Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Meaning, Myth & Magic

Parabola is a magazine snabby and I picked up one day. We have several issues now and have decided to subscribe. The intro words from it's home page best describes it:

"PARABOLA is a quarterly journal, one of the pioneering publications on the subject of myth and tradition. Every issue explores one of the facets of human existence from the point of view of as many of the world's religious and spiritual traditions as possible, through the prism of story and symbol, myth, ritual, and sacred teachings. We offer contemporary essays and images as well as excerpts of wisdom from the great masters of years past. Past and present come together in the retellings of traditional religious, folk, and fairy tales from cultures both familiar and obscure. For us, the questions are as fascinating and thought-provoking as the answers, and we seek to open and sustain discussion of the oldest questions of all."

What is really nice is that the articles are no more than 4-5 pages long, (sometimes much shorter), so it's digestible and thought provoking at the same time. I have to admit when I was in college I had a choice of how to do the Survey of Western Civilization and I didn't choose the Philosophy route! (The choices were 1-straight out History, 2-the "Great Books" or Literature, 3-Philosophy or 4-Art History; guess which one I picked!).

The multiple perspectives provided center on a "Focus" or theme, the latest being AWAKENING. I invite you to visit and explore this wonderful resource for human religious experience (just click on the title bar).


The Moody Minstrel said...

That sounds like a fascinating publication. Perhaps I should look into trying to find one here...though that would probably necessitate a trip to Tokyo (or should I say "give me an excuse to take a trip there"?).

I dunno, though...it's interesting and thought-provoking to read about myths and spiritual teachings, but, as Paul Krugman stated so eloquently in that article Snabbie sent around, the U.S. seems to be headed into an era where myth and spiritual teaching replace scientific evidence, research, and rational thought as the accepted truth.

Seymour said...

But Kevin, myth and spiritual teachings are important to lots of people, therefore they hold the same level of gravitas as scientific theory. What we are seeing in 21st Century America is the downside of Democracy. A significantly large, ignorant percentage of the population (I won't call them a majority) is deciding this Country's future. They are motivated and well funded, and they feel somehow wronged by Rationality. Whatever shall we do? Make fun of them! They hate that!

Anonymous said...

Some people believe the Bible is a fairy tale, and the very same people who say that call themselves Christians. Same can be said about any religious doctrine ever written. What I believe is the greatest concern is that many people see any religious dogma as a threat. I see bumper stickers all the time about the goddess movement, that is, people are just claiming that they themselves are gods. Who can argue with that?

Leading the charge in the myth versus rational view concepts is the bitter dispute between creationists and evolutionists. Since I believe in the theory of thermodynamics, I believe that any system can only degrade from an ordered state to a more disordered state.

Myth is fun to talk about and why not, I love fiction, but myth and reality can never be one.