Location: Algora Publishing
Date of Publication: March 17, 2017
Author: Marc Ladewig
What the song is to the songbird, the myth of the hero is to the human being. Human hunter-foragers did not create the myth of the hero as a spontaneous act of artistry; they carried it with them at every stage of their evolution out of animality. Orion’s Guiding Stars examines the roots of human storytelling in biology and evolutionary history as much as in the artistic imagination. It makes a serious argument that certain folkloric motifs are verbal expressions of environmental experiences that have accumulated in the DNA over the course of human evolution and have deep roots in animal behavior. Drawing upon anthropology, folklore, primatology, neurology and epigenetics, Orion’s Guiding Stars accounts empirically for the origin of the myth of the hero, its universality and the implications for human cognition and spiritual search.