Myth Stories: mythological musings #2

Mindfunda wants to thank Hezekiah Condron, who directed The second life, Better days, and "The INVITATION" for his comments on this blog.

Remember when you were young? How your history teacher would tell you with radiant eyes- about the Greek mythology? Mythology seems far away. How are mythological stories relevant in your life today? Mindfunda explores mythological themes in 4 blogs

Your mythic life
Myth Stories
Culture
Crises

In the family I grew up in, we used to sit around the table while my father, a high school principle, would talk about the Greek myths. The story that really charmed me was the one about how Athena was born out of the head of Zeus.

myth stories
birth of Athena

Athena, goddess of the sky, bright of mind, the favorite of her father: she represented all that I longed to be. Getting older (and hopefully wiser) now, I must admit that I am not always smart. That is painful. But true. But i always strived to be at the top of my class when I was a kid. And untill this day I am crazy about reading and books. My heart cab still jump up with joy whenever I receive a new book that will have that piece of knowledge that I felt lacking in my life.

Myth stories in films

Mythology is a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition of a group of people –their collection of stories they tell to explain nature, history, and traditions of a certain tribe (this definition is based on Wikipedia).
Mythology is not gone. It is all around you. In films, for example. Almost all of us are aware that Joseph Campbell’s concept of the hero’s journey has become a standard model for script writing. Nancy Duarte talks about it in her book Resonance.

mythic stories
Resonate

If you buy Resonate using this link you will suport the good work of Mindfunda

“Great stories introduce you to a hero to whom you can relate. The hero is usually a likeable sort who has an acute desire or goal that is threatened in some way. As the story unfolds and trails are met with triumph, you cheer for the hero until the story is resolved and the hero is transformed. As author Robert McKee explains: Something must be at stake that convinces the audience that a great deal will be lost if the hero does not obtain his goal. The most simplistic way to describe the structure of a story is situation, complication and resolution. From mythic adventures to recollections shared around the dinner table, all stories follow this pattern.”

myth stories
Hero’s journey
picture by storyboardthat.com

 

Mindfunda explored mythological themes in films in an earlier blog post. The themes of love over gold (and mind over matter), the initiation of childhood into maturity, the issue of trust in a higher being or power, it are all familiar themes in films and series. This Mindfunda will talk about the most popular film and series launched in 2015 and discuss their mythological themes.
Looking at films and series along the journey of the hero alows you to appreciate a story on a whole new level. The picture above divides the hero’s journey in four stages and twelve steps. Take a look at your favorite story (or maybe your own story as I invited you to write it in mythological musings #1.

Myth story in Jurassic World

The best-selling movie in 2015 is Jurassic World directed by Colin Trevorrow. On it’s opening day, this film generated 82,8 million dollar in the United States.
The plot of the movie revolves around the genetic modification of dinosaurs. The Indominus rex was created in the laboratory of Jurrasic World, situated on Isla Nublar. The main reason for this genetic experiment is that people have grown tired from dinosaurs and something new had to be created to draw people in. But the Indominus rex dinosaur combines aggression with intelligence.  It escapes and starts killing. Being on an Island, there are not many places one can flee so the thread is imminent. The two main characters, Owen and Claire have the dinosaurs battle against each other. Finally the vicious Indominus Rex disappears into the lagoon in a fight with other dinosaurs.

myth stories
Jurassic World

Do you remember the myth story of Genesis? Eve reached for the fruit hanging on the tree of knowledge. Consequently she and Adam were thrown out of the Graden of Eden. Jurassic World also refers to this thirst for knowledge humans have. Scientific manipulation with natures laws is the greatest sin, a sin that leads to murder. Like Adam and Eve, Claire and Owen are thrown out of paradise. The water that has brought us life as we know it, takes back the mistakes of the humans.  The water in the lagoon swallows this vengeance and closes its surface again.

Another reference to the lost soul of current society is the fact that the film refers to the genealogical connection between birds an dinosaurs. Indominus Rex is bird-based dinosaur created in a lab. All birds are carrying much bigger chunks of dinosaur DNA than we are ever likely to find in the fossil record.
Birds are carriers of the soul. In a dream of Carl Jung, he saw a blond girl turn into a dove and fly up high. For him this was a symbol of the soul.
Jurassic World reminds us not to sell out our soul for technology. Because if we do, it will turn against us.

Myth story in series

Fear of the walking death is number 1 on IMDb’s list of most popular tv series released in 2015. The series is about a dysfunctional family: teacher Travis Manawa, Madison Clark a highschool, advisor and their children. Daughter Alicia and drug addict son Nick. They try to survive in the midst of an apocalypse. They face the beginning of the end of civilization. This is a well-known theme in mythology.
In Norse mythology, the end of the world is known as Ragnarok. The gods battle among each other, there is chaos and the universe burns. If you look at my interview with Ralph Metzner, author of the Well of Remembrance, you can hear him tell about the apocalypse.

Not only in Norse Mythology written down in the Edna also in the bible this theme is found. In the book of revelation, John receives a revelation of the battles preceding the ultimate victory of good over evil and the end of the present age.
The idea of a upcoming apocalypse has shaped our ideas and believes from the eight century B.C untill now. Human beings are deeply anxious about the future. The Book of Revelations can help people to give meaning.

To have a philosophical confrontation about human nature, that emerges in the end of all times can induce a stream of thought about human nature. Looking at the confrontations faced in the series fear of the walking deathyou are transported in a live threatening situation that confirms your basic fears about human nature and makes you hope that you will do better.

< Jumped in from elsewhere? Start at  part 1

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We don’t need another hero?

Tina_Turner_We_dont_need_another_hero

A long time ago a rather famous man wrote a book called: the Hero with a thousand faces:

Hero
A hero with a thousand faces
"The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the coordinated soul".

An eye opener for many. A standard book for therapists and individuals wanting to get to know themselves better. I love the book. If you have not read it already, please use the link above to get yourself a copy (and you will support Mindfunda).

The hero myth has become the standard for stories, scripts, films and presentations. Nancy Duarte wrote an excellent book about it, using the ingredients of the hero myth:

hero
Resonate Nancy Duarte

In a common story the hero is somebody you can relate to. An ordinary person living a rather ordinary live, being confronted with everyday trouble. Usually the hero is a man. After the introduction of the hero (remember that in most of your dreams YOU are the hero) he gets a calling to resolve a problem that affects whole of his tribe. In shawshank redemption an innocent man is thrown in jail. We feel for him. We resonate.
After getting setbacks, a helper appears. He has wisdom beyond compare and at first he eases the hero. Remember the Matrix? Neo didn’t think he was the one.
But his helper the wise Oracle knows.

In the modern series, often the hero is a rather autistic guy. He is really good at one thing. Excellent at one thing. But bad at relationships. His helper is usually a male or female he has no interest in for a mate. Take for example the series House.

hero
House

His helper is Dr. Wilson. House does not want to solve problems for society. He wants to solve problems because he is good at it. He is very attractive for woman but does not have a princess to conquer.

Another series featuring a man with autistic traits is Elementary:

hero
Elementary

Here a descendant from Sherlock Holmes solves crimes with his helper Watson: only now is Watson being reborn in the beautiful actress Lucy Liu. Again, just like House he excels in one thing: deduction. And his aim is not to help society but just to do what he likes most. He is very attractive to woman but does not have a princess to conquer.

Both hero’s are very good with their minds, but lack social skills. What do you think? Is the Hero myth changing? Do we want to live our lives for us and not for the community we belong to? And if so, is that a good thing?

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Music: what does it mean to you?

Without music, life would be a mistake 
Nietzsche

I think music has a special meaning for us don’t you? We, Homo sapiens, made musical instruments as early as 75,000 years ago. Melody is emotion, communication, tunes unite; some say it even plays a key role in the evolutionary path we have undertaken. Sounds that are pleasant to us is tell us about our soul: our inner well being. We all know the magic: with some kind of music the words and the chords are just so good you forget everything around you: it resonates. Music is energy vibrating, just like we imagine our souls to vibrate.

Some say that dreams are messages from the soul. That dreams signify the highest well-being you can be. I don’t think that is true for all dreams. But I do believe that tunes in dreams speak from the soul. In one dream, I was singing, while in waking life I can not keep a tune.  I experienced music was all around in dreams. I was part of it. I was part of the song I was playing, being part of a cosmic experience. I never could find the right words to talk about those kind of experiences so I was so very thrilled to read David Levitin’s insights in his book “This is your brain on music

music
This is your brain on music Daniel Levitin

David is a neuroscientist and former musician. He is a pop musician, that is one downside of the book: he merely discusses classical music. I love music but my knowledge of classical music is limited. I listen to it, I like it or I tune into another channel. I only recognize the very famous classical music like Beethoven’s fifth.
With that notion aside: if you are interested in music, in the brain and in dreaming about music: this book will give you more insight.

It tells you about how music is very prominent in our species. Levitin proposes that music was important in our evolution and I tend to agree with him. Music unites tribes. If you think back about the slaves in America that invented the blues to vent out their grief, to unite against their oppressors, it just makes sense.
Music was the tool to unite the group without strong repercussions.

What does music in dreams mean? This book was able to shed light on that for me. Music in dreams can be about feeling united with my tribe: I can remember dreaming about making music together in the woods of Rolduc years before I became involved in dreaming and ecology, years before I knew there was going to be another dream conference at the same Dutch Convent called Rolduc in the south of the Netherlands.
Music in my dreams is also connected with my soul: when I was younger and away from my loved one I used to hear “our song” in my dreams to keep my flame burning.
Music in my dreams has also helped me to emancipate: not only by performing in my dreams but also by being uplifted by many people in a concert hall and being transported: the ultimate meaning of life: the way you transcend through time.

What are your experiences?