The Power of Story

Stories have shaped civilizations, created religions, cultures, villages, and lives. They have started and ended everything from wars to relationships. They steer politics and policy, consumption of the planet, or its potential for a new way. They are deeply embedded in our consciousness, teachers of meaning and morality. A good story can create a new world.

Think of the myths that have guided humanity since time began. The myth of Inanna’s descent to the underworld. The myth of the virgin birth. The myth of the fairy goddess-mother who grants every wish. The myth of the evil stepmother who does just the opposite, tales of the Good King, the Wasteland and the lost Grail, or the perfect Love Story of happily-ever-after.

These may seem like tales of the past, but even now we are guided by myths, perhaps less Godly: The myth of the American Dream, where you can achieve anything you want. The myth of the good mother who self-sacrifices. The myth of the Hero who will save the world. The myth that the goal of life is to make as much money as you can. Stories are evolutionary drivers.

Our world today is longing for a new story about how to create our future. As you create your dream, you have a chance to contribute to this story. You can also consider what story is guiding you in creating your dream.  Is it the story of fame and fortune? The pursuit of the perfect love? A story of fighting injustice, where you set right a terrible wrong? A mystery story that you are allowing to unfold, one that is unknown, even to you?

The story that guides my life is the fairy tale about how the baby of the King and Queen gets sent down the river, and must find his or her way back to the Kingdom (I prefer kin-dom)– a story that represents the journey of seeking divine consciousness. The next chapter in that story of seeking, known as the Hero’s Quest, is the Return Home. This is the path of the avatar, the path of manifestation.

The Hero’s Quest is an ancient motif that runs through many myths and stories through time and across cultures. It starts with an ailing world, a world that has lost its magic, a world where people are no longer happy, no longer singing the song of life together in harmony. The Hero longs to heal the world, but must first leave that very world to break the spell of the old story. Outside the community he goes on his quest. The quest is full of terrible danger, mythic mysteries that must be solved, dragons to be slayed, and wise ones to be sought. After many long and arduous adventures, he awakens from his trance. He has a realization, meaning that he sees with real eyes. The Hero solves (or discovers) the mystery and through this breakthrough finds the elixir of healing – the magic formula of wisdom and maturity that can heal the ailing world.

Though he thinks the challenges are behind him, he discovers an even further challenge when he returns home with the elixir. He discovers the world has no interest in his magic potion. His words of wisdom fall on deaf ears. The people in the ailing world don’t even admit they’re ailing, much less want to change. They slam doors in his face, laugh at his efforts, disbelieve his stories. His only tool is to be the living proof of his magic, igniting the curiosity around him to wonder about his secret. By living his discovered truth, he prevails at last and the community moves toward healing.

This is our story today. We have ventured up and out to discover transcendent mysteries, to develop technologies, to travel to the stars. But our world at home is ailing and in need of healing. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  We must break the spell to create something entirely new. We must get outside the world to think outside the box.  This is why detachment and emptiness are so important. Creativity means creating something new and different.

This is an excerpt from the book on manifestation through the chakras tentatively titled:  Co-Creating Heaven on Earth co-authored by Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman due to be released through Sounds True in October 2012. Stay tuned!

We must live the new way in order to make change. We can be shining examples and learn to manifest from the highest principles to create Heaven on Earth.