"Mythology and Resilience" - A Conversation between Author & Painter Stephen Linsteadt and Mythologist & Transition Entrepreneur Willi Paul. + PDF. Presented by Planetshifter.com Media
“The main difficulty in replacing the industrial order is not the physical nature of the situation, but its mythic entrancement ... the myth is primary.” This new myth “... must emerge from our new story of the universe. This... can be understood as soon as we recognize that the evolutionary process is from the beginning a spiritual as well as a physical process.” - Thomas Berry
“I would say that the Transition Movement is the 21st Century version of the New Age movement.” - Stephen Linsteadt
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A conversation between Stephen Linsteadt [SL] and Willi Paul [WP]
[SL] Carl Jung held the opinion that civilization is influenced on a global level by certain archetypal energies arising from the Precession of the Equinoxes. The twelve stages of this cycle of astrological alignments can be found to correspond to the twelve stages of the hero’s journey as outline by Joseph Campbell. Do you agree with Jung’s perspective and, if so, in what hero stage do you think we are experiencing at the present time?
[WP] I am not a student of Zodiac and this symbology. But there are new symbols in my work. See five archetypical energies below. Today’s journey is a mediated, hybrid Journey: on foot, with internet and the transmuted archetypes. False heroes and false journeys abound. Community is the Hero. Teacher and leaner moving forward together. Family is key.
I think today “our solo Hero” is threading sand in Campbell’s Stage 6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies:
“Now finally out of his comfort zone the Hero is confronted with an ever more difficult series of challenges that test him in a variety of ways. Obstacles are thrown across his path; whether they be physical hurdles or people bent on thwarting his progress, the Hero must overcome each challenge he is presented with on the journey towards his ultimate goal.”
I have encountered five archetypical energies related to climate change, Permaculture & Nature and their symbols:
1. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: A love to preserve unique landscapes for future generations. Mistrust of greedy, short-term land and energy developers
Symbols: Tree of Life, Permaculture logo, Yosemite, Seeds, Amazon Rain Forest, US Gulf Coast
2. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: Our hope is to build sustainable systems in our local neighborhoods and towns. Fear of food and fuel shortages; fights for resources between neighbors and governments
Symbols: Crude oil on rails, GMO; Convergence and sharing expo events; neighborhood plans and new rituals
3. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: A deep love for freedom to own fire arms; fear of guns and killing.
Symbols: AK-47, US Flag, Scenes from mass shootings, vigils, pawn shops
4. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: Fear that global warming will destroy all life on Earth. Mistrust of business and goal of short-term profits
Symbols: Rising coastal tides, melting polar ice, coal fired power plants.
5. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: Mistrust of energy privatization and corrupt safety practices. Love of the system and blind faith in corporate responsibility
Symbols: BP, PG&E, Duke Energy
[SL] What are the main themes in your New Mythology Landscape?
+ Universal struggle / message
+ Sacrifice (W. Paul)
+ Symbols and Archetypes (Jung)
+ Sharing (Transition Movement)
+ Community as Hero (Joseph Campbell)
+ Spiritual Resilience (Julia Bystrova)
+ ReWilding (Dan De Lion and Permie Pixie)
+ Nature is Sacred
+ Future-based (W. Paul)
[SL] What is your concept of the ‘Hero’ both for the individual and for the community?
[WP] My new role of the Hero is embedded in permaculture (Nature) and the Transition (sharing) movements. We need Heroes that champion a fearless heart, a deep respect for sustainable / local agriculture and a courageous value shift away Capitalism and private property and profit.
The corruptible individual is no longer desired as our Hero. The unity and resilience of the community is the new Hero, the neighborhood is the new spiritual interface.
[SL] What role does sacrifice play in the New Mythology?
[WP] Sacrifice is used metaphorically to describe selfless good deeds for others or a short term loss in return for a greater power gain, such as in a game of chess. Recently it has also come into use as meaning 'doing without something' or 'giving something up'.
My definition for sacrifice is: “the practice of not having the same choices as before, where we must give-up certain lifestyle benefits and comforts.” But can giving up something actually be gaining something in return?
Is sacrifice always a negative? Is it the same result when we give up spiritual resources? What are these?
Here are some examples of how the new sacrifice is celebrated or practiced. Symbols are again key:
• A front lawn garden. An empty swimming pool
• Giving up the automobile
• Last year’s toys
• Giving away old clothes
• Volunteering some time to a non-profit
• Reducing home or business water use
• Walking or using mass transit
[SL] How does sacrifice support resilience?
[WP] The two ideas are intertwined. Psychological resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. It can be learned and developed by virtually anyone. Resilience should be considered a “learned behavior.” Here sacrifice can be implemented by resilience.
Sacrifice can also reduce stress and adversity with community training and family support.
[SL] The philosophy of Permaculture is a system of sustainability that works with nature as opposed to exploiting nature. It also pays attention to ‘people care’ as an ethical prerequisite. Our society tends to rely on government to take care of and be responsible for our basic needs. Consequently, we sometimes feel powerless to make the changes we believe are needed. What is the significance of ‘resilience’ in permaculture?
[WP] Resilience is the current narrative driver, the community hub with many spokes:
+ Risk taking
+ Honesty and Honor
+ We are the government and the governed
+ Apply lessons from the past to fix unhealthy ecosystems (permaculture)
+ Thinking with Cycles
+ Community Self-Determination
[SL] How is the New Mythology related to Transition Movement?
[WP] The Transition vision is wired to the new mythology: farmer to town; rural to urban. Both are individual story and community story generators. Mythology is the dance band for the new Transition Songs.
Transition folks champion something called “:”
+ Sustainable use and reuse of regional resources
+ Vibrant economies which circulate wealth and opportunities locally
+ Social equity in meeting basic needs of all community members
+ Community control of essential resources
+ Community empowerment in public decision making
[WP] How is your art studio like your heart? Do you feel resilience there?
[SL] I like to treat both as sacred spaces. The heart as a sacred space means it should be kept free of negative thoughts and emotions, especially those of self-doubt or self-worth. Otherwise, the connection to heart-consciousness is broken. ‘Heart-connection’ is a state of being in-tune with intuition, which I believe is also the source of inspiration and creativity. I treat my art studio as a cloister-like space that affords me a sanctuary from my life’s demands and mostly from my thoughts and their needless agitations. I don’t ever approach a canvas without first finding that centered place within. Otherwise, there is no creativity present and the results are always disastrous.
[WP] What are a few recurring symbols in your paintings? Can these “wear-out?”
[SL] For many years the symbol of “The Unknown Woman” has appeared in one form or another. I have come to understand her as the Archetypal Feminine. I use the term ‘archetypal’ as a reminder that it isn’t about male or female. It is about our perspective. The Feminine asks us not to abandon the inner world of intuition and heart-consciousness. The Archetypal Feminine appears in my paintings in various disguises and poses, sometimes abstract, at other times painted realistically. There is always a sense of mystery about her. Other symbols generally appear as objects she is holding or surrounded by; objects like masks and fish. Sometimes she appears swimming or submerged in water. My latest series, Of Sky and Earth, incorporates Nature as a symbol. In this sense, Nature is “The Unknown Woman” and the viewer is encouraged to examine their relationship with Her. The symbols of the feminine in my paintings have changed over the years. I think that happened because I changed and also because my outer world continues to change. I recently painted The Unknown Woman leaning on a stack of bee boxes. The symbol of bees had not been collectively activated ten or twenty years ago. I suppose in a sense my symbols ‘wear-out’ and give way to new signposts that are needed along the Journey.
[WP] Tell us about the forms that wounds take? Do individuals and society at-large have the same wounds and healing actions?
[SL] Wounds are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Every aspect of being human seems to have its wound archetype. I believe it is built in to the program. I see wounds as the motivation for change, growth, and transformation. I find that I am mostly motivated to go into action when pain makes my current situation intolerable. It seems that pain is often the remedy for denial. From the perspective of the Journey of the Hero, wounds are the ‘Call to Action.’ Society also has its wounds and its motivations for change. This is why our current environmental crisis is so scary. I worry about how much pain and wounding the global community needs to endure before it goes into action and makes the changes we already know we must. In the meantime, we remain in denial and hope a few scientific research papers will prove we have nothing to worry about.
[WP] What is informing / propelling your Journey? Is it fear in part?
[SL] Yes, fear is a huge motivator. The fear of running out of water in the Southern California desert might finally cause me to move somewhere more suited to a Permaculture approach. My paintings of Nature are motivated by my fear that my grandchildren will have to contend with an unsustainable world. Fear about our future has definitely propelled me on a Journey, one that is both personal and collective. Personal, because I have to ask myself to define my purpose and explore how much I am willing to sacrifice for the sake of others who are suffering. Societal, because the solutions to our environmental, political, and economic problems can only be solved by people coming together and working together as one global community. It’s the only hope we have.
[WP] What musical artists bolster your resilience?
[SL] My resilience is bolstered by a sense of hope and knowing that there are people in the world who are not afraid to demand change. I suppose this is why I often feel stuck in the music of the sixties and early seventies with artists like Graham Nash, the young Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. I love the voice of the feminine. It feels appropriate in this age of re-connecting to the Archetypal Feminine. The song “People Help the People” by Birdy (Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde) is one of my current-day favorites.
[WP] Go deep and tell us about the “fabric of spacetime?”
[SL] Ha. Deep. I have taken on the outlook of many others that the fabric of spacetime is consciousness. I like the view that consciousness manifests in spacetime first as vibration, which creates resonance patterns or standing scalar-wave energy events that give rise to the geometry of matter. Human beings are connected to the resonance of spacetime like frequency oscillators.
[WP] What is the hardest barrier to listening to one’s heart?
[SL] We, especially boys, are taught from an early age not to show emotions. Our emotions are what we ‘feel’ when we are happy or sad. That same ability to feel is what connects us to intuition, which stems from our connection to the resonance patterns of spacetime. Resonance is the language of the heart. Resonance is a vibration whose specific signature can stimulate emotional response centers in our body-mind. What prevents us from hearing those resonance signatures is the childhood and societal brain-washing that conditioned us into believing that what we perceive with our brain is the only reality we should pay any attention to. As Einstein said, our society honors our thinking mind and ignores the gift of intuition. Our society places more value on what we have materially and as a consequence we judge ourselves based on how much money we make, the size of our home, the number of cars and TVs we own.
It is difficult to hear the subtle vibrations of the heart when we are preoccupied with climbing the social ladder and the competitiveness that entails. Fortunately, the tide is turning. We have entered a new age of the awakening of the Feminine. The archetypal energies of the Feminine are creating chaos in the very fabric of our societal structures. Every aspect of our existence has come into question and we are being forced to change, to adapt, to be resilient. We are being forced to work together and to embrace cultural and religious/spiritual differences. The Feminine is about community—a community of heart-consciousness that goes into action to make the changes the world requires. This is the power of the heart (Love) in action.
[WP] How does Scalar Heart Connection work for children? Adults?
[SL] Scalar Heart Connection is a process that utilizes the heart’s resonance connection to spacetime to ‘tap into’ our feelings and areas where we hold emotional imbalances. The process helps us develop intuition. It requires that we let go of our thinking and allow our heart to guide us through a matrix of statements that offer positive responses to what is troubling us as opposed to letting our mind react from acquired habit. That is the adult version. Children, on the other hand, are naturally connected to their heart’s intuition. Children love using Scalar Heart Connection to ask their heart for guidance. They are much quicker than adults at getting to the meaning of the heart’s positive response suggestions. Adults tend to filter everything from their mind-brain and then react competitively, whereas children process from the heart and respond compassionately.
The process relies on the source of synchronicity to inform us of what we need to know in order to fully digest and assimilate the outer event or situation that is causing us trouble or unrest. Often, the situation is only a trigger that has activated a repressed emotion from an earlier experience, usually from childhood. The process takes us on a Hero’s Journey. In most cases, the Journey takes us back to where we started, but with new eyes—eyes of the heart. The heart informs us of the mind-brain reaction the early experience habituated in our sub-conscious. The heart also provides us with an appropriate and heart-centered new way of being. I find that when we cognitively understand the pattern of behavior and its original genesis we are free to adapt a new neuronal pattern, one that is life enhancing. With forgiveness and compassion we are liberated. I think this is the key to why children are so resilient—it is their nature to forgive, to love unconditionally, and move forward.
Scalar Heart Connection is a powerful modality also when used for groups, businesses, or for couples that are experiencing an area of conflict in their relationship. The process has been used successfully for pets and toddlers. I have done sessions for groups of people around the issue of world peace or our connection with Earth. The sessions with Earth have shed light on how Earth feels towards human beings. It was shocking to discover that she feels unloved.
[SL] Under archetypal energy C. you list "A deep love for freedom to own fire arms" and "fear of guns and killing." When I think of Permaculture and communities connected to Nature I envision people living peacefully, in harmony, without the need or desire to possess guns. Do you agree with this? Some people believe that the movement to live off the grid necessitates a need to protect themselves. How do we reconcile arming ourselves and living peacefully?
[WP] No, I don’t see the Transition as peace and love. When food, water and energy systems collapse, we will be in the Chaos Age and security for permaculturists, their friends, family and land, will require multiple layers of security. Guns included unfortunately. This is the classic “haves” vs. the have nots.” Key: A post-Capitalism landscape needs a lot of love and instruction now!
See these specific visions:
[SL] Do you agree that the unity and resilience of the community as the new Hero is made up of individual Heroes? You mentioned the 'corruptible individual is no longer desired as our Hero' but isn't that an oxymoron (corruptible Hero)? Then again, in the Journey of the Hero, the Hero is never the Hero in the beginning (Lucius in "The Golden Ass"). Can we say it is an evolutionary process--we become the Hero when we successfully slay the dragon (recognizing and incorporating those shadow parts of ourselves) and that is the undertaking we are now collectively facing?
[WP] We are the dragon. We are the Tribe. If I teach anything these days, it’s unity. Note that I said “corruptible individual” not “corruptible Hero,” so there is no paradox. We create the evil and we transform it into the good. In the evolutionary process that I and many others want, the community is the edu-agora, family and spiritual driver.
[SL] You described Joseph Campbell’s Stage 6 of the Hero Journey as that of Tests, Allies, and Enemies. You mention ‘Sacrifice’ as one of the tenants of the New Mythology and I wonder if it might be the biggest test we will face. When I think of the community as hero I immediately recall the recent images of refugees on the evening news pouring into Europe and the response of closing borders with razor wire. I suppose it comes down to a fear of scarcity, to a fear that other people’s gain comes at our loss. But isn’t the New Mythology also a world without borders? How do we find the courage and the heart to consider other’s in the same way we care about ourselves? What needs to be incorporated into the Transition Movement to cope and deal with what could be a large scale call to sacrifice?
[WP] The “courage and the heart” that you seek starts with a major shift in consciousness for humans, away from the current love affair with materialism and self-centeredness over the community good. The Transition Movement is slowly addressing the old vs. new value paradigm, fostering gratitude, sharing, and a “do it yourself” ethic.
A large scale call for sacrifice seems unwise right now as slow and sure steps (i.e. permaculture) make for deeper, sustainable changes.
strong>[SL] Who or what are our Allies? Who or what are our Enemies?
[WP] We are the Allies and the Enemies.
[WP] What supporting values do you hold in regard to permaculture? What do you want to “mix in” with this Nature design movement?
[SL] The Permaculture value that seems most important to me is the need to pay attention to the ‘People Care’ ethic. It is cited that “it is often the dynamics of people that can interfere with projects, and secondly that the principles of permaculture can be used as effectively to create vibrant, healthy and productive people and communities as they have been in landscapes.” I would mix in the need for the individual to first re-connect to the wisdom of their own heart. Re-connecting to our heart allows us to authentically connect to the hearts of others and then to the heart of Nature. When we connect to heart-consciousness we are more inclined to be of service to the needs and values of the community.
[WP] Do you agree that there is the “old mythology” and “new mythology”?
[SL] If we define myths as traditional stories about gods and heroes then the Journey always has the same archetypal challenges. I think what changes is the context. Dragons, for example, have been replaced by rising coastal tides. I believe this is what Joseph Campbell was referring to when he said our current society doesn’t have a modern myth. We have become so disconnected from the Journey—our purpose and life’s meaning—that we don’t consider that having a story about ourselves serves a purpose. However, our current climate crisis has caused us to re-consider our future and with that our purpose and the ultimate meaning of our lives. This is why we are starting to see “new mythologies.”
By creating a new story we give ourselves a roadmap to a successful outcome. The new story also incorporates how we got into this mess by defining the villains, who are ultimately ourselves as you pointed out. The Hero, as community, will have to undergo changes, make lifestyle sacrifices, and transform energy sources before acquiring the elixir of sustainability.
[WP] Are archetypes unchanged since they were created in your view?
[SL] The idea of archetypes is an old one, going back to Plato and most likely to a time before him. Plato described these messengers as “Forms” or essences that transcend the physical world, yet give the world its form and meaning. Attempts to define the concept of archetype are elusive by the very transcendent nature of these forms. We may sense the presence of an archetype through synchronistic events, dream symbols, or common cultural/religious structures and impulses. The presence of an archetype, as Plato suggested, is like a shadowy form hazily visible from the other side of a drapery. At best, we see a two-dimensional symbol that requires interpretation. Jung, who dedicated his life to the interpretation and cataloging of archetypal symbols, came to understand that we are surrounded by a living matrix of meaning, like an ocean of super-consciousness pregnant with synchronistic potential. From this standpoint, it seems to me that the essential essence of archetypes is unchanged, but the symbols they utilize change with the times; they shape-shift in accordance with cultural perspectives and beliefs in the same way dream symbols change over time (chariots became cars, etc.)
[WP] Walk with me down Main Street USA and point-out some symbols of the Heart?
[SL] Children, animals, children with animals, videos on Facebook of different animal species playing lovingly together, helping the elderly, tolerance, feeding the hungry, taking in immigrants, people coming together in times of disaster, smiles, laughter, holding hands, hugs, making eye contact.
[WP] Are we the 7th Generation?
[SL] In effect, every generation is the 7th generation of those who came before. Seven generations is about 140 years. If we look back 140 years to 1875 we discover this is the time when the use of oil and its associated fuels began to be used as an alternative to coal. Worldwide oil production has risen sharply ever since with only a slight dip during the 80’s. So, yes, we are the 7th Generation of the birth of the oil industry.
“Eight generation sustainabilityis an ecological concept that urges the current generation to live sustainably and work for the benefit of the seventh generation into the future. It originated with the Great Law of the Iroquois, which holds appropriate to think seven generations ahead and decide whether the decisions they make today will benefit their children seven generations into the future.”
[WP] The Scalar Heart Connection process seems very mathematical, “new agey” and complex. Who is your audience?
[SL] The process is as easy as picking a number one through ten. People will always see in their mind’s eye or feel one number over all the rest. This number is related to a statement that provides insight into their current situation or to something that is troubling them. The appropriateness of this chosen statement to their situation is uncanny. It has been called the “Wow effect.” People immediately want to know how it works. This is because our society has been taught that nothing exists beyond what can be scientifically explained. The honest truth is that I can’t explain it. I can statistically show that the numbers picked at random after a thousand sessions are skewed towards statements related to “Disconnection from Spirit” and “Low self-esteem.” Therefore, I can point to distributions that are beyond normal probabilities, but that doesn’t explain the ‘how.’
Researchers such as Dean Radin at the Institute of Noetic Sciences has conducted experiments that demonstrate the ability of human consciousness to skew the outcomes of random number generators. So we know that consciousness is connected in some way to matter, but science hasn’t really offered a widely-acceptable scientific explanation. Now comes New Age teachings, which, since the 1970’s, have advocated a ‘new science’ and a variety of alternative spiritual and philosophical beliefs, including the idea that we are all connected as One. I believe it is our connection to that One, higher and collective consciousness (heart-consciousness) that is responsible for how we ‘know’ which number we need. New Agers also advocate holistic and other approaches to personal health and global ecology/sustainability. I would say that the Transition Movement is the 21st Century version of the New Age movement.
If Scalar Heart Connection seems mathematical and complex that is my fault. In my quest to help people ‘understand’ how it works I have tried to appeal to their left brain by introducing the concept of number as an archetype. I share that our heart beats 72 times a minute on average and that is equal to 4,320 times per hour. Anyone who has read Joseph Campbell’s work is familiar with his fascination with the mythological number 432 and its association with the 432,000 years in the present cycle of time, the so-called Kali Yuga. People are now recognizing 432 as the musical note of A in Pythagorean Tuning. The number 432 squared is equal to the speed of light (within .0018). These are a few examples of how the heart is rhythmically connected to space and time. If the heart is connected to spacetime then the heart must know what spacetime knows, hence the ancient adage that the heart is the portal between the seen world and the unseen world.
My audience is now world-wide. There is a free version online at AskYourHeartSession.com. This is version is shorter than the practitioner version I teach at workshops. Because it is shorter it is also quicker and people love how fast they can get answers from their heart about what is troubling them at the moment. There is also an app called Ask Your Heart, which provides the convenience of an app. Scalar Heart Connection is one of many tools that is a bridge for people to help them tap into the knowing of their own heart.
Stephen Linsteadt, born in Ukiah, California in 1956, studied painting with Marjorie Hyde at Grossmont College and graduated with honors with a B.F.A. in painting from Long Beach State University and did graduate studies at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.
Stephen is an avid reader of Carl Jung and a student of quantum physics and cosmogony. He is the author of Scalar Heart Connection, and Quantum Healing Codes. Please look for his forthcoming book, "The Heart of the Hero". (2016 release).
His paintings are explorations of how the quantum world of vibrating energy comes together as the physical realty that we experience in our everyday lives. His current paintings explore the alchemical theme of "as above, so below" as found in Nature: "Of Sky and Earth". The work is an exploration of the Jungian notion that our outer world is a reflection of our inner state.
Willi is active in the sustainability, permaculture, transition, sacred Nature, new alchemy and mythology space since the launch of PlanetShifter.com Magazine on EarthDay 2009. Willi’s network now includes multiple blog sites and numerous list serves with a global presence.
SF. Mr. Paul has released 23 eBooks, 2293 + posts on PlanetShifter.com Magazine, and over 350 interviews with global leaders. He has created 72 New Myths to date and has been interviewed over 30 times in blogs and journals. Please see his cutting-edge article at the Joseph Campbell Foundation and his 150+ pioneering videos on YouTube.
In 1996 Mr. Paul was instrumental in the emerging online community space in his Master’s Thesis: “The Electronic Charrette.” He volunteered for many small town re-designs with the Minnesota Design Team. Willi earned his permaculture design certification in August 2011 at the Urban Permaculture Institute.
Willi’s current focus includes the integration of permaculture, mythology and the Transition Movement plus the Myth Lab – a technique for producing new myths.
Smlinsteadt at hotmail.com
New Mythologist & Transition Entrepreneur
@planetshifter @openmythsource @PermacultureXch
willipaul1 at gmail.com
|Mythology and Resilience” - A Conversation between Author & Painter Stephen Linsteadt and Mythologist & Transition Entrepreneur Willi Paul. + PDF. Presented by Planetshifter.com Media.pdf||501.52 KB|