captivated and continue to captivate human minds?
What is the secret in stories that glues people together? Why it doesn’t care for age, race, religion, color, caste, gender, national boundaries and genetic makeup?
What universal appeal stories hold?
What is common between stories, poems, paintings, sculpture, songs, dance and music?
Why do we remember stories told by our grandmas, poems and songs sung by mendicants, dance or dramas played on stage, paintings and sculpture of great artists and music of any genre?
Well all these forms of human expression of storytelling
hinges on one critical factor known as ‘feelings
‘. These forms of storytelling strongly evoke feelings. They do their work silently inside where even words fail to reach.
But why ‘feelings’ are so important and why do they strike a chord somewhere deep within so strong that we remember them for life?
I think there are two fundamental reasons for this.
First, all living things on this planet have feelings in some form or the other however rudimentary that might be. Humans have it great measure. So do many animals, birds and even plants.
Second, we are inherently designed to many wise
choices. Wise choices are more easily attained through the route of feelings than anything else. Through feelings we are made wiser even to the point of being enlightened.
That is why epics like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Iliad, Odyssey are passed down from generation to generation. They all tell unforgettable stories of human wisdom and follies.
That is why stories like Aesop’s Fables, Panchatantra, Greek mythology and stories of Hans Christian Anderson are enjoyed by people across the world.
I liken ‘feelings
‘ to feminine energy
because of its essential fluidity and formlessness that ignites wisdom enabling enlightened living
Is this the deep secret of living, thriving and surviving as members of this planet and universe?
No wonder ancients understood this aspect very well. The Greek word for wisdom is Sophia representing the female form while Indians have encapsulated the concept of wisdom in feminine metaphors of Kali, Shakti etc.
Well, if it were such a powerful thing then why is it so neglected in today’s world?
Today’s world as we know it has been dominated by industrial age thinking for the past 300 years where feelings have been relegated to the lowest possible level replaced by the wonders of machines and unprecedented levels of human consumption that followed. It was considered unnecessary or harmful in the world of science, rationality, critical thinking, machines, monopolies, factories, world of few producers and thousands of consumers, world of few leaders and thousands of followers and in a world of few rich people and thousands of poverty stricken human souls.
The last 300 years have been the age of thieves, plunderers, robbers and uncouth inhumane bandits — man killing man for glory. What type of glory is that and what type of progress is that is not comprehensible to me.
Now all of that must change if we are to survive and live. Our rational scientific thinking has gotten us to the point from where we can’t proceed any more. Global warming is a result. Sustainability of the planet is now threatened. It takes around 7 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food. Wars are leaving scared children in nations without limbs where women are violated and families become extinct.
How long are we to put up with all this rubbish? People are not lowly robots that worship wage slavery in return of food. More the constraints more have been the production of theories to analyze such constraints that produced less long term solutions. The nonsense perpetuated by thieves and bandits have grown to ridiculous proportions.
This world is no longer tenable. All this must stop. Something more is needed.
The innate power of the feminine energy must be back. Not in the form of feminist movement pressing for gender equality. Nor it need be in the form of burning bras. It must be restored to its rightful place through its more authentic form — the form of storytelling. There seems to be no other way. It would complement the male energy for meaningful action to strike a balance that is going to see us through the 21st century and beyond.
No wonder creativity is now being felt as the number 1 skill for the 21st century.
Where this feminine energy would be used?
It would be used in understanding problems, In finding a solution. In communicating, In envisioning, In design. In branding. In product development. In board room strategy, In marketing, In training, In human interactions. In education. Everywhere!
The silent power of storytelling extends the edges of the minds, rolls one edge with the other and intelligently mashes up edges to create new knowledge and beauty. As of today most of this silent power is unutilized.
What would it create?
It would create chaos, discontinuity, jumps, emergence, self organization — helping us to adapt quickly to the randomness in the world which is nothing but the manifestation of the inner levels of wisdom resulting from how well the feminine energy flows within. With lower flows and lesser wisdom more is the randomness in the outer world. This flow of vital energy was missing in our grand march to progress. We have time to make up for the loss.
How would we tap into this super energy after years of neglect? I don’t know for sure. But I have a feeling that it would happen by inducing ourselves and others to express their personal knowledge, understanding and wisdom gained through experiences through any form of storytelling for others to feel, visualize and act with their own evolving wisdom. They in turn would tell the world their own stories of struggles, failures and triumphs for others to gain wisdom. And the cyclic pattern would continue.
The cyclic pattern would be: Storytelling –> Feelings –> Insights/Wisdom –> Meaningful Actions –> Knowledge –> More Storytelling
The other advantage would be: different people would learn differently at different points of time reflecting their evoling wisdom with the distinct possibility of instant enlightenment though the stories in their original form would permanently be there to stay. Note there would be less compulsive need for data stream analysis since information and data would be replaced by stories and feelings (the feminine energy flow). This serves us well in real life since when we tackle real life issues and problems relevant data are hard to get by and disjointed as they really are, if not non-existent. However, the most important advantage of this type of learning and gaining wisdom is the relative ease compared to other forms and types of learning.
Therefore, this type of learning through storytelling, acquiring wisdom forming the basis of creative actions would be there to stay creating meaningful impacts in our lives.
So let the chaos unleashed by this feminine energy begin for us to attain collective wisdom!