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(AG-P-030) Permalink    CD, DVD,MP3 Story Art and Science: 
Stories and Transformation
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Futurehealth Plenary Talk Lewis Mehl-Medrona No guidelines, algorithms, or principles exist for sudden, dramatic transformations in the lives of individuals, communities, or cultures. We may be able to predict when transformation is about to occur, but its directions are outside of our grasp. In this presentation, we will consider stories as a source of wisdom for how to transform. Aboriginal culture is replete with stories of spiritual and other transformations, the repetition of which, installs in the listener an intuitive sense for how to proceed and the belief that sudden transformation, even against all odds, is possible.

No guidelines, algorithms, or principles exist for sudden, dramatic transformations in the lives of individuals, communities, or cultures. The Western experimental methods have no clues about how to precipitate transformations, which are discontinuous, sudden, radically altering events. The outcomes are unpredictable. Rules do not govern their emergence. We may be able to predict when transformation is about to occur, but its directions are outside of our grasp. A literature exists in physics and chemistry for the emergence of unexpected events from far-from-equilibrium conditions and through communication of parts of systems that usually do not interact. Hardy studied 3000 stories of spiritual transformation in the UK, cataloging the preceding event, but came no closer to understanding the nature of transformation. In this presentation, we will consider stories as a source of wisdom for how to transform. Aboriginal culture is replete with stories of spiritual and other transformations, the repetition of which, installs in the listener an intuitive sense for how to proceed and the belief that sudden transformation, even against all odds, is possible. The presenter will tell some stories, both from aboriginal culture and from modern European culture, about transformations in which amazing cures and healings occurred. We will ask if there are any similarities about these stories, and will wonder if the similarity is the ability of the story to replicate itself by inspiring further transformation in listeners. We will explore the role of stories as a way that people communicate with each other about transformation.

 


Author: Lewis Mehl-Madrona

Lewis Mehl-Madrona graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed residencies in family medicine and in psychiatry at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing, Coyote Wisdom, and Narrative Medicine.

Other Products by Lewis Mehl-Madrona

1) Aboriginal Models for Integration of Brain, Mind, Spirit, and Body
2) Shaman's Mind, Shaman's Work, Shaman's Dialogue
3) PET Scans and Spirits
4) Cultural Effects on Perception of Body Sensation
5) The Social Construction of Bipolar Disorder - is it "real" or is it a story?
6) States of Brain Mind; States of Healing; Speaking the Language of Shamans

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