“In The Beginning” – The Story Of Myth

Myth

Sacred Narrative

“In the beginning” is how many myths start their story. And, simply put, a myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and man came to be in their present form. That myths are sacred means that all forms of religion incorporate myths of some kind. There is nothing disparaging about the term myth. The term mythos means word or story. It is only the modern usage of the word myth as “error” that has led to the notion of myth as something negative.

Metaphorical Guise

In common parlance, the term myth is often used as a mere synonym for error or fallacy. “That’s just a myth!” one may exclaim to label a statement or assertion as untrue. But untrue statements are not myths in the formal sense – nor are myths necessarily untrue statements. For myth may constitute the highest form of truth, albeit in metaphorical guise. If one keeps in mind that a myth must refer minimally to a narrative, then one can easily eliminate most of the books and articles employing myth in their titles.

Study of Myth

The study of myth is an international and an interdisciplinary venture. Scholars from around the world have contributed to the analysis of myth, and this includes scholars of anthropology, classics, comparative religion, folklore, psychology, and theology, among others areas of specialization.

Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth
Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth

Edited by Alan Dundes

How Much Stuff Is Enough?

Buy More Stuff

Role of Consumption

In the last few hundred years, the acquisition, flow and use of things – in short, consumption – has become a defining feature of our lives. In the rich world (and increasingly in the developing world) identities, politics, economies, and the environment are crucially shaped by what and how we consume.

Advanced economies live or die by their ability to stimulate and maintain high levels of spending – with the help of advertising, branding, and consumer credit. Taste, appearance, and lifestyle define who we are (or want to be) and how others see us.


Our Relation to Things

Possessions in a pre-modern village of an indigenous tribe pale when placed next to the growing mountain of things in advanced societies. This change in accumulation involved an historic shift in humans’ relations with things.

In contrast to the pre-modern village, where most goods were passed on as gifts or part of a wedding collection, things in modern societies are mainly bought in the marketplace, and, they pass through our lives more quickly.


Stuff & More Stuff

  • A typical German owns 10,000 objects.
  • In Los Angeles, a middle-class garage often no longer houses a car, but hundreds of boxes of stuff.
  • In 2013, the United Kingdom was home to 6 billion items of clothing, roughly a hundred per adult – a quarter of these items never leave the wardrobe.

Empire of Things
Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First

Frank Trentmann

 

How Can We Develop Mental Strength?

Mentally Strong

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

  1. Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself.
  2. Don’t give away your power.
  3. Don’t shy away from change.
  4. Don’t focus on things you can’t control.
  5. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone.
  6. Don’t fear taking calculated risks.
  7. Don’t dwell on the past.
  8. Don’t make the same mistakes over and over.
  9. Don’t resent other people’s success.
  10. Don’t give up after the first failure.
  11. Don’t fear alone time.
  12. Don’t feel the world owes you anything.
  13. Don’t expect immediate results.

Getting rid of these 13 habits will help us develop mental strength, which is essential to dealing with all of life’s problems – big or small.

No matter what our goals are, we’ll be better equipped to reach our full potential when we’re feeling mentally strong.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success
Amy Morin

Background on Amy Morin

The Anxiety of Growing Old In A World of Impermanence

Impermanence

Our Desire for Certainty, Meaning, and Permanence

All of us have an inborn desire for certainty, meaning, and structure. Yet, how does this square with the fact that we live in a world where impermanence is the nature of reality? We get sick, we get old, and we eventually die.

All of our attempts to find a permanent ground to stand on will eventually fail. This is one of the sources of our fundamental existential anxiety.

Our Resistance to Accepting Impermanence

It’s not just the fact of impermanence that causes us to have anxiety and suffer – it’s our resistance to accepting impermanence as an inevitable aspect of life. The inevitability of aging pushes us to confront the clash between what we want – security and comfort – and the reality of what is.

Trying to avoid the unwanted seems to be deeply ingrained in the  human psyche, and if we forcefully continue our evasions, our suffering increases.

Growing Older and Wanting Security

The existential predicament starts with the fact that as humans we want a sense of secure ground. However, somewhere along the way we may come to the frightening realization that uncertainty and groundlessness can’t be avoided.

We may experience that when we hit a personal crisis, such as a serious relationship breakup, a financial reversal, or a troubling diagnosis. It may become clear to us that what we want is a sense of certainty and meaning – yet we live in a world that may not offer neither. This is one of the fundamental predicaments that all of us must eventually face, and particularly so as we get older.

The Fact of Our Aloneness

The existential predicament continues with the fact of our basic aloneness. At bottom, this is the tension we feel that comes when we recognize our absolute isolation – the fact that we are born alone and that we will die alone. We may not recognize this very often, but it is in sharp contrast with our deep desire for connection, protection, and our wish to be part of a larger whole.

Accepting We Will One Day Die

Perhaps the most daunting part of our existential predicament is the fact that we will surely die. This is in direct conflict with our deeply ingrained desire to continue to live. There’s no getting around this conflict – wanting to exist and knowing that someday we will no longer be. We may posit an afterlife or take comfort in the legacy of our children or our life accomplishments, but this comfort may not be enough to prevent the anxiety from seeping through.

The solution has to come from our acceptance of the fact that we will surely die, and from our ability to surrender to this part of the natural order of things.


Aging for Beginners
Ezra Bayda with Elizabeth Hamilton

Ezra Bayda and his wife Elizabeth Hamilton have each been practicing meditation for over 40 years and teaching since 1995, including retreats in the US and abroad. They currently co-teach at the Zen Center San Diego. Ezra has written 7 books. Elizabeth is also a writer, and has led numerous workshops at hospices.

Ezra Bayda – Wikipedia / Zen Center San Diego

Elizabeth Hamiltion
– 
Explore Faith / Zen Center San Diego



Ezra Bayda

Born 1944

Ezra Bayda is an American figure in Zen. He is at the “forefront of the movement…to present the essential truths of Buddhism free of traditional trappings or terminology.” He is an author and Zen teacher.

Bayda is a teacher at Zen Center San Diego, in Pacific Beach, San Diego, California, and with the Santa Rosa Zen Group in Santa Rosa, California. He has conducted meditation workshops and retreats in Europe, Australia, and North America.

Bayda is a member of the White Plum Asanga and the Ordinary Mind Zen SchoolHe is also the author of several books, best known for his teachings on working with difficulties and fear in everyday life.

Books Ezra Bayda Has Written Include:

Does People-Pleasing Bring Us Happiness?

People-Pleasing

Assumptions About People-Pleasing

Most of us wrongly assume that people-pleasing behavior proves we’re generous. But when you think about it, always trying to please people isn’t a selfless act. It’s actually quite self-centered. It assumes that everyone cares about your every move. It also assumes you have the power to control how other people feel.

If you’re constantly doing things to make others happy and you don’t think they are appreciative of your efforts, you’ll soon experience resentment. Thoughts such as I do so much for you, but you don’t do anything for me will creep in and ultimately hurt your relationships.

Truths About People-Pleasing

  • Worrying about trying to please everyone is a waste of time.
  • People-pleasers are easily manipulated.
  • It’s okay for other people to feel angry or disappointed.
  • You can’t please everyone.

When Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask Yourself These Questions Before Responding

  • Is this something I want to do?
  • What will I have to give up by doing this?
  • What will I gain by doing this?
  • How will I feel if I do it?

Live True To Yourself

Dying people often say they wished they had live a more authentic life. Instead of dressing, acting, and speaking in a manner that was pleasing to others, they wished they’d been more true to themselves.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success
Amy Morin

 


Amy Morin
Amy Morin
. Amy Morin, LCSW
. Forbes Blog
. Psychology Today

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, mental strength trainer, and international bestselling author. She’s a highly sought after keynote speaker who gave one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.

Morin’s books, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do and 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, have been translated into more than 30 languages. She’s a columnist for Inc., Forbes, and Psychology Today and her articles on mental strength reach more than 2 million readers each month.

Books written by Amy Morin include:


The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong – Amy Morin