The Reality of Myth?

I received a thoughtful comment to my first blog from April 13, 2015. Ali Buck (filmslur@wordpress.com) wrote that some people might object to the notion that mythology is created or manufactured because such reasoning might be used to invalidate their religion. In response to his observation, I was reminded of a quote from C. S. Lewis:

“Now the story of Christ is a true myth: a myth working on us the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened.”

The Temptation of Christ by Ary Schefer, 1854
The Temptation of Christ by Ary Schefer, 1854

By using the above quote, I do not presume to prove the truth of Christianity to all or any who might wander into this website, but it does address a point I wish to make. Although there are different definitions, calling something a myth need not inherently mean that it is false.

The Ascension by Benjamin West, 1801
The Ascension by Benjamin West, 1801

Deciding whether the myth of Christianity or any other religion is true should be a demanding and disciplined intellectual endeavor. What are the claims of a particular religion? Is there any objective evidence which confirms or contradicts these claims? What do different religions have in common? How are they different? The logical order in which one should proceed when thinking about or discovering deity is learning the characteristics and resulting actions of that deity, deciding whether this information is true, and asking what this information requires of us. Unfortunately, human beings have a tendency to think in the reverse order, often accepting or rejecting a set of beliefs as true or untrue solely because they either do or do not like the implications.

The main purpose of PNEUMYTHOLOGY is to explore new (manufactured) myths while keeping in mind the more historical kind. The angle I am particularly drawn to as a writer is the use of something I made up as a symbol for something I did not. It is especially meaningful for me to use allegory as a means of representing that in which I truly believe, and if there is a good monster in the story, so much the better.

(My thanks to Ali.)

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