‘Or do they? Humanity seeks purpose. We seek order, truth, belonging. In times past, we looked to myths and gods in order to explain the world to ourselves and to understand why we should continue to endure. In Joseph Campbell’s words: It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward. Myths and religion are often seen in the western world today as something that only irrational fools would believe in — we have now science, empiricism, the provable world. We cast off the narratives that hindered us. What more could be left? Yet we make new gods to fill their places even though we don’t label them as such. We look to ideologies and technologies and new narratives that are meant to hand down to us the irrevocable truth, meant to build for us strong social structures, meant to take us into the next era of greatness. There’s a tight feedback loop between the gods we believe in and the societies we create, writes Aaron Z. Lewis of his 2019 pantheon of gods, which is why we must take seriously the metaphors we believe by.
So we want to know: what are the myths of today? How are they propelling us forward or holding us back? Have they changed from old, or is it that we’ve strayed from some true essence our ancestors knew? What purpose do they serve? What of the monsters, the supposed villains? Do they hold a clue in dismantling the binaries that our present narratives bind us to? What is the relationship between myth, reality, and subjectivity, and how do we tell? How do we retell? What are the personal stories that have saved you? What should the myths of tomorrow be? ‘
Full submission details for forthcoming issue of Oscen here