2012-12-15

The Golden Runaway


We tend to think of myths as fixed cultural heritages of the past, which would allow us to better understand the contexts in which these myths were formulated. Yet the true power of myths is to use them to understand our present. Or rather, our present in the context of the continuity of time. All erudite studies of myths are useful tools to know them, but they miss this fundamental point. Myths do not talk of the past but of the present. Myths are what our ancestors want us to know. One needs only wanting to listen.

--------------------

At both ends of the fictitious line of time, projecting itself into the past, on the one hand, and into the future, on the other hand, the myth of the golden age meets its symmetric counterpart in the myth of progress. In this way, endlessly projecting itself into an unachievable ideal, man runs away from the unique thing he can share with man: the present. 

Image after Lucas Cranach the Elder's The Golden Age (c. 1530) [pd], boat carrying immigrants in Canary Islands [ua-fu/fd] and barrier in Greek-Turkish border [ua-fu/fd].