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Evolving Systems course, week 2: stories?

Paul Grobstein's picture

Welcome to the course forum area for Making Sense of Ourselves in an Evolving Universe, an Emily Balch Seminar being offered to first-year students @ Bryn Mawr College in Fall 2010. This is an interestingly different kind of place for writing, and may take some getting used to, but we hope you'll come to value it as much as students in other courses have.
The first thing to keep in mind is that this is not a place for "formal writing" or "finished thoughts." It's a place for thoughts-in-progress, for what you're thinking (whether you know it or not) on your way to what you think next. Imagine that you're not worrying about "writing" but instead that you're just talking to some people you've met. This is a "conversation" place, a place to find out what you're thinking yourself, and what other people are thinking, so you can help them think and they can help you think. The idea is that your "thoughts in progress" can help others with their thinking, and theirs can help you with yours.
So who are you writing for? Primarily for yourself, and for others in both sections of our course. But also for the world. This is a "public" forum, so people anywhere on the web might look in. That's the second thing to keep in mind here. You're writing for yourself, for others in the class, AND for others you might or might not know. So, your thoughts in progress can contribute to the thoughts in progress of LOTS of people. The web is giving increasing reality to the idea that there can actually evolve a world community, and you're part of helping to bring that about.
We're glad to have you along, and hope you come to both enjoy and value our shared exploration of evolving systems. You're free to write about anything you found interesting in our class last week, but if you need something to get you started:  what were your reactions to creation myths and/or to The Truth About Stories? to the idea that "The truth about stories is that's all we are"? to ""If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives"?

bluebox's picture

"What do you read, my lord?" "Words, words, words."

"If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives."

That is an interesting statement.  I have found that in my life, that idea is true. Often enough I have purposefully altered the way I look at past events in order to change my life for the better--even though it may only be a small change. For example, if my dad let out a curse word when opening our Barbie packages on Christmas morning, I might edit that memory to where my dad exclaimed calmly that it was a difficult package and got the kitchen shears to open it instead. That's just an example, that never happened in my life. I can't find the exact source, but a long time ago I heard about the idea that If you tell a lie often enough, you start to believe it. (I used to think Hitler said this, but the internet is telling me it was Joseph Goebbels and I can't find the right quote. This is a tribute to my mindset that if it works, use it. I was a strange child.) So I would do this to myself intentionally, even if it was something as simple as "I like high school, this is fun, I have friends, I can make it through today successfully." While one might argue that that is simply a method to keep up my optimism and my day would have been fine even if I hadn't told myself that, we'd never know because I did tell myself that. And I did with it what I would. [/stretched reference.]

I don't know if I'd go so far to say that stories are all we are. I mean, when Wolverine got his memory wiped clean after the Weapon X operation, he still had morals, and morals are a large part of who we are. Okay, maybe Wolverine is a bad example. But if all we are are stories, does it mean that we are all the stories that we’ve been told or our memories that we have turned into stories? Do our experiences count as stories? Because that way, a hypothetical person who hasn’t heard any stories would have enough stories/memories to make up a [whatever it is that stories define].  How does one define a “story,” anyway? A story could be the Iliad or “This morning, I woke up and went to breakfast, then to class, and then to soccer practice,” if you told it like a story. Is a story something you can recount to someone else or yourself? Does it have to be steeped in tradition like Aesop’s fables or the Grimm’s fairy tales? Could it be The Sound of Music or the last episode of Lost? Or could it just be something your best friend tells you on the way to class about how she came to play the tuba? Even Wolverine had the memory of waking up after the Weapon X operation, so at least he had something to go from.

And what part of "us" does it define, if stories are all we are? Our personality, our morals, thoughts, actions, creeds, our physical selves? How far does "we" extend? I'm sorry if these questions are bothersome, but I like to know exactly what I'm discussing before I discuss it.

The last thing I want to add is a bit more of my response to The Truth About Stories. I think I covered my feelings in class (or at least agreed thoroughly with other people who spoke, I can't fully remember) but I thought I'd mention that I am part Native American, mostly white, so the book guilt-tripped me doubly for being a white racist who killed all the Indians (and the memory of the Indians) and for being ignorant of my own heritage.



schu's picture



After our discussion on last Thursday, I need a long time to clear my thoughts and my understanding of Thomas King. As Thomas King has raised many ideas in his book about stories, story-telling strategies, history and the conflict between black and white people in that age, there is no simple answer to the question of whether the myth reflect the world as it is .

But I want to make some notes for my thinking.


1.       Why we tell stories esp. creation story?
Driven by human nature of curiosity, we, and our ancestors tend to find an explanation to the origin of world and human races. That’s where our creation story comes from. But the reason we are telling our children the original creation story is that this is a tradition, a representative of culture development and a trail of the history of the past world.


2.       Why oral/writing story?
From my perspective, story-telling creates a more vivid scene of the story, and also mixes up with more personal emotion and idea of the story teller. After decades and generations’ adjustment, the whole change of the story is caused by no coincidence but a grand trend of culture development. From the story, we may feel in reality that the story is alive and it gains permanent life through voices and memories. But writing story is essential to keep marks for the change of stories. From them we can trace back the history.  As long as oral culture doesn’t die, they are really hand in hand.

 For Thomas King, the oral culture represents the literature spirit of Native Indians. In this culture, the story is equal to memory, and the memory, though not objective, is the history and truth. No individual can be the absolute observer of the history. But countless storytellers and their audiences can. It’s their group power which memorizes the truth of the world.


3.        Why Thomas doesn’t like the Genesis story?
For most creation stories in the world, they have their own divine or god to create land and animals. But the Genesis story happens to be the original story of the colonists and their offspring who occupied the land of Indian. Then the god-like commands and hegemony of the white people means something. So Thomas expresses his strong feeling towards Genesis in his book.
Also in the history, there is a phrase called ‘Manifest Destiny’, which propagates the expanding of territory and culture in the name of god. Just like Genesis told us, the god created humans and brought the light, and then the white people, who actually act like god, proclaim themselves as races with forgiveness, reasoning and goodness and make the differences according to the color, or in Cooper’s way, gifts. No one authorizes the white people the power to make good and evil out of different races. Thus, Genesis should only be a group of people’s truth, but not all of them. The good and the evil comes from a partial opinion but not an objective understanding of the world. That’s why Thomas has this feeling.


4.       Anne raised a question at the end of the discussion. Is the attempt of destroying evil misguided?
Thomas said yes maybe. But I think it is the definition of good and evil, or the assortment of good and evil being misguided. In so many creation stories, god knows which is good and which is evil. They have the power and ability to do so cause they represents the absolute justice. But we don’t. Human, or one of the races don’t. The desire to destroy evil is never wrong, but who is evil? Who has the power to say so?


5.       Most of the creation stories our classmates posted all share same view, that the omniscient divine create a world out of Hundun, or primary chaos, or Nun, or darkness. But few of them, like Egyptian story, believe that gods are created by the nature. They have to obey certain rules too, same as man kind. The divine or the superpower may explain why there are so many complicated life forms and grand natural phenomena around us, but the power they hold to define right and wrong, can never be held in one person or one race in the name of justice.

Valentina's picture

Thoughts on a Story

I found The Truth About Stories interesting both in its topic and in the way it was written. I could appreciate the conversational tone the author took on, unlike some of my peers, I did not feel as if the author was accusing me of some of the discrimination he experienced but rather trying to make me feel what he felt by bringing me (the reader) into the story with him. I also appreciated the repetition of the beginning and end of every chapter and found it gave the stories captivating transitions. Finally, I liked the way the author broke up his stories and mixed them in with factual information regarding Native American treatment in the United States. I found this was an effective way of keeping the reader interested, or motivated if, like me, he/she found the historical sections harder to get through. Meanwhile, I was conflicted about the actual information presented in the book. Because of the way the stories about the author’s life were presented, in such a way that the reader felt connected through emotions and feelings, I believe it made it easier to get bored with the emotion-less sections that had little to offer besides a history lesson and a bitter taste in my mouth at the evident unfairness the Native American tribes (among others) suffered.

In response to the author’s claim that “the truth about stories is that’s all we are”, I would have to agree with his idea because I feel that stories can deeply affect our lives by eliciting feelings and thoughts we may not have previously had. Our lives are made up of feelings, ideas, and experiences and the need to share these experiences with others is part of being human and essential to our evolution. The incorporation of technology to share stories, for example Facebook and YouTube, have made sharing stories more efficient and effective. Perhaps a time will come in the near future when we will master the art of storytelling and the human race collectively will be able to evolve at the maximum speed.

paige's picture


Thomas King’s The Truth about Stories illuminates how society is closely “chained to the stories.” King’s narratives have take-away points that cannot and should not be easily pushed aside like the many morals of the stories he writes about. Stories are malleable; we can swiftly switch a paragraph, a phrase, to suit our purposes. Story presentation matters – King uses an Iroquois creation myth and the book of Genesis to illustrate the differences that can encourage a collaborative, more egalitarian worldview or an authoritative, hierarchal one.


King’s writing raised several questions in my mind. How do we change the world with stories? Should a story be fact or fiction, a blend? What is the purpose of the stories I have read and heard? These questions lead to one I feel is most important – Which stories do we have a responsibility to tell?


I feel, like King, that stories such as creation myths or fairytales do in fact shape peoples world view.  For that reason we have to take responsibility for the stories we tell. The United States of America has a national identity with roots in stories from the past. These stories are often very much fiction, for example George Washington and the cherry tree. The identity and “history” of the United States was and continues to be shaped by the stories within it. These stories create a “new natural” that is not necessarily the truth. Often stories romanticize and hide the not-always-pretty truth. In the words of King, stories are often both “medicine and poison.” Often the stories we chose not to tell are the most important because they shame and remind us of things we’d rather forget. After cookies and milk, a parent is not very likely to tell their child about slavery or the nitty gritty details of the fight for women’s suffrage. We tell these stories to create “ethical” citizens. I feel that a more responsible method is to present the child with as much of the truth as possible. This brings up so many parenting issues but that’s not really my point. My point, I think, is to say that we have the responsibility to tell the stories that aren’t nice. Even though I want to change the world in my stories, I don’t necessarily have the right. I recognize many stories as entertainment but even entertainment holds sway in the societal mind.


In closing, I chose a Hawaiian myth in which human beings emerge from the world instead of being created by a preexisting authority.  I chose it because I feel it most closely resembles my conception of the world which is nurtured by my faith in science and the big bang theory. Personally, I feel like the Hawaiian myth promotes a more equal world. Reading over my peers chosen myths, I also feel attracted to the Eygptian concept that Khum is always at his pottery wheel – life changes and continues over time – as opposed to the Judeo-Christian view that life was made in 7 days and then work on it ceased. Thanks for opening up this forum so I have a place to post my long-winded thoughts! See you all in class tomorrow.


MC's picture

First, my words for

First, my words for evolution: bottle-necking, finches, gradual change.

I thought our discussion didn't get as far as many of us would have liked, but it sort of chipped at the surface, which is a decent start. I agree with many of the ideas King presented in his book, including that stories are only what we make them to be and that stories can have terrifying power in human's hands. And I empathized, I suppose, with the feelings of resentment towards the story of Genesis and the people who follow it, because that story makes me feel very small and unwanted in a very black and white world. That isn't how it feels to everyone, but that is how the story makes me feel, and I rather resent being made to feel something I don't want to feel, which is probably why I jumped so quickly to defend King in our discussion. At the same time, I doubt that someone can't entirely be made to feel something without their consent, so maybe I'm sensitive to messages suggesting insecurity and insignificance in stories.

I had something to say about looking at my bookshelf as an example of the power of stories but I don't believe I can faithfully remember my point, so I'm just going to leave a note to myself/everyone here so that I can perhaps remember it by the time class comes.

Earlier in the discussion people mentioned the chance of current scientific theory becoming future myth, and I agree that what we currently hold to be the "truth" will most likely just become myth. Much of what humans know is only inference or guess work, and it would surprise me very much if humans ever develop concrete answers to any question we ask. It's the nature of the universe and the nature of humans to change entirely based on perspective. I would love to get clear-cut answers to how things work and why they behave the way they do, but deep down I know I never will (depressing? Why yes, yes it is. It's kind of fun though, too, if you squint).

Too bad stories can't change our physical world to the extent of making me a therizinosaurus.

Summer's picture

Stories, Facts and Truth

 If somebody says, the stories about how this world created are the truth, I'll absolutely argue with him or her. Yes, I can't deny that all the myths somehow reflects the facts on the earth. However, the myths are told ever since thousands of years ago, who can guarantee people back then knew exactly how the earth created? 

    In ancient China, people believed the sky is round and the earth is a flat, rectangular plate. Therefore, in all Chinese myths, you can find the god or goddess making a flat land and put a semi sphere on top of the land to cover it. Rivers flow from west to east and go into the sea, so it says in the myths. In my perspective, myths are the made by our ancestors with their knowledge of the world and their imagination. When they told the stories to their children, they add their hope into the stories. They also teach their children what is right and wrong, good and evil. They encourage their children to be strong, brave, kind, thoughtful and so on. They did those things by telling stories reflect those qualities in the early years of their children's lives. If you ask me "do you believe those myths which you were told when you were young?", I'll say no. If you ask me "will you tell those stories to your children", I'll say absolutely yes.

    I read the Greek myth about the creation of the world. I found the story unacceptable in almost every way in China. It conflicts with the morals in Chinese society. In Greek myth, Gaea mate with her own son Uranus, and they have many offsprings. Then Uranus hated his child, Gaea got angry and let their children attack Uranus. One of the gods named Cronus married his sister. In ancient China, those things are definitely immoral and should be punished. 

    To conclude, myths, creation stories reflects the truth of the world and the aspects of people's lives at some points, but they do not tell about what the world really is. Those stories contain people's judgements and wishes, they are different in areas. Enjoy them, think about them, do not completely believe them.

Aimee's picture

Disclaimer: I apologize if my

Disclaimer: I apologize if my rambling is incomprehensible; the Internet is not my favorite medium for communication, and my writing often strays from its original intent.


 As I mentioned in Thursday's class, I initially felt offended by King's brazen criticism of Genesis and Judeo-Christian society. I do not classify myself as religious, or even a believer, but there is something quite disheartening about having one's religious and cultural background stripped of its magic. People seek truth in belief systems, and so it is often shocking to see the dichotomy between what one believes and how it has shaped him/her, and how reality actually works. As King explains, Western society, shaped by a framework of antiquated Israelite laws, has evolved to see the world as a system of hierarchies and domination systems (Sodom & Gomorrah, Jericho, power-hungry temple priests, the modern Catholic Church). To quote a psalm: "The Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish;" we of the Judeo-Christian society have often felt righteous in our perception of the world, so we have taken it upon ourselves to burn the wicked heathens at the stake. Or force them into slavery...or send them to schools for assimilation...or place them on reservations. Knowing this, King's outrage is understandable and validated. 

Additionally, I appreciate that King acknowledges that stories are not just cultural, but a personal means of evolution. I'm not elaborating further because I have another essay to write.


Moving on...I read/watched the Mayan creation myth. I knew the basics of the myth - that the gods required three attempts to perfect humanity, that they used clay, and then wood, and then corn to do so - but I did not realize that the gods made one final alteration to humanity. According to the myth, the gods discovered that humans had vision as powerful as the deities'. Displeased with the people's power, the gods diminished the humans' sight, creating weaker, subservient beings. Having posted Genesis' creation myth, I knew that the Abrahamic God used similar measures to restrict human power and remain omnipotent. The God of Genesis created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, whose consumption He forbade. When God's first people eventually ate the fruit of the tree, and gained the forbidden knowledge, God exiled them from paradise and made them mortal. "...But the way of the wicked will perish."

nina0404's picture

Thoughts on the Mayan and Genesis stories

So I just wanted to reply because I interpreted the same part of the story in a different way.

In the Mayan creation myth my thoughts on when the gods took away the humans ability to see and understand everything was that the person who wrote it did not know everything. So there way of explaining this was to add this last part to the end. This last part is what helps people with the faith. If I were Mayan and I believed in this myth I think I would believe that the gods did this as a challenge as well as to make humans lesser than gods. The challenge is the faith. I would believe that the gods wanted to give the challenge of faith in order to seperate true worshippers from others. This would help because even though I didn't understand the world I would still have faith in the stories I was told and believe in.


I think this works the same way with Genesis. The base of any creation myth is faith. You have to have faith that what you believe is right. So even though we believe that God cast us out of the garden of eden we have faith that if we live by the bible that one day we will return to garden or heaven.

Creation myths are made to explain the unexplainable. If we can't understand wouldn't it be easy to believe a story where we were created to never understand the true meanings of the universe.

I am sorry if this doesn't make much sense its hard to type your thoughts.

Sarah Ann's picture

Creation Comparisons

There's a lot to think about with all these different stories and our classroom discussions. There are a lot of common themes or items throughout the bunch, such as beginning in nothingness/darkness/water. There are some subgroups, like stories that have one all-powerful creator, and stories in which creation is a group effort. One thing I kind of noticed and pondered while perusing the myths was the role of gender. If a story had a central creator, it was usually specified as male. If, as in the story of Genesis and an African myth posted by christinequeho, disobedience by one of the humans brought about a downfall, it was typically the woman. Does this have a significance? If, as King says in his book, all we are is stories, did that contribute to the idea of women being lower than men? Or is it a chicken and the egg scenario - did the stories make us, or did we make the stories? Like I said, a lot to think about...

Erin's picture

The truth behind stories

The experience in E SEM is exciting and fresh. I enjoy the atmosphere that everybody can express her ideas freely. I began to understand the Liberal Arts Education has a provided a great environment for me to really exploring the new perspective of my mind. Following are some thought of reading of Thomas King’ THE TRUTH ABOUT STORIES and our discussion on Thursday.

1.       Each chapter starts with “THERE IS ASTORY I KNOW”. Then, he would tell a Native Indians’ creations Myth. Except the detailed-told version in first chapter, each one in the following chapter has slight difference in the audience who ask about the number of turtle which is the object underneath the earth in the story. For me, these various repetitions are the ways that Thomas King was trying to say that the stories can be approached differently when the storytellers change some details on their own purpose.

2.       On the Page 26, Thomas King said that “Is it our nature? Do the stories we tell reflect the world as it truly is, or did we simply start off with the wrong story? ” This part really got me into deeper thought. I felt a little lost during the class when we got the topic of religion. I can’t say much about the Christian belief since I don’t really know much about Bible or Jesus. However, I agree with King on the point that the stories somehow have their marks of their cultural background. In Biblical creations myth, the creations closely related to the God. In the Chinese creation myth, Pangu represents represent an omnipotent figure that creates the world on his own. This is the image that every empire in Chinese over 3000 thousands’ years feudal society by claiming their identities as the “sons of dragons.”  The characteristic shown on Pangu happens to be the praised quality Chinese society promotes. The same connections are presented in the elements, such as the religious beliefs, spiritual prides, in the Hawaiian creation myth and Mayan myth. I think all these similarities referred to the point that Thomas King was trying to make that the stories sometimes depends on how you want to interpret and what’s the intention of the storyteller. The cultural background and the environment around the storyteller will definitely affect the tone of the story.

3.       On Page 43, Thomas King said that: “What the camera allows you to do is to invent. Not records of moments, but rather imaginative acts.” This sentence really touched me about how Indians are set in everyone’s head that they are the native, the uncivilized. Most of us already have a stereotype of Indians in our mind which leads the photographs which are supposed to be documentary tend to match the imagination existed. No wonder, Thomas King, a half-blood Indian, received doubt, “You’re Not the Indian I Had in mind” Though we are trying to see people or a kind of culture without prejudice, we can’t resist the first impression we already have long before we even met the person or the culture.

Hillary G's picture

My Thoughts

Last week's discussion made a lot of us think in different ways, I'm sure. We all come from different backgrounds with slightly different perspectives of the world, how it was made, and what happens next. Some of us were raised to believe that both Genesis and Darwin were right, others are devoutly loyal to one or the other, and some may even fall outside of those beliefs. I am one of those who was raised Christian and became disenchanted with it at an early age, fervently believing the scientific explanations of everything. I saw Christianity as a string of, well, stories. I never realized quite how much storytelling comes into play when considering the origin of the world.

I recently went to South America, and this course has me thinking a lot about it. I spent the first week in the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin discovered his famous finches that revolutionized evolutionary thought. I spent the second week in Peru, learning about the Inca and the Andeans who believed in four deities: the sun god, the moon goddess, mother earth, and the storm god. It was interesting to see these two places back to back, representing such different views of the universe. And I understood perfectly both why Darwin saw those islands as an example of natural selection, and why the people of the Andean mountains worshiped the 4 aspects of nature that their lives revolved around. I thought a lot during that trip about these questions. When do stories become fact? And how do we distinguish between them? What does faith even really mean?

I think faith is mostly about stories. Scientists put their faith in the stories they are told by other scientists, as much as Peruvians put their faith into the stories their elders told them. Who is either party to question those "realities" when they see such proof of it every day? 

And here we are in 2010, thousands of years after the Andeans, still having no idea what the "truth" really is. People will always search for the answers because there will always be questions. The author of the Truth About Stories is right. We are just made up of stories. Because when you think about it, what else do we have?

kbonds's picture

Oh No Existentialism

Hi all. The Truth About Stories made me think a lot, and in many different tangents. This rant is one of the tangents.  By the way, I completely agree with the idea that stories are all we are, and I was very glad to read that, because I have always had the idea in my head but never heard or seen it spelled out. Hearing stories defined as everything has really got me thinking about how little value this society has placed on stories and words in general, and how we've changed the way we tell stories. You've all heard it before, and it has affected you directly; the english language is disappearing slowly into a sea of lol's, jk's, wtf's, and rofl's. This is the way we tell stories now, and what does that mean? Is this an evolution of our language? And if so, why is it become less sophisticated and not more sophisticated? I think what this means is that the general public has completely lost sight of the importance of stories. We are changing the stories by changing the way we tell them, and therefore we are changing our lives. I could go on an on about the disintegration of language, but I'll spare you that. 

My favorite part of our class discussion on Thursday was when we got to the point where everyone generally agreed that Myths were once science, and some of our science could potentially be myth in the future. In addition, someone (I forget who, and apologize) thought that there was an eventual end to the constant questions/answers/more questions game that science has been playing. These two ideas got me thinking the existential "How do we know what we know?" question, and that is a whole 'nuther can of worms I do not care to open in this forum yet. Anyway, very interesting and thought provoking discussion on Thursday.



LAJW's picture

Reflection of Last week's discussion

Personally, I think that last week’s discussion was more philosophical than factual. Hence, I am actually very confused about the discussion now. However, from my point of view, we actually talked about the degree of imagination involved in our current scientific theories.  Actually, as I mentioned in my previous post that I was not educated to have doubts in our current scientific theories, but to believe them, the discussion conducted during our lessons stunned me to a large extent. As a scientifically educated student, I am very opposed to the idea of creation myths and only read the stories as entertainments.  However, I am very open to new ideas and opinions. I found the idea saying that the current scientific fact will become another myth in the next few hundred years was especially interesting. I think this idea is plausible and developed from this idea, the ancient creation myths are also plausible if you put yourself in the situation which ancient people simply summarize their observation into “story” which could help everybody at that time understand the primitive idea of nature and world.

 After the class, I reread the creation myths that I found. Surprisingly, I found that some of the ideas mentioned in creation myths were actually related to current scientific theories.  Creation myths are not purely supernatural and totally based on imagination. For example, quoted from myths “When all was ready the three brothers rushed at the sky, but they could not beat down the gates of steel that guarded the entrance. Then Licalibutan let loose the strongest winds and blew the bars in every direction. The brothers rushed into the opening, but were met by the angry god Captan. So terrible did he look that they turned and ran in terror. but Captan, furious at the destruction of his gates, sent three bolts of lightning after them. The first struck the copper Libulan and melted him into a ball. The second struck the golden Liadlao, and he too was melted. The third bolt struck Licalibutan, and his rocky body broke into many pieces and fell into the sea. From above sentences, there are actually two scientific facts included: firstly, naturally existed wind could provide a power source which is exactly being promoted nowadays to develop the clean energy production. Secondly, the ancient people also found that the lightening has a destructive power which may cause fire. This fact perfectly relates to what modern scientists have learnt about the lightning so far. Hence, I think that “rocky body” mentioned in the myths may be just other words used by ancient people to describe the land. They use another set of words to describe the same phenomenon as what we observe nowadays.

Back to the Thomas King’s book “Truth about Stories”. While reading this book, my whole mind is filled with two words: myths, science. Hence, I did not really pay attention to the part which Thomas expresses his unhappiness with prejudices and unfairness experienced by native American Indians in America. However, I am very attracted to the wide variety of stories told in the book and the author’s comments on telling and hearing stories. The sentences, Stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous. So, you have to be careful with the stories you tell and you have to watch out the stories that you are told, provide me with constructive advices on how I should judge on what I hear from others and what I learn from lessons, textbooks and other stories. I think that we cannot just blindly believe in whatever stories we have heard.  We need to judge the fact based on our experiences and the school of thought we believe in. However, to my opinion, one needs to be open to ideas. If so, we can develop our own thinking, judgments and thus become unique individuals on the earth.

Cogito, ergo sum-----------I think, therefore I am.


Serendip Visitor's picture

Week 2:Thoughts

Some of the conversation topics I found quite interesting was finding that in most creation myths we have a tendency to create human beings as the Supreme race over the earth. But their are many instances were in fact humans attempt to create beings greater than themselves. By forming gods, deities, or supreme beings of power to create themselves.

elisagogogo's picture

Scientific Theory VS Classic Myth

Studying in a seminar is a brand-new experience for me. In China, never have I ever get a chance to sit around the table with my other classmates, freely raising our own opinions and enlightened by other’s view at the same time.

The most interesting question I found in last week’s discussion was: will current scientific theory become classic myth in the future? I do think that current scientific theory might become myth in the future. Let me try to demonstrate my opinion to you.

As we can see in the myths from different sources, even though they took place in different times, different situations and had different names, they more or less have something in common: they want to explain why some specific thing or idea exist in the world.( like why there are seven days in a week, why do we have day and night, etc.)

Here is an example. Say, people in China used to think the earthquake demonstrates the diminishing power of the empire or the end of an epoch. It not hard to understand this idea: people thought that the empire is a person who could give them the happiness. If an empire did not have a leading position any more, something bad like an earthquake would happen (see, they are trying to figure out why earthquake happened.)

Nowadays, people use scientific data to demonstrate that it is because of the movement of the crust that causes the earthquake. And we are also trying to understand why the earthquake happens.   If we retrospect the chinese people's old opinion with our knowlege and scientific background, we might consider it confused and bewildered cause it has no current scientific theory to support.

If we apply this "earthquake thing" to the myth and science. It's easy to find that people tend to create a story to explain something they want to understand base on their knowledge. As the people become more and more knowledgeable, some old-fasioned views, stories might be called myth.

SoundsLikeBanana's picture

  -Prianna Pathak After


-Prianna Pathak

After reading the different creation stories I found a common idea of the almighty being that creates the world and all those in it. This same idea of an omnipotent god is found in the creation stories I was told as a child. Having grown up in a moderately religious, Hindu family that lived in the a predominantly Christian area, I have an interesting mix of faiths. I combined the religions and formed my own hybrid. Just like King said, “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” That’s just what I am. I am that amalgamation of religions and beliefs.

King’s approach to story telling is one that I have explored before, especially as a writer. The tone of the piece sets the stage to how it is read, and also how it is received or understood. The casual tone and the simple syntax of the Native American story produced a folklore, in contrast Genesis proved to be a more formal and inflexible. I do not fully agree with King’s belief that this religion as a whole is rigid, in fact I have seen the varying degrees to which the many different sects of the Christianity have adapted and given passion to the stories. These story telling techniques are seen again in varying degrees in the many cultures’ creation myths. For example, in the Hindu creation myth the low diction used to tell the story is the same of the Native American, Chinese, and Mayan stories really provides the folklore feel to the myths.

In all these distinctive stories, each shares another thing in common, their ability to pass along a moral or idea to the listener. I believe this trait of a story is the most important part of the story. Whether or not the myth is believable through its little details, such as talking animals or killer floods, those values distilled in the listener is what reflects, maybe not always how the world truly is, but what it should be. Values such as loyality, respect, and selflessness.



CParra's picture


Well I am Carolina. I have just looked at my agenda and found that this assignment was due yesterday, but what can I say I would rather do this than not. OH WELLS!!!

Here is some background so everyone can understand where my thoughts are.

During the first week (customs) everyone would ask me

"Hey what e-sem are you in?"

"I dunno, I don't member"

That was always my response and even now it is. During the summer when I was assigned the task of picking a class I randomly selected anything since i didn't know what to look for. To tell you the truth all i wanted was a class with books that sounded interesting. That is when i saw the book we read recently... I am really bad with names oh the truth about stories it said an indian story or around those lines. that is when i decided ok this class sounds cool.


Official thoughts


So now it is time for official thoughts. I have not gotten any book for this class so i have not really read everythign i did read the indian book (lets call it that) and i totally loved it. i love hearing stories. i remember i always ask my parents ans asked mi abuela to tell me all their stories. i used to want to do something like the book like water for chocolate now i am talking to much. well lets just say i love stories and hearing them is a joy in life that cannot be compared. There is so much to learn that you can see the bias in every story but no one story teller is like a history book because politcally correct is never in a person story's well not of the ones i have heard.

  • so in general i love the storys we tell in class.

Second i love the debates we have. there is so much to learn from everyone. there are different views in everyone and sometimes i get really hyped and want to talk back to everyone but it is really rude to always talk. SO what i do is sit and play with my feet or look down or drink water in order to let others talk. Now everyone can see i like to ramble so i try in class to shut my mouth. In class i hope all we do is talk.this might sound funny but hearing the voices and passion in the girls voice makes me happy since everytime i talk i get to excited about everything. THis shows me that everyone is similiar someway.

  • in general i love the talks/chats/debates in class.

I am really happy i almost randomly selcted every class. This was a great class for me and for some reason the professor reminds me of my fav math teacher back in high school the subject above was always what her said. the proffesor said somthing like that before that was a flashback. 


well that is all for today




Serendip Visitor's picture

wrong info

for some weird reason i thought it was tuesday today no i dont know what i was thinking. so the first part about it being late is a total lie. Yay that is all i have to say

christinequeho's picture

Reflection #1.

 I scribbled some notes into my notebook on Thursday:

"Creation myths comprise of good and evil (or chaos and order).  Gods/higher beings/deities.  Opposites.
Are current scientific stories going to be myths in the future?"

Creation myths are no different from any other story; they're going to need a protagonist and an antagonist, too.  These two factors can produce a problem, which is usually solved with a compromise.  These are fundamentals for stories.

It was pointed clear that most creation myths have deities.  Why do they have higher beings in the ranking of 7 for creation?  It must be because humans (mere mortals) are not sufficient enough to establish something as great as the world, physics, or life.

In 11th grade, I had a summer assignment to write a three page paper about truth.  My friends and I racked our brains about it!  The paper questioned and challenged everything we knew or thought we knew.  I remember coming up with a scenario: You have a shirt.  This is truth.  In years, the shirt gets faded in the wash, worn out, and turns into a rag.  This is also truth.  Is it a shirt anymore?  No.  Did I lie when I said it was a shirt?  No.  So, what happened?

The shirt changed.  Truths change, often evolving-- as can be seen in science.  (In the shirt's case, it regressed.)  What is important to you today may not be important to you in ten years.

The stories we live by are stories we live by.  If they change, we change.

If my parents' lives were different, I wouldn't hear of stories about their troubles trying to escape their home country when the Communists arrived (maybe I would be brought up that Communists are actually okay people) and re-establishing a new life in a foreign country.  If I had not know their story, if I had heard something different, more relaxing, I would not have worked hard towards a better future for myself, keeping my parents' struggles in mind, and who cares what Bryn Mawr would mean to me.

On a less dramatic note, if all of Disney's princesses grew up with a mother and father, where would little girls' imagination of Prince Charming and childhoods of cute fairy tales be?  (Not to mention Disney's enterprise.)

If we change anything we live by, we, of course, change our lives.  We (and I also mean our thoughts) are composed of every single one of those "anythings".

I also want to briefly mention that we talked about culture in our discussion on Thursday.  Some assumed they had no culture.  Some agreed that American culture is not as prominent in America than other cultures in their own countries are.  Walking out of class, I regretted forgetting to ask if anyone has seen Coming To America, starring Eddie Murphy.  Prince Akeem and his friend Semmi travel to America from "Zamunda," Africa in high hopes of looking for a bride to be his queen.  He looks in Queens, New York.  There, he is hit with a new culture of dating, "McDowell's," phrases/slang, and American football.

"Fascinating!  Semmi, look at this!  America is great indeed.  Imagine a country so free, one can throw glass on the streets!"

nina0404's picture

Story. Religion. Evolution. Creation


These are the four words that I feel have come up the most in my thoughts about King’s novel, our seminar discussion, and in my own writings and self-discussions. At a glance some of the words seem related while others seem like complete opposites. After this week though, I find myself believing that they are all connected strongly in one way or another. This week was all about stories and their power on us, humans. Whether the story be about creation, science, or religion they were all just that: stories.

A story by definition is “a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader.” Religion on the other hand is defined as being “ a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe”. Evolution is the scientific explanation for how the world came into existence through “changes in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.” So here is what I get from all this; stories are everything. Science is religion and religion is science. Both evolution and religion are stories, and both concern creation.

What did King say again? Oh yea I remember, “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.”

Stories, myths, research papers, and theories are all the same in that we use them to try and answer the oldest enigmas of who are we, what is our purpose, and how do we fit in and play a part in this universe.


As I was reading through creation myths, and reasons for why people believed in them or not, and what they do or do not believe in I saw something. Everyone believed in something and that was a story. So does this make King right?

In class we were asked if creation myths or stories in general represent the world as it truly is or how we want to see it. I believe that stories represent the world as we interpret it. This means though that the world can be interpreted in many ways. So which one is right? Perhaps there is no wrong. After all what power do I have to say that what you believe is wrong?

I believe King was getting at something that can be dug into deeper. If what we are are stories then how powerful can a story truly be? Pretty powerful would be my guess. So I am left with one question. Do stories misguide us or do we believe that only those who do not believe the stories we do are the only ones misguided?  



I am not sure if anyone will actually read this but if you do great!

Bingqing's picture


I definitely, especially as a student who is fond of natural science, know that The Big Bang Theory and The Natural Selection are technically more persuasive and believable. However, all kinds of creation stories in various cultural backgrounds enrich traditional culture in ancient world, such as Bible in western world, Hindu in India, Nv Wa in China and The Woman who fell from the Sky in native American, as well as embody ancestors' curiosity about themselves and evolving universe.


I comparatively appreciate the Pangu' s story because of something emotional. Pangu remind me of a inspiration. He sacrificed himself to create the world. It is a kind of selfless and heroic contribution which was cherished by generation and generation in China. On the other hand, I prefer some myth with a "poetic topic" which is mentioned in the Truth about the Stories. The last scene of the accomplished creation should be like this: the world runs harmoniously and the creator Pangu dies peacefully. Also, I like this development of stories, similar to The Woman who fell from the Sky, starting from "chaos" and ending with harmony.


Frankly, I do not fully agree with Thomas King that stories reflect the truth of the world. Or I should modify my sentence. It is the feelings and thinking that authors try to express through stories, rather than the content of stories, reflect the truth of the world. In some cases, authors use sarcasm or sometimes describe totally different situation, aiming to criticizing or expecting something. Like in the creation story of Native American, the world is coordinated and peaceful in the end which depicting a unreachable dream at that time.


After reading the resources we share, I find that most of the creation story started in a dark, chaotic state. And then creators ordered prehistoric world. In Hindu's creation, Vishum and serpent also have the world in order. However, the difference between Pangu's and Hindu's is that the Hindu's one is spiritual rather than that physical like Pangu's. This also demonstrates the different emphasis between ancient Chinese and Indian societies, the strength for the Chinese and the spirit for the Indian.


FluteSound4's picture

My thoughts on Creation and Last week

From the beginning of the book "The Truth About Stories" King claimed that he wasn't writing to be an activist or to make people feel sorry for the Native Americans. However, I think he says that so that he doesn't have the appearance of an activist when in actuality he is trying to make others more aware of the hardships that Native Americans, such as him, had to go through. As we discussed in class last week, King seems to be blaming Christianity for people's actions towards Native Americans. I don't think King has the right to blame the Bible or Christianity. I believe if anyone, King should blame human's interpretation of the Bible. I believe that it is how people interpret something that causes us to act and think the way we do. Interpretations are always changing. Not long ago Christians believed that God was a merciless God who would smite you for your sins. Now however, people believe in the Christian God as an all loving and all merciful God. For hundreds of years people have believed that they had to spread the word of God and convert whoever did not share their views. We traveled to the Americas and Asia and the Pacific not only to colonize, but also to convert. Now there's the start of King's problems and the discrimination against Native Americans. The Bible doesn't tell us to convert everyone to Christianity, it's just people who believe that everyone should be converted to some form of Christianity.


Now to actually talking about the creation stories. King uses both Native American creation stories and Biblical references in his book "The Truth About Stories." What I found interesting was the diversity of creation stories the other students posted. They ranged from South American Mayan stories, to Chinese myths, and then to the Book of Genesis. Even if we do not believe these stories, they are still important to different peoples and cultures. The stories range from Biblical/religious stories to Cultural myths. The stories were also all very different by the way they were told. The Mayan story was more of story that one would be told verbally, maybe as a child. Where as the Book of Genesis is something someone would read when they are older and when they understand the language used in it. The story I had posted was somewhere in between cultural and religious. My roots are heavily eastern European (mostly Hungarian) so I decided to connect to my roots by finding some sort of Hungarian myth. When talking to my mom about the myth, we decided that it mixes both Biblical and cultural references of Hungary. The myth talks about the Father and the Son who decided it was time to create the Earth, and so they created man. The myth also brings up the Mother as well. Mothers are very important to Hungarian culture and they are almost all of the time looked up upon and put on a pedestal. So, I thought it was interesting that the myth also tied in a small part about the mother into the story. To tie everything up, I believe that creation stories are very important to humans because even if we don't believe them, they give us a better understanding of ourselves, our culture, or where we came from. Also, I believe that King needs to focus more on people's interpretations of creation stories and the Bible rather than the ideas and lessons from the Bible itself.

Angela_MCA's picture

Hello Everyone!

So, I thought the discussion on Thursday was really interesting, I just felt that there wasn't enough time in one class! So I'm looking forward to Tuesday to hear everyone's thoughts, in addition to sharing my own.  I think I was a little quiet, I enjoy listening a little too much.  But, I noticed people saying how American culture isn't really strong.  I know that my mom is Portuguese and I CLING to that part of me, and I'm guilty of ignoring my father's heritage because he's more "American".  Although, when I traveled to another country, I found myself speaking a lot about American traditions and our way of life, and very enthusiastically. 

Reflecting on stories:  I believe stories truly is all we are.  All human beings naturally search for the truth.  Scientific theories are all stories, and the facts we do know are usually filled-in with stories to make sense of these facts.  Another thing I've always come to realize is that: the more we know and the more we learn, the more we realize that we really know nothing.  So will we ever know the "truth" and if we do, what's the point? How will that better us?

I hope I'm making sense I'm writing this in the midst of many distractions.  See you on Tuesday!


Imittleman's picture

  Hey everyone!  Finally


Hey everyone!  Finally figured out this forum thing out.  Phew. 



The first thing that struck me about this discussion was the idea of "Truth", an universal truth and, as an extension, our search for that.  I figure as humans we'll always seek a "truth" we can grasp onto.  Particularly now, with an increasing emphasis on science (we've begun replacing that as our "Truth" instead of religion), it seems important to have your faith invested in something.  My mom told me that humans have this integral, intuitive need to "worship" a greater being, a thought, a belief system, as a part of our survival.  That could be a deity or science or any other ruling force.  It's like we create our own hierarchy in order to be a part of something greater than ourselves.  That probably explains why so many early civilizations created religion despite not interacting with each other.  (So it was not an idea that caught on but was instinctive)  Among eating, breathing and natural means of survival, we also worshiped.  I find that interesting.  It's also why I imagine so many of our creation myths dealt not only with the creation of the tangible but good vs. evil, hope and other aspects of life that are so important to being human.  

Last class we were questioning whether myths were true.  Is science?  Is anything?  While I like these discussions, I think that they can also be a slippery slope.  There's a point in which I need some kind of "reality" or structure, like all humans, to grasp onto before the world seems to be made of mist with no true reality.   So that being said, I sort of approach these discussions with an amount of caution.

Here goes:

I've been thinking about the discussion a lot, and in a way you can say that science and mythology have similarities.  They are certainly after a similar purpose.  Maybe, years from now, the science we know now, the truths we've taken for fact will be found to be complete nonsense.  Or just a very small piece of the bigger picture.  I see what Thomas King meant about stories.  The only thing I understand is that which I know and I know only my own world.  But I think it goes further. 

Since we live in a world in which time as WE (humans) know it is linear, what we perceive as the "past" no longer exists.  Neither does the future.  The past, every minute, becomes a memory and a story and that is all humans are left with, though we do have some tangible evidence that it happened.  For instance, I see that I wrote something down on a piece of paper.  That writing exists, but the act of doing so is now only a memory.  In imagining life that way, we are, as Thomas King said, merely stories that have built upon each other.  Evolving stories.  I think Thomas King was trying to say that we need to use these stories to change our future.  

One thing that I want to draw attention to is a part in which he noted that it was the punitive nature of Judeo-Christian creation story which caused US to create hierarchies and punitive societies.  So.  If we are merely stories, if our lives are stories, the stories that we have created are therefore as equally "True" or "real" and important as our past.  They have as much impact upon ourselves as our history.

I have another thought (looking at this from another angle): The stories we write reflect ourselves.  So, if our creation story encourages punishment, that begins to reflect in our society.  But, if that were true, wouldn't that also prove that we're punitive by nature and our stories are merely a reflection of THAT?

Sorry if a lot of this doesn't make sense.  I've been writing this post over the course of an hour and my brain is doing somersaults.  


Julie G.'s picture

Stories, histories, science, myths, facts....

 I have been reflecting on last week's discussions and a few things in particular have been circling around in my brain:

1)  Whilst reading King's book, I was -- as I shared in class -- perturbed by the lack of references for the historical information presented.  Yes, there were books listed in the "Notes" section, but the "fact-seeking" individual in me wanted some sort of criterium for the information selected and the manner in which it was presented, as well as an acknowledgement that there might be other versions of this story. There's that word again: "story." I began thinking, perhaps this is part of King's illustration of, "The truth about stories is that that's all we are" (p. 2 and others), as well as the point he makes regarding the "voice" of a story being relatable to its "authority" (last paragraph on p.22 through to p.23).

2) Once I'd had that thought, I began relating it to part of the debates we'd had in class about stories of science and whether or not they hold more weight in the truth department than what we've been terming as "myths." As I understand it, our use of "myths" reflected outdated stories that, as some point in the past, served to explain the universe. Can modern scientific theories be termed as "factual" whereas myths have been proven "false?" I regret using so many scare-quotes, but I find myself hesitant to use so many of these terms freely, given the nature of our discussion. If we speculate that the answer is no, and scientific facts are somehow equal to these myths, then that calls into question many of the "facts" and "laws" by which we live. In other words, do we have anything close to dependable knowledge?

3) That led me to think about the conversation we had regarding myths and science as both resulting from observations. The observation came first, and the theory followed. So, if it was established that scientific theories were stories, open to change in their perceived validity, that still wouldn't change the fact that when I walk, my feet land on the ground.

4) However, as it was brought up in class, there can be "tricks of the eye." What we observe, hear, feel, taste, and smell can be deceptive. This reminded me of my rudimentary exposure to Plato and Aristotle's disagreement of epistemology. I am wary of bringing in external material, but I can't claim these ideas as my own, so if I may crudely abbreviate my understanding of their stances for the purpose of giving credit to original thought, it would help to explain my own thoughts on this particular facet of our discussions. Plato was distrustful of sensory deception and believed through his own (or what he claimed as Socrates') logical deductions that there had to be a metaphysical, Ultimate Good/Truth to be sought after (just as was posited in class: "The Truth") and all other knowledge was somehow a mere replica of this. Aristotle, as I recall, believed the opposite: only sensory observations could be relied upon and indicative of any sort of truth or reliable knowledge. But it seems to me, given my brief presentation of these two giants' stances, that science involves both: observations are made, and hypotheses are developed intending to explain them, but often these hypotheses are developed using logical deduction, not observation. Indeed all of the myths suggested (that I read) involved both stances as well, inasmuch as there were familiar, recognizable, observable behaviors and phenomena presented, and then...imagination?...filled in the gaps, so to speak. At its most basic: there is an Earth, there are humans and animals, and this is how we will explain these things.

5) How any given person/society/culture chooses to explain things seems to reflect in some manner the values of that culture at that time, and perhaps that is why our stories seem to change as we change. As I understand him, King's example of this is: "Native writers began to use the Native present as a way to resurrect a Native past and to imagine a Native future.  To create, in words, as it were, a Native universe" (p. 106)


N.B. Another external source that came to mind was Hayden White's Metahistory. In Chapter 2 "Hegel: The Poetics of History and the Way Beyond Irony" White details how all histories have a narrative-type, and the same historical events, or periods can be very different depending upon the narrative they are given. For example: a potentially tragic narrative telling of our section's last class might look like, "There were divergencies, people were talking past one another, or taking opposing stances and no resolution was made." Whereas a potentially romantic telling might be, "Widely different opinions were presented, enriching the conversation with diversity and providing fodder for thought beyond the classroom." It seems to me that this relates to King's book and his presentation of stories as being "all we are," as well as his ideas on the malleability of stories.


Kirsten's picture

My comparasios of myths

      When reflecting on the conversation about King's The Truth About Stories, the subtle dichotomy King presents throughout the story struck me.  When I read the book  myself I noticed how King would often point out the flaws in the overall treatment of Native Americans by the majority, the Judeo-Christian population.  When, with the help of others' ideas, we deconstructed the book to get to the overall themes, this contrast between Thomas King's feelings towards Judeo-Christian myths and Native American myths was presented to me. I immediately decided that the myth I had chosen was more similar to the Native American tales. This variation of the myth that I chose did not seem to refer at all to evil, it was focused on recalling how nature was created.  This was very prevalent in the first myth that King told.  In Judeo-Christian myths more often then not there seems to be this evil following the characters trying to corrupt them, and the omnipresent character, God, will have rigid rules for the characters that evil is seeking to keep the corruption form happening.  When looking over the other myths, one in particular struck me as falling into the same category, so to speak, as both mine and the myth that King initially told. It was the Mayan myth posted by Karina.  Both the Mayan myth and King's myth portray the animals as helpful in the creation of the land (king's myth) and the creation of humans (the Mayan tale).  Along with that, the similarities extend to the lack of mention of evil in the tale.





Olivia's picture

stories reflect the world as it truly is

I agree that the stories reflect the world as it truly is.

Those creation stories are created by people, so they represent truly and clearly what they thought AT THAT TIME.

[Creation story in The Bible] I don't think this story was created by general people in the old days. Because in other creation stories, their are no orders and laws and mighty powers. Ancient people are pure equal, which is proved by anthropologists. But in the creation story in the bible, there are mighty powers, rules and punishments. Therefore, I think the purpose of creating such a story is political.The creator of the story try to set up the mighty power of God, and try to make people feel guilty so that they would be faithful to the God they created. The story may just be a tool to hold people within the "religious" group and to increase the power of Pope.
In that way, this creation story does represent the world as it truly was in that time.

[Traditional Creation story in China]
In the story, Pan Gu is the man with strength and curiosity. In the ancient time, Strength is highly valued. Strength is very important during the hunting. So the the people at that time would easily think that the world is created by a person with mighty strength.
In that way, this creation story does represent the world as it truly was in that time.

[Creation story in Tibet]
Tibetan stories are very religious and beautiful. I think it must have a lot things to do with the special location. Tibet is the most beautiful place in China, very very beautiful in the world. Tibetan people say they can feel God and are blessed with the richness of Nature there. So in the Tibetan creation story, they think mountains and lakes are all gods who come to protect them.
In that way, this creation story does represent the world as it truly was in that time.


ecollier's picture

Thoughts On Last Week's Class

Sorry about the mixup in location, Paul. 


I thought class was interesting. It's my only discussion-based class this semester... and I have high hopes for it. I'm interested in hearing everyone's ideas, although I also think that some have too much to say and not enough time to listen. We should all work on finding balance in our class participation. 

Other than that, I was glad to hear one of my assumptions proven wrong: about how strong Chinese culture is. 
I was also glad to see everyone give each other time to speak, and respect when they countered each other's ideas.

See you on Tuesday!



mwechsler's picture

All we are?

 At the end of our last class on Thursday I found myself frustrated. I figured I would sit and let all my thoughts gather and wait, but I am still, actually I think more, frustrated. I understand that in terms of subjective experience, which is an exceptionally important thing, that stories are perhaps all we are. But I really really really believe that things have also happened, that regardless of the stories we tell (which may have an incredible impact on how everyone else and even our selves process and remember the information), some truth exists. Something happened. I could perhaps entertain the idea that what happened doesn't matter, but truth and relevance seem fairly different any way. Okay, that's all. See everyone on Tuesday!