I’m sympathetic to several mythological scale interpretations.  I believe that myths come in hierarchical levels, with layers based upon the evolutionary dynamic.  Evolution unfolds at biological, societal, ontological and personal levels.  So do the stories that signify the processes at those levels.

Jung can be right regarding species specific stories or archetypes that target shared biological experience.

Levi-Strauss might nail a mythology focused on trans-society shared cultural roots.

Freud might intuit the labeling of a symbol that significantly expresses a specific culture’s understanding.

One person’s dreams may reveal a symbol right for that person based on the associations that person has for a particular object or event.

The levels bleed into one another.  We often become chauvinists for the level that we fetishize.  That sort of goes with the territory of being human.

Associations or relationships circulating around a particular symbol elevate that symbol to a particularly powerful usefulness.  Still, it’s vital we not take symbol too seriously or statically.  It’s as fluid as language, as vital yet as insubstantial as art.

How symbol comes into play regarding personal transformation has to do with an individual’s ability to both allow himself or herself to offer allegiance to the proto language of metaphor, myth and symbol while at the same time identifying with scales larger and more comprehensive than that of the individual and one’s own life.  Dipping into reverence for metaphor, myth and symbol allows both a letting down the barriers to one’s other side while transcending that very split between the two sides.

Respect for the nature of symbol provides a doorway, a roadmap to all scales of evolution, including personal transformation.  Just as a single melody can travel through several sections of an orchestra, the melody can be broken up by time.  A single note, a single bar, a single phrase or a single movement all carry the same melody at different scales.

A myth provides us an opportunity to identify outside the single note that is our usual experience.  Embedded in our own cacophony of personal stories that are based upon our own experiences, it’s difficult to intuit the larger song relevant to who we are outside our unique lives.

To experience the revelation that we are more than the narrative experience characterized by language, symbol, myth and metaphor use language and/or image as a doorway to have an experience by association instead of by cause and effect.  The very process of reverence for this non-narrative experience allows a transcendence of our isolated-by-time, narrative world.

It’s not just the content, it’s the process.

Regarding personality transformation, allowing an allegiance to non-narrative experience, however manifested, encourages healing from both within and without.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 8th, 2009 at 8:42 am and is filed under Myth/Story, Unconscious. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. Frank on October 27, 2009 8:19 am

    Very well expressed. It is astonishing to discover that the world is not only founded on language but it IS language! It is made up of symbols and metaphors but we take them literally. Thank you

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