To participate as an active citizen in today's modern society is to engage in a collective consciousness that has pervaded humnkind before the earliest emergences of writing.One culture begets another culture and assimilates its myths and legends into their very own.For example, during the reign of Alexander the Great, the military commander conquered the whole of Egypt( called Kemet at the time) and established a port that bore his name- Alexandria.The regional governors of Alexandria knew very well that in order to secure a peaceful transition and to exact a form of " respectful coercion", the Greeks assimilated the myths of the Egyptians into their own canon. The Egyptian god Ra would become Helios and Osiris, the Egyptian god of death and resurrection was transformed into an amalgamation of the Grecian bull- god called Serapis. As the generations of Ptolemaic rulers progressed, these gods, among many others were integrated into the Egyptian pantheon. The permeations of collective myth would be evident in rtuals, songs,oral tradition and the text itself.
The advent of Christianity, was no exception. the Egyptians would assimilate Christ into their culture as well with a similiar reciprocity being carried over to Asia Minor where Jesus Christ became a version of the Osiris myth. While this is debated in some Christian circles, it nevertheless had a profound effect on the latter versions of Christianity.
Yet, a question for the role of myth in modernity could be asked this way. " How does ancient myth integrate with the high-tech culture of today" The answer is quite simple: Star Wars. The originator of this vast enterprise of movies, books and animation borrowed from various myths of antiquity and other specualtive authors and film makers. Episode Four is an example of the monomyth, a term in which seminal mythographer Joeseph Campbell explored in his early works. The monomyth is essentially the sage a of a hero or heroine undertaking a quest which will have significant impact on his or herself, the immediate reality surrounding them or the future of the entire universe. This theme is prevalent in Homer's The Odessey,the Gospels and The Lord of the Rings. Luke Skywalker is essentially Odysseus, embarking on a quest that will determine his destiny. The permeations of collective myth happens as an amalgamation of the aforementioned sagas into a new version of the story. In these myths, there a certain archetypes ( or templates) that the characters assimilate in order to further the story. This concept originated from influential psychologist and student of Sigmund Freud, Karl Jung. Jung assembled such archetypes as the messianic hero, the old wizard and the shadow as part of his research on cultural consciousness, For example. Luke is the quintessential messianic hero, even if he want to be or not, His innate and special powers are key components in the Star Wars saga.Ben Kenobi functions as the wizard, mentoring Skywalker and Vader( obviously ) is the shadow. It is this ageless story that continues a pervading presence in today's movies, television shows and countless accounts of fiction. As we have seen, myth spans the gamut and is present in all works of art,literature and religion.