Final Thoughts

At several instances during his interview with Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell was asked what he saw as the cause for the woes of modern society: why, for example, so many young people have turned to drugs (Campbell 16–17) and gangs (103). His answer was that they were looking for “an experience,” specifically a mythological experience that could no longer be found in their society (74). Faced with a lack of rituals and mythology, these “gangs” of youth have to “make them [the mythologies] up themselves,” creating “their own initiations and their own morality” (9). Campbell’s answer suggests that the discourse with mythology may be more than just a problem with a creative gap but also a generational gap, or the yearning for a new mythology is really just an inherent part of human experience, an attempt to compensate for universally human inadequacies. Since the time of Schlegel and Schelling, perhaps not all that much has changed.

The solution of using everything, in this sense of a singularity of the cosmos, to fill the void left by a fragmented society is a tall order to fill and it appears it will be a constant challenge for future generations. The call for a new mythology has proven to be a durable endeavor and will probably continue to endure. Traces of this proposed solution to the ailments of modernity can be found in the mixture of permaculture, ecology, alchemy, and mythology promoted by Willi Paul. These developments are especially appealing in an age of global warming and climate change. But in the age of the Internet, the interconnectivity of humankind is being expanded at an incredible rate, perhaps even an exponential rate. Considering the vast quantities of information as well as its speed and accessibility in the digital age, cyberspace itself may offer an additional answer in the discourse of mythological renewal. Perhaps cyberspace will be the next mystical singularity, for it comprises its own tension between the finite and the infinite and, through its almost universal accessibility, is providing solutions never before conceived to the problem of lack. Perhaps if some modern Champollion can find the mythological Rosetta stone for the digital age, its hieroglyphics of programing code and iconography of the Google image search can be discerned.



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