Learning about Myths

I have to admit that I’ve been hearing for a long time about the importance of sacred myths, but honestly, it never did tickle my fancy.  My explanation to that is that having been a left-brained person all my life, I always wanted accuracy, exact results, formulas.

I was born with an ability to do calculus, physics, computer programming, and the like. In addition, I grew up a fundamentalist Christian. What the latter did to me was create the illusion that there were perfect explanations for everything. The Bible was truth and inerrant. If something seemed untrue or illogical, an explanation was found, because the Bible was perfect.

Then, when for years I leaned toward atheism, I attacked the literal interpretation of the Bible. I still do. And because I’d been hurt so much by the said literal interpretation, I was adamantly against using the Bible any other way.

Yesterday, I was sitting at a metaphysics class, when I had a revelation of sorts. I realized that myths don’t have to be perfect to be helpful. Shakespeare’s plays are neither perfect nor literally true. But there is wisdom to be gained by reading his plays. If we were to examine all the myths and fiction ever created, we will find inconsistencies, errors, and even less than praiseworthy lessons.

The beauty of myths is that we can use them to help  ourselves. Because we are not claiming that they’re divinely inspired, or literally true, or that if we don’t believe them we’ll go to hell, we can learn from the good and throw away the rest.

When it comes to the divine or the unexplained, we really don’t know. At least I don’t know. I have the feeling that there is something out there bigger than me–the universe. But I have no idea what it looks like, where it came from, or where it’s going. I have no concrete explanations.

I know, however, that I can feel something when I experience nature. I know that certain music stirs feelings in me. I know that miraculous healing does happen (much less often than some claim). I know that psychic phenomena is real (some accounts are anyway).

But more than anything, I know that I feel good when I get in touch with my inner self. I know that I love to be on my own feeling the reality of me, of the awesome human being I am. And  myths help me get in touch with that mystic part of me that I love to experience.

So, sitting at that class yesterday– prompted by nothing the speaker said–I made a realization and a decision: myths like the Bible have glimpses of truth. The book is highly imperfect. It was written by people, and it represents ancient thought. But some parts of it point to that mysticism that being human is all about.

Am I going to read the Bible everyday from now on and make it “My Daily Bread?” Unlikely. There is way too much good material out there. I wouldn’t want to focus on one book and miss out on the rest. All I’m saying is that I will no longer wince and reach out for the closest exit when someone cites a Bible verse. Instead, I will learn whatever is worth and will go on with my life.

Imaginary conversations

Over the weekend, being around so many people, I got hurt by a couple of them. The offenses, if any, wouldn’t account to anything if the subject hadn’t been me.  Two females whom I liked and saw as potential friends snobbed me at a party.

I don’t know why I get so hurt when someone snobbs me, but I do. I believe it has to do with the empty love tank I came out with from childhood. But I was sad to the point of tears.

Then later, reading an Ernest Holmes bit on Facebook, I came across the idea that we all think with the same mind, since we’re all one. The sum of all our thoughts IS the thoughts of god. Interesting, I thought.

I don’t know that I believe that’s true. But that’s what I love about metaphysics. The stuff doesn’t have to be true to be helpful. It could be all bonkers for all I care, but if the the idea works at a practical level, then it is at worse psychology.

Then I remembered something a Unity minister told me once: “You can talk to people in your mind. Tell then whatever you want. They’ll hear you. Send them love. Tell them that you forgive them.”

So, I had a conversation with the women I felt hurt by over the weekend. I talked to a lot of people last night, actually. I said, “You know, it’s OK if you don’t want to be friends. It’s your right not to choose me. I’m just sorry I misinterpreted your friendliness. I get the message now, though. I can see that I am just an acquaintance, and I am getting out of your way. I send you love and forgiveness. Be well.”

I shed a couple of tears. I let go of the feeling that no-one wants to be my friend, and went to sleep. This morning I felt great, if just for a couple of minutes.

Is it true that there is a universal consciousness and that the sum of our minds is the mind of god? I don’t know. Does it help having imaginary conversations with people? You’d better believe it does.

 

There is one ultimate Thinker, yet this Thinker thinks through all of us. That is why our thought is creative. That is why we think at all. The universal Mind is incarnated in everyone. Every man has access to It; every man uses It, either in ignorance or in conscious knowledge. In other words, the mind of each one of us is the Mind of God functioning at the level of our perception of life. Consciously using It, we bring into our experience today something we did not appear to have yesterday—a better environment, a happier circumstance, more friendship, more joy. These manifestations are of the nature of Reality.

Holmes, Ernest (2010-12-30). It’s Up to You (p. 48). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.