I regularly listen to a Swedish podcast made by journalist Eric Schüldt and Per Johansson, a doctor of human ecology and idea historian. The podcast is called Man and machine and is an attempt to describe and try to understand the foundation of todays modern western civilization and how this civilization has been formed and evolved. One of the episodes has the titel The Darkness, with Faust as main character. This is an important myth in the western history, where Faust concludes an agreement with the powers of darkness. At the bottom of the myth there is a connection to the oldest form of magic, the most dangerous with roots in time before ancient Greece. The message in Faust Myth is that the devil can give us everything we want, but it has a prize, our eternal life. Today, at least in Sweden, there are not many who believe in eternal life so what does the myth mean today? That we get everything we want but lose the earth, the whole prerequisite for our existence?
For those of you who understand swedish, here is a link to the podcast: Man and Machine — The Darkness
And for tre rest of you, I will come back to this episode, Per Johansson and Eric Schüldt has a really interesting discussion here, including Goethe, Nietzsche and the question of whether rational reason and conscious thinking is the greatest asset of man or, conversely, the source of human misery.
Picture from The Commons, Flickr