I’m a professor of comparative mythology at the University of Northern California and this blog has been a group effort on the part of my graduate class. Students have been taking turns putting up different characters and stories in an attempt to explicate the hero with a thousand faces. Here is today’s story…

A Clever Use of Madness

     In the early morning of the beginning, a younger brother awoke from strange dreams. He tried to close his eyes to fall back to sleep but the images from the dream illuminated the insides of his eyelids.  He grabbed his older brother’s shoulder and shook him awake
     “Last night I saw a god vomit this world into existence. Can you imagine that?”
     His older brother was groggy but clever and realized that their moment had come. His younger brother was no hunter and the others were beginning to grumble about his usefulness. He was simply strange. Slow at speech he couldn’t even defend himself against their complaints. The children liked his impersonations of chimpanzees but otherwise he was dead weight.
    “You had a holy vision,” the older brother said, “that was a vision of how things started. The question of where we came from has been answered. We are the flawed guts of the gods. We’re weak and sick but still we can be proud that we are from the gods. You’ve witnessed the beginning of everything.”
    For the first time in his life, the younger brother was close to confidence. He was close to doing something important.
    “Wake up!! Wake up!!” shouted his brother to all the bodies sleeping around them. “Wake up and hear the truth.”  The younger brother’s heart beat fast. How could he tell the others what he had witnessed? While he wondered his older brother spoke.
   “Last night I dreamt of a god. A being larger and smarter and faster than anyone who’s ever walked the land. I dreamt that this god vomited the world into existence. We are from the mouth of a god and when we eat the sacred mushroom that gives us visions and sickness we are recreating genesis. This is what the god said to me in my dream.”
    The younger brother said nothing at this lie. He was caught up in his brother’s recreation of the dream. He was a believer. 
   He would dream more.

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