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CREATIVE POWER OF MYTH
 

"...that is the basic theme of all mythology
-- that there is an invisible plane supporting the visible one."

Joseph Campbell

Spontaneous creative thought depends on your ability to tap the invisible. Accessing that which is not yet known or manifest is easy if you accept that this power lies within you. Studying ancient myths reminds you of the creative archetypes that are present within you now. When you read myths something inside responds and is recharged by the memory of heroic deeds.

Creative Power of Myth
 
Joseph Campbell

The man most familiar with The Power of Myth is the man whose book is of the same title, Joseph Campbell. He has an excellent book and video series in concert with Bill Moyers that documents this theme. There are six videos, each an hour long, depicting the most basic archetypes that myths address. This series is informative and very inspiring.

Creativity also depends on a mind that is fluid, mobile and open to inspiration and intuition. Reading myths opens up the mind and soul to the essential psychological patterns that shape our destiny. Touching these patterns, being familiar with their many guises and expressions, will help you conquer or exalt them in yourself.

 

Another benefit of reading myths is enhancement to creative imagination. Myths generate powerful visual images in the mind. The practice of seeing visual imagery and participating in it is important to those involved in creative work. The art of embellishing the imagination can be increased with practice. Myths are rich in evocative images and rich in the feelings encouraged by these reflections.

Most ancient myths portray Gods and Goddesses who performed miraculous feats and conquered insurmountable odds. We are reminded by these tales that we have within ourselves the same penchant to conquer ourselves. We have allowed a veneer of doubt and low self esteem to cloud our expression of inherent creative talents. Myths embraced unleash our own power of self expression.

One of the salient beliefs of the Australian aborigines is that each and every person has some kind of special talent. In her book Mutant Message, Marlo Morgan took a walk-about with the aborigines for four months. She learned first hand that though their lives were very simple, their myths were very much alive in their daily lives and their creative powers were always present. Each individual was revered for his special talent and it was made useful to the tribe as a whole.

 
 
 

Carl Jung also studied the timeless myths and extracted from them the essential archetypal patterns that recur over and over again in man’s individual and collective journeys. He taught that there is a collective unconscious that is empowering all humankind with essential ideals. Reading myths quickens the imagination and allows it to soar beyond the mundane into these essential ideals. A daily exposure to ideals above and beyond the secular allows creative genius to be readily accessible.

Good myths exert a powerful mental and emotional magnetism on the psyche. They pull you into the story. Be conscious of which myths attract you and which characters attract you. This will tell you something about yourself. The more you understand your own personal myth, the more creative you can be in actualizing your desired potential. Who are you, what are your greatest desires, and what do you want out of life? Know these feelings and live them creatively.

Carl Jung

 

Because myths are universal in scope they are also timeless. There is an eternal quality to the ancient mythological tales and characters. They live within us today. Their struggles go on today, only with different environments. Get in touch with your own personal hero and emulate those qualities. See yourself as courageously conquering your weaknesses. Imagine that you have overcome your fears and self doubt. As you strengthen your own imaginative qualities, these attributes will manifest in your life.

One segment of Campbell's Power of Myth is that of "Sacrifice and Bliss." He encourages his pupils: "I always tell my students to follow their bliss - where the deep sense of being is from, and where your body and soul want to go. When you have that feeling, then stay with it, and don't let anyone throw you off...and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."

That’s a powerful statement, "doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be." And yet it’s true. Creative work is an act of love, and if expressed from that feeling of joy will take you into areas you only dream about. Don’t underestimate your own powerful creative desires and where they are pulling you. Allow them to blossom and you will find that life lived creatively is much more enchanting that you ever thought possible.

© J.L. Read, 1997. All Rights Reserved.
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This site is dedicated in loving memory
to its creator, Janet L. Read
1949 — 2000

 

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