You make today's basic distinction between science and myth. Science is
truth and myth is fiction. You then attempt today's reconciliation of the
two by combining them in some distance past. Ironically, this is a very
mythic approach by people trained in reason. Myth and science do not
combine in some distance past except in the myths of today. Eliot does not
try to combine myth with science, he, instead, finds a place for both.
Robert Duncan in his "The Truth and Life of Myth: An Essay in Essential
Autobiography" gives a good definition of myth on page 7. (Be careful to
read this carefully, it is really a prose poem)
"Myth is the story told of what cannot be told, as mystery is the scene
revealed of what cannot be revealed, and the mystic gnosis the thing known
that cannot be known."
He goes on to address the difference between reason and poetry. page 11,
"Where Philosophy raised a dialectic, a debate, toward what it calls Truth;
Poetry raised a theater, a drama of truth."
Most of us come from a school and family background where we were taught
science as truth and myth as a romantic fiction: myth as a symbolic fictive
representation of a long ago discovered scientific truth. Duncan was raised
by theosophists and as such has a different viewpoint on myth. I think
Duncan would say that both science and myth lead to truth, different truths
perhaps, but both true. Duncan was also heavily influenced with occultism
from his adoptive parents and firmly believed in a mystery, discoverable by
initiates, of life. He believed that this mystery is best expressed through
myth and poetry but that it would eventually be verified by science if
science would only look in the right direction and ask the right questions.
IOW there is a discoverable ultimate truth but it has yet to be discovered
or revealed. The best we can do with this state of things is to tell
stories of that truth. Some use science to tell the story, others use myth