Narration, a tool for personal evolution

image: Paula Betancourt

Since antiquity narration has served as a vehicle for the transmission of knowledge, especially spiritual knowledge.

This is the case in myths, which can be considered as non-factual but true, insofar as they indicate the direction of a truth.

More recently the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung spoke of archetypal representations, expressions of universal images that have always been present in human thought. Tales or myths are a privileged playground for them.We can therefore use their study in order to understand better the collective unconscious, the deepest layer of the unconscious, which is more innate than the personal unconscious.

In this line an author such as Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Jungian analyst, poet and storyteller, offers women an interesting approach. In her book « Women who run with the wolves, myths and stories of the Wild Woman archetype » she advises using the analysis of stories from various cultures (Amerindian, Japanese, Scandinavian, Slavic, Tibetan, etc.) as a mirror. The goal is to understand better one’s own psyche and the internal and external challenges it faces.

Through fifteen analyzed stories, she illustrates how, with their images and symbols, they can echo elements of our psyche. They thus make it possible to unlock psychic energy by identification and they help us to reconnect with our deep natural instincts to evolve towards a concrete well-being.

Pinkola Estés conceives stories as « vitamins of the soul », which « set in motion the inner life ». They regenerate the psychic impulses that have been lost partly due to education and cultural pressure. Consequently, they have a huge therapeutic power, which is part of the aim of psychology as knowledge of the soul.