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Small doses of myth?

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in response to reader comment: small dosage at a time.

Submitted by Claire (United States), Apr 29, 2008 at 03:47

Ah, but I think the protagonist "God" described metaphorically in the Torah, Bible, and Koran was not a supernatural being outside ourselves. I think the name is used to portray something within humans ourselves.

I realize that many of those who are indoctrinated into the "revealed" religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) follow their specific books and believe whatever folklore is included in the indoctrination, but that doesn't make it "true" or "real."

I think people are slowly waking up and realizing all of the revealed religions are only myths for their time, and while there is wisdom passed down from the ancients, they also did not have a lot of knowledge we have today.

I've read the Bible and Koran multiple times, and while I find some wisdom teachings in them, I'm not inclined to actually believe that Moses, Paul, or Mohammed are anything more than people who understood some aspects of human nature. I think Jesus surpassed them in his genius understanding of human nature, but I think Gautama (Buddha) surpassed all of them in his. Yet all were limited by their own intellect, the time they lived, and the culture into which they were born.

I personally don't understand the need by many people to believe in supernatural deities, but it has filled certain human needs for a long time since they developed language and the ability to visualize things metaphorically.

While it's true that many ancient people used metaphor of anthropomorphised "gods" and "goddesses" in their myths and wisdom teaching, I think those images are a distraction. The Taoists and Jews don't even give it an actual name, which works better in my own mind. The Native Americans call it the "Great Spirit" and I like that even better than the Tao, because it doesn't make it a personality or a gender, or outside oneself or inside oneself--it's just a concept that can be understood as a guiding force that exists within each of us, but also in humankind. But just calling it "Nature" is even more compelling to me. That doesn't humanize it or drawn on metaphor.

I think we all have the inherent ability to act as the ancients called "prophets." That's because we all are a part of Nature, and Nature exists both within us and outside us. We are part of Nature and Nature has "natural" laws. I think the ancients just used the metaphor as a tool to talk about Nature and natural law, and some people began to take it literally, fundamentally.

I think humankind needs to grow past the revealed religions--all are obsolete, and none is really the "truth." Ignorant people might embrace the myth, or even people of certain personality types, or people who are stronly indoctrinated (the indoctrinators use it as a tool of indoctrination), but I see such beliefs as springboards for deep thinkers and systems for the masses who don't think deeply to use to tap into Nature to the extent they are willing and/or able.

I dream of the day when humankind can let go of ancient myth and embrace Nature.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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