Mythology and the Spirit


Mythical stories are the expression of parables, allegories, and traditional beliefs.

Mythology refers to the collective imagination of a group of people for its content. However, as Joseph Campbell puts it in The Power of Myth:

“The themes are timeless, and the infection is to the culture.”

What he mean is that all myths, wherever they originate geographically, refer to the same themes. The theme is Life. The experience of being human; of birth, journey, conflict, rebirth, and death.

Reading mythology is the experience of life, the theme is transcendent but the details of the story refer to the culture of its origin.  Culture is a reflection of the physical environment, the specific hardships, and difficulties, the people face in their daily lives.

Culture develops around the rituals, beliefs, and activities that optimise survival.  A desert culture will not necessarily value the same symbols as a coastal culture, for instance.  What the two share is the experience of being human, and that is mythology.


to be continued…

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