Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Ways of Knowing
Record Type: Review   ID: 344

Recreating the World/Word: The Mythic Mode as Symbolic Discourse

McNeil, Lynda D.

 McNeil, primarily through literary examples (poets Arthur Rimbaud, Georg Trakl, Hart Crane, and Charles Olson) takes up Freidrich Herder’s "project to `subvert’ the hegemonic ideology of Enlightenment rationalism and the confines of empiricist theories of understanding" (p. 20). This is also a major project of this Journal. McNeil’s project involves privileging the "mythic mode," which can be applied to all kinds of exceptional human experience. She applies it to creativity in the arts, sciences, and philosophy. I believe it applies to people’s lives and identities up to the cosmic level. (She deals with cosmology in chapter 1, which is on "Myths of Creation and the Meaning-Making Mind" (p. 19). She views mythic thought, as a byproduct of the mythic mode, not as a replacement for rational-empiricism but as an antidote to it: One that would have to be viewed as coequal. Wholeness requires both sides of the brain. She also indicates the important role played by literacy—by being knowledgeable about all the strands of ideas/evidence/experience from which to draw on in developing one’s own mythic mode. McNeil documents the essential role played by the mythic mode in arts, science, and the zeitgeist. I feel it has an essential role to play in the lives of individuals. McNeil points out that the mythic mode is the capacity for "meaning-making." Rational-empiricism, we could say, "makes sense." The mythic mode "makes meaning." We all are charged by the universe to make meaning or ourselves and our lives and our worldview. Exceptional human experiences are those spontaneous inner/outer experiences/events that are nodes of potential meaning. If we use the mythic mode as well as rational empiricism we will find out in a way that suits ourselves and that resonates with many others who we are, why we are here, and the nature of the human project.
Publisher Information:Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. 326p. Bibl: 303-317; Chap. notes: 267-301; Ind: 319-326
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (37)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network