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Personal Mythology
Motley
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Post: #1
Personal Mythology
This topic is primarily for those who entertain the idea that being otherkin might be a function of psychology, which should include everyone, at least once, at four in the morning, if not more often.

An elf friend and I were discussing the concept of personal mythology awhile back. It's a sort of distancing from the subject and viewing various dreams, visions, or memories as if they were happening to a character in a story. We're both big fans of stories and mythologies and understand that the real value of such stories has nothing to do with their concrete realism, but in the way that ideas are presented. Taking a step back lets us examine the stories without trying to change them into something more 'realistic.' By doing that, we can focus on the messages that the stories contain and the general patterns that reveal secrets about the way we view the world. So the actual fact of the mythologies aren't as important as the messages they contain.

Since we practice shamanism, we do this sort of thing all the time with dreams and visions, so it's not much of a stretch for us to examine our otherkiness in the same way. It doesn't mean that you don't judge the content, it just means you're using a different method to do it and are looking for different things.

Taken in this way 'falling' in the angelic sense might be a metaphor for growing up, losing innocence, leaving home, or that shocking day when you realize that your parents don't know everything. Just as an example...there are lots of them hiding in there.

And once you're done playing that game, of course, there's nothing stopping you from going back and looking for the literal truths.

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"I inherited the spirit of the sun. I'll meet you when the day breaks through. It's time to shine and make all your dreams come true. Come on, wish upon a dog star!" -Hybrid
2008-08-27 16:28
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Post: #2
Re: Personal Mythology
Ok so i had this dream that i was in one of my geology labs trying to work on a map and this dude wouldn't quit trying to tell me about these big windstorms somewhere down in texas. he even plopped a map down in front of me to show me the tow. Suddenly i was in the town watching this massive cloud of duct that covered whole mountain sides as it worked its way along a mountainous ridge.

I then found myself in the home of two women who had purchased a plexiglass and tarp structure to use as shelter from these massive mountain swallowing wind storms. ignoring the frikking ridiculous notion of cowering against these storms with a structure of tarp and plexiglass, i conceded to helping them set it up. They informed me that they wanted it in their living room because it would just be too windy for it in the back yard. Not being able to ignore the extreme stupidity of that, since their whole house would be rubble if one of those storms hit, i suggested that, if they insisted on erecting the ludicrous structure, that they place it in their basement.

They conceded and i began top lug the mass of tarp and plexiglass down into the basement. Their basement turned out to be a massive dwarven hold that somehow had 40 foot windows. Tall and narrow they were, all in a row along one wall where dwarves toiled in the light they provided. Lugging the lame contraption beyond I looked for a place to set it up that was out of the way. I found a stairwell thatd escended further and started down it. As i came to a landeing, I remembered Gimli from Lord of the Rings fighting orcs down there. I then thought how dumb that was since that landing wasn't even in the movie. i moved on.

At some point I had ditched the tarp and plexiglass. i went through a door into a very large and roofless room. it was atl least a hundred yards wide and 250 yards long. The floor was very uneven basalt flow. I noted a line of fantasy monsters all lined up. Orcs, ogres, goblins, winged demon females, and other generic big uglies. Apparently they were all signing up for the next big Lord of the Rings war. The whole line became very upset with my presence. I began to trot at an increased rate making for another door i saw across the room. One big ugly hurled a boulder at me. From somewhere, maybe my butt??...I produced two curved shortswords that hardly deserved a rank beyond "knife." As i prepared to block the fast approaching mass of basalt, I thought to myself, "The physics of this is ridiculous. I can't block that huge rock with these tiny pieces of metal." But block it I did and continued for the door. A few things broke the line to intercept me. i think it was a couple of goblinish fellows (maybe they were chicks...couldn't tell) and one of the winged demon females. I slashed madly. I don't know if I connected but I made it through the door.

The Next room was just as large but it had grass and carved basalt terraces near the walls (coming down into the grass). This room was filled with a large Asianish Army. "Crap," I thought, "now I'm screwed." They didn't attack though. I made my way towards a basalt dais at the far end of the room where I discovered raiden waiting. And by Raiden I mean Christopher Lambert (Mortal Kombat...with a K....1st movie). he gave me a cheesy sword on sword "high five." Apparently he brought this army to help fight the other army signing up in the next room over.

i thought to myself, "Who's dumb idea was it to blend Lord of the Rings and Mortal Kombat (with a K)??"

Oh yeah...it was MY dumb idea because this is MY DREAM!!!

So what do you make of that?
2008-08-27 17:32
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Post: #3
Re: Personal Mythology
I like the way you think, Motley.

Actually, Fenshae and I were talking about this the other day. When you discuss your life- including experiences, philosophies, thoughts and fears- in metaphor, it not only provides a way for others to grasp it, but it gives you a different context to examine your life in.
Now, taking for a moment the theory that otherkin'ness is just a psychological handle for personal identity and making it an assertation, how would be a better way to explain your own feelings of isolation, confusion, anger, stress, elation, eccentricity than to claim part of you is something 'other?' By using that 'other' as a basis for your life metaphor, you can get an outside perspective. You can disassociate yourself from whatever situation is causing pain/stress and see what qualities you have that benefit/harm you. This, in turn, can provide guidance in how it would be best for you to behave, or what path would be best to try.
It's like using Tarot cards to get the overall feel of a situation- distance provides clarity, so if you're confused by a part of yourself, your feelings or your situation, it can help to get that space.

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2008-08-27 17:57
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Motley
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Post: #4
Re: Personal Mythology
It's your dream, Acta, you do the work. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

And does this mean you think your kintype is somewhere between Lord of the Rings and Mortal Kombat? If so, what do these things represent to you? I could read things like an impending sense of chaos for which you and others around you are unprepared, losing control, and escaping into a fantasy setting where the chaos is mirrored, but while in that setting you have the means to fight. But that sort of escapism isn't all bad so long as you remember to bring that fighting attitude back with you into the real world. You were met by a god who helped you, so perhaps your faith will give you the tools you need?

Lol, ok, I told you to do the work, then I couldn't resist improvising an answer. But the first statement still stands.

And yes, you can not only read your 'kinship as a metaphor, but also regular events in your daily life in that way. Yes, events happen, but it's your reaction to those events that shape your personal story. So distancing from your current life and interpreting it as if it was a dream is also a helpful exercise. It is a lot like tarot cards.

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"I inherited the spirit of the sun. I'll meet you when the day breaks through. It's time to shine and make all your dreams come true. Come on, wish upon a dog star!" -Hybrid
2008-08-27 20:53
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Post: #5
Re: Personal Mythology
Motley Wrote:This topic is primarily for those who entertain the idea that being otherkin might be a function of psychology, which should include everyone, at least once, at four in the morning, if not more often.

I'm heavily in the side of "more often," and it's not because I don't believe in Otherkin in an energetic/spiritual sense, but I feel if that's all you think it is you are missing a lot of the picture.

Memories are memories...our minds can't tell what we really remember, and what memories are false (and if you realized how many were in the latter category, it might scare you), so in a way, it doesn't matter. I have various personality traits that to me are part and parcel of being Rakshasa, and trace back into past life memories...but that is one model of looking at it. I could also have these memories and identity concepts to give my mind a reason for the personality traits.

In the early eighties there was the "satanic panic" a bunch of children who had repressed memories brought out in hypnosis sessions, memories dealing with physical and sexual abuse by a satanic cult. It turns out these memories were fake, created in their imagination and facilitated by a psychologist poorly leading them in a hypnotic state. While it might be nice to say "Well, I'm glad they weren't really abused, and it's all in their head, no harm, no foul." Yet, even those these memories were "fake", they are real to those children (now adults), and even though they know those events didn't happen, they still remember the abuse, and those are memories they have to live with.

Memories, real or fake, shape our view of the world, and our personality, so in that sense they always matter. But memories can easily be distorted, confused and created. That's why I actually refer to my pastlife saga as my personal mythology. Many myths had some basis in reality, there was a historical Buddha, but did everything the myths say about him actually happen? I'm betting that's not the case, it's a mythology that built itself over it. Distortions of the truth, or emphasis. Sometimes the way a truth gets embellished is by adding details that reinforce the fact. Perhaps the Buddha never saw the sick the old and the dying, or perhaps it just makes the story more important to say he never saw them. Sometimes details get added to a story to make it acceptable for a certain audience (like the notion that Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu making it easier for Hindus to accept Buddhists, or convert), and sometimes details get added to fill gaps, or to make something make sense.

Our memories are the same. I feel somewhere inside there is a core of "literal events" in my memories, but really it doesn't matter, they are my mythology. Facts were added, and lost, changed, and made acceptable, holes filled, but the over-arching story remains mostly the same, and more importantly the moral of the story stays the same. It doesn't matter if he was really sheltered by a naga, or literally faced the Demons of Reality, the Buddha gave a message of Non-Attachment and Compassion. It doesn't matter if Jesus walked on water, the message of love and divinity is there. It doesn't matter if the events in my memory happened as I remember them, the moral is still there.

On the other hand, there are created myths. There may have never been many mythological figures, but the myths were created to explain why and how. Why does the sun rise and set, how should we live? I don't really think there is a beetle pushing the sun, but it's a good symbol, and gives a why when there isn't one. It doesn't matter if Anubis is really going to weigh my heart and ask me seventy-two questions about my life, but it gives me a code and a reason to live a good life.

Myths are truths, literal or not. It doesn't matter in most ways, if my memories are real or not, but I learn from them, they guide me to be a better person, and give me a reason, good or bad, for why I am how I am.

Though it is interesting to note with me (and most people whom I've got to serious work with in this manner) you can often find present-life and past life parallels. Events in this life, and in a past life, that explain why you are a certain way, and some people think that just because you can explain because of something that happened in grade two why you want to be a teacher, that it invalidates any past life memories that bring you to the same conclusion, while I think they can work together.

This of course, does not mean people should accept their memories. Anyone who knows me, knows how much effort I put into confirming and denying past life memories, through language, history, mythology and other people. "But Ges, why say it doesn't matter, and then say find out if it is real?" All memories should be treated as mythology, but think of a group of mythology, the Norse Eddas and myths for example. If I took a Hindu myth and shoved in it, it just wouldn't work. Not all past life memories can be confirmed/denied, but I think it is a great thing to strive for, it keeps us from accepting myths that don't "fit" us. The Hindu myth still has a great moral and grain of truth, but it doesn't match up with the Norse.

All in all, I think if you're using any one model to view reality, you're missing the picture.

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When we first begin all things simply are.
As we grow all things are external.
As we learn all things are internal.
As we understand all things are not.
2008-08-28 5:27
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chaitea
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Post: #6
Re: Personal Mythology
Gesigewigus, i don't know why you haven't written more articles based on the various topics you grace your opinion with.
Thank you for the insight, you typed it beautifully.

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2008-08-28 5:59
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Post: #7
Re: Personal Mythology
See, this is why I sometimes avoid posting in these sort of topics, as Ges comes in and says what I "would" say if I had half the elogance and way with words he does.

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2008-08-28 8:50
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Post: #8
Re: Personal Mythology
Gesigewigus Wrote:Myths are truths, literal or not. It doesn't matter in most ways, if my memories are real or not, but I learn from them, they guide me to be a better person, and give me a reason, good or bad, for why I am how I am.

Cheers.

That, of all things, is what I believe. *nod*

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2008-08-28 14:43
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Post: #9
Re: Personal Mythology
Gesigewigus, that is a very interesting post. Considering how thought provoking and interesting, and personally powerful, my dreams are to myself, your comments are very nice. I'm glad that you wrote it, and I'm glad that I was able to read it.

I gotta say, while I can never say things for certain, I can somewhat feel the difference between regular dreams and dreams that I think mean something. They 'feel' different to me, though sometimes I cannot truly explain how or why.
2008-08-31 4:54
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Post: #10
Re: Personal Mythology
chaitea Wrote:Gesigewigus, i don't know why you haven't written more articles based on the various topics you grace your opinion with.
Thank you for the insight, you typed it beautifully.

Not to be rude, but to be honest, it's largely because I have no investment in this forum. Granted I've currently cropped my Otherkin activities to two online forums, this place is just "a forum" to me. My writings, my effort, and my teaching tend to get directed to places I am invested in, my website, my forum, the spiritual order I'm studying with, etc. OKP gets what comes out of me when I'm here and have time, though I may try to crosspost some of my more relevant ramblings.

Freetha Wrote:See, this is why I sometimes avoid posting in these sort of topics, as Ges comes in and says what I "would" say if I had half the elogance and way with words he does.

Alright, if you want I can wait until you post in a topic before I do, after all, if you're holding off because of me, you'll never get your eloquence into shape. :-p

Heru Wrote:I gotta say, while I can never say things for certain, I can somewhat feel the difference between regular dreams and dreams that I think mean something. They 'feel' different to me, though sometimes I cannot truly explain how or why.

*nods* There are a lot of mundane (and magickal) reasons that drams can be different levels of surreality/reality, and vividness...but dreams are another issue in regards to reality, and open another can of worms.

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When we first begin all things simply are.
As we grow all things are external.
As we learn all things are internal.
As we understand all things are not.
2008-09-03 3:17
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