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New Traditions and Indigenous Mythology

A Conversation with Dr. Jeff Hart and Willi Paul, Presented by Media

New Traditions and Indigenous Mythology” – A Conversation with Dr. Jeff Hart and Willi Paul[ 1 ] We need new symbols now, called artifacts in the Myth Lab. New symbols as catalysts of change – esp for children. Sharing by humans is connected to a deep care for Nature. Nature shares with us and we practice with each other.

[ 2 ] The 5 levels in the Sequence are a social scaffold, supporting other integrations and empowerment.

[ 3 ] Questions: Can new traditions cross national and religious boundaries in this bloody and fractious time?

Dr. Hart: Willi, Thank for this nice compilation of thoughts. I have continually read and listened to passages from videos of Jung and from his writings, where he has referred to nature, myths, and symbols – related to the stages of life, consciousness and unconsciousness.

My recent research has been looking at parallels between the thoughts of Jung and the thoughts of indigenous tribal people. Much has come from my readings, and much from my 20+ years of face-to-face relationships with North American Tribal people (First Nations, Isanti Sioux, Winnebago Hochunk, Umonhon, etc.).

Particularly my Santee and Omaha Tribal friends have shared much about their traditions, their symbols, their beliefs regarding spirit world, nature and mother earth, sun & moon, and much more. One of my significant findings has been their reference to “All my relatives” (translated from Umonhon /Omaha and Isanti Sioux/Santee languages). When they pray for all people, particularly the children, they pray “seven (7) generations in advance” (into the future, but a different view of what future is), and they pray to All My Relatives – all those who have come before me, which translates very near to Jung’s “collective unconscious”.

My closest tribal friends often talk about finding time to “go upon the hill”, to keep in touch with all living things & nature, and spirit world, which they would equate to the unconscious and collective unconscious. Considering all these thoughts in this PlanetShifter magazine are similar to why indigenous tribal people “go upon the hill”.

So, all these things that have been mentioned in this “Examining the Sharing Vision in the Transition Movement” – reminded me of my thoughts that I have shared above. If we are going to follow in this Transition Movement, we need to also look to and include all indigenous people. There are many “secrets of the elders” – They know. Thanks for sharing Willli!

Willi: Hi Jeff – Thank you for your insights. Where is this “Hill” in Silicon Valley, inside my iPhone, in my heart? I wonder what it will take to start this walk?

Dr. Hart: Willi, I hear what you are saying.

Traditionally, “going up on the hill” would mean an individual would find a remote hill, mountain, or other high place, out where one would be in touch with nature, without any external material world interference. They would find a place to sit, for 3 days and nights, with very little food or drink, by themselves, allowing their mind to be open to the spirits, listening and cleansing their minds, getting back in touch with who they are inside, where they come from, allowing all their relatives who have come before to speak from spirit world and remind them of life and all that is good. There you go.

Willi: Do you think this meditation could spawn new myths?

Dr. Hart: Good question. New myths to some. Rediscovery of forgotten myths to others.
Renewing the myths that have always been known to elder indigenous people, indigenous cultures and archaic man – Some of which are rapidly disappearing due to the overpowering physical, material (corporate), and scientific world.

(Reference: Jung’s “Modern Man In Search Of A Soul”, and “The Undiscovered Self”.)

Willi: It sounds like you are saying, in fact, that there are no new myths on Earth? Tell me what you see here:

My 10 elements for producing new myths:

  1. Para-normal
  2. Universal struggle / message
  3. Journey, Initiation, Hero / Community
  4. Symbols
  5. Alchemy
  6. Nature is Sacred
  7. Threat of apocalypse
  8. Digital – Non-Digital Collision
  9. Future-based
  10. Permaculture and Transition

Do the indigenous people have the same understanding and utility of archetypes as I do?

(See: “Permaculture, Carl Jung and the New Archetypes” (+ PDF) by Willi Paul, New Global Mythology Group @ Depth Psychology Alliance,

Dr. Hart: Briefly, regarding the myths question, I agree with what you have written and it makes sense given the current “state of the world/ state of modern man.”

“Time”, the existence of it in the physical & collective consciousness, does not exist as we, in the physical, know it. One has to decide if they believe this, or not, or if they simply know this. Your concentric circles, with collective consciousness/unconsciousness, is very interesting. I am still thinking about this. I’ll have to get back to you later.

I’m not sure I would say I found a “new” myth. I perhaps may have found an old myth with a new name and a story told in another way, sort of a theme and variations concept. Many themes are new to most individuals in the physical world – they are being discovered, or more accurately, rediscovered as a new interpretation of a myth that has always been in the unconscious (or spirit world). In the unconscious, the other side, or spirit world, past/present/future do not exist separately – it just all is.

Many indigenous Tribal people talk about animal spirits. Many individual names may have archetypal reference or attachment. I have a name that was given to me which primarily references an eagle and its characteristics – somewhat archetypal.

Jeff Hart presenting Diverse Indigenous PeopleI think your work and research with symbols and symbolism is extremely important, just as symbols, instruments (the feather, sage, etc.) and rituals are important to indigenous tribal people. Finally, I have more of a difficulty now, than I did in my younger years, identifying something as old or new. Just as I believe there is really no such thing as a good or bad experience – it’s just an experience from which we need to learn something. Symbols and rituals may appear (physically) different but have similar meaning, depending on the individual, the culture, a point in time, an environment, or whatever. And I believe, as my tribal elder friends have told me, some of those (older) symbols and beliefs have been forgotten. A few say they are not forgotten, they are still there – they may appear to us differently, or it could be that we can’t see them because our eyes have been clouded by (the white man) the other beliefs and cultures that have been forced upon us.

So, perhaps we do need to go upon the hill, just far enough above the clouds that are blocking our sight, our minds, and find that which appears to be new, which is old and was found again – that which has always been there, waiting for us as individuals to find again, when we are ready.

I think what you are doing with archetypes, myths and symbols in on the right track to helping people rediscover that which has always been there for anyone to see and know.
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Published online at: on Fri, 10/02/2015

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