King Midas & The Leper Greece 057


Listen to the Story

School of Storytelling Programs

Fellowship & Apprenticeship programs. Both online and onsite. Six areas of concentration:

1 Traditional Folkloric Storytelling

2 Interpretive Cultural Storytelling

3 Healing Storytelling

4 Sacred Storytelling

5 Narrative Arts Storytelling

6 Telling Your Personal Stories

Healing has many aspects, and these two stories reveal an important aspect of healing through storytelling.  “King Midas and The Leper” is a folkloric improvisation on the ancient literary character whose touch turned everything into gold. “The Mustard Seed” is a straightforward teaching anecdote from Buddhist tradition. Both tales can be used on any of the six “storytelling pathways”, but today I would like to focus on the pathway of Healing Stories.

The contrast between King Midas and the Mother whose daughter died is sharp and clear.  His self-centeredness has led him into isolation and grief.  She, in contrast, has been open to others, caring, and generous.  And yet she, too, is isolated and grief-stricken.  Both King and Mother occupy the two ends of the human spectrum, a place where we all find ourselves.  Somewhere between pure self-centeredness and pure self-giving.

But it makes no difference where ware are on that spectrum.  Our vice or our virtue do not matter.  We all suffer in our humanity.  However, both these tales show us the way towards healing.  For King Midas it is the encounter with the beggar in his rose garden.  For the Woman, it is in listening to each householder tell their tale as she wanders from door to door all the day long.

These are two stories than can open the door to healing for both the teller and the listener.  That is why I have listed them as two of ten powerful healing stories on my website.  Listen to them, and to the other eight tales as well.  Let their images evoke feelings deep within. This is the third “Storytelling Pathway” — Healing Stories.

Please share your response to the story of King Midas and the Leper with me. As the teller, I wonder how the story was heard… by You. Thanks!