What would it mean to turn myth into fact?
For Joseph Campbell, writing in 1970, one example is landing on the moon. Granted, 1970 seems like the distant past, but consider this: Eugene Cernan was the last person to ever step foot on the moon in 1972. That’s 40 years ago! Why haven’t we been back to the moon in the past 40 years?
Human/Moon direct contact last a mere three years (1969-1972), and only twelve American men ever stepped foot on its surface. Yet our relationship with the moon has been in some ways forever altered as a result. The moon is not unreachable. In theory, we could go back if we wanted to. For America, though, most people probably see the moon as, “Ho-hum. Been there, done that.”
Other nations, such as China, however, are still trying to turn the myth of the moon into fact. China has been able to send an unmanned moon orbiter crashing to its surface, but it has yet to turn the myth of the moon into fact. It’s probably only a matter of time, however, until the Chinese join the United States as members of elite lunar alum.
Space, writes Campbell, may be the best example of the “final frontier” for humanity. Are we the “fruit” of the world? Is it our destiny to go forth into the universe, knowing that its limitless vastness is ours for the taking?
How does the human extension into space provide us with further opportunities to look inward at who and what we are?
“We came all this way to the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” – Bill Anders, Apollo 8