Mythology: Religion and Myth Essay

Submitted By murphy38
Words: 2335
Pages: 10

Mythology has been an integral part of society since the birth of the first uncivilized cultures. It is in human nature to look for rhyme and reason in the seemingly chaotic world around them. In simpler times when people were unable to find the explanations to the questions that irked their brains it was not uncommon for people to make inferences and stories about the unexplainable. These stories, when spread, became known truths and then traditions. Since then, these stories have inspired a plethora of variations and interpretations that have been an important ocean of inspiration that has produced some of the most important ideas and works that are available in human culture. The enduring life of these myths is in and of itself reason to see that they contain basic truths human nature. Myth and Mythology is a window into the social and emotional history of our ancestors who evoked divinity and magic to explain the mysteries of the world around them.
One cannot attempt to understand the complex world of mythology until one fist attempts to define the very idea of it. There are a few essential aspects that a myth must contain. First, it must be a narrative of events told from an outside party. In a sense, these stories are simply rumors. one cannot deny that stories change due to the teller and that in itself is one of the most important factors of myth, the never-ending retellings and reinterpreting of stories. The next most important factor of myth is tradition. The origins of these stories have been long forgotten passed from generation to generation warped and changed but enduring because of the social power they have. They embody and explore the values of individuals and social groups alike. These traditional stories about heroes or supernatural beings, often explain the origins of natural phenomena or aspects of human behavior. It is common for aspects of these stories to be lost as people forget only written myth can withstand the erosion that time inevitably brings.
People, communities and even whole civilizations validate their existence, purpose, and place in the universe by making claims about where and how they came to be. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through myths, allow people to reach back into the undocumented world of the past that they are so desperate to understand. The Greeks believed that the universe began with chaos in the sense of a dark gaping space and from that sprung Gaia (the earth) and Euros the god of sexual love whose existence is a prerequisite for all subsequent acts of procreation that allowed the cosmos to be populated. (Modern day sciences prove that these claims are untrue; however, one cannot deny that there are undeniable similarities between the idea of the spontaneous appearance of the gods and the big bang theory. This suggests that these ideas may have been the starting point for modern theories. The idea that these stories lend themselves to truth is not an ideal limited to the sciences. In fact because there is limited documentation from ancient Greece once can infer that these stories were based on real people warped and reimagined into the supernatural. One can even guess that the gods that were worshiped during these times were originally men who distinguished themselves through noble or exceptional acts and then after death were celebrated and received divine honors from grateful people. Other parts of these myths can also be taken seriously, historians find that these myths are one of the best if somewhat distorted windows into the history of the ancients. The infamous Trojan War, for example, falls into the category of myth because of all the supernatural and unlikely events that occur throughout this war. There could actually be a core of truth to it. Findings of places and weapons suggest the possibility of such a war and the levels of destruction on the small kingdoms where Troy had existed and from 1300 to 900 B.C. The ancients also attributed…