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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %MYTH SUBJECTIVE MEANING SCIENCE OBJECTIVE REALITY 880525 Human myths embody descriptive contexts within which we live our shared lives through integrative dialogue. Our myths provide us with contexts within which we are in dialogue. Our myths describe the ground of our being upon which we build our lives, and in terms of which we make sense of our daily lives. Our myths describe the meanings and significance of our lives as we know them and each other. Our myths do not describe what is real apart from our lives, for they describe our lives' meaning and significance. Our myths do not focus upon objective reality; rather they put our subjective realities into focus in ways which define the communities and lives which are possible within the context of that focus. Our scientific knowledge describes the processes of the objective world which appear to be independent of our apparently independent lives. As our scientific knowledge changes, so also does our conception of the stage on which we live our lives; and so changes the drama which we can live out on the changing stage. Our myths describe the drama which is possible. Our scientific knowledge describes the stage. As our scientific knowledge or our mythology changes, such changes carry implications for the complementary changes in the other. The scientists who made the first atomic bomb were celebrated as mythic heroes who had contributed to the conquest of the great evil of war. Their quest for scientific knowledge lead to a great conquest, and in their footsteps a new generation set out on a quest to reaffirm the significance of the original achievement in making the first atomic bomb. The myth affirms that there is great hope in the fulfillment of that quest; hope that it will bring the end to all war. The nuclear power myth celebrates the hope that through scientific technology we may achieve the security promised to us in the Manhattan Project. The myth says that security can be achieved through defensive measures using high technology like that conceived in the Manhattan Project. The quest for the Holy Grail continues in the weapons laboratories of the world. The quest is powered and guided by the Nuclear Myth of modern scientists and technocrats. Our integrity depends upon our integrating our modern myths and our modern science in our daily lives. Such integration will require honesty about possibilities and impossibilities. Such integration will require that we transcend our collusive games of mutual self deception in regards to human finitude. Myths which lead us to play games of mutual self deception do not lead us towards both personal and communal integrity; but away from them. Myths which generate conceptual confusion do not help us as we seek to achieve security through defensive measures which declare with certainty that we are not free to be vulnerable. We cannot see the absurdity of our defensive measures because our myths tell us that it is impossible to be secure while we are vulnerable; yet in truth security is the freedom to be vulnerable. Our personal and communal integrities depend upon our integrating our myths and our science in our daily lives. Such integration cannot be based upon the Myths of the Manhattan Project. We need to formulate integrative myths which affirm the importance of personal and communal integrity with regards to both objective and subjective realities. Integrative myths will help us be open and honest about both objective and subjective experiences and about our reflexive perceptions as we consider and engage in honest conversation regarding them. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================