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what purposes do myths serve?

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A Myth: There is a rare breed among us humans...few and far between...but growing steadily in number...with the right combination of courage and logic, tenacity and reason, strength and wisdom...not burdened with the superstitions of our ancestors...free of their delusions...able to live without the consolation provided by myth...and willing to face the hard, cold facts about reality...brave minds willing to accept whatever science deems true...not dependent upon fictions nor coward enough for faith...courageous intellects confronting the full force of history's religious dogmas...providing a chance at real, genuine, true freedom...actually, the only hope for free thinking and moral action...the one true way...the only way.

.............................

I think God has a good deal to do with myth, but then again, I think God has a good deal to do with everything...actually, speaking about God is really matter of speaking about everything: more precisely, what really matters about anything is what it means to talk about God. God is the word, and what a word it is, that attempts to contain everything that matters. Myth is the way we settle what matters in life. It is not merely describing where everything comes from...it also imagines where everything is headed: it ties beginnings to endings and gives everything in between a meaningful role in the drama...a part in the performance that matters.
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Taking it to a kind of simple level, gods/goddesses [in general] ARE in myths. For example, taking the mythic/fairy tale-esque Epic by Homer [although that is debatable and for another time] The Odyssey, is rife with gods and goddess, and one such is Pallas Athena. Myth cycles such as Medea's have gods and goddesses like Hecate and Circe and [I think, but I need to check my notes] Poseidon. Poseidon is in Minos and Europa's myth cycle of the Minotaur.

So I think gods and myths can go hand in hand; and that can be where the line between religion and myth can be blurred, just look at Egyptian Religion and their myths - which inevitably like Greece and Rome involve their gods and therefore some element of religion in these ancient societies.
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Chris: They (myths) have value on many different levels, but we harm our ability to think clearly when we blur the line between myth and reality. I love mythology and the lessons imparted, but I recognize the value of being intellectual honest and saying, "While this is a wonderful story it is merely a story and not a true account of actual events."

I think myth is involved in your notion of reality, as well as your commitment to think clearly, and in your ideal of being intellectually honest. In the story that tells you what it means to be "Chris", you have christened a cast of characters and catalogue of scripts that keep you motivated and mobilized: boosting your morale, lifting your spirits and filling you with courage...a narrative that stabilizes your identity in the midst of chaos and constant disturbances. An important part of this story is making clear and distinct demarcations between populations: a drawing and patrolling of borders. On one side live the honest and smart. On the other live the deluded and ignorant. The honest and smart are few and far between and under steady attack by the very many deluded and ignorant. A defining component of your myth is the premiere value of belonging to the embattled community of the few who are honest and smart. In this belonging you find a meaning to life and a purpose worth fighting and, perhaps, dying for. It is a noble cause that bequeaths honor to your efforts...placing you within an almost elite population of courageous comrades unencumbered by the lies and threats and seductions of the stupid and dangerous masses...a kind of exceptionally equipped and morally esteemed brotherhood...rare, distinguished, precious kinsmen who share an extraordinary ability to be true to themselves and to others- no matter the cost.

What is interesting, I think, is at some level, all of us follow this same mythic outline...with differences resulting mostly from individual taste, or particular style...or, the pain and suffering in our life sharpens the distinctions and brutalizes the border between those we belong to and those we cannot abide. In other words, if those on the other side have hurt us, hurt us bad perhaps, really bad...or hurt others...then, our honor is strangely intensified when we strike back...and shame is increased if we allow their assualts to go unchallenged. The honorable thing becomes an act of vengeance: expose their weaknesses and attack to destroy them.

The intellectual attack, although less bloody, is an attack nonetheless. And to suffer the embarrassment of a weak argument with poor reasoning or inadequate evidence is shameful, even painful....a reminder of the original trauma and all of its attending memories.

And there are some who adopt the story that somehow they must show mercy to the other side: offer forgiveness, seek reconcilliation, pursue peace...not just to get along with, or cease the battle, but to love...to love their enemy...to risk their career, status, wealth and life for the sake of their enemy. Their death and suffering somehow redeems their oppressor....their sacrifice liberates their enemy...relieves them of their delusion and ignorance. Instead of crushing their enemy with weapons or arguments: they exhibit a generosity and hospitality that erases all borders.

I think I may have lost my point somewhere in their Chris....I want to come back and discuss your placebo critique...thanks for hanging in there.
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Actually, I think you hit the nail on the head with most of what you said. Good post. Good points.
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Myth as memory and identity

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I find Myth to be a very interesting "bridge" to all manner of identifying components from the pervasive marketing of product to deeply integral epistemological issues.

I include here a chapter titled "Myth", within the context of the work of the "Artist". I capitalize and quote "Artist" taking a cue from Kandinsky's book "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" in his discussion of the "Cultural triangle". A framework of cultural "clasification" flirting with the differing degrees people, and percentages of people take themselves as "subject" and to what depth...

Myth

From the first moment we experience life we perceive ourselves by our cognitive faculty and begin our "identification" with the definitions, perceived and taught, of all phenomena that surrounds us. The development of our epistemological premises for identifying every sensory input is immediately complex and ever more so. Each and every action we take in our lives is the result of our reasoning skills measured in part by epistemological priori and an ever-burgeoning matrix of typed and stored memory. Our perceptive filters affect reasoning skill. These filters are created by our cravings and attachment to phenomena and imprint our spiritual plane or consciousness. Other filters, filters acting as so many veils of false perceptions, in the matrix of "identification", are deep cultural and societal constructs, which owe their powerful existence to many layers of causation dating back through generations and geographies. This is cultural and provincial perception. Our Spirit, subtle and eternal consciousness, however, seeks only to expand and grow in nurturing our highest potential in its subtle and most omnipresent form as simple awareness. Excavating this awareness is the Artist and ascetic's modus operandi.

In a societal or cultural environment where the physical reigns supreme and at the expense of the spiritual dignity of the individual and the group, the assumptions of what is necessary to conduct a productive life is always ultimately at odds with the spiritual life. Today, the pursuit of happiness is directly equated to material possessions. This too affects the Art's role in society. Art, fine or banal, is treated and perceived as material possession as well, bereft of any other value than its appraisal and investment potential. More often than not, Art is purchased for the cheesy, voyeuristic impulse of bizarre circumstance in either its creation or its creator, as sensationalism and gossip are the trade of merit as much as scandal are the method of promotion. What a disgusting state of affairs.

It may be a sad fact of life or simply the necessary evolution of a species that all cultures at this point in our history find their youth struggling with issues of identity on the level of self destruction. Given the earlier statement that assumptions based solely on the physical plane are not only at odds with, but oppress and actually deny spiritual life, it may be observed in many cultures throughout history how such behavior has behooved the people of the masses ("subject") to create physical interpretations of spirituality. This transference is the tragedy we have already exposed in the materialistic cravings of "identification" in the samsaric "reality".

What follows is only a simple example of this denial of the individual to illustrate the input of "other" in the building of mythologies: Witness an individual in any obsessive behavior with regard to his car or job or clothing; by obsessive, anyone who believes their car or position or clothing is a social signifier of any sort. By definition, this is an act of acquiescence to the perceptions of "society". Anytime an individual views himself through the "perceived" lens of his society, he is living a myth, which is not his own but of his own making. Included in these myths are all the beliefs we accept or interpret from our families and mates. This myth, this set of self imposed "truths" runs counter to the real spiritual truths of each individual life and are the substance of the samsaric "I".

Myths, sets of fictitious "truths", are very difficult to overcome since their roots are cultural in the truest Aristotelian sense, beginning with the individual and validated through families and towns and ultimately through government and the fabric of all cultures.

Having stated this condition of our humanity it must also be stated that myths are necessary to achieve understanding of the samsaric puzzle in our pursuit of the purification of the spiritual tendencies obfuscating or "true life". The Artist is constantly doing battle in his perceptions of his actions and thoughts as much as the currents of the world around him in the quest to defeat these mythologies. The question is not to simply destroy our myths, since this would be tantamount to destroying the samsaric "self" which we depend upon for life, but to replace the myths, the samsaric delusions, with a clear vision and perception of the impermanence of all phenomena and the interrelatedness of all phenomena; effectively, while in this life, to create new myths that nurture our spiritual truths. The truths however, are difficult if not invisible altogether to the individual aforementioned. This again falls under the purview of the Artist and ascetics. Only the Bodhisattva has as life's purpose, the facility to awaken all those who suffer the agitated unrest of the samsaric "reality".

This explains why the youth in my earlier statement seem to seek self-destruction; without any true leaders or exemplars, and surrounded by the powerful and omnipresent samsaric machine of persuasion, there are simply no sources to counter spiritual myths constructed of the samsaric. Still, it is obvious to the young mind uninitiated in the gradual deflation of inner spirit requisite to simply follow and accept the materialist paradigm, they choose to destroy the present myth with the conviction that it is anti life. Their courage is remarkable through the conviction of their spirit, to cast aside belief systems that they recognize as painful even without the promise of a demonstrated replacement belief system (Myth) that would validate and respect their potentials. Their courage is almost exclusively derived from the naive expectation that some new spiritual life will intervene to save them. When this in fact, does not occur, youth either pursue their own extinction or acquiesce to the physical realm; breeding yet another "disillusioned" malcontent. Is there any more powerful argument for the consistent and mandatory inclusion of Art education and practice at all levels of education?

So the question which persists is, how to set about a situation or stimuli to dislodge the destructive myth while endeavoring or inspiring its replacement with a life affirming myth which supports real truths specific to each individual. The previous exploration of mandala may hold clues.

Since the ideas and associations of language are specific to each person who utters words or writes sentences and are therefore interpreted by other individuals through the "filters" (episteme) of their own myths; language is painfully ineffective in communicating or affecting a positive change. This situation results most often in manipulations, coercion, or at best a very lengthy process towards some negotiated sense of self discovery.

Physical stimuli are also ineffectual as it is immediately integrated into specific myth to validate itself rather than to inspire any change, the fabulously adept "Ego" at the helm constantly mastering the minds attention to all phenomena used to maintain the samsaric "self".

What must be stimulated in order to create powerful stimuli is the cognitive faculty, which reasoned the inappropriate myth in the first place. This can only be accomplished through the vehicle by which all humans convert their cognition into reasoning, the mind. This most powerful of all human faculties within the mind is the individual's power of abstraction. And the most immediate and efficient means of communication with the abstract is visual and aural stimuli. Witness the, almost indecipherable speed with which images are implanted into the minds of television viewers today, and the resulting catatonia.

Only through visual and aural stimuli can all individuals be sensitized to their own myths. Of course, the ascetic would argue that meditation is a primary tool. But to those for whom the ascetic life is not taken, the path to elucidation in the samsaric world is unavailable or simply unknown. Once again, the essential component of human existence to provide a signpost and exigency toward self-awakening is the Arts.

Once sensitized, the individual is immediately set on a path of inquiry, which will ultimately result in re evaluation of his premises or "truths", thereby allowing the individual to re direct or replace some aspect of his myth and simultaneously give birth, or re birth, to his true myth or system of beliefs which will nurture his true identity. This is the only true goal of Art.
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Myth is a subjective perspective on another person's or groups beliefs, seeing those beliefs generalized as false. Myths have great entertainment value. Except Christianity, that myth kills people.
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Re: Myth as memory and identity

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sifusylvain wrote:I find Myth to be a very interesting "bridge" to all manner of identifying components from the pervasive marketing of product to deeply integral epistemological issues.
Hello again Sifusylvain, very pleased to see your comment, and sincere apologies I haven't yet continued our conversation on Buddhism. Discussing these themes is exhausting. You probably know the story of the Rainbow Milky Way Bridge Bifrost from Norse Mythology. Bridging our world and the absolute is a key task for mythic thought. This weekend I am at the inaugural Australian Philosophy and Religion Association conference. It reminds me how intensive study of deep thinkers is highly rewarding.
I include here a chapter titled "Myth", within the context of the work of the "Artist". I capitalize and quote "Artist" taking a cue from Kandinsky's book "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" in his discussion of the "Cultural triangle". A framework of cultural "classification" flirting with the differing degrees people, and percentages of people take themselves as "subject" and to what depth...
Vassily Kandinsky shares with Andre Malraux and Martin Heidegger an effort to reintroduce the spiritual into aesthetics, noting how the concept of "fine art" has excluded spiritual analysis despite the religious and cosmic motivation for the vast majority of art over history.
Myth... Our perceptive filters affect reasoning skill. These filters are created by our cravings and attachment to phenomena and imprint our spiritual plane or consciousness. Other filters, filters acting as so many veils of false perceptions, in the matrix of "identification", are deep cultural and societal constructs, which owe their powerful existence to many layers of causation dating back through generations and geographies. This is cultural and provincial perception. Our Spirit, subtle and eternal consciousness, however, seeks only to expand and grow in nurturing our highest potential in its subtle and most omnipresent form as simple awareness. Excavating this awareness is the Artist and ascetic's modus operandi.
This concept of Artist is foreign to much of the degraded postmodern culture which lacks any sense of value or priority, because of its incapacity to think through a theory of myth. When filters are denied they exercise extreme power.
In a societal or cultural environment where the physical reigns supreme and at the expense of the spiritual dignity of the individual and the group, the assumptions of what is necessary to conduct a productive life is always ultimately at odds with the spiritual life. Today, the pursuit of happiness is directly equated to material possessions. This too affects the Art's role in society. Art, fine or banal, is treated and perceived as material possession as well, bereft of any other value than its appraisal and investment potential. More often than not, Art is purchased for the cheesy, voyeuristic impulse of bizarre circumstance in either its creation or its creator, as sensationalism and gossip are the trade of merit as much as scandal are the method of promotion. What a disgusting state of affairs.
Plato tells a deep myth in The Sophist about the battle between Giants and Gods. This is a superb text to underpin your analysis of dignity and voyeurism. I discuss it at this Appendix to my Masters Thesis.. In the Sophist, Plato compares the effort to make sense of the world to a battle between giants and Gods, in which the difficulties of philosophy are discussed in terms of the quarrel between materialism and idealism. The giants "define reality as the same thing as body, and as soon as one of the opposite party asserts that anything without a body is real, they are utterly contemptuous and will not listen to another word", while on the other side the Gods "are very wary in defending their position somewhere in the heights of the unseen, maintaining with all their force that true reality consists in certain intelligible and bodiless Ideas" (246b). What the giants "allege to be true reality, the Gods do not call real being, but a sort of moving process of becoming" (246c). Plato believed that both these ways of thought had something important to offer, but he attacked the materialists for being violent and uncivilised (246d) and for thinking that "whatever they cannot squeeze between their hands is just nothing at all" (247c). He says, "it is quite enough for our purposes if they consent to admit that even a small part of reality is bodiless", arguing that this must be admitted in the case of qualities of the soul like "justice and wisdom or any other sort of goodness or badness" (247b).
Another commentary on Plato is at http://stopthatcrow.blogspot.com/2006/0 ... -gods.html
It may be a sad fact of life or simply the necessary evolution of a species that all cultures at this point in our history find their youth struggling with issues of identity on the level of self destruction. Given the earlier statement that assumptions based solely on the physical plane are not only at odds with, but oppress and actually deny spiritual life, it may be observed in many cultures throughout history how such behavior has behooved the people of the masses ("subject") to create physical interpretations of spirituality. This transference is the tragedy we have already exposed in the materialistic cravings of "identification" in the samsaric "reality".
Well said. Commercialism has stripped away the narrative meaning of culture, and produced a dangerous spiritual void. Denial of the mythic dimension of advertising is part of this dangerous trend. You also pick up religious literalism, another main danger.
What follows is only a simple example of this denial of the individual to illustrate the input of "other" in the building of mythologies: Witness an individual in any obsessive behavior with regard to his car or job or clothing; by obsessive, anyone who believes their car or position or clothing is a social signifier of any sort. By definition, this is an act of acquiescence to the perceptions of "society". Anytime an individual views himself through the "perceived" lens of his society, he is living a myth, which is not his own but of his own making. Included in these myths are all the beliefs we accept or interpret from our families and mates. This myth, this set of self imposed "truths" runs counter to the real spiritual truths of each individual life and are the substance of the samsaric "I".
Samsara or the wandering of souls through time, is a deep mythic idea whose meaning is very hard for the atheist to engage with. I prefer not to equate the term 'myth' with 'delusion' as this closes us off from the truth content in myths such as the stories about samsara.
Myths, sets of fictitious "truths", are very difficult to overcome since their roots are cultural in the truest Aristotelian sense, beginning with the individual and validated through families and towns and ultimately through government and the fabric of all cultures.
False myths do indeed have a karmic power, perpetuated through cause and effect in the world. The challenge is to articulate true myth in a way that resonates with the public mind. I think that the story of the Gospels has immense potential in this regard, despite its degraded mythic status via fundamentalism.
Having stated this condition of our humanity it must also be stated that myths are necessary to achieve understanding of the samsaric puzzle in our pursuit of the purification of the spiritual tendencies obfuscating or "true life". The Artist is constantly doing battle in his perceptions of his actions and thoughts as much as the currents of the world around him in the quest to defeat these mythologies. The question is not to simply destroy our myths, since this would be tantamount to destroying the samsaric "self" which we depend upon for life, but to replace the myths, the samsaric delusions, with a clear vision and perception of the impermanence of all phenomena and the interrelatedness of all phenomena; effectively, while in this life, to create new myths that nurture our spiritual truths. The truths however, are difficult if not invisible altogether to the individual aforementioned. This again falls under the purview of the Artist and ascetics. Only the Bodhisattva has as life's purpose, the facility to awaken all those who suffer the agitated unrest of the samsaric "reality".
You may be able to tell that I am just commenting as I read your ideas. Here you are making a similar point to my response above. I do think that Christ has a mythic complementarity to the Buddha, in that he engaged the world to transform it, rather than seeing suffering as inevitable. The cross was the price for this engagement.
... youth ... seek self-destruction; without any true leaders or exemplars, and surrounded by the powerful and omnipresent samsaric machine of persuasion, there are simply no sources to counter spiritual myths constructed of the samsaric. Still, it is obvious to the young mind uninitiated in the gradual deflation of inner spirit requisite to simply follow and accept the materialist paradigm, they choose to destroy the present myth with the conviction that it is anti life. Their courage is remarkable through the conviction of their spirit, to cast aside belief systems that they recognize as painful even without the promise of a demonstrated replacement belief system (Myth) that would validate and respect their potentials. Their courage is almost exclusively derived from the naive expectation that some new spiritual life will intervene to save them. When this in fact, does not occur, youth either pursue their own extinction or acquiesce to the physical realm; breeding yet another "disillusioned" malcontent. Is there any more powerful argument for the consistent and mandatory inclusion of Art education and practice at all levels of education?
"The gradual deflation of inner spirit requisite to simply follow and accept the materialist paradigm" is a perceptive description of our world of tears. "Art" in your sense here is a far cry from materialist aesthetics. I am not sure that it quite hits the mark as a metaphor for the spiritual enlightenment you are promoting. It requires clarification in terms of content before it is suitable for all levels. Your comment about courage has a strong Biblical analog in Paul's statement at Rom 5.3 "we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
So the question which persists is, how to set about a situation or stimuli to dislodge the destructive myth while endeavoring or inspiring its replacement with a life affirming myth which supports real truths specific to each individual. The previous exploration of mandala may hold clues.
This is your first mention of mandala in this thread. Jung saw it as a central archetypal symbol.
Since the ideas and associations of language are specific to each person who utters words or writes sentences and are therefore interpreted by other individuals through the "filters" (episteme) of their own myths; language is painfully ineffective in communicating or affecting a positive change. This situation results most often in manipulations, coercion, or at best a very lengthy process towards some negotiated sense of self discovery.
This is why Jesus spoke in parables, in order to convey a higher wisdom to an ignorant population.
Physical stimuli are also ineffectual as it is immediately integrated into specific myth to validate itself rather than to inspire any change, the fabulously adept "Ego" at the helm constantly mastering the mind's attention to all phenomena used to maintain the samsaric "self".
Modern western thought is so powerful precisely because the Cartesian materialist ego is so arrogant, and its dismissal of "superstition" at the time of the "Enlightenment" resulted in such massive economic transformation through the industrial revolution. Yet the mainstream philosophical concept of the ego is a prime piece of false consciousness.
What must be stimulated in order to create powerful stimuli is the cognitive faculty, which reasoned the inappropriate myth in the first place. This can only be accomplished through the vehicle by which all humans convert their cognition into reasoning, the mind. This most powerful of all human faculties within the mind is the individual's power of abstraction. And the most immediate and efficient means of communication with the abstract is visual and aural stimuli. Witness the, almost indecipherable speed with which images are implanted into the minds of television viewers today, and the resulting catatonia.
An alternate (positive) example of the ability of music to create good myths and dispel catatonia is the Beatle's songs such as "All You Need Is Love." This has a powerful positive mythic content. Also, Paul's complaint at Rom 1.19f that the Romans 'worshiped the creature rather than the creator' highlights the depths of idolatry in the world.
Only through visual and aural stimuli can all individuals be sensitized to their own myths. Of course, the ascetic would argue that meditation is a primary tool. But to those for whom the ascetic life is not taken, the path to elucidation in the samsaric world is unavailable or simply unknown. Once again, the essential component of human existence to provide a signpost and exigency toward self-awakening is the Arts.
Meditation provides resources for the spiritually adept to engage with the world of sin from a perspective of integrity and clarity.
Once sensitized, the individual is immediately set on a path of inquiry, which will ultimately result in re evaluation of his premises or "truths", thereby allowing the individual to re direct or replace some aspect of his myth and simultaneously give birth, or re birth, to his true myth or system of beliefs which will nurture his true identity. This is the only true goal of Art.
We might also see Art in terms of prayer, which in its authentic form seeks to make the individual more sensitive to reality and to move away from forces that desensitise. Many thanks for the chance to pursue this conversation.
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Excellent "interlocution"... :smile:

And I thank you as well for your astute insights.

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I'm sure it's been noted previously in the thread (and I confess I've not read the thread in its entirety), however this is my personal take on myths.

I view myths as a pre-scientific explanation of the world as our ancestors saw it. From the very beginnings, which would presumably go back to the formation of language and when humanity consisted of isolated tribes of hunter/gatherers, I'm sure we've been trying to make sense of this ball of rock we call home. When life is, as Hobbes put it, "nasty, brutish and short", there isn't a lot of time to devote to formal exploration of the intricacies of our world. Our ancestors were familiar that a few things existed and had power over their environment; humans could effect changes on the environment, plants grew and provided sustenance, and animals had varying qualities.

I think it's reasonable to say that with a limited toolset and even more limited amount of time in which to postulate on the "deeper meaning" of things, myths originated as a way of explaining why it rained, what happens when people die, and how things appeared to be as they were. Mankind creates objects for use in daily life, so it only stands to reason that something created mankind and all he saw. Fire is useful to people, and helps them survive, so obviously this creator saw fit to grant us fire for our use. The list goes on. The fact that one can draw broad similarities between cultures and their myths indicates that it's a fairly universal method of trying to make sense of what's going on.

Of course, as humanity became more sedentary and agriculturally based, the myths developed more complicated overtones and sought to incorporate more things. Groups of individuals likely started to formulate power in their hands as intercessors with gods and goddesses to counteract the growing power of warlike and charismatic men who otherwise accrued followings as chiefs, kings and emperors. As our understanding and the amount of time we could devote to such pursuits increased, the myths become more complicated, and we see the creation of reasons for Earth's history, stories telling us why we should follow the laws (a god made them, and he'll be very unhappy if you don't obey), and other things.

Finally, as we progress through the more recent epochs of human history into recorded history, we see a more refined method of investigating the world around us (I'll focus primarily on the West, as it's the culture I'm most familiar with). The Greeks and Romans especially start to develop what we have come to consider Science, although at its start it was tied inextricably with philosophy; even now there's a distinct philosophical method to Science. After the fall of Rome and the regress of human learning, we still see the seeds of science growing in the cultures of religion--almost-scientific explanations for some aspects of nature from Christian monks (clouded as they were by the prevailing culture of Judeo-Christian mythology) and Islamic scholars.

So to summarize, in a way myths are the precursors to scientific reasoning. They display a need to explain the human condition and the reason for why things are as they are. Some people have moved along with the progressing of mythology, coming to see it for what it is, others cling to various tenets of a myriad of mythologies, taking solace in the comfort that they provide against what they see as nihilistic and meaningless explanations provided by more modern methods.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. -- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot
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Dangerous distinctions

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I believe it is either dangerous or arrogant to separate "myth" from any other thoughts or orders of "truth".

Everything humans "know" is a result of accumulated experience memorized. Witness and Alzheimers victim. All that we "think" we are, the we "think" we "do" or "see" is a result of cognative filters that are shapped by our memories of experience. Absolutely everything processed in our brains is "read" by our "minds" (insert whatever your preferred vernacular is for that here) into our "version" of our selves. This "identity" is a construct and nothing more. By definition, it is supported only by our continued re-enforcement of the same memories. By definition, this is Myth.
I'm sure it's been noted previously in the thread (and I confess I've not read the thread in its entirety), however this is my personal take on myths.
To have a "personal take" is a myth.

Our highest "mindful" state is observation. What we can do is to observe our cognative "reactions" and exegencies in response to stimuli, and regard our own mind's pedilections or predjudices from the position of a spectator.
This is extremely difficult, as our "nature" is to respond without consideration. This is the power of myth.
To help understand this I would strongly recommend the recent film by Guy Ritchie, "Revolver". A truly unexpected master work as far as I am concerned to illustrate the concept of "awakening" in the contemporary entertainment vernacular. Also very entertaining.

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