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Author Topic: Mythology Taken Literaly?  (Read 3095 times)

addy

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Mythology Taken Literaly?
« on: September 01, 2011, 06:30:24 pm »
Hey :) I have a serious question. I was reading mythology of deities and was wondering are those stories suppose to be taken literaly? Or were those our ancestors and different cultures ways of expressing them selves to the divine? I am asking this because I always wonderd are they suppose to be taken as real? cause the keyword was "Myth" but dont know if its a repesentation? Or maybe it depends on the person you ask? So basically my question is: Is the mythology set for diferent gods taken literaly? or are they a way to understand the divine more. Thanks :)

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Re: Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 06:36:12 pm »
Quote from: addy;17214
So basically my question is: Is the mythology set for diferent gods taken literaly?

 
Is the Bible taken literally by anyone who isn't an idiot?

Why would other mythologies differ?
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addy

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Re: Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 06:42:17 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;17216
Is the Bible taken literally by anyone who isn't an idiot?

Why would other mythologies differ?

 
True :P

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Re: Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 06:54:11 pm »
Quote from: addy;17214
Hey :) I have a serious question. I was reading mythology of deities and was wondering are those stories suppose to be taken literaly? Or were those our ancestors and different cultures ways of expressing them selves to the divine? I am asking this because I always wonderd are they suppose to be taken as real? cause the keyword was "Myth" but dont know if its a repesentation? Or maybe it depends on the person you ask? So basically my question is: Is the mythology set for diferent gods taken literaly? or are they a way to understand the divine more. Thanks :)

 
Catja has an awesome bit about mythic truth that's floating around somewhere on the archived forum.

My own take is that myths have stuff in them for a reason. Sometimes that's a teaching lesson of some kind (this is what we do in this culture, this is what we don't do) that is mostly about people, not about the Gods.

But sometimes, especially if you see the same thing popping up over and over again, I tend to think there's a reason for that. Don't seek to go travel to the Underworld/place where dead people live without really good reason: there are lots of potential consequences. Certain kinds of relationships with Gods are prone to particular dangers, and better you should understand what those are in advance. Societies tend not to understand mystics, but there's stuff you can do that make it less likely you'll be torn to pieces by an angry mob. Gods are complicated in all the ways people are complicated, and then some. Don't make assumptions.

Those things, they all have Truth in them. It's just not necessarily fact-based truth, any more than the things we learn from being a friend, a daughter or son, a sibling, a parent, or whatever is 'factually based truth'. (It is, and it isn't, and the bits that matter the most usually aren't the facts anyway: it's our experience of the facts in context.)
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Re: Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2011, 12:15:25 am »
Quote from: Jenett;17220
Catja has an awesome bit about mythic truth that's floating around somewhere on the archived forum.

 
I believe you mean this.

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addy

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Re: Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2011, 04:50:33 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;17300
I believe you mean this.

Sunflower

 
Thanks :)

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Re: Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 07:55:59 pm »
Quote from: addy;17214
Hey :) I have a serious question. I was reading mythology of deities and was wondering are those stories suppose to be taken literaly? Or were those our ancestors and different cultures ways of expressing them selves to the divine? I am asking this because I always wonderd are they suppose to be taken as real? cause the keyword was "Myth" but dont know if its a repesentation? Or maybe it depends on the person you ask? So basically my question is: Is the mythology set for diferent gods taken literaly? or are they a way to understand the divine more. Thanks :)

Yes and no.

In Norse mythology you have a lot of talk about trolls, which we would say don't literally exist. But they do, if you know what a troll is. A troll is an unknown, a troll is a danger, a threat, something wild.

I have trolls where I live. Estrella mountain is in my backyard and it has its fair share of legends. There's Montezuma's treasure, the more modern Lights Over Phoenix, chupacabra, and even a cousin to Big Foot. There is something out there that terrorizes people beyond the border of civilization. Its the very definition of Troll.

And, just like the myths, when it becomes identified as a prankster, coyote or whatever else, then it'll stop being a troll. It'll have a name.

The thing to remember is that most folk-religions dealt with the observable world. Whatever they saw and experienced, we see and experience, too. They just understood it differently/ or in a context that we've moved away from.

So, no, its not literal as in trolls are hairy, three-eyed beasts. But, yes, in the sense that what they described is literally all around us, we've just forgotten the language.

Eta: this doesn't necessarily hold true for world-rejecting religions or mystery religions in which the teachings impart wisdom that is unobservable/ separate from the present reality.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 07:58:28 pm by Juniperberry »
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Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 02:46:57 am »
Quote from: addy;17214
Hey :) I have a serious question. I was reading mythology of deities and was wondering are those stories suppose to be taken literaly?

No easy answer for this one. Let me try from a Hellenic standpoint. Myths, in the olden days, were mostly used to transfer messages beyond the actual story of the myth. Even now, many Hellenics take the myths of our Gods and use them to understand the Theoi better (as they do speak of Them and give a glimps into their day-to-day life) but it doesn't stop their. We study the hymns, archeology and the many epithets of our Gods to get to know Them. Myths help, but even way back when, they weren't taken literally.

An example; Greek myth featured a lot of rape. Gods like Apollon, Hermes, Dionysos and Pan are famous for chasing Nymphs. Yet, these Gods were revered side by side with Nymphs in the ancient temples and they did so amiably.

So the myths can be an inspiration, but they're not to be taken literally. Rape didn't mean rape as we know it; often it was the transferance of divinity or a blessing. Quite a different meaning.
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Re: Mythology Taken Literaly?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 05:40:25 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;17216
Is the Bible taken literally by anyone who isn't an idiot?

Why would other mythologies differ?

Stern, but very true. I don't mind too badly if someone takes their mythology literally, but most do not. Especially in modern Paganism.

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