On storytelling

The Power of Storytelling

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The Place Where Stories are Born…

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NASA interview about storytelling

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“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”

From the 1897 editorial of Francis Pharcellus Church in New York’s Sun

All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge…

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

To read the whole editorial, click here.

Paul Valery’s “On myths and mythology”

(click here to read the whole 3-page essay)

…Myth is the term for everything which exists and subsists only on the basis of language.  There is no speech so obscure, no gossip so fantastic, no remark so incoherent that we cannot give it meaning.  One can always assume a meaning for the strangest language…

Our entire language is made up of short little dreams;  and the delightful thing about it is that we sometimes fashion from them thoughts that are strangely exact and wonderfully reasonable.

Indeed there are so many myths in us, and such commonplace ones, that it is almost impossible to segregate completely in our minds anything that is not a myth.  One cannot even talk about it without creating a myth, and am I not at the moment making a myth of the myth in order to satisfy the whim of a myth?

Yes, dear friends, I do not know what to do in order to escape from what does not exist!  To such an extent does the spoken word govern us, and everything around us, that one cannot see how to set about foregoing the imaginary which cannot be dispensed with…

…one day I wrote:  in the beginning was the Fable!

Which means that any derivation and any beginning of things is of the same substance as the songs and stories which surround us in the cradle.

It is a kind of absolute law that everywhere, in every place, in every period of civilization, in every form of belief, by means of no matter what form of discipline, and in every respect–the false supports the true;  truth has falsehood for an ancestor, as its cause, its author, and its point of origin, without exception and without recourse–and the truth engenders this very falsehood by which it must be engendered itself.  All antiquity, all causality, every human principle, are fabulous inventions and obey the simple laws of invention.

What would we be without the help of what does not exist?  Not very much, and our very unoccupied minds would pine away if myths, fables, misunderstandings, abstractions, beliefs and monsters, hypotheses and the so-called problems of metaphysics did not people the darkness and the depths of our natures with abstract creations and images.

Myths are the very soul of our actions and of our loves.  We can act only in pursuit of a phantom.  We can love only what we create.

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