The more secular we become, the more myth we need. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings continues to fascinate. Modern movies like The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones — and, of course, the outpouring of superhero movies — are all largely mythic. And politics — which we like to think of as rational — is highly mythic. Leave aside the mythical narratives of communism and fascism, we are not given a balanced view by the media but, rather, a picture of good versus evil and of love versus hate. It is us against them. Angels versus demons. And if a few facts have to be tweaked or forgotten to make the narrative convincing, who cares? Facts are boring. We want the story.
One of the things that fascinate me about the mystery traditions (ancient and modern) is the inherent, tremendous potentiality they have to light a spark of the divine within humanity and ultimately assist the initiate to unite the microcosm of the individual soul with the macrocosm of the higher self. In a few words, to achieve deeper self-knowledge and to unite with the cosmos and deity in accordance with the unique understanding we have of the latter. In order to do that, a medium is required: an element of connection, so to speak, and not just an idea, but an actual existent reality through which the initiate can progress his/her soul through and achieve that union of the microcosm with the macrocosm described above. Continue reading “In Search of Light: A Journey Through the Mysteries of the Great Gods”
A macroscopic view of myth (Gr: Μύθος) as logos (usually translated as “word”) reveals important associations, insights, and interpretations, all which deserve our attention and can assist us in our exploration of the human soul and its journey towards freedom. During the 9th – 8th century BC, Homer (in his poems the Iliad and the Odyssey) equates myth with speech and conversation, but also with advice, opinion, and promise. During classical times (5th and 4th century BC), myth continues to be treated as a story, as evident by the dramatic works of Sophocles and Euripides.
In the context of philosophy, myth becomes a powerful pedagogical and initiatory device, especially as it appears in the dialogues of Plato. In works such as Phaedo and Phaedrus, the philosopher employs myths to structure his arguments in order to equate knowledge with memory – not simply as remembrance, but also as a recollection from a previous incarnation. Continue reading “Myth, Catharsis, and The Riddle of The Sphinx”