The recollection of our grandparents telling us stories marks the memory of many people. The imaginative use of oral literature in different contexts can evoke situations similar to those in which sacred stories told by our ancestors reconnects the listener to the place of the soul. Fernando Diniz – one of the artists from ‘Engenho de Dentro’, a psychiatric hospital where he was nurtured by Nise da Silveira1 – referred to this realm with these words:

. . . the world of images I’ve moved to the world of images The soul has moved to something else Images take a person’s soul

(Diniz quoted in Silveira 1981: 13)

If used skillfully, oral stories may become passages through which people travel to perplexity and fascination. They are journeys to what Henri Corbin called mundus imaginalis: a world which lies on the ontological level above the world of senses and below the purely intelligible world, an intermediate world (Corbin 1964). The images awakened by these stories and the need to express them is the urge of the psyche to configure its visions into shapes. Such shapes transform individual drama into character: they are a live mind creating and being created by live stories. The same idea could be proposed in another way: stories are live beings which exist because of men and are shaped by them but, in turn, also shape the human being.