“The Return of Myth” – excerpt from THE REAWAKENING OF MYTH

Excerpt from THE REAWAKENING OF MYTH by Boris Nad, forthcoming (December 2020) from PRAV Publishing:

History, let us repeat, has not lasted as long as has man on Earth. But consciousness of this occurs only late within history, perhaps only at its end, when the boundaries of time and space change, on the one hand with the discovery of the distant past of man and lost civilizations, then the past of the planet and the cosmos, and on the other with the discovery of space, of the ocean depths, and the interior of the Earth through archaeological and geological layers in a virtually Vernean way. New perspectives cause dizziness. Pre-history and post-history gain in importance only when history becomes a crumbling edifice. Yet man’s turn from history towards something that he is not yet able to define or see clearly now resembles escape.

In one way or another, the technological universe and the consumer civilization will come to an end, in the same way that the classical historical epoch ended with technocracy and totalitarian order in its complete form, which arose not out of courage or strength but out of cowardice, weakness, and fear. It is impossible to say how long this will take. It is also irrelevant whether this will happen due to internal attrition, overreach, disaster, or a combination of all these factors together. But in each of these cases, collapse is the consequence of man’s inability to dwell within the historical world and to rule it as a sovereign, supreme being.

The return of myth, however, is not possible in the sense of a return to the state of ‘pre-history.’ Mythological forces remain present, just as they have been during the entire historical period, but they cannot establish the previous state for lack of the necessary preconditions. First and foremost, the ‘substrate’, the fertile ground, is missing, as modern man is too weak in the spiritual, psychological, and even “physiological” senses…

In the domains beyond the technocratic utopia, culture will need to take a more traditional role than the one it assumes under consumer civilization. The disintegration of the historical world in its final stage, which we are witnessing today, allows us to see something out of it.

For much of the historical period, culture was the privileged domain of sacred and mythical forces. This is one of the ways in which mythical forces can penetrate the world again – historically, realizing themselves in history, unlike in the technological universe where they usually manifest themselves through the uncontrolled elements of folkloric subcultures and are often distorted to the point of being unrecognizable simulacra of the mythical, not veritable expressions. Such testify more to the eternal and unquenched need of man for mythical content than they represent a sign of the real presence of the mythical.

In the post-technocratic era, culture will be very closely tied to re-mythologization under the sign of re-recognizing and re-awakening true mythical content, the revitalization and innovation of ancient and traditional forms instead of, as before, their exorcism.