What is Myth?
Part Four Addition: Myths are “True Words”
This post quote: “On the ocean, you are too alone to ever be lonely.”
Quote #2: “The small contains the infinite; the infinite contains the small.”
In addition to Myth being a story conveying absolute truth, part of the meaning of Myth (muthos, Greek) is “true word or true speech.” Let us look at another example of mythic speech. Once, as part of a spiritual discussion, I heard the following: “On the ocean, you are too alone to ever be lonely.” For some reason I had thought this quote was from Kabir, the famous 16th century Saint from India, but research suggests it is likely a re-phrasing of something more modern by Tania Aebi, an American sailor (“You can’t be lonely on the sea—you’re too alone”).
No matter. What do we make of these words? The saying is certainly paradoxical. If applied Mythosophy is akin to an insight meditation on myth, then what does mythosophical contemplation reveal?
There is a difference between loneliness and aloneness. Loneliness speaks to separation and lack; absence of contact with others produces an emptiness that needs filling. Loneliness is need and an attitude of deprivation; a poverty of consciousness. In contrast, aloneness is simply a condition of being self-sufficient and implies a wholeness of self. There is no neediness implied with the condition of aloneness. One is equally happy in the company of others or not. Aloneness can mean fulfillment.
“Alone” evokes the mystical phrase of being “alone with the Alone,” a spiritual experience of being in the presence of the Holy. And, what is spiritual experience? It is subjective attunement with “that which is greater than thou” and gives expansion of consciousness, upliftment and healing. It is the reordering of all priorities away from ego and toward the Good, some say God (I sometimes say “God–not God;” my term for the utter indescribability of the Transcendent).
“Ocean” refers to the fullness of all consciousness (the Good or “God—not God”). There is never a minute we are not sailing upon that sea; whatever experience you are having, you are inscribing a course on that endless tract. We have but to awaken and realize we are sailing or travelling from God, through God, toward God in the guise of our own unique consciousness expressed as awareness. We travel from ourselves, through ourselves, toward ourselves. The minutest of awareness touches the greatness of all consciousness. The small contains the infinite; the infinite contains the small.
Most likely, there has been a time in your life when you found yourself speaking high words of truth to another perhaps in helping someone through a tumultuous experience. Alternately, you may have found yourself giving calm and clear instructions in the midst of calamity and disaster. Apt descriptions of events can clarify complexity into basic essentials and serve to raise the sights and hopes of your hearers. Mythic speech can transform problems into situations. With clarity comes resolution; with resolution, courage, and it is through courage that heroes are born. Often, after such utterances, one wonders “Where on Earth did those inspired words come from? It wasn’t from me!” This means you have spoken mythically. It means you have allowed the Spirit of Truth to speak through you and have participated in concert with sacred energies. Part of spirituality is the expression of truth; Mythosophy, the wisdom of myth, (sacred speech, sacred story), is Truth’s Voice clearly and consciously expressed. Within this, we may all dwell.
These words of wisdom sometimes become part of family lore. They can become an ancient clan or family motto inscribed within a heraldic crest or simply posted on the refrigerator door. Regardless, mythic speech involves the speaker and hearer in a transcendental moment, the power of which can cause a shift or change in perspective; a changed state of consciousness.
At the level of Poet or Prophet, to speak mythically is to know and speak forth about things past, present, and future. Muthos needs no adjudication or truth assessment. It carries its own truth value by means of its reference to greater consciousness. Mythic speech “rings true.” It either is or it is not.
Do you have a family saying or bit of wisdom that you carry with you? Mythical speech is the expressed wisdom of your heart. It is stepping upon the path that returns you to your divine source. Returning to spiritual references to “Ocean,” some other sages (Sufis) say “The Ocean refuses no river.” Let the stream of your consciousness so return to “that which is greater than thou.”
We have seen in this and the previous “Myths are True Words” post (August 8, 2014) that myths are true words and true speech; mythic speech: “profound words, sometimes paradoxical, spoken in the moment, unfiltered, from the heart, truthfully, and without guile or calculation.”
To immerse oneself into the Forms of Beauty is to step successively into greater versions of oneself. This is nothing less than your own divinity incarnate. It is nothing more than you being yourself with your attention focused upon the Transcendent and willing to follow its dictates. It is you at your highest, greatest capacitance.
So, speak truly. Be within the spirit of Beauty and speak beautifully. Those who cannot speak must let their acts speak for them. Let us become as lights unto the world and use the sound of our voices to inspire all we meet. Thus, do we become as heroes communicating the high ideals of our lives. We create our own myths through our lives. Heroes live the creative life!
Impossible, you say? Can’t do this all of the time? No worries. Each day a moment arises when we have an opportunity to uplift through our words or acts. Seize those moments, own them, and dwell within their eternity; embrace them, be within them. Part of our true purpose is to uplift ourselves, those around us, and heal in some small way the broken world we travel through. We can always be better, not bitter. With this, Mythosophy, the Wisdom of Myth, can assist.
On the ocean you are too alone to ever be lonely? Aloneness is awareness of divinity. There is no creativity without aloneness. Words are born from silence.