The more I think about Karen Armstrong's attempt to rehabilitate Myth for the modern world, the more it seems to me that it is deeply flawed.
We are told: "Unless we find some significance in out lives, we mortal men and women fall very easily into despair. The mythos of a society provided people with a context that made sense of their day-to-day lives; it directed their attention to the eternal and the universal"
A key question is to ask how exactly myth is going to bring meaning into our lives, and in particular how it is able to do that in a way that is vastly superior to say poetry or other forms of literature? And the answer, of course, is that myth is more potent because it is "at some level true" in a way that poetry or, say, drama is not. And that "level" is exquisitely well chosen so that it is too deep to be challenged by those superficial rationalists, but not so deep that it fails to have power to affect our lives profoundly. So the myth says that "Jesus was God and he died for our sins", and that is not all literally true, but it "contains a truth" that has deep significance for us.
Well, no, Karen. When you say that, what you are really telling us is that you still have a profound need for a supernatural meaning in your life - a need to feel that underlying what you perceive to be a mundane reality, there is something powerful and personal and deeply loving. I think I understand why people with a religious upbringing might feel this way, but I am also very sure that you are heading down the wrong path. Because many of us have come to the realization that it is possible to be perfectly content with human life the way it really is. As the Zen practitioners say it, "The world is already perfect just the way it is, if only you could learn to see it rightly".
The best way forward is to confront fully the truth of the world - being determined to face it no matter how disappointing it may be - then to start again from the bottom and ask where is the meaning, where is the joy, in a world such as I see it to be. The encouraging thing is that, if you really look for them, you will find many people who have done this and come out on the other side with total success. They know why their lives are meaningful even without an other-worldly sanction, and they have found a way to live in the real world with great serenity and joy and satisfaction.