Sunday, 22 September 2013

Why Myths Are Important

We tend to think of myths as forgotten stories from a past that doesn’t belong to us, one where people held irrational beliefs and didn’t know anything. But the truth is that we are still living myths today, individually as well as collectively. In fact, everything is based on myth. It’s because we believe in our present day myths that we live them and perpetuate them. If we want to change our personal or collective reality then we need to take a look at the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. We have to decide not only what we would like to discard, but also what we would like to take into the future.

Myths and dreams are the symbols that illuminate our current self-concepts and contain the seeds of what we can become. The Now-moment contains nothing at all, except what we choose to believe in. The Now moment is pure potential and completely insubstantial. But Now is also the bridge between our myths and our dreams - the space in which we can create. Now is often too fast on us – it doesn’t give us time to deliberate and make informed decisions. That is perhaps why it can open the door to change, because even though it is insubstantial, it is all that we really have to work with. Now is the moment of choice, the moment where all possibilities are connected and from where we can choose our experience. In my experience each Now moment provides the opportunity to either heal the past or direct the future.

Dreams are nothing other than the myths of the future telling us what is possible. If a dream stirs our hearts then it calls us to a better future. The question is often how to use the Now to transform our own stories, releasing myths from the past that no longer serve us to bring the dreams of the future into our present reality. But in truth all myths are important, regardless of whether we like them or not. If we want to get rid of a personal myth, it will probably re-present itself with more insistence until it is healed. We only heal our myths when we love them, because unwanted myths represent parts of ourselves that need to be loved back to life. Once it is integrated into our sense of self, the unwanted myth no longer has control that is beyond the power of our own will. It will then cease to run the show, because we are no longer afraid of it.

In Paulo Coelho’s books I have read about the personal legend. Being authentic means weaving our myth so life works for us and we fulfil our greatest dream, which should also be our biggest ambition. This doesn’t mean that we should be flawless, but that our chosen myth should be original and have the power of our own creativity.