Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Eclipsing Personal Myths or Advanced Truth Seeking

There is a partial solar eclipse tonight at 10:44 EST. In the language of astrology, eclipses are opportunities to either make or break patterns, or if you will, personal myths, we've set up in our lives.

All of us have personal myths that we live with and by whether we're aware of them or not. We come by these myths in a number of ways and from a number of different sources: parents, friends, teachers, our culture, and yes, we even come up with some of them all by ourselves. I've noticed that alcoholism treatment websites like to report myths about alcoholism. The most interesting thing is that there are very few real facts about alcoholism so the "myths" these sites report usually coincide with whatever treatment option they are trying to sell. On one site you'll find that they consider the "disease concept" a myth and on another you'll find that the myth is that alcoholism is a behavioral disorder.

When I went through treatment in 1988 I was told that I had a medical disease (alcoholism) that was incurable, progressive and eventually fatal. I had no reason at the time not to believe these well-meaning professionals and I accepted the diagnosis, followed the protocol (12-Steps) and stayed sober for six years. Obviously, that concept worked for me for quite awhile. At the time, I never questioned whether I actually believed any of it for myself.

But later in my life, when those concepts were no longer working so well, I was literally forced to question the validity of what I had learned . . . against my own experience. And here's what I'm finding - the more gray area the subject has, the more people become attached to their myths around it. It only makes sense that in the absence of few hard facts, myths will tend to abound. Alcoholism, eating disorders, gambling addiction, sexual addiction - all fertile ground for Facts and Myths. And here's what I'm coming to believe - your facts about your problem may be different from mine. My myths may be your facts. Your myth may be solid fact to me. It doesn't mean that I am right and you are wrong or vice versa.

In my study of archetypes, I've seen these personal myths come to life in the form of archetypal patterns of behavior. Addict. Victim. Goddess. Pioneer. Storyteller. Hedonist. When I view my behavior archetypally (which is exactly what astrology does by the way), I'm able to detach from the simmering emotions that surround the issue. Not only that, when I'm aware of other archetypal patterns I can substitute for the one causing me trouble, I'm offered a solution that doesn't require me to blame myself for anything, blame anyone else for anything, or even declare myself right and someone else wrong.

I'm beginning to form a theory about this called Advanced Truth Seeking. An Advanced Truth Seeker seeks out as much hard truth is available about any given situation (which is usually not a lot) and then decides what myth to make her truth. I think this is what most of us try to do in our lives, but we're usually not very conscious of it. That's where the Advanced part comes in. When we become conscious of it, we can decide with eyes wide open that we're going to make a particular myth our truth. I think this is the power of intention, the power of story, and the power of co-creation. I figure we're all just a myth in the eyes of the Goddess anyway.

I'm deciding on a few very empowering personal myths at this eclipse, how about you?

11 comments:

bella said...

"When we become conscious of it, we can decide with eyes wide open that we're going to make a particular myth our truth. I think this is the power of intention, the power of story, and the power of co-creation. I figure we're all just a myth in the eyes of the Goddess anyway."
Wow. this blew me away.
Powerful.
I love it.

Anybeth said...

There is such a huge grey area in "recovery". I'm still figuring it out myself.
Every person is different and has different needs in their recovery. Doctors and treatment centers cannot address every single circumstance. Some people should never drink/use again. They should be given that choice and the knowledge of how to accomplish that. some of us have to figure it out for ourselves.

Angela said...

Thanks, Bella.

Anybeth - I tried the yahoo e-mail and it worked. Not sure why it didn't work for ya.

claud said...

I see a book on the horizon: Angela, I LOVE this!!!!! I hope you're taking good notes on all this, I think you're going to end up with a heck of a book someday.

And as you know, you are my hero for this -- it is because of your example and journey with alcoholism that I realized, when I got my cancer diagnosis, that I didn't have to necessarily do this in any prescribed way -- I didn't necessarily have to be miserable, you know?

love you toots!!!

jason evans said...

Some of rarely move past the truth seeking stage. The observations possible are endless.

CB said...

I love this blog...it provides that same battery recharge I used to get in meetings. Advanced Truth Seeker...I like that:)

Anybeth said...

Hey honey, I tried emailing you again. Did it work?

funforager said...

This is absolutely fantastic. There is a religious zeal about (us)recovering alcoholics that can put alternative theories of alcoholism on the defensive. I like the concept of Advanced Truth Seeking being not to uncover 'the truth' but to find an myth that mirrors one's belief system as closely as possible.

Carolyn Casey has the concept of entertaining beliefs, like folks you invite into the living room to get to know. Eclectic Recovery frees up my notions of what is true and what I am truly seeking. Thank you.

blankfrank06 said...

I'm finding your viewpoint very interesting. I'll be going through your older posts to find out more about you and your ideas.
Finding the truth about who I am and what makes me tick is probably the best thing about what I'm doing now.
Thanks, and another thank you for talking me down last week.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

Basically, whatever you choose to focus on, you get more of. So choose the myth to grow into and discard the one that's stifling you. Right? works for me, lady.
(not saying it's easy- but anybody who buys into the muth about life carrying a list of entitlements is buying into the greatest misery-producing myth of them all. IMHO.)

Angela said...

You get it, Lee. :)