Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mythology and Sustainability

Important piece over at The Archdruid Report on the definition of "myth," the way our brains want to envision possible future collapse (whether Y2K or peak oil or robot war) and how damaging that is to making good community-building decisions.

The piece is here (about 1800 words/15 paragraphs): Dreams of a Better World

I particularly like this essay because it speaks to the role of art and artists in helping us define what we want our communities to look like. Artists act as cultural navigators. As the author John Michael Greer says:

the predicament we are facing demands something subtler. Rather than swapping one narrative for its mirror image, it may be time to step back and look at our mythic narratives as narratives, rather than imposing them by force on the world around us.

If we can regain a certain degree of mythic literacy, and apply it to the myths that shape our public life, we might even be able to stop thinking of modern industrial society as either the best or the worst of human cultures, and recognize it as the ramshackle product of a long process of evolution, containing much that is worth saving alongside much that belongs in history’s compost bin.

This is a role that artists have played for a long time. It's a role that ISLAND is integrating directly into our work of creating a durable future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All I can add is that metaphor is the way we see truth and the use of metaphor will enable us to move into the future.