The distinction I have been trying to make between myth as fabulation and myth as ideology can be reformulated in Ted Friedman’s terms as a distinction between essentialist narratives and readings and anti-essentialist ones. If Lacan can be allowed to « de-essentialise » Freud (and, I would argue, goes nowhere near far enough) there is no reason why we should not familiarise ourselves with an anti-essentialist Jung. James Hillman de-essentialises Jung in a way that bypasses the lacanian detour via the signifier and that has much more in common with Deleuze and Guattari’s pragmatics of intensities and becomings.
Friedman’s article on The Politics of Magic can be found here ,
and here is a video version:
I think he is particularly interesting in his observations about the phasing out of oedipal type narratives (that he ties to the decline of the baby boomers and the passage from Generation X to Generation Y), and to the transition from themes of the bad repressed unconscious (typified in FORBIDDEN PLANET and its « monsters from the Id ») to the ambiguous but productive unconscious (typified in LOST).
Friedman doesn’t mention the passage to a polytheistic perception, but I think it is an important aspect of the same overall trend. He does indicate that for any fantasy to appeal to a large number of people it must embody several different ways of relating to the unconscious and its multiple figures. He gives the example in LORD OF THE RINGS of two ways of dealing with the shadow, that of the Orcs, who are wholly evil and so conform to a schema of repression and projection of one’s darker aspects, and that of Gollum who Frodo treats with sympathy (there is a sketchy feeling of reciprocated identification between the two characters).
I would adduce the example of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE which shows us a world where there a many religions, most of which seem polytheistic, although the religion of the Seven despite being polytheistic has the feel of Christian monotheism. So it embodies a vision containing multiple models of the psyche. As such it both reflects changes in our collective subjectivity and creatively attunes us to emerging tendencies.