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Myths

The basic myths we live by – eg that we are in the darkness but striving for light – can strike us as the truest thing we can say, but how could we prove they are correct?  What would we appeal to if we wanted to show they were correct?  They’re the deepest thing we live by.  Related to myths are elevating rhetorical speech: “the arc of history bends towards justice” or “I will always love you.”  They’re true, but the person who doesn’t see it doesn’t need an argument – they need a conversion.

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5 thoughts on “Myths

  1. I think that many such myths are resolutions or desires disguised as factual statements. For example, it’s difficult to find any literal meaning in statements about cosmic justice, at least, any meaning that isn’t immediately falsified by observation. However, such statements can both express our desire to act justly and satisfy our need to find order in the universe. Those are both good things.

  2. I grasp your idea, but I think it is not helped by applying the term ‘myth’ in this case. The sensation or perception that our psyches are groping within a relative darkness which can be alleviated by finding one’s way towards ‘light’ is an intuition. It is active in that sense, and more importantly: individual. Myths do not have these qualities. While I agree that any good myth worth its salt had roots in truth in a dimly forgotten past origin, and can be made more ‘active’ in the sense that their allegorical meaning can be penetrated, the current widespread intuition that we are on the blind side of some perceptual threshold is a real experience for many, and it is growing.

      • I intuit so 🙂 But such intuitions are less conscious. Valuable and valid, I think, but living more in the unconscious. It is sort of an earmark of the times right now that individuals begin to look deeply within for new concepts and intuitions about everything, about reality. Especially moral intuitions. I believe a greater percentage have to do this — gradually.

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