A short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong


”Human beings have always been mythmakers”
”We are meaning-seeking creatures”

Quotes from and appreciation for ‘A Short History of Myth’ by Karen Armstrong – because not much else needs to be added [Ok…I still add a few thoughts and questions at the end].
Hoping to explore more of this theme in this decade.

”…from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value.”

”Mythology is not about opting out of this world, but about enabling us to live more intensely within it” […] ”Myth is not a story for its own sake. It shows us how we should behave. Correctly understood, mythology puts us in the correct spiritual or psychological posture for right actions.”

”Mythology is an art form that points beyond history to what is timeless in human existence, helping us to get beyond the chaotic flux of random events, and glimpse at the core of reality” […] ”A myth, therefore, is true because it is effective not because it gives us factual information.”

>>> What is our current ‘mythology’?
>>> Do we need new mythologies to help us cope with the environmental crisis?

First book of the decade is A Short History of Myth – and wow, did it blow my mind away! I love how Karen Armstrong [former catholic nun turned lading commentator on religious affairs] synthesize such a big topic in delightful-to-read chapters.
She also makes a beautiful case for Artists and Poets being mythmakers for today’s time.
Nothing much to add for this post -just a small love note for this book. More thoughts and ramblings in other posts coming up soon.

Ps: I’ve always been interested in the ‘stories’ we tell our-self, our beliefs, our philosophies, our frame of reference. As stated, I hope to explore this topic further this year – if you have any reading, podcast or other resources to suggest – they’re most welcome.

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