Posted by: KabeCicero | September 16, 2009

The Quest For A New Myth

In the Mythoself(TM) model, as I see it,  a primary  area of focus and interest is on the stories we tell ourselves and others about ourselves, the world and others. These stories can be called the myths that we are living into and out of…a sort of matrix container that shape our perception and experiences in the world.  There are many different kinds of myths and I’ve seen a multitude of categories presented from different sources. These categories are naturally arbitrary, like most language seem to be, especially when you have access to a multitude of perspectives. Yet some examples would be, for instance, our identity myths – who we are. Then there’s the functional myths – they teach us how things are done and embed the structures of practical applications. And we also have our cosmological myths which is the stories we tell about the universe, the world at large and who we are in relation to it.

Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 31, 1987) is the grand daddy of comparative mythology and religion, devoting his life to following his bliss by pursuing that work and teaching others about it. Immersed in the writings of ancient mythologies and religions he noticed a common pattern of movement and transformation that was repeating itself throughout his sources and at the same time describing something elemental to human nature. This pattern, known today simply as “The Heroes Journey”, is thoroughly presented in his seminal masterpiece – The Hero With A Thousand Faces.

In his books, Joseph Campbell describes how most mythologies reserves love and peace for the in-group, the people who belong and identify with the group, while aggression and violence was directed to anything or (mostly) anyone outside of it. We can still see this manifesting all over the world today…and Campbell says that probably one of the greatest challenges and quests of our time is to find a new myth. As I ponder the global challenges facing us today, his words ring true in my head; there isn’t really a in-group or out-group on this planet any more. We’re all facing the same predicaments. That simple realization should, in my mind, be enough for everyone to start thinking bigger. Start considering the long-term impacts of our day-to-day lives and what we can do to transform the way we go about our business so that things will continue to work for us in the future.  And I realize for a lot of people, it won’t. Some don’t have the interest. Some just doesn’t care. For some, there are more important things to be doing. Others simply don’t have the cognitive capacity.  So for the time being there is actually an in-group that counts. The group that chooses for life. All of it. No Holds Barred.

So, I suggest we start with a common cosmological myth – a story that provides us, as a species, with context, meaning and direction. A story that teaches us that we are nature incarnate – that points us to the transcendent experience dormant in the very essence of our being – in the world. Informing us about the legacy we have co-created and inherited – and what we want to pass on…carrying the world on our shoulders through this passage of transformation that awaits…as children of the earth…a Tribe of Tellus.


Responses

  1. Hi,

    I like the formation of a cosmological mytho that pulls humanity in a direction that brings more possibility and bias towards a possible world. In addition to the cosmological myth what are your reflections to the personal and functional myths that contribute or are supportive of the cosmo myths.

    It is a time where a robust and deeply meaningful story is warranted. It’s always been warranted and it becomes another moment in history to move this forward.

    T

  2. Hello,

    This piece is both simple and yet very powerful in what it points as possible for us … keep up the writing!

    • Thank you Charlie.


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