The Power of Myth
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Dec 11, 2012
Robert Johnson wrote a relevant primer to myths in the introduction to "She":
Myths are rich sources of psychological insight.
Great literature, like all great art, records and portrays
the human condition with indelible accuracy.
Myths are a special kind of literature not written or created
by a single individual, but produced by the imagination
and experience of an entire age and culture
and can be seen as the distillation of the dreams
and experiences of a whole culture.
They seem to develop gradually as certain motifs emerge,
are elaborated, and finally are rounded out as people tell
and retell stories that catch and hold their interest.
Thus themes that are accurate and universal are kept alive,
while those elements peculiar to single individuals
or a particular era drop away.
Myths, therefore, portray a collective image;
they tell us about things that are true for all people.
This belies our current rationalistic definition of myth
as something untrue or imaginary.
“Why, that is only a myth; its not true at all,” we hear.
The details of the story may be unverifiable
or even fantastic,
but actually a myth is profoundly and universally true.
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