Myths and history

From: Simon Hibbs (simonh@msi-uk.com)
Date: Tue 26 May 1998 - 14:06:21 EEST


 Richard Develyn says :

>Myths are all, ultimately, just a bunch of stories. Waha kills Basmol,
>Tada kills Basmol, Orlanth kills Basmol, Bemurok kills Basmol, Mickey
>The Jackrabbit kills Basmol. Who did it? Is he dead? Did he exist? Does

>he exist (in the underworld)? Does it matter? Different cultures make
>these things up, using _some_ sort of inspiration, and then act them
>out. Their version matters to them, but not necessarily to anyone else.

Hunters kill Lions. Each culture for which this is true must at some
point have had a culture-hero who was the first hunter to kill a lion,
or who was at least the most famous lion hunter. The techniques he used
and the experiences he had become the archetype for the lion hunting
experience of his people.

Deatils such as who was the first hunter to kill a lion are not relevent
here. Whenever a hunter recreates the lion hunting quest he, in some
mystical sense, _becomes_ the culture hero and so gains the hero's
powers. Whether it was Waha or Tada who did it before, now it's _you_
who killed the king of the Lions. The Lion Killer has become a part of
you.

>And quite frankly that's all it ever needs to be. Why should _we_ care
>what really happened in the God Time, or even if there was a God Time
>at all.

The Godtime is not part of the past, any more than it's a part of the
future. The otherworld is outside of Time and mundane causality, though
it certainly has it's own laws of action and reaction, cause and
consequence. In a sense, the Godtime is a manifestation of the effects
of the past on the present. It is the immanence of history and myth in
the world.

The Subtle Planes of Nephilim were a good analog of this.

>What's important is the stories that Gloranthans believe about it.

Precisely. Although I would have said that it is "...the experience that
Gloranthans have of it, preserved in their culture."

Simon Hibbs

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