Mythological Ideals

Saint George and the Dragon by Raphael
Saint George and the Dragon by Raphael

Creators of mythology are under compulsion, not so much to describe life as it is as to suggest how it could be (albeit in larger than life imagery). Ideals are not wrong simply because people don’t follow them. That our ideal society “never existed” does not invalidate that ideal. It did exist in the minds of at least some people. When people believe in an ideal, some actually practice it, and society benefits. Major improvements in the ways people live almost always come as a result of the efforts of a committed minority or individual. A lack of belief results in a corresponding lack of practice, and society suffers. New mythology can take the high road. Its monsters can be truly monstrous, and its heroes can be truly heroic.

It may be argued that different mythologies might espouse different ideals and that we cannot establish a consensus on what those ideals should be. Therein lies the beauty of our enterprise. Let us represent and exchange our disparate views in the marketplace of ideas. We can write. We can read. We can believe, and we can act. Then, when we disagree, we can do so with sincerity and authenticity. And after we have put forth our opinions, it is our readers who will decide.

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