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The Big Answer

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Your Mythic Journey

our take on a 60 minute PBS special by Sam Keen with Bill Moyers

(our site's PBS special review)

Sam Keen is a wise person. He’s conducted awareness workshops for decades. Through his books (e.g., Your Mythic Journey: Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling) and workshops, people are urged to examine the myths (programming) we got from our upbringing, families, religions, economic situations, culture, and class. Then, “…by becoming aware of this patterning, we can begin to take control of our personal futures and our roles in families, marriages and jobs.…Each of us is born into the world with certain biological hardware. But then something strange happens: people start shoving software disks in…You and I grew up not knowing that there was a difference between the hardware and the software. We didn’t know we could tell [act on, respond to, create] different stories, and that’s the problem.” He encourages us to discover the stories we’ve been living out without ever knowing it, and determine if they’re ones we wish to choose: “If we don’t know that the story we were brought up with is optional, then we live it out blindly and unconsciously,” declares Keen. See Your Inner Conflicts and How to Solve Them.

Like est and Re-evaluation Counseling before him, he empowers us to drop the act and find the core of our being, and identify only with that real self, not the “stuff” that’s omnipresent in our minds and memories, whether it’s myths, programs, or memories. If we’re stuff-centered, we need (when being is more appropriate), we don’t accept ourselves, we have Maslovian deficiency-cognition, we’re stressed and incomplete, and we’re insecure about ourselves. If we’re centered on our real selves, we can be rather than need, we can see clearly what is and accept it, we have Maslovian being-cognition, we can relate being-to-being with others via love rather than relating from our “stuff” to their “stuff” via need-based relationships. If we relate from our myths/stuff/programming, we won’t get to know or like ourselves, others won’t get to know or like us either, and we’ll never feel at peace, fulfilled, or really happy.


If we don’t overcome our myths and our pasts, we will relive them forever, and we will be at effect of them, never at cause. This search for autonomy, self-esteem, self-control, inner awareness and the finding of one’s self has been going on for over two thousand years. But today we have a clearer idea about how to succeed at it in the most effective and efficient manner. Books by Dyer, Hart, Maslow, Gordon, Helmstetter, Pollard, Bradshaw and even Steinem’s Revolution From Within can all help in this quest. (Gloria Steinem tells how her story ran her until she finally became an aware person and started running her story. She says we must become conscious of old, unchosen patterns if we have any hope of changing them. The more we confront the past the more we can respond consciously and awarely to the present.) But having an environment that deeply nurtures you and your loved ones (which is a rare thing indeed) is the most vital factor of all for finding ourselves and being at peace, fulfilled, and really happy. (Think MC. See Why Register for an MC?.)

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