student teachers

In the folktale The One-Two Man*, a boy uncovers his father’s bones by digging beneath an oak tree…

He then goes into a deep sleep for three days.  During that time…

…the spirit of his father taught him all the things the father would have taught the boy if he were still alive—

—how to trail deer, how to find bear, how to know what sort of weather is coming, how to know where you are in the forest, how to sleep in the snow, as well as the names of certain rocks and trees.

Then he taught the boy what it meant to be a warrior and what a warrior did and what he thought and how he walked.  The father taught the boy these things for three days and the boy listened well.

A good story for our times, I think…

In the past, we could rely on outside sources for guidance.  However, these days, such folk are often absent from our lives.  But even if they’re present, they may not be able to help us much.  Their guiding myth may not work for us.  Or else, they have no guiding myth.  No “tribal wisdom” to pass on.  They may even be short on practical knowledge.

Our institutions often aren’t able to fill this gap.  A bad situation for society in general.  However…

…the tale of The One-Two Man says the individual can find his own way.  The story tells us: you can find what you need to know within yourself.

Okay, but how?  How can we uncover that knowledge?

I think there are a number of ways.  But I can honestly say: the way that worked for the boy in the story has also worked for me.  In the past and in the present.  And that is: listening to the wisdom of the dream world.

(* This story was found in More Than True: the wisdom of fairy tales by Robert Bly.  The italicized passage is a direct quote from the book.)

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
The Truth of the Dream: poetry ebook

About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and storyteller...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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