Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is Myth Dead?

Image by P. Emerson Williams

An excerpt from the upcoming Immanence of Myth anthology:
It may seem that the word “myth” has lost its meaning to us as a psychological or spiritual term. No, the situation is more drastic than that. Myth has become the opposite of fact, something that is generally accepted but untrue; “it is a myth that reading by flashlight ruins your eyesight.” The popular television show on the Discovery Channel, Myth Busters, uses this definition, attempting to disprove “myths” with something vaguely resembling science. The myths of antiquity are looked upon as quaint stories, despite the fact that they have shaped our cultural history. It is neatly overlooked that myths remain at the center of the bloody stage of modern religious, national, economic or ideological dynamics, not to mention our personal and everyday lives.
The fact that the word “myth” has become synonymous with untruth belies an underlying shift in the Western epistemological focus over the past several thousand years. This is clearly a sweeping generalization, and in these we are also inventing a myth, but bear with me. We have become, in this juncture of time and culture, a great deal more concerned with verifiable facts and less concerned with existential experiences which have little relation to fact. This progression ties into the Enlightenment focus on rationality and the scientific method, but perhaps more pervasively, we can see this following from the needs of industrialization.
This shift, though not concocted as some conspiratorial scheme, does serve a purpose. As we will see, fundamental business principles rely on actions that are easy to reproduce, and which produce similar (if not identical) results with each repetition. This cultural homogeneity promotes an economy of scale that is absolutely necessary for so-called big business. Similarly, the myths of a culture must ultimately serve the best interest of industry. The evolution of such co-related myths is often symbiotic, for instance, it is through the spread of industry as the backbone of a civilization that myths which better serve it spread. These in turn effect the further growth and spread of an industrialized infrastructure.
(Read full article on Weaponized)

Pre-order a copy of The Immanence of Myth, published by Weaponized in July 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...