Mythology and the Mysteries

The mythology talks were given in response to the public broadcasting presentations on mythology by Joseph Campbell. His presentations were very good but they didn't say much about the relationship of mysticism to mythology. The great mythographers and interpreter of myths were from the mystery schools. Historically myths were used to present spiritual truths through allegory and the spirit of the stories. These talks were given to correct that deficiency. They are from one small, obscure voice but they are a statement from the mysteries. The talks are meant to reveal mysteries and share the excitement of stories.

Two Introductory Talks on Mysticism and Mythology

These two talks introduce some of the basic ways that mysticism uses mythology which is often different from the manner in which mysticism is usually treated. It might be wise to listen to these talks first.

Creation Myths

An early attempt to demonstrate creation myths as universal, archetypal formulae for any new creative act from the manifestation of the cosmos to a new kitchen recipe. The speaker is still feeling his way into mysticism and mythology so the thought is not mature but is still worthwhile.

Myths of the Mysteries

Initiation into the mysteries is an inner event. It involves a major change in consciousness. Acting out or living out myths was a tool to take the candidate out of prosaic consciousness into divine consciousness. It is a tool used in modern psychotherapy. These talks discuss myths used by ancient mystery schools to this end.

Hero and Heroine Myths

Heroes and heroines in stories have always represented initiates who solved deep problems and accomplished great feats of service. These talks explore various aspects of modern initiation through the study of heroes and heroines.

Myths of Hierarchy

Some things in life are more important than others. This is true for individuals, cultures and societies. These groups of talks examine hierarchies of values in different mythologies.

Hierarchy in Hindu Mythology

Hindu society is rich in imagination. It has produced several hierarchies of divinities. Too many for a few talks. A few of the main hierarchies are covered in these talks, hopefully enough to get the gist of the relative significance of spiritual values in Indian society.

Hierarchy in Egyptian Mythology

Hierarchy in Egyptian mythology is a matter of theogony as it is with many hierarchies. It begins with autogenous sexual activity which is how many mythographers chose to deal with the problem of going from one to many. It is a top-down generation. In these talks most of the names of the gods are Greek with which most people are familiar. These talks parallel the other hierarchy talks.

Hierarchy in Greek Mythology

Drawing on the Theogony of the orphic poet Hesiod and other sources, this is an elaborate rendition of cosmogony and theogony of the Greeks with all sorts of side trips. It does treat hierarchy but also a whole lot more.

Hierarchy in Northern European Mythology

The Norse and Teutonic people had their own ideas about hierarchy among their divinities and those differences and some of the general ideas about hierarchy are covered in these talks.

Triangle Myths

The study of trinity, the three attributes of the Divine, has been an engaging activity for mystics of all societies. This series is the beginning of an attempt to tackle it through mythology. Unfortunately, circumstances allowed only two subseries covering two triangular relationships. Perhaps someday the speaker will find the time to examine more triangles through stories.

The Oedipus Triangle

Among other things these talks explore the Oedipus family as representations of the three attributes of the threefold spirit. This is one example of the interplay of these attributes of the human threefold spirit in its evolution side by side with the evolution of religion. Mystical interpretations of the incest taboo are offered.

The Isis, Osiris, Horus Triangle

Like the Oedipus myth the Isis myth is treated more than once in the course of these talks and each rendition is different than the others, mythology like spiritual truth is multifaceted. In the Isis myth we see a different relationship between the members of a basic family which is studied as a trinity study among many other things.

Myths on the Origin of Evil

Everyone knows where good comes from but the origin of evil is another matter. The problem of evil is one of the most trying problems of philosophy, theology and even mysticism. There is a good answer given in Christian mysticism but it is beyond the bounds of this series of talks. Instead these talks look into the origins of evil in various mythologies to pave the way to obtaining freedom from it.

The Origin of Evil in the Garden of Eden

The Old Testament story referred to as “The Fall of Man” is the myth of the origin of evil with which most of us are most familiar so it was used as a starting point for working into this difficult topic.

Prometheus and Pandora

A transitional talk between subseries. Loads of stories about Prometheus with some mystical interpretation. Not profound and not trivial but fun.

Origin of Evil in Hindu Mythology

After a review, some unusual (by western standards) notions of evil and its origin are discussed. The talks are not deep but they do present some different corridors for thinking on this difficult topic. There are only two talks consecutive talks so there is not a playlist.

Origin of Evil in Persian Mythology

Persian mythology is the mythology of dualism especially moral dualism, the dualism of light and dark, the dualism of Ormazd and Ahriman. This is a dualism that is hard to escape. It is a dualism which is appealing to the mind. Only unity, the unity of love, that can transcend binding dualism. Good does not need the contrast of evil to be good. There are actually 12 talks though the playlist title says there are only 5—a YouTube error.

Hawaiian Mythology

The speaker was fascinated with the parallels between Greek and Hawaiian Mythology, especially the parallels between the celebrations of Dionysus and Lono. These talks came out of that fascination.

Welsh Mythology

The Mabinogion is one of the richest sources of imagination and different outlooks of all mythology. The stories present strange circumstances and problems to be solved in unique ways. The stories are engaging and the interpretations unusual.

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