Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thinking About Myths


Mr C gifted me with this Prayer Jar for mother's day. It was part of the Artists Among Us exhibit at Trinity Cathedral. The maker of this jar was explaining some of the imagery on the jar and brought up Joseph Campbell and myths.

I decided to do some online research and found this quote from Joseph Campbell regarding the function of myths.

1 The first is the mystical function...realizing what a wonder the universe is, and what a wonder you are, and experiencing awe before this mystery...
2 The second is a cosmological dimension, the dimension with which science is concerned--showing you what the shape of the universe is, but showing it in such a way that the mystery again comes through...
3 The third function is the sociological one--supporting and validating a certain social order. And here's where the myths vary enormously from place to place...It is this sociological function of myth that has taken over in our world--and it is out of date...
4 But there is a fourth function of myth, and this is the one that I think everyone must try today to relate to--and that is the pedagogical function, of how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances. Myths can teach you that.
There is so much about myths to be discovered in Campbell's writings. I better get started!!

3 comments:

Brenda Gael Smith said...

The shape, colour and glaze on this piece is quite beautiful and it must be fun to look at it from differnt angles. On a smaller scale, it looks like a chess piece. Ah chess myths, there's another whole line of inquiry!

Edzellinni said...

This is gorgeous! My daughter is a fan of Joseph Campbell...I will have to send her to your blog to admire the jar.

Kristin L said...

I guess one can't get too far into Myths without at least a little Campbell. I love his work, especially on the sociological aspects of myth. Speaking of paedagogical aspects though, I was thrilled that one of my son's assignments in 7th grade language arts was to learn about the hero's journey and to identify it in a favorite movie. Campbell lives on.