Mythopoetics is worked in three descending levels.
Myth & Legend
The highest level of Mythopoetics can be called Theriake, when myth and dynamism meet and combine in the storyteller. Since this ‘keeper of lore’ carries an undiluted theriake, or antidote, for the poison which fills and kills mankind, he becomes an inextinguishable light and healer for all who come into contact with him. His life is often transformed through martyrdom, though sometimes he leaves us through a natural death. On the rare occasion, he departs in toto into Eternity. Paradigms of such ‘living myths’ from the Hebrew tradition are Moses, Solomon, David, Enoch, Elijah, Elisha, Stephen, Peter, Paul, John the Beloved, John of Patmos, and, of course, Jesus of Nazareth and those who wrote of Him. Later we have, among many others, Patrick, Francis of Assisi, Gemma Galgani, and Thérèse of Lisieux. This level is perfect Logos/Rhema predication. The storytellers both live and speak theriake, those looking to the coming of the Christ less so than those experiencing the Christ firsthand. The theriake itself sets forth several things at once:
The Who and What of the Source of Life
Eternal promises made to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness
Atonement, peace, and abiding for those who endure to the end
The next storytelling level is Myth & Legend, which most usually does not put the life of the storyteller in any danger. Nevertheless, the stories told are considered lofty, and do have an enormous amount of theriake. Logos/Rhema predication in a secondary form is found at this level. Philosophy and Theology find their homes here. From the Greek tradition we have Aesop, who was an Ethiopian slave. From China we have Lao Tzu. Northern Europe gives us J. R. R. Tolkien, George Mackay Brown, Lord Dunsany, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and others. Norse and Irish myths fall into this category, as well as the myths and legends of many other world cultures. The storytellers often live the theriake while they speak it, but this is not always the case.
The next level is called Speculative Fiction and has been divided into three styles: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. Fantasy and Horror have been with us for millennia, and much of these two verge on being mythological. Sci-Fi is a recent addition ca. the 19th century. Allegorical Fantasy falls into the Spec-Fic category. Ray Bradbury is a master of Spec-Fic. The three styles, or genres, work with the feelings and emotions of wonder, terror, and horror… and generally ask one or more of the questions How, Why, What, Who, When, and Where. Ghost Stories additionally give us our forgotten histories as well as frightening glimpses into spiritual realms unclean or beneath divine judgment. At times the storytellers carry antidote, and when they do, sometimes they live the theriake while they speak it, but this is a rarity. Most fantastic writ is not mythopoetic. Mythopoetic work, since circa the year 4000 Before Common Era (BCE), has been defined by a monotheistic focus (if the Primordial Force should be considered a ‘god’ and therefore theistic, which is arguable).