The Mystery of Mythology

What is it about the myth that captivates so?

 Our brain enjoys thinking in narrative – characters in a setting, a story building to climax and resolving in closure. Story-telling allows us to share these narratives over coffee, around the table or a campfire.

 But real life is not always a mountain climb. More often it is hills and valleys – not very interesting stuff. So keeping interest up becomes important. Enter speculation. The story becomes a tale with a little speculation here and there. This makes the story captivating.

 The ancients were no different. They depended on oral communication entirely. Their experiences were passed on in stories filled with speculation. Some of these tales became well-known myths. But remember, somewhere within the myth lies the truth.

 This is precisely why, after our informed consciousness reaches the conclusion that the scriptures are NOT holy and inspired, we must not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Finding the truth within the ancient tales and myths which were finally written much later, perhaps with even more embellishments, is what really matters.

 The Greek mythos captured their belief system and passed it to the next generations. And if the characters were speculated to be supernatural, they could do almost anything beyond the capabilities of being human. Having received this “wisdom” from the fathers, who would dare to question it? Uninformed consciousness remains stuck with the myth and stuck with the fears the myth encourages. (Any of this sound familiar?) But if informed consciousness had not questioned the myth, the earth would still be flat, the sun and all the planets would still be revolving around the earth, and the universe would still be only our solar system.

 A myth can be a metaphor, a symbol of something else. Whether true or false or a symbol remains a mystery until it is questioned rather than blindly accepted as told/written. Examples: the “fall” and the “flood” and “heaven” and “hell” and “resurrection” and the idea of an apocalyptic judgment to name a few among many beliefs still blindly accepted. Again, coming from the “wisdom” of the fathers, who would dare to question their validity, especially if they were “inspired?” And if consciousness does not question this inspiration idea, then it must also live with the fears it encourages.

 A new narrative, our story, must include examples that led us to question these myths. Powerful and true anecdotes. They must be compared to the story of Love discovered within us. The results of each must differ so that they bring tears of understanding and relief to the eyes of the listener/reader of our story.

 Questioning the “wisdom” of the fathers takes guts to show where they were wrong to believe and to live according these myths. Their “sacred” stories will not seem so “sacred” any longer. The terror and worry and fear that they bring to humanity must be exposed with great clarity. Be fearless before churchmen who will attempt to intimidate you for your “heresy.” Forgive them. They still do not know what they are doing.

 Example: Which mid-eastern god was Abraham listening to when he went off to sacrifice Isaac? Good thing his consciousness listened instead to his own son who questioned his father’s gruesome religious practice. And good thing his consciousness questioned the same practice and compared the results to his dream of having a family so large that it could not be counted. My hunch goes with the growing consciousness, not with the many things finally written as speculation about the great “god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” If we stick with their stories, we can learn from them. If we get caught theorizing from a tale about a “god” who asks for sacrifice, punishment, encourages payback, makes demands, etc., then we are stuck with untold fears and are apt to practice the same violence on our neighbor.

 The mystery of why humans choose to carry these myths around on their backs begins to melt away when “inspiration” and “holy/sacred” words are questioned to find the truth. That is when the real story will come out! That is when Love is released in the story. And that is when a pearl of great price is found. Then we do whatever it takes to make it our own, a part of OUR story.

 What is your story? Write it! Spiff it up a bit with a little speculation if you dare. Have fun with it. Allow your family to find the truth in it for them. Love is yearning to be discovered among all the thorns and weeds sown by the church – sown by all religions. Love will win! Humanity will progress to the better. Tell about your progression.

 The following excerpts appeared in a Blog post entitled “Campfire Writing.” By David Masters found at http://writetodone.com/2009/07/01/campfire-writing-why-stories-are-the-writers-elemental-tool/  (David Masters is a writer, storyteller, blogger, and amateur photographer)

 “Stories are fundamental to being human.  Without stories, life would appear as a meaningless jumble of facts and ideas.  Stories make facts, and great ideas, meaningful.  They connect with the everyday life and experience of their listeners or readers.

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.
~ Rudyard Kipling

“Stories inspire lasting change for two reasons.  First, they are memorable.  A well told story is never forgotten; it lodges itself deep in the reader’s subconscious mind. Second, the reader has to find out the purpose of the story for themselves.  The reader is responsible for working out the truth of the story.”

[Story]

King Shahryar of Persia loves his newlywed wife more than all the world.  It is his greatest happiness to meet her every wish, and to treat her with the finest jewels – diamonds, rubies, and sapphires – and beautiful silk dresses.

Shahryar’s Queen, however, is in love with another man.  For many years, the Queen and her lover have a secret affair.

When King Shahryar finally discovers his Queen’s infidelity, he is furious.  Breaking down and losing his mind, he has the Queen executed.  As revenge on his former wife, he decrees that all women are unfaithful.

He soon marries a new bride, but has her executed the next morning, before she has a chance to cheat on him.  He marries again, and again executes his new wife the next day.  He repeats this pattern until his chief advisor can find no more women for him to marry. The only single woman left in the whole kingdom is the advisor’s daughter, Scheherazade.  Reluctantly, the chief advisor agrees to let her marry the king.

On their wedding night, Scheherazade tells the king a story.  At the climax of the story, she stops her storytelling, and refuses to continue.  The king is determined to discover the ending to the story.  He begs her to finish, but she will not tell the ending.

The next day, the executioner knocks on the king’s door, as has become custom the day after each wedding. The king sends the executioner away.  Scheherazade’s execution can wait until tomorrow; he must first hear the end of her story.

That night, Scheherazade finishes her story.  The king is satisfied, and will have her executed the following morning.  However, while he is plotting  Scheherazade’s demise, she begins another story.  Again, she stops telling the story at its climax, and refuses to continue.  Again, the king holds off her execution so he can hear the ending to her story.  And again, that evening, when she finishes the previous story, she starts another.

For 1,001 nights Scheherazade captivates the king is this way, holding his curiosity each night with a new story.

During these years of sharing stories, the King has fallen in love with Scheherazade.  He can no longer imagine having her executed.   Scheherazade, too, has fallen in love with the King.  Together, they live happily ever after, with a reign of justice and truth, always listening carefully to the stories of their subjects.

[End Story]

 July 28, 2011 ~ Henry Hasse

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Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  

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