I saw these glowing cloud Oms over golden Mountains in Mustang. Nepal.
Lower Mustang . Nepal .
CG: The American mythologist Joseph Campbell observed that today's pace of life is way too fast to possibly allow the new myths to crystallize. Don't you think that the centrality of the sacred that you consider as one of the cornerstones of society is now almost unworkable?
AdB: I do not have a definitive answer to this question, but I have some reservations about Joseph Campbell's statement. The acceleration of social life, which was remarkably described by Hartmut Rosa, is an undeniable fact. However, what seems to me more incompatible with the crystallization of myths is rather the exacerbation of the drive to individualism and the current "presentism".
The dominant ideology has consecrated the rise of narcissistic individualism, which is consistent with the eradication of the dimensions of past and future, now completely flattened into the present moment. New myths are obviously difficult to develop if they cannot open a perspective. It should also take into account the process of individualization of faith. People are creating religions "a la carte" for themselves, they want "believing without belonging". Under such conditions, collective myths do not become non-existent, but ephemeral (in the "Jackson-mania" style).
On the other hand, if we assume that the taboo is the negative form of the sacred, you have to admit that there are still taboos. But they are not the same as they once where. One may ask, for example, if the ideology of human rights has not become a new form of civil religion, whose roots cannot be questioned without appearing blasphemous. The blasphemous, moreover, always appears intolerable to certain categories of believers as the news constantly reminds us.
The sociologist Michel Maffesoli says that it is possible to interpret certain postmodern trends in the frame of a "re-enchantment" that would put an end to Entzauberung, disenchantment, as defined by Max Weber. Ernst Junger described the coming times as those of a confrontation between gods and Titans. You see, the issue is complex. In my opinion, in all cases it would be very unwise to say that the era of the sacred is finally over.