Michael Meade is said to have defined a myth as, “a series of lies that tells the truth”. (Note: this phrase is often associated with fiction and art as well).
It’s ironic– defining a myth.
It’s like someone points and you and says, “Tell me the TRUTH about these fictions!”
We’re obsessed with substantive thought, aren’t we? Which some attribute to Socrates and Plato, but let’s not get too brain-y here.
The Definition of a Myth
Myths are highly respected stories, which do not need to be grounded in science for historical accuracy or analyzed for deductive truth.
At D&M, we respect myths for their innate ability to reflect back individual and collective depth to the listener.
- Myths are oceans of depth … in droplets of stories.
- Myths are melodies that reverberate the soul’s tuning fork.
- Myths are parables, metaphors, revealing metaphysical realities.
What is the Difference Between Myth and Legend?
There are thoughtful people who say these are one and the same, and there are thoughtful people who say they are different.
If there is a difference highlighted, it is typically that Legends are more often considered to have a real historical basis.
What is the Purpose of a Myth?
To open our eyes, to teach, to pass down cultural values.
What is One Distinguishing Characteristic of a Myth?
For the purposes of this site, the thread we are hunting is the mirror of wisdom. When we read a myth, we find ourselves in the stories and characters.
This is the universal pattern that we are discovering within ourselves, our dreams, and the mythologies of the world.
We’ll continue to update this post as our site grows. We hope to answer more questions such as:
- How Many Myths Are There?
- What is a creation myth?
- What is a hero myth?
Other Definitions of Myths and Mythology
“… the deepest function of a myth… is to lend narrative order to apparently disconnected bits of information, the way conttellations group impossibly distant stars into tight, easily recognizable patterns that are simultaneously imaginary and real”Christopher Ryan
“Mythology is the loom on which [we] weave the raw materials of daily experience into a coherent story.”David Fenstein and Stanley Krippner (psychologists)