It’s a Merry Myth-Making Time of Year

It’s a Merry Myth-Making Time of Year December 27, 2015

The Myth Corner is back and has grown from last year when it took up just one shelf.  Only one item is actually new. It’s an obelisk that my niece and nephew brought back from a trip to Egypt, specifically for the Myth Corner.

I know – it looks like the Washington Monument. Apparently in Cairo, there are obelisks everywhere.

Myth Corner 2015

I already had everything else, as you can see from the 2014 display.  The colorful fish is a handmade tree ornament that I originally got from Capitol Christmas tree in the 70’s.   I found two more Buddhas to add — a little paperweight from my office and a Buddha originally from Korea that has been watching over the kitchen for years. The painted altar scene is from a 2014 Christmas card that I kept out all year because it was so beautiful.  The votive candle had been languishing on a bookshelf.

I got the “toritos” (little bulls) many years ago while touring in Peru. People put them on their roofs for good luck.  The paperweight between the toritos is a souvenir from a 90’s trip to Alaska.  That’s real gold dust inside!

I can hardly wait until next Christmas, to see what other treasures pop up to be added to the Myth Corner.

 

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  • The Eh’theist

    How interesting. I didn’t see the original post, and thought I was an odd atheist for doing something similar. I’ve got statues of Vishnu, Ganesha, Buddha, Confucius, Apollo, Socrates (had to have a human thinker in the mix as well), a Rublev icon of the Trinity, St Expeditus (love the origin story) and a genuine Plastic Jesus.

    Why the odd collection? When I was realizing I no longer believed, and fretting about this or that discovery of what wasn’t true, I began collecting the statues for (3) reasons: (1) to show I no longer believed the Pentecostal stories that such things were demon carriers, and to affirm that people of other beliefs deserved as much respect as Christians; (2) to remind me that however important I considered some particular news about Christianity, that there were billions of people who had no interest whatsoever in it; and (3) the various Christian statues were to remind me that there was no unified Christian tradition, that a lot of it was made up or mistaken and that much of it was simply to profit off people’s faith.

    They’ve served me well, but this year I was beginning to wonder if I had learned the lessons and it was time to let them go. Still pondering that, sometimes you just get used to having things around.

  • Linda_LaScola

    Wonderful — Great minds think alike! Maybe we’ll start a trend.

    I didn’t know about the Pentacostal beliefs that such figures were “demon carriers” but I do recall Protestants thinking that the statues in Catholic churches were “graven images.”

  • The Eh’theist

    Yes, many of the Pentecostals and Independent Baptists I know think that about Catholic statues. As for the other statues there were always lots of stories that were passed around about a missionary family who had horrible things happening in a house they were living in (where people had hidden a statue in the wall), or some Christians who received a Buddha as a gift from someone who had travelled to Japan, and the stories always ended with them destroying the statues, binding demons ‘in the name of Jesus’ and everyone living happily ever after.

    Like most of these stories, no one could ever tie them to specific people (I remember it got started about one missionary family, who when asked about it said, “It wasn’t us”) or places, and like stories about ouija boards and magic, were there to remind people of what could happen if they strayed out of God’s protection. It often coincided with teaching about I Corinthians 10:19-21.

  • CMH

    I have a multi-god nativity scene. We have Shiva, Buddha, Nanook (polar bear), Neptune, Longhorn kachina, Cthulu, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Santa Muerte (Holy Death), a Pacific NW totem pole, Ku, Venus of Willendorf, Set, and all are gathered around little baby Satan.

  • Linda_LaScola

    How darling! If you send a photo to doubtisrational [at] gmail [dot] com, we’ll post it in next year’s 12 days of Christmas.

  • Linda_LaScola

    Eh’theist — if you’d like to have your collection featured next year, please send a photo to doubtisrational [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Elizabeth.

    Love your collection! Reading Jung, I’m thinking these days of these various ideas as the “archetypes” he finds throughout every culture — sort of like human instinct that develops stories and even comic book themes of “the hero,” “the earth mother,” “the trickster,” “the divine child,” etc., which can be helpful to conscious life. I’m amazed at the breadth of his study of cultures world wide as he tried to systematize human symbols and the values they serve for human wellbeing. So I’d guess he would find the similarity between obelisks of Egypt and D.C. no surprise (if D.C. wasn’t just a conscious copy).

    I’ve been thinking this Christmas season that I may turn out to like “archetype” better than “myth” to describe Christmas stories, because that goes back even more fundamentally to where these symbols come from.

    My “collection” is more written symbols — the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Qur’an, Rumi (for the Sufi), the Tao Te Ching, Jung 0n the I Ching, Chris’ “Life After Faith” : ) etc.

    Thank you for the photo! It’s reminding me too of the Muslim – Jewish – Christian “House of One” being designed in Berlin http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27872551 and the “double-belonging” that Christian/Buddhist Paul Knitter describes…. http://ncronline.org/news/double-belonging-buddhism-and-christian-faith

    Peace,shalom,salaam,namaste in the coming year !!

  • carolyntclark

    what a great idea,,Linda. I’ve never considered such a collection…hmmm, maybe.

  • Linda_LaScola

    Start looking around the house. I bet by next year you’ll have a shelf of your own.