Mythology and Parables in Modern Communication - Part 2
There is a big adjustment coming in terms of our Human and Spiritual evolution, where Mythology and Parables will again play a vital role in the process. As mentioned in part 1, when our usual systems of information discernment fail us - you - we - I - will turn back to something familiar and old.
Myths are as old as the dawn of man. They predate human history because the latter is only a recent event. Recorded history began just a few thousand years ago and there are at least 100,000 Earth years with human civilization involved yet to be accounted for. All of them as rich, I believe, as those we can currently look into through our history books. Prior to that, it was the Oral Tradition that kept subsequent generations informed. Oddly enough, some of those Oral Traditions are still alive today in certain cultures (Egypt for example) where this missing 100,000 years of human history is available.
So where is this all taking us, this excursion into Myths and Parables? To where we stand right now, at the doorstep of this new era, the dawn of another epoch, the launching point of the new Millennium. At present we can only guess at what is coming next, and how fast it is moving toward us. But it is a fact; change is on the way. Some would argue that it is already here. Right now! Because Change, transition and transformation are endless cycles. They beat their way to our doorstep and march through our lives. They are as inevitable as the seasons. In relation to repeating cycles of change for us humans, we are in one now. The Millennium has already begun.
And what is more important during such turbulent times than Faith? Faith, Spirituality and Self-Confidence are tested during such times. If we've only been flirting with the advancing new knowledge and subsequent changes making their way toward us, then we'd better get on board quickly because we're in for the ride of our life. One that we could not anticipate before.
Now that we're on the doorstep of this Change, this Great Leap Forward, why bring up a tired old subject like Mythology and its companion, Parables? And that is a very good question. Why should we reach back into the mists of time, of pre-history, for something that is supposed to help us leap forward into this new Century and Millennium? Why indeed?
As mentioned earlier, historically, in times of turmoil and chaos, Myths were called upon to help explain events, to provide a forum for discussion, to advance the idea that we, the human race, were indeed ready for the advancing change. And here is the "Mucker" in all of this. The fact is: "We bring change upon ourselves." Then we scramble about to try and make sense of it. Yes, We, the human Race, drive change! And long before we formally understood this process, we had Myths and Parables about it. We always had Myths announcing and/or standing, at the vanguard of a New Era. They were and still are the "gatekeepers" and "shepherds" for the future. They told us what was coming over the next horizon and what we needed to do to get through this inevitable challenge. Myths and Parables not only helped us prepare, they helped us execute the changes and adjustments that are always necessary to the success of such a process.
How are we to prepare for this rapidly advancing Millennium and the Changes we are bringing upon ourselves? We have to reach into our Souls now for the sustenance that we need. There, hidden inside, behind all those roles, addictions and fears we show the world, is the Energy, the Vitality, and the Inspiration that is to take us through our great leap forward. There inside is the "Heart" that rings the "Bell" that awakens us to our true destiny. It is no accident that we are here now, at this time in our history. And it is no accident that a great variety of warning "Bells" are sounding. It's up to each and every one of us to tie into our Individual Myths and activate them for the coming Millennium. We are at that doorstep now. It falls to each of us to step on through.
So, how do we apply Mythology and Parables to our modern life? Is there a formula or pattern to follow?
Jesus Christ, among others, implored us to listen to ourselves inside our "Hearts." Plato and a number of his fellow Greek philosophers advised: "Know Thyself." Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet: "To Thine Own Self be True." And over the years of our recorded history, many other prophets and teachers repeated the same advice. This very guidance comes to us again through modern day psychologists, psychiatrists, artists and spiritual advisors.
But even before the above mentioned proponents had their say, Mythology was there promoting the very same advisement. In fact, many modern day proponents of "getting to know your self" refer back to certain Myths to underline their point. Freud did it. So did Carl Jung, along with numerous others over the last century. Myths are still guideposts to the Modern Era. They're just not so visible anymore and they've suffered from the bad press of being a synonym for fiction.
Joseph Campbell, an anthropological researcher from the latter part of the 20th century showed us how Myths and Parables crossed cultural boundaries and were recycled through succeeding generations. He pointed out, for example, how the Hero Myth appeared in most ancient cultures and has survived through untold generations into the present, to be recycled again. Where do we find them today? In our movies for starters, television, comics, books, and music.
Carl Jung spoke of the "Collective Unconscious," which in mythical lore was related to "Psyche," a Goddess, whose function it was to inform humans on their condition and plight. She too was instrumental in teaching us how to "know ourselves" better. Hence, modern Psychology is derived from this source and owes its very name to a Mythical Goddess from Antiquity!
Psychology, which is my field, is about getting to "know yourself," using the tools of the trade - testing - psychotherapy - counseling - clinical investigations - and so on. Pop Psychology is about getting to "know yourself" for $15.95 over a weekend - Nuff said! Getting to "know ourselves" isn't going to happen that easily or economically. My own experience, both personal and professional, is that this process is a lifetime commitment with every step having its own challenges and rewards.
Back to the bigger picture now, what we are witnessing here, as this new Millennium gets rolling, is "transformation" or "getting to know ourselves" on a grand scale. Already we are being told about it. Economic structures, Social structures, Religious structures and therefore, Personal structures are going to change dramatically. Like it or not, it's already underway. The New Age sections of bookstores are full of such references; and these also cross over into Pop Psychology, Para-Psychology, Philosophy and Religion. Just check out your favorite bookstore.
Looking at all of these sections in today's bookstores begs the question: "Why is such a plethora of mythically based reference material being thrown at us right now? To announce the advance of the New Era is the answer! It is here and we've got to deal with it. Like it or not, our current structures won't accommodate it. We need different reference points to guide us through this transitional period. Guideposts that can override the limits of modern terminology; that can trace their roots back through the mists time and can consistently be relied upon like the needle in a magnetic compass; always pointing in the same direction - towards the Self, the True North and Center of our Personality.
It is "To Thine Own Self be True" over and over again. Right here, right now, that is the Sine Qua Non of our Era. We cannot move forward as individuals and a species without this most important central resource. Our Self is our guide to our personal creativity, our life purpose and the Divine. And this True Self will take us to the very core of our Being - Our Soul! That is where we are headed and what defines the current challenge.
Maurice Turmel PHD is an Author, Speaker and Performing Songwriter. His site features Self-Help books, Inspiring Music, Stories, Reflections and Poetry that can help YOU discover how truly great YOU are. The WebSite is dedicated to that end. It also features his collection of articles, reflections and stories as teaching tools, and his latest Ebook, "The Voice," a Spiritual Sci-Fi novel. It will introduce YOU to all the basic concepts that characterize The Healthy Life, both Spiritually and Psychologically. http://www.mauriceturmel.com
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