Saturday, December 03, 2005

Myths, what are they good for?

While science does an excellent job in explaining the natural world, it doesn't explain the moral world or the world of "human existence". The old mythologies, in addition to explaining how the world got here, tried explaining, among other things, the origin of good and evil and the purpose of man in this world. In other words, besides explaining how the world works, it also explained why the world is the way it is, and how we ought to behave in the world. Clearly science comes up short in this department. In my opinion we need a companion to science in order to explain the moral world (philosophy/religion). It is an emotional human need that will not die.

In reality, myths have never really gone away, they just evolved into what we call religion or philosophy (for the non believers). The question is for a person like myself who doesn't believe in the religious notion of god, is it possible reinterpret the myths of old in a modern light or do I need to create a personal myth/philosophy to satisfy my existential needs? Perhaps there are existing philosophies that would satisfy me? Is it even possible to find or create a modern mythology that I will find satisfying? Is it a futile mission? These are some of the questions I want to explore in this blog


Anonymous smoo said...

I must refer you to The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. The book is right on topic.
The hero's journey reflects the stages of our lives that one must pass through. We 'die' to our previous existance when we move to the next level. Mythology served as a guidepost for man to understand his journey and ease his passage.
Unfortunately, mythology is not taught from that perspective and the lessons that could have been gleaned must be sought elsewhere as we wander aimlessly through this world.

2:23 PM  
Blogger B. Spinoza said...

thanks smoo. I will look into it and let you know what I think

4:48 PM  
Anonymous smoo said...

oops, power of myth is by Bill Moyers who interviews Joseph Campbell. Sorry if I caused any confusion.

3:04 PM  

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