Dwarves live in our stories according to the mythological background of every story.
Walt Disney and his highly technical industry made a fortune from making dwarves into little old men who made readers happy. Snow White, according to the Disney empire was an abandoned and, beautiful girl. She was found unconscious deep in the forest. The seven little men on their way back from digging their mine picked her up and took her to their home. They very significantly cured her affliction and slowly nursed her back to health. We, as children, loved those little old men and we wished she could have married them all. Thank goodness we then didn’t understand the purpose of marriage.
Mythological evidence solves our more recent worries. We have to consult the very meaning of Mythology. Mythology is Greek for “The study (ology) of “Myth” (Truth). Australian commentators use the word Myth to mean a lie or a misbelief. It’s a pity. Mythology would never have existed without Truth. But a myth is not a literal truth.
Religion on the other hand, is a code of behaviour and encases what you are permitted to believe. Mythology is older, has nether boundaries nor constraints.
Mythology lives on the evolution of metaphor. Anyone who believes in the literal truth of a story or religion is more than half way to needing medical attention . There are many easy examples. For example, In the Middle Ages, there existed many Christianity-based paintings. depicting clouds in the sky and, protruding through the clouds a foot. The foot is scared by a nail hole. This was meant to explain that Jesus lived in the Heavens up above the Earth. People believed in such depictions and became not only dedicated star-gazers, but cloud watchers as well. The error lies in believing in a literal truth of the Ascension of Jesus. The truth will lie within the metaphor, meaning that Jesus translated into a “different state” of being.
But back to the dwarves again. The Disney story of our abandoned Snow White has it that she was found by the seven little men
In blissful ignorance, the cartoon makers stumbled over the truth of the “Dwarf-entity”. In Mythology, the dwarves are the healers. They live on the outside of trees and in the clay of the Earth. Apparently, they are still healing and this may explain the outbreak of “Tree Huggers” in Australia?
Many storytellers tell of the stages of life. I am assured that Birth is quite unpleasant. The world is dry, cold and noisy. The first thing you get is a smack. But you live out the first handful of years crawling around among a forest of elongated human legs, stretching ever upwards; get forced to eat ghastly stuff, get sung to with tuneless voices, hear endless repetitions of the word No, and get stuffed into clothes that smell soapy. It’s a struggle to survive intact. School is marginally better, but eventually you succeed, or miraculously, you reach the age when that part of life is over. You then take on the challenges of focussed study, the beginning of a first career. You graduate, marry, become a parent and then you reluctantly confront a phase that cannot be ignored. It comes like a huge steam-roller though a fog of self-doubt. You become enveloped and smothered by the dreaded “mid-life crisis”. All becomes black, even though you smile at loved ones who have become utter strangers all around you.
But sanity dawns. You take up pottery. Your first lesson is mystically marvellous and it improves from then on. You explain to your friends how it was that the moment you pushed your hands into the clay you felt a flush of bliss and a love for life. You don’t want anything to do with civilised gloves. You just want to bury your hands in the clay and play with it. You convince yourself you are going to make something useful. What you did was to hand yourself over to the dwarves. They become bonded to you in the clay. Unconsciously, you discover the truth in the metaphor and for the rest of your storytelling life, you will want to get handfuls of your story, feel it squeezing between your fingers and present that gift of life to your listeners.
Your story might sound un-cool for kids, but for anyone over forty, you will tell them the joy of truth. If you need to experience the dwarves, stop using plastic. Plastics come from oil. Oil is the end product of dead trees, buried over millions of years. Dwarves die in oil, they can only live on living trees. But probably the most pleasant physical experience of the dwarves is to muck about with clay.
Next week: The dangers of dealing with Giants.