THE BIG LIE
"The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought to light the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based." --Niels Bohr
Repeat something often enough, and whether it is true or not it can transcend the gap between idea to fact. The proponents of history have slandered myth so often and so thoroughly that today it has become synonymous with "lie."
Myths are sacred stories, histories are secular stories. Myth is poetry by nature, whereas the nature of history is prose. Poetry implies, prose explains. Poetry points to metaphor. History is rooted in fact.
A metaphor is a difficult concept for a culture nurtured on prose to grasp. Like a soap bubble it must be beheld, it cannot be held. Or, like a door, it opens up to what is beyond. If you look at that metaphor it is only a door--it is symbolic of a metaphor. If you see with the mind's eye the door opens into perception. It is a process not of sight, but insight.
Jesus spoke in parables (myths and metaphors) to teach others not what to do--the prose of law; but how--the poetry of being. Not "do this" but be like this.
Poetry and prose, myth and history, magic and science, metaphor and fact. If truth is the coin of the realm of understanding, these pairs of opposites are stamped on either side.
Scientific models are metaphors for the physical universe. Myths are metaphors for the metaphysical universe. Modern physicists and ancient mystics are kindred spirits. They simply are offering descriptions of one thing from different points of view.
Can a slice of a tomato be so thin it has only one side? No. And we pare existence so thin we assume there is only this or that. Try as we might, every time we slice away we are uniting opposite sides.
Magic, myth and metaphor. Science, history and fact. For the first time in human existence both are accessible. In a very real sense these differing wold views are like the two hemispheres of the brain: the intuitive right and the reasoning left. The synergistic potential of incorporating native and Western thought is an exciting and difficult prospect. But in a world that is long on problems and short on alternatives, this notion should be considered.