Mythology & Parables
Maurice Turmel PhD
Parables and mythical stories have been with us throughout time. From the earliest of cave drawings to modern writing and film parables, as guides to human experience, have been a source of inspiration throughout human history. This has been the case down through the ages and across cultures as well. Parables have been the teachers that lead us through the various challenges confronting us at different stages in our lives. These stories help us move forward on our individual journeys by providing us with images and symbols that crystallize human experience into digestible pieces. They are lessons, replete with the wisdom of the ages; a wisdom that is handed down through the generations to the ever shifting present. We are symbol seeking creatures; and parables, as providers of such, bring to light those images that illustrate each lesson we are about to embark on. They inform, they guide and they teach.
Periodically, in our collective human journey, we have had major awakenings. Our history books inform us of this; all of our major disciplines are affected. A breakthrough in science often leads to a breakthrough in human awareness. For example, “the sun does not revolve around the earth, but rather the earth revolves around the sun” struck down a core belief that could not be sustained by the facts. Earth-centeredness equaled self-centeredness during this period of our history and both were dealt a fatal blow. As a result, we humans became part of something larger than ourselves, a part of the Universe if you will, rather than being its center. When we take a long view of our recorded history, we see that such awakenings have occurred regularly and continue to this day.
With the information explosion of modern times we are likely on the threshold of another major awakening. The world becomes smaller as each of us has easier access to our collective information sources via the Internet; and we will continue to benefit from that expanding knowledge base. One could argue that our collective consciousness is uniting as we abandon isolationism and move toward the growing awareness that we are indeed One.
Within each period of history a symbol would emerge in the consciousness of man that described this process of evolution at the personal level. The symbol for today is the arising of the Self, well described by Carl Jung and the human potential movement that loudly made itself known in the late 60’s. From Self-actualization to Self-empowerment, the symbol of the Self announces our growing understanding that at the center of us lays a core, and this core is our Self out of which emerges creative expression of our true nature.
The Self is not our Ego which has been our symbol of outward expression until this time. The ego has been an integral part of our human journey but is no longer its mainstay. As Carl Jung and many Eastern philosophers point out, the ego is a stepping stone to this new threshold, the arising of the Self. This self is our core which, as we shall see, connects us to the Divine. Remember, the ego wants to be a God unto itself, totally self-sufficient and isolated, lying at the root of all our addictions which take us away from our true Self.
This Self contains and expresses that which we are in our feelings and emotions. This feeling nature has been called Heart and refers to our strongest desires and passions. “Follow your bliss” Joseph Campbell would instruct. “What do you feel in your heart?” others would suggest in answer to such questions as “who am I?” and “what is my purpose here on this earth?” The “recovery movement” has linked this Self with “the lost inner child.” Again, another description which places the Self as our feeling nature. I believe that this Self is the “true” center of our human personality and when “free” and “actualized” connects us to our Soul, its spiritual counterpart.
Our Soul is our connection to the Spiritual and the very source of our being. Our Soul takes on human form for its Earthly experience and gives rise to the Self which is the spiritual in human form. Self and Soul are the flip sides of the same coin. On the one side we see our spiritual nature; on the other we see our essential human nature. Expressing the Divine through our human form brings God down to Earth and renders this physical experience “Holy.” Our parables, myths and stories recount this journey in a myriad of ways, all designed to get us back in touch with our truest nature. At that core we are all vitally alive, unencumbered and free. We express that which is ours, creatively, forcefully and passionately. We glorify God with our works. We express our part of the puzzle as an individualized piece in an infinite matrix of Divine interrelationships, at the centre of which stands the Director, the leader of the Band. He needs for all of us to play in tune together so that we sing His praises and ours as well. Because we are of Him, we express Him in all our glorious enterprises. When fully in tune we are happiest. Back to “follow your bliss.” That “bliss” is “us” expressing His Light creatively as we were designed to do. Yes, we have free will. We can refuse. But why deny ourselves this joy and ultimate satisfaction?
This book is about being inspired, about Divine guidance and about being eternal in that cosmic, spiritual sense. Our Soul is our Divine core; our Self is our human core. Parables, myths and stories help us bring them to the fore, as the center of our being. This book is about the Self and its relationship to the Soul, about how expressing that Self leads us to Soul and our Divine inheritance.
This Self is brought forward and nurtured on the human plane of experience. Expressing this Self strengthens us in our human drama and leads us back to Soul. Self and Soul work dynamically together while maintaining the bond between the human and the Divine. We see that we are Spiritual beings first and foremost. Our humanness is an expression of the Divine that seeks to enlarge itself through this particular experience. That’s why we are here – to grow.
This collection of parables in story and poetic form stands in the same tradition as the illustrative tales our ancestors relied upon. They provide a reference point for certain types of experience, always pointing toward goodness and the healthy expression of Self. We do our part when we undertake this challenge. We bring to Life that which we are imbued with. And while creatively expressing those talents and abilities we share them with each other. In so doing we perpetuate the growth pattern that has already been established, taking it to a new level with each positive step we make.
Allow this collection of stories and poems to act as a mirror to your experience. Some will have more meaning for you than others. Some may have little meaning initially, but more meaning at a second or third reading. Approach them as an opportunity to learn more about your Self and why you are here. Look at each character and situation as a possible reflection of something going on in your life. In addition, these diverse characters may reflect on different parts of your personality, giving you another avenue through which to explore who you are. Let them speak to you and challenge you. Trust that you will derive what it is you need. As mirrors to your life they can only reflect back to you what you are ready to see.
These parables celebrate Life. They celebrate personal achievement and growth. They point toward the healing our Self may require, to any blockages or defenses we may need to address and, ultimately, to rejoining the Soul in total human consciousness. Remember, expressing that Soul awareness in human form is what the healthy Self strives to do. What’s good for the Self is also good for the Soul.
This book then is about Souls and their journey through human life. A Soul’s growth experiences can be wide and varied and are evidenced in the Self’s human expression of an individual’s talents and abilities. Love of course is at the center of all these experiences. Love of Self. Love of Soul. Love of each other as expressions of the Divine common denominator. Love is the glue that binds Souls together and yet maintains their individuality. So Love is also what we’re here to learn about and to share with one another. Love comes straight from the Divine to individual Souls and to the human Self. Love shared is love expressed. Love expressed is growth on the human vine. Growth is why love exists and expands, into forever.
These stories are gifts which I need to share as my part of the Soul/Self alliance. They come to me from the ethers, Divine providence if you prefer. I have used these stories in my work as a therapist and workshop facilitator. They usually come as short stories or poetry. Lately they’ve been arriving as song lyrics which I have set to music and proceeded to record so they can be shared in that fashion as well. In whatever form they all serve the same purpose. To awaken, stimulate and intrigue. Whatever moves us, touches us, inspires us, or challenges us has at its core an unswerving capacity to ignite. Isn’t that what passion is, a fire in the belly driving that urge to create or express. “Turned on” we might say today. Whatever its characterization, it’s there at our core. The Self, the Soul, the Passion, the Love, all waiting their turn to be expressed for His greater glory and our own cosmic evolution.
Let us remove those obstacles now and get to the heart of our individual story. Let us find out who and what we really are. Let us climb out from under the rocks of addiction and fear and let us feel that love again, the way our ancestors did when they came to terms with their inner being as exemplified in the stories of their day. Let us teach each other the truth, that we are all here together in one significantly sour soup that we can make sweeter through our individual contributions. We are interdependent and we need each other. We also need the truth of our Selves in no uncertain terms. Let these stories be a guide to your truth and help you unravel your unique contribution to the Cosmic Soul.