Thoughts on Myth and Hero Worship pt.1

The myth has followed civilization from its earliest beginnings to modern times. It’s alterations through the ages are not at first apparent, because the modern mythology is so drastically different as not to be recognized as myth. 

Firsst things first. What is a myth? Famed mythologist, author and historian Joseph Campbell states it thus; “The high function of occidental [Western] myth and ritual is to establish a means of relationship of God to Man and Man to God.” (The Masks of God book 2 – Occidental Mythology). 

To Campbell, the vast interplay of cosmic forces we deem religion or creation was mythological in scope, and thus books on right and proper living emerged, as did institutions to bequeathe these teachings. Similarly, in the Humanistic traditions of Rome, Greece, Germanic or Celtic peoples, the deities took on human guises, and with them all the foible and folly humanity itself was capable of. 

Myths endure as lessons in how societies and individuals interact and respond to each other. They became necessary, both as teaching tools and as focal points of belief. But where are they now? Do we still have our myths, or have they become outdated and irrelevant in this golden age of science and learning?


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