"The Takers regard the world as a sort of human life-support system, as a machine designed to produce and sustain human life."
According to Ishmael, the human myth sees creation and the birth of the universe as a means to an End, that End being Mankind. Mankind is viewed by man as the end all be all of life-the most highly evolved of all creatures. The world, according to man, was made for Mankind, not necessarily by God, but by fate and destiny. This anthropocentric (Thank you David for the vocab.) view is both natural and cultural. Just as the invertebrate jelly on the edge of the primordial bowl viewed itself as the center of its universe, man sees himself as ultimately significant.
This is something we all recognize. Who is the proudest of these species?
This chapter describes quite a revelation for Ishmael's student, who denies the existence of the myth entirely. Later he accepts his ignorance as a result of his apparent acculturation. Much the same way Americans view liberal democracy as the greatest of all political systems, man as a whole is obsessed with his own dominance and way of life. I feel man may be as foolish today as he was during the dark ages. In many ways the world is still very flat. In so many words, creation was a means to an end-the end of the world, just as birth is a means to die.
If I get back from the city by the bay in time, I'll see you all Friday. If not, cheers until next time.