Never thought of the shire as the homeland of our national ideological identity. I am very used reading these symbols mythologically so for me the shire always meant what also other myths depict at the beginning of the story – an unconscious state of mind where the ego is beginning to emerge.”
That’s the advantage of a mythological perspective. It’s rare (I’d go so far as to say never) that there is exclusively one way of interpreting a symbol – so many layers, so many dimensions, and no matter how deep I plumb, there is always more to discover: both/and, rather than either/or
. . . which brings me to an intriguing observation Norland makes in his essay:
So when we advocate for the ‘non-binary’ logic of myth as the logic of both/and over against either/or, we should not forget the full implication of this proposition: that the logic of both/and must include either/or as its internal complementary opposition. Otherwise we remain caught in the literal split of external opposites. True myth thus operates through the logic of both/and and either/or, following the paradoxical logos of the soul, as an upsurge of the mythic imagination into the material light of history.”
Indeed, the “non-binary logic” of both/andversus the binary logic of either/or is itself a dualism (wheels within wheels within wheels!). I wold love to hear more about the delicate dance of embracing both/andandeither/or . . .