Myth: 1. a traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief or natural phenomenon; 2. a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; 3. an unfounded or false notion; 4. a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence.
When I suggested the world needs a new myth, I was thinking of the first two meanings of the word. However, ‘Nietzsche’ countered “..We don’t need a new ‘myth’. We have science and philosophy, that’s all it takes.” ‘Joe Skeptic’ added “I think Nietzsche is right. Any new myth we create could eventually become as dangerously dogmatic as the old one.” I suspect these views are rooted in understanding ‘myth’ by the 3rd and 4th definitions. And with them I agree that science must inform any new myth, for our current day world view is founded in scientific logic and reason.
‘Lawrence’ challenged “Are we so uncreative that we can not make a new myth? We do not even have to make a new myth. We can use the existing structure of reality, as we know it, to create a new myth which we do not even have to create because it already exists.”
While Lawrence’s view is circuitous, he rather quickly gets to the point I intended. That is that our current scientific reality IS the basis for the story of humanity’s evolution beyond archaic pre-scientific religious notions. Yet science isn’t enough to reach those who disfavor analytical thought. That’s why a new ‘story’ is so necessary.
Consider the New Testament. It’s a story about a group of folks who held a world view that was different from the ruling class of the day. That world view is now outdated by scientific standards, but it is still useful for teaching us about what I called the Unifers’ compassionate concerns for each other.
Fast forward two thousand years. Why not a new story (or myth, call it what you want) about a modern day leader (someone like, say, Sam) who updates our world view and rallies around him a group of like minded thinkers (this website for instance) and, together, they articulate a fresh and imaginative view of a world living in harmony…? A new belief system that grows up about something or someone to unfold a new world view?
In order for this to evolve, those of us in Sam’s court will need to stop stinging each other like hornets within the same nest. In the next few days I hope to post a new topic about a second axis of opposing thought processes that reveals why, for example, Nietzche and Lawrence clashed. We must advance to understanding each other and appreciating the varied talents we each bring to the contemporary table of wisdom.