Myth springs like Athena from Zeus' forehead from the Greek "mythos," meaning word or story.
Man has always used stories to explain things he could not understand or explain otherwise.
Ancient myths were the stories that sifted mysteries into answers that made the dark less frightening.
In essence, then, Myths are metaphors for life and its challenges.
World Mythology has a deep skeleton of common images and motifs that provide a structure ...
an eternal, common quest, if you would, of Man for self-awareness in the face of entropy,
that eternal dark of disorder that waits upon the night's horizon to swallow both meaning and fulfilment.
Bottom line :
myths are the magics that take our breath with that child's awe of the first snowfall.
We listen to their magic because they tap the collective unconscious :
the dreams and hopes and fears which murmur in the night to all of us.
On one level, our modern society seems devoid of myths.
Perhaps that is why many have a sense of meaninglessness, estrangement, rootlessness, and the cold brittleness of a life devoid of reverence and awe.
Those of you have a deep belief in God do not take offense. I, also, have a deep connection with The Father and with His Son.
I am talking about another level of consciousness. A level that often withers from lack of nuturing early in childhood.
We each have our own mythology. Consciously or unconsciously, we create our own myths.
We have our own fables -- the things which are important and valued and vibrant to us personally.
We are the heroes in "mythic journeys" by which we romanticize our various passages through life.
Although we generally accept cultural myths to the extent to which we are a part of our culture,
the truly satisfying and exciting myths are those which arise from our own passions, our own dreams, and our own visions.
As Joseph Campbell said, in An Open Life,
"The imagery of mythology is symbolic of the spiritual power within us."
In this symbolism, we see mythological characters who represent love, youth, death, wealth, virility, fear, evil, and other archetypal facets of life --
and we also see natural events such as rain and wind. The fanciful beings are personifications of those facets, those "energies."
As we read about the interplay of these forces of nature, we are viewing a dream-like fantasy which portrays the interaction of the elements of our own lives.
In Lakota myth, everything is alive, impacting everything else in a delicate web of life.
In Celtic myth, splendor and magic contest with kings and their kingdoms. Lakota myth emphasize the inner, while Celtic stresses the outer.
My half-Lakota mother taught me the importance of being rather than striving to possess.
It is not that we Lakota do not care about physical comfort or material possessions. It is that we do not measure ourselves or others by those things.
We believe we are measured by how well we manifest the virtues praised in our stories and myths.
When the Europeans devastated the Lakota culture and peoples,
we survived by becoming the kind of people spoken of in our hero-cycles and myths.
They are our gifts to the world's peoples to draw strength from for themselves, no matter what race or creed they may be.
These stories continue to inspire and sustain the Lakota people.
And for one dying boy in a frozen-in Detroit basement apartment, the tales melded of both Lakota and Celtic myth whispered not to fear that last looming darkness ...
that Death was just a change in worlds ...
and that Hibbs, the bear with 2 shadows, who championed all hurting children and who had passed beyond and back again,
would champion the cause of that feverish, shivering, coughing little boy.
And before my mother's wondering eyes,
feeling the chills as the loving touch of the Turquoise Woman and seeing the dark shadow at the foot of my bed as the comforting spirit of Hibbs,
he who had been the cub with no clue who grew into the mighty bear with two shadows.
So, there, you have a taste of what you will find in THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS:
Have a magical new week, Roland