Sunday, January 24, 2016

Are you trapped in your own stories?

Stories are being used trough the ages to convince and persuade people.
Mostly by people who already have the most power.

Some stories come from people who are professional storytellers and other from fishermen at sea who wanted to explain natural phenomena with a supernatural explanation.

We like to follow stories as guidelines for our life. The stories of Jezus from Nazareth and of Mohammed are two stories that are followed by many people. Not as if there is one story for each guy, the more people you ask the more versions you hear.

After a messiah figure is gone the message can be used to fit every cause people desire.

We like heroes and think we are the protagonist in our own story. We like to feel in control.

Joseph Campbel studied mythology of different cultures all over the world and found a common thread wich is called the monomyth.

The Wachowski's showed us in the movie "The matrix" how such a story can trap us.
They used Joseph Campbell monomyth and then showed how it is a trap in the end.

George Lucas used the monomyth also when he made Starwars movies. He didn't realize how it was a trap.

This still comes from the idea that we are in the center of everything. That we are exalted above the rest of the earth and this universe. 

This creates blind spots in our thinking. Not only that but it can be fatal for us as species when we fail to notice the full ecology of the systems we are part of.  It will leave us very vulnerable for sudden changes. 

A great example is in the comic : "Crossed" (1-5) written by Alan Moore. 

So I give a story as example of how stories can trap us and can give us blind spots in our thinking and understanding.

It seems like the only way to alert people of the danger of clamping to stories is by stories.
That's why we shall make this like a Zen story. 

In Zen there are masters who have authority and who oversee the process of the students.
Portraits of those masters are originally almost always done as a caricature or joke. 
And that's how the master wants it because it is all about authority.

The stories that a Zen master uses to teach Zen are, when one is serious about learning what Zen is, not to be taken serious at all.

Having this kind of humor and self-relativisation keeps us alert and helps us avoid and get out of such narrative traps. 

So in all seriousness, don't take this blog post too serious. 

For more check out: The case against Mythology