Just rough notes – wanted to dig out Philip Pullman’s Jesus vs Christ references.
Meaning of Life ? Meaning is about connections – to refer to, to call to mind … , and for humans this is about purpose – main purpose is increasing consciousness because we humans are fortunate to be the most advanced self-reflective conscious beings we know about – hence Humanism.
Stories and hence story-tellers are important part of our consciousness and increasing it. Parental respect, authority & guidance. Not so much identify with, but would like to befriend as ourselves. Morals in stories, not explicit, but by association with the characters, thoughts and actions. Real life fiction so much better than the fantastic – the effort in fantasy reduces the subtlety of morality tales possible – hence simplistic good-guy / bad-guy morals only – compare Voyage to Arcturus David Lindsay with “feeble / piffle” Lord of the Rings (and “detestable, stupendous wicked waste” Narnia) and set the tone to blame for a lot of imitation. (Tolkien catholic vs Lewis protestant.) George Eliot.
Pullman’s latest The Good Man Jesus, and the Scoundrel, Christ. (Must obtain & read.) Enough reality in Jesus, in how the key parables and phrases and lessons were reported – someone creative created them – and contrast in how reported in the gospels – adds to core of truth and mystical / mythical aspects thereof. Story telling. Much of bible is trash, but everyone should read the gospels.
And … Joe Campbell Hero with a Thousand Faces – “influential” but “Jungian”.
And … Proust hard but worth it. Kafka of course.