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Reply To: Artistic Origins, with Professor Andrew Gurevich


Mythicwarrior, this is a great question. The pandemic has initiated, among other effects, a profound transformation of our dreams and thus, our participation in myth and meaning making.

A few articles that make the point:

Dreams and culture (and the place the two intersect, which is living myth) are primary mechanisms through which humans participate in the process of creating shared models of reality. And the pandemic has greatly altered that. If not forever than for the foreseeable future. And our dreams help us, in a therapeutic context, to process and make sense of ill-fitting cultural creations. So at this moment, with the failing of traditional mythic institutions and structures to adequately speak to the souls of the suffering, and our dream lives irrevocably altered by the scope and size of the pandemic and its rising wake, we are in a time of profound realignment. This obviously provides great challenges, but also great opportunities. As the poet Rumi once said, “unless the ground is tilled, nothing new can grow.” So I see this as a time of individual and collective rebirthing. After a period of stillness and reshuffling, I expect a Renaissance of sorts to emerge in the arts and in mythology within the next ten years. One that has the potential to redirect the course of the entire species. Death dreams in particular, whether about real or symbolic death, reveal cultural, historical, and psychological anxieties that must be acknowledged, processed, and reintegrated in order for the individual to remain grounded and “transparent to transcendence” as Campbell was fond of saying. This is also true of the collective. What about you? How do you see the pandemic impacting our understanding and participation in myth as artistic expression?