Where have all the myths gone? At what point did we turn our backs on the wonder of art for the modern world of computers and television? What is it we desire, that we have given up the inspiration provided us by art and imagination? These are a few of the questions we must ask ourselves when we look back in history at what once was. In this essay, I will attempt to answer some of these questions.
Where did myths come from? Before the rise of philosophy and science, the world was filled with myth and legend. There were many reasons behind the creation of myth. It was used as science is today. Myth allows for a multiplicity of explanations, where the explanations are not logically exclusive to the modern ideas we hold today. Myths were self-justifying. The inspiration of the gods was enough to ensure their validity, and there was no other explanation for the creativity of poets, seers, and prophets than inspiration by the gods. They taught the values of world, such as honor and courage, and were a way of life for those who lived by them. .
Rational thought, philosophy, science; all could be said to have started in ancient Greece in the sixth century B.C. in the cities of Asia Minor. Here that path of science was opened, from which all our progress has followed. This change from the world of myth to the world of science was not simply a change in attitude towards the intellect. It could be said that the drastic change was more of a revelation, a discovery of the thing that sets our race apart from any other creature on the planet, the mind. With this, we freed ourselves from the concepts of myth, to witness the rise of philosophy and science. From here, the human mind has provided us with wonders that fill our world today.
For what reasons did myth fade away, to let the rise of philosophy overshadow it? There could be many reasons. I theorize that, as new and better explanations came, that myths began to lose their hold on society.