Myth, to the modern world, means ‘made-up’, ‘metaphorical’, and ‘unreal’.
Of course, real myths build very real worlds from their spell, as we can see around us: the legacy of diseased and metastisizing myths consuming the living world in their darkness of ‘one right way to live’, ‘humans separate from nature’, ‘man must conquer the world’.
These pathetic and flickering mythis even then don’t hold a candle to true sustaining mythology, mythology raised on reality therapy, a constant attention to the speech of the living world.
So I say ‘Mythic…’ because Myth reminds us of our true selves, of what Jeanette Armstrong calls ‘the land-dreaming capacity’, a core reality that defines and identifies our human natures. To question the Land, to let the Land dream us, means to experience constant revelation, a constant stream of insight and overwhelming awakening to the vast, colorful, and intensely powerful personalities that churn and vitalize the world.
Every story, every movie that we consume, produced by this culture, counters this capacity to allow the Land to dream us. Every tale of humans talking to each other, the soap opera of their petty desires, struggles, and insanities, while in the background trees wave and creak, air swirls and grumbles, birds scream, all protesting ‘don’t you see us…don’t you see us..’.
Which Myths will make our bodies? Perhaps like the story that science tells, of how our bodies remake themselves, down to the last cell, every seven years, perhaps we can remake ourselves with truly sustaining myths in a similar amount of time. A land-dreaming capacity healed by the insistance of allowing a living Land to dream us, rather than the dead one offered up by the culture magicians employed by this dying modern world.
How easily do we abandon Myths, to embrace new ones? Well, it takes a first step, an informed consent, an awakening of the perception that in every story this culture offers, the Land sits silently in the background, weeping: ‘you have abandoned us, you have forgotten us, please see us, please hear us again’.