An essential element of the human condition is to continually find meaningfulness and definition amidst the absurdity which we perceive. Victor Frankl called this “The Will to Meaning.” Existentialists recognize it as a revolt against nihilism, and that the creation of one’s own meaning in the sight of meaninglessness is an expression of our true freedom. Ontological empiricism will demand the scientific method govern our lives, but even the most devout materialists can recognize that the creation of narratives and values are often based on less-than quantitative methods. In that, lies the value of the mythopoetic.
Rejecting the negative connotation of the word “myth,” it is understood that humans are storytellers, and that we creatively conjure meanings and stories as they suit us, pragmatically. The story of human civilization is a retelling of the same narratives by different peoples, with sociocultural evolution advancing as the complexity and richness of those myths descend into our subconscious. Thus, we are saturated with myths and join the process of mythmaking by contributing to existing narratives, from nationalism, communitarianism, religion, state, and a special view of history which has excluded all but the most elite scribes of time.
In becoming totally free, we understand the myths we formulate for ourselves must be increasingly independent of the master narrative, or the song of civilization which has promoted the strong against the weak, the women against the men, the men against the earth, and so on. We must struggle to make value judgements that don’t play into the old cultural forces which have governed our behavior for many thousands of years.
Our mythopoetic process is based on the postmodern understanding of all perspectives resulting from an equally indeterminable position of unique worth. While we are searching and creating meaning for ourself, we retain a measure of self-doubt and healthy, critical introspective skepticism which denies us the luxury of absolutism. We are independent truth-seekers and creators – we look to enrich our lives by building inner temples of meaningfulness, and not to raise the thatch huts of our reasoning up by destroying what others have.
Regardless how far we travel through our inner-space, we must remain connected to others, because retreat is merely another form of suicide that separates us the absurd. Our goal is to learn the accept the absurd, while besting it, rather than submit to it’s terrible and incontrovertible resoluteness. The personal meaningfulness we develop in our lives must be sharable, because communion and exchange with others is another integral part of being human.
In the past, people would join together at the fire, to tell stories that enriched their lives. We hope to return there in our minds, so that we can recognize the obsolete datedness in the stories we hear, and exercise our ability to create new ones. Hopefully our stories enrich our lives positively and correct the slight the elders showed to people who were not at the fire with them before.