Have you ever sat down by a campfire and listened with rapt attention to a well-told tale? Before we had books, video games and movies this was our most important form of entertainment.
Stories are more than just a means of entertainment though, they are an ancient and integral part of the human experience.
44,000 years ago, early humans were etching figures of heroic hunters and mighty beasts onto cave walls in Indonesia.
In 1800 BC the epic of Gilgamesh was being scribed onto clay tablets in ancient Mesopotamia. More recently the Harry Potter series has sold over 500 million copies worldwide and last year total box office revenue in North America amounted to $11.89 billion.
It’s not hard to understand why the power of storytelling is held so close to our hearts.
Stories make sense of the world. They allow us to see life through the eyes of another. They guide us to insight, deepen our understanding, and increase our chances of survival in a dangerous and hostile universe.
Not only are they dramatic and entertaining, they open our eyes to the matter of ethics, morals, and ideals. They show us what it means to be courageous or cowardly, just or unjust, heroic or villainous.
Of all the tales told around the globe, the most familiar archetypal story is the heroic journey; a characters epic quest to confront the chaotic darkness of the world and restore order and security to their people.
This story line has been with us for a very long time. The Babylonian legend of the storm-god Marduk slaying the dragon-like goddess of creation and chaos, Tiamat, dates back to as early as 1900 BC. It is repeated in Beowulf, Sigurd and Fafnir, The Hobbit, and yes, Harry Potter too.
(Related Content: Movement and the Heroic Archetype pt 1)
In today’s episode of the EMP Podcast, you will join Rafe by the campfire at this summers Return to the Source as he shares the stories of Saint George and the Dragon and King Martel of Odd. These stories, reflect ancient themes of heroism, but what do they signify to you?
Let me know if these stories spoke to you and if so how do you feel they might give insight in to movement practice?
Tell us in the comments below!
Two Heroic Stories: EMP Podcast 33
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Thanks everyone, and happy moving!
-The EMP Team