I had a great trip to the library today. I was somehow drawn to a particular book, some powerful synchronicity going on, as I was thinking about several themes for my own book in progress, JumpCut.
One book, When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth by Elizabeth and Paul Barber just about jumped off the shelf. It follows a line of thought that has excited me for a long time.
It provides evidence that stories and myths are not just random pieces of fiction and hocus pocus, but very accurate accounts of important events in the history of the world.
The Barbers also talk about how efficient mythology and the spoken word tradition was, to get to the absolote heart of a story, so that it would be long remembered accurately, sometimes for thousands of years.
I love this line of thinking. Stories are efficient. They do get to the point. And as the Barbers point out, western science now proves how stories land in at least three separate areas of the brain. So they are long remembered.
In JumpCut, I am going to explore how juxtaposition is a powerful technique that has been used in storytelling since ancient times too, because the jolt and jostle of well juxtaposed pieces of information, triangulate in the brain.
So many mythologies talk about when earth and sky were seperated, much as western science ow talks about the ‘big bang.’ It is all one and the same, just different languaging.