Why Mythology?

I enjoy reading because of the way it causes me look deeper into culture, into my story, and the stories of others.

Recently, I’ve been extremely fascinated by mythology. When reading mythology, I am able to transform the world presented to me from a myth and use it to view my own life with a clearer, more vivid perspective. We live in a world that is changing faster than ever before and facing challenges that have never been seen before. The way we interact with the world and the tools that we use may be changing, but our need for creativity and imagination is also changing. Myths teach us lessons that are timeless and contain themes that will always be the same no matter how developed we become in modern society.

“Myth” is usually a traditional story of apparent but not actual historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.” Joseph Campbell

The world is becoming more connected, complicated, and challenging. We are finding ways to live more interdependently and self-reliant. Our ability to cooperate and understand how others feel is also more important. By developing an understanding of mythology, we are teaching ourselves to stop and connect with the lives of others and find meaning in our relation to them. This gives us the power to use our imagination in creating our lives and develop the discretion to understand what has value and meaning and what does not.

More than ever we need to learn the ways of being more self-sustaining, less damaging in our relationships and to our environment. Books are meant to nourish us deeply and creatively, they are meant to present ideas which not only will challenge our thinking but provide stories and explanations that remind us more intelligent ways of living. Stories can provide guidance in coping with difficulties in life, instead of dealing with adversity by ignoring or avoiding it. How can having a deeper understanding of mythology help us to live more creative and fulfilling lives?

In American society, we tend to think in very linear ways. This can cause us to completely disregard the world of symbols. Symbols are fundamental to who we are as humans and provide meaning and guidance in the way we experience the world around us. When we look into our dreams and allow them to nourish our lives, we find them providing deeply rich and meaningful experiences. The dream is an interpretation of our inner world. Our inner selves and our lives.

“When a myth is working, it creates an ideal picture of the aspects of life that it talks about. It gives an impression of human life as coherent, harmonious, sensible, and meaningful, so that life is worth living.” Joseph Campbell

The more we read and understand myths, I hope that it would provide a better understanding of the dynamic conflicts, we all are going through. I think a lot of times when we experience conflict, we shut down, we separate ourselves from the world and we think we are the only ones experiencing difficulty.

We must remember that we are not the first person confronting these kinds of problems. Myths provide us with themes that have been around since the beginning of time. They help us in dealing with the world because when we are able to take in the themes from a myth we are reading and compare it to what we think to be the reality in our lives, we can instead create a more harmonious reaction or behavior aligned with myth. When exposed enough, myth becomes a lens, or a view of how we now see the world and thus deal with whatever life throws at us. It reforms and reshapes the way we go forward and experience the world.