Myths Essay, Research Paper
The various complexes of stories about the gods are called myths. What people first think of when they hear the word “myth” is “false story”, for they no longer believe in most of them. But there is another side, one that should not be overlooked: myths arise from the human belief that reality is intelligible. Myths are invented and accepted by people because they just do not settle for the experiencing things but want to discover the sense of things. Around the world, people tell stories of how the world came about, where they came from, why there is evil and death, why there are laws, why they is a summer, even why are turtles so slow. Some stories are so simple as to be brief folk tales. Others are grand myths tying together many aspects of life. All of them are a result of human intelligence beginning to make sense of things in the face of mystery, in however a stumbling way.
Joseph Campbell defines myths as old stories handed down from one generation to the next to help people experience or activate a special feeling or emotion instantly inside of us so we are able to experience life in a more meaningful way. He believed, as most of us would agree, that myths teach lessons through a positive moral message revealed at the end of each story. Campbell developed a theory that all myths are linked in that they are cultural manifestations of the universal human need to explain social, cosmological, and spiritual realities.
Products of ancient cultures, myths express and explain such serious concerns as the creation of the universe and of humanity, the evolution of society, and the cycle of agricultural fertility such as Campbell’s story of how buffalo came to be instinct.Myths are differentiated from folktales such as Cinderella, by being more serious, less entertaining, more supernatural, and less rational and logical. Legends and sagas, by contrast with myths, are historical or semi-historical in nature. In primitive culture, myths remained popular as explanations for things. They also provided a chance for people to relive events at the beginning of things in s dreamtime, one that emerges from that of the original time.
The use of mythology in today’s society is important in the determination of certain aspects of the world. Many theories have been advanced from myths. Theologians have tended to view myths as foreshadowings or corruptions of Scripture. The world ending in the year two thousand is what many people believe today. They even add that it was already written in the Book of Revelation. Some people considered myths to be validations of established social patterns. Among influential psychologists, Sigmund Freud related the unconscious myth and dream, which gave him renowned fame.
Myths have their impact on people. They are like movies people might see today that speak directly to our own concerns and feelings by drawing us into the story to the point where we begin to interpret our own lives in term of the story. We accept the values by which the heroine or hero lives. We imagine ourselves facing the same dangers or challenges and overcoming them with the same virtue and skill. The world of the story of the myth becomes part of the life of the person, helping to establish the person’s identity and values and places them in the scheme of things. Though historical facts may not be correct; myths are often accurate at expressing the inner feelings and character of human life.