The Shared Myth

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Vajradhara, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    i've posted this on a few sites because i think that it gets to the heart of the matter quite directly. i thought that it would be a great conversation piece on this site especially.

    i'd like to offer a bit of text from Joseph Campbells' the Masks of God (available at all fine book stores)

    the extent to which the mythologies-and therewith physchologies- of the Orient and Occident diverged in the course of the period between the dawn of civilization in the Near East and the present age of mutal rediscovery appears in their opposed version of the shared mythological image of the first being, who was originally one but became two.

    the best known Occidental example of this image of the first being, split in two, which seem to be two but are actually one, is, for course, that of the Book of Genesis, second chapter, where it is turned, however, to a different sense. For the couple is spearated here by a superior being, who, as we are told, caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man and, while he slept, took one of his ribs.

    in the Indian version it is the god himself that divides and becomes not man alone but all creation; so that everything is a manifestation of that single inhabiting divine substance: there is no other; whereas in the Bible, God and man, from the beginning, are distinct. Man is made in the image of God, indeed, and the breath of God has been breathed into his nostrils; yet his being, his self, is not that of God, nor is it one with the universe. The fashioning of the world, of animals, and of Adam (who then became Adam and Eve) was accomplished not within the sphere of divinity but outside of it.

    there is, consequently, an intrinsic, not merely formal, separation. and the goal of knowledge cannot be to see God here and now in all things; for God is not in things. God is transcendent. God is beheld only by the dead. the goal of knowledge has to be, rather, to know the relationship of God to His creation, or, more specifically, to man, and through such knowledge, by God's grace, to link one's own will back to that of the Creator.

    moreover, according to the Biblical version of this myth, it was only after creation that man fell, whereas in the Indian example creation itself was a fall - the fragmentation of a God. and the God is not condemned. Rather, his creation, his "pouring forth" is described as an act of voluntary, dynamic will-to-be-more, which anteceded creation and has, therefore, a metaphysical, symbolical, not literal, historical meaning. the fall of Adam and Eve was an event within the already created frame of time and space, an accident that should not have taken place. the myth of the Self in the form of a man, on the other hand, who looked around and saw nothing but himself, and said "I", felt fear, and then desired to be two, tells of an intrinsic, not errant, factor in the manifold of being, the correction or undoing of which would not improve, but dissolve, creation. the Indian point of view is metaphyscial, poetical; the Biblical, ethical and historical.

    Adam's fall and exile from the garden was thus in no sense a metaphysical departure of divine substance from itself, but an event only in the history, or pre-history, of man. this event in the created world has been followed throughout the remaindeer of the book by the record of man's linkage and failures of linkage back to God - again, historically conceived. for, as we next hear, God himself, at a certain point in the course of time, out of his own violition, moved toward man, instituting a new law in the form of a covenant with a certain people. these became, therewith, a priestly race, unique in the world. God's reconciliation with man, of whose creation he had repented (Gen 6:6) was to be achieved only by virtue of this particular community - in time: for in time there should take place the realization of the Lord God's kingdom on earth, when the heathen monarchies would crumble and Israel would be saved, when men would "cast forth their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made to themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats."

    in the Indian view, on the contrary, what is divine here is divine there also; nor has anyone to wait - or even to hope - for a "day of the Lord." for what has been lost is in each his very self (atman), here and now, requiring only to be sought. Or, as they say: "only when men shall roll up space like a piece of leather will there be an end of sorrow apart from knowing God."

    the question arises (again historical) in the world dominated by the Bible, as to the identity of the favored community, and three are well known to have developed claims: the Jewish, the Christian and the Muslim, each supposing itself to have been authorized by a particular revelation. God, that is to say, though conceived as outside of history and not himself its substance (transcendent: not immanent), is supposed to have engaged himself miraculously in the enterprise of restoring fallen man through a covenant, a sacrament, or a revealed book, with a view to a general, communal experience of fulfillment yet to come. the world is corrupt and man a sinner; the individual, however, through engagement along with God in the destiny of the only authorized community, participates in the coming glory of the kingdom of righteousness, when the "glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Ish 40:5)

    in the experience of India, on the other hand, although the holy mystery and power have been understood to be indeed transcendent, they are also, at the same time, immanent. it's not that the divine is everywhere: it is that the divine is everything. so that one does not require any outside reference, revelation, sacrament, or authorized community to return to it. one has but to recognized (re-cognize) what is within. deprived of this recognition, we are removed from our own reality by a cerebral shortsightedness which is called in Sanskrit "maya", "delusion".

    Maya is from the root verb "ma" - to measure, measure out, to form, to build - denoting, in the first place, the power of a god or demon to produce illusory effects, to change form, and to appear under deceiving masks; in the second place, "magic", the production of illusions and, in warfare, camoflage, deceptive tactics; and finally, in the philosophical discourse, the illusion superimposed upon reality as an effect of ignorance).

    instead of the Biblical exile from a geographically, historically conceived garden wherein God waslk in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8), we have in India, therefore, already circa 700 BCE (some three hundred years before the putting together of the Pentateuch), a psychological reading of the great theme.

    the shared myth of the primal androgyne is applied in the two traditions to the same task - the exposition of man's distance, in his normal secular life, from the divine Alpha and Omega. yet the arguments radically differ, and therefore support two radically different civilizations. for, if man has been removed from the divine through an historical event, it will be an historical event that leads him back, whereas, if it has been by some sort of psychological displacement that he has been blocked, psychology will be his vehicle of return. and so it is that in India the final focus of concern is not the community (though the holy community playes a large part), but yoga.

    the Indian term "yoga" is dervied from the Sanskrit root verb "yuj" - to link, join or unite - which is related etymologically to "yoke" - a yoke of oxen, and in this sense analgous to the word "religion" (Latin - re-ligio) - to link back or bind. man, the creature, is by religion bound back to God. however, religion, religio, refers to a linking historically conditioned by way of a covenant, sacrament or revealed book, whereas yoga is the psychological linking of the mind to that superordinated principle "by which the mind knows" (Up Kena). furthermore, in yoga what is linked is finally the self to itself, consciousness to consciousness; for what had seemed, through maya, to be two are in reality not so; whereas in religion what are linked are God and man, which are not the same.
     
  2. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    The reason why the religions are similar is because they all used the same constellations for their myths. One can read a whole chapter by Joseph Campbell discussing the relationship of the woman and serpent and come away laughing. He shows the famous Adam and Eve Seal; the snake’s relationship to the tree; he quotes references to Leviathan from Job; mentions the “dark sea” or the “abyss;” Dionysus being nurtured in a cave; the goddess Demeter; the virgin concept; the legend of Medusa and Pegasus; the battle of Zeus and Typhon and not once does he mention a constellation. Instead he claims all these stories rise from things known as “order of the Mother right”; “the warrior principle of the great deed”; or “the principle of indeterminacy.” What a bunch of BS nonsense. After he makes his conjectures he then admits there is something amiss with the whole idea, “And yet one cannot help feeling that there is something forced and finally unconvincing about all the manly moral attitudes of the shining righteous deedsmen, whether of the biblical or Greco-Roman schools…A residue of mystery remains with them…as to say “But do you not hear the deeper song?”

    It’s astrology Joseph.

    That is why religion is all the same- because ancient man all worshipped the same sun, moon and stars, not the "order of the mother right."
     
  3. Baud

    Baud Seeker of Knowledge

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    Could you point me to some references where that theory is presented and explained? I certainly can see something interesting in this argument, but I have never heard it expressed in that way.

    Baud
     
  4. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    Baud,
    I would love to, except there are none that are considered scholarly. The works of Gerald Massey come the closest, although he is associated with the spiritualism of the late 19th century writings. I have found some errors in his work, although over all they are very informative.

    Most writings are considered occult such as Manly P. Hall's "Secret Teachings of All Ages." Others promote Christianity such as Bullinger's "Witness to the Stars." There is a California group which professes this same belief, unfortunately their work is not detailed and some of their speculations are incorrect. They then take a good theory and connect it to a free mason- Bilderberg conspiracy theories.

    Massey was 6 tomes published at $35. a pop at Kessinger publishers. He doesn't come cheap, shop around.

    I am working on getting a book published on OT stories which are astrologically based. I compare many of these stories to the myths of Egypt, Greece, and Babylon. I plan on revolutionizing how we interpret myths and bury the works Joseph Campbell. After I change the world, I plan on vistiting Europe.

    Mike
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste,

    the astrologly argument fails when one takes into account procession of the planet. the visible constallations changed and became unseeable to later generations.

    in any event, the interested reader can find more information about precession here:

    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/precession.html
     
  6. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    I do not understand why it is a problem? Any good computer program or planatarium can give you that information. Ptomy made a list of the constellations of his age. "Observation of Bel" was 2400 BCE.

    I have been able to identify the cardinal points in the OT. The original text dates to circa 2141 BCE. when the Pleadies was zero degree vernal equinox. When the new world age came (forget the golden calf, worship the lamb) of Aries it was at a time at the fall of Egypt's 6th dynasty and the rise of Babylon. When the cardinal points changed the priesthood added stories to the OT to indicate that change. Differences in writing styles was demonstrated by Wellhausen centuries ago. When constellations took on different meanings stories were added to the Bible. As cities fell and turned to dust and other cities became major centers, the text was again altered to reflect proper astrology. This is why the OT texts contradict themselves, but also why they repeat themselves, and why there is no correct timeline for the Bible that corresponds to archaelogy. It was a living document. It all works out extremely neatly unlike any other explanation ever offered in the history of this planet.
     
  7. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    No, the precession doesn't change which constellations are visible from which latitudes, it changes the time of year at which a particular constellation is at its highest and thus most visible. Orion is now a "winter" constellation (here in the Northern Hemispher) and Altair-Deneb-Vega is the "Summer Triangle", but 12,500 years ago that was reversed, and 12,500 years from now it will be again.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    But who set the constellations dancing in their courses?

    The cosmos conforms to the same currents that move the soul, the error is in assuming that the Cosmos is its own cause.

    Thomas
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Vajradhara

    Joseph Campbells is a populariser, but he lacks true depth in his works (or perhaps doesn't bother as the required concentration doesn't sell books) a better bet would be Houston Smith. The main thrust of his argument confuses basic metaphysical principle, that of Transcendance and Immanence, and furthermore he cannot perceive the metaphysical content of Scripture and falls into the assumption that it is a historical/mythological document.

    One of my favourite passages from Scripture is St Paul, quoting the Greek poet and philosopher Epiphanides "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 1:17) which is a most profound metaphysical statement.

    A better read would be someone like Ananda Coomaraswamy - or any of the writers of the Traditionalist School - who show how all the revealed traditions agree in principle at the metaphysical level, but differ in their forms according to contingent requirements of the capacity of their audience.

    Or try reading Eckhart "when I enter the ground, there is no God, for there God and I cease to exist"
    Such wisdom cannot spring forth from a tradition locked into a geopolitical myth.

    One of my favourite correspondences is 'Maya' and 'Mary'.

    Thomas
     
  10. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    Exactly. I look at the constelltaions that were visible and their orientation circa 2141 BCE.
     
  11. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    You argue from an unproven a priori that everything must have "a cause" or that a "soul" (whatever that is) exists, or that a "who" set the stars in motion. Until you learn to ask the correct questions, you will never find answers.
     
  12. sjr

    sjr New Member

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    I hope this is the right question. How? Christianity has the holly spirit,Hinduism has the guru or sidhis ,Shintos dead relatives talk to them ect. ect. How do the stars and planets reveal "their" truth to us?
     
  13. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    yes, i enjoy Houston Smith as well. His book on the World Religions is a Tour de Force and quite an interesting read.

    Campbell presents the information in a different way. some people will be able to appreicate what he writes and some won't. that's the way that it is with people.

    i posted his writing here because it highlights a fundamental difference between the way that most of the people that i know view God and the way that i view it. it makes it easier to discuss when their is a common frame of reference, in my opinion.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Vajradhara -

    I posted my reply last night after a long and trying day at work, and in retrospect I find it somewhat curt. If I have offended, I am sorry, and I by no means meant to make little of the effort you made in compiling your post, my response does seem somewhat dismissive.

    There are many interesting points, all worthy of their own discussion. Part of my response is my experience in that if I responded to all, then soon the discussion becomes so diverse as to lose its way. If we choose to discuss any particular point, then let us do so as a separate thread, then we can maintain focus on the topic at hand. Again, I read your post not necessarily requiring an answer, but simply as an offering.

    * * * * *

    If I consider my reaction, there is this:

    Cultures across the world have their sacred traditions, from the Native American to the west (of the UK) to Shinto in the East.

    Of all these traditions, we of the 'first world' are the only people who actually dismiss their own traditions as somehow bankrupt, meaningless, void, whatever, often without any serious or meaningful investigation. And we do so both from outside, and from within. In so doing this includes not only Christianity, but Judaism and Islam, which then includes all Sufi wisdom.

    It is something in the nature of western man that tends towards exteriorisation - hence a history of constant change, movement, novelty, etc. Its dynamism is to be applauded, but the way in which it deserts that which stood it in good stead is a negative and damaging characteristic.

    Meanwhile the west picks up eastern traditions and 'skims' them. Your post on yoga is aposite - it was an is a spiritual practice that is only meaningful as part of a total practice - it is a religious observance - we have reduced it to a keep fit regime, and the only time 'spirit' is mention is when we discuss Kundalini or Tantric yoga, which we do because we've heard it means good sex.

    In a certain sense the Christian Revelation and the Incarnation 'heads off' this tendency in man - it was a Providential appearance of a Dispensation that forstalled a psychic and spiritual crisis brewing in the Occident - a tendency towards an externalising rationalism on the one hand (from the sacred doctrines of Pythagoras to the secularism of Aristotle) and naturalism on the other.

    In the latter case it was successful - manifesting a supernaturalism in the face of cosmolatry, and metaphysic in the face of a Greco-Roman rationalism, but in this man lost his way, rationalism attained an ascendancy and has since manoeuvred itself into a position of authority on everything. Science has become the 'blind faith' of the modern age.

    Aside: As research goes on, there is more evidence accruing against the theory of evolution than for it - suvival of the fittest, yes; but that one species can alter its own genetics and mutate into an entirely different species is becoming increasingly impossible to support - yet try stating such to a general audience and you'll be shouted down - not becuae of the evidence, but because science is always right.

    * * * * *

    Where I most profoundly disagree with Campbell is his failure to perceive the metaphysical content of Scripture - because he can't see it does not mean it is not there, whilst the sages of other traditions see through its manifest forms to its essential metaphysical reality.

    'Beresith', for example, the first word of the Bible, means 'in principle' or 'in the principle' rather than 'in the beginning', but Scripture was written for all humanity, not an elite few, and thus its language addresses man as a whole, not purely the intellect.

    The Six Days of Creation correspond to the deployment of metaphysical principle, and concords with the Vedas, I am told, to quite a significant degree. The fact that an auther can 'see' the metaphysics of one and not the other causes me to suggest some deficiency or misunderstanding of his insights. Guenon's 'Man and the Multiple States of Being according to the Vedanta' is an exposition of this Asiatic metaphysic, and draws many similarities in doctrine between that and Scripture

    The perspective is different, agreed, but to say that one is wanting in light of the other is a mistake.

    There - that's my (hopefully) more measured response.

    Pax
    Thomas
     
  15. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    To be honest I do not understand the question. Exactly what truths do you refer to?

    Each star and star group has a particular meaning as assigned by astrologers for whatever reason. They tell a story. The stories that they tell are the popular myths of religion, including both the Old and New Teastaments.
     
  16. sjr

    sjr New Member

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    Im sorry stupid question.Are the astrologers the kate keepers of information? Do they effect the myths of the Gita,the torah,the Koran,the sutras, and the Vedas or just the old and new testaments?

    There's a moon in my body, but I can't see it!
    A moon and a sun.
    A drum never touched by hands, beating, and I can't hear it!

    As long as a human being wrries about when he will die,

    and what he has that is his,
    all of his works are zero.
    When affection for the I-creature and what it owns is dead,
    then the work of the Teacher is over.
    The purpose of labor is to learn;
    when you know it, the labor is over.
    The apple blossom exists to create fruit; when that
    comes, the petal falls.
    The musk is inside the deer, but the deer does not
    look for it:
    it wanders around looking for grass. --Kabir
     
  17. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    I do not have all the details worked out for all the world's religions. I have discovered comparisons to astrology in Egypt, Babylon (Sumerian etc.,) India, OT, NT, Greece, Rome i.e. European religions.

    Not all writings are Astrologically based, but it would seem all the great myths, legends and tall tales have a basis in astrology, although I have not waded through all of them. I have concentrated on the OT. The Hebrews wrote their history as if it was astrological. Prophecy was based on astrology.

    Now as to who was the keeper of the keys or great knowledge, I cannot say for certian. I can say that the Hebrew Midrashes that dating to several hundred years AD had detailed knowlegde of this astrology as did Christianity. Clearly the Rabbis knew (see Babylonian Talmud).

    The split came in 70 AD when Israel got their butts kicked by Rome. It was at this point the camps would have became divided when the prophecy of the Messiah leading to the rule of Israel in the Age of Pisces quickly diminished. It was at this point there was a decline in the belief of astrology among the "keepers."

    Eventually much of the specific knowledge was lost as Gnostics and Jews were killed off by the Christians who feared mysticism as the devil's work.

    It would seem some tradition or lore remained. This would eventually materialize into the Kabbalah as well as other secret mystical societies. The astrology aspect was scorned because the detailed knowledge of its connection to the OT had been lost....until recently when I discovered the lost book inside the text.
     
  18. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Nogodnomasters - have you thought of starting a specific topic covering your main ideas? Sounds like they certainly deserve a specific focus for themselves.
     
  19. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    I have but the details are too long to post. (54,000 words). Since I relate everything to astrology it is easier for me to address specific issues when they arise. I will give it some thought. Is this a request or a suggestion?
     
  20. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Possibly both! I simply wondered whether you felt able to make a couple of core arguments you could further support as discussion continued. Still, perhaps something to consider in the future. :)
     

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