Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Missing Modern Myths

From my understanding and interpretation of the great mythologist Joseph Campbell, with the death of the ritual to thrust the young human into society, this soul never gains part into the tribe. Our ancestors created myths to transcend the mundane, but to also spirit its members into the group of the societal whole.


Joseph Campbell - The First Storytellers (3 of 6)

R-CANE-1 | MySpace Video


Mormons maintain these rituals and the society of the Mormon youth is strong. Many other religions are beginning to lose this society center from their intrinsic being, and no sense of development as part of the group exists there. This production creates a member without regard to the other humans because the other humans are simply other creatures. They become competitors that should be destroyed. They cease to represent fellow deities pursuing happiness inside of the societal network.

These myths, however, must progress. They must evolve to capture the world of the creatures, machines and culture that they exist to support. Just as it doesn't make sense for 17th century Native American man to model his life after the myths of the Greek Gods, or of the Norse God Odin, it makes less and less sense with the passing of time and the development of new machines and environments for a man of this 20th century to model his life after the christian religious myths of the 17th, 18th or even the 19th century just gone by.

New myths are needed for new times. New rituals, myths and rites are needed to model the pathways of ourselves and our children through the new modern trials of corporations, private schools, video games, evolving family structures and the increasingly complex and interconnectedness of the societies living together here on planet earth.

As Mr. Joseph Campbell mentioned in his interview with Bill Moyer in "The Storytellers", new myths must be created, and it is the artists that will create them. Its the painters, musicians, poets, writers and playwrights. It will also be the new media artists of our time that begin to shape the myths we will depend for our future. Video Game developers, Movie writers, social media sites and the unknown media artist forms still to come.

The evidence of the loss and failure to evolve and adapt of such rituals exists in the pages of the newspapers. As creatures desiring to transcend the mundane and create a world with mutual respect and peace, we must practice, share and sponsor art so that the missing myths of our time have the fertile soil to germinate, sprout and flourish to save our dying cultures.

But learning to paint and play the piano will not be enough. We must learn to appreciate the vastly varied art forms that surround us, and resonate through the cultural fringe lines separating the increasingly disparate cultural groups even within our own smaller spheres of towns, neighborhoods, family clans, cities, states, countries and the entire world. The cultures of our past must be understood to understand the underpinnings of the new myths that have yet to arise, and the understanding and love of art in all its forms must be developed further and in broader scopes for there to be any hope of the intrinsically essential new myths to overcome the outdated myths of the past.

The new myths will have to overcome so many obstacles to exist. Many of the old myths embraced the supernatural to model the transcendental to the jeopardy of the peace between the followers and adopters of the competing world mythologies such as Christianity and Islam. Many of the old myths accepted by billions of people have claimed unquestioning superiority and unchanging righteousness making the required evolutions and germinations of myth nearly impossibly challenging to realize.

The new myths will have to take forms in ways that find new ways to transcend the mundane without invoking deity. Or explicitly stating the metaphorical state of deity rather than the metaphysical. Can humanity embrace a myth that doesn't claim the metaphysical and supernatural? Can humans model their lives into transcendence using heroes and elements from the mundane?

Perhaps this is the reason why our myths are so out of date.

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