From the dawn of time, and the utterance of “Let there be light”, personification of abstract concepts of the earth, the sky, the seas, the land of afterlife, fertility, family, etc. have been devised throughout the world, through gods and goddesses. In the era of nil communication with other parts of the world that were inaccessible by land or water, there still existed one common thread that wove all of this species together without them even realising it- the connection of mythology.
Whether it be the vast Greek mythology that is unarguably the most well-known and heard of in the world, the Hindu mythology that is one of the oldest and most vibrant mythologies and is believed in by one of the biggest religious groups globally, the Egyptian mythology that is supplemented by breathtaking architecture to execute mythological rituals, the Sumerian mythology (Epic of Gilgamesh) which is believed to be the very first mythological literature, the Norse mythology that talks of nine worlds of fantastical creatures, humans and gods, and the heroes and the condemned, the Roman mythology that is often counted with the Greek mythology but exists in itself as a gigantic body of material, or a sea of others that trace their roots to the very foundations of human belief, faith in the fantastic connects them all.
But before analysing these intricately woven webs of civilisation and mythology, what really is mythology? Mythology rests on the term myth, defined as a widely held but false idea or belief, and mythology is a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition. Now whether the stories and characters in these beliefs actually existed or not is as of yet unverifiable, but the wide popularity of these seemingly impossible episodes takes birth from the universal human notion of “a lie told a hundred times eventually turns into the truth”, and the generational succession of these myths foster this behavioural pattern.
Now, once the basics are clear and out of the way, it is important to bring one’s attention to the question- how is mythology helping humankind apart from their obvious faith satiation? Well, the answer lies in the very fundamentals of any mythology in the world. Actually, the details and intricacies of every mythology are distinct, as they rightfully should be to preserve the uniqueness of their respective culture and geography, however, the major building blocks of any and every mythology somehow always prove to be aligned closely, if not totally congruent. Let us take some examples.
In Greek mythology, the supreme God or God of gods is Zeus, the Olympian son of Titans Kronos and Rhea. In Hindu mythology, Indra, the God of heavens and the King of gods, is seen as his equivalent. Similarly, Jupiter is seen as their counterpart in Roman mythology as the god of sky and thunder and the King of gods, and Egyptians consider Ammon or Amun-Re, the god of the sun as their equivalent of the supreme God. Just the tip of the iceberg, these similarities are proof that us as humans have similar and coinciding ideas of hierarchies and arrangements of belief. The fundamental components of every faith are more-or-less common irrespective of demographic details.
To conclude, differences in beliefs of cultural, geographical and religious groups showcase the beauty of diversity of homo sapiens, but the thread of commonality in their foundations illustrates that no matter the variations, the basic blocks of us as a species remains the same.
3 thoughts on “Through Myth and Ology”
What an insightful piece of writing. More might to your pen. God bless.
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Nice explanation of mythology. Keep it up 👍❤️
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Very well explained intricacies of intertwined mythologies