What is the Mythopoeic Mindset?
By mythopoeic I don't mean the idea of primitive thought. The Dutch Egyptologist Henri Frankfort and his wife Henriette coined the term to describe how they believed ancient cultures viewed the world. I don't think the ancients were "primitive" at all. Perhaps they were more in touch with their primalness and connected more deeply to their surroundings and the raw subconscious, but they weren't lesser beings for it. Many ancients were highly intelligent in the ways we are. They understood the workings of the world and themselves by studying and self-reflection. The scientific method appears to have risen in Babylonian culture in the 1st millennium BCE. They could reason and they were great myth makers.
The basic meaning of the term mythopoeic is myth-making. To create myth is to create meaning. That's what we're here to do. Create meaningful lives by living in community with the World Soul.
You get it. I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say in order to navigate our post, post, post? modern world and make it a better place we need to stop being myopic. Most of the Western world lives the with a mechanistic mindset and values only logic and reason. That has been so since Newton. It has become the way of the patriarchy. But the patriarchy only pretends to live in pure reason and dismiss myth and magic while it is ruled by the underbelly of the subconscious, that which is denied.
Now I'm not saying we don't need those reasoning ways. We just need to stop viewing our modern life as a progression from the mythopoeic one. We can learn from the ancients who knew all is alive and interconnected, instead of living as though all matter is dead and all things and begins are isolated individuals. I'm not talking about going backwards here. For nearly 100 years theoretical physicists have figured out that the universe is alive and deeply interconnected and complex.
A mythopoeic mindset can help us be in the world again instead of feeling abstracted from it and ourselves. Life is enriched by myth-making and poetry. We're storytellers and can weave powerful narratives. We feel alive when we live in the moment and see ourselves in relationship to all other beings and things, when we connect to the soul of the world.
We've paid a price for trying to live exclusively in the mechanistic mindset, valuing only logic and reason. That price is our souls. It's time to reclaim our power and bring healing to our souls and our world.