Category Archives: Mitologie

Myths to Live By III

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What we all today surely recognize is that we are entering – one way or another – a new age, requiring a new wisdom: such a wisdom, furthermore, as belongs rather to experienced old age than to poetically fantasizing youth, and which every one of us, whether young or old, has now somehow to assimilate. Moreover, when we turn our thoughts to religion, the first and most obvious fact is that every one of the great traditions is today in profound disorder. What have been taught as their basic truths seem no longer to hold. Continue reading Myths to Live By III

Myths To Live By II

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To become – in Jung’s terms – individuated, to live as a released individual, one has to know how and when to put on and to put off the masks of one’s various life roles. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” and when at home, do not keep on the mask of the role you play in the Senate chamber. But this, finally, is not easy, since some of the masks cut deep. They include judgment and moral values. They include one’s pride, ambition, and achievement. They include one’s infatuations. It is a common thing to be overly impressed by and attached to masks, either some mask of one’s own or the mana-masks of others. The work of individuation, however, demands that one should not be compulsively affected in this way. The aim of individuation requires that one should find and learn to live out of  one’s own center, in control of one’s for and against. And this cannot be achieved by enacting and responding to any general masquerade of fixed roles. For, as Jung has stated: “In the last analysis, every life is the realization of a whole, that is, of a self, for which reason this realization can be called ‘individuation’. All life is bound to individual carriers who realize it, and it is simply inconceivable without them. But every carrier is charged with an individual destiny and destination, and the realization of this alone makes sense of life.” Continue reading Myths To Live By II

Myths To Live By I

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Frazer’s explanation of magic was that because things are associated in the mind they are believed to be associated in fact. Shake a rattle that sounds like falling rain, and rain will presently fall. Celebrate a ritual of sexual intercourse, and the fertility of nature will be furthered. An image in the likeness of an enemy, and given the enemy’s name, can be worked upon, stuck with pins, etc., and the enemy will die. Or a piece of his clothing, lock of hair, fingernail paring, or other element once in contact with his person can be treated with a like result. Frazer’s first law of magic, then, is that “like produces like,” an effect resembles its cause; and his second, that “things which once were in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed.” Frazer thought of both magic and religion as addressed finally and essentially to the control of external nature; magic mechanically, by imitative acts, and religion by prayer and sacrifice addressed to the personified powers supposed to control natural forces. He seems to have had no sense at all of their relevance and importance to the inward life, and so was confident that, with the progress and development of science and technology, both magic and religion would ultimately fade away, the ends that they had been thought to serve being better and more surely served by science. Continue reading Myths To Live By I