That is very well said Carmela. I remember reading a paper from Tolkien who said, paraphrasing him, that myth (he was talking about literature) does not blur the lines between reality and fantasy and that it is very much dependent upon reality in order to work.
He also said,
Man is degraded by scientism: "by the hypotheses (or dogmatic guesses) of scientific writers who classed Man not only as "an animal" but "only an animal." ~ Tolkien
Tolkien's ideas confirm the experience of those who recognize how myth and science work hand-in-hand. The idea that scientists tend to reduce humanity to concrete, material evidence is both true and understandable. The tools and aims of science are not suited to the imaginative arts and letters, except to expand the field of reference.
The essence of the human experience is captured when humans have first begun to paint the head of a beast on the body of a person. In the earliest cave paintings, the humans are not the center of attention. It is the animals who offer themselves as food to support human survival, and human who is immortalized in paint has the head of a bull. Today, in Catholic churches, the center is not the animals of the hunt but one special human who freely gives himself as the sacrificial offering (for consumption in the form of wheat wafers). The sacrificial "animal" is called "the lamb of God", and the ancestors of the Catholics were the Hebrews who sacrificed lambs to demonstrate a proper attitude toward the God creator, sustainer, disciplinarian.
It is not only science that would tend to reduce the human spirit to the level of an animal. By making a man-God the sacrifice, he was reduced, temporarily, to the level of an infant sheep to be slain and eaten by dependent, guilt-driven creatures. The religious and mythic idea of eating the "meat" of a spiritual diet is no longer just an ancient idea, but a modern one. It is the other side of the Catholic Church's adaptation of whatever "religion" it encounters. Church holy days combine Pagan and Jewish traditions with the life and sermons of Jesus and his followers. Now, the myth of the church is combined with science and commercialism in ways that are nothing short of ingenious.
Sacrifice is sold as pure love, and the image of the suffering Christ is the center of the most popular religion on the planet. It is all about making a commercial bargain with the power of the spirit. Trading the willing sacrifice of a worthy and innocent God-son for a condo in paradise is a cool deal, because all humans have to do is join the line of believers who accept this as their own personal plan for redemption. The gallows of Jesus is the ultimate image of the God-beast or spiritual animal.
Humans don't just bury their dead. They do so with ceremony and ritual and a fuss fit for a spiritual entity who is worthy of remembrance and the continued life of the spirit or mind.
The man, Jesus, took on the dramatic adult role of the sacrificed son of father Abraham by deliberately provoking the Romans and their Jewish political functionaries, possibly surviving for a number of days after an apparent asphyxiation and hasty burial, and eventually becoming the warrior spirit guide the Roman emperor needed to motivate his troops into battle and, for the church, a remarkably convenient advertisement for the sale of redemption from guilt and from fear of spiritually eternal suffering at the hands of a God who makes mass incarceration look mild and luxurious by comparison to what he has devised to punish sinners.
It is not Lord of the Rings. It is Lord of a social circle of millions of people who give money and time and energy and most of all, belief, to the keepers of the most successful and powerful myth of all time. God becomes human and plays the role of the sacrificial lamb long enough to be revivified and turned into a symbol of salvation.
As a child, I did not question any of this. Up to a certain age, Roman Catholic Joseph Campbell accepted this myth as real along with the folk tale of Santa Claus. Both of these are demonstrations of the parents' love for children. Generous parents and dependent children who must learn to be subordinate to powerful authority for the whole of their lives.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene