Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Pathway into Destiny via Teaching-Stories & Digital Media Production



1. Our pathway finds guidance by continuously searching for resonance within the oral narrative of teaching-stories. By actively engaging the archetypal material coded by spiritual guides into the cultural lore, we attend for textures that throb against our unique fingerprints and the passion in our heart.  A “hit” signals connection between “inner knowing” and a universal, archetypal source of vitality. Because the archetypal ocean stretches into mystery and out beyond human capacity to encompass, our attempts to articulate such material are therefore clumsy and incomplete, fragmentary at best. Although humbling and uncomfortable, a recognition of limited knowing avoids the dangers of arrogant presumptions that result in the proverbial pitfall (e.g., Proverbs 16).

2. To navigate the unknown and to control harm, cultures draft and enforce laws, norms, and moral codes. As civilization and consciousness advance, these norms sometimes become restrictive and are broken. The storyteller, like other artists, dances at this edge. For example, in the story of “The Visit” (cf. the Russian tale, “Maiden Tsar”), this break is represented when the protagonist does away with the tutor who was preventing connection with the beloved by putting the youth to sleep and colluding with the dominant rule, represented by the stepmother.

3. Despite the difficulty, the frustration and frequent failure in attempting to access the great unknown, our destiny depends on attempts to decipher the inarticulate points of resonance. The process of articulation, of focusing the abstractions coming from the source material, proceeds through amplifying the resonance across other teaching stories and then translating the archetypal images into local and individual levels.  
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4. Because archetypal spaces are expressed in a variety of representations, the amplification typically and productively yields multiplicity. For example, the archetypal guide may be presented as a small voice (dwarf or haystack figure), in an apparently ugly or threatening form (Dame Ragnell/Beauty’s Beast, Baba Yaga), or in a disappearing beloved (e.g., Kuan Yin).

5. This multiplicity almost always yields feelings of uncertainty, but it also allows for individual instantiation of the archetypal field. In other words, each person has the opportunity to collaborate in his/her unique destiny. The work/play involved in digital media production offers a generative space for exploring the uncertainty, for constructing enactments in the possibility space making connections with the resonant moments from teaching stories, and translating toward the particular level. The particular level is the immediate experience where the multiplicity gets resolved into a best-fit response to the contingencies presented in situated truth-making. In relation to the particular level, hermeneutic phenomenology points to the importance of caring and commitment, and of self-forgiveness for unintended boo-boos. Our study of contemporary human development emphasizes our opportunity to cooperate to a degree beyond previous capacity in order to advance social good.