Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Myth Brings Meaning

Myth is known by anthropologists to bring meaning to a certain culture. And meaning is "made" or created by mythologizing history.

This morning started my thinking on myth-making. As my husband and I were discussing my grandfather and his present physical needs, I recognized that human beings love to "romanticize" their history. This is why many times we like to reminisce over the "younger years". I have been told that many mothers would not choose to have any more children, if they really remembered the reality of labor. Somehow our brains release a relaxing chemical that promotes "memory loss". And sometimes there is actual medication to further that memory loss!

Myths make for stories that we tell our children and hold meaning of ideals that help further our goals. This is what I think has happened in our culture wars.

The real history we may never really know, but scholars do have some knowledge about that "real history", as they struggle to piece it together. But, those that have agendas that must be won, mythologize history to suit their purposes. The Church has always done this, as this is what theology is about.

Our culture wars are about where science and tradition intersect, disconnect, or compliment. One political philosopher has a two culture system or way of understanding the real and the ideal. The ideal is for the common person, who must have myth to soothe their situations in life. But, the real history is for "men' who have cut their teeth on the hard discipline of discovery.

Thus, the disciplines are about the disciplined mind, which is strengthened by reality, not subsumed, or defensive toward reality. Which culture do you fit? The idealized version, or the real reality of existence in a real world?

No comments: