Ever since people have spoken, they have related myths to one another. We have an apparent need for myths. What is their purpose and do they play a role in our personal development, morally and spiritually? Does it matter if we believe the myth or not? Should a myth be interpreted literally or in some symbolic way (such as metaphorically or allegorically)?

asked 07 Nov '09, 05:27

John's gravatar image


edited 07 Nov '09, 08:44

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, p. 85

The dreams, hopes, aspirations and fears of man interact in a constant motion that then forms the events of your world. That interaction includes not only man, of course, but the emotional reality of all earthly consciousnesses as well, from a microbe to a scholar, from a frog to a star. You interpret the phenomena of your world according to the mythic characteristics that you have accepted.

(11 Mar '13, 08:03) don

No, we just have the need to complicate the simple.

(11 Mar '13, 08:14) CalonLan
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The world’s ideas, fantasies, or myth seem far divorced from current experience-yet all that you know or experience has its origin in that creative dimension of existence of inner reality. In a manner of speaking your factual world rises on a bed of fantasy, myth and imagination, from which all detailed paraphernalia, emerge.

Myth is not a distortion of fact, but the womb through which fact must come. Myth involves an intrinsic understanding of the nature of reality, couched in imaginative terms, carrying a power as strong as nature itself. Myth making is a natural psychic characteristic, psychic element that combines with other such elements to form a mythical representation of inner reality. The representation is then used as a model upon which your civilizations are organized, and also as a perceptual tool through whose lens you interpret the private events of your life in their historical context.

When you accept myths you call them facts, of course, for they become so a part of your lives, of societies and your professions, and their basis seems self-apparent. Myths are vast psychic dramas, more truthful than facts. They provide an ever-enduring theater of reality.

Myths are natural phenomena, rising from the psyche of man as surely as giant mountains ranges emerge from physical planet. Their deeper reality exists, however, on inner reality as source material for the world that you know.

Myths are originally psychic fabrications of such power and strength that whole civilizations can rise from their source. They involve symbols and know emotional validities that are then connected to the physical world, so that that world is never the same again.

They cast their light over historical events because they are responsible for those events. They mix and merge the inner, unseen but felt, eternal psychic experience of man with the temporal events of his physical days, and from a combination that structures thoughts and beliefs from civilization to civilization.

Sorce: The individual and the nature of mass events


answered 08 Nov '09, 12:12

T%20A's gravatar image


There are many that are helpful, like the story of how Merlin defeated Mab by turning his back on her and giving up believing in her. But there are others harmful like Robin Hood, he robed from the rich and gave to the poor, what a hero he was, but when you really look at it he was a value destroyer. What was the indoctrinated message pounded into little child's brains other than life is hard if you want something you have to take it or be given it by someone else. Robin was a hood a criminal not a hero and the worst people he robbed were not the rich in the story but the poor that made him a hero listening to his story, because he stole their hope of believing they can succeed and also their hope in knowing being wealthy is not bad and can help many people. So Robin Hood instilled these damaging thoughts, Wealth is bad, you can not earn your way to happiness, you have to either steal it or be handed it from someone else. That is what we read to our children??? Here is another damaging story read to all little girls, many stories but all share these common grounds, the girl is a peasant girl barely able to take care for her self, along comes a rich wealthy hansom prince or knight sometimes both as the knight turns out to be a prince, he sweeps her off her feet and makes her his princess. Now all of her problems are solved for her, think of the damage that has caused, guys are forced to live up to that, they pay for everything and when it is discovered he is not the prince they get hurt because all of a sudden this happily ever after as in all the children's stories is not there, he is just a guy trying to make it in this world like all other guys.

I think myths needs to be considered what is really being taught here? Weighed and measured there are some gems but they need to be meditated on what is good and what is actually damaging.


answered 07 Nov '09, 09:23

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

I guess we need to ask why we perpetuate such "harmful" myths then. They must be serving someone's agenda.

(07 Nov '09, 21:18) John

WOW John there have always been people in powerful positions that wanted to keep the mass people down, to be content, "that is just how life is, what can you do about it." Maybe through our examining of our myths we have stumbled on something purposely designed for control! This blows my mind I think you are right John.

(07 Nov '09, 22:39) Wade Casaldi

You're being a little hard on the Robin Hood myth. The people from whom he stole were the tax collectors and the tyrants, not the capitalist innovators. He wasn't a value destroyer in the myth; he was the protector of the weak and those who could not defend themselves.

(07 Nov '09, 22:41) Vesuvius

Robin Hood did not destroy the poor people hope. IT was already being destroy by the tyrants and the tax collectors. They were down to the point of just trying to survive. No one was caring what the tax collectors and tyrants were doing to the poor people. They had laid their hope down as they were trying to pick up an crumb of food as they were being taken advantage of time and time again by tyrants. True there are some good myths and harmful one but as in anything I think it depends on what lens you are looking through and where you stop to look.

(08 Nov '09, 05:53) flowingwater

Vesuvius and Unknown, why don't you weigh in with your own answer and get some credit for it? Only I'd like to hear a broader discussion than just Robin Hood. In fact, I'd like to keep the focus more an answering how myths may contribute to our spiritual growth (or not).

(08 Nov '09, 06:39) John
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One of the foremost functions of myth is to establish models for behavior. The figures described in myth are sacred and are therefore worthy role models for human beings. Thus, myths often function to uphold current social structures and institutions: they justify these customs by claiming that they were established by sacred beings.

Another function is to provide people with a religious experience. By retelling myths, human beings detach themselves from the present and return to the mythical age, thereby bringing themselves closer to the divine. In fact, in some cases, a society will reenact a myth in an attempt to reproduce the conditions of the mythical age: for example, it will reenact the healing performed by a god at the beginning of time in order to heal someone in the present.



answered 08 Nov '09, 21:08

Vesuvius's gravatar image


Maybe a way to get people to start thinking or behaving a certain way. Almost like brain washing but with a more positive intent.

In a myth you can mix in elements that make your intent easier to swallow.


answered 27 Jul '10, 16:26

Back2Basics's gravatar image


Myth,legend,religion have all encoded knowledge in them. many religion even if they fight one against the other are often saying the same thing each to is own level of understanding. Often you would have to be blind to not see that they talk about the same thing.Quick example jesus the water and the sword of truth,the holy grail. excalibur the water the lady of the lake and the sword of truth,the holy grail. it is full of legend myth and religion that use similar story similar symbol across the world. Eventually if people are able to see this they might stop to fight and work together since they all have some pieces of the puzzle divided and scaterred across the world. yet they need to fight and make division to keep control and get money and wealth,and built their palace and temple of wood and stone.


answered 11 Mar '13, 11:34

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

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