Understanding Myth

What do you think is the place of myth in religion?

The Guide: People do not understand what myth really means. For the majority, myth means invention, fantasy, imagination, fairy tale or a lie. Of course, the real meaning of myth is very different. But this misunderstanding is not the only reason for the failure of various religions to come together. If this problem were solved, something else would stand in the way.

Often, people are so bound by their allegiances and loyalties to religion, politics, or anything else to which they adhere, that they are afraid to let go. A personal fear or threat is involved here. They feel, “If I have to give up what I believe, then my whole world and personal safety crumbles.” They cannot afford to face what they consider a threat to their security.

So the core of the problem does not lie in the misunderstanding of myth, symbol, or anything else for that matter. The core lies in the psychological problems, in the false safeguards people have built for themselves, and in their resistance to reexamine the true motivation for their tenacity in holding on to certain ideas, be they right or wrong.

As long as this state prevails among the majority of people responsible for achieving unification, their inner obstacles will always produce outer ones. However, I would not call their goal union, but unification – the attainment of which is a step closer to union.

 

Could you give us some idea of the true meaning of myth?

The Guide: I could discuss this for a long time. For the moment, I will only say that myth represents a truth which is conveyed in a form acceptable and understandable to human beings. A myth, similar to a symbol – concisely put together – is a vast truth in picture form, like the picture language in the Spirit World, or like the picture language you experience in dreams.

The difference between a symbol and a myth is that you can have a symbol for anything, important or unimportant. In your dreams, you have your own personal symbols for your personal little idiosyncrasies. A myth, on the other hand, deals with a general, universal truth. It is presented in a concise, pictorial way to make it acceptable and understandable, to make you perceive it. The principle of myth and symbol is the same.

But a myth, contrary to many symbols, is something that is actually true. It is presented so that the individuals to whom it is revealed can grasp it. But it is, in itself, a representation of absolute truth.

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