the Role of Myth-Systems

. . .true individuation seems to take place only when thought, feeling and behavior are integrated around a central myth-system at the core of the self. To a degree far beyond current recognition, the myth of materialism has serves as such an integrating agent for modern society, but it has been an integration bought at the cost of what is most human, most aesthetic, and most meaningful in life. Alternative myth-systems are not easily come by, however. Western civilization has in all its centuries known as few as seven. With the collapse of materialism, many people sense an acute spiritual hunger and are reaching out, at times blindly and in every direction, for adequate sustenance. Often, however, they react not only against materialism but against the Judeo-Christian myth that seems to have proven so ineffective in stemming materialism’s advance. Some look to the East, not recognizing that the contents of their own unconsciouses are still to a great extent conditioned by the biblical myth. Even when insights of exquisite worth are discovered in Eastern thought, it is not possible to integrate them fully until they have found a niche in one’s core myth, or until one’s core myth has been altered to accommodate them. [. . . .] But mere spiritual nomadism — that aimless wanderlust that characterizes so much of the current ferment — will scarcely prove any more effective against entrenched, senescent materialism than Romanticism before it. Only the revitalization of a powerful counter-myth, capable of incorporating the valid aspects of materialism while jettisoning the rest, will be capable of securing the ‘new age’ that so many neo-romanticists are heralding.

–Walter Wink, Unmasking the Powers, p. 2

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