gerald R. Stanek’s Sonoran Ruminations:  “She said she told Peter what she told me; how she’d been staring at the circle, and pretty soon she could see the wall behind the circle, and then she could see outside the wall, and she could see the whole city, and the whole desert all around, and the whole big valley, and the whole continent, and the whole planet, but she could still see the desert and the city and the wall and the circle and she could hear every sound and it was like she was everything and everyone else just as much as she was herself, and I said ‘I know’, and I smiled and rocked the baby.”

516jz4nsbelFrom Stefan Emunds:  “Without warning, I enter into a lucid daydream. I find myself standing in front of a noisy river, but it’s no ordinary river – it’s the river of my thoughts and feelings, the stream of my internal dialogue. The river is deep with strong currents. I dip my foot into the cold water. Crossing the river seems like suicide, and I almost give up, but then the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt across the Jordan into the Promised Land comes to mind. Is there a deeper, psychological meaning to this story? Then it occurs to me that I have neither the Ark of the Covenant to herald me, nor the Living God by my side. How can I part these waters? “The original meaning of covenant is promise,” the voice whispers into my right ear. ‘I promise that you will find your true self on the other side. Go ahead and cross.’”

6167dsewqllFrom Bob Fahey’s The Gardens of Ailana:  “As morning rose around her, Paulette carried no memories. This was joy without hope because the concept of hope held some belief that something was broken that needed fixing; something was ‘less’ that one wished could be ‘more’. There was no thought, no yearning for things to be different. Paulette had no concept of differences and moments. She had lost herself in the essence of sweetness.”

 

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Knowledge is Structured in Consciousness

Now we come to an interesting aspect of states of consciousness. I talked about the seven states of consciousness in an earlier blog and described the subjective experience of each (to some degree). For example, while we’re sleeping, we have no conscious experience at all (unless you watch yourself sleep, which is a whole other topic). Dreaming is similar to waking, except one world is more symbolic while the other we experience as consensus reality. Reality is different in different states of consciousness.

But how can that be?

People say “we’re all one,” which is true. But do we always experience that? It’s the direct experience that’s important, not the intellectual understanding. Or people say, “All is illusion” (see Brahman Consciousness below). The Rosicrucians and other mystics such as quantum physicists tell us that everything is vibration.

So, if everything is simply vibration, everything is one, and all is illusion, then we can stand in front of a car going 60 mph and not get hurt, right? The car is vibration. The body is vibration. The two could blend. We’re all one anyway. You’d be fine. Right?

Depends on which “you” you’re talking about.perspectives-e1424376691921

In waking state, that car is solid and so is that body you’re inhabiting. The car will win. Your immortal self will be fine, but you’ll need a new vehicle/body. But you knew that already.

Perhaps if you were in the state of Brahman Consciousness, a step higher than Unity, you’d be OK because you could manipulate physical form, tune the two vibrations so they’d be harmonious, and wa la. Still all intact. Brahman Consciousness is when we realize (experientially, not intellectually) that there never really was a manifestation. That everything is simply waves of consciousness in one big ocean. Hafiz puts it this way:  “There are some who can visit that Luminous Sphere that reveals this life never was. The truth of that experience is reserved for so very few.”

Why is this important? Because it is vital to our growth that we honor our own experience. We can realize that we are immortal beings untouched by pain in that higher state, but pain is real here in this manifest world. (Yeah, I know. There’s not really a manifestation, but gee, it feels real to me right now. Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.) So denying our pain—not allowing ourselves to experience it—delays our growth. It creates blocks to experiencing all of our consciousness.

My partner is fond of quoting his Egyptian/Khemitian teacher: “There is no separation. There is no (individual) soul, so who reincarnates?” That’s true. In a certain state of consciousness. But I am not directly experiencing that state. Yet.

In order to experience it and not just think about it, I need to meditate. To clear out the blocks in my system that dull my perception of that big Self. Otherwise, I could lie in the hammock and know that I am That already (which is true) so why bother?

Maharishi used to say it’s like the difference between thinking about traveling to Paris and paris_by_nightbeing in Paris. You can buy a beret, get some French wine, purchase a great baguette, put up pictures of the Eiffel Tower in your work cubicle, study the language, and watch French movies. Or you can get in a plane and go to Paris. Is there a difference? I think so.

Knowledge is structured in Consciousness. Go to Paris. Don’t just think about it.

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The Seven States of Consciousness

Silhouette of a man figure meditating in the outdoorsThe Vedas teach there are seven states of consciousness and we are equipped to experience them all. They each have their own subjective and objective reality.

  1. Waking State. Yeah, that’s just your ordinary being awake and experiencing the world in your daily life. The brain is in mostly Beta waves, and your vital signs are those that the doctor measures when you go for your check up.
  2. Sleeping State. We don’t really experience sleep. We know we were asleep when we wake up and feel refreshed. Sleep is like the night janitor, cleaning up the day’s stress. The brain moves from theta to delta waves and our metabolism drops. You can tell someone’s asleep often by their deep, slow breathing.
  3. Dreaming State. We experience dreams. They’re much like waking state, only it’s not “real” in the sense that we ordinarily use the word. There are various theories about the meaning of dreams, but we do know they are necessary. If people don’t dream, they go a little nuts after a while. (Remember that Star Trek episode where dreams were suppressed on the ship?) This state is sometimes called REM sleep, during which we experience rapid eye movements, our muscles sometimes twitch, and our breathing becomes more shallow and rapid. Brain waves during dreaming are similar to waking.

Now it gets more interesting.

Rear View of Two Buddhist Monks in Orange Robes Sitting on a Tiled Floor

Rear View of Two Buddhist Monks in Orange Robes Sitting on a Tiled Floor

  1. Transcendental State. This is a state of consciousness that is most often experienced during mediation and sometimes in the quiet of nature or listening to certain types of music. This is an experience of the root of consciousness, the universal mind that forms the basis of all consciousness. Indeed, all existence. It is experienced as deep, silent awareness. Wakefulness without an object of perception. The self is resting in the Self. Physiologically, we experience the deepest rest in this state. The breath and heart rate slow dramatically. For example, in this research oxygen consumption drops 15.5 percent during meditation vs 3.5 percent during regular rest. The brain experiences an unprecedented coherent state, with both sides of the brain operating together in alpha waves, which indicate relaxation. Check out this video of brain waves during TM, a popular meditation.
  2. Cosmic Consciousness. Here’s where we combine Waking with the Transcendental State. Yeah, sounds like a contradiction, but if we continue to experience the Transcendent, the brain and body and mind like it so much that they learn how to balance the two together. Here our sense of who we are shifts from the small self we ordinarily have experienced up to now to Universal Consciousness. But we don’t lose who we are. It’s like our personality is floating in a boat in a big sea of universal awareness. Physiological research is just beginning. Preliminary results show increased theta/alpha activity with eyes open, more frontal coherence and increased cortical participation in normal activity, and increased theta/alpha and decreased muscle tension during sleep.
  3. God Consciousness. This is the state in which the person begins to directly perceive more and more subtle levels of the world surrounding them. This is where those abilities our superheroes have reside. Well, maybe not all of them, but common experiences might include clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc. It’s called “God” Consciousness because this is where the creator gods are said to reside in the Vedas—at the most subtle level of creation. We are supposed to be able to perceive them directly in this state. I don’t know if there is any physiological research about this state—just writings from people (rishis or seers) who have experienced it.
  4. Unity Consciousness. In Unity, not only do we experience the Self as Universal Consciousness, we perceive everything and everyone else as that also. Yet we don’t lose the ability to function in the “real” world. Again, I’m not aware of any scientific studies of this state—just writings from the rishis. This progression of consciousness is described in the Vedas as, “I am That (Cosmic Consciousness), Thou art That (God Consciousness, all this is That (Unity Consciousness).”

BX2EBA Mixed race businesswoman practicing yoga in busy urban crosswalk

How do you get there? In my opinion, meditate regularly and relax. Find the meditation that really works for you. You can meditate anywhere. Live your life, deal with whatever arises, and it will come.

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Celebration Sale!

Whoopee! I just signed with a new narrator to read Under the Stone Paw! Beneath the Hallowed Hill is also in production. Both books in the Power Places Series will be on Audible for you to listen to soon.

To celebrate, I’m offering Beneath the Hallowed Hill for $.99 starting Sunday, August 14th for two days.

CoverFinalMD-BeneathTheHallowedHill

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Reading and Book Sale with Colorado Authors

me reading 1

I’ll be reading from my work and selling books along with other Colorado authors

Saturday, August 13

1-3 pm

The Bookstore

1300 E Bridge St

Brighton,CO 80601

303 921 6508

 

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