Excellent! The Lighter Side of Visionary Fiction

One of Keanu Reeve’s best-known movie franchises is also an unacknowledged visionary tale. Its heroes are thoroughly ordinary individuals who learn they are destined to change the future of humanity. The story touches on human potential, defeating a materialist and meaningless existence (as symbolized in a battle against artificial intelligence), and overcoming death.

But I’m not talking about The Matrix.

Bill & Ted Theatrical Release PosterThe first time I saw the science fiction comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) as a kid, something about it captured my imagination. At the time I couldn’t explain what that something was, but today I know I was drawn to its visionary elements.

The Matrix trilogy (1999 onwards) shares some of these elements, but not to the same degree. I admit that Bill & Ted is not exactly an obvious candidate for visionary fiction. While most would be more likely to think of The Matrix trilogy, I personally think the Bill & Ted franchise is a better fit.

The Good Ending

Most visionary fiction writers and readers take this genre very seriously. After all, it’s about the growth of human consciousness. It brings in teachings from spiritual faiths and/or enlightened masters. It contains a higher message, and more often than not, suggestions on what we need to do to ensure we reach our potential while avoiding self-destruction. Of course, this is no laughing matter. But is all visionary fiction so serious?

Once upon a time in ancient Greece and Rome, a comedy was not a story that makes us laugh, but a story with a good ending. Most of us also expect visionary … Continue reading

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