Monday, January 10, 2011

"We can keep from a child all knowledge of earlier myths, but we cannot take from him the need for mythology."
~ Carl Jung

I have been asked to explain my understanding of myth. What is it? Why is it important? I should clarify first that when I refer to myth, I am not refering specifically to the myths we studied in school: to Zeus and Hera, Isis and Osiris. Those are myths, yes, but Myth is beyond these stories - it includes them and transcends them. Myth itself is both Christian and Pagan, fact and fiction, new and old. It is made up of the tales that enable us to fully enter into the life of "mystery, by which I mean a profound simplicity that allows for paradox and poetry" (Kathleen Norris).

As I understand it, we need and experience two types of Myth. There Myth as man makes it - lush images of an unrevealed, or semi-revealed god, directed by man's self-knowledge and his longing for eternity. Then there is Myth as God makes it, written on the living page of His created world. This is the Myth written in the lives of men, and in the Life of God Himself. Both are aspects of Myth, touching and overlapping each other at times, forming the soul in paradox and poetry, and reminding us at all times that "with God all things are possible."


  1. I love your explanation of what Myth is. Also, great point about God-made and man-made Myths and how they sometimes touch and overlap.

    We truly do need myth and mystery. The soul starves without them.

    This gives me a glimpse of your concept of magic and superstition as well, but "as through a glass, darkly." If you want to go into that further, I'd love to read it! :)

  2. I'm working on it...magic should come next, though that might end up as two posts. Hopefully by this weekend. Thanks for reading!