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Elvis, UFOs are our new frontiers
The Gazette

In your Aug. 11 editorial

" 'Alien mythology' not so alien to most" you bemoan the pervasiveness of popular mythology and the perceived setback for "rationality." You are missing the very point that you are making, which is that mythology is everywhere and will not go away no matter how much we try. It is part of the human condition.

Some theories suggest that the need for myths, and possibly even the outlines of the myths themselves (archetypes), are hard-wired in our species, just as the mechanisms for survival and migration are hard-wired into many animals. In this context, the word "myth" doesn't carry its popular connotation of something that is fictional; rather, it means a traditional story meant to illustrate a principle. The story itself might or might not have literally occurred, but there is a widely accepted metaphorical truth underlying it.

In the old days, life was full of myth, everywhere you looked. The sun rising or the rain falling were unexplained phenomena. Rare and sometimes disastrous events (solar eclipses, earthquakes) must have been unspeakably terrifying. Only a supernatural power could have possibly accounted for these things.

Today, we have science and education. The mystery behind most events on Earth is no more. There are few frontiers for the average person to explore. This is why we must go farther afield for our myths. Once, a sunset was enough. Now we must have a crop circle or an Elvis sighting to convince us that miracles do occur.

Pauline Brock


 Copyright  2003 Montreal Gazette


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