A distinguished mythologist, Karoly Kerényi, has argued that myths refer not only to an ancestral episode but also to a universal idea. Ernst Cassirer defined man as a symbolic animal. Myth is man-created.  It is not metaphysics of beings but an archetypical theory. In this sense, myth is within human history. It is a device revealing the history of peoples. It has an intra-historical function able to contain all the archetypes of all cultures and ages.  Hence, through myth history is founded, not put aside. However, without the logocentric impact of Western thought this historical conscience of derivation from a founding myth would hardly have emerged. Religious myths, for example, are an attempt to restore cultural history and peoples’ traditions. The documenting function of myth is typical of historiography because it draws from the narrative content of the myths in Kulturgeschichte.

By contrast, the archetypical function of myth is typical of symbolism, which permeates at various levels philosophy, psychoanalysis, anthropology, the theory of cultural and religious processes, the wisdom tradition and esotericism.

Mondi aims at being a workshop on symbolic research on man and society, open to philosophical and sociological sciences. It concentrates on studies based on the syncretic role of the functions of myth. It is inspired by a plural and sometimes opposing but not dividing complexio of the multifaceted phenomenal nature of man.

As in the image of Friedrich Nietzsche, man is constantly traveling in the horizon of the infinite. An origin, a land – that land from which one must start off and whose bridges must cross – need to be memorized. By burning the bridges as well as the land behind us there would be no doors to get out or windows to look out. The immense horizon opens wide. It is frightening in that it dissolves the certainty of nostalgia and unfolds the infinite of doubt. No land is left, a single world no longer exists. Perhaps not even the world itself. The waters of those who burnt the world, the bridges and the land are obscure. But as long as a sailor who burnt his world can look at an infinite horizon, he will still be free to imagine another thousand worlds.  If traveling is a metaphor for knowledge, to travel you need to know where to leave from. We leave from here.

Fabrizio Sciacca, Editorial Director

Published: 2018-03-14