Apr 23, 2017
Stories are the operating system of human consciousness and myths are culture-specific upgrades, each new version bringing out new features and retiring some old ones.
Yes indeed, we have a compulsion to turn almost everything into a story. Joseph Campbell has claimed it is the distinguishing mark of our species. The thing that makes us different from all other animals is not our emotional complexity or even our intellect, but our ability and indeed need to tell stories. So why do we need stories? What do they do for us?
How can stories make us more human?
We spend more time within the realm of story than you might think. This not only includes our time spent reading or watching TV or films. It also includes our propensity to constantly daydream -- playing out potential real life scenerios in our heads or replaying our version of past events. It includes the way we answer social questions such as "How are you?" Or "How was your weekend?" Even things from advertisements to watching sports are taken out of the realm of simplistic facts and instead woven into stories about what might happen if you buy this product (for instance the awesome Apple ads of 2016) or the background story of this particular athelete.
In fact we spend so much of our day in within stories that Jonathan Gottschall of The Storytelling Animal, has claimed "Neverland is our evolutionary niche, our special habitat."