Care with Origin Myths

Where the Truth Abides

Life on earth requires translation, interpretation, mitigation, organization, fortification ….  Then again, does it really? Why would it? 

Life’s requirements, along with its rewards, have been “scribed” (journaled in writing) down through the ages. And the writers had imaginations that could overflow into “origin myths” — myths that, over time, become entrained sources of legends, folk tales, fairy tales and the like,  with icons — heroic and villainous. All were written in a multitude of languages and dialects.

Origin Myth
Photo Credit: David Vives on Unsplash

And all the while, countless words have been spoken by millions, if not billions, of people every day, with but a fraction of understanding shared and acknowledged.

An initial origin myth for mankind involved Adam & Eve. Fear and confusion beset Adam when he beheld the Garden of Eden in the cool of the Day, yet he could only glimpse it through the narrowed view of time/space limitations that he & Eve had manifested by and for themselves.

Another origin myth, familiar to avid Old Testament readers, is the Tower of Babel. According to the story, a united human race in the generations after Noah & the Great Flood, who spoke a single language, migrated to the land of Shinar. Once there, they decided to build a city with a tower they thought was tall enough to reach to heaven.

At this point in the narrative, a telling element surfaces: At some later date, this  (soon to be enduring) origin myth was altered to depict a “God” now personified and strikingly similar to a younger strain of human Beings. 

Although fraught with opinions and attitudes susceptible to external factors — such as, in this instance, the crowd of idol worshippers gathered at the foot of their lofty tower! — this vengeful god was a supreme authority who could summon ranges of power far beyond mere mortals!

As the story culminates — “God”, frowning down upon their untoward city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand one another, and then scatters them across the world. In the end, the legendary title for this realm was changed to “Babel” — emulating the babble of the people’s incomprehensible attempts to even communicate together, much less agree. 

So, hold on for a second: Where does Truth actually abide, and by what means is it sustained? Mercifully, the truly eternal Present Moment inherently expresses everlasting (hence outlasting) Patience with human Being, and nothing closely akin to vengeance. And hence, it waits for Truth to be manifested and expressed on earth by willing and able human Beings like us. 

A relatively recent origin myth centers around Saint Patrick, who became one of Christianity’s most widely known figures, as well as the namesake of “St. Patrick’s Day”, which was celebrated this week (on March 17), both in Ireland and America.

An intriguing element, in this general vein of origin myths, is as follows: Whereas Saint Patrick has been ongoingly acknowledged as the Patron Saint of Ireland, the alive Patrick was not actually Irish. He was born in Britain, not Ireland, to wealthy parents in the fourth century AD.

Yet, at the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity — until he managed to escape and disappear by living like a roving shepherd in the remote fields of others.

Lonely, afraid, and turning to religion for solace, he reportedly heard a voice — which he believed to be God’s — speaking to him in a dream compelling him to become a missionary and to convert all willing people of Ireland to Christianity.

Much that has been written about his rather surreal experience, and others of St. Patrick’s ensuing visions and miracles have been seen as mythic. Thus, St. Patrick is still regarded as iconic and a model of the proud bearing of other Irishmen made whole by real-life examples.

In that wise, half (23 out of 46) of the Presidents of the United States boast some measure of Irish heritage. Among them were Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. The Presidents in my lifetime have included JFK, LBJ, Gerald Ford, the two George Bushes, Ronald Reagan, Barak Obama, and our current President, Joe Biden. 

As to our original question earlier in this post: “Where does Truth actually abide, and by what means is it sustained?”

Often, such depth of longing for truth is sincerely queried with skepticism (yet with care to avoid being suspicious or cynical) in light of a worldview that might appear to be saturated with highly-managed misinformation that flatters its “pros” and disparages its “cons” — all, loudly unleashed far ahead of accurate fact-finding — nevermind being even close to ways that would help one discern Truth.

In light of the posturing of other present-day “pseudo-myths” continually laid out for mass attention and hardy consumption, is there enough time and space for careful consideration of the effects of potential origin myths on the rational, self-governed thoughts, attitudes, and actions of those in generations here now — alive, growing, maturing, and envisioning being character-driven leaders in the World’s future?

Well now, let’s take a deep, deep breath … Such mental and philosophical calisthenics (as are those with which we just exercised in the last two paragraphs) will not spasm into paralyzing conundra, IF you and I each simplify any questions we have for “the World” — simplify them to do what?

To answer, for our own individual selves, two (2) straightforward questions:

  • What, in this present moment, is most needed in my world? and …
  • What must I do now to be able to provide for that world — no more, no less?

 NOTE: These can come off like trick questions, or actually be easy to traverse …
The “lead line” to the latter, easy-to-traverse approach might sound like this:

“In each present moment — with each deep, deep breath —
I will let the Currents of Life appear to my Highest Awareness
In Their own good time, rhythm, style, and magnitude.”

In next week’s blog post, we will further explore “Where Truth Abides”
Best Regards for now … PenDell

4 thoughts on “Care with Origin Myths”

  1. Very thought-full . . . as well as entertaining. Thank you, my blogger friend and colleague.

    In the same vein of truth seeking, the Dead Sea Scrolls were featured on PBS a couple of days ago, and it boggled my mind to see how much energy and resource has been and still is being expended in an effort to put thousands of small fragments together, much like a puzzle, in order to read and translate ancient inscriptions. And if that isn’t enough to exhaust my efforts to comprehend the purpose of such endeavors, a lucrative market has emerged wherein libraries, museums and individual collectors pay thousands of dollars for just a few fragments of the decimated scrolls. Technology has even been developed that can “read” inscriptions inside charred scrolls that cannot be unfurled without destroying them and their inscriptions. I stand in awe of the existence of such insanity, as though Truth is yet to be known by re-searching a past that has been searched and researched by so many over the years looking for it. My question: what would we do with it even if we found it? Of course, whatever we would find would not be Truth, would it? Ah, such foolishness among the wisdom-seekers of our species. What I’ve learned reading some of the Nag Hamada texts is that we’ve been lied to and mislead by redacted scriptures. I am profoundly thankful to know that Truth for the eternal moment lies within my heart sourced by Spirit.

    1. Powerful, radiantly cogent lines of thought from you here, Tony. Thank You for your ongoingly rapt attention and subsequent vision of where Truth abides.

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