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What Progressive Need to Do Next: Become Teachers and Storytellers

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The Storyteller by Kathy Hansen

The only thing this past election really proved is that Americans are in a state of confusion and fear and don't know what to do about it. But science, as well as all creations myths, acknowledge that out of chaos come new forms. We are living in liminal, transitional times, which are chaotic and therefore open to change. We are in the midst of a world-wide revolution, not because we are discontent with the way the economy is going but because we must change the way we live or we face death and destruction through world-wide climate change, famine, over-population, war and disease.

Our culture is facing the dire consequences of our way of life, and we have to decide how we're going to meet those consequences. I think we need to listen to don Juan's advice to Carlos Castaneda, "Take Death as your advisor." We are going through the death phase of patriarchy, and it must die so something new can be born. The patriarchy won't serve the future.

But it is up to us how we make this transition.

While the whole world is going through this liminal time, we can only work on our part of the problem. And since America (our corporations, etc.) was at the forefront of creating a lot of those problems, it is up to America to change. The old capitalistic system and the government created to further its objectives - is geared to war and profit and it is not dealing with the truth of our changing world.

But Americans are being given a chance to re-shape our government for the next 300 years (at least) and the direction the American people choose to take all depends upon the Vision that people have of their future.

The Right Wing corporate vision wants to take us back to the past, a past where we were unconscious of corporate manipulation, but when we had hope for a "better future'. They, like the ancient Greek father gods, would rather swallow their children than let them have their day in the sun have their own vision, creativity and power. The way they tell it, the past was a safer, kinder life. And in many ways it was. But then the 60s happened and we woke up to the underside of how things really worked. We saw how corporations were poisoning our food, our air and our water. We saw how education was being sort-changed for the war machine. We saw the rich getting richer and everyone else dropping into poverty.

The revolution of the 60s still continues, for 60s ideals and ideas have taken root in our personal lives. Now we have to take those personal ideals to the level of community, which stretches around the Earth. And to do this, we have to tell the story of our times, not in a frightening way but in a positive way so that people are willing to sacrifice to change the way the world works.

Yes, we're all in this together, because corporations run the world. So we are all freedom-fighters. America is not alone in having her warring factions. Our civilization is undergoing a major test of our will and consciousness. Do we use all our wisdom and knowledge to face the death of the old ways truthfully so with ingenuity and determination we can create a new society, at peace and in harmony with the Earth; or do we let the "barbarians' that dream of death, war, profits and domination win out as we "party ourselves to death' like the ancient Romans?

The tipping point of political change will be getting enough people to understand the environmental need to change our way of life which is patriarchal capitalism - and then act on the knowledge to make the necessary changes in our way of life. But people will only go through the "liminal space' of notknowing and not being safe if they have an idea of what the cost will be if they don't get to the other side. And they need an idea of what is on the other side of that abyss if they are going to sacrifice an old way of life. For example, when we say we have to get away from our dependence on oil, the corporate story comes rushing in, telling us why we can't. We have to come up with the story of why we can do it, how we can do it, and what it will look like once we do it.

The people most negatively affected by the corporate mentality of greed and de-humanization are the very people defending that system. Something is obviously wrong. And that something is that the corporate story is drowning out the human story. The economy (i.e. Capitalism) is more important than people and the Earth. We might know this, but many more people don't seem to get it.

So Why Stories?

Most people going through hard times are easy prey for the old story of "If we don't have the "fathers' and capitalism to guide our way, how will we survive?" What people need are new stories not of superheroes that go to war against evil, but of those super-heroic powers of the body, mind (heart and intellect) and spirit which can transform each person and give us the freedom to change the world. What would happen if all of us cried out "Give me liberty or give me death!" and meant it?

The Right wing insists on a vision of the past. Progressives have to fine tune their vision of the future. We can do this through stories because stories capture the heart and transform our beliefs, by-passing the intellect. The Right Wing (ruled by the left brain J ) uses this power of the image and story to manipulate, intimidate and create fear. "Commies, lefties and gays are taking over our world. Fear them!" They define us because they have a story the old stories that said that gays and communists are Satan's spawn, if you will.

The people who buy into this story don't know any other way to think about things. That's why Progressives need to work on our presentation. We need to tell our stories in ways that attract people, that make them feel safe, that give them hope. These people do not want to hear that everyone and everything they've believed in has betrayed them. We know they need to hear it, but they don't know what to do about it (remember how you felt on first learning about what was really going on) and so they go into denial and go overboard in the opposite direction. And the right wing media snags their loyalty with their old story.

While progressives have wonderful stories to tell about the potential of our future, for the most part people only see that we are ripping down the old America that they love as we point out the greed, corruption and deceit of the people and corporations in power. We need to learn how to have conversations once again and tell our stories. If we bring up our most intense indignation about "the other side' and throw it in their faces, we stop conversation, as Jon Stewart said to Rachel Maddow the other night.

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http://www.wisdom-of-astrology.com

Cathy Pagano is the author of a new book, "Wisdom's Daughters: How Women Can Change the World". Cathy trained at the C. G. Jung Institut-Zurich in dream interpretation, then got her M.A. in Counseling Psychology in Feminine Spirituality, and along the way became a certified Life Coach. As an astrologer and storyteller, she weaves the Cosmic Stories written in the stars and from The Bard's Grove, comments on emerging archetypal themes in movies. Cathy works with the tools of the imagination - dreams, alchemy, myths, astrology, symbolic language, storytelling, ritual - to awaken the Soul's wisdom.

I believe that Americans are called to a higher consciousness at this point in our history. We are called on to live up to our ideals and create the country our forefathers imagined. Inner consciousness needs to be acted upon for social justice.

Cathy believes that our writers and artists must take up our responsibility to create art that inspires, teaches and heals our humanity.

Cathy writes about political, psychological/spiritual, and cultural issues.

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If we gather here at OpEdNews and create the templ... by Cathy Lynn Pagano on Friday, Nov 12, 2010 at 1:44:01 PM
I like your thinking!... by Kevin Tully on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 8:24:29 PM
No, I do not want to discourage the author in any ... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Nov 12, 2010 at 1:59:42 PM
Because friends don't let friends, build and then ... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 7:21:35 AM
We the people of the United States of America form... by www.dmocrats.org on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 4:49:54 PM
I am a fan in general, but this commentary really ... by jv on Friday, Nov 12, 2010 at 3:44:04 PM
I think the dear Jay Haley would tell us that stor... by phidipidese on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 12:44:54 AM
This approach would mark a vast improvement for pr... by Perry Logan on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 5:55:13 AM
With a lot of insight and deeper analysis. And the... by BFalcon on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 2:45:29 PM
"So everything was fine until "the Obama people we... by Perry Logan on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 4:44:15 AM
and thought he was a good president, but made mist... by BFalcon on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 10:06:13 AM
We don't CARE what you call Obama. You are like a ... by GUY P. FRASER on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 1:01:41 PM
If there's ever been a box that needs thinking out... by GLloyd Rowsey on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 6:41:36 AM
Here's a story: click here... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 7:09:28 AM
Good post ... I just published a book along these ... by Bud Goodall on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 9:40:35 AM
The story climate scientists have been trying to t... by Philip Pease on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 1:33:38 PM
The story of Jesus is truly inspirational, and is ... by jv on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 2:23:40 AM
The Progressive Narrative should include the posit... by Sarah Ruth on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 1:36:44 PM
Cathy is absolutely right, and Sarah is absolutely... by Arthur Avalon on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 2:22:04 PM
I am in complete agreement with what Cathy, Sarah ... by Guy Dwyer on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 2:52:33 PM
@ Pagano, I can appreciate that it's difficu... by James Raider on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 3:03:33 PM
A main goal of Progressives is to ensure that Seve... by Sarah Morgan on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 3:33:00 PM
I can't speak for Cathy. However, as an artist, m... by Kevin Tully on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 8:45:55 PM
Attacking Reagan is rather a futile exercise here,... by James Raider on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 9:23:27 PM
For example, in 1999 a Republican dominated Congre... by Sarah Ruth on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 8:28:00 PM
I'm not saying to get rid of business - I'm saying... by Cathy Lynn Pagano on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 10:10:44 PM
I too agree with Cathy, Sarah Ruth, and Arthur. Ho... by Sarah Morgan on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 3:17:53 PM
Ms. Pagano had actually included a prototypical st... by Terry Adcock on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 5:38:57 PM
We also need to rid ourselves of these people we s... by GUY P. FRASER on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 6:30:12 PM
The solution is not in telling stories, although s... by Robert Abston on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 6:48:17 PM
This is exactly why I pay to put my children into ... by Robert Lee on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 6:49:35 PM
I used to be a conservative Reaganite. But I did s... by Guy Dwyer on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 7:35:06 PM
If you had really done your homework you would hav... by Robert Lee on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 8:18:11 AM
Hanging on my wall is a signed poster by President... by Robert Lee on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 8:21:26 AM
I like that! I think you just coined a new slogan!... by Tim Harney on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:16:19 PM
The money is gone and your agenda is too expensi... by GUY P. FRASER on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 4:54:36 AM
Our "education" system does not teach morality. P... by Philip Pease on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 9:02:00 AM
Liberals want to teach children homosexuality is n... by Tim Harney on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:26:21 PM
I suggest some of the commenters and the author of... by James Raider on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 8:58:06 PM
Do you think that the direction we are heading is ... by Kevin Tully on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 9:19:29 PM
While I have to assume that you are just making th... by James Raider on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 9:40:51 PM
I don't know what "America" you have been living i... by Kevin Tully on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 8:44:41 AM
Angry? Not so much. Annoyed at the constant batt... by James Raider on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:29:44 PM
I don't know what "America" you have been living i... by Kevin Tully on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 8:46:16 AM
I'm extremely skeptical of your call for bipartisa... by Don Smith on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 10:45:09 PM
@ Don, You couldn't or wouldn't be depending on ... by James Raider on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:47:01 PM
"On January 9, 2009, the U.S. Attorney's Office an... by Don Smith on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 1:40:23 PM
The Prototype For Storytelling has been, like it o... by Curtis Walker on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 3:47:50 AM
Interesting comments by Mark and Curtis. I had no... by Bernard on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 7:21:01 AM
Someone asked for examples of stories. When I sai... by Cathy Lynn Pagano on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 11:54:55 AM
The conflict caused by partisan politics is quite ... by Sarah Ruth on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:26:55 PM
I'm getting old, but still have good imagination a... by Daniel Penisten on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 at 2:06:47 PM
Dialog and "telling your story" are critical. But... by Paul Roden on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 6:07:16 AM
If people make their decisions based on emotion, n... by Don Smith on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 5:32:57 PM
Don's right. The logical mind is the one being fe... by Cathy Lynn Pagano on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 6:35:15 PM
As I see it, the logical mind is not "the one bein... by Sarah Ruth on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 8:12:38 PM
about the impersonal nature of corporations and th... by GLloyd Rowsey on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 6:12:31 AM
Music, and especially songs, have been one of the ... by Sarah Ruth on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 8:38:58 PM
where it counts, educating our youth, or should I ... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Nov 15, 2010 at 11:59:32 AM
"The Hidden Persuaders" by Vance Packard and "The ... by Yoshinogawa on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 8:34:42 AM
Yes, we are in a period of intense change in our c... by Cathy Lynn Pagano on Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 at 3:02:21 PM
Simply told in kindergarden A little more complex ... by Daniel Penisten on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 at 1:57:41 PM