What is the meaning of Shiva dancing on a dwarf named Avidya? Why does Vishnu sleep upon an endless snake? To what did the Buddha awaken? What do we mean by soul? The practice of Yoga has become quite common and popular in the West; however, the stories of Yoga are still strange to Western ears.
What do these ancient symbols mean, what are they trying to teach us, and how should we incorporate the knowledge skillfully into our Western lifestyle? By looking at the myths of Yoga along with the stories that have influenced Western culture, we are presented with opportunities to select the best of both worlds, and create new maps to help guide us through the uncertainties of modern living.
Stories are fun! Important stories guide us and educate us; they create mental models which work at an unconscious level to help us navigate through our modern society and govern our reactions to the ups-anddowns of life; they provide meaning and purpose for our life; and our stories entertain and entrance us. In this book, Bernie Clark looks at the spiritual stories found in the West that create a base map for our lives and then looks at the stories found in the East to see how they could improve our base maps. The stories offered are mix of lighthearted and enjoyable, and deep and profound.
The importance of stories East and West are illustrated through the model proposed by the great 20th century mythologist, Joseph Campbell: myths, or stories, serve four great functions – the mystical, the cosmological, the sociological and the psychological function. The stories chosen illustrate these four functions of mythology and show how we can take these stories into ourselves to create a deeper experience of life.