The power of stories 1

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Contrary to common beliefs that technology and machines being the ultimate impact on populations, stories make the world go ’round and round. Mythologies, religions, legends still have the same power on us like they did centuries ago. That being said, what is their source of power? And how did they evolve?

In ancient times, myths and legends were of oral traditions. A story teller, with highly distinctive talents, would tell a story in front of a crowd. Stories were then a collective activity. The force of a story could be found in both the orality and the collective activity.

When a story is told orally by a story teller, it enhances human faculties such as awareness, imagination, concentration, listening; and for the smarter ones, critical thinking. However, since the mass was not educated, these stories became their system of beliefs which Karl Gustav Jung referred to as the Collective Unconsciousness. In addition to all the above, the fact that story telling was a collective activity, it encouraged sociability and interaction between people.

How had things changed with the invention of the printing machine?