Sunday, August 12, 2018

Diana Walsh Pasulka and Gordon White talk about the power of THE STORY

an amazing audio interview

Gordon White interviews Diana Walsh Pasulka on his amazing podcast series RUNE SOUP. Anyone reading these words, take heed, this is required listening!

Near the end of the interview they talk about something that really hit home for me—the dangers of getting bogged down in the need define a story as something literal. The transcript below begins with Diana talking about a chapter in her upcoming book American Cosmic. In it she looks at Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey as a deeper form of story telling.

(begins at time-count 53:20)
Diana: What I am saying is that… 2001: A Space Odyssey is like a mass Marian apparition. I go into the specifics and my book gets somewhat academic, I go into the specifics of what happens to us when we are involved in [watching]... 2001. Or, The Conjuring, or a Marian apparition.

We tend to separate them out and say this is real life, and what’s this thing of psi? And we separate technology from that, but I don't think we should.

Gordon: No. It’s weird. I get a lot of anthropologists on the show as a category of academics, more than any other. One of the things that has always interested me is the idea of fiction and nonfiction is a byproduct of a culture that’s fixated on a revealed religious text and then had an enlightenment, so it has become kind of canonized—this is true and this is fake—and then [in doing so] we messed up our understanding of the imagination and the imaginal—and diminished it. No other culture does that.

Diana: Definitely!

Gordon: So, no other culture does that. So there is no fiction and nonfiction of section aboriginal Australia. There are stories.

Diana: Right…Yes! Beautiful!

Gordon: Only 9% of the population of the planet, and [it has happened in] only the last couple of hundred years, thinks in this categorized way, no other people, anywhere or any-when thinks like that - and so there is a very good chance that we’re wrong and we should probably think about story rather than fiction and non-fiction and then see what emerges from that analysis.

And it seems like thats what you're doing.
This has been the way I’ve attempted to presented my research. This wasn’t a formal decision on my part, it’s just the way owl stories seemed to present themselves. If I filtered out the accounts that seemed too bizarre, I would be doing a disservice to these experiences—and to myself. I wrote this on page 346 of The Messengers.
This book is more than just a collection of odd owl stories, it is meant to be a reflection of a mystery, something vital within the human spirit. Gathering all these owl accounts has been a kind of awakening for me, and I have become a disciple to the story. There is a deeper message folded into many of these personal narratives, well beyond just seeing an owl in the forest. It is my sincerest hope that some of these stories will someday be shared around the campfire, filling the listener with some elusive understanding, and perhaps a more heartfelt way to proceed forward with their own lives.

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