Myths describe humanity’s relationship to the gods and goddesses who we perceive to be far superior to our puny, flawed selves. Throughout history every culture of which we have any record told stories about how the world was created and by whom, where we came from, how we pleased and disappointed our deities, what is good and what is evil, how we will be rewarded or punished for our deeds, and so on. We told these stories to help ourselves and our children gain control over our potentially damaging instincts so we and our tribes could prosper and thrive in a dangerous world.
Over time, our myths and religions changed as we grew more self-aware. Change was always met with powerful resistence from religious authorities, but outdated beliefs are no match for the tidal wave of expanding mind and evolving morality. Then during the last century Freud and Jung founded depth psychology and this new science led to one of the most shocking and revolutionary awarenesses of all: that whatever the truth may be about the sacred Mystery of Life, our beliefs about it originate in us. We create the gods and goddess in our own images. We write the sacred scriptures and interpret them from our biases.
What are we to do with this knowledge? We’re riding a spinning blue marble through deep space, walking on an unknown path in a dark and dangerous forest. Who knows what lurks beyond the bend? How will we satisfy our spiritual longing and find the purpose of our lives without our old myths to guide us? What lessons did they teach that can guide us to safety? Will there be new myths to lead us to a better place?
We’re living in the midst of a psycho-spiritual revolution such as the world has never seen, and as usual, we’re responding with fear and resistence. The human race has reached the end of a very long youth and is approaching maturity. When an ego stands in the threshold between adolescence and young adulthood it is nostalgic for the traditional values that nurtured it, yet it cannot help but notice that these values did not create the love, peace, meaning and fulfillment it assumed they would. Some of us wonder: If our family and religion were right, why do we still feel this internal conflict? Why do we think there must be something more? What is it for which we still yearn?
Our species is beginning to understand that the problem is not our gods, myths or religions. The problem is us. We haven’t connected with our fullest sacred potential and don’t know how to bring it into our lives. We’re dissatisfied because we don’t know how to love ourselves or each other. We’re unfulfilled because instead of bringing benefit to the world so many of us are still contributing to its problems. We yearn for love but don’t know how to get it. We want to be better but can’t seem to change. We’re not whole and we know it.
For all our extraordinary advances over the millennia, the collective ego is still fearful, divided and incomplete. Our spiritual yearning is very real, but we’re learning that spirituality is not just about correctly describing the Mystery and believing in its benevolence; it’s also about repairing separations so we can experience love and be lovingly connected to everything that is.
We can do this, and creating loving connections—within ourselves and between each other—is the way. All of us will benefit as each of us adds to our self-knowledge, learns to love our own soul, and builds bridges to otherness. Namaste.
“Man, like the other animals, is originally simply the puppet of instinct, just as the infant is. Unless he is moved by instinct, he remains