Sunday, June 08, 2008

The power of theta waves

I've said for years that near-sleep is an essential part of my creative process. God only knows how many hours I've spent drifting into sleep after being able to think up what to do next with a story, or a song, only to have it revealed to me all at once while drifting down and away. At that point you're left with the option of shaking yourself awake, and jotting it down before it is gone, or slipping off, and awaking with only the faint feeling that you lost something. Does it work that way for any of you?

Last night it was this paragraph, nearly full-formed. I woke up, hammered it out in less than a minute (since I already had it all in my mind), and then spent another hour or two trying to fall back asleep. Something else drifted up during the second attempt to go down, but I let it pass.

"Cutting to that heart directly and cleanly defining what myth is and is not will not suffice. The function of myth, even possibly its identity, changes based on the granularity of inquiry. In other words, a particular myth, received by an individual, may not serve the same function as that myth's effect upon a society. Myths are also "mirrors of the soul," which can only reveal to us what we already have in ourselves: so what is a message of love and compassion to one can be a distorting call to hatred and bigotry for another. This inquiry is further obfuscated by the fact that culture itself can only be understood by the myths it produces. Concurrently, it is increasingly difficult to speak meaningfully of "myth" without recognizing the function which runs through all contexts, all "level of granularity": myth is the meaning in representation. Words, sentences, and pictures are, on their own, no more a "myth" than the notes written on a staff are music, however all of these are the embodiment, that is, the representation, of experience. Concealed within that representation is all of the meaning that can be drawn from chaos. Myth is, in the final summation, truly a mirror image of our inner beings, for better or worse. We did not create our flesh or bone, nor did we choose the circumstances we were born into. The myths we create, on the other hand, are truly and completely human. Perhaps, at the same time, they are the closest we have to divinity, demonstrating our ability to build worlds from the clay we are given, to infuse it with our own meaning, and to chose what the very nature of the universe will be in our tale."

This from the growing passages of the Immanence of Myth.

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