What defines a mythographologist?
Mythographology is a new and evolving school of thinking but based on previous research and publications. As with all new ways of looking at human life, a discipline relies on its definitions.
The foundation of all clear thinking begins with definitions which are accessible to all and from which debate and argument can ensue.
This page provides the basic definitions used in
The School of Mythographology.
To be a Mythographologist it is essential to know and understand these definitions. The words here are the anchor points from which the perspectives of mythographology are expounded. In combination with the method of Mythographology, through the definitions and their understanding, the Mythographologist constructs the theories and practices of the school.
Definitions for a Mythographologist
Mythographer: n. a compiler of myths.
The word ‘mythographology’ is a creative adaptation derived from ‘mythographer’ which is found in the Oxford English Dictionary. This provides us with the study of ‘mythographology’; the compiling and categorization of mythologies. Within this school of thinking it is important to provide definitions of the core terms and their understanding by the mythographologist.
Myth: n. 1. a traditional narrative usu. involving supernatural or imaginary persons
and embodying popular ideas on natural or social phenomena etc.
2. such narratives collectively. 3. a widely held but false notion.
This is again the Oxford Dictionary definition of the word but it fails substantively to serve the purpose of ‘myth’ within its definition. This lack of a deeper definition is at the foundation of why the study of mythology is always seen as a junior if not an amateur occupation and thereby also allows other disciplines to relegate and misunderstand the value of the word itself.
The School of Mythographology therefore suggests a supplementary addition to the standard definition
by providing a more developed reference to the importance of myth in human psychology.
Myth: n. [SoM] 1. a narrative employed by human beings to account for questions which cannot be answered by the knowledge of the time.
2. a narrative created as a psychological tool for the support and healthy maintenance of the human psyche.
3. a substitution of objective truth or its need by a creative interpretation
(wherein those who believe the creative narrative accept it as objective truth).
Thus we introduce the first definition provided by the school in the creation of its method for mythographology. The word ‘myth’ is at the heart of the philosophy of the school and the importance of understanding the definition used by the school is fundamental to the work of mythographology. From this keystone concept other definitions and approaches then intuitively flow.
In the next section we look at four terms and consider how a mythographologist understands and defines the words.
A mythology is a structured belief susceptible to compilation, categorisation and investigation as a coherent whole system.
Mythologies are employed by all human beings for the personal, tribal, professional, political and intellectual need to create stable social structures and protect both individual and collective emotional stability.
There is no individual, community, professional, occupational, institutional, religious or artistic activity that is not governed by a mythology.
Culture is seen in the School of Mythographology as the interface between human consciousness and the environment in which it exists.
The word environment is used in an holistic context. In such an understanding of environment, the human consciousness is its own distinct activity as a state of being and everything else which surrounds or contains that individual experience is the environment.
The physical, emotional, intellectual and physiological are thus all environmental factors.
Homo Sapiens is a taxonomical marker point in the mythology of evolution. This is not to say that evolution theory and science is a mythology but to describe the allocation of the words ‘Homo Sapiens’ as part of the narrative created, predominantly by white men from a European Christian culture, as a psychological tool for the support and healthy maintenance of the human psyche.
We call ourselves intelligent and place that sentience myth as the pre-eminent and exclusive quality of the modern human animal.
History is the activity of creating social stability through the construction of myths about the past.
The creation of histories is always related to the maintenance of power structures within a society.
History is important for the individual and the group because it underpins identity. Identity is how the individual and the group see and represent themselves. History is a component of culture.
Homo Sapiens use the interface of culture to create mythologies and translate that into a story they call history.
The original question was, “What defines a Mythographologist?”. The answer to this question is not fixed and very much open to discussion amongst those who would ally themselves to this approach to learning, research and intellectual contemplation of ourselves and our world.
The essential proposition is that unless we really understand the role of mythology in the human psyche, culture and history, we are only seeing a limited landscape of the human condition.
This is a very contentious proposition because our mythologies are essential to us and to challenge them in any way will inevitably cause controversy, resentment and rejection. A mythographologist should take a mature view that aspires to reach beyond mythologies.