To the Indo-European heathen, “man” was the measure of all things. In their religion there was no place for a transcendent deity, for a “completely other” or different from ourselves like in the monotheism.
From the bronze age until the Christianization the myths of the Germanic people have been told and passed on and their gods being honoured. The myths can take us back to the roots of our culture with it’s multitude of social values.
The gods live on as emblems, as always recognisable archetypes of the eternal world order, complete with it’s constructive and destructive forces. This thought we can also see in Nietzsche’s work “Der Geburt der Tragödie”.
Living without myths means cutting off the access to deeper truths and values, which causes us to uproot, alienate from ourselves, loose our identity.
“A people that has ideals nore myths, leads a languishing existence and will soon disappear”
Quote by Georges Sorel (1847-1922) in Réflexions sur la Violence
What goes for myths, also applies to the rites, which just like their successors in the form of folk customs – have no use anymore and have become meaningless if people aren’t aware anymore of it’s content. Only a living content makes the form meaningful.
That is exactly what myths hope to achieve: to give meaning and direction. To inspire and invite and to open those doors and wake something up in our most inner being. It is an awakening, just like the one of sleeping beauty and the many other fairytales we all know. Myths and stories can have that power to open mental gates and find ourselves in new states of being and give an entire new perception.
I will stop now before I start an endless rant on the importance of storytelling – I kept backspacing because I am passionate about the subject of myths, legends, saga’s, folktales etc.. Therefore I think this might also be the right place to put my Voorlees Playlist in an article. It is in Dutch – but their might be some Dutch people hopping by, or Afrikaners might be able to understand it as well, and Belgians, and all sorts of other people that might have Dutch ancestors.
Well so much on the importance of myths! (I was rambling, yes…) I hope you enjoyed the read 🙂