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Myth as one of the concept of understanding the reality - Essay Example

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It is quite interesting to discover man’s inclination and necessity to resort to any beliefs, in order make sense of the world and his existence. Man has been known for his never-ending quest to find answers to questions deemed significant for his being…
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Myth as one of the concept of understanding the reality
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Download file to see previous pages Whereas men have always relied on concrete objects and the environment to understand themselves, they now also realized the power of intangible and abstract beliefs and concepts in their pursuit of enlightenment. As explained in Bruno Bettelheim’s, “The Child’s Need for Magic”, the answers given by myths are definite. He compared myths to children’s fairy tales. He tells us that fairy tales are suggestive. Its messages may imply solutions, but it never spells them out. However, he believes that fairy tales are effective in the formation of truth in the eyes of children. It leave to the child’s fantasizing whether and how to apply to himself what the story reveals about life and human nature. As young people inclined to their imaginations instead of cold, hard facts, children usually interpret their daily experiences with what they see in fairy tales. Now we are quite knowledgeable of the fact that in fairy tales, everything has a soul. But this becomes all the more real for children. They take on what Bettleheim calls an “animistic” view. Associating their own lives to what they see in the fairy tales, children believe that everything is alive and has soul. For example, children have the notion that animals, in real life, have the abilities to guide us in our journeys. This is for the reason that in fairy tales these animals roam freely and widely in the world to guide the hero to his quests. In thinking animistically, everything acquires human characteristics. In the mind of a child, not only animals feel and think as we do, but even stones are alive. By the same reasoning, it is entirely believable for children that objects talk, give advice, and join the hero on his wanderings. Author Conrad Phillip Kottack has also shared some similar views. In his article entitled, “Disney Myth and Ritual”, myths are said to be often used as mediating figures to resolve oppositions. Kottack (1974) illustrated that animals, are given human abilities, thus bridging the opposition between culture and nature. In Genesis, a humanlike animal (a bipedal, talking, lying snake) brings culture and nature closer together. In the beginning, Adam and Eve are innocent parts of nature, yet they are unique because of their creation in God's image. The snake encourages Original Sin, which keeps humans unique, but in a far less exalted way. The punishment for eating forbidden fruit is a destiny of physical labor, a struggle with nature. That humans are a part of nature while also being different from other animals is explained by the serpent-mediator's role in the Fall. The fall of humanity is paralleled in the fall of the serpent—from culture-bearing creature to belly-crawling animal. Obviously, this myth is of significant stature as it is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. Now we don’t question the authenticity of such stories in the bible. However it may be largely perceived that the particular story is indeed but a figment of our ancestor’s imagination, subject to our different interpretations. This kind of belief in the myths takes on a powerful impact on one’s way of viewing life. It absorbs and encompasses one’s faith and religion, thus becoming an important instrument of enlightenment to men. Further explained by Kottack (1974), one creator and myth maker for so many Americans is Walt Disney. In many cultures, religion focuses on sacred sites. Disney’s works, in the level of magnitude of how it created an impact to Americans’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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