The Monomyth takes us from human to humanity
“If you believe that only what can be proven objectively is real, that subjective experience doesn’t count as evidence,. . .” No, subjective experience is very real, but it is not publicly and scientifically verifiable. Even then, many scientists hold unreasonably narrow ideas of what type of facts can be considered objective. So I only believe in objective findings, but that is no reason not to be religious.
Forget contradications between religions, there are plenty of contradications within religions. The fact of these contradictions means that the intrepretation of religions texts requires a guiding premise, for instance Christian texts cannot be understood unless the teachings of Christ is the guiding premise through which texts are interpreted; otherwise these contradictions are not understandable.
I was recently reading Joseph Campbell again who’s guiding premise for not only all religions, but also philosophies and myths, is the monomyth of the Hero’s Journey (See his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces). He finds this underlying story structure to be underlying our self-understanding throughout history and cultures and finds it just as relevant today. I believe that the monomyth underlies the unique social abilities of humans. Our cultural and social capabilities are well beyond any herding instinct. The ability to work together is therefore more than biology and is achieved through social means and much of that is the monomyth. How does this work? See how the monomyth make individuals social when Campbell says:
(F)or the hero’s of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the heir-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world. (Hero with a Thousand Faces, p.18)