The Strength of Mythological Truth

Kenton - Santa Cruz, California
Entered on February 15, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Some stories and tales become a part of our culture and are passed on from generation to generation, like the founding of the country, patriotic bravery, and lives of service, integrity, and belief. I believe these sorts of stories carry some sort of cultural truism that is being taught, and such is the stuff of our cultural mythology, where a myth is not a falsehood, but a flexible story that carries a deeply embedded truth to which the culture as a whole responds. So I believe in the strength of mythological truth.

I believe that examining the world around us through a mythological lens provides me with a powerful tool that can reveal the underlying driving forces in events and people, if I take the time to listen and think about things carefully.

For example, I believe we have witnessed the progressive failure of education over the past 35 years because of a short sighted emphasis on what people might remember when taking a test, to prove educational competence, and therefore the success of their educational process, because of economic motivations over all else. At the same time I believe education has ignored to teach people functional, critical thinking skills which has deprived literally millions of being able to understand fact from opinion, separate dogma from personal values, identify the bias of information sources, cast an informed ballot, and a functional awareness of how to continue to learn apart from any school or social structure. Because of this, I believe I have watched confusion and fear on the part of the electorate, cowardice on the part of journalists, and greed for power and money on the part of politicians and capitalists.

And while I believe the chance of humans destroying themselves through the destruction of our own habitat is very real, and greater than we actually know, I also believe the chances of our creativity being successfully applied to the really big issues, and to human survival itself are much greater than we can ever know. For I believe one of the truths that mythological stories continually teach, is that humans are creative.

In my life, I have always been the least creative and most vulnerable to error when I have been the least aware of my own story which both blinds me to myself, and pretends sophistication. Mythic stories, by contrast, are unassumingly honest and can tell of

brilliant creativity, often so unexpected that the narrator is forced to make up an explanation of divine intervention just to account for a solution to an intractable problem.

I believe that mythological truth will out. Like trying to compress a liquid, it will find a way to surface, and will re-emerge through new stories, new heroes and heroines. And I believe I am hearing people tell different stories now, ones which contain truths which will teach us, once again, who we really are.