Since time immemorial, the statement “it’s a myth” has been used in a regular manner by people from all walks of life. There will be a need to assess how the word “myth” is used in the academic context in order to provide a personal definition of the same. In addition, it will be necessary to establish the mist common mythologies from different cultural backgrounds, with an explanation of why myths from across the world address similar universal themes.
Buxton (2005) observes that myths and mythology have their roots in the Greek world where they originated but eventually spread to permeate the whole world. In the essay, it will also be important to understand at which points does religion and myth either intersect and diverge, as well as, the role played by myth and religion in helping people to cope with various issues in life. Finally, it will be necessary to establish whether mythology is still relevant in the contemporary culture, and how people turn to modern myths as a way of dealing with unknown hardships in life.
Myths and Foundations of Mythology Given the popularity Of the use Of the word “myth”, most people are left to wonder whether there is a difference in the myth held concerning a particular thing, and the truth of the matter. However, it is evident that even in the contemporary world, the popularity of the word “myth” still stands. According to Aldrich and Boneshaker (201 2), one of the words that have been subjected to many issues and difficulties is the word “myth. Explaining that every culture and community has its own myths, they define a myth as those rotational tales that are commonly shared by a group of people. There is a need to understand that myths offer the first channel through which primitive people familiarize themselves with the world. According to me, a myth can be defined as a commonly held belief or idea that is usually false despite the fact that most people believe in it. In order to understand the foundations of mythology, it is necessary to understand the most common mythological themes evident across different cultures.
Despite the fact that different cultures have different myths, it is evident that when studied closely, most of these mythological themes are similar or they address the same universal themes. However, what may differ despite the similarity of the themes is the interpretation that each community offers to a particular myth held. Klein (2012) observes that most myths are designed in a Way that they Offer the kind Of explanations that people want to believe in. One of the most commonly held themes is that in relation to the existence of mankind, with people being made to believe that human beings evolved from apes to human beings.
The Color World (2005) also provides a commonly shared myth among the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and This, all who believe in a myth off rabbit in the moon. However, it is evident that despite the universal similarity of such myths and themes, the interpretation from each culture is different. In relation to the rabbit in the moon theme, the This believe that the rabbit is dusking rice, the Koreans and the Japanese claim that the rabbit is making rice cakes, while the Chinese believe that the rabbit is pounding the rice to make medicine.
Considering the difference in the interpretation of this particular myth despite the close geographical proximity, it is evident that the difference might emanate from the change in information as the myth is passed from one generation to another. Another common universal theme of a myth is in relation to the story of creation. Another necessary thing to do is to establish the relationship between mythology, religion, belief, and knowledge, and while at it, there will also be a need to explain the point at which mythology and religion either intersect or diverge.
One of the important things to point out is that despite the fact that myth and religion appear as different, both also contain a similarity in that they are a basis for which people have knowledge and belief for specific things. Both religion and mythology intersect in a way that the knowledge that people both in the ancient and in the contemporary world holds on to have its roots in religion and mythology. For instance, lessons on what is acceptable and what is not, manners expected from people, as well as, what is evil and what is good can all be found in both religion and mythology.
In relation to the intersection of religion and mythology, Aldrich and Boneshaker (2012) observe that myths and mythology are aspects of religion, and that both are considered to be of great significance in the society. However, the divergence occurs when a myth takes an explanation for a particular universal theme different from the sacredness of that particular event In matters concerning the function of myth and religion helping people to cope with life’s issues, it is evident that people have for a long time used myths as a way of understanding why a particular event takes place.
Religion on the other hand plays a great function in helping people to cope with the issues that they face in life. For instance, when people suffer loss or death, most find comfort from religion with the belief that everything happens for a reason, and that their loved ones are in a better place. Believe that even in the contemporary world, people still find myths and mythology as relevant in dealing with the issues that they face in life. People resort to modern myths as a way of dealing with the hardships since they want to find solace in something, not just to sit back and sulk in hopelessness.