How do myths give meaning to life?

The myth and its meaning

The myth is a specific form of narration. It should explain the meaning of human life or the meaning of the world as a whole. The reference to one ultimate meaning of life is an essential feature of the myth.

Another characteristic is its shape. The mythical story makes use of a pictorial, poetic, symbolic language.

So we are dealing with one Condensation of language to do, because a picture always expresses more than a word. The same applies to symbols. In this respect, the myth is very much in need of interpretation and interpretation.

The myth, as a condensing work, can therefore be applied to many different areas and experiences of life. It is about the life, love and death of people and gods.

  • In contrast to myth, scientific explanations want that Why explain an event.
  • In contrast to myth, religious or moral works want to show what man should do and what to refrain from.
  • The myth asks the question of that What for, according to the meaning of life and the world. The myth is thus an aesthetic work, similar to a work of art, a poem or a piece of music.

The myth wants people to reflect on their existence and to conscious interpretation stimulate. In myth, man wants to open up the meaning of his life.

The myth describes a very own pictorial and symbolic world. It helps people to orientate themselves in their reality. Consequently, the myth itself is a way of interpreting one's own reality life-oriented force.

The myth has two functions:

  1. Dealing with the extraordinary
  2. Dealing with existential (difficult) situations

Dealing with the extraordinary

The myth does not provide a distorted reflection of the world, but rather aesthetic, subjective images of poets trying to express certain experiences that go beyond everyday experiences.

This unusual experience is often interpreted as an encounter with the extraordinary. The encounter with the extraordinary is interpreted as something divine, or as an encounter with the gods.

There are four characteristics to an extraordinary experience:

  • The meaning of the world, the meaning of one's own life is experienced "as a whole".
  • The aesthetic experience interrupts everyday life.
  • The experience cannot be created at will. It happens by itself.
  • It points beyond itself to a deep-seated dimension that cannot be represented in normal language.

Depending on how intensely this experience is experienced, it has led some people to to change their lives from the ground up. They suddenly realized their own why.

Dealing with existential situations

This function of the myth can definitely be related to the previous function, dealing with the extraordinary. The myth is supposed to help translate the accidental, strange, unfamiliar and frightening of reality into a familiar, meaningful and calming order.

These can also be existentially difficult situations, e.g. coping with the death of a loved one. All situations where people suffer and successfully free themselves from suffering can be the subject of a myth.