A friend of mine was told by her son that her heart and his heart were connected by string and no matter how far apart they were the string would keep them connected. I think he’s six. So who is this kid, the next Shakespeare? Maybe. Like many great insights, though, he didn’t make it up as much as it emerged like a dream as a reflection of his experience. Without confronting the idea, he probably spent his first years thinking of him and his mother as connected beings. Circumstances, now, have demonstrated that this isn’t the case in any literal sense, but he needed a tangible representation of the idea to remain.
Does he believe this string exists? He might. He might believe it literally exists even if he’s told otherwise because it’s a representation of a feeling he still depends on. A representation of a fundamental belief transcendent of the literal truth. He created a myth to help him incorporate this new conscious realization, that he and his mother exist separately of each other, into his belief system, his world view. He’ll accept that the string doesn’t exist in any literal sense when he’s ready to, when he doesn’t need it anymore. It will fade away and he’ll be left with the feeling from which it came, his feeling of connection to his mother.
Joseph Campbell says that we need new myths for a changed world. We’re using old myths that no longer resonate within us. He predicts that the new myths will come from poets. I’d say hearts that stay connected by string no matter how far apart two people are works quite well.