• Maybe also, where once we were fairly content to sit on the ONE 'whale', now in this 'postmodern' age of fragmentation and diverse viewpoints, that is less likely to occur... With the internet, we each have our very own crystal ball to gaze into, and can be very selective and individual in terms of which aspects of the imaginal realm we open up to and 'taste'... I'd rather this diversity though, than having a dominant myth imposed... even if it feels confusing and lonely compared to our tribal shared-myth past... Hopefully the apparent dissolution of all-embracing Myth is a step toward something even MORE enlivening and positive than our tribal phase...

    • Agreed Lisa. The whale is being assimilated and reflected back to us collectively by the modern tribe/diatribe. We need discernment as we ride that whale.

  • Perhaps our myth is that we have no myth. We are riding the oceans on a whale and we don't see the whale which carries us. Then again we may not need to be conscious of the whale. Just hang on for dear life and enjoy the ride.
  • My first thought on reading this question was 'no, there is currently no living myth', but it's hard to see the myth you're in - and I'm not sure we ever CAN'T be living one, even if it is a 'degraded' or rather soulless one - so I wonder if it could be said that 'The Market', or 'Market Forces', is a current myth we live? It seems we invest as much faith and hope in 'market forces' that we once did in the 'God' of Christianity... And I have a sense many today revere 'Science' as our saviour, too - could 'Scientism' be a current myth we invest our faith and hope in (to the detriment of the liminal, the luminous, the unquantifiable... the unmeasurable livingness of things...)

    • I like the Scientism suggestion. Can see some real repercussions of this in the mental health fields. 

      The myth of Market Forces intrigues me. Even in this post-crash age, we still hold on to the fantasy/myth that the Market Forces of capitalism will eventually stop being a devouring Mother and return to being a nurturing Mother.

  • A missing myth from the middle:  Looking to popular culture for a mythic presence leads me to the romantic (vampire) and not-so romantic (zombie) undead, along with the growing number of superhero/fantasy movies and TV shows. The split between the Anti-hero who must live by the death of the Other as compensatory to the image of the Hero who will risk it all to protect the Other. This dichotomy of extremes doesn't allow for a myth from the middle. Indeed, we also know that the romantic myth is at the core of both these images. We seem to want a more romantic myth, we just don't yet know from what material to begin its construction, persona or shadow. 

    I believe we have just passed through the myth of the "Now" which denied the value of a historical context, and, I believe, we are slowly sloughing off the myth of "THE answer."  

    To bring the two comments offered so far together in my mind, chronocentrism is a wonderful concept as it speaks to the problems created by the myth of "Now." The alchemical with its completion and continuation myth is sufficient yet has little imagery and underused/esoteric language (also, sadly and shallowly co-opted by the New Agers) that makes such a transition from past myth to alchemical myth quite difficult. I wonder if this isn't why von Franz ended the quote with the thought that the Christian myth doesn't necessarily need to be disguarded, just upgraded.

  • I believe that we are in an eon of transition. I look around but do not see an easy answer, a "living myth" for our time, perhaps it is the limitations of my vision. I suspect that W.B. Yeats, poem, "The Second Coming," suggests an arrival, which will be disruptive of the status quo but is necessary to address the omissions of the previous eon. Will we, the current inhabitants of this time, recognize "Her" when she arrives, I suspect most won't, a few will.
    The full quote from Marie Louise von Franz is instructive, as it poses this question and directs us to a possible direction for an operative myth, from within the framework of her "vision," which is inevitably bound to this time. Only the poets "see."

    I would say that a civilization needs a myth to live.
    We know that if missionaries destroy the myth of primitive people, they destroy them also physically – they begin to drink,
    they degenerate, they are lost - and no civilization can live only from welfare. It needs a myth to live.
    All great civilizations when they were flourishing had a living myth.
    And I think that the Christian myth on which we have lived
    has degenerated and has become one-sided and insufficient
    and I think that alchemy is the complete myth and that therefore if our western civilization has a possibility of survival, it would be by accepting the alchemical myth which is a completion and continuation – a richer completion – of the Christian myth.
    That’s a myth we could live again with, in contrast to the Christian myth which doesn’t satisfy a great amount of people anymore.
    And the Christian myth is deficient on:
    not including enough the feminine - or in Catholicism they have the Virgin Mary but it’s only been purified feminine, it’s not the dark feminine -and in excluding matter and treating matter as dead, and the realm of the devil – and in not facing the problem of the opposites, of evil.
    And alchemy faces the problem of the opposites, 
    faces the problem of matter and faces the problem of the feminine: the three things which are lacking in Christianity.
    And therefore it complements the Christian myth 
    and could revive it too that way.’

  • “To go beyond such conflicts, we must free ourselves from what I call our chronocentrism. The term may seem a bit strange; I use it here in relation to two better-known terms, geocentrism and anthropocentrism.  […] Yet the most difficult threshold remains to be crossed. We are prisoners of time and words. Our logic, our reasoning, our models, our representations of the world are hopelessly colored by chronocentrism (as they formerly were by geocentrism and anthropocentrism). From chronocentrism come the conflicts that paralyze our thinking. Can we free ourselves from them?” Joël de Rosnay, The Macroscope,,

    "The Macroscope", a book on the systems approach
  • There is also a weekly poll taking place at the moment. I didn't answer it.

    Yes, there is definitely a living myth on the global scale. It's that we desperately need the global sadist. Who is supposed to kill and torture all those innocent people and create chaos if America is indeed in trouble?

    On the other hand, we have nowadays difficulties to perceive and respect things that aren't visible and obvious. Religion is like a brand on a cow, the reason to belong and hate (or just feel superior).

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