Just like with any other philosophical body of work or a body of cultural expression, we can easily take things too far. We can quite quickly read too much into things and end up blinding ourselves. That’s the problem with any kind of textual analysis involving ancient works.
If you need a good example of this, look at the very popular academic analysis of ancient Greek culture published in the 1800s. It really is a love fest. I haven’t seen that level of intense loyalty and admiration outside of Apple Computer’s product launching. If you have ever been around Apple fanboys, then you know the level of loyalty and pride they have in Apple Computers. The same thing played out in Western Inteligencia when a lot of these Greek artifacts and artistic bodies as well as literary records stated showing up in the 1800s. It’s as if the Greeks predicted and set in motion the modern world. What’s not to love?
Well, the problem with that type of attitude is that we really are just reading our present reality into the past. If anything, we couldn’t care less about how those people actually lived and what their fears and hopes were. Instead, we’re trying to look desperately for a mirror. We are trying to justify our position in the here and now, and the past is a very useful patsy. Why? It’s not going to sit up and stand up from the grave and scream at us in our face and tell us we’re lying, or we’re engaged in some sort of self-delusion. That’s just not going to happen. That’s why a safe form of collective delusion. We are always in danger of committing this when we use Greek myths to try to mine life lessons.