Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Show and Tell

Bus Ride Story Adventure: Advance Preparation

One day in first grade, my son, now a grown man, took his grandmother to school for “Show and Tell.” I can still see them now in my mind’s eye; Mom, a Berlin born Holocaust survivor, with a still thick German accent, toddling in her high heels alongside my six year old on their way to school.

I don’t recall the details of that day’s schoolroom visit by Grandma. But whatever it was, I am certain it was lovely, especially as my mom was a natural-born storyteller with a huge loving and compassionate way with all people.

Storytelling is a gift and, sometimes, an art. And, it is, along with the data being collected, one of the things that is making our Possible Human, Possible Society Study so rich and, at least for me, so rewarding. In these days, however, words like dialogue, conversation and narrative; that almost meaningless, superficial word that is getting to me these days, are often used to indicate that what is being said has substance, as does “real” storytelling.

Sometimes, given the over usage of these words, I could almost scream when I hear them repeated again and again, offering the incessant musings of the mind without the presence of the heart.

“Real” storytelling has the head and the heart, experiences and, above all, teachable moments. Storytelling as a gift and an art is not the stuff of online commentary or chat. Real storytelling does not come in sound bytes. Do you know the difference? I hope so.

If not, perhaps, you never had a grandmother, or the equivalent, to pass onto you that which can only be known by standing next to an elder; a wise woman or man, who can guide your sometimes halting steps through this maze called life. Like Grandma provided that day for my son, Eric, at school for “Show and Tell.”

I am thinking about “real” storytelling today as I prepare my piece of Sunday’s introduction to our Bus Ride Story Adventure rehearsal. To make the impact Sue and I are after, storytelling is an essential ingredient. Nothing less will give just due to our Beloved Murat Yagan and his intent for creating this imaginary journey.

Our Bus Ride Story Adventure, written by Murat, is offered as a “social game.” The game is used as a means of introducing those who are open to learning the intricacies, involved in the art of personal and community transformation, as lived through the ancient traditions of Murat’s people of the Caucasus Mountains.

Here is the challenge: We are after creating an informal discussion with a purpose on Sunday.

Both the purpose and the informal dialogue must be entwined with “real” stories. And, in order for the impact we are after to be experienced, it must be attained through discipline. The ongoing practice of taking the lessons offered up through twists and turns, harrowing challenges and many levels of higher consciousness. This is a process and with our particular offering, a process that is both personal and communal. No single event will accomplish it.

How will we, with our humble limitations, be able to even introduce the importance of reaching this goal and all that our beautiful package has to offer to assist it? I do not know. It is after all the adventure of a lifetime.

In the more than one dozen books and articles Murat has written. he offers guidance to the highest levels of consciousness, as he knows them to be and has learned it at the hands of his teachers. In his monograph “Transformation And The Seven Ways To Knowledge,” he identifies the levels of personal and community transformative development, the first two of which might be identified as “show and tell.” (The other five to be introduced at another time.) They are the essentials of a a very steep mountain to climb.

Here’s hoping that the “show and tell” Sue and I will attempt this coming Sunday, at our next Bus Ride Story Adventure rehearsal, will “tell” enough and “show” enough for our participants to take the next steps with us on that path to transformation.

What we have to offer, as our humble gift is truly beautiful. And, if it can attract the support and feedback we are needing in order to have our gift (and Murat’s, as well as all of those who have already discovered the “awe” of it) used to its fullest, we would be so incredibly grateful to all those who are willing to travel on this ride with us.

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