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Author and archetypal consultant Kristina Dryža joins us in Conversations of a Higher Order this week for a discussion of “Living Myths for Transformation,” her most recent MythBlast essay (click on title to read). Ms. Dryža, who currently resides in Lithuania, focuses in her work on archetypal and mythic patterns and their influence on creativity, innovation and leadership.
This thread is your opportunity to share your questions, comments, and observations about Ms. Dryža’s essay with her (and each other), which is what makes this a “conversation of a higher order.”
I’ll start us off, but I’m confident Ms. Dryža would much rather hear from thee than from me, so don’t be shy.
Kristina – Thank you so much for this reflection on how myth is so much more than mere entertainment, more than sparkles and rainbows and “Happy Happy Joy Joy!”
Reading your words, I am reminded of an exchange from The Power of Myth. Bill Moyers recalls a theme from Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel, Zorba the Greek: “Zorba says, ‘Trouble? Life is trouble.”
‘All life is sorrowful’ is the first Buddhist saying, and so it is. It wouldn’t be life if there weren’t temporality involved, which is sorrow––loss, loss, loss. You’ve got to say yes to life and see it as magnificent this way . . . And the way to awaken from it is not to be afraid, and to recognize that all of this, as it is, is a manifestation of the horrendous power that is all of creation. The ends of things are always painful. But pain is part of there being a world at all.”
Your article reminds us that mythology supplies tools to embrace the agonies as well the ecstasies of life with courage – which includes the courage to look into the shadows and face unpleasant truths about oneself – getting to know the whole person that one is, warts and all.
The following strikes me as a key passage from your piece:
Yes, myths are timeless and transcendent, but when we don’t consciously invite them into our lives, we are prone to live them out unconsciously and compulsively, and therefore, sometimes quite destructively. The more we resist the presence and power of myths, the more their archetypal patterns push upon us. And so they must be recognised. When we can perceive (or at least intuit) the mythologies that influence our lives, we realize that the mythic realm is mightier than our prideful common sense.”
I know from personal experience, as I’m sure you do too, the pain of living the unexamined life. It can be scary to turn the lens back on oneself, but that is far less risky than ignoring the archetypal energies that help shape our lives and letting them run amuck.
I certainly appreciate your useful advice on this subject, such as how to seek the message in the moment – any moment, good or ill. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share an approach I sometimes employ when going through a difficult patch, one borrowed from philosopher and astrologer Ray Grasse (author of The Waking Dream: Unlocking the Symbolic Language of Our Lives), and elicit your feedback.
For me, this requires a dedicated hour or so, and some journaling. When dealing with confusion, stress, and uncertainty about where I am or the direction my life is taking, it can be difficult knowing what archetypes are in play when in that bubble – so I step outside myself, metaphorically speaking, and look at recent experiences as I would the elements of a dream, or a work of literature or film. It’s not that hard to analyze the motivations and actions of characters in a novel or film (we all do it, whether we know it or not, at the end of every movie), or recognize recurring patterns in a dream that one might be blind to in waking life.
There are two advantages to that.
One is that I take myself out of the equation, at least to a limited extent, rather than getting caught up in the drama (which is where so many of us spend most of our time). Amazing how much this helps clarify my vision.
The other plus is that, especially when it comes to a work of literature, it’s much easier to embrace a character’s flaws and revel in their challenges than when we find ourselves living at the center of the story. I’ll admit I’m not sure why this works, but “de-centering” myself makes it easier for those archetypal figures driving my story to emerge.
Of course, I suppose that could lead to a psychological dissociation; this only works if, eventually, I pivot and embrace “the gods” who have come to life through me, as part of my own being
. . . which changes everything.
This is one of the doors I walk through to encounter the archetypal realm. I’m curious what your thoughts are – does this strike a chord with you? Am I making sense, or does madness lay these way . . . ?
tie-dyed teller of tales
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