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Author Topic: Why Do People Have To Tell Stories?  (Read 13438 times)
Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #30: April 30, 2009, 08:24:03 pm »

I can't remember where I read it, but somewhere in an older book on animal intelligence the author made a statement to the effect of: "Humans have the unique ability to learn not only from direct experience, but from observing the experience of others."
Oh yeah? I remember seeing in Equus magazine at some point about a research project examining how young horses learn better by watching and then following an experienced horse. I tend to agree with this through experience. *shrug*
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15

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Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #31: April 30, 2009, 08:31:39 pm »

Just to add to the discussion, there is a tribe in South America, the Pirahã that do not tell stories, not in the way that we do. They have no creation myth (because everything always was and always is - there is only the present) - in fact no mythology of any kind at all, no history, no real words for time, and no art. There was an article about them in the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/04/16/070416fa_fact_colapinto 

Here is a link to the book about them by the linguist that discovered them: http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=91-9780307377791-0 

They do appear to be unique among cultures, but still an interesting anomaly that leads one to question what we consider to be "universal" and "part of the human experience."
THANK YOU for posting this! This is awesome.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
Caeia Iulia Regillia
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« Reply #32: May 14, 2009, 09:56:32 pm »



I think stories deep down are a way to teach and learn.  If you told people a story about how to hunt, they'd learn over the years of listening to hunting stories the way they should hunt.  Later on it wasn't just simple skills but more philosophical things like "How do I run a country" or "How do I deal with these people that look different from me".  That's the way our stories are still done -- The X-men is about a group of people who are hated for being different and struggling with how to handle it.  Name any movie ever made and somewhere there is a message that the authors and actors and so on needed to get across it could just be as simple as the message of "stick by your friends" or something, but it's there.
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