Story Medicine

This adaption of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme’s Universe Story with an awakening lens is an inclusive life-affirming meta-narrative and a powerful example of the “Story Medicine” that we need at the moment.

“Every atom in our body and every atom around us (except hydrogen) was forged in the fiery bellies of stars that exploded as supernovas billions of years ago. Amazingly, about 4.5 billion years ago, the leftover dust and gas from the formation of the Sun coalesced to form Earth and the other planets in the solar system. Initially molten, Earth’s outer layer cooled to form a solid crust when water began accumulating in the atmosphere. About 3.5 billion years ago, the biosphere began evolving from single cell organisms such that Earth now has millions of species. Evidence suggests that modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Just as the eye is stardust evolving to see and ears are stardust evolved to hear, we are stardust evolved to the point of becoming aware itself and of evolution. We are evolution becoming aware.

With this perspective, our charge becomes being an active participant in the conscious evolution of life on the planet and that means building a culture and institutions that act as a bridge from where we are now to a more sustainable future. Stories have an important role in providing the cultural infrastructure for this transition. The premise of this blog is that the most important cultural process is the planetary awakening that is currently underway. And that an equally important yet devastating cultural process is the dismantling and destruction of nature in its myriad of forms including our humanity.

Thus, we are stardust awakening to our planetary grandeur and presence, as well as our collective shadow, the manifestation of which is devastating natural systems which sustain life on the planet.”

At this time of simultaneous awakening and destruction, we need a set of story forms or motifs that fully support and empower those who are awakening to “re-story” humanity and restore balance to the planet.

The intention of this site is to convene a conversation with other shift-shaping storytellers to explore the development of a Story Medicine Taxonomy that supports life on the planet.

The main elements of the Story Medicine Taxonomy are:

  • Inclusive Life-Affirming Meta-Narratives. Duane Elgin coined a term and started a Wiki site called Great Transition Stories. I think this is a great start. The taxonomy will also overlay the many indigenous prophecies suuch as the Reunion of the Eagle and the Condor as elucidated in this excellent article.
  • The Awakening Journey. The Awakening Journey is the story of an individual’s journey to awaken to their unique gifts and bringing them to the world.  Here are a couple of blog posts that I have written about the Awakening Journey.  My intention is to next write a post about how the Awakening Journey is differentiated from it’s cousin the Hero’s Journey. 
    04.16.2016 Beyond the Hero’s Journey: How the Stories We Tell Can Support a Planetary Awakening (The Catalyst)
    04.08.2016 Awakening to a Path Beyond the Hero’s Journey
  • The Collective Journey. As coined by Maya Zuckeman, the Collective Journey is the story of how two or more beings come together to form an entity that takes on a life of its own. Multiple awakening journeys, hero’s journeys, and other individual and collective journeys can feed into a collective journey.

If you are a shift-shaping storyteller and would like to weigh in on the conversation, reach out. You’ll find me in the flow.

Daveed Benjamin