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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Myths

The uninitiated mind often becomes confused in its consideration of what truth is. This confusion is a state of being that proceeds from a mind preoccupied with faulty assumptions about reality. If we begin with the wrong assumptions, we ask the wrong questions, and logically arrive at answers informed by our assumptions.
Such a mind approaches an event and begins its evaluation by asking, “Did it happen?”. The assumption being, if we cannot place that event in specific time and a specific place, then its truthfulness is to be challenged. When we equate truth to facts, not only do we overburden the facts; we shortchange the truth.
Wisdom teaches us that the truth is often larger and more encompassing than a particular set of facts. When we limit truth to the boundaries of our particular experience, we end up with dogma. Historically, dogma has been used to serve the purposes of those who would negate the validity of those positions that derive from the experience of others. Herein is to be found the raison d’etre of so many tragic conflicts.

Instead of beginning our quest for truth by asking whether or not an event actually occurred, perhaps we consider the accuracy of its depiction of the human condition. As an example, when we analyze the Biblical account of what we term “ original sin,” instead of preoccupying ourselves with questions about the “apple” or the “serpent,” we may more usefully contemplate the reality of temptation and beguilement in our experience. Is the story true? Yes. Is it factual? I do not care.
Seriously considered, myth serves us more completely than fact. This is so because myth takes the truth out of the rut of a particular life experience and re- presents it as a universal reality. A contentious point, I will admit, to those who would rule the world with the prescriptions of their dogma. But “truth” was always “offensive.”
Myth is truth that is larger than fact, and story telling is still a safe craft. Well, that is what the ancients keep telling me.


 Excerpt from the book: “Of Scattered Seed and Broken Souls" by Roy Alexander Graham

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/

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