In 1988 Joseph Campbell was interviewed by and Bill Moyers, which was the creation of the brilliant TV series, “The Power of Myth.” The idea was based on how myths govern history and function in modern life. In his book, “Sapiens,” the author Yuval Noah Harari also tackles the concepts of myths, asking us to question their veracity and relevance.
I find this a fascinating topic, as everything presented to us in society is a form of myth designed to encourage us to buy into an idea or a philosophy. From politics to consumer products, grand myths are created to get us to believe in whatever the power behind these concepts or materials wants us to support. We are manipulated by myths, and not all of them are bad.
People come together through myths. Because of their power, religions, politics, and advertising has been able to reach all cultures throughout the world, attracting believers through their magnetism. Think about the power of the image of youth, for example, and how it is represented to seduce people to buy products that are purported to keep us beautiful and content. Think about all the ways myths work to convince us that we can become happier, more popular, and more powerful if we buy into the agenda of those behind these concepts who stand to make money.
I would like to ask you to think about which myths you find worth absorbing and believing in. Which ideas work for you and which ones don't? We are so easily taken in by the loudest voice, the most persuasive language, and the identification with images that tap into our weaknesses. I would argue that it is better to start to reevaluate myths so that we are sure that we are thinking for ourselves and not being led by the nose in order to serve someone else's agenda, especially those seeking and wishing to hold on to power.
What do you believe in? Does having several cars make you more desirable, powerful, or give you the upper hand? Does buying the latest tech toy make you happier in the longterm? Because we know that once we have the things that we're told are essential for a more fulfilled life we are not ultimately satisfied. We want more.
We are currently living in a time where it is very dangerous to believe everything we hear. The voices we hear in the media are extremely loud, insistent, and very persuasive in terms of trying to take us down roads that don't serve us or serve the planet. It's time for us to not be lazy. It's a time to dig deeper, to question what we've for so long taken for granted.
Look at the constitution of the United States for example. We take it for granted as a sacred document, but what has the following section amounted to that says “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain undeniable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” ?? Is everyone's idea of happiness the same? If not, then shouldn't we be embracing everyone's right to their own interpretation? And the idea of liberty. Ask a black man in today's world if he feels that the behavior of all people who uphold the Constitution support his liberty, or if a woman who has been struggling with a glass ceiling all her life feels this to be true. Ask anyone in the face of those who feel entitled, which already implies an inequality that has bruised the senses of so many on this planet. Is everyone enjoying liberty?
I am asking for a reinterpretation of everything. We need it. I believe we must take nothing for granted, that we need to question all, most of all ourselves. And in this way we can come up fresh and find new and more truthful ways of sharing the bounty that truly is the undeniable right of everyone on Earth. Lets use the following as our measuring sticks for reevaluation: love, tolerance, kindness, and lack of judgment and see what kind of world we make for ourselves away from the agendas of those powers that ultimately serve only themselves.
For more on the subject, please tune in to my podcast, “kadisova talks”