A Modern Myth

The modern world needs myth perhaps much more than it needs a faster computer or better photos of Saturn. Those things are all well and good in their place but they are only objects and images and the real health of the human race in the psyche. Without myth the modern psyche is lean and undernourished at best, because it creates a foundation in our minds on which all the rest of the accouterment of civilization arise. Architecture, statuary, literature, sports and government all take their existence from the foundation of myth because it forms the basis of our reality and our morality.

Even in modern Western civilization we take our underlying foundation of mythic thought primarily from the Greeks and the Roman myths that imitated Greek thought. The mark of an exceptional human being is that he tries to imitate the divine and thereby rises above the mediocre and the humdrum. The conversations between the gods in Homer’s Iliad, for instance, gave man clues as to how to behave in a more elevated way than is customary in human behavior. And those who win the approval of the gods also create good fortune in their endeavors.

In he Kingdom on the Edge of RealityT, a modern fantasy novel, the forest god gives the hero his marching orders: Stop living in the past; stop living in the future; just live now! And if we look ever so closely, Albert Keane, the creator of the medieval kingdom that takes nothing from the modern world and which is the setting for the novel, is basically attempting to materialize the myth of Camelot. The moral foundation of the kingdom is basically the same as that which arose in the days of chivalry and that arose from the story of Arthur and Merlyn.