Cultural Discourse looks at a broad range of cultural issues.
6th August 2011

On Myth and Science

Ancient Myth and Modern Science: A Reconsideration

by John David Ebert

Myth as Psychology

Historically, the conflict between myth and science, according to Joseph Campbell, involved a discrediting of visionary cosmology in favor of one based upon “fact.” In his essay “The Symbol Without Meaning,” Campbell described how science gradually disentangled itself from the mythological projections of the medieval imagination through the discoveries of men like Columbus and Copernicus, which amounted to the “drawing of a distinct dividing line between the world of dream consciousness and that of waking.” As a result, “mythological cosmologies. . .do not correspond to the world of gross facts but are functions of dream and vision,” which means, for Campbell, that myths are projections of the human psyche onto the canvas of the universe. Their validity, consequently, is restricted to the psyche, and all myths are to be regarded as metaphors symbolic of, on the one hand, the mysteries of Being, and on the other, transformations of human consciousness. Read the rest of this entry »

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