2 Understanding Myths

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People are often mistaken about what myths are. Over half of us think of them as inventions, fantasies, fairy tales or lies. The real meaning of myth is quite different from this. But even if everyone could agree about this, religions would still be on different pages. Solve this and something else would get in the way.

A myth is a way to represent a truth, conveying it in a way that we can accept and understand. Unlike many symbols, myths are actually true.People are often afraid of letting go of their allegiances to things like religion and politics. The fear is that if we give up what we believe in, our personal safety somehow crumbles. And we just can’t afford to face that kind of threat.

So the problem isn’t that we don’t get the idea of myths as symbols. No, the root problem here is the way we behave in an effort to keep ourselves safe. Then we resist looking at whether our false safeguards make any sense. We don’t want to find out that perhaps we were wrong.

In short, a myth is a way to represent a truth, conveying it in a way that we can accept and understand. Similar to a symbol, they are concisely constructed—like a vast truth in picture form. This is not unlike the picture language used in the Spirit World or the picture language we experience when we dream.

While the principle is the same, there is a difference though between myths and symbols. We can have a symbol for anything, whether its important or not. In dreams, we have symbols but they are personal to us, with our own unique little idiosyncrasies. By contrast, myths deal with general, universal truths, presented so that we can grasp them. Unlike many symbols, myths are actually true.

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