Mythology & The Thinking Person

Watching the launch of the space shuttle, Discovery, I’m drawn to the sense of how such deeds as these, where humans do such wondrous things, will lend themselves toward future tales of mythological proportions. I brought up the mythology thing last time because I found the exercise of balancing various scientific and historical concepts with the biblical narrative to lend itself to a mindset that found conflict where there may not need to be one. This may all be, in part, because I’ve been an astronaut-wanna-be from my childhood, someone who believes in the scientific method and a technologist for several decades. But I’m also somewhat holistic and am resistant to the notion that there are several unrelated or even contradictory “Truths.”

The thing is that whether one is a Greek philosopher contemplating the stories of the gods, or a sub-Sahara tribal craftsman balancing ones own experiences with the tribal customs, or a 21st Century Christian in Long Beach California reflection on a 4,000-year old Creation narrative, there have always been intelligent people observing their world and asking questions who had to wonder if the tales of their fathers were missing something. It’s foolish to imagine that the people in Abraham’s day were all given to mysticism and were generally ignorant people. Why would people be any different than they are, generally speaking, at present? This is a question brought up by Paul Veyne in his book Did the Greeks Believe In Their Myths. I haven’t read through the book (plan to in the next few days), but I’m curious about his findings, given my own willingness to explore other traditions that can find the truth in a 4,000 year old narrative without having to explain how there could be light before the sun or stars were created, for example. More to follow… JBB

Music: >Nasa-TV – Space Shuttle Discovery launch

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