Our unconscious awareness illuminates the spaces that surround us and we create meaningful patterns in what we see reflected back. When we share the patterns of meaning that we see, we find ourselves telling our stories. The comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell observed ‘A dream is a private myth; a myth is a public dream’. The stories that we tell give authentic voice to our dreams and in the social spaces we create, we share our personal myths in the stories that we tell each other.

Our personal myths seem to create an absolute reality; it seems that this is the only way that things can be. Like recurring dreams, we often experience personal myths as recurring phrases. ‘No-one recognises my genius’, ‘I am always let down by my colleagues’, ‘This technology will change the world’, ‘I always fall in love with the wrong sort of person’. Many of our myths have diverged quite far from reality and are actually confusing our real truths rather than clarifying them.

Because so many of our myths operate at an unconscious level, most of us are unaware of our own mythology. Instead we are bombarded by the manufactured mythology all around us. Some of these dysfunctional myths are told in the tedium of annual reports and marketing initiatives. Others appear in the bland broadcasts of corporate storytelling where manufactured myths are offered as synthetic substitutes for our authentic meaning and magic.

Much of corporate storytelling is transmission only; it has no real regard for the listener and creates no space to incorporate the story meaning in our own personal mythologies. Unless these public myths resonate and connect with private dreams, they will only be seen as attempts at manipulation. The lumpen prose of inauthentic public stories will be subverted and fragmented until they actually reflect our individual dreams and connect with our personal myths.

To truly connect with each other, we have to meaningfully connect with the fragmented nature of our own myths. We often develop our own personal mythology by copying fragments of current cultural myths in such a fashion as to develop and support our own beliefs. We are all mythical mimics and so we retell, remix and retweet until we see our own individual truths coalescing from the reflections of the stories that we are constantly immersed in.

The stories that have most meaning for us are the ones that we experience on a mythical level. We use much of our story telling culture, from fairy tales to mainstream blockbuster cinema, as a way of incorporating archetypal potential into our individual psyche. Our dreaming performs the same function at a private and personal level. No one can create our individual myths for us; we have to do that ourselves by truly living the excitement, intensity and drama of our own stories.