Ramble: Mythology and lies

4년 전

Servants decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg

It's not that myth means lies, but rather that it lacks the distinction between truth and lies. Word mythos means story in Greek (μῦθος).

I traffic in fiction, I do not traffic in lies, although I'll admit the distinction is a nice one...

~ Alan Moore

Then there's superstition, but I ain't got time for superstition tonight.

Older words tend to mean bigger things, and so stories are made by authors, and myths are ancient, hundred-times folded stories, stories made by authors over authors over authors.

Funny enough, mythos (μῦθος) and logos (λόγος) are quite happily married in the word mythology. Mythology prof. Campbell put it simply that the dream is the personalized myth, and myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of the psyche.

If you dream that you die, you likely won't die, but if you dream demons, then they're likely present. Come to think of it, this story from The Hero with a Thousand Faces is quite applicable to Steemit. 3 min read (bye.. take care..)

Hero with a Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell.jpg

Pages 11 - 14, edited
If you know the story, read slower :)

The story is told, for example, of the great Minos, king of the island empire of Crete in the period of its commercial supremacy. [...]

The bull had been sent by the god Poseidon, long ago, when Minos was contending with his brothers for the throne. Minos had asserted that the throne was his, by divine right, and had prayed the god to send up a bull out of the sea, as a sign; and he had sealed the prayer with a vow to sacrifice the animal immediately, as an offering and symbol of service. The bull had appeared, and Minos took the throne; but when he beheld the majesty of the beast that had been sent and thought what an advantage it would be to possess such a specimen, he determined to risk a merchant's substitution — of which he supposed the god would take no great account. Offering on Poseidon's altar the finest white bull that he owned, he added the other to his herd. The Cretan empire had greatly prospered under the sensible jurisdiction of this celebrated lawgiver and model of public virtue. Knossos, the capital city, became the luxurious, elegant center of the leading commercial power of the civilized world. The Cretan fleets went out to every isle and harbor of the Mediterranean; Cretan ware was prized in Babylonia and Egypt. [...]

Dolphins - decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg

But at home, the queen had been inspired by Poseidon with an ungovernable passion for the bull. And she had prevailed upon her husband's artist-craftsman, the peerless Daedalus, to frame for her a wooden cow that would deceive the bull—into which she eagerly entered; and the bull was deceived. [Yeah..] She bore her monster, which, in due time, began to become a danger. And so Daedalus again was summoned, this time by the king, to construct a tremendous labyrinthine enclosure, with blind passages, in which to hide the thing away. So deceptive was the invention, that Daedalus himself, when he had finished it, was scarcely able to find his way back to the entrance. Therein the Minotaur was settled: and he was fed, thereafter, on groups of living youths and maidens, carried as tribute from the conquered nations within the Cretan domain.

Dolphins - decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg

Thus according to the ancient legend, the primary fault was not the queen's but the king's; and he could not really blame her, for he knew what he had done. He had converted a public event to personal gain, whereas the whole sense of his investiture as king had been that he was no longer a mere private person. The return of the bull should have symbolized his absolutely selfless submission to the functions of his role. The retaining of it represented, on the other hand, an impulse to egocentric self-aggrandizement. And so the king "by the grace of God" became the dangerous [nicknamed] tyrant Holdfast — out for himself. Just as the traditional rites of passage used to teach the individual to die to the past and be reborn to the future, so the great ceremonials of investiture divested him of his private character and clothed him in the mantle of his vocation. Such was the ideal, whether the man was a craftsman or a king. By the sacrilege of the refusal of the rite, however, the individual cut himself as a unit off from the larger unit of the whole community: and so the One was broken into the many, and these then battled each other—each out for himself—and could be governed only by force.

Dolphins - decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg

The figure of the tyrant-monster is known to the mythologies, folk traditions, legends, and even nightmares, of the world; and his characteristics are everywhere essentially the same. He is the hoarder of the general benefit. He is the monster avid for the greedy rights of "my and mine." The havoc wrought by him is described in mythology and fairy tale as being universal throughout his domain. This may be no more than his household, his own tortured psyche, or the lives that he blights with the touch of his friendship and assistance; or it may amount to the extent of his civilization. The inflated ego of the tyrant is a curse to himself and his world—no matter how his affairs may seem to prosper. Self-terrorized, fear-haunted, alert at every hand to meet and battle back the anticipated aggressions of his environment, which are primarily the reflections of the uncontrollable impulses to acquisition within himself, the giant of self-achieved independence is the world's messenger of disaster, even though, in his mind, he may entertain himself with humane intentions. Wherever he sets his hand there is a cry (if not from the housetops, then more miserably—within every heart): a cry for the redeeming hero, the carrier of the shining blade, whose blow, whose touch, whose existence, will liberate the land. [...]

[ continues to story of Theseus who slays the Minotaur, end of text ]

* * *

Enjoy some wall decoration from Knossos, where the story took place:

Bull - decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg

Geometrical - decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg

Ladies decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg

Servants decorative frieze at the palace of Knossos.jpg


The story of Minos is well known. Turn your eyes towards the interpretation of what myth is though. Myth touches on what people do not want to touch, or cannot reach, the other side of ourselves, the one that is not, the repressed, the Shadow. Campbell was very influenced by two famous psychologists Freud and Jung. Freud was interested in the other part of a person's psyche (the repressed), and Jung of people's psyhce (the Shadow).

This is all highly subjective of course, and such is the reality. People are scared of cliffs because they can fall off is kind of backwards: first you see a jumping off place, then it is filled in as a cliff. Everything we see is only the desktop of the computer. The levels below, switches, electricity, that all acts in unison with what is perceived with concepts such as cliff. You don't actually pump your blood. (Aha, I see what you did there!)

There cannot exist an objective reason as why to divide the density of molecules at precisely that level to get a cliff, the source for a division must be subjective. Microbes and humans quite literally do not exist in the same dimension.

If myth can do that, you can call it true even if it never happened. Functionally speaking (in prezime sense), myth is a description of otherworldly. Descriptions sound kinda like this: Light is the conscience that pierces darkness. Light and darkness need each other for existance to happen, for if there is only but nothing, there isn't anything. The light reveals and chooses, makes, for in it objects exist and are given shape and color and time and every thing. This is the connection of symbols of the eye, light, spark, brilliance, yin-yang, day-night, angel-demons, etc. Often cited rule goes kind of like this: Any light pierces any deep darkness, and darkness encompasses the light. Light travels through darkness. Etc.

sun through space.gif

The proposition of the ancient "as above, so below" : You will always find this.

Naturally, there are quite many otherworldly places, and characters and whatnot, besides the topic of isness. If a myth, or a story can describe it so that it gives you a key, it becomes true on a different level of "did it ever actually happen" "did Minotaur ever exist." Finely crafted stories, intricate, with deep storytelling -- that's all a lie unless its craft, intricacy, or depth provides a key or a map or some value.

Here's an inflection for you.

Labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze. However, many scholars observe a distinction between the two. Due to the long history of representation of the mythological labyrinth, the specialized usage of the word maze refers to a complex of branching paths (maze is multicursal), while the word labyrinth came to mean a single path to the center (unicursal). This doesn't mean though that the labyrinth presents no navigational challenge, even though it has an unambiguous route connecting its beginning and end.

Try to solve this labyrinth while staying out of it, i.e. tracing the way only with your eyes. Pretty tough if you're jittery, eh? :D

Chartres labyrinth.jpg

Joseph Campbell, mythologist, 1904 - 1987
Sigmund Freud, psychologist, 1856 - 1939
Carl Gustav Jung, psychologist, 1875 - 1961

Image sources:
Knossos palace, Greece, c. 1400 BC
Labyrinth: Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, France, c. 1200 AD
Minotaur eye-cup ceramic, c. 515 BC, btw they're called eye-cups because they look like this on the outside.

Crete eye-cup, 515 BC.jpg

* * *

1 — to move aimlessly from place to place, to explore idly
2 — to move without a plan, in a long-winded wandering fashion
3 — to grow or extend irregularly

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Hi! I am a robot. I just upvoted you! I found similar content that readers might be interested in:


enjoyed the read, but it does appear you pretty much inserted the book as if it was your own words.


Well not as they were my words :D

But yeah, I care more if the post is good than if it's original. It's not stealing- (besides, the author is sourced) that's a selected and edited text from a 200 pg. book and just as much of my commentary. Retelling the text with my own words would be pointless (it's already written!), ugly (Campbell took several years to write it), and quite frankly I'd find it sacrilegious :D

This a good topic for the next ramble :)

Hey man, I love your article! I am glad you let us know your source heh. I love mythology. Its funny how fucked up greeks were haha, my favorite of their gods is Dionysus and I am nearly an expert on his lore. Not quite, but almost. Id like to read this book!

If you need any help figuring out steemit, just ask! Id love to help. <3 And welcome, as well.


Hey, thanks.
The book is well known and often cited, so you'll have no problem finding it. Btw, I'd pronounce your name in my mind as Tzai of the Sky! if you don't mind :P

As for the introductory post, just felt like partaking in the network at first- after all, that's what I'm here for xD - and the introductory post will come soon enough.

For the interest in mythology, you have been insta followed :D


P.s. for your interest in pornography, I've left you a painting in the comments.


Haha its pronounced say but whatever you would like!

Yes, I am excited for your interactions and intro post on here, seems like you have promise! I am doing a delegation give away right now. I think I would like to see more posts from you before I consider you for the delegation but I will have more opportunities in the future! I am itching to support people with mythology and mythology curation, as its my favorite subject ever.

Ill look into this awesome book! I bet my grandpa has a copy.


Thank you for your kind words — and the donation as well ! As for Campbell, here's a link http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
The story continues on pg. 15 (that's pg. 40 of the pdf) with

Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mud cracked houses

Cheers :)

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Also if you want to make a introductory post that would be great! Use the tag introduce yourself! You can drop a comment by my blog and I will check out your posts too. Just tell us what you like to blog about n stuff in your intro post! I try my best to curate the mythology tag too <3

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