Sunday, June 07, 2009

Our personal myths

A bit this weekend on personal myth, when I wasn't otherwise immobilized by a migraine. (Or possibly an alien gestating in my skull.)

Whether as a result of these abstract metaphors, or the high-flung hero fantasies of the past or present, it would be all too easy to come to the conclusion that myths are stories told about other people, which in any event have only a transient relation to our lives. Yet the inner voice that creates myth is also the internal narrator that you are listening to, possibly even right now, which serves as our primary interpretor of life experience.
This personal narration may take the form of the stories we tell ourselves, as we narrate or explain the facts presented to us, as we understand or experience them; they also take on a micro-cultural role in the stories that we tell to those around us, which may or may not mirror those internal myths. This point may seem relatively insignificant in comparison to the myths that have captured imaginations for thousands of years, and certainly much of it can hardly be called art. Yet these myths have a profound effect on our lives, they effect how we feel, they put us into a mental framework that determines the nature of the next personal myth we will weave; what is most important, they determine the decisions we make. Personal myths determine how we live our lives.
Many different myths can be woven from the same grouping of facts. Losing everything can be the beginning of a hero's or fool's journey, or it could be the beginning of a descent into the abyss. As we will see, even the descent into the abyss has transformational potentialities.

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