I’ve always loved history. Not so much the names of people or the dates of events but the vibe or energy I can pick up from old stories. As a hypersensitive (don’t like the word “empath” – sorry) I’ve always picked up “impressions” off of objects, buildings, and even people or events. For most of my childhood I believed these “feelings;” which often took the form of elaborate stories were simply fantasies or imagination.
When I was a child my parents would take my brother, my sister and I to the Shriners Circus every year. The first year was held in tents in the back of a mall. Then their success grew and they changed the venue. In the huge arena they would cater to 10 times the crowd. I remember telling my parents at the time, how the Circus felt different year after year despite the fact that it was always the same people and the same acts (give or take).
It was only after my first music concert at the age of 16 years old that I noted in a personal journal: “The crowd and venue influences the vibe around an actual event.” It’s not surprising that performers get addicted to the “feeling” they receive from performing. Almost a decade later, I was on stage as a keynote lecturer and taking in the “energy” I was getting from my own audience. I understood in that moment that we create “a vibe” and that it’s a recipe made of several ingredients:
· A vision (mix of fantasy, imagination and intention)
· Enthusiasm (mix of common interest, curiosity and feeling called)
· Support (mix of encouragement, excitement, and connection)
· Collectivity (different people coming together to celebrate)
Imagine your life story as some kind of “performance.” You are the main character in a 40 / 60 / 90 year old play. The scenes change every now again and so do the characters; but in most part your story elaborates on one main theme and shows how you have grown through it all. Of course, you are also a second or minor character in other people’s lives / plays. By exploring their story you can come to understand the impact you have on their lives and come to even better develop yourself as your main character.
See how that works?
This idea of growing through exploring the plays /or lives of others
is called living according to a “myth.”
In our Circles we call it: “Living according to a Dream.”
What’s amazing through history is that the human myth (so to speak) although sometimes more colourful; more fantastic, and more elaborate during certain eras has always remained basically the same.
Humans love “superheroes.”
Looking back at some of the stories in antiquity we see that humans loved the idea of gods and goddesses: Individuals from other Worlds who were deeply or casually interested in humanity. These beings always seemed to exhibit human traits (jealousy, regret, guilt, shame, desire, lust etc…); but acted on them with more courage, power, and consciousness. It was almost as if the makers of “myth” were seeking out attitudes, behaviours, and abilities; which were difficult for most men. Through myths, humans had access to examples bigger than life or mentors; which could be accessed through dreams and visions. It gave birth to the potential of extraordinary growth.
A young student of mine recently said that he wanted to know if his dream of becoming a Superhero was an illusion or a reality. When I brought up the question amongst some of my peers I was surprised with some of the responses.
Quite a few people chuckled and said: “I hope you were honest with him and told him that Peter Parker was a scientist (reality) who dreamed up Spiderman (illusion) under a microscope.”
A few others took a moment to think about it and almost insulted replied: “Are we saying that there are no Superheroes in our lives? Nobody who accomplishes incredible feats; thinks of the community first; and lives a life of incredible integrity…”
Where some people believe that “superheroes” are the fantasies of little boys and little girls; others believe they are a reality missing in today’s ever growing over population. From my perspective we demand heroism from our religious and government leaders; and when we come face-to-face with their humanity we are often disappointed. I don’t believe we’ve stepped away from “myth” we are just expressing it differently.
As I was walking the dogs with GP this morning I made the comment that I had to find a way to win the “BEETLE WAR”. For a split second I literally wrote a whole script about a beetle villain and it’s heroic super predator… Creating “myth” came quite naturally.
GP giggled at my words and simply asked: “Have I missed something?”
This summer has been deadly for many trees and plants in our gardens and yards. It seems like every day I hear about a new insect attacking the vegetation in our neighbourhood. At the vet this year, we were told to protect our dogs from a dozen different types of bugs. Many of them I’ve never seen before.
How many movies have we watched in the last 5 years; which describes some kind of alien invasion in the form of giant insects? I couldn’t help but giggle at my reality this summer because it certainly mimicked a “myth” we’ve created through our movies.
Myth certainly expressed itself differently 20,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago in comparison to now… Yet, what repeats through those years is this human need to connect to some “higher being.” Just yesterday I was looking through my Facebook feed and came across a story about extra-terrestrials. The video showed these flashing lights in the sky over Australia. Nobody commented on the authenticity of the video but everyone mentioned having the belief that “alien life exists and that it is closer to us than we may imagine.”
I know quite a few people who believe in “alien life”. I’ve been told about books, podcasts, blogs and radio shows; which can prove to me that extra-terrestrials exist; and that our governmental officials have been meeting with them for decades and keeping them secret from the public. My grandmother was a great UFO fan and she often referred to stories (Native American legends) she was told by her mother and grandmother; which she believed validated her beliefs. Whether we speak of the Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Egypt or the Extra-Terrestrials of modern times these characters support the basic nature of man; which is to strive towards mythical creatures.
Whether we believe in the Son of God, the Second Coming, or the Pagan Gods and Goddesses, we are looking towards characters; which can inspire us, teach us, love us, and help us grow into stronger and better people. Today, more and more young people are believing in Video Game characters: Prophets, Mages, Shamans and Sorcerers. Even those individuals who believe in Satan, Demons and all of the creatures of the undergrounds are looking to find pieces of themselves; answers to their deepest questions; and ways to journey into what best calls to them. All humans seem to need “myth.”
I guess the ultimate question is: “Are we creating “myth” (fantasy and imagination) or does it exist as a reality.”
I think both are possible and “real”. Like my story about the Beetle – both the myth and the reality came together. The idea is not to stay attached to the form.
P.S. I’ll be back with another blog – on kind of the same topic but relating to children and dreaming. For today, this is what wanted to get written…..