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Is Mythology Still Relevant in the 21st Century?

     I was staring off into space contemplating how ‘mythology affects us now in 21th century’ when it hit me. Modern culture isn’t affected by myth, it’s defined by myth. How can we separate the evolution of Homo sapiens from mythology? Creative imagination and abstract thought is what distinguishes us from our fellow mammals. Our current knowledge base has its roots deep in primordial superstition. How could we even consider the importance of myth without the foundation laid by our ancient ancestors?

We would have to eliminate all references to unicorns, dragons, fairies, witches, mermaids and all things of fantasy; including talking inanimate objects like, animals trees and mirrors, because all folk and fairy tales are based on mythology. Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse would be a never was (No trip to Disney World this year )taking with them the Golden Age of Animation. Disney’s innovation established  all modern artistic film innovations. Pounce de Leon was searching for the fountain of youth (mythical) when he discovered Florida so their history changes; Europe needs a name change too. Sorry, Elvis Memphis is the temple of Ptah in Egypt.

St. George and the Dragon c. 1458-1460 by Paolo Uccello

We can rule out super heroes taking all comic books and the Saturday morning cartons with them. Actually all heroes would be non-existent. (Sorry Harry Potter-Hero, wizard, fantasy, you’re out thrice. You too Mr. Spock, he’s a Vulcan.) Ancient archetypes are attributed to mythology. That discards all non-fictional literature from Gilgamesh up. Losing all mythological gods and goddesses would take their names, and the concepts associated with them, out of our vocabulary.  Alert- Triton High School needs an immediate name change.

No giants, monsters, Cyclops or any relation of chimeric origin. “ Nightmare” We’d lose the names of months, weekdays, planets associated with mythology. All you Saturn owners, sorry; Nike- got to just say no; Midis muffler; Amazon.com; Trojan; Atlas and Ajax- toss out the maps and bathroom scrubber- Plus got to scrap the Apollo Space program. No laurel (myth) wreath for the Olympians named after a mythological place. No Luck. No Fate. No magic. No charms. No superstitious anything. Without the influence of mythology we lose the words: echo; electric (Electra.) enchant; enthusiasm and elation (divine inspiration.) We also lose the god of love, Eros who brings us erotic.


Mathematics may stay and colors are okay so there can only be geometric, colored blocks in the holiday stockings. Wrong! Sorry, no Santa and his elves and no Christmas tree.  Eliminating mythology would eradicate all world religion and their concepts including:  angels, devils, demons, immortality, a human soul, paradise, heaven, hell, eternal life, karma, dharma, rapture, epiphany, ecstasy, resurrection (sorry phoenix- mythical), salvation, communion, prayer, circumcision, embalming, mummies, envy (originally refers to the ‘evil eye’- mythology.) Can’t cross your heart, cross your fingers and sorry no birthday cake and  NO miracles!
Without myth based religion, we can put that virgin birth conundrum to rest and remove the curse from Eve’s maligned character. Oops, no Eve; no Adam; no Moses; no Buddha, no ghosts, spirits, saints, nothing considered supernatural. Sinners are off the hook too because sin is a religious concept. Having no Groundhog Day (originally a Candlemas ceremony), no Valentine’s Cupid, no Saint Patrick, no Mardi Gras, no May queen, no Easter (Eostre/ Eastre)  No Bunny & colored eggs, no Halloween anything (only pumpkins may stay, but don’t carve them into scary faces.)  We’d sure have a lot less holidays if we removed the influence of mythology. No, actually none. Holiday is a deviation of holy day related to religion.  We could relegate all these no longer viable ideas to the local museum but museums are also gone. (Named for the Greek muses) There must be hundreds more examples of how mythology has shaped modern culture.  Remember these are not just words but elaborate concepts.

 

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