Abundance Fantasies: Fish Story

In our series on Abundance Fantasies we explore how a deeply rooted desire for abundance manifests itself in our vocabulary, our myths and legends, and our cultural artefacts. The question is how we can activate these cultural pathways to initiate the desire to become smaller, because when we become smaller we shrink into abundance. In this post we discuss fish stories.

Fish stories are called fish stories because they relate to the tendency of anglers to exaggerate the size of their catch: “That fish was so big, why I tell ya’, it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in!” In most cases the listener is aware that the claim made in such stories is a little, or a lot, besides the truth. Most often such conversations turn into a friendly argument about the truth of the claim. But truth is besides the point here. What a fish story really expresses is a deeply rooted desire for abundance, or its fictive possibility. We all want to catch the big fish, or at least imagine it’s out there. In fish stories we pull ourselves from the perilous swamp of life and dream of heroic feats of control and ability to provide for ourselves and others, much Like Baron von Münchausen did. Unfortunately in reality stories about catching enormous fish are further from the truth than ever. Not only is there much less fish in the ocean because of overfishing but global warming causes the fish to get smaller. Unless we shrink the human species to 50cm: in that case almost every caught fish will be a fish worth bragging about and we’ll all be heroic fishermen.

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