We define fiction as a literary creation based on imagination, rather than fact. But the word derives from an ancient Latin root that means "to make by shaping."
So it is that fiction, in the form of allegories and parables, is commonly used by spiritual masters to direct their cultures toward enlightenment. The bible is filled with such fables. Campfire teachings of aboriginal wiseones also rely on the power of myth to convey essential precepts to their students.
Surely, the shaping of nations would be better accomplished through serious discourse rather than through flights of fancy.
Or not. Fiction’s power lies in its implausibility. In order to engage in a fictional tale, we must first suspend our culturally imposed assumptions of what is true. Thereafter, we listen with unfettered ears. We see through untrammeled eyes. And our hearts embrace possibilities that are otherwise unthinkable when perceived through the limitations of fact-based "reality." Thus unhindered, the human soul is free to peruse the extraordinary.
It’s no wonder, then, that our most heroic aspirations spring from this medium of conscious disbelief. . . that our greatest inventions come from the realms of "what if"…and our highest visions for humanity often begin with "once upon a time."
Dare we suggest that today’s fiction may be tomorrow’s promise?