The wonder is that the characteristic efficacy to touch and inspire deep creative centers dwells in the smallest nursery fairy tale—as the flavor of the ocean is contained in a droplet or the whole mystery of life within the egg of a flea. For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are spontaneous productions of the psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source
My magnificent master and great friend of many years ago, Heinrich Zimmer (1890-1943), had a saying: “The best things can’t be told: the second best are misunderstood.” The second best are misunderstood because, as metaphors poetically of what cannot be told, they are misread prosaically as referring to tangible facts.
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Mythologies present games to play: how to make believe you’re doing thus and so. Ultimately, through the game, you experience that positive thing which is the experience of being-in-being, of living meaningfully. That’s the first function of a mythology, to evoke in the individual a sense of grateful affirmative awe before the monstrous mystery that is existence.