Story Time

The legend of Scherazade tells us that each night the sultan would marry a new wife, bed her and in the morning have her executed. This bizarre story may in fact be a powerful metaphor. The Sultan's fear of betrayal shows him to be at a level of behavior where he has not yet learned to cope with an unreliable mother with whom he is angry, and whom he distrusts. So this leads him to project his distrust and anger onto all women, and have his brides killed. That way they can never betray him - but alas he can never become a father. That's surely a metaphor for his creativity. So he's stuck in an infantile narcissistic pattern of destruction. What changes him is Scherazade's story-telling. Listening to her he learns to trust that she will be there the next night, with more stories. He listens to her. He hears the tales and empathizes with the characters, and so he grows his ability for compassion and, ultimately, love. Trust, empathy, love. How do you grow these qualities? By listening to others; by reading stories that open the heart; by paying attention.