Religion, Myth, and the relation between

Religion vs. Myth, an age old argument. Is religion just a derivation a myth that developed its own ethical code of beliefs, or does religion have a legitimate foundation? In some cases I can see the validity of this argument, but I’d like to analyze this argument a little more thoroughly.

Let us look at the main Religion’s today and trace their histories. Now the two big religions, Islam and Christianity, trace their beginnings to Judaism. Judaism itself, has what can be argued to be myths within its history (creation story, flood story, tower of Babble, etc.) But to say that religion came from these myths may be a bit presumptuous. I personally feel that the Jewish faith started with the whole Moses and the 10 Commandments. The previous scriptures of the faith i.e. Genesis, was just the story of the Jewish people’s understanding of their own history (Abraham) and how they explained the big mysteries of the time (creation, flood, languages).

Buddhism, another popular religion today (although many don’t consider it a religion at all), has a history predating Christianity. From what I know of the Buddhist faith, I do not recall it stemming from any myth, unless you consider the belief of Buda’s teachings to be a myth in and of itself.

There are many religions with a long history and to say that they originated out of myth I think is a mistake. The most prominent religions of today should be seen as originating from the teachings of, what Buda would call, an enlightened being. The mythical stories in religion are still just the instances in history that man did not understand, and religion, the driving force of most cultures at the time, provided these answers.

This brings me to conclude that most religions did not stem from myth, rather, developed through the instilling of ethical principles and generated myths of their own.

I always thought myths were in religion to explain things.


I distinguish between religious ideas and the essence of religion. Most religious ideas develop in the manner that you suggest where misguided being called “experts” aid in the gradual lawful degeneration of the religious essence into its more secular form and on the same level as the culture it exists within. So what is for some unfortunate reason called “religious evolution” follows this flow of new but degenerating interpretations of religious ideas.

However myths serve a different and IMO a more essential purpose for those open to their inner message.

Where religious ideas are based on new interpretations of ancient ideas, the essence of religion serves to counter the normal human tendency to become so involved with life itself, so as to forget the deeper meanings and purpose we are a part of. The true myth confuses the associative thought process long enough so that the mind can open in the normal urge to find resolution but not restricted to its preconception.

Rather than trying to teach anything “new”, this psychological technique was created to help a person to remember what has been forgotten. The essence of religion always was and doesn’t stem from anything as does religious interpretations. There is nothing “new” about it. The task for the dedicated searcher is to “remember” what has been forgotten. The true myth can help a person get out of their own way long enough so that they can begin to remember.

i always thought in unveiling explainations in religion one would find it to be all a myth :astonished: