i seen some weird shit !

Kurt Vonnegut, Shape of Stories

Before the written word tales, fables, legends and narrative myths were passed on orally by word of mouth from generation to generation.

This is known as the Oral Tradition.

Most fairytales, or original mythical narratives, have purpose.

"Stories have their own life cycle.

Stories that were once true and potent grow old and infirm.

This is happening to the great myths of Western civilization.

Two related stories have built the world we know.

Both are nearing their end.

The first of these world-creating stories is the Story of Ascent.

Humanity has risen from a state of nature, a state of scientific ignorance and technological impotence, to becoming nature's lords and masters.

We have harnessed natural forces, penetrated the mysteries of the universe, overcome natural limitations with technology.

The story claims complete subjugation of nature thanks to nanotechnology, space travel, zero-point energy, social and genetic engineering.

The second defining story of Western civilization is our Story of Self.

We are discrete and separate beings living in an objective universe.

Few people today greet the Story of Ascent with the same near-universal fervor of, say, the 1950s, as all the promises of technotopia (the end of disease, unlimited energy, a leisure society, space colonies) fade into legend.

Descent, the new paradigm, ushers in new realization of connectedness, of interdependency, and the end of the story of the discrete and separate self.

The independent, unencumbered man of reason no longer beckons as an ideal: we crave community, intimacy and connection." - Charles Eisenstein

keys to the kingdom of heaven


Chinese charater for story

"A reader who identifies with the characters in a novel is not reacting in some naive way that ought to be outgrown or transcended, but is performing one of the central acts of literary understanding." - Edward Mendelson

Modern human experience is built upon narrative.

Individual personal narrative is just another narrative in a world in which each person carries a unique narrative of their journey through the world.

The map, a distortion of that which is mapped, through the creative play of story-telling has come to enslave us without the storyteller's moral focus.

The lack of a life sustaining global narrative is telling and troublesome.

To read a novel for pleasure is to take an interest in a closed fictional reality which models the kind of life a reader might or might not find on that path.

Seven basic plots tell the human tale.

All revolve around the Journey to Awakening.

Tales have been historically told to relate experience to those without it.

here be dragons

Overcoming Malevolence

A hero, on behalf of a community, sets out to slay Malevolence.

Malevolence personifies the dark power of the human ego.

rags to richs

Rags to Riches

Selfish figures overshadow the disregarded hero.

The hero is eventually revealed as a miracle worker in the end.

let silence take you to the core of reallity

The Quest

The hero struggles to reach a far off priceless goal.

In the end the power of darkness is overcome,

treasure is secured and the kingdom is established.


Journey and Return

The hero drops out of a familiar world into dystopia.

Its strangeness, at first exhilarating, gradually turns to nightmare until,

in a final thrilling escape, the hero return to where he began.

dark comedy


Typically this is confusion remaining unresolved.

Misunderstanding is resolved as darkness gives way to light.



A hero initially enjoys dreamlike success but gradually the
dream turns into nightmare through the dark power of the ego.

everyday rebirth


A hero is imprisoned by a dark,

egotistical power
in a state of Zombism,

similar to the living death that encompasses

all who strive endlessly for material possessions.

Eventually the hero is liberated by

a redeeming figure, to end yet again on an

image of light triumphing over darkness,

life and love over death and separation.

Understanding the function of each of these plots is the gateway to unraveling the mystery of how stories work, and why we tell them.

Archetypal patterns shape an instinctive drive to create and walk one of the seven basic narratives of Overcoming Malevolence, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy and Rebirth.

The ending that resonates with all humankind is the archetypical image of a man and a woman together triumphing over darkness a happy ending.

human history embellished


Chinese charater for myth

"There is intrinsic value in our myths, and if our children studied them earnestly, they would see elements common to all myths and cultures.

They would learn that the Babylonians had many creation myths and that the most famous one was not about Marduk but about a garden, the First Garden: the Judeo-Christian biblical creation myth has its roots in Babylonian myth."- Denise Clary-Wilson

Legend is defined as:

A popular cultural narrative accepted as history.

Narrative illustrating cultural ideals and worldview.

A traditional cultural narrative explaining aspects of the symbiotic relation by delineating the psychology, morals, ethics, traditional customs and ideals of a culture through gods, giants, descended gods and larger than life heroes that serve as archetypes in the worldview of the social cultural system.


a story about human avatars

a narrative of romanticized mythical events

unsubstantiated historical narrative not verified by historical records

Legend suggests there was a queen named Scheherazade who had been captured and sentenced to death by the Sultan Schahriah of Arabia.

In order to save her life she told him tales of intrigue and adventure, stopping at the most exciting part, to be continued the next eve if she lived …

The legend states that after 1,001 nights, the Sultan granted her freedom.

These fables included 'Sinbad the Sailor', 'Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves', 'The Barber's story of his First Brother', 'The story of the Husband and the Parrot' and 'Aladdin and the Magic Lamp'.

Legend comes from the Latin adjective legenda, "for reading, to be read," which referred to written narratives, not to traditions transmitted orally.

Since the 15th century legend includes traditional narrative myths.

We now speak of the enduring fame legendary accomplishments.


a falsehood; fabrication; fiction; untruth;

a deliberately improbable account;

a tale of legendary exploits;

a tale told to excite wonder;

an imaginative tale, intended to instruct and amuse;

a short mythical narrative of supernatural events;

a short moral tale (often with animal characters);

a short moral narrative making a cautionary or edifying point;

a connected series of events, forming the subject of an epic poem;

a fictitious narration often employing animal characters that speak and act like humans intended to enforce some useful truth or precept.

Aesop was a storyteller and philosopher who lived in Greece in 300 BC.

His fables feature animals as main characters, facing situations humans face.

Aesop's fables relate how emotional situations can be faced and overcome.

Dealing with emotions such as jealousy, laziness, and lying they were designed for the enlightenment and amusement of children and rulers.

folk tale

a short narrative;

common talk with a central theme;

a rumor or piece of gossip, often malicious or untrue;

a narrative that relates the details of a series of events or incidents;

an tale for children using fantastic accounts to create desired behavior.

Hans Christian Anderson, who lived in Denmark in the 19th century, as a child was considered ugly and had very few friends so he read quite a bit.

When his father died at Hans moved to Copenhagen at 14 to become an actor.

At the age of 30, he began writing down the tales he had been compiling and relating to children across the countryside to pay for his travels.

These tales, such as "The Princess and the Pea", "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Ugly Duckling" became treasured classical moral fables.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm traveled around the country and gathered tales from the local inhabitants and became famous upon the publication.

Included in their collection of stories are "The Wolf and the Fox", "Hansel and Gretel"and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves".


A short fictitious narrative illustrating a moral or religious lesson.

A short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some a moral lesson.

A tale that conveys meaning indirectly through metaphorical analogy.

Instruction through parables has been in use from before recorded history.

unique library index

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