Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beyond Myth

Myth is all there is, like air, without myth we cannot breathe, therefore we die. Myth is the essence of religion. There are no rituals without myth--myth is the story, the word, hence the foundation of ritual. We take the myth and create the drama as in the original Osirian drama of resurrection, first the story then the enactment of the story, followed by the absorption of myth into the social-psychology of a people.
Myth then becomes the foundation of culture, the purpose of existence and the goal of after-life. Yes, culture is all that we do but all that we do is based on the myths we live by.

When we suggest transcending myth it is an awesome challenge to the psyche and thus to the society. What white person wants to give up the myth of white supremacy. It is the essence of their being. Shall they become black? But black is not simply a color, it is a culture that is bound by myth as well. When we suggest giving up myth, we realize the task is daunting, for what shall a person stand upon, what rock, what reality?

We want the schools to change but again it shall involve dismantling the American mythology, all the lies, stories, dreams, holidays, statues, images, symbols that abound the society--in short, a decolonialization must occur—or call it detoxification.

The teachers cannot teach a different way because they are victims of myth as well, trapped in their madness which is the essence of all they have been taught and certified to teach.

The black American psychologists are grappling with the problem of myth as I write. At their last national conference in Oakland they spoke about casting out Eurocentric psychology and returning to the ancient African healing philosophy. They want to transcend European psychotherapy for a more holistic approach that will embrace the entire being of the spiritually ill person, for sure, the mental is related to the physical to the social to the political to the economic.

But as with education, how shall the mental health workers get certified to teach African healing when they have been trained in Eurocentric psychology? And what is the mythological foundation of African healing? Imagine throwing out white education, but the question is can they heal the black mind with white psychology? As much as we applaud the psychotherapeutic peer group approach, prescribed in my manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, even the peer group is not sufficient unless the group bonds together in a holistic manner to overcome the myriad ills due to oppression.

The myth of love is an example of how we are entrapped in mythology. Love becomes an ever changing illusion based on materialism and economic security, thus it is a physical thing that in the end causes us to cry, "What does love have to do with it?" But in reality love is all there is. God is Love! Yet we spend a lifetime seeking that which is our essence. Surely we must be on the wrong path or in the wrong house of love. And after a lifetime with the beloved, we wonder was it in vain, a waste of energy, a pitiful existence with a beloved who hated our guts, was jealous, envious, greedy, yet this was our mate, this was us.

And so detoxification is in order to begin our recovery from sick mythology. We resist and deny anything is amiss but we must summon the strength to make a change, to jump out the box toward a brighter day. We fight leaving the comfort zone for it is all we know, like the slaves upon emancipation: where shall we go, what shall we do without the master? He was our everything, our god, our lover, our enforcer, our rapist even. But deconstructing alien mythology is the only way out, just as the dope fiend must stop using dope upon the pain of death. Now some choose death, the die-hards who claim dope is the best thing that ever happened to them. So they are not satisfied until they fall into the pit.

The society addicted to sick mythology is no better than the common dope fiend. It is determined to commit mass suicide. America is not alone in this manner. It is the same with Israel, North Korea, Iran and elsewhere. Mythology (call it ideology if you wish) will be the final determinant of the political actions in the above nations. Will they transcend their mythology and live or persist in their inordinacy until they die?

The sooner we get beyond myth into a progressive, radical and revolutionary state of mind, the better we shall all be. But it would be a step forward if we simply stopped believing in the superiority of myth. This notion of superiority is probably worse than the myth itself. The myth of white supremacy is no better or worse than other myths, but the problem is when whites want to spread their myth and force it upon others who have their own mythology. As far as I am concerned, let the whites in the American south keep their confederate flag, just don’t subject it upon me and my people. Keep that shit in yo house, your church or wherever you dwell and I don’t. And if I fly the Star and Crescent, leave me the hell alone.

But let’s go deeper into the world of myth for a story is composed of words, thus we must consider linguistics or language when attempting to transcend myth, for the devil is in the language. We may therefore find ourselves in need of a new language in order to transcend myth, for we speak a mythical language, and just as we do not understand the mythology, we do not understand the language. To have a common language suggests we have agreed upon definitions, but again, what do you mean by love, and are you prepared to love your enemy? Can you love yourself, and who or what is yourself? Who is the black self, what is it? We grappled with this problem in the 60s in trying to define a black esthetic. What is beauty and truth to us? Suddenly the Negro was ugly and black was beautiful, and for a moment there was a consensus and a people moved forward. And then came the breakdown and the consensus was gone. The natural hair style was no longer en vogue. Ugly became beautiful. Ugly was freedom, although we never got a consensus on what freedom meant, nor do we have one today. What is freedom to you is not freedom to me. You say freedom is a job, and that’s the totality of your freedom. Other people fight for land, natural resources, self determination, but you say just give you a job and you are satisfied.

So how can we unite? You say freedom is having sex between persons of the same sex. Nothing else matters to you in life. But we ask what does sex have to do with it? Were you put aboard the slave ships so you could have sex with the same gender loving persons, is this why your ancestors suffered in the cotton and cane fields, was it for sexual freedom, or what is possibly something that went far beyond pussy and dick, getting a nut in the dark or in some alley, bathroom, park?

Again, we need to define some terms before we can move forward into the new era. Let’s list some terms and define them—and how can we do this when terms are ever shifting, for language is dynamic and fluid, Negro, Colored, black, African, Bilalian, Moorish, et al. We are forever changing our identity because we cannot come to a consensus as a people. At least the white people know they are white, they may not know anything else, but they know they are white.

You don’t know if you are black or white, man or woman—for the sands are constantly shifting under your feet—the result of your insecurity, personal and communal. It is an identity crisis of the most profound degree imaginable.

So myth is composed with language, from myth to ritual, from ritual to reality, but language is the foundation.

The child’s world only becomes real when it takes command of its “mother tongue.” Within the mother tongue is myth which is composed of surface and deep structure terminology and meaning, the said and the unsaid, the seen and the unseen.

We are that child that has yet to master language, hence our world is chaos without solid, safe and secure definitions, leading us not to know what is real and unreal, a confusion of self and kind. We are not certain our brother is a friend or foe. We are not sure if our mate is friend or foe, lover or hater. In a moment of passion we may hear words we never thought was in the heart of our lover, or we may use such words ourselves. Now there is more doubt and insecurity in an already fragile relationship, that more than likely originated in lust rather than anything that can be called love.

And so we see the task before us, a psycho-linguistic mythological conundrum that will take centuries to resolve since in the global village our mythology is bound with other mythological tribes and nations, some of which seek our life blood.

We may be forced out of our slumber to shed the old raggedy clothes of worn out mythology, whether religious or political, sexual or social. Elijah told us the wisdom of this world is exhausted—one need only look around and listen to the language, the babble blowing in the wind, in spite of all the technology, all the human advancement. Surely, in spite of it all, reverse evolution has set in, a kind of atrophy, a freezing of the mental apparatus, a paralysis of thought while the very hour challenges us with the need for grand vision to make that great leap forward into the new millennium.

--Marvin X

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