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Myths and Mythologies

surfing_at_pacbell.net
Date: Wed Aug 26 1998 - 09:09:49 PDT

A few postings back, there was a discussion about factual content in
mythological stories.  In this context, members may be interested in
considering the following view point:
As we progress in age, "something in us senses with increasing certainty
that we are more than the face that looks back at us from the mirror,
and more than the persona or mask we put on to meet everyday-life.  For,
that is only the curtain in front of the doorway.  Beyond a doorway is
always another world." 
Science and materialism anchor us in our every day world and deny the
existence of this other world.  Ancient mythological stories help us to
look beyond the curtain and visualize the mystery and beauty of the
other world.  They tell us in ordinary words which we can understand
about the incomparable wealth that exists in that world and motivate us
to commence the yatra that would ultimately take us there.
Like the cow chewing the cud leisurely, we too can recall the 'stories'
learned by us as children and benefit greatly by viewing them in new
perspectives.  Unfortunately for us in this 'scientific' age, we tend to
dismiss them outright as mere myths, thereby losing a valuable
storehouse of superior knowledge.
The term 'myth' is wrongly understood as a synonym for fiction.  On the
contrary, Myth is the word which was once used with great respect "to
express the inexpressible in human experience.  In mythical expressions
or tales, the truth is not in the description but in the meaning or
insight they communicate."  
	Gandhiji once observed: "A man is but the product of his thoughts; What
he thinks, he becomes."  (Yath Bhavah Thath Bhavathi).  Our learning is
unfortunately constrained and sometimes obstructed by the biases which
have accumulated over a period of time and which we hold to be true. 
One such bias is the scientific trend which rejects mythological content
on the ground that factual accuracy cannot be verified.  As a
consequence, we lose valuable insight into the other world which exists
beyond the curtain drawn by our scientific minds and engage in the
ever-lasting activity of testing and verification.
(Words within double quotation marks are extracts from writings of
others.)

Adiyen Dasan
MK Krishnaswamy