25 November 2011

The Future of Myth

When I remember to blog, I usually blog about mythology. What is mythology but stories about how mankind has dealt with the big picture questions - Who am I? How did I get here? Why am I here? Where am I going?

Science insists that we crawled from primordial ooze. Various mythologies, however, give us beautiful accounts of the creation of man by gods and goddesses - all of which sound way better than evolving from bog bacteria. But those creation stories and our faith in them can seem very foolish in the face of the Almighty Scientific Fact.

What place, then, will mythology have in the future? Will there be room for stories about the big questions of humanity as anything other than something at which people far more educated in facts can point and laugh for our primitive beliefs and thought processes?

Will there be new gods and goddesses? New pantheons? New heroic sagas? Or are we at a place now where there is nothing new, only old stories and old gods that get recycled and retold for each new generation?

If that's the fate of our myths, our gods, then perhaps the new myths will be metaphors that turn the old gods new again. We will find new heroes who echo Hercules and Beowulf from a perspective we can't yet see. I hope the old stories will always be useful, will always teach us that there are things more powerful than mere facts. And I hope that our new myths reflect a better world.

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