The Power of Myth
The power of myth permeates every level of human experience. Most people are touched in some way by the ancient myths, such as the tales of the Greek gods or the myth of King Arthur, and perhaps register some kind of recognition that strikes a chord deep within the being. The creative potency of myth is frequently used in storylines for movies, art and advertising to connect an audience to something alluring, yet strangely evasive beyond conscious recall. However, true myth is not just the retelling of stories of legend or fable but opens a portal in which to participate with the mystery of existence.
In my own spiritual journey, myth has been intrinsic in detaching from my dependence on the rational mind and the intellectual convictions of others who would dismiss such things as fantasy or delusion. Early in the process, around thirty years ago when I began to be aware of the presence of the spirit, I began to perceive mythic creatures such as centaurs, fauns and goodness knows what else just as clearly as the objects in my front room. And I wasn’t taking drugs. This lasted a few weeks culminating in a procession along Oxford Street of the May Queen and assorted goblins and elves! The point of it all was that it connected me to a dimension of life that took me through a transitional stage from which I was able to contain the extraordinary inner changes at the time. Once through that particular period, the visions stopped and never recurred.
Myth, as many perceptive people have observed, can reveal certain insights into humanity’s perplexing behavioural traits and provides a foundation of learning to probe the depths of the human psyche. But the real power of myth is not in acquired knowledge or in the past, but is recorded in the flesh as the sensation of being alive – the echo of the original moment of eternity. The mythic realm is a depository of radiant ideas such as chivalry, romance, love, nobility and heroism. The power of myth is demonstrable in times of self-sacrifice such as an act of valour when the soldier disregards his own life to save his comrades in battle. Or the acceptance at the approach of death of the body’s demise and the absence of fear in leaving the physical world behind. Myth in other words is the romance of life, particularly in the love between man and woman, which is the epitome of the mythic potential behind the form.
The Garden myths feature predominately in our western culture. Most people are exposed at an early age to the story of the Garden of Eden. In other cultures we also find reference to the timeless harmony in nature, such as the Elysian Fields or the Persian Gardens of paradise. The Garden is the planet earth in all of its uncompromising glory and wonder. It’s different now to what it was because, as a race, we perceive the earth with a greatly reduced sensitivity to the reality of life. The mythic garden represents the female principle of beauty. Woman resides in her mythical kingdom as a fragrance of her true spiritual nature in love. She, the unattainable mystery behind existence, is the divine goddess who inspires man to be the hero to unite with her inner mystery. The feminine power of myth is often portrayed by the nature spirits and divinities such as Aphrodite, Demeter and Athena. In all her guises the female principle remains an enigma to defy any man who dares to do anything except love her as the fulfilment of his heart’s desire.
The way back for man differs to that of woman. Both must make the journey, but do so in different ways. In mythology the theme of a journey is quite common and the man must often overcome much adversity to win the prize of the beautiful princess. This is the earthly reward of he who is worthy to slay the dragon of sex that breathes fire when love is absent. The gods also bestow the ultimate accolade to the hero who, at the end of his mortal life, is raised to the stars as an immortal being no longer subservient to the lesser affairs of his fellow man. To invoke the mythic principle an individual must be prepared to live a life that refuses to compromise with the emotional demands of anyone or anything in the world. There’s no compromise in nature or the Earth, but an integrity that cares and kills its myriad life forms so as to serve the good of the whole.
The purpose of life is to make the cosmic connection between the true spiritual identity behind existence with the existential being. The pain and upheaval of dying to the ignorance of the self is the struggle against the forces of creation, the impulse of which is to continue to create. The mythic realm is a place of pure creativity where every last moment is immediately cancelled out and where no past can accrue. It’s from this amazing reality that ETI and UFOs originate. They are us in the present while we are them in the past. Progress and technology is the unconscious impulse of humanity to catch up with the present, whereas the spiritual impulse in the individual is the conscious approach towards direct experience of this extraordinary realm while alive. To perceive the mythic quality in the everyday living experience is to transcend the mundane and soar upwards into the rarefied air of the gods. But it’s important to have the feet firmly on the ground before take-off!