Why storytelling: Because human behaviour is understandable we can relate to it. Stories about others’ lives are fascinating to us, can transport us out of our small, time-bound world to a timeless fantastical place where many non-ordinary things are possible. When we return we can bring back some of those ideas and try them out here. Expand our horizon as to what’s possible.
My own story and why I created this site.
The doorway to death.
There are many reasons why I have created this site. Like the Blue beard story, I have used the key and opened the door into the room of shadows and death. Not to kill ego but rather to transform it, to journey with it into the next world and beyond.
In the Blue beard story, There was a doorway into a room, a room of death of all the previous wives. Death in the other world, the world beyond this physical world is not a death as we understand it. It means the end of an initiatory process or at worst a failed psychological process. Like in the Blue beard story I would like to honour the brothers who came to the rescue, the masculine energy of differentiation who are the inspiration for what I have written here and my continuing Muse Listed below as male mentors.
Also, the Feminine Muse who softly stirred me on, like Mary Oliver, my mother, my wife, Pam Roux who impacted my life and dared me to use the key to open the forbidden doorway of death into a greater world and understanding. And of course, those master teachers my children and the business world of physical necessity.
Male mentors Female mentors
Robert Bly. Sarah my loving wife
My three sons, Peter, Alexanda, Sebastian. My Daughter Ananda.
Joseph Campbell Mary Oliver
Michael Meade Pam roux
James Hillman Mary Standing woman otter
Terry Pratchett Robbie Standing woman otter
Victor Frankel My mother (who kept me safe from Giants)
Rudolf Steiner Dr Wineburg for her courage in the face of death.
Kahlil Gibran Emily Dickerson
Rumi Val & Judy of Vision quest fame who were there when I received that “Calls for listening” name.
And many others too numerous to mention. The surgeon and the antitheist who accepted the challenge of death on the table and operated anyway. Thank you, it seems such an inadequate word.
There was a time in 2019 when I was in the hospital for a stomach operation. Major concerns as to whether I would survive the surgery at 70 years, high blood pressure, asthma, stents, and blood thinners. As I was coming out of the anesthetic, I had an experience of reviewing what I came to do in this life and the agreements I had made, the gifts I had brought to share and what I had come to do around initiation and youth.
Agreements with my loving wife my sounding board, my four now-grown children, and all the knowledge I had remembered and brought into awareness, into consciousness, in these 70 years of life.
About stories and their possible multiple meanings. The option was to leave this plane and die to physical life, indeed my wife said as I was being wheeled into theatre (now there’s a metaphor) She said, “If it’s your time to go then I let you go.” So, decision time, go or come back and attempt to capture in words what I have learnt about stories, rites of passage, metaphor, and our relationship to the physical world. This web site is an attempt to fulfill that promise to myself.
There are many reasons why and reasons to tell stories. As humans, our stories keep us connected, from everyday conversations about work, family, friends, from relationships to Shakespeare we are constantly telling stories, yours, mine, ours and theirs. The seven arts, books, myths, movies, music, all tell stories. Our own story is the most authentic thing we have, we never tire of repeating it and listening to those authentic stories of other’s life experiences.
One of the things that makes humans a successful species is our adaptability, humans live in vastly different environments, from sand dry deserts to high mountain plateaus to arctic conditions. We live in huge cities, in vast empty places, on the ocean on islands. How do we manage that?
Unlike animals who use instinct to guide them on how to procreate, build homes, care for young.
Humans use stories and Myths; Myths are not something that is not true Myth are the stories that tell each group in each environment how to be in that environment. Most of this understanding is not written down but learnt by osmosis. Local knowledge.
Like the fish that went home from school and asked his mum, Hey mum what’s this a learnt about water today. Mum’s response Shut up and drink your beer. Like the fish, we are totally unaware of the Mythological waters we swim in.
Local Myths can be faulty:
Because like the fish we are unconscious of the myths we swim in we are also unaware of being possessed by them.
The idea of the superiority of the Aryan race drove the second world war. The confusion between the colour black and evil drove apartheid. There were voices such a Carl Jung and Laurens van der Post who understood myths, stories, and the unconscious. These voices warned us of what was to come.
So many people stood at the doorway of death in those times.
Likewise, there are myths that tell us how to be in relationship with the spiritual and soul world. These soul myths are what I love, they speak to me in a most immediate way how to be as human in a rapidly changing world. Perhaps even in a world that is dying. The world is now asking of us questions about death and our own mortality.
My interest in the stories that you find on this site are here because they describe how our psyche, our inner life may be transformed. These stories invite us in conversation to our own life to find fulfillment and purpose
There are as many ways to tell and use stories as there are people to tell them. I use a particular type of story, those that carry Initiatory or rite of passage information and processes. Those that describe in metaphor how our journey from ego back to soul may be fulfilled
Others who use stories for another purpose will have traveled a different road and will report a different experience. In this context, one experience is as valid as the next. Our difficulty here is due to our own insecurity we would like there to be only one official road and only one valid experience. Unfortunately (or fortunately) personal growth is not that easy or simple. While my own interest in stories is soul work, soul retrieval, and soul connecting (from an ego point of view), using stories for entertainment, carrying educational and instructional information is perfectly valid. Because those aspects are not dealt with here it does not imply a lack of validity.
The validity of stories:
Stories validate life and not the other way around because soul attributes meaning to events and experiences, not the intellect. ( see what is soul)
I have discovered that many of the stories carry truths that are staggeringly profound in their implications. This realisation always leaves me in awe as to their validity, their power to transform us and their incredible gift to us from our past. Further the psychological level while popular today is not the level which these stories were created out of. Many of the stories flow down the river of metaphor from the mountains of individuals passing the territory of psychology to the ocean of soul which is their sources.
Joseph Campbell says “The way is well known, you don’t even have to risk the journey by yourself, others that have gone before you have left the way well signposted”. That is what the stories on this site are, signposts on the journey from Ego back to soul. It is at the levels of soul that stories express their most fundamental truths. I have attempted the mammoth task of laying out some of the geographies of these, like the wounded healer Chiron I can only take you part of the way, each of our journeys are unique and indeed it would be wrong to simply follow my path without making it your own.