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20410Re: [mythsoc] Re: Journey to the Sea #9 -- Mythical Thinking

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  • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
    Mar 5, 2009
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      Alana's observations are close to the approach I took in my book, *The
      Scribbler's Guide to the Land of Myth*. Of course, I was specifically
      interested in mythic motifs in storytelling, but I needed to come up with
      a theory about myth for myself to ground the whole.

      My conclusion (after years of consideration) is that mythic thinking is
      NOT "PRE-logic". Rather it is simply another mode of thought. The
      distinctions I made were not logical versus mythical -- mainly because
      there IS a certain logic in mythic-thinking. The distinction I made is
      between Objective (what might be called rational, linear) and Subjective
      (intuitive, and "meaning-loaded").

      The example I use in my introduction is that we can know - Objectively -
      that the sun is a ball of basic gases exploding and sending out light and
      radiation, but that does not obliterate our *Subjective* reaction to the
      sight of sunlight gleaming on high clouds, feeling that there's some
      benevolent powerful being sitting up there sending light beams down to us.
      Objective thinking is about what things ARE. Subjective thinking is
      about what things MEAN (to the individual). Neither is "more important"
      (or, more pertinently "more logical") than the other. We actually need
      both aspects to be fully human. And Art - as David observed - comes from
      our *Subjective* response. The Subjective is a synthetic response -
      putting things together. The Objective response is analytic, taking
      things apart.

      > I commented over at the article itself, but thought I would echo myself
      > here--both "On Fairy Stories" and Barfield's _Saving the Appearances_ have
      > quite a lot to say about the consciousness with which we, as products of a
      > highly logic/reason/progress-based worldview, interact with a pre-logical
      > or mythic consciousness. (_Saving the Appearances_ on the whole is about
      > this topic and the evolution of consciousness; Tolkien's essay has the
      > wonderful section about Thor, which I think is most applicable in
      > context.)
      > I think mythic thought, in the way you're using it, is important in
      > allowing the world to have (or giving it back) *meaning*, something which
      > a more reason/rationalist approach has devalued in favor of observation
      > and fact.
      > -Alana
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