The Cosmic Dance of Myth and Ritual

When was the last time you talked about gangsters, angels, magic carpets & super-heros to describe a strongly felt experience?

Myth is a mysterious and poetic tale that reaches beyond the personal – cosmic ideas collide with the super-natural world uncovering stories buried deep inside.

IN THE POWER OF MYTH we encounter JOSEPH CAMPBELL in an extraordinary series of interviews with Bill Moyers. He explains the FOUR FUNCTIONS Of MYTH:

1. MYSTICAL = Experiencing wonder. (Slowing down and quieting the mind is one way to experience this.)
2. COSMOLOGICAL = Showing us the shape of the universe and how it works (Understanding the life/death/life cycle and learning from those who have cut loose underneath the stars.)
3. SOCIOLOGICAL = Ethical laws. (Apparently, this function has taken over the world and is outdated.)
4. PEDAGOGICAL = How to live a human lifetime under any circumstances. (This is the training we receive that helps us open up our ears so that we can begin to hear metaphorically instead of concretely.)

“Think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. It’s a vocabulary not of words but of acts and adventures.”

As a guide to cultivating sacredness in everyday life – theologian monk Thomas Moore writes in his book Care Of The Soul, historically myth and ritual are in tandem. (A Sister Act.)

” While mythology is a way of telling stories about felt experience that are not literal, ritual is an action that speaks to the mind and heart but doesn’t necessarily make sense in a literal context.

Ritual Maintains The Worlds Holiness. In Church People Do Not Eat Bread In Order To Feed Their Bodies But To Nourish Their Souls

If we could grasp this simple idea, that some actions may not have an effect on actual life but speak to the soul, and if we could let go of the dominant role of function in so many things we do, then we might give more to the soul every day.


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