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Presentation on theme: "Mythology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mythology

2 Your Comments… “Mythology is the story of humanity’s quest for individual self-actualization in the face of increasing entropy and disorder.”

3 Remember the difference…
We are not talking about the common myth that refers to an untrue old wives’ tale. We are talking about sacred cultural myths that human beings use as metaphor to describe the deeper truths about reality.

4 Your Comments… Myths are cultural versions of universal tendencies.
Cultural tendencies include: life, death, love, war, victory, defeat, good, evil, birth, and after life.

5 All cosmologies reflect a universal human concern with the outer boundaries of existence. Myths give us a purpose and significance in the universe.

6 Common Patterns in Myths
The Creation - metaphor for birth The Flood – return to chaos to restore order The Afterlife – consciousness freed from form The Apocalypse – ritual cleansing of the old The Pantheons – symbols of ultimate reality Heroes – journey of the soul Sacred Place or Object – symbolic significance

7 Why study world religions?
“Read each other people’s myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts—but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message.” Joseph Campbell, author & philosopher

8 Three Levels in Religion
Rituals for the Masses Teachings for the Scholars Experience for the Mystics

9 The Bhagavad-Gita

10 Common Themes A myth of creation offers a context and a reason for being It is a metaphor for awakening of consciousness from the unconscious Primal waters or primal egg are female symbols of the Great Mother earth Life itself is the struggle to create order out of chaos… so when broken or sick we seek to return to our Source…the womb of nature, the sand painting, the primal waters

11 Egyptian Creation Story
According to Egyptian mythology, the Sun god Ra had four children. In this painting his son Shu stands on another son, Geb, who became the Earth. Shu, god of the air, raises up Ra’s daughter Nut, who became the sky.

12 Egyptian Creation myth
Written inside Pyramids 5000 years ago There was an original Word or Spirit Atun or Ra who took form as Khepri He created the Sun or Great Eye Creation was formed by his own masturbation that led to the air god Shu, and the earth god Geb, and the sky god Nut

13 “I am the Eternal Spirit,
I am the sun that rose from the Primeval Waters. My soul is God, I am the creator of the Word… I considered in my heart, I planned in my head how I should make every shape…. So it was I who spat forth Shu and expectorated Tefnut so that where there had been one god there were now three… I wept tears…the form of my Eye; and that is how mankind came into existence….”

14 Babylonian Creation Story
This pre-dates the Old Testament. It describes the celebration of the high god Marduk. It contains the familiar patterns of the emergence of order from chaos, the primal waters as the source of creation, a war in heaven, the mergence of a god king, and the creation of matter from the body of the first mother.

15 When on high the heaven had not been named,
Firm ground below had not been called by name, Naught but primordial Apsu, their begetter, And Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all… When no gods whatever had been brought into being, Uncalled by name, their destinies undetermined— Then it was that the gods were formed within them…

16 The (offspring) divine brothers banded together,
They disturbed Tiamat as they surged back and forth, Yea, they troubled the mood of Tiamat By their hilarity in the Abode of Heaven…. Apsu said to Tiamat: “Their ways are loathsome unto me. By day I find no relief, nor repose by night. I will destroy, I will wreck their ways, That quiet may be restored. Let us have rest!”

17 Mummu said, “Do destroy, my father, the mutinous ways.
Then shalt thou have relief by day and rest by night!” When Apsu heard this his face grew radiant Because of the evil he planned against the gods, his sons. Many gods were slain. The god Marduk then plans to create man. “Blood I will mass and cause bones to be. I will establish a savage, man shall be his name. Verily, savage-man I will create. He shall be charged with the service of the gods Than they might be at ease!

18 “Let but one of their brothers be handed over;
The god Ea tells Marduk of the scheme for the relief of the gods (by the lesser brother gods) “Let but one of their brothers be handed over; He alone shall perish that mankind may be fashioned.” It was decided that the god Kingu was the one responsible for the uprising. The gods imposed on him his guilt and severed his blood vessels. Out of his blood they fashioned mankind. Ea then let all the gods go free.

19 Two Hebrew Creation Stories
These were composed after the Babylonian myth There are two creation stories by the Hebrews and both focus on the role of humanity in the world Genesis I was written about 400 BC and Genesis II was written much earlier around 950 BC

20 Genesis I “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light….. …God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also… …God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good…

21 …And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replinish the earth, and subdue it…

22 Genesis II And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden… And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 …But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die… And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. …Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and they desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

24 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden…

25 Modern Creation Story

26 Big Bang Theory We can detect the very first point of light from 20 billion years ago This was the primeval fireball that is the source of everything in the universe We are the first humans to look into the night sky and see the actual birth of stars and galaxies



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