Why Myth Matters

Myth is not the wisdom of gods, and when it speaks of gods and goddesses they are not of a transcendent kind but rather a representation of the exemplary in that each stands for something, it can be seen as a representation, a humanised form of those forces that shape us. So when a Greek hero falls in love it is Aphrodite that is in him that takes him over. To dismiss myth as untruth is to entirely miss the point.

Myth is useful because it gives us a way as individual, community and culture of perceiving matters that are usually hidden. It offers a way to perceive matters that shape our lives for good or ill. To have the feeling that there are unknown forces that shape our lives as individuals or collectives is to not know the myths and archetypes that we live by. That is why myth matters. It helps us get a grasp of things so that we can shape, so that we can move beyond feeling like a cork on a turbulent sea.

Myths matter because they work on many levels. They work at an intra-personal and interpersonal level, at the level of community and tribe, and at the level of culture. They address matters psychological, sociological, matters economic and political, even matters cosmic. They are multivalent.

Some mythologies explain how culture, for example, Western Culture, comes into being. Unlike the centralizing linear logic of the Greco-Roman world, the myths of countries like Ireland, India, Finland offer a world view that embodies ‘decentralised thinking’, offer an idea of a sacred centre built on a notion of political differentiation and cultural unity, provided by a shared common tradition of stories.

What myth can give is perceptual skills to understand yourself and how you fit or not to the culture’s dominant mythologies, skills to shape and reshape a community or a culture. It is possible to be culturally fit which means a culture fit for the world we live by, communities fit for the cultures they live in and individual’s fit for the communities they live in. When all are aligned, it is a wonderful thing. When not ….!

The Mythic Method is about this journey to fitness. Bardic wisdom is the enabler. The result is that we become culturally smarter and faster. Which means increasing the probability of achieving a world of ‘sustainable prosperity’.

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