What is the difference between a legend and a myth?
Exploring Personal Growth, Human Potential, and issues of Importance in Life Coaching
Q. What is the difference between a legend and a myth?
A. Many geneticists believe that we are hard-wired to;
- Create and tell stories.
- Hunger for a connection to our source – what theologians and physicists alike call the “First Cause.”
Combine the two, and what you get is the creation and the sharing of sacred stories or myths. The word “mythology” (from the Ancient Greek word meaning “a story-telling” or a legendary lore) refers to a type of sacred story, often a merging of various folklores and legends that a particular culture or group believes to be true. Myths often use the supernatural to interpret these narratives.
As with many stories it does not matter if the story at the base of the myth is true or false. To the culture within which the myth has evolved, it is usually by definition “true.” Most groups cannot exist without some form of a sacred story since it is this “group story” that helps to make sense of the world. This story will describe how the world came about, how the culture was created, and the beliefs, ways of questioning, and the concepts that have defined the group.
The sacred myth answers these questions for it represents a collective preserved belief within the group even if that belief has no fact as the basis of this reality. For a particular culture, sacred myth is true even if not always factual. It is this key foundation that gives the group a reason to exist, even if the group is loath to acknowledge that there is nothing factual there. Now often these sacred stories originate from a historical event and at other times as a misinterpretation of some misdirected, sacred ritual. It is likely that human beings are hard-wired to believe and to have faith in something – anything. This may include certain beliefs, whether accurate or unsupported by logic or evidence. This will be created as sacred stories by individuals and by groups. These sacred stories will usually be presented as, “God said ‘this’” or some sacred text such as the Bible ‘says ‘ that,’” etc., etc. The dilemma a serious spiritual seeker faces is that while recognizing intuitively that sacred myths are essential for being part of a community many of these same sacred myths are the source of much unnecessary suffering.
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If you have an interest in having a basic understanding of how Applied Game Theory can help to totally transform your life coaching process, and bring you greater levels of EEPPSA (efficiency, effectiveness, precision, and self-awareness) here is an interview I did with James Selman, a pioneer and innovator in Leadership research and one of the individuals who helped create the EST Training in the 1970s.
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