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  • #139712
    Memnoich
    Participant

    First let’s start with Definitions:
    From Dictionary.com
    [hr]
    myth
    –noun
    1. a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, esp. one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
    2. stories or matter of this kind: realm of myth.
    3. any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth.
    4. an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.
    5. an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.[hr]
    re?li?gion
    –noun
    1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
    2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
    3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions. [hr]

    While working on my paper about the Force, the thought of the difference between myth and religion came up. I mean, if you look at religion, you have a lot of amazing things going on, rivers being split, water in to wine, walking on water, speaking in tongues, surviving in extremely hot ovens, etc… If they weren’t part of a recognized religion, they would be considered myths. Take for example the Germanic or even Gaelic myths, they used to be considered religions, and believed by many people. Now that the religion has faded, they have become myths and legends. So it seems to me, the only real difference is belief. The feats in the bible are believed to be true, because the Christian religion says they are, yet where is the proof? There is evidence of some of the people existing, but no real evidence of the main characters existence.

    What many people don’t know is that the bible is based on older works, and often borrows from them with some adaptations. Take for instance the story of Noah, this story can actually be traced back through the Quabala, and the Koran, to the even older text’s of the Sumerians. Does this mean the story isn’t true because it wasn’t created by Christians, or does this mean that the stories of the Sumerians are true because one is included with the bible that is believed to be completely true? What if it’s somewhere in-between? What if they are like myths? Current studies have shown that some of the myths of Gaelic Britain may have been true, they are finding evidence of King Arthur, Robin Hood, and others, there are documents showing that Merlin may have been real, does this mean his abilities were as well? Does the fact that we can find some proof of the things written about in the bible mean that all that’s included actually happened, or are they just embellished stories to make it sell better?

    I Guess the point I’m getting at is, How much of the bible is believed by religion, and if so, why is it so hard to believe that other countries might have had similar happenings, and if that’s the case, is it so hard to believe that there are things out there that human beings are capable of, that we have just written off as fairy tales and myths? The Force is real to so many Jediist, but many deny that we might one day be capable of doing similar feats as what is shown in the movies. I wonder why that is? 

    #154036
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    Along those lines of thought…

    Here is a good read — I insert the first part of the intro…

    It is widely presumed that myth and religion are two different things. To the extent that religion involves a whole array of non-myth elements – a moral code, a faith in a supreme being, and an obedience to the Church – this is true. However, if we focus on the primary element in religion, namely the Supreme Being (or God), then religion and myth become synonymous. Indeed, the conclusion of my life-long study of religion is that God is actually the personification of myth.

    http://www.eridu.co.uk/Author/myth_religion/myth_religion.html

    #154037
    Kol Drake
    Moderator
    Quote:
    The Force is real to so many Jediist, but many deny that we might one day be capable of doing similar feats as what is shown in the movies. I wonder why that is?  

    Addressing this bit…

    I believe it is because most have never ‘seen’ or experienced manifesting those abilities ‘as seen in the movie’.  Having known a few folks who could do Jedi like things, I can say, “I did not REALLY believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.”

    “Believe” (and belief) can be a tough nut to crack.  You can ‘kind of’ believe but that tiny bit of naggy doubt can eat up the certantude in nanosecond.  The desire to believe can go so far and then… our brain needs ‘tangible results’… or it starts running the old negativity mind tapes… and those are very tough to kick.

    #154040
    Jax
    Keymaster

    I think belief is the only difference between myth and religion.  And in another sense, membership.  To those in a religion, everything outside of it is considered myth, basically.  I think where we miss out in society is in devaluing myth.  Myth can be a very powerful tool to teach that which isn’t logic based.  The book, The View from the Center of the Universe, talks about this and uses mythology and symbology to explain difficult scientific concepts.  Angelus has taught a class about mythology with his church group, perhaps he can talk to this issue. 

    #154049
    Memnoich
    Participant
    Quote:
    I believe it is because most have never ‘seen’ or experienced manifesting those abilities ‘as seen in the movie’.  Having known a few folks who can move things (cell phone, clothes, laptop computer to name a few) and seen someone translocate (NOT shown in the movies but damn impressive when they popped into the room), I can say, “I did not REALLY believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.”  (and a note … although being able to pop from and to a location… ‘almost like walking through the wall’…. most conceded it was much easier to walk through a door… so much less complicated.  :P )

    Believe can be a tough nut to crack.  You can ‘kind of’ believe but that tiny bit of naggy doubt can eat up the certantude in nanosecond.  The desire to believe can go so far and then… our brain needs ‘tangible results’… or it starts running the old negativity mind tapes… and those are very tough to kick.

    I know how that goes, I used to believe in Telepathy, but when I was 18, I actually experienced it for a little bit with my cousin, and I’m not talking the whole card guessing, thinking of the same song type, actual telepathy. After that happened, I realized I did still have some doubts about ESP before, but now I actually know it Exists. The experience with my cousin was him actually hearing what I had been thinking for about 5mins. I haven’t experienced it since to that extreme, but would like to. As for the rest of the ESP abilities, I believe they are capable, and since my Telepathy experience, by proxy I believe they are possible, but without the in your face proof, there will always be that little doubt there.

    My big thing, is that right now some myths are being proven to maybe not be completely false, for example King Arthur they are finding documents that he might have actually existed of Roman Decent. They are thinking, because of records spanning 300 years, that Merlin was not one person, but a title, as there are several different records of a Mystical Merlin, though spelled in many ways depending on the culture referring to him. If Merlin actually exited, and Arthur did, does that mean that the stories about them actually happened, if so, are the abilities of Merlin real, or just exaggeration. The reason I ask, is because this seems to be how a lot of religion’s think, since this one part of the bible, Koran, Quabala, can be proven, then the whole book must be real.
    I guess it just bugs me a little bit to hear some one that believes the Force is real, can’t believe in the possibility of more abilities for our minds, if we just continue to look.

    JAX: Myth really is no different then the Parables in the holy books, each have the ability to expound upon the virtues of heroes, and the possible pitfalls that they can encounter. Myths are the Goal for kids to look at trying to grow into, the easier way to teach right thinking, in other words, other then saying thou shalt not kill, they show it in the myth that you should only do so if it is absolutely needed. For us, the movie’s and books of Star Wars are our Mythos for us, our trainee’s, and our children. I just hope that no one tries to confuse them as our “Holy Books”.

    #154053
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    Someone once conjectured that all legends or myths had some kernel of Truth about them.   While the Bible has many names and places which have ‘historical truth’, there are just as many tales which are more illustrative story then reality.  Religious scholars note the long time intervals between writings which were originally attributed to the actual apostles… many of which were dead a century or more before their ‘book’ was presented for inclusion in the finalized ‘official’ Bible.

    We once believed the sun and planets all orbited about the Earth… since God made everything specifically for ‘us’. Observation and data changed that view.  As did the view of the Earth being flat, etc.    Every day, some archeologist finds some new bit of pottery or carving which alters how we ‘see’ our history and beginnings.  Most of this is not immediately brought into the churches and pulpits of the world.  Nor is the actual history of the Jewish peoples given to show how they were influenced by Sumeria, Akkadia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and more as they wandered about… though the Sumerian religious basis for most of the Old (and some new) Testament stuff is very evident.

    Recall, churches were not there to preach ‘origin of god myths’… rather to be a place of worship, prayer, (and payment) to those poor who needed SOME reason for living during the dark and desperate times in which they labored.  Showing the Sumerian equivalent for how God made the cosmos… or that God is a mythic figure in the first place was not something most would understand nor be able to wrap their minds about… BUT, which they were familiar with (sort of) due to ‘tales told’ and word of mouth and retellings of retellings of ‘tales told around the campfire’.   So, the basics were and still are taught:. moral codes, general ethics, etc.  Things which are sliding away as ‘we’ get so very sophisticated about ourselves.  

    There are several degrees available which let a student/scholar dig into the ‘real deal’ as far as origins and other culture myths which are now part of the C/chrisitan faiths.  Also much which is still up in the air.  After all, we are still looking for meaning for our life/LIFE and still working out how ‘we’ fit in to it ALL.   Some accept the Bible as 100% truth and all happening ‘as is’.  Some concede some parts are factual while others are parable or myth to emphasize a point or theme or lesson.  Some totally dismiss the book as ‘nice’ but not the real deal since it was all pulled from the older Jewish texts and other culture influences.    

    Time and discoveries will tell the tale.
    Just as the old idea that Columbus was ‘the first’ to come to the Americas… only to learn that Leif Ericson was in the Canadian and ‘New England’ area of the United States 500 earlier then Columbus.  Or that it appears from bones and ship weights found up and down the West Coast, that the Chinese or Japanese visited the shores long before Mister Ericson.   Those are facts.  Now, how much ‘myth’ or ‘legend’ comes from those early visitors … or are the kernel of truth of a cultures ‘mythic origins’ is another story to consider.

    #154255
    Magdelene Nashira
    Participant

    I’m glad you brought up the point about Leif Erickson and Columbus, because I think it brings up an important point.  That is that history doesn’t happen in nice neat separated time slots, it is ongoing from one moment to the next and doesn’t wait for one happening to end before another starts.  Thus at different places in the world the same essential thing could be happening at roughly the same time.  The same tale, myth, story, or whatever one might call it could be going on at the same time.  So to me the idea that something happened first doesn’t really change my decision about whether or not it really happened or to what degree it is factual.  To me that fact that several societies point to a situation or reference a story that is essentially the same makes me believe that there is truth in there.  The differences probably result from different perceptions and interpretations of events made by peoples in different areas and cultures. 

    As far as what things are possible for people to do – I think probably a lot more than we realize.  In the list of things that were listed in the original post, I have the gift of tongues, so for me I know it is real.  I also have several other of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, so I believe in those.  To me there is no question because I have experienced it.  Though a lot of those things are found to be born of legend I think there probably is more truth than realized if one were to only look at it from an unbiased point of view.  For example, the Merlin and King Arthur stories.  I have a funny feeling those two people really existed.  I don’t have any evidence of it, but it just seems to me that since they are so persistent more credence should be given them.  The powers that these people had must have been somewhat significant to draw notice or they would not have become legened.  Of course it’s possible that we don’t know what those powers really were, but I think where there is smoke there’s fire.  I think it’s fascinating that scientists and those who study cultures are looking more into these things than has been done in the past.

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