Why Mythic?

This blog explores and celebrates the connections between 'meaning' and 'place' in the world as it presents itself to us - the phenomenal world. It is not about 'mythical geography', a study of unlocatable places such as Atlantis or Mount MeruIt is about places in our experience. 

The more we know and sense about a place, the richer our experience of it will be... a childhood home, a garden, a hillside, a landscape. Many strands of meaning may flow into our readings of places - plant and animal life, rocks, sediments and soils, water and atmosphere, personal memories and folklore, archaeology and history. We carry our own Mythic Geography in our hearts and minds as representation in memory - blending personal (subjective) and interpersonal (objective) representations; evoking emotion, reflecting attachment.

This blog explores my own readings of 'place', starting from personal experience and going outward in widening circles of contact and awareness.
Experiencing places, I write about them - and this blog is the result.

I also experience places through the richness of other people's words and images, so I celebrate them also.


Why 'Mythic'?
Because everything in we know about the world is a story, a construction - a myth by which we orientate ourselves in space and time. Our world is thus fundamentally a thing that is interpreted: 'The world is my representation', as Schopenhauer puts it (WWR-1, 1).  According to neuroscience, our brains actively create our lifeworld.
Psyche constructs our mythic world using the raw materials of experience - both personal (subjective) and interpersonal (intersubjective). Poetry and factual writing are two sides of the same coin: interpretation. What is interpreted are the phenomena, which are themselves representations. We interpret a series of masks, and behind them lies the ultimately unknowable heart of existence: the noumenal Will (as Schopenhauer puts it) 'of which all representation, all object, is the phenomenon, the visibility, the objectivity. It is the innermost essence, the kernel, of every particular things and also of the whole. It appears in every blindly acting force of nature and also in the deliberate conduct of man(WWR-1, 21). The noumenal is the Will to Life: a blaze of creative, amoral energy that informs every milliimetre of the phenomenal world. Every place is a record of that energy's activity over time!
Myth is the means by which we meaningfully organise our experience of this phenomenal world; it shapes our perception, and is the result of it. Myth is representation.
Places become 'mythic' through our experience of them in time. They are lit up and glow with the light of memory. This blog is about interpreting places against a background of time and transformation. 

Why 'Geography'?
Because Geography is 'an all-encompassing discipline that seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities' (Wikipedia).
Human life is always embodied as part of the Earth.
Places... landscapes...environments... these are words which remind us that all things are spatially located.
We are beings-in-the-world.


Note about Psychogeography

This 'Mythic Geography' discourse shares common ground with psychogeography, but differs in that it also includes perspectives on rural environments - something notably lacking in psychogeographical discourse up to now, with its urban focus - and it is not interested in anthropocentric politics. Taking its cue from critical ecology and eco-phenomenology, Mythic Geography envisages 'sense of place' as being a fundamental reality for all living things.

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