According To Descartes There Is No Proof That Animals A New Mythology

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A New Mythology

In the film Mindwalk a scientist says that “we need a new vision of the world.” This is a statement I wholeheartedly agree with. We have risen as living beings in Rene Descartes’ picture of the world, we see all life as a machine, like a clock (this comparison was made at Mindwalk). If something isn’t working, we can take the machine apart and fix the piece or just remove it. Thomas Moore describes this image in his book Care of the Soul when he writes, “It is interesting that people often think that they will be fine without the things that bother them. ( p. 5 ) He also describes the image of the Psychologist as a mechanic and how we will go into therapy and say “this is what is wrong, now fix it”. But Moore goes on to explain what he does to deal with this, “… I try to return what is difficult to the person in a way that shows its importance, even its value.” (page 6)

In our society today we are taught that running well is very important. We use our bodies to think about it, we train our brains to calculate like a computer, and we think of food as fuel. When there is a problem in the “system” we look for a way to solve it or get rid of it quickly and easily.

But where does this stop showing freedom, compassion, and beauty? Do we have no place for these things in today’s world? I would say that we have land but no one is using it.

Descartes’ image of the world and everything in it as a machine has helped us to control our lives and evolve to an incredible extent. But the main point is that these thoughts are dangerous for us now. If we continue to live the way we have been living the world will be a very dark place. I see this happening already everywhere I go. I see ozone depletion, global warming, and the craziness with which we drain our resources. I see it in starving nations, children abused by animals, and in dumps and floods of garbage. Above all I see it in my city, village and my life. We give up a lot to get better, like a good little machine should, but we are NOT a machine, our world is NOT a machine, and the people in it are NOT machines! If we continue to maintain this attitude, that this is our “image of the world” or our myth of the world everything will die.

So what do we do about it? Of course I have a lot of ideas in this area, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed. First I feel that as a culture we need to re-embrace the feminine, this is already happening, just look at the amazing growth of goddess religions and mythology, this will add to the new world vision mentioned earlier. Second, we need new world myths. There, the answer to every question that has ever been asked, the answer to the problems of today’s world. I know this sounds simple but please, stay with me and I’ll explain.

Let me first, explain what I mean when I say that we need a new world vision and this will naturally lead to the embrace of women. It is not a secret or a deep realization that today, technology means more than anything. Let’s take a quote from Moore, “…we can’t live without technology, but we can live without beauty.” (page 278) Kala Trobe also sees this; “We have created (as a species) a culture in which science and logic are valued above primitives and logic, when, in fact, all should be treated equally.” (page 33)

What this quote tells me is that we cannot live without masculine behavior, technological progress, and reason and thought, but we can live without female form, creativity, thought, and thought.

Evidence of this is at the root of our culture, in our schools. Arts and music programs are cut daily to make room for more formal learning areas such as math and computing, as well as games that are constantly evolving. What happens to our children when we do this, when we cut off all passion and fluidity from their education?

They grow up in a world like we do, where excellence and imagination are important and talent, beauty, ideas, and emotions are not. They learn to be competitive, insecure about their looks, their feelings, even their wants and needs. They learn to suppress the feminine parts of their souls that cry out.

As the beginning of our myth of the new world we can begin to treat these two sides, male and female, as equally important. The world is alive, as are many living things within it and each person is nurtured by beauty and creativity. Instead of suppressing our natural desires to create and look for things that are eternally beautiful we can begin to embrace those desires. Just taking the time to really look at the world around us, to see the birds chirping, the squirrels darting from tree to tree, or simply acknowledging the changing climate can have an impact on us. To do this we must first see the world alive, for me that is not difficult to do, but for others it may be, and this is where stories can help.

We already have amazing legends at our disposal. There are shelves and shelves of them in every library, every bookstore, and even in many of our homes. I agree with Carl Jung when he said that longing for the good old days is a dangerous thing, but that’s not what I’m suggesting we do. I am not suggesting that we go back and dig up the myths to read them as truth. I wouldn’t be so simple minded as to say we should go back to the days of superstitions and witches, I certainly wouldn’t want them burned at the stake.

What I am saying is that we should look at the ancient myths and the many myths of the world that still exist and, with our current knowledge, learn from what they have to offer. Elsa-Brita Titchenell explains this very clearly in her article on Mythology Today, “If we could recognize the infallible wisdom, partially hidden in all ancient traditions, the human problem would be greatly reduced and people would not have to suffer from delayed consequences.” by his lack of wisdom.” (1999). And Moore has this to say, “… we can resurrect the mythic people of the past by regaining an appreciation for the legends from around the world.” (page 221)

So what can we do to rediscover the myths of the world? We can always start right here, right now, by bringing these myths into our own lives. Tarot is a form of mythology and a good introduction to the archetypes and archetypes that surround and within mythology. Jung himself says, “the imagery in the Tarot cards descended far from the archetypes of transformation…” (p.38). Here is one start.

Then there is creating our own stories and our children’s stories. As a parent we are simultaneously the storytellers and Gods of our children, and this is a responsibility I take very seriously. Briefing your story is always a good starting point. Richard Stromer states that, “…the practice of personal storytelling can be defined as any activity that engages a person in deep, metaphorical, symbolic, and archetypal reflection on the subject of a person’s life.” (p. 35) Just tell your story, the story of how you were brought up, your parents, and yourself.

Adam Blatner wrote essays, wrote newspapers, created art, “reconstructed everyday life, adding angels, faeries, and magical moments”, and “decorated” life with symbols as a means of fiction. (2002)

I tell my son stories about the events of our day where he plays the hero, the trickster, or whatever and to us that is a myth. We create stories about magical monsters and ancient guides that play in our lives. In our lives the villain becomes a lonely dragon and adversity turns into a game cheat. We start each day by telling each other about our dreams from the night before and we go to bed each night reciting one thing we did to help someone live that day.

There are many ways to make your life a magical, magical place. All you need is a little time and a little imagination. Let the world and the things in it be an active player in your stories, pay attention to your dreams, and don’t be afraid to be a little creative.

Studying myths, studying the myths of other cultures, and looking for the ways in which myths are played out in our lives will have an impact on us and our families that will last for generations. “The main result of such a personal encounter with a myth is nothing but a profound and profound change in the way a person sees his life and does the world.” (Stromer, 35) According to what Moore said by studying myths we can learn “…to recognize the myths that we live every day and see what is ours especially as an individual. (page 223)

There is a reason why myths have been around for so long and why they still exist despite the many battles that have been fought against them. We need stories, perhaps more than ever. We need to be reminded of the bigger picture and the long-term consequences of the decisions we make every day. We need to be reminded that there is always something bigger going on and that each of us is not only surrounded by the sacred and divine, we are part of the sacred and divine. We can choose to put it or make it more magical by having our presence. I choose to be there. What about you?

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