DVD The Power of Myth featuring Joseph Campbell episode 2: The Message of Myth.

It started by suggesting that what people are seeking is an experience of being alive and myths are clues of those experiences – those things that can’t be explained, what is transcended; this is what some people equate to God.

We then saw The Mask of Eternity in southern India – a 3 headed figure with two facing in the opposite direction representing right and wrong, male and female; the central face is at right angles to the other two and represents the neutral ground between the extremes a position that a deity might adopt. God and nature are not separate but different perspectives. In this context both extremes are positive but in Christianity we tend to adopt opposing good and evil view points eg sin and redemption, heaven and hell.

Eternity has nothing to do with time is was suggested – it is now, life, an opera, wonderful, exciting.

All religions are true in their context; do not make the mistake of regarding the poetry (of scriptures) as NOTATION but rather as CONTESTATION (myth). All gods are within us. All religions are true for their time and their myths (stories) reflect their time and context – these myths lose their meaning outside the environment in which they are created. New myths can’t arise today as the world context is moving too fast for them to form; therefore we form our own myths to support us in the time and context in which we find ourselves. Some modern myths might be global warming, NZ’s clean & green image, the internet is good (or bad), GDP has to keep growing to improve our standard of living, etc.

Ian Harris

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