Reveals myth and “otherness” as keys to restoring self, nature, and society
Having survived disabling polio as an infant, Daniel Deardorff knows well the oppressions of outsiderhood and “otherness.” He guides readers on an initiatory journey through ancient myths, wisdom literature, and personal revelation to discover our own true identity and the wisdom of the “other” within.
There is an “other” that lives within each of us, an exiled part that carries wisdom needed for ourselves and the culture at large. Having survived disabling polio as an infant, Daniel Deardorff knows the oppressions of exclusion and outsiderhood. He guides readers on an initiatory journey through ancient myth, literature, and personal revelation to discover our own true identity.
These 10,000-year-old stories contain sacred medicine with insights that release imagination and restore wholeness amid trauma, exile, climate chaos, disability, illness, death, and grief. Illustrating how archetypal figures of the Other--the Trickster, Daimon, Not-I, etc.--hold paradox, Deardorff teaches us to reframe disparities of self/other, civilization/ wilderness, form/deformity and transform the experience of being outcast. Synthesizing lessons from shamanic practice, quantum physics, alchemy, social justice, and his own lived experience, Deardorff affirms the disruptive and transgressive forces that break through dogma, conventionality, and prejudice. He discloses blessings of outsiderhood and gifts to culture by those who are marginalized. Through mythmaking (mythopoesis), the experience of Otherness--cultural, racial, religious, sexual, physiognomic--becomes one of empowerment, a catalyst for human liberation.
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