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The function of stories

December 17, 2013

Stories deal with powerful realities. Realities that cannot be dealt with in other ways. The brittle house of cards of our intellect is of little use when it comes to dragons. The only way to deal with dragons is to put them into context. Tales are their natural environment. There they can safely live and safely die. It is their ecological niche. In it they fulfil a vital function that cannot be substituted by any other species, imaginative or otherwise. Prematurely extinct, they come to haunt us from inside. Unaware of them, we do their deeds and don’t know why.” (p.13)

The Power of StoriesThe function of stories is to regulate the household of our soul. They are part of our interior ecology. They transform, heal and educate the psyche, and via the psyche the world.
Ecology is the science of interrelatedness. It encompasses the totality of nature as well as the complex environment of the soul. Seen from this point of view, stories are as much part of the ecological equation as any other factor of life. A future ecology will no doubt see the parallels between the spreading of deserts and the desolation of our inner environment. It will recognise them as the same phenomenon and understand that there is imagination in reality and reality in imagination and that there is but one great story in which we all partake.” (p.13)

“Stories surround us. We can never escape their influence. Our own life is a story in the making and with every deed and decision we continue the telling of it. Our own story is embedded in the larger tale of our time and interwoven with the many tales of all those we meet. We are story-beings and because of it we are often helped by the stories that come our way.” (p.17)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) Horst Kornberger (2008) The Power of Stories: Nurturing Children’s Imagination and Consciousness. Floris Books: Edinburgh.

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