That’s an intriguing story. I thought at one point Carl was going to turn into Atlas to hold up the world. The Syncretic Church reminds me of Theosophy.
Your point about the important of myths-as-stories is more or less the lesson of the first article I wrote on Medium, The Meaningful Life is Storied:
“The lesson here is that we tell stories to provide meaning and that we do so in spite of the universe’s indifference that threatens to deprive us of any reason to carry on. As far as the universe is concerned, life has no purpose because natural events happen for no planned reason. There’s order in nature which we can rationally explain, but that order has no inherent value. In so far as a person is such a natural thing, the person’s life is likewise pointless. To the extent that we shoulder that cosmic perspective, it’s hard to see how we avoid horror and despair.
“For that reason we tell our stories, as illusory or otherwise fictional as they may be. We tell stories to give the mindless, amoral world meaning, to put our stamp on that which is inhuman. And we cling to those stories to avoid falling into an existential morass. Most of all we tell stories about ourselves, which is to say we interpret what happens in light of ideals that figure in the narrative we’d like to unfold for us. Sure, to believe your life is literally and completely a story, as though you were a victim of a Truman show or the Matrix is to be the victim of psychosis or of a religious delusion. Our stories are noble fictions, but that’s not to say they shouldn’t guide us.”