Common Use of the Word, "Myth"

Joseph Campbell believed that "...each of us has an individual myth that's driving us, which we may or may not know." This forum is for assistance and inspiration in the quest to find your own personal mythology.

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

Andreas
Associate
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:07 am

Post by Andreas » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:55 am

CarmelaBear wrote:Every experiment begins with the hypothesis, which is an educated guess and informed speculation. Without the fantasy, scientific minds and practical problem-solvers would find it hard to make progress. Myth draws on reality and then influences how it develops.

The relationship between them may be symbiotic, and their similarities are legion.

~
That is very well said Carmela. I remember reading a paper from Tolkien who said, paraphrasing him, that myth (he was talking about literature) does not blur the lines between reality and fantasy and that it is very much dependent upon reality in order to work.

He also said,
Man is degraded by scientism: "by the hypotheses (or dogmatic guesses) of scientific writers who classed Man not only as "an animal" but "only an animal." ~ Tolkien
Last edited by Andreas on Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
Andreas
Associate
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:07 am

Post by Andreas » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:05 am

romansh wrote:
Andreas wrote: We can't tackle metaphysics,Rom. We can either rationalize it or go mad. Seems to me.
Even arguing that metaphysics is something inexplicable is a sort of rationalization.
That's why I don't argue over metaphysics.
So like Schrodingers cat we rather exist in a contradictory state as long as we dont affect something. Sometimes its good to open the box and know that we are affecting the world.
Andreas wrote:Generally I dont disagree with what you are saying but I also believe that to truly separate the wheat from the chaff one has to look in the mirror mostly and also I have doubts that our understanding is more complete than ten thousands years ago. Maybe on a really small scale but essentially we remain oblivious.

Oh I don't think so.
Oh I do..
Andreas wrote:Another thing that strikes me as weird about mythology either scientific, religious, whatever.. is that understanding acts as a substitute for belief. Belief is the real problem here.
Belief is another word for thought. I can think something or I can believe it.

I don't think thought is a problem. More a lack of critical thought, matching our thoughts to the evidence.
Hmm, not sure how to answer this.. Are you not aware that different words have different meanings and definitions? "Understanding" is different from "Belief" and the problem is belief because when you believe something hard enough you actually make it a reality. And yes I dont mean in a metaphysical or fictional sense but in a very practical way.

And that is problematic whether you deal with science or mythology.. But I am pretty sure I am wasting my time here explaining stuff because like it was already said, its hard to fill a cup which is already full.
“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:05 pm

A little t trivia. I find it interesting that understand came from to stand under a thing and superstition came from to stand above a thing.

How fascinating.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:58 pm

Concerning the current debate, I find myself somewhere in the middle.

Reality has room for science and for wild untamed passion. It has room for peaceful meditation and World Cup Soccer. It is bigger and more complex than we are, and it is a mystery.

There is room for the intellect, the heart, and the will. In fact all are absolutely essential.

The problem comes when, for example, a person who follows their will devalues an intellectual, or visa versa. The competitor defines the intellectual as a weak nerd, and the intellectual thinks the other is a moron. Each has their path with its rules and values that the other does not honor.

I know from my own experience that science is unique and special and essential, but I also know that it has limits.

I in response to my post about love and beauty .


Rom wrote

Since the sixties we have been making a stab at understanding these sort of things, especially in terms of evolutionary psychology and more recently neuroscience.

I agree that we can study facets of love, like its role for survival or how it transforms the brain, but it is much more that just those facets.

The source or cause of love was figured out a long time ago.

Since everything is connected, the source of love is the whole becoming love. It is the immanent and transcendent mystery falling in love with itself, only doing it in an infinite variety of ways.

This view is the logical outcome that follows from our interconnectedness.

In my opinion claiming that love is just brain chemistry is just another attack by intellectual on those on a different path. We need more from our intellectuals.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:12 pm

Here are some comments on the nature of love.

http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/quote ... ve-quotes/
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
CarmelaBear
Associate
Posts: 4087
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 3:51 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Post by CarmelaBear » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:57 pm

Andreas wrote: That is very well said Carmela. I remember reading a paper from Tolkien who said, paraphrasing him, that myth (he was talking about literature) does not blur the lines between reality and fantasy and that it is very much dependent upon reality in order to work.

He also said,
Man is degraded by scientism: "by the hypotheses (or dogmatic guesses) of scientific writers who classed Man not only as "an animal" but "only an animal." ~ Tolkien
Thanks, Andreas.

Tolkien's ideas confirm the experience of those who recognize how myth and science work hand-in-hand. The idea that scientists tend to reduce humanity to concrete, material evidence is both true and understandable. The tools and aims of science are not suited to the imaginative arts and letters, except to expand the field of reference.

The essence of the human experience is captured when humans have first begun to paint the head of a beast on the body of a person. In the earliest cave paintings, the humans are not the center of attention. It is the animals who offer themselves as food to support human survival, and human who is immortalized in paint has the head of a bull. Today, in Catholic churches, the center is not the animals of the hunt but one special human who freely gives himself as the sacrificial offering (for consumption in the form of wheat wafers). The sacrificial "animal" is called "the lamb of God", and the ancestors of the Catholics were the Hebrews who sacrificed lambs to demonstrate a proper attitude toward the God creator, sustainer, disciplinarian.

It is not only science that would tend to reduce the human spirit to the level of an animal. By making a man-God the sacrifice, he was reduced, temporarily, to the level of an infant sheep to be slain and eaten by dependent, guilt-driven creatures. The religious and mythic idea of eating the "meat" of a spiritual diet is no longer just an ancient idea, but a modern one. It is the other side of the Catholic Church's adaptation of whatever "religion" it encounters. Church holy days combine Pagan and Jewish traditions with the life and sermons of Jesus and his followers. Now, the myth of the church is combined with science and commercialism in ways that are nothing short of ingenious.

Sacrifice is sold as pure love, and the image of the suffering Christ is the center of the most popular religion on the planet. It is all about making a commercial bargain with the power of the spirit. Trading the willing sacrifice of a worthy and innocent God-son for a condo in paradise is a cool deal, because all humans have to do is join the line of believers who accept this as their own personal plan for redemption. The gallows of Jesus is the ultimate image of the God-beast or spiritual animal.

Humans don't just bury their dead. They do so with ceremony and ritual and a fuss fit for a spiritual entity who is worthy of remembrance and the continued life of the spirit or mind.

The man, Jesus, took on the dramatic adult role of the sacrificed son of father Abraham by deliberately provoking the Romans and their Jewish political functionaries, possibly surviving for a number of days after an apparent asphyxiation and hasty burial, and eventually becoming the warrior spirit guide the Roman emperor needed to motivate his troops into battle and, for the church, a remarkably convenient advertisement for the sale of redemption from guilt and from fear of spiritually eternal suffering at the hands of a God who makes mass incarceration look mild and luxurious by comparison to what he has devised to punish sinners.

It is not Lord of the Rings. It is Lord of a social circle of millions of people who give money and time and energy and most of all, belief, to the keepers of the most successful and powerful myth of all time. God becomes human and plays the role of the sacrificial lamb long enough to be revivified and turned into a symbol of salvation.

As a child, I did not question any of this. Up to a certain age, Roman Catholic Joseph Campbell accepted this myth as real along with the folk tale of Santa Claus. Both of these are demonstrations of the parents' love for children. Generous parents and dependent children who must learn to be subordinate to powerful authority for the whole of their lives.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
CarmelaBear
Associate
Posts: 4087
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 3:51 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Post by CarmelaBear » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:54 am

Roncooper wrote: There is room for the intellect, the heart, and the will. In fact all are absolutely essential.

The problem comes when, for example, a person who follows their will devalues an intellectual, or visa versa. The competitor defines the intellectual as a weak nerd, and the intellectual thinks the other is a moron. Each has their path with its rules and values that the other does not honor.

...

In my opinion claiming that love is just brain chemistry is just another attack by intellectual on those on a different path. We need more from our intellectuals.
Part of the problem is that society acknowledges certain "proofs" or outcomes where love is concerned. One consequence of sexual involvement is pregnancy and offspring. Another is the institution of marriage. A third is communication through a variety of means (music, art, literature, touch, personal and financial commitment, etc.). They can be about biology, practical and spiritual matters as well as the nature of relationships between individuals or between society and the individual

For example, while every religion acknowledges the golden rule, this rule assumes that people have been exposed to the experience of being treated with some degree of respect and compassion. Science confirms that those who have never known what it is to be "loved" with simple and gentle human touch as an infant are not likely to survive to a first birthday. They never have a chance to return a love they never experienced. At each phase of human life, another form of love is required for survival. The interdependence of humans is so complex that a simple rule is intended to help us to focus on the essentials, but in practice the rule fails more often than ethicists would like to admit.

In interpersonal relationships, the golden rule...to do unto others what one would want for the self...presumes that the individual has some sense of what it is to be well-treated. Those who have never experienced compassion may not be prepared to give it to others. Those who have forgotten it, are at a loss in recognizing compassion. Those who lack the means or capacity to give are not in a position to grant what they do not have.

The poor cannot give money and the richest of the rich can only make a difference through social ingathering of resources, which tends to violate their sense of ownership. The individual is not in a position to do much beyond compassion for a select and exclusive few. Societies show compassion to many people by severely harming individuals or risking harm as collateral damage.

Ethics and religion are sorely tested when those who define compassion or love are confronted with the realities and complexities of applying lofty principles either on the interpersonal level or across the whole of humanity.

It's complicated.

~

As for romantic love...so little time and so many choices. The choices of lovers are only for those who can risk "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune".
~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
Roncooper
Associate
Posts: 907
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by Roncooper » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:29 pm

Life may be a class five hurricane, but we need to dance in the wind for our own sake.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
CarmelaBear
Associate
Posts: 4087
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 3:51 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Post by CarmelaBear » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:51 pm

Studies indicate that people in America cannot form serious romantic bonds for lack of financial resources. In an inequitable economy, only the richest people are pairing up more and staying involved. The rest are far, far less likely to marry and much, much more likely to divorce.

The numbers indicate that poverty prevents the formation and continuation of romantic bonds and suspends effective, unified support of children, as well as reasonable preparation for retirement. Add to that, the Social Security trust fund is expected to bottom out by 2030.

About half of all Hispanic single women over 65 who are living on Social Security funds are living in poverty. Single women have never had a chance to create a decent life with proper resources, and it is only a matter of time before outrage turns to action. I guarantee it won't be pretty.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:13 am

CarmelaBear wrote: For example, while every religion acknowledges the golden rule, this rule assumes that people have been exposed to the experience of being treated with some degree of respect and compassion.
Here's my take on the golden rule ...
  1. The golden rule do unto others as you would have them do unto you, has some problems of course. For example I may enjoy atheistic lectures, but that does not give me the right to lecture atheism to others.

    The golden rule expressed in its negative form, don't do to others as you would not want done to yourself seems a little more logical. Some could interpret this as doing nothing is OK.

    An finally there is the variation, do to others as they would like having done unto - if you see what I mean. The down side from an evolutionary point of view is rife from an exploitation.
This is from the thread Charter for Compassion which never really caught on.


Today I would argue things like game theory would also add an insight on how to interact with one another. Prisoner's dilemma, shows that cooperation is a reasonable response, but that at some point not cooperating becomes a reasonable position as well depending on the response you get..

I must admit I take a slightly hedonistic and an amoral position on things like the golden rule. While the golden rule (positive or negative version) might be a a reasonable short cut in many instances, I don't think a single rule is appropriate in all cases.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
CarmelaBear
Associate
Posts: 4087
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 3:51 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Post by CarmelaBear » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:44 am

romansh wrote:...While the golden rule (positive or negative version) might be a a reasonable short cut in many instances, I don't think a single rule is appropriate in all cases.
Exactly.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:55 am

CarmelaBear wrote:
romansh wrote:...While the golden rule (positive or negative version) might be a a reasonable short cut in many instances, I don't think a single rule is appropriate in all cases.
Exactly.

~
So we seem agreed that simple little homilies can be useful in some circumstances in making decisions. The question then becomes how do we go about our daily lives and the choices we make therein.

We can intuit our choices, metaphorically interpret myths, or do our best and see if evidence and any models of existence we derive actually agree with our initial intuition. ie take a slightly more scientific approach to our path. Of course after having done so we may find the model wanting and the evidence insufficient and go with our intuition.

Regarding resources being shared inequitably in the US, I personally would settle for an egalitarian society. Where the disfranchised are supported. The UK used to have a tax bracket that was 95% for the rich. The whole thing was counterproductive.

And regarding love and lack of sufficient wealth; if were Ron I would be up in arms about this. How can something like a lack of money sully a transcendent property of the universe? Also there is no guarantee that being wealthy will provide a stable romantic loving relationship. Look at the rich and famous ... they seem almost romantically dysfunctional as a class. Obviously it is much more complicated than society being inequitable.

The universe is chaotic.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
CarmelaBear
Associate
Posts: 4087
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 3:51 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:51 am

Take any set of groupings, mathematically. There will be variations. In romantics (the science of romance), the usual sets would be made of two's or one's. They are also part of other sets, like wealth-class and resource-class (with finances, I am poor, and with education, I am part of the elite class).

In a graph or chart, the 2's would be clustered in the wealth class, and the 1's would be found in larger sets at the poor end of a graph or matrix. Individual relationships, especially those subject to extra scrutiny, may fail, but the set of relationships is causally impacted by economics in a big way. The exceptions often make the rule. In general, the wealthiest stand the best chance of achieving and maintaining relationships.

With resources, a modest sum of money may prop up a relationship, but it has to have other means of support, like family and community ties. New immigrants to America have better, closer kinship ties than the old families have. This kind of social support system can allow the working poor to keep relationships intact. There are other resources as well, and they contribute to the fact that the sets of 2's are clustered in greater numbers at the side of those with the most effective resources.

~
Last edited by CarmelaBear on Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
CarmelaBear
Associate
Posts: 4087
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 3:51 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:35 am

romansh wrote:Regarding resources being shared inequitably in the US, I personally would settle for an egalitarian society. Where the disfranchised are supported. The UK used to have a tax bracket that was 95% for the rich. The whole thing was counterproductive.
One of the greatest achievements of Europe was the egalitarian economic system, but it was a distribution only of finances, not of resources like social status or emotional security. The most emotionally secure people are not always the richest, though the rich are still more likely to feel secure than the workers or the poor.

The United States has failed in understanding financial inequity, but we have done a better job of rewarding new ideas and creative projects like the cinema and internet activity.

Both America and Europe are now being severely impacted by the consequences of their achievements. The violent economic and political backlash from the corporate elite is now throwing both our societies into sharp decline, while the hedge fund managers and major CEO 's literally undermine democracy and capitalism.

There are two great dangers today. The possibility of nuclear conflict is hanging over humanity like the sword of Damocles, and the overuse of fossil fuels, (especially in China and the U.S.), is well on the way toward destroying nature in the same numbers as the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Humanity is staring down the path of genocide and wholesale destruction of our natural habitat, because the majority have allowed a tiny fraction of our numbers to take control of both financial and other major resources.

Even human brains are at risk. In the U.S., there is a flight to chemical means of regulating moods and behavior, and it is largely self-administered. Large scale pharmaceutical industries, which rely on public taxpayer support for most of their riskier research and development, have subverted our electoral system and doped the people into allowing their crimes to continue, while the war on drugs created the mass incarceration of young minority men and poor people.

The west has developed a new villainous class of rulers, who are mindlessly destroying the whole of humanity with the special assistance of lemmings known as the American electorate and military, who prop up a plutocracy of selfish male jerks. These creeps make Hitler look like a nice guy.

~

So sayeth CarmelaBear.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:11 pm

CarmelaBear wrote: In a graph or chart, the 2's would be clustered in the wealth class, and the 1's would be found in larger sets at the poor end of a graph or matrix.
I am interested ... can you show me the data or at least provide a link.


A couple links I quickly googled suggested getting married actually makes one wealthier.

I have not read it all but looks interesting
http://www.thompsonlaw.ca/pdf_folder/millcouple.pdf

edited to correct link
Last edited by romansh on Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
Locked