we create imaginary gods to protect us, give our lives meaning and reinforce our decisions to root ourselves in the illusory world of language and division rather than listen to the still small voice of compassion, that "law of love" written on our hearts. We imagine these gods as beings "out there" (even though every mythology tells us they are "in here"). These gods can then be misappropriated by human social institutions to control our thoughts and behavior. Sometimes these gods go by ungodly names - "Communism," "Patriotism," "Democracy," "American," "Iranian" - but that doesn't change that they are idols we have created with our own art and now have chosen to worship - to subjugate our connection to divinity to in our fear and folly.
To deny these idols is to regain one's courage and awaken the creative Logos, the Word of God, within in each of us to redeem the world. That Word is Love, as in compassion, and it cannot be heard over the clamoring of praise we serve up to our idols. But that requires overcoming our fear, stepping out in the name of love and compassion, and risking that those who still live huddled behind their walls will destroy us because we threaten their illusions of being and their sense of power and entitlement. This journey beyond the life of comfortable illusions, into the valley of the shadow of death to emerge a new person with new eyes to experience the Kingdom of God in the here and now.
That requires a quest. And people who imagine they already have what they want don't go on quests. As Joseph Campbell explained, the myths are the starting point for an individual journey of self discovery and growing up into and claiming responsibility for one's creative power. When the myths themselves become the end, and the purpose becomes belief and certainty rather than uncertainty and growth, the myths meant to help us find the Way become just another brick in the wall that keeps us in - and prevents the development of spiritual character.