After reading the Thursday Night Tarot, I’m finding that I understand Joseph Campell’s “Masks of God” and “Hero of a Thousand Faces” much better.  Especially his proposal and understanding for the need of a new mythology to suplant the outdated, outmoded, and ultimately false religious mythologies so widespread today (Christianity,  Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, all the ‘isms).

Anyways, it got me to thinking (always a dangerous circumstance), what context would I use if I were to create a modern mythology.  One that actually “works” in this modern era, and would continue to “work” well into the future?  Being an avid reader and researcher into philosophy, ancient traditions, science, and design, I immediately came up with four books that could provide a foundation upon which to build a modern mythos.

1. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

This is not a mythology book, but it highly recommends that people strive for the ideal.  It provides a great framework for how one can lead a productive, reasonable, and guilt free life. It’s by far the best guide book I’ve found on how to navigate the physical universe by following a practical, useful philosophy.

2. The Age of Spiritual Machines (and the follow-up The Singularity is Near)

 Kurzweil is visionary. And you need to have prophets in mythology 😀 His books are both interesting, prognosticating, and hopeful about the future of the human condition.  All virtues of a forward looking mythos. And of course there’s the whole immortality promise as well, which is the stock and trade of all all religious myth.

3. the Thurday Night Tarot

This is a great book on how to approach the internal world of your mind and imagination.  As opposed to the Objectivist philosophy which guides your life on a rational level, this book tries to address your spiritual, emotional, and intuitive nature – which has very little to do with “God” in the traditional sense, and much more to do with your personal Self which is your Mind. It lays out the path of  self-discovery where your personal quest is to find that which makes living your life supremely enjoyable.  It’s an incredibly self-directed treatise, which in turn allows it to work so well within the objectivist framework. Quite surprising actually, and wonderfully synergistic. So it provides the second “big hook” of traditional religion, eternal happiness.

4 Tradition & Ritual. I haven’t found a good “guide book” for this.

But traditions and rituals are central to all mythologies. Traditions like meeting every Sunday at the same place and time help foster a sense of community and connectedness.  While rituals help to focus the mind and bring you back to the path of self redemption.  There are many frameworks out there that appear to work; Enochian, Cabala, Tarot, ad infinitum.  The “schools of magick” offer a nice framework that exists outside of most “religious” mythologies, but they’re somewhat tainted as well, so it’s difficult to choose what would might be a good fit for a modern mythology.  Basically all of the various traditions are just providing foci for meditation.  The various “schools” of “Magick” have some interesting and good rituals, but they’re not terribly accessible to “the public.”

Originally I had picked Aleister Crowley’s “Magick Without Tears” book, but it’s only got flashes of genius mixed in with a lot of hyperbole.  It just seems very difficult to find pertinent rituals that don’t have a lot of mystical hocus-pocus baggage attached.  Hmmm.  I’ll have to think on that awhile…

I hope y’all remembered to wish your Mom a Happy Mother’s Day!  And that your weekend has been amazing! Enjoy!