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Thread: How do you view mythology and how does this influence your view of deity or lack of?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonBreath View Post
    I too don't think mythological stories literally took place. It kind of makes me inwardly cringe when some people claim that they did actually happen, whatever myth it may be. However, i do think they are fascinating and an important part of various human cultures.
    I think they happened in the Otherworld. So many of them are set in the god's own landscape to begin with. Secondly, I tend to cringe at the notion that you can know the gods without the myths. Most of our understanding of the gods comes through myths and interpretations of the myths. We know that Apollo sent plagues because he did so in the Illiad. We know about the creation because it was written down. If Ishtar really did go to the Underworld, how would we know unless someone told the story?

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Iulia Regilia View Post
    I think they happened in the Otherworld. So many of them are set in the god's own landscape to begin with. Secondly, I tend to cringe at the notion that you can know the gods without the myths. Most of our understanding of the gods comes through myths and interpretations of the myths. We know that Apollo sent plagues because he did so in the Illiad. We know about the creation because it was written down. If Ishtar really did go to the Underworld, how would we know unless someone told the story?
    But how would someone be able to tell that story to begin with if we wouldn't know that these things happened? UPGs? The gods told them? Said person thought it would be a great bed time story? How man gained the mythologies as actual events doesn't make sense to me. What does make sense is the belief that man anthropomorphized natural events and the myths were created over time.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacredsin View Post
    But how would someone be able to tell that story to begin with if we wouldn't know that these things happened? UPGs? The gods told them? Said person thought it would be a great bed time story? How man gained the mythologies as actual events doesn't make sense to me. What does make sense is the belief that man anthropomorphized natural events and the myths were created over time.
    Awe, darlin' you're impressing me now.





  4. #44
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    I view mythology as allegorical, it gives us great truths in terms of ethics and so on...but we have to look at and contemplate on them to find those truths.

    In no way are they considered literal or *gospel* text.

    In regard to how I view deity - it's that contemplation of the myth that leads me to a greater understanding of them - but that understanding is personal, and ultimately irrelevant in terms of practice.
    "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
    instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
    which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."


  5. #45
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    Just an observation here:

    There are many people in the world who consider mythology to be only a 'grown-up's' version of an Aesop's Fable...

    But they manage to make a WHOLE LOT out of the book of the Revelation...

    Just sayin'...

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainnelor View Post
    Just an observation here:

    There are many people in the world who consider mythology to be only a 'grown-up's' version of an Aesop's Fable...

    But they manage to make a WHOLE LOT out of the book of the Revelation...

    Just sayin'...
    Way over my head. And if you're implying that I'm a Christian you would be wrong.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacredsin View Post
    But how would someone be able to tell that story to begin with if we wouldn't know that these things happened? UPGs? The gods told them? Said person thought it would be a great bed time story? How man gained the mythologies as actual events doesn't make sense to me. What does make sense is the belief that man anthropomorphized natural events and the myths were created over time.
    Personally, while I'm not a follower of any Gods, I like what Jung said 'Dreams are private Myths, Myths are public Dreams', and, I'd add that maybe humans get to know about the Gods and/or their lives through the images that come from their imagination (I also like something I read about Islamic mysticism, where the imaginal world is between this one and the Divine, which doesn't just make something unreal 'cause it comes from the imagination).

    That said, I like Myths 'cause they can tell us a lot about ourselves, and, also, there are many, many different levels of reading Myths - literal, allegorical, metaphorical, symbolic, psychological, etc, I don't think any method is "lesser" than another.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacredsin View Post
    But how would someone be able to tell that story to begin with if we wouldn't know that these things happened? UPGs? The gods told them? Said person thought it would be a great bed time story? How man gained the mythologies as actual events doesn't make sense to me. What does make sense is the belief that man anthropomorphized natural events and the myths were created over time.
    Well, first off, a lot of these stories barely touch on an event on earth. Ishtar's descent all happens either in the realm of the gods or in the underworld. There is no way for someone to use that story to relate an event in history, because nothing happened on Earth. Same with the battle with Timiat -- It created the heavens and earth, and no one saw it. I don't see how you could record events that you didn't see.

    Now secondly, the notion that these stories merely explain nature presumes that people living in ancient times couldn't possibly figure out nature. It doesn't make sense to me because they were great obvservers of nature -- they had to be. If you weren't in harmony with Nature, your crops failed, your animals died and you starved. So they would have known enough about nature to not need to use a myth to explain nature.

    Finally, I don't understand the the fear of UPGs as the source of the myths. Why couldn't the ancient stories be some shaman's UPG that happened to be true? No other source for otherworld stories make sense.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Iulia Regilia View Post
    Well, first off, a lot of these stories barely touch on an event on earth. Ishtar's descent all happens either in the realm of the gods or in the underworld. There is no way for someone to use that story to relate an event in history, because nothing happened on Earth. Same with the battle with Timiat -- It created the heavens and earth, and no one saw it. I don't see how you could record events that you didn't see.

    Now secondly, the notion that these stories merely explain nature presumes that people living in ancient times couldn't possibly figure out nature. It doesn't make sense to me because they were great obvservers of nature -- they had to be. If you weren't in harmony with Nature, your crops failed, your animals died and you starved. So they would have known enough about nature to not need to use a myth to explain nature.

    Finally, I don't understand the the fear of UPGs as the source of the myths. Why couldn't the ancient stories be some shaman's UPG that happened to be true? No other source for otherworld stories make sense.
    QFT, that actually makes a lot of sense to me, and, describes my views, some of them anyway .

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin.ann View Post
    So in my search for answers I was wondering how others here viewed myth and how that view influenced how they view deity as well or lack there-of.
    I personally never really viewed the gods as omnipotent. Just as very powerful divine beings that can affect the physical world. I feel that they are all, in some way, intimately connected to the fabric of the cosmos, of reality. Extending all the way to nature and the Earth.
    From this, I consider mythology surrounding the gods and the creation of the universe as a way to tie them more deeply into the energies and cycles of the seasons and the Earth. Generally, at least. I have other theories surrounding mythologies, similar to those of Plotinus and Pythagoras: that some myths are meant to be literal, but most are meant to be in some way figurative.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Iulia Regilia View Post
    \Finally, I don't understand the the fear of UPGs as the source of the myths. Why couldn't the ancient stories be some shaman's UPG that happened to be true? No other source for otherworld stories make sense.
    Depends on the sort of myth. But, yeah, UPG and ritual experiences make plenty sense as a source of myths. That's actually part of a current theory in Anthropology: that shamans in the oldest folk religions had personal experiences in rites that created the first myths about the afterlife and ethereal worlds.
    Last edited by Louisvillian; January 3rd, 2012 at 03:31 AM.

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