Myths : perceiving and ordering within high-intensity phenomena

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael Poole (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Gilbert Carpenter

Abstract: I remember once as a child coloring a nativity scene. My sister questioned why I had added a figure above the others. I answered only that it was God. She said there was no need to put Him in because He was understood to be there already. I explained that I needed to put Him in and so I did. Art, like language, is a primary means of philosophy. Philosophy is a system of ordering. Language and art are measurable means for ordering. The method of ordering with language is mostly conscious and analytical; with art it is mostly primary, unconscious and non-analytical. A word, a sentence is like a line, a painting. A gesture is a myth; a merging of the measurable and the unmeasurable at one point in time and space. Most needs stem from doubts. Doubts allow imagination to conceive other myths, other means of ordering. Why's are like nature: both are unmeasurable because of their transcience. What's are measuring tools that allow myths. Why's need to be unconscious, primary; what's need to be conscious and analytical. The shaman is the mutation of his tribe. For some why's he developed uniquely—physically or psychologically—acquiring different means of perceiving and thereby means of ordering. Not having the comfort of the normal means of perceiving and ordering, he was forced to find an order in his own seemingly chaotic psyche. He became philosopher, theologian, artist—the myth-maker of his tribe. Finding better ways of looking at the tribe's world, better myths, better pots, he realized the primary nature of his concerns, the need for all in his ordering, the use of all as measurable means of ordering the unmeasurable.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1971

Email this document to