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FACTS AND STORIES

Facts without meaning are boring. This is why most of us don’t read textbooks for fun.


Meanwhile, stories are powerful tools through which meaning is transferred. This is why Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings are so well-loved. Notice though, that they lack any basis in fact.


So facts without meaning are boring, but meaning without facts can be powerful.


When stories transcend time and culture we call them myths. They reveal the oldest and most important meaning to guide our collective experience. The best myths create vast societies and in them, we find orienting principles by which we navigate. Some are so useful we call them revelation because it’s likely they reveal a plane of existence we find difficult to access without them.


Superstitions, on the other hand, often sound like myths but the meaning they purport to reveal fails to elevate humanity. They do a poor job of explaining our world so they end up in the recycle bin waiting to be brought out later in a new and just as useless form.


We all form meaning from our facts or stories. The question is are we living mythically or superstitiously?


Jan 20, 2021

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