Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Myth and Mystery

There is something in the psyche of mankind which needs a good mystery.  I'm not referring to the Agatha Christie variety, or even the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, both of whom had personal mysteries of their own, but mystery as in the Eleusian Mysteries...symbols and mythos which resonate within the unconscious minds of humanity and reverberate within our souls.

Mankind has existed long before the concept of monotheism, its group mind nourished by images of Demigods and Heroes, and as the late, great Joseph Campbell discussed so eloquently, the pattern of the Hero's Journey which is common to the mythology of all from Perseus and Heracles or Hercules of the Greeks and Romans to Cuchulainn of the Irish Celts.  All of them had a God  for a father and a mortal mother.

With the coming of Christianity, Jesus, (with God as a father and the mortal Mary as a mother) became in a monotheistic belief system, the only Hero, and the mythos attributed to him took on a very narrow, totally religious and non-secularly heroic aspect.  The normal needs and wants of the psyche of the societies involved in this relatively new religion (in the scope of the history of mankind) were put on hold, replaced with the acts of apostles and the works of saints, not necessarily figures of action. 

Somewhere along the way the needs of the group mind reached out and called for the Hero or Superhero once more, and Fantasy and Science Fiction became the mythos of the New Age.  We had Superman, only surviving son of a lost civilisation who became the protector of humanity, Luke Skywalker, orphaned child of dubious lineage who wielded, like one of the Celtic Gods, a sword of light against evil, and all the other heroes from Aragorn to Wonder Woman who have stood up for humanity against the forces of Evil.

Somewhere in my deepest heart of heart it all resonated as well.  Somewhere the concept of the Sacred King, old before ever the historical Jesus walked this Earth, before ever that Sacred King had died for the good of all, the original concept of a Sacred King who shed his life's blood so the Land might live, that archetype that came again in King Arthur with the concept that "The King and the Land are One" struck me somewhere deep within my soul.  The seeds of The Glastonbury Chronicles were sown.  Somewhere over the last eighteen years they have borne fruit, and continue to grow.

The mythology I write is not new.  It is based on all that which has come before, brought once again into the present and the future in hopes that, as Joseph Campbell might have said, others may "find their bliss."

I know writing it has given me a chance to find mine.

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