The Universality of Mythology
In college I was utterly captivated by mythology. Suddenly I could see that it was manifested everywhere. The themes presented themselves in my history of art classes, they crept out to engage me even in my psychology courses. There was Carl Jung who brought back themes from across the world. Never before had I contacted celtic spirituality, mysticism in all its forms or the intentions of prophesy in human drama. The inspirations were boundless.
At first it is easy to see mythology as little more than fantasy. But gradually it is revealed that it is drama and art in all their forms. And then it dawns on us that it is visionary and metaphysical and ultimately it brings us vibrant reality.
We can tell stories in a straightforward fashion in our fiction or we can choose different vehicles. All forms have their own allure. But we can come to understand that reality has its own form of dreams. And those dreams may be rich and instruct us about our endeavors and our future.
Over time I could not get away from it. Mythology revealed itself when I was engaging in therapy with my clients and in my studies it gave me instructions. When I looked at Freud I saw a man clearly embedded in western thought and the specificity of the field of medicine. Yet, even he was drawn away as he spoke to us about the meaning of our dreams and especially the unconscious mind. Some of his colleagues scoffed. But recently, with our ability to scan the brain we have evidence of the unconscious process.
My Personal Favorite
And then there was Carl Jung. He foraged across the world and, like Marco Polo, even brought us things from Asia. The mythology he gathered from across the world was brought back for illumination. His study of the world came to reality in his personality typology. He found, in his comprehensive studies, that who we are spoke of clear diversity of definable personality types. And they could be seen in myths.
In my dissertation I chose to study if the personality of the artist (painters in this instance) was manifested in his or her paintings. There had been endless speculation about the inner life of the artist in psychiatric literature but nothing systematic or definitive. I found their personality was manifested and also found that the personality type was the definitive component and not the degree of that type.
A Love Affair With Mythology
And it was my fascination with myth that led me to resolve to bring myth in definitive forms into my writings. And as I used myth to develop the Gaia’s Majesty stories I found more and more myths revealed themselves to me.
The human imagination is so rich and from it we weave all forms of dreams and realities as well. And, of course, as I’ve noted, myths are not just born of our imagination but also of real world events.
How does myth manifest itself in your life and, if you write, how does it reveal itself?