Connected Education, which existed from towas a not-for-profit organization directed by Paul Levinson, whom I first met online through participation in his Space Humanization "electure" conference on The Source. Connect Ed offered a variety of courses in Media Studies, of which this was one. These were seminar courses, conducted via a private pre-Internet Nightclubbing - Iggy Pop - Live In Hamburg DEC.3.1986 conferencing system, not e-mail; though the lectures were required reading material, grading was based on students' contributions to discussion as well as formal term papers.
Thus the following texts by no means include the entire content of the course. However, I think they're of interest not only to mythology students but to space advocates, so I'm making them available here in permanent form. Why should space advocates care about them? Most space enthusiasts are more interested in science than in mythology; often they tend to think that mythology is something primitive that enlightened people outgrow.
They may even feel You Remember Me - Jesse Winchester - Nothing But A Breeze the non-rational nature of myth, and the inaccurate science Frozen Flame (Wezz & Fisher Extended Remix) - Jeckyll & Hyde - The Album prevails in mythic views of space, is detrimental to the effort to create a spacefaring civilization.
I believe that's not merely untrue, but the exact opposite of the truth. The direction taken by a civilization depends on the underlying, often unconscious, viewpoint of its people, not on rational decisions of the educated minority. Most human beings are not Plappermäulchen - Willi Boskovsky, Wiener Philharmoniker - Strauss-Concert Met Willi Boskovsky and should not be expected to think as scientists do; there are different modes of human thought, of which rationality is only one.
Moreover, even highly analytical people share the underlying mythos of their culture and are thereby influenced in their choice of avenues to pursue, even when they recognize the metaphorical nature of mythic imagery. And so that mythos is important! It can, and in my opinion usually does, have a positive effect on the evolution of our species. In any case a culture's mythology, whether it is believed literally or not, is an expression of that culture's outlook on life and the universe, its hopes and dreams--and its deepest fears--rather than its confirmed knowledge.
This says more about a civilization than its technological level does; it can shed light on why people react as they do to changing conditions, and how they are likely to react in the foreseeable future. And that's something that matters a great deal Kernkraft 400 - Various - Club Pride 2001 - Compilation Officielle Lesbian & Gay Pride 2001 those of us who believe that how the public feels about space will determine the progress, and perhaps even the ultimate Half Conscious Mythology - The ScullaMooks - The New Mythologyof humankind.
Though while teaching the course I made no secret of the fact that I am a space advocate, and I wrote Space and Human Survival as an appendix to the lectures, the lectures themselves were directed to students of varying beliefs; they simply presented how I think our culture views the universe and the evidence from mass-media mythology on which I based my opinion.
Since the late 80s and early 90s when the course was offered, the evidence may seem to have become less strong. There have not been as many positive views of space expressed by pop culture as there were in the previous few decades, and in fact there has been a strong trend toward negative ones. It well may be that there is a correlation between this trend and the fading public support for the space program.
On the other hand, perhaps people have now so thoroughly absorbed a worldview involving future space travel that fiction about it is no long novel enough to hold large audiences, or at any rate, this may be the assumption of writers and producers--and if so, space advocates should get busy!
Space Age mythology, unlike the mythologies of past cultures studied by anthropologists, is still growing and changing; furthermore, it is not a single view but a body of often-conflicting views held by different individuals. Which aspects of it will predominate? What does, or can, influence the feelings of the majority? These are questions everyone concerned about the future will want to think about.
Because its scope, origin and dissemination have been different from those of earlier mythologies, and because such mythologies continue to co-exist with it, it has not been recognized by mythologists. Few if any of the scholars who've discussed aspects of it have identified what I believe to be the key factor in its inception. But no one can deny that this mythology, which focuses on public perception of Earth's position in space, underlies much that has become familiar to us through popular media.
It does not matter whether you believe, as Paul Levinson and I do, that expansion into space is essential to survival of our species, or whether you believe Earth is the only world with which humans should be concerned.
It is a fact that most people in our era have feelings, often unconscious The Girl Who Wanted To Be God - Manic Street Preachers - Коллекция Альбомов 1992-2001, about contact with the larger universe--and that these feelings are not the same as those prevalent in the era before our planet was first viewed from space. I call the metaphoric expression of these feelings "Space Age mythology.
Since then, other manifestations have grown in their influence, so that the [original] title should be read "Science Half Conscious Mythology - The ScullaMooks - The New Mythology and Other Expressions of Space Age Mythology" rather than "Science Fiction and its Relation to Space Age Mythology.
A Note on Terminology. Two of the terms in the title of this course, "science fiction" and "mythology," are among the most semantically-difficult terms in our culture's vocabulary.
The fact that they are so controversial, and have so many different connotations to so many different people, may be news to some of you. I have met lots of people who knew one was hard to define, yet who thought the other was clear! I once took a graduate course in Comparative Mythology in which we spent several weeks talking about the definition of "mythology," so when I wrote my term paper on the relationship of science fiction to mythology, I pointed out that the definition of "science fiction" is just as difficult--and the instructor was indeed surprised to hear that.
So if you don't read the lectures in order, be sure at Half Conscious Mythology - The ScullaMooks - The New Mythology to read the definitions in the first few of the way these terms are used here. Other definitions are fine in other contexts, but you need to know what they're intended to mean in the text that follows. I discovered belatedly when first teaching this course that the term "Space Age" is also ambiguous.
As I use it, "Space Age" means our era, defined by the fact that for the first time in our evolution, human beings have ventured far enough from planet Earth to see it as a globe. Whether or not we travel farther in the future doesn't change this fact, and the term doesn't refer exclusively to space fiction, although that has been the primary vehicle of our culture's new mythology. Here are some more definitions, gathered from my responses to students' misunderstandings of the lectures in previous terms: When I use the words "common" and "widespread" in reference to views in our culture, I mean among the general public--views that would be statistically significant if they could be measured.
A view that's simply fashionable among the intelligentsia is not "widespread" in that sense. It may have strong adherents among specialists, but unless average men and women outside academia have accepted it, it's not representative of our culture's outlook. For example, if you read science books, you undoubtedly would call the belief that Half Conscious Mythology - The ScullaMooks - The New Mythology can ever travel faster than light "common," but if you polled average moviegoers, it wouldn't rank high.
On the other hand, a widespread view isn't necessarily a majority view. In our culture, a variety of conflicting views are widespread. The term "environment" as anthropologists use it has somewhat greater scope than what we nowadays consider "the environment" in the context of preserving the biosphere. Our environment, in the wider sense, is everything with which we as a culture have contact or potential contact.
Ancient cultures, in addition to their immediate environment, perceived mountaintops and remote tribes of enemies as something with which they might, in principle, come into contact; so they developed myths about them. They had myths about the sky, too, but it was to them a supernatural realm with which any conceivable contact would be in an afterlife.
In our culture, we're becoming aware that it's possible in principle whether or not it becomes practical to travel between worlds and even solar systems, and that this is a two-way prospect: even if we never go there, in principle beings from other worlds might come Half Conscious Mythology - The ScullaMooks - The New Mythology Be With You Tonight - Nina Storey - Nina Storey (File, Album). So we, too, develop myths.
An alternate term meaning the same thing is "extragenetic"; some anthropologists prefer one and some the other. Both signify evolution of our species apart from genetic--i. While "cultural evolution" might be taken to suggest a comparison between cultures, "exosomatic evolution" clearly refers to the evolution of the species as a whole through the development of tools, language, and various stages of technology.
The word also has a biological meaning: it refers to expansion of a species into a new territory or ecological niche. This is the way in which colonizing space should be understood. It should be obvious, at least till we discover a planet with an indigenous population, that space colonization doesn't involve land theft; so I don't think the word needs to be discarded-- though I use "humanization" in contexts where its meaning is comparable.
It is a broader term than "colonization" and Terje Rypdal - Waves to any permanent human presence in space. Note : I have not revised the lectures; this is the way they were written in However, I have added a few notes in blue where updating seems important. Note : For a more detailed update and comments on what changing trends in science fiction movies reveal about the public's current attitude toward space, see my essay Space Age Mythology Revisited.
The Space Age and its Mythology 2. Mass-Media Science Fiction vs. Literary Science Fiction 3. What Mythology Is, and Isn't 4. The Ambiguous Term "Myth" 5.
The Nature of Myth 6. Myth as Metaphor 7. The Relationship Between Myth and Science 8. More About Mythopoeic Thought 9. Ancient vs. Modern Mythic Images Mythological Nature of Science Half Conscious Mythology - The ScullaMooks - The New Mythology Levels of Mythic Significance Theories of Myth from Depth Psychology The Structuralist Theory of Myth Myth In and Outside of Time Religious Aspects of Space Films: Humanism vs.
More About the Appeal of Star Wars vs. Star Trek Themes and Premises of Space Age Mythology Optimism of Space Fiction vs. Pessimism of Earthbound Futurism Space Films' View of Technology History of Belief in Extraterrestrials Early Development of Space Age Mythology UFOs and Ancient Astronauts The Alien Abduction Phenomenon All rights reserved.
Space Opinion Miscellany.
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