Where is the narrative going?

The truly gifted artists know where we are heading before most of our species.

Art is the cutting edge of human consciousness. The truly gifted artists know where we are heading before most of our species. Film is art, and Hollywood film is not always artless. So I look for signs in films that might tell us how our minds have altered over just the span of my six-decade life.

Star Wars (1977) was smart, but not revealing of any new direction in human consciousness. It was an old-fashioned Western with empires and railroads in space. But Aliens (1979) threw out the notion of governments so central to Star Wars, and showed us a future when corporations would rule. Now we’re all sophisticated enough to agree, we can enjoy the myth-shattering tale of the new Lone Ranger movie.

That film provoked me to ask, without myths of progress and individualism we held dear in the days when western movies were popular, what is to be the foundation-myth of our narrative? The new narrative for humanity, says Charles Eisenstein, won’t be based on human dominion over nature — nor believe each ego is separate from other lives, human and non-human.

Humans need myths that tell a credible truth about our purpose. Purposive individual heroes used to be our exemplars. Now a new consciousness evolves: The Emperor has no clothes! The Machine has no idea! We are the I Magi Nation!

I have no certainties, but “knowledge” is less important in this post-modern era than Imagination; I won’t say “I think” — I only hope. (1)The new narrative will destroy our delusions of progress. (2) It will ruin faith that violence can have positive consequences for someone. As materialism trashed the niche for fairies in the modern era, empathy will discredit faith in violent humans accomplishing good. (3) We might re-invent fairies in new guises, as we re-learn how to reverence non-human life.

Those are my ingredients for our narrative; I trust others are weaving theirs for new cloth.

Charles Jeanes