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  • Daniel Bernhard

A GOD IS A COLLECTIVE DREAM

Aktualisiert: 5. Apr.



As a perpetually horny 16-year-old, I went to Vienna once. First time travelling without my family, visiting a friend who started to study acting there and who got me a standing row ticket for the Ancient Greek tragedy „The Bacchae“ by Euripides at the famous Burgtheater. A play about what happens when the great god of wine and transformation, Dionysos, is not treated with due respect: Furious women take to the forests, lead by the entrancing presence of the god. Of course it was a hormonally activating, lush summer night full of promises and of course I checked out the infamous public toilets in front of the theater before and after the show, taking some deep, anxious breaths of sexual freedom – just by imagining that there could, potentially, be something going on there. But the real epiphany happened inside the theatre.


When I left the show, I had no idea what I had actually witnessed. My cheap spot was too far from the stage to see anyone’s face and I also didn’t really get all of the text, content-wise, but, boy, did I feel …it. Something seemed to pull me right from within my guts, trying to pull me further, further into this electrified summer night. An insane longing had been born, „the Pull of the Soul“ (Seelenziehen) I used to call it. It told me what I had already known: There must be more to life, so much more than I had known so far. It didn’t wait for me in the afterlife but right here, in this tragic, ridiculous, riveting human experience! The enigmatic god in his calm state of ecstasy had lured me onto his path, leading into my inner wilderness.


„There must be more to life“, this is what this „Pull of the Soul“ has been telling me ever since, whenever my surroundings and my inner world had become too dull to bear, too stuck, too sticky, my guts would ache like this. For example when only a handful of the theatre shows I produced in the following 20 years could live up to this initial pull, the wish to rip the fabric of consensus reality apart and unveil the most unspeakable truths in clear light of day. The wish to see people leave my shows with a similar sensation, a sense of remembrance of how alive one could be. Sometimes I could see it in people’s eyes or in my own eyes, when I looked into the mirror after a show. But, yeah, there is so much more to life – and so much more to myth than what „the classics“ could encompass and what most stages can endure. This is why I am now taking myths to other spaces, curious to see what happens when I make use of myth.


The liberating thing about myth, tale and tragedy is that the greatness they are telling about is not transcendental, from another world, but more „of this world“ than anything else. Each godx, hero, mythical figure stands for another archetypal quality of human existence. And each of them is living it without restraint. A mirror cabinet of radical humanness that not only helps us to „know ourselves“ by finding ourselves in all these stretched, compressed, distorted shapes but that also invites us into full embodiment, full incarnation, into full immersion with matter – and in this way, it shows a path to becoming an immortal, too.


How would that be possible? Don’t we have to abandon all things worldly and material, detach from this reality in order to become liberated? I don’t think so. This only ever ends up in spiritual egos (who of course claim to have killed their egos) and their lofty judgement of the poor, lowly mortals. Damnit! We are here because our souls chose this insane experience, to taste the suffering, the joy, the defeat and the glory, all of it, and to find consciousness right there. Most of us never fully incarnated to begin with. How we are supposed to transcend this life then?


The gods are showing it: Liberation through full Incarnation. Coming fully into being. Into matter. That’s where immortality awaits. Because we are already endless. Once we manage to find and welcome every god, every archetype, every microbe within us, we are ready to adopt the One Life that beats inside every being as our actual essence.


By embracing every facet of it, we become the world.


We become wind godxs, thunder godxs, earth godxs – the force of the elements is not separate from us. We become nymphs and satyrs – guardians of trees and springs. Instead of anxiously trying to get the hell out of this supposed prison, we birth ourselves even more deeply, back into Earth.


The pull of the soul in my guts knows it: the mythological self is ancient and it’s still alive within our cells. And it still remembers the times when Nature was Us.




There are currently two offerings from this body of work that I warmly invite you to:


One is my weekly online event HANG WITH THE GODxS! where we meet one Godx from the indo-european traditions each Sunday, an experiential space with storytelling, embodied journeys, sharing circles to help us make use of the myth. I will be resumed on April 17th.

The other offering, and one that I am really excited about, is starting in July, it’s called BROTHERHOOD OF GODS. An archetypal journey specifically for men, to connect to our inner power, guided by 7 Gods from different traditions and the wisdom of a circle of brothers. Starting online and culminating in an in-person retreat in wild nature at the end of August.

For more information on both, write me via daniellovepower@gmail.com

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