Mythology and Religion: In The News

What needs do mythology and religion serve in today's world and in ancient times? Here we discuss the relationship between mythology, religion and science from mythological, religious and philosophical viewpoints.

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JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:55 pm

In connection to the above topic in reaction to the Charlie Hebdo Paris bombing and the momentum of outrage that has been gaining support on a more global level intensifies here was an interesting article that raises deeper questions about " how are the muslim and world communities going to deal with the growing dilemma of religion and terrorism ".


http://news.yahoo.com/french-imams-rail ... 02712.html

:roll:


Here is a perfect example of that rising momentum that is now taking place across France today: :idea:

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-flood-f ... 35061.html



More and more contained within the news reports and analysis discussions being raised is this idea of " where the line is drawn on freedom of self-expression and the effect that it can have on others " which seems to continually resurface time and again. Whether on the one hand used as a tool used for propaganda or on the other as an expression of freedom of speech, thinking, and ideas. And along with this in another sense is how the shaping of perception along with the growth of intellectual progress is effected. If one considers Philosophy, Religion, Science, and The Law; history would show how countless books throughout man's history have been written about certain ideas that evolve and their impact on human society, culture, and development. Movements arise from these moments that reflect these ideas and can impact human society both in a positive way or a negative one; say like the Spanish Inquisition, the Reformation of the Church, the Renaissance or Age of Enlightenment if you will. And indeed the idea of an open or " Free Society " as opposed to a Caliphate or Islamic State might be one example that is emerging as a battleground at the moment; or even that of a communist regime, a theocracy, or a dictatorship; as opposed to a democracy or a society that is governed by some sort of self-rule. But at the heart of this issue that seems to be recurring is that of the idea of " Free Speech and how it's effects are interpreted ".

One of the things that occurs to me is perhaps on a more global level is Joseph Campbell's concept of the emergence over time of some sort of possibility of a new mythology because the old ideas about faith as religious doctrine doesn't work any more and needs to be re-interpreted through a more mythical; scientific; and possibly psychological lens; ( read more in terms of " science of the day " ). These could probably be seen or interpreted as what one might call " societal, cultural, or evolutionary growing-pains " and could I'm sure be articulated much better here than my attempts at the moment; but the sense I keep getting about this is the evolvement of human ideas towards something else on a much larger global scale; especially with the emergence of the internet; the computer; cell phones; and other types of sophisticated forms of technology and the effects they are having on human society. This could be seen as juxtaposed against things such as growing societal inequality and loss of quality of life at the expense of larger economic and government interests combined with the growing degradation of the ecology and the resulting climate change; how it impacts the weather patterns, food and water resources; growing disease epidemics and loss of the planets ability to feed itself. These could be seen as pitted against the idea of religion as a " refuge " and the perceived threat these new ideas could challenge or pose against it.

At any rate these seem to me to be possibilities to consider at the moment while watching all of this unfold. :idea:
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CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:55 am

It is difficult to have respect for Islamic ideas, because similarly absurd notions make some weird kind of sense to us.

In a secular society, one can live by crazy-crazy dogma, and it has absolutely no effect on the rest of society. It is, in a sense, harmless fantasy.

In societies governed BY religion, the tables are turned. Where can we find one of the most dangerous state religions? Saudi Arabia, whence 9/11 came. It is a strict, but wealthy and prominent and highly regarded religious state. We respect their jihadists in ways we cannot begin to comprehend that of Palestine and Iran, Iraq or Pakistan. Why? Because we depend on that religious state for fossil fuel to power our economy.

~

Maybe I'm wrong, but that is my subjective perception.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:56 am

Carmela I think a lot of people are very apprehensive and scared right now and well they should be since some of these societies have very dangerous weapons, ideas, and resources that have the ability to wreck a lot of havoc. Many of these religious themes provide a sense of certainty, security, and defense against a kind of new world order that challenges everything they've ever known.

Some of these older values such as love your neighbor, be respectful, don't steal, kill, or covet your neighbor's wife help to glue a civilized society together of course; but when you have murder and cold blooded killing in the name of some ancient deity and try to super-impose some kind of theocratic ideology on the helpless or on those who disagree with you then all bets are off as far as any kind of civilized code of behavior worth credibility; much less preserving it is concerned; ( at least to me ).

To say that some of these radical groups properly represent the Islamic Faith I think would be very wrong. The Islamic community are our fellow human beings who just want to have a decent quality of life and raise their children and share the love and respect of others and find what their own sense of existence is just like anyone else; ( at least the ones I've had the privilege to know ). But for some just like radical fundamentalist Christians are just not on the same page with this and see their version of God as exclusive.

But if we can go to the moon, cure disease, invent the computer, the internet, and map the Human Genome; then humanity has the ability to evolve or find a way to reinterpret some of these older myths so that their transcendent insights and values can be re-energized to serve as viable life affirming vehicles. Perhaps this is where the idea of a " new myth " might emerge that Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell discussed in " Power of Myth " is related. But getting people to that level of thinking is a whole other kind of mountain to climb; and who knows what will happen concerning that point down the road. The main question here at the moment I think is: ( will " tolerance " win out over ideology ).

As to the relevance of these religious traditions for today Joseph Campbell said: " You don't have to throw them away but just see what they are saying. " ( It's the way they are read and interpreted as metaphors and not facts. ) But getting past some of these ideological barriers will be pretty difficult I think considering the vested grip many of these older ways of thinking have been able to be maintained. When Joseph talked about the Middle East and the problems between three of the World's great religions not be able to get on; well; here we are again with some of these same issues spilling over into other global territories.

As you mention oil and religion are a bad mixture as far as the US is concerned; and along with Europe we are all tangled up within this web of global economic competition and struggle to maintain order. And where things may go from here is anyone's guess. My hope is that the members of the Islamic community as a whole will not be demonized just because of this radical element; for if you separate our bond with humanity by isolating them instead of strengthening it by including them and don't focus instead on the " real " issues of the behavior then you've lost the main aspect of the argument of " them verses us " that this element is trying to establish. But I think there are going to have to be some serious efforts made on that behalf as time goes forward if this continues. ( An open hand instead of a closed fist is a lot easier to build a bond upon and forges a bridge instead of closing a door. ) One of the major problems I think that will be encountered going forward at the moment is going to be the sleeper cells acting as independent agents which will be really difficult to control and anticipate; so there may be more of this kind of horror to come. As far as my own thoughts concerning ( the idea of " myth seen as a metaphor " in relationship to what is realistically possible here at this point in time is that it will be very difficult to translate. :roll: ) But then as Joe mentioned: " the world is a mess " and we must accept it as it is; but that we can also lean towards the light by participating with compassion in the sorrows of the world.


At any rate that's how I see some of this at the moment. :?
Ercan2121
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Post by Ercan2121 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:51 pm

Carmela and James,

I'm following your well-balanced comments (as Jungians often do) with hearty appreciation
and also asking myself: Can-I still do the same? Can-I still remain calm and impartial in spite of all? No, i cannot do this, anymore.

I heard Charlie Hebdo's editor telling the following in a recent video interview:
"I prefer to die rather than being silenced. What is a man, after all, if he's devoid of free-speech?"

In fact, I'm reading his statement about free-speech from two different aspects, both from
the standpoint of reasonable people uniting in Paris and in Istanbul with their respective
primamry concerns at the moment. Because, Turkey's literally falling into a totalitarian (oligarchic) republic (where it won't even be possible to talk about freedom of press) by leaps and bounds and I also started to think that death would be a better choice rather than living (as a sheep) in such a place :-(

That was my two cents with your kind permission, my friends

Ercan
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:18 pm

Ercan that was such a moving piece to read; and I am so very sorry you are having to endure the kind of turmoil you described. I hope I am understanding correctly for it was indeed a sad window into what must be happening to others around you and suffering through as well. How terribly frustrating and stressful it must be to watch these elements come into play where you are; and it must be very difficult to be positive about it's implications. Your sharing of your thoughts helps us to better understand what this experience must be like from your view of things and we are much better for it. Maybe in time circumstances will improve.

Thank you for this insight; and I'm sure all of your other friends here send you their support and best wishes as well.

Be well my friend! :(


This was a story viewing on Yahoo news just as I finished this post:

http://news.yahoo.com/france-foreign-le ... 46723.html
Last edited by JamesN. on Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:22 pm

There are a couple of things worth considering I'm reminded of when watching the news about this story and other events that are connected with the media. One is that some of the issues have a tendency to get clouded since they are media oriented; and the other is the story can itself also become a vehicle for other agendas. This link is about another bombing that seems to have been similar to the Paris incident that just occurred in Germany. And when reading it some of these issues begin to surface and become more apparent. Who has the attention; what is the message; how much coverage is being generated; who has the most to gain and what are the advantages; but in the end it is really all about message and image sculpting. When the camera starts rolling or the keyboard starts typing the coverage; the pen may be mightier than the sword; or the camera lights might be dazzling; but what are they really saying, and what is the actual message being delivered? In this piece the mention of a right-wing anti-Islamic group's coming demonstration adds yet another example of a particular hate group attempting to capture the attention of the public. Germany has had a real problem lately with hate groups; anti-semitic and neo-Nazi among others; and it would also be well to remember that media attention and image portrayal lies at the very " core " of this horrific event. Religion, Freedom of Speech, and The Media are front and center of the news cycle at the moment; it's pretty volatile stuff that might continue to be with us for awhile. :roll:


http://news.yahoo.com/arson-attack-germ ... 48454.html
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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:20 am

This was a story viewing on Yahoo news just as I finished this post:

http://news.yahoo.com/france-foreign-le ... 46723.html
Erm... the same people who created terrorism and terrorists are now parading as humanitarian peacemakers. :s

Iam talking about the leaders here. The people of france and the people of turkey are doing the right thing when they protest against this madness. But these so called leaders they have found another way to advertise themselves...
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JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:45 pm

Andreas wrote:
This was a story viewing on Yahoo news just as I finished this post:

http://news.yahoo.com/france-foreign-le ... 46723.html
Erm... the same people who created terrorism and terrorists are now parading as humanitarian peacemakers. :s

Iam talking about the leaders here. The people of france and the people of turkey are doing the right thing when they protest against this madness. But these so called leaders they have found another way to advertise themselves...
Yes Andreas. This is unfortunately one of the aspects concerning the media I was referring to in my last post. Image projection and face-time opportunities in front of the camera have become a means to an ends in themselves. Yes I have to agree that there can be mixed signals but in this case the message of solidarity was pretty clear; regardless of the what the questionability of some of it's participants might be. What to me is the saddest and most frightening element of all concerning any media coverage is the tragic and horrific manipulation of suicide bombers to achieve purposes sometimes related to media messages and become events in themselves just like this one did.

I saw a movie many years ago; ( I can't remember the name at the moment ); that had Sean Connery playing a television journalist covering a story in the middle east where in one scene a suicide bomber blew himself up right in front of him in which within the context of the film the point was made that human life meant nothing as long as the ends of the message delivery were achieved; no matter what the cost. This was in the 1980's before this level of madness had gotten anywhere near the kind of insanity that exists now. )

The subject of media image projection and manipulation is IMHO one of the major battlegrounds taking place at the moment on how someone is perceived. Joseph Campbell made the point for instance concerning how the media was used during the second world war about agenda and propaganda in " Power of Myth " of demonizing someone by " turning them from a thou into an it " as a means to an end. But yes one can often see the irony in some of these events. :roll:


Speaking of hypocrisy and media news coverage; it can also effect what the level of priority concern might be by not covering something as well. World attention has been sadly lacking on this ongoing nightmare in Nigeria by Boko Haram which has carried out a horrific carnage on human life. :evil:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30777066
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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm

I was thinking exactly the same thing as I was reading your last reply and this...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morn ... ne-attack/

.. got zero to very little attention in the media, as far as I know, but when leaders parade, they get all the coverage in the world.. Sad really.
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JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:43 pm

Andreas wrote:I was thinking exactly the same thing as I was reading your last reply and this...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morn ... ne-attack/

.. got zero to very little attention in the media, as far as I know, but when leaders parade, they get all the coverage in the world.. Sad really.
Indeed Andreas. Here are a couple of news items just released; ( finally ); concerning the carnage:

http://news.yahoo.com/un-condemns-surge ... 21329.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/12/africa/bo ... st-attack/

Mind numbing! :evil:


It makes one wonder if this would have received the kind of world outrage and response shown in Paris had the world community been made aware? :roll:




______________________________________________________________________




Meanwhile concerning the earlier subject of the " Charlie Hebdo bombing " another dimension is starting to emerge and that is the idea of responding. Here is an article about the next issue of the magazine. ( IMHO this is not the way to go about this.) If you shift the focus from demonizing the religion to exposing the reason behind the behavior and the manipulation of the image then you have increased the odds towards a much better outcome of understanding of what is actually transpiring or being promoted and raised the level of discourse thereby dampening down the ill will of possibly more hatred and turning it towards support for potentially diminishing it. :idea:


http://news.yahoo.com/weeks-charlie-heb ... 10472.html


If one looks at this situation through another lens there are several things to consider. The Islamic religion is supposedly the second largest in the world with somewhere around 1.7 billion members. One of the things to my way of thinking is it would be preferable if from their eyes those of other faiths and religious viewpoints as well as one's own were not to be seen as " infidels " but as fellow human beings. From the other side of looking at this I am reminded of the Crusades where the absolutist version of " there is no God but mine " from both sides tried to cancel each other out as one example in history of why this approach is unacceptable. Other religions not withstanding; IMHO what you are trying to get across is the idea that Joseph Campbell illuminated of " You and the other are one " that will build bridges instead of closing doors " or put another way of using " an open hand instead of a closed fist " to deliver your message.

The problem in some instances concerning this understanding is that you have a doctrine in some versions that requires an effort towards " conversion " of the other side which in my view completely disregards the idea of " religious tolerance ". Certain versions of Christianity make this practice an absolute requirement and therefore creates the kind of animosity that often causes trouble in maintaining a reasonable " worldview " where other points of view are respected.

There use to be a standing joke about Christian Conversion and delivering what we use to call " The Good News " that involved the ritual of baptism by dunking the potential convert into the water of a river several times to symbolize the washing away of their former sins and thereby the convert was to experience a mystical or spiritual moment of enlightenment and was changed forever by this " rite of passage ". ( The story goes that ): during the ceremony this individual was repeatedly immersed time and again with the Spiritual Leader asking the question: " Now do you Believe? " to which affirmation was suppose to be acknowledged. After one particular overly-enthusiastic ceremony was administered the participant gasping for air sputtered the reply: " Yes; I " believe " that you are trying to drown me! ". This somewhat sarcastic attempt at humor may give some idea of the divide that might exist between different points of view concerning this.; ( that is if I have articulated it well enough. :wink: )
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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:13 am

James and everyone, for me, this whole incident raises serious questions about free speech also. In the article you linked, in the comments section, one person said that these cartoons are not about free speech but about hate and intolerance which I kind of agree. Free speech is fine, satire is fine and nothing gives me more pleasure than making fun of our own politicians and religious or atheism absolutism but this cartoon seems to have a different aim, imho.

Seems to me that it is a universal truth that hate bring more hate. Which is what happened here.

Anyways.
“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:58 am

Andreas wrote:James and everyone, for me, this whole incident raises serious questions about free speech also. In the article you linked, in the comments section, one person said that these cartoons are not about free speech but about hate and intolerance which I kind of agree. Free speech is fine, satire is fine and nothing gives me more pleasure than making fun of our own politicians and religious or atheism absolutism but this cartoon seems to have a different aim, imho.

Seems to me that it is a universal truth that hate bring more hate. Which is what happened here.

Anyways.
Yes Andreas I definitely think that plays into this. Religion and cultural bias are often vehicles or masks for hatred along with many other aspects such as power manipulation, separation, subjugation, cultural identity, and virtue management. Instead of focusing on the spiritual insights of what makes a better human being religions far too often are used to " project " entirely different value systems. That indeed is a major part of the problem. Instead of binding humanity together exactly the opposite occurs and we are torn apart and decimated such as with the Boko Haram incident. Efforts towards establishing a new " Caliphate " is perfect example of this type of projection. But in viewing other certain religions such as Buddism for instance; the focus is directed more inward although Hinduism has a class system structure that might pose some problems within this consideration. But I'll leave that one up for others to clarify since I am not as knowledgeable in this area. I do notice however that Hindus and Muslims also have some of these same conflicts to deal with. As a matter of fact it would probably be worth remembering that the issue of dealing with hatred within religion has pretty much been one of the major ongoing concerns throughout man's history. :roll:
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JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:32 pm

Here is an article that I believe highlights some of Ercan's concerns about how Turkey is responding to the new Charlie Hebdo free-speech edition.

http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-vows-thwar ... 34042.html

From everything I've been seeing so far the reaction throughout the muslim community has not been favorable. IMHO the main issue in this global debate is not only about free-speech but also very much about creating and controlling the " image of the narrative ". :idea:

_________________________________


( As an added addendum I'm adding a link to this article I came across concerning The Pope which was an encouraging sign that mindfulness and tolerance should be a key factor while this situation is unfolding. IMHO a voice of sanity is a welcome change from all the global back and forth negative stereo-typing taking place at the moment. :wink: )

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/14/asia/ ... cis-visit/
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Post by Andreas » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:58 pm

“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:51 pm

I just got this quote of Joseph's off the homepage.
It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported.


Joseph Campbell
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
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