link

Mythology

The Myth is a complex cultural reality that can be explained and interpreted by uniting multiple and complementary perspectives. It's difficult to find a definition accessible to most people that aren't specialists in this subject, that satisfies the experts and students of Mythology, and that encompasses all the types and functions of the Myth in traditional and archaic societies.

Mythology was discredited since Xenophanes (around 564-470). The Greeks began to empty progressively the religious and metaphysical value of the “mythos”. As opposed to the “logos” and later on to History, the “mythos” adopted the meaning of “everything that cannot exist in reality.” On its own, Jewish Christianity consigned to the domain of “lies” and “illusion” everything that wasn't justified or stated as valid in one of their Testaments.

Thank God, in recent studies, the Myth has been studied in the way it was understood by archaic societies, in which it designates a “true story,” and even more, a story of countless value because it is significant, sacred and exemplary.

Nowadays, the word “myth” continues to be used with a meaning of “fiction” or “illusion,” and with the meaning used by ethnologists, sociologists and historians of the religions of “Sacred Tradition”, as a primary revolution or exemplary model.

With this second meaning that the experts use, we will define the Myth as the narration of a sacred story, of an event that has taken place in a primordial time, the fabulous time of the “beginning.” This is to say, the Myth tells us how, thanks to the heroic deeds of supernatural beings, a reality has come into existence.

It's always the narration of a “creation”: it tells us how something has been produced or begun to be. The Myth speaks of what has really happened, of what has fully been manifested. The characters of myths are supernatural beings. The myths disclose the creative activity and reveal the sacrality of their deeds.

In short, myths describe the diverse irruptions of the sacred in the world. It's this irruption of the sacred what makes up the real basis of the world, and what makes it as it is today. The Myth is considered a real story, a sacred story, as it refers to a reality.

Due to the fact it narrates the heroic deeds of supernatural beings and the manifestation of their sacred powers, it's transformed into an exemplary model for all significant human activities.

The archaic traditions have unanimously known that “other” space and time where things are more real and effective, to the point that our world of illusion and chaos should imitate the archetypal reality for life to make sense. The great myths always refer to the cosmogonic beginning that explains existence and gives an order and a meaning to the instability of evolution.

The myths take place in “another” time, in a “non-time”, and in “another reality” that is represented by symbols and updated constantly by rituals.

The origins become contemporary and the primordial situation is incarnated because it regenerates in life. Undoubtedly, there are levels of understanding and participation in what the myths express. But these levels are not exclusive but complementary. To a celestial fact corresponds a terrestrial fact (“On Earth, as in Heaven”), and this reciprocity is one of the characteristics of the Universe and man, so all the different meanings of reality, or the knowledge of the different planes in which reality uncovers itself, are not rejected, but combined in a cosmic concerto that can be lived in a multidimensional way.

The myths not only tell us the origin of the world, of animals, plants and man, but also all the primordial events whose consequence are what man has now become to be.

The myths aren't the elaborated consequence of a system, but a spontaneous, unthought-of and sudden creation of the human spirit in its childhood.

The Myth is diametrically opposed to abstraction. There is nothing surprising in that Humanity has remained clung in all ages to the Myth; it forms part of it, and when Humanity reaches adult age, it won't reject the beliefs of its cradle.

Modern studies of Compared Mythology have provided much light about the beginning of the world, of man and the gods, and about the history and evolution of the main religions of the world. For every thoughtful man, it's very important to examine the myths attentively in all their aspects, applying to them the clues of knowledge, so as to discover the transcendent truths hidden in their background.

The world “speaks” to man, and to understand its language, we just need to know the myths and decipher the symbols.

Myths disclose all what has happened, from cosmogony to the establishment of social and cultural institutions.

For Plato, learning is the same as remembering. Between two terrestrial existences, the soul contemplates the Ideas: it shares the pure and perfect knowledge. But when it reincarnates, the soul drinks from the fountain of Lethe and forgets the knowledge attained by directly contemplating the Ideas. This knowledge is dormant in the incarnated man, and thanks to philosophical study, it can be updated. In this sense, death is the return to a primordial and perfect state that is regularly lost due to the reincarnations of the soul.

The theory of Ideas and the platonic anamnesis can be compared with the behaviour of man in archaic and traditional societies. Man finds in myths the exemplary models of all his actions. The myths state that everything he does or tries to do, has already been done in the beginning of time, “in illo tempore”. The myths make up the sum of useful knowledge. They represent paradigmatic models established by supernatural beings, and not a series of personal experiences of any individual.

The story narrated by a Myth is an esoteric type of “knowledge”, not only because it could be secret or transmitted during an initiation, but because that “knowledge” goes together with a magic-religious power.

Directly or indirectly, the Myth operates an “uprising” of man. For those who are interested in the Myth, I will mention the Epistle to the Ephesians V-14:

“Wake up you who sleep, get up amongst the dead and over you Christ will shine.”