Sunday, December 20, 2009

dynamic Metaphors

Joseph Campbell said:

"What is a myth? The dictionary definition of a myth would be stories about gods. So then you have to ask the next question. What is a god? A god is a personification of a motivating power or a value system that functions in human life and in the universe--the powers of your own body and of nature. The myths are metaphorical of spiritual potentiality in the human beings, and the same powers that animate our life animate the life of the world. But also there are myths and gods that have to do with specific societies or the patron deities of the society. In other words, there are two totally different orders of mythology. There is the mythology that relates you to your nature and to the natural world, of which you're a part. And there is the mythology that is strictly sociological, linking you to a particular society. You are not simply a natural man, you are a member of a particular group. In the history of European mythology, you can see the interaction of these two systems. In the nineteenth century, scholars thought of mythology and ritual as an attempt to control nature. But that is magic, not mythology or religion. Nature religions are not attempts to control nature but to help you put yourself in accord with it."

Within the text of our myths we have found the deeper symbols, the deeper pathways that our ancestors knew and used and taught, that wisdom which was considered so important it was placed into story-form and handed down mouth to ear for thousands of years. We certainly don't look to the modern (meaning after the Jacobian era) fairy tales, as those are something entirely different.

We have come to understand that we search mythology to find an aspect of myth that relates to our own life. Myth provides four functions:

Mystical Function -- realizing what a wonder the universe is, and what a wonder you are, and experiencing awe before this mystery. Myth opens the world to the dimension of mystery, to the realization of the mystery that underlies all forms. If mystery is manifest through all things, the universe becomes a holy picture.

Cosmological Dimension -- the dimension with which science is concerned -- showing you what the shape of the universe is, but showing it in such a way that the mystery again comes through. The greatest scientists will tell you they dont have all the answers, they're just telling you how it works.

Sociological Function -- supporting and validating a certain social order and the dictates of Ethical laws.

Pedagogical Function -- how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances.


{Images linked to Artists/Programming by DPC}

Mehr Links:

Encyclopedia Mythica
Windows to the Universe

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Sri Yukteswar

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