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Havana Cafe Sessions Podcast

Every week Sarah Beth Hunt and Clay Lowe meet over coffee to talk about matters of conscious living and practical wisdom.  We don’t profess to be gurus on these matters, just two people who believe in the power of conversation to find new insights and gain greater understanding of the world.  Please feel free to join in the conversation.  Together we can all grow in wisdom.

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."