"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten." A favored quote of mine from G.K Chesterton, but moreover a statement that challenges reality and shakes the perception of possibility itself. Since the dawn of mankind, storytelling, in the form of fiction, fantasy, mythology, legend and rumor have circulated our senses, our thoughts and our hearts. Why, though, have we been eternally compelled to rearrange reality itself to a form that best fits our lives and situations? To take objective fact and matter and twist and distort and recast them to our will? The answer to fiction's existence lies not in a single reason nor deduction, but in a single source: our imaginative will. This will we possess provides our creative ability, which in turn permits us to manifest in both ourselves and others the gifts of inspiration, enjoyment, entertainment, and purpose but most of all being survival. The implementation of fiction into our pattern of life has saved more lives and pulled more out of the dark than any mere acceptance of the world's rigid nature ever has, as we choose to manipulate our subjective nature to shape the clay that we shake out of our subconscious. Though how exactly does storytelling, myth, and the general use of our imagination solidify the ideal world we choose to live in that then realizes the future we design?
We can all instantly recall a fictional story that has left a mark on our past without a second thought. A certain story that is in no way factual yet we remember with such sincerity, having woven morals and values into us at a young age. For example, an initial thought that one may have is that of the Odyssey, the Greek epic of Odysseus and his journey through countless enemies, lands, and experiences in order to finally make his way home to his wife. Or, we may consider more modern tales like that of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or our favorite superhero franchise. Yes, it is likely that we all may think of a different work of fiction and fantasy. Though, what they all seem to have in common is that they have resided in each of us enough to be an innate source of correlation, happiness, caution, fear, or perhaps bravery and ambition. Clearly enough, it is no coincidence that in all of our favorite stories, we look to find some version of ourselves, a means to not only admire and pity those who've been written into existence but form at the bare minimum a thread of connection and understanding. The more we come to understand the plight or triumph of our fiction, the more clearly we see ours, and perceive it less as a pang of reality and more as a mere interpretation of what we admire and idolize, a rough draft of our pain and success. Should we find this troubling, we may ask ourselves if this is a sign of mental weakness; is perceiving our survival and journey to the pinnacle of personal accomplishment unrealistic and immature if always measured by that of stories and myth?
Certainly not. What we are doing when we constantly compare our lives to what we find appealing and comprehensive in fiction is by no means an unhealthy escape from rigid nature, but moreover a heightened awareness of it if we also keep in mind our reality, and the real-life examples that our favored fantasies and fiction themselves draw inspiration from. For example, let us consider the ancient example of Alexander the Great, the respected and undefeated king of Macedon. From the beginning of his youth to times of conquest and expansion, it's been noted that the ruler would always carry with him a copy of the Iliad, a story written by Homer, to draw inspiration and guidance from throughout various instances and circumstances of his life. While Alexander was well aware of the book's contents being partially fictional, his focus was not on the fabrication of the lesson but on the reality of the characters' emotions, thought patterns, pain, failures, and exultation. Keeping these grandiose legends in mind, the young ruler himself would become legendary, not only in his time or nation but abroad the whole earth to this very day. By this lesson we can be sure of ourselves in a manner that shows us that even the most influential of our world's history held inspiration from both rigid human nature and the child of reality as well, that being the power of myth and fortified fantasy.
While our imaginative will is undoubtedly then a useful tool for measuring our capabilities in the face of adversity both mentally and physically, is it enough to only perceive our environment this way, disregarding the limitations and cold chains of administration felt by those who have yet to recognize the sovereignty that comes with comparing their daily stresses to that of doors whose locks can certainly be broken instead of desperate for a key out of the madness? To have such a revelation could not be more integral to one's growth in the realm of proliferation, which is the exact reason so many stories are meant to be be told! When we share a tale that not only entertains us, but makes us feel connected and synchronous to that of our association and world, the story then becomes something so much more than illusory. The fiction and fantasy we then watch, read and discuss with others become building blocks to our heart, and nourishment to our soul. Our admiration for the unreal then becomes the catalyst to invent what will become real, and bring about works that will sympathize with our herculean goals and ideas. In this regard our lives become fulfilling, not because of the lack of reality in our goals and references but because of the truth they inspire in all of us to bring unbelievable ideas to life, whether it is the creation of a pyramid in ancient times or an individual to other planets in modernity. We have constantly outmatched the previously believed position of reality time and time again, so what is one more?
The goal in the existence of myth, fiction and fantasy is not to make claim or have ownership over the nature of it, but rather to simply display every single virtue the gift that is our brain permits us, and exert that divine prowess over the entire span of our life. Like the Egyptians of millenniums past, we do not make it a necessity to put a name or signature on works of art that inspire us to use what was given, but rather maintain an absolute trust in what we conjure from the ether into our very heart. We must live a certain way, and this way entails using our imaginative will to read and see what is unreal with passion and possibility, and to create from what was once raw and mundane into something monumental and stimulating. Every dance we have with the mythology of our life is one that is potentially the last, the most absolute in what we can feel and incite within our organic frame to alter what is needed to reach the summit of purpose. That being said, let us not overlook the world with a shadow of limitation and constraint in our eyes, but instead become the authors of what will manifest freedom and possibility.