"Hi Thomas Sheridan,
I did a transcript of the middle section of your recent show, where you covered personal archaeology and the logos and mythos. It’s synchronistic with a project that I'm already doing, my autobiography. I transcribed it as a template for discussion and as a Christmas present.
I was initially motivated to do this because I wanted to see if I could answer my questions about it for myself, and to a large extent I have.
My remaining question is how does personal archaeology and logos/mythos tie together? They seem like distinct and separate concepts and it is not clear from your discussion whether both are necessary to the process of becoming ones own scriptwriter." (Sam Neumann)
People are caught up in the trash magic mythologies of the mass media. People have always been caught up in the trash magic mythologies of the media because, like Karl Jung and his team, unlike I should say, they have not learned how to find the real meanings by deciphering the discrepancies in the text, rather than looking for the commonalities or the confirmation biases that apply towards your collective mythology.
This is why it's more important than ever, especially if you try to consider that you yourself have woken up, that it's now your time to actually develop your own mythology. Do you ever think about that one? How many times have I been saying to people, "Stop looking for saviours, be your own saviour. Stop looking for heroes, celebrity heroes especially, that's the worst thing you can do, because then you're completely under the sorcery and spell of trash magic, and be your own hero."
And how you do that is: a personal archaeology. That's the best way I could describe it. A personal archaeology of yourself. Look into yourself, and instead of saying, "Russell Brand, or whoever it is this week - it might be Johnny Depp - is being lined up as your next saviour, or whoever else - Matt Damon - or whoever else the magicians have given you, to put all your hopes in this week or this month or this year, instead of waiting for the next one to come along, you start to ask yourself, "Why do I have these needs inside me?
Why when somebody shares a meme on Facebook or elsewhere saying a special date is coming where things will happen and change do you lock onto that date in the hope that it changes for you rather than starting the change now? It's just like when we indulge at Christmas and Easter and whatever and we all eat sweets and chocolates and beer, right? And on New Years Day I going to go back to dieting, eating good, eating just fresh fruits, and you never do, you never do. That's because you should have started when you had that problem, when you had that moment.
So it's a personal archaeology that's required here, going inside yourself, and not in a critical or vicious way, sitting there and going, "Oh, I'm a bad person! Oh, I did such a terrible thing!" Or going in there and going, "such a horrible person!" Going in there and examining it like an archaeologist, free from too much emotional attachment. Just the simple act of doing that, the simple act of going in this personal archaeology, just the act of doing it, that moment when you actually undertake it, you're beginning to create your own mythology, what Karl Jung, James Joyce and others call "the monomyth." The Monomyth.
The function of myth is where humans look for the meaning. You're looking for the meaning. We live in an age when people think that myth is like something that isn't true, and that pisses me off because myth is the most clear and powerful realization of the truth we can ever possibly engender.
That's what myth is: myth is the ultimate truth because it is the meaning behind the syntax. It is the fundamental structure of absolute truism behind the narrative. That's what myth is. And just like the word "anarchy," "myth" has been corrupted to believe that myth is just a story, a story with no basis in truth: "It's just an urban myth!" You see how they fuck with the language? Myth is the highest truth of all. Well, yeah, we never see the myths in our own life, ever. But as the monomyth what we see is the myths, you know, what we see is other people's mythologies.
I just showed you the mythology of Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson: that's there other people. You never see the mythology in yourself and they are constantly externalizing, constantly being pushed outward, away from yourself, away from the source, away from that small little Russian doll in the middle that you forgot about a long time ago. And if you can live your life, and I swear to God, folks, this is true, then it can be, let me tell you something, it can be very, very, very painful, it really can, at times, it can be beautiful and blissful at other times, but if you can live your life as a mopnomyth, I swear to God we know the true experience of being alive is.
That's why when I have the Russell Brand attacks on my forum and all over the place and even though I had people that were quite shocked by it such as James Corbett and Henrik from Red Ice jump in to defend me because of the viciousness of it, at the time I wasn't that upset by it, as very vicious and personal as some of those comments were, I wasn't upset by it because I was understanding that I was living out my own mythology, learning what the Hindus might call Rigana, but the western understanding is the same kind of idea. I knew that I had been ultimately responsible for this and brought it upon myself so I was able to examine it in that light. So my mythology was unfolding and I wasn't upset about it but other people who hardly knew me were and wanted to defend me. My own mythology was unfolding and I understood that and I knew that there was some, you know, this was just what was happening here and I was the Black Knight, I was Judas, and I knew I'd pass after that.
And if you're like that in every aspect of your life, you sit back in a situation where there's a divorce, a relationship breakup, or even when a relationship starts, they're not all negative things but positive things are happening - when you're having a child - and you see that in the context of your own, personal myth, almost viewing your life story the way a symbolist painter at the turn of the century might have viewed it. The purpose of myth, the real purpose of myth in the true sense, is to, sort of like, solidify our inner world of dreams, inclinations, feelings, with the outer world of the actual five sense reality, and the experience. And the myth allows, it's almost like, a mortar in the bricks, like a wall, if you just stack bricks up you use mortar, well if you have myth you understand the wall stands much stronger so when, you know, if you don't have the mortar there and someone knocks against that wall, the bricks fall down.
But if you understand that you're living your own monomyth and this is part of that mythology and it doesn't necessarily have, you know, a win-lose orientation, it is part of the mythology, the monomyth, the wall stands much stronger when someone ploughs into it. You can handle the blows much more effectively. When someone puts a slur against you, you hear Nigella Lawson, those women said she was like a Duracell Bunny or she was a zombie - very powerful phrase used these days - zombie. Zombies have turned into a modern myth. Now I won't say that I saw the people who come up against me at that time, with the Russell Brand thing, I'm not going to say they were all zombies but some of them were. Most of them were well-meaning people, the vast majority were, who did want a better world and were sucked up by celebrity, sucked up by platitudes, and believed that Russel Brand was going to help them deliver. But others were zombies. They were zombies, who follow any celebrity, any trend. They'll believe that the 2012 thing is definitely going to happen and when it doesn't happen they'll forget about it instantly and look for something else that is the end of the world - the next FEMA arrests - whatever. And that's how I saw them, as soulless zombies. It was a zombie attack on my consciousness. And how do you defend against a zombie attack? Why, you lock the doors in and you shoot 'em in the head. And I didn't shoot them in the head with a bullet, I shoot them in the head with facts: "Look, we've seen this before, he isn't new, he hasn't done anything real."
The zombie is part of our modern mythology. So when she was called a zombie - the word, the word "zombie" - the slur - the stab - the word like a knife - zombie - Nigella Lawson was a zombie! - when you look at that from the point of a monomyth, you look at the meaning in the book - the Greeks had two words, two words for the word "word," no, two meanings for the word "word." OK, a word like a "zombie" or a "troll" or a "moron," an "asshole" or "shill," whatever words you're trying to talk about, there were two meanings the Greeks had for every word. The first of them was "mythos" and the second was the "logos." Mythos meant the meaning, the mythos of the word, what it *really* meant. So then "logos" meant the rational, the logical, explanation of the word, what it said on the surface. So when these women called Nigella Lawson a zombie, to the average person, on the surface, what they think of: a zombie like in a zombie movie, like in a George Romero horror film: "bllerrr! brain, want more!"
That was the logos, the rational-logic meaning of the word, meaning what the term of reference was there. However, using the Greek formula of mythos and logos, mythos would give the underlying meaning and that's so she would be like the underlying meaning was: Well, why was she a zombie? Was she lethargic.. Was she lethargic because of post-traumatic stress? - from being married to a hyper-active, seventy year-old guy who is probably sucking the fucking life.. living energy out of her, like all psychopaths do? - just like being in their presence. Was she a zombie from: She's a fifty-three year-old woman - she's not a sprightly young thing anymore? She still looks fantastic and everything, however, she's still fifty-three, fight's tired out, eating all kinds of food, and all this stuff drains your energy. You can handle any problem when you're young, you can't after a certain age, that just the way it is. So was she just burned out from being the domestic goddess giving us the food porn? And that's the mythos. So when you read these stories - you read the two sides of them - when you wake up you'll look at the logos and the mythos. And you see it within your own life as well. And then you learn how to talk, and address, and say things very, very poignantly, and clearly, than you have ever done in your life because you choose your words carefully, you choose them according to the mythos and the logos of that word. And then a word becomes something very beautiful. You understand where the roots of legalese, word-play, spells comes from. You're now living in your own mythology. You're getting the true meanings of these things.
You're being exposed to the truest and most profound and most glorious - even when it's painful and rotten - realization of them all, that this journey that you're on is a story, a narrative that's unfolding. And here's the best bit: you are the scriptwriter. You are the one who says, "Action!" and "Cut!" You are the one who says, "I don't like how this script is unfolding. We're going to change the plot-line." As I said in the documentary.. the tower must fall. And if the script is going to shit then your monomyth is going to shite. You tear the tower down just like you would rip up the script and say, "folks, we're starting again." if you look at all the best movies ever made, that's how they were written.
That's how Kubrick wrote most of his films. Often he didn't know how they were going to end - maybe in his mind, but the scripts were subject to constant revisions, constant changes, because he wrote his movies - that's why films like 2001 and The Shining are such powerful movies, and even Path to Glory, even though it has a basic narrative to it - he was ripping up and tearing the plotline and the story up and every other aspect of it as it went along. He used up lots of money and drove people mad but in the end he created films like 2001 where people could sit, ordinary people who wern't very educated, could sit in a cinema for three hours and watch a film with almost no dialogue and be riveted, fucking riveted, by every visual nuance, by every change in scenery, by every single note of music. When you get to the part where they talk the dialogue, they spoke the dialogue, you didn't care. It wasn't that important. And when you listened to a lot of the actual dialogue in 2001 it's not that important - they're talking about what kind of sandwich they're going to have - until the dialogue begins between Dave and HAL, and that's when the monomyth really begins to unfold, and when people are watching this what they're seeing is, in the logos, the rational logic, is the robot that's gone mad but in the mythos is Kubrick's warning about psychopaths and psychopathic transhumanism.
The mythos and the logos won and he was such a master at that, he was such a sorcerer of the use of cinema that he could take a three hour film with no specific hard plotline and someone who went to a movie and only knew John Wayne movies and others that have basic storylines or Gilligan's Island or the Monkees that was the crap on television at the time and be spellbound and when you ask them later on, "what was the film about?" they would have said, "I don't really know but I think it's the greatest film I've ever seen." And that's what myth and its power really is.