A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong

By Karen Armstrong

"Human beings have consistently been mythmakers.” So starts off best-selling author Karen Armstrong’s concise but compelling research into fable: what it's, the way it has developed, and why we nonetheless so desperately desire it. She takes us from the Paleolithic interval and the myths of the hunters correct as much as the "Great Western Transformation” of the final years and the discrediting of fable through technology. The heritage of delusion is the background of humanity, our tales and ideology, our interest and makes an attempt to appreciate the realm, which hyperlink us to our ancestors and every different. Heralding a huge sequence of retellings of foreign myths via authors from around the globe, Armstrong’s frequently insightful and eloquent e-book serves as an excellent and thought-provoking advent to fable within the broadest sense—and explains why if we push aside it, we accomplish that at our peril.

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The High Gods may have been demoted, but the sky never lost its power to remind people of the sacred. Height has remained a mythical symbol of the divine – a relic of Palaeolithic spirituality. In mythology and mysticism, men and women regularly reach for the sky, and devise rituals and techniques of trance and concentration that enable them to put these ascension stories into practice and ‘rise’ to a ‘higher’ state of consciousness. Sages claim that they have mounted through the various levels of the celestial world until they reach the divine sphere.

31 In China and Japan the ground of being was neuter and only later, probably as a result of the maternal role of women in family life, did the earth take on a female, nurturing character. In other parts of the world the earth was not personified, but was venerated as sacred in herself. She produced all things from her womb in the same way as a woman gave birth to a child. 32 Where once people had imagined themselves ascending to the heights in order to encounter the divine, they now made ritual contact with the sacred in the earth.

Others expressed a profound identification with a place, a bond that was deeper than that of family or paternity. This kind of myth was especially popular in ancient Greece. Erechthonius, the fifth mythical king of Athens, was born from the sacred soil of the Acropolis, a sacred event commemorated from a very early date in a special shrine. The Neolithic revolution had made people aware of a creative energy that pervaded the entire cosmos. It was at first an undifferentiated sacred force, which made the earth herself a manifestation of the divine.

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