Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Maps Of Meaning


I'd recommend following the link for a better review of the book than I'm likely to do 

I'd also recommend reading "12 Rules For Life" and to a lesser degree "Beyond Order, 12 More Rules for Life"

In any case, this book would be down the list -- not because it is "bad", but primarily because it is much longer than it needs to be to get it's points across. 

From the linked:

The Basic Structure Of Myths

Myths from different places of the world have some common characteristics because of shared human nature. Whether it is the story of Homer’s Odyssey, the Passion of the Christ, stories of creation in Mesopotamia or Egypt, they all have one commonality – the journey of a brave hero and his triumphant return from the unknown.

The primal forces of nature form the basis of most myths. They represent the unknown, from wherein all life originates. Its creative and destructive nature is mostly represented as feminine. For example, according to the Mesopotamian myth of creation, the unknown is a ferocious Mother Dragon Tiamat from whose pieces the cosmos was created. In Sumerian creation myth, the sea goddess Nammu birthed the sky and the earth.

The feminine, often the mother, is portrayed as either ‘great’, or ‘terrible’, where the terrible unknown is shown in forms of an evil monster, a stepmother, or a storm; the great, or promising unknown is often characterized by a fairy godmother, a treasure or a magical place.

In mythology, the opposite of the Great and Terrible Mother, is the Great and Terrible Father. The father represents the structured, known territories of culture that man has built for protection. The father is most often represented as an old, wise king – great when he is just, protective and wise, and terrible when he is oppressive, tyrannical, or evil.

Finally, the hero of the story is the brave explorer, trapped between the unknown forces of the Mother and Father – or nature and culture. He is the one who fights the negatives of nature and culture and wins by bringing out the positives, proving to be a role model for humans.

We live by "stories", the more profound and meaningful reach the status of "myth". Are they "true"? Often not in the sense of scientific or legal "evidence", but perhaps more "true" in the sense that they speak to our nature and are much more meaningful than a listing of "facts".

We tend to look at science as "true", yet it as well is based on a faith narrative that goes something like "The universe was randomly created in a "Big Bang". Luckily for us, 100s if not thousands of physics variables just happened to be "set" (randomly) to values that allowed our existence. Even better, there happened to be a planet in the "Goldilocks zone" (not too hot, not too cold), and "somehow" life happened. That "somehow" would appear to be vanishingly unlikely, however it retains a place in scientific mythology."

"Maps" makes an attempt to explain more about "universal myths" than you really wanted to know. The excerpt above gives a flavor, the not so long linked review is probably all you need rather than reading the book. 

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