“Creation Mythology” - Article and Interview with Author Ray Grigg
by Willi Paul, NewMythologist.com
What is the Bible these days? How is this text influencing the super-texting / skateboarding youth of ours?
Myths, like those in the Bible, shape the foundational ways in which we think and experience, shaping our sense of reality so fundamentally that we find it extremely difficult to separate sufficiently from these myths to be objective or to find an alternative model for understanding the world in which we live — as Marshall McLuhan playfully noted, we can be certain that water was never discovered by fish. Reality is not a fact; it is an interpretation of sensory information. Our fundamental values and attitudes about existence, meaning and behaviour are inculcated by the deepest assumptions that our culture imposes upon us, and these assumptions that are rarely explicitly described because we have to escape the culture to notice them.
Prior to the super-texting or skateboarding activities of youth, from the moment they began breathing as infants, their culture was imparting mythological meaning to them. They learn this by osmosis. Christmas, Easter and Halloween all carry mythological messages. Youth learns the particular values inherent in the culture in which they are submerged: their sense of individuality; their loyalty to parents, family and the larger community; their notions about death and afterlife; their society's expectations of them; their sense of justice and fairness; their strategies for resolving conflict; their ethical standards regarding stealing, sharing, giving, conflict resolution; their sense of time; their relationship to nature. This is the “water” in which these youth are immersed.
Youth may rebel against some of these forces when they are attempting to define themselves, just as a two-year-old learns that he or she is a separate individual from its parents. Separating from a culture is an adult challenge that requires a confrontation with the sense of reality created by mythology.
The Bible is essential to the mythology of Christian cultures, but other stories and literature form the basis of thought in other cultures. The Qur'an,the Gita, the Tao Te Ching, the Analects of Confucius, the Dharma of Buddha, the dreamtime of Aborigines, for example, all arise from different mythologies and shape the experience of reality in different ways.
Technology is homogenizing this process somewhat through globalization. But the super-texting and skateboarding youth of Japan and America will still be very different, particularly as they mature and the culture's hold on them deepens.
Joseph Campbell formulated what became his most quoted dictum, "Follow your bliss" in the decade before his death. Join this conversation to explore this idea and share stories.
1 post • Page 1 of 1