This afternoon Susan enticed me to watch a presentation on Zoom…it was about Carl Jung’s concept of God. For an hour and twenty minutes I listened to a Jungian analyst explain the master’s understandings of the subject…the dreams of his patients were used to illustrate different concepts. The whole hour and twenty minutes I felt “a burr under my saddle”, something was irritating me. It was not until the lecture finished and Susan and I were talking about the experience that I recognized the source of my discomfort.
Fifteen years ago I created a performance of Jung stories-IMAGINING THE WORLD OF CARL JUNG. The work had a short life…maybe ten to fifteen performances over a period of two years. I recognize that you could say I did a bad job of creating the character of Carl Jung. That was my reading at the time of performing the work; but while watching the presentation today, I came up with a new interpretation of my failure. When it comes to learning about a subject, some of us prefer a lecture, a rational detailing of the information to be learned; others prefer the information to be presented in a story with a plot and emotions.
As a child, I was never a good student in school. For many years I blamed my poor grades and dislike of school on my being dyslectic. It is true that I have difficulty reading words on a page. When I started my business of presenting school assembly programs, I told myself, ‘I am going to teach children in a new way…no reading words on a page…they will learn by seeing pictures on a screen and hear music and me telling a story!’ For thirty-five years I taught using a multi-media format to share information with school children.
Today, as I think about my way of teaching and learning, I see another reason why I chose to teach through the story form. To capture my imagination, I need to feel as well as think about a subject…I need to feel with my heart as well a think with my mind to capture and hold thoughts. I do not claim this as being true for everyone, but for me, I remember thoughts better if they come to me through a story.