Now wait just a minute.
Where in the preceding discussions, until you raised your head and thought
it getting curiouser and curiouser, did any one make any value judgments
about any other's understanding of the human condition? Perhaps you are
referring to my comment about not riding in a flying machine derived from
unverified science. Flying carpets, which I would ride on, are part of a
mythic world view and not a pseudo-scientific one.
Your basket of grade four thinkers would have to include Freud, Jung,
Kerenyi, Kroeber, Malinowski, Robert Duncan, T. S. Eliot, Robinson Jeffers,
Charles Olson, Claude Levi-Strauss, Karl Popper, Bradley, Nietzsche, Plato
and the list goes on. Many have tried to understand the difference between
mythic societies and their own version of "modern" society.
I am specifically trying to understand it in terms of the 40's and 50's
California poets and the poets of the Black Mountain school: Duncan,
Jeffers, Creeley, Spicer, Olson, Levertov, Ginsberg, Snyder and others.
These poets were serious critics of their modern western society. They
were all heavily influenced by TSE, Pound, Joyce and Yeats. In at least one
case, Duncan, they suffered severe discrimination at the hands of modern
western culture. Jeffers became so disgusted with western society that he
completely rejected a man centered world view and came up with his
"Inhumanism". All of these poets reacted strongly to what they conceived
of as faults inherent in western society's rejection of myth. Understanding
myth as opposed to western societies is crucial to understanding them.
Somehow you have turned the discussion from how people immersed in a mythic
world view their world into a value filled discussion and then used the turn
to hurl semi-hidden knives.
If a person's serious thinking is always going to raise disdain and
approbation from the list how can serious learning take place. If you have
serious problems with what I was writing please tell me. If you are going
to change what I am saying into something you can attack please don't. If
you don't understand, ask questions until you do. If you know nothing about
the subject then perhaps you can join me in learning about it. If you find
it completely lacking in intellectual merit then I would appreciate being
informed, privately if possible, of your professional opinion.
BTW: I would recommend that you read "Ulysses, Order, and Myth". I think
you will find little about Myth and much about a new way to structure a
literary work using myth. Your quote from Eliot does not support your
preceding argument as your use would suggest.
The tendency to think we can learn anything
about the validity of someone's understanding
of the human condition, by reducing that someone's
working system to its bare knuckle implications,
and then say it is wrong, inadequate, misguided
or whatever, is worthy of about Grade Four thinking
and little more.
What is important for our discussion is the role
of the mythic method as Eliot identified it, in helping
us to come to terms with the chaos of the modern vortex,
which, because our technology is driven into a frenzy
of change by its core dynamic of electricity moving at
the speed of light, is causing our ordinary perceptual
modes to become completely disoriented.
from Eliot, T.S. "Ulysses, Order, and Myth" Dial 75.5 (November 1923):201.
Myth is simply a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape
and a significance to the immence panorama of futility and anarchy
which is contemporary history.