Among the meanings:

1. Ancient legend; story which seems to be as permanent as the landscape with which it is linked, giving it significance and personality.

2. The narrative underlying a religion; the meeting point between religion and culture.

3. A story which (the speaker insists) is untrue, though widely held to be true.

4. Shared common sense, about behaviour and opinion; a society’s idea of normality.M53

5. A nation’s history.

6. A nation’s popular history.

7. A nation’s history, revised with malicious intent.

But these are fragmented. The condensed meaning of myth is the most telling one. The myth of a place is the narrative that gives it identity.

The story is a mixture of truth and untruth; it is in quantum space: to observe it too closely is to destroy it. The identity that derives from it is real, but fragile.


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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was an economist, historian and writer, based in London. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future. A film about his perspective and legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? - was released in 2019, directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong. For more information, including on Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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