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The Mythic Journey: Use Myths, Fairy Tales, and Folklore to Explain Life's Mysteries

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Greek gods, Norse heroes, Polynesian tricksters, and Native American warriors--they all have lessons to teach us. Since the beginning of time, human beings have relied on myths, fairy tales, and fables to explain life's mysteries. Bringing a fresh perspective to these age-old tales, Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke reveal how seekers today can find comfort and support in Greek gods, Norse heroes, Polynesian tricksters, and Native American warriors--they all have lessons to teach us. Since the beginning of time, human beings have relied on myths, fairy tales, and fables to explain life's mysteries. Bringing a fresh perspective to these age-old tales, Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke reveal how seekers today can find comfort and support in the legends and lore of the past. The Mythic Journey explores the psychological themes of many mythical traditions, recounting stories from Greco-Roman, Hebraic, Egyptian, Celtic, Norse, and various Eastern civilizations. More than 50 myths are beautifully retold, and each is followed by a psychological overview explaining how we can apply the story to our own lives. The Mythic Journey is a handbook for human life, guiding readers from the conflicts of family and childhood, through problems of love, intimacy, and ambition, and ultimately to the point when we must face our own mortality. We discover that true self knowledge comes through facing life's challenges with courage and strength; that beauty, talent, power, and wealth bring their own forms of suffering; and that in the darkness of loneliness, failure, and loss, we have always discovered new light and new hope.


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Greek gods, Norse heroes, Polynesian tricksters, and Native American warriors--they all have lessons to teach us. Since the beginning of time, human beings have relied on myths, fairy tales, and fables to explain life's mysteries. Bringing a fresh perspective to these age-old tales, Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke reveal how seekers today can find comfort and support in Greek gods, Norse heroes, Polynesian tricksters, and Native American warriors--they all have lessons to teach us. Since the beginning of time, human beings have relied on myths, fairy tales, and fables to explain life's mysteries. Bringing a fresh perspective to these age-old tales, Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke reveal how seekers today can find comfort and support in the legends and lore of the past. The Mythic Journey explores the psychological themes of many mythical traditions, recounting stories from Greco-Roman, Hebraic, Egyptian, Celtic, Norse, and various Eastern civilizations. More than 50 myths are beautifully retold, and each is followed by a psychological overview explaining how we can apply the story to our own lives. The Mythic Journey is a handbook for human life, guiding readers from the conflicts of family and childhood, through problems of love, intimacy, and ambition, and ultimately to the point when we must face our own mortality. We discover that true self knowledge comes through facing life's challenges with courage and strength; that beauty, talent, power, and wealth bring their own forms of suffering; and that in the darkness of loneliness, failure, and loss, we have always discovered new light and new hope.

30 review for The Mythic Journey: Use Myths, Fairy Tales, and Folklore to Explain Life's Mysteries

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robert Browning

    If a collection of mythological tales and a self-help book mated and let Joseph Campbell raise the resulting offspring I get the feeling that you'd wind up with a book just like this one. And actually, I have to admit, it's pretty cool! I was hesitant at first, thinking this might be a bit more New Age then what I usually get into but I was pleased to find that that was not the case at all. First off, in presentation alone, this book scores high. Nearly every myth in this book is accompanied by a If a collection of mythological tales and a self-help book mated and let Joseph Campbell raise the resulting offspring I get the feeling that you'd wind up with a book just like this one. And actually, I have to admit, it's pretty cool! I was hesitant at first, thinking this might be a bit more New Age then what I usually get into but I was pleased to find that that was not the case at all. First off, in presentation alone, this book scores high. Nearly every myth in this book is accompanied by amazing classical art that derived from it and the high gloss pages only heighten the effect. After reading one of the myths I often at times just stopped reading to stare at the rendered paintings. The way the myths are laid out also makes it an easy read. Each myth is presented as it was told and then immediately after, there is italicized text that focuses on the interpretation of the myth and how the meaning behind it can be applied in each of our lives. It's sort of an explanation on how you can use these traditional stories and beliefs to better yourself. A very good undertaking! The chapters group the myths together in such a way that it follows the life of a universal human being and all of the challenges someone might face from birth to death. There are stories about sibling rivalry, unrequited love, how to cope with suffering and death, etc...The stories come from nearly all classical sources...Greek, Biblical, Norse, Arthurian Legend, Indian, you name it. Anything that can take a passionate interest of mine (mythology) and use it in a modern way to help others or make them reflect upon their lives is a phenomenal achievement. I hope to run across another book like this some time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    what makes this book a bit different than other mythology books is that it is organized based on life's path. myths from various cultures are explained and interpreted psycologically for incorporation into everyday life. the book is beautifully illustrated. this is an excellent reference book for anyone interested in mythology. what makes this book a bit different than other mythology books is that it is organized based on life's path. myths from various cultures are explained and interpreted psycologically for incorporation into everyday life. the book is beautifully illustrated. this is an excellent reference book for anyone interested in mythology.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Monika Barger

    I absolutely loved it. Rich with stories from many different religious traditions and mythological systems, it forced me to suck the very marrow of life. The interpretations of each story were so layered, and brought the truth sleeping underneath each story, to the conscious surface. I disagreed with a few interpretations or aspects of them (which still made it interesting), but overall, I felt like I fully realized things I had half-sensed in a story before, or was left pondering new thoughts I I absolutely loved it. Rich with stories from many different religious traditions and mythological systems, it forced me to suck the very marrow of life. The interpretations of each story were so layered, and brought the truth sleeping underneath each story, to the conscious surface. I disagreed with a few interpretations or aspects of them (which still made it interesting), but overall, I felt like I fully realized things I had half-sensed in a story before, or was left pondering new thoughts I still do not know where to take. Such an experience was like hours of the very best therapy. In fact, I would say this book IS pure therapy, of the truest kind. It was grounding, disturbing, and soothing as I was urged to own my place in the universe.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Beautiful color plates. Some interesting myths, but nothing particularly insightful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Easy read, very accessible. A bit more shallow than I thought it would be, both in describing the myths and in discussing them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    Green and Burke did a fantastic job in helping paint their commentary of legends from many countries and religions. I highly enjoyed this book and recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emme, o Fernando

    O livro faz uma viagem pela experiência de diversos mitos do mundo (embora a maioria seja da mitologia grega). Após uma explicação breve sobre cada mito, é tecido um comentário com ênfase psicanalítica. A ordem em que os mitos são apresentados segue o ciclo da vida: nascimento, individuação, amor e relacionamentos, poder e ritos de passagem. Isso torna essa obra muitas vezes mais interessante do que um mero manual sobre os mitos gregos. A análise psicanalítica abre espaço para que a experiência O livro faz uma viagem pela experiência de diversos mitos do mundo (embora a maioria seja da mitologia grega). Após uma explicação breve sobre cada mito, é tecido um comentário com ênfase psicanalítica. A ordem em que os mitos são apresentados segue o ciclo da vida: nascimento, individuação, amor e relacionamentos, poder e ritos de passagem. Isso torna essa obra muitas vezes mais interessante do que um mero manual sobre os mitos gregos. A análise psicanalítica abre espaço para que a experiência cale mais fundo em quem lê e permite que o leitor faça a partir disso várias reflexões. Esse não é um livro de ajuda espiritual (auto-ajuda). A ajuda espiritual (auto-ajuda) é uma ideologia conservadora que justifica as práticas do meio social colocando o individuo como móvel das venturas e desventuras que lhe ocorram, escondendo as causas sociais daquilo que esse indivíduo tem de enfrentar em sua vivência. Essa obra, pelo contrário, tenta resgatar a experiência que os antigos tinham com o mito. A função do mito não é explicar as coisas, mas produzir uma experiência que reconforte o indivíduo diante dos desafios que a vida lhe apresenta. Embora o mito por si só seja dogmatizante, principalmente quando não guiado pela razão, a experiência do mito não é moralista: "o mito propõe todos os valores, puros e impuros. Não é sua atribuição autorizar tudo que sugere.... O mito propõe, mas cabe à consciência dispor. E foi talvez porque um racionalismo estreito demais fazia profissão de desprezar os mitos, que estes, deixados sem controle, tornaram-se loucos." (Gusdorf, Mito e Metafísica). Justamente por isso nós não podemos negar o valor da experiência do mito, essa experiência não moralizante que, se bem guiada, amplia nossa consciência. É interessante notar que, enquanto eu lia sobre o mito de Mkunare e seu irmão Kanyanga, um usuário do skoob falava sobre sua leitura de A Revolta de Atlas de Ayn Rand. Se é verdade que para Mkunare o mundo é mesquinho e sem nenhuma compaixão, o que ele não percebe é que isso se dá por sua própria estupidez (talvez o mundo sem compaixão de Ayn Rand seja um bom exemplo da racionalidade cínica). A razão em si justifica qualquer coisa. A razão precisa ser um instrumento da consciência e a experiência do mito pode concorrer para que assim seja. Enquanto um colega de trabalho conservador falava sobre "a estupidez dos casais que dormem em quartos separados e só se encontram para trepar", eu lia sobre Ulisses e Penélope e os versos de Kahil Gibran: "Deixai que haja espaços em vossa união... E permanecei juntos, porém não perto demais. Pois as colunas do templo são separadas, E o carvalho e o cipreste não crescem à sombra um do outro." Mas quando tu achares que sabe o que é o amor, ainda existirá o mito de Frey e Gerda: o amor não se conquista por qualquer qualidade que tu venhas a ter ou qualquer habilidade que tu venhas a desenvolver, mas pelo que tu moves no outro.... E para aquelas que acreditam que através dos preceitos dessa ou daquela religião atingirão a verdadeira espiritualidade ainda há a iluminação de Buda, que abandona o ascetismo e compreende que a sabedoria vem através da relação com o outro.... Parece ser o livro perfeito para um pai ou um avô que se veem diante da necessidade de orientar um filho ou um neto...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    Enjoyable read, takes some of the myths of the world and breaks them down into how each myth covers the meaning of humans and what we need to learn, like life, death, marriage, self-identity, breaking away from our families and becoming individuals.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

    A great read and a great reference for writers. Akin to the work of Joseph Campbell in ways. I really like the interpretations and the inclusion of myths from many cultures. This would be a great textbook in a number of disciplines, too.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Claudio Yáñez

    Un trabajo prometedor, pero que termina resultado sencillo y con conclusiones obvia. Buenas intensiones pero aporta poco.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helen Fitzgerald

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andre

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  14. 4 out of 5

    Angel

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Spielman

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christina

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Allan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Martina Havlenová

  19. 5 out of 5

    William Bunten

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    Although the myths and legends were, okay, mostly well known and 'old', many actually I hadn't read and were quite interesting. It was also interesting reading the 'interpretations' of the 'morals' and 'life meanings' of the stories too, many being linked to modern life as well. Being an English teacher and librarian, the 'disassemble' of the stories was okay for me, but someone might just like to read the stories rather than the explanations. It would be a really good book for someone studying Although the myths and legends were, okay, mostly well known and 'old', many actually I hadn't read and were quite interesting. It was also interesting reading the 'interpretations' of the 'morals' and 'life meanings' of the stories too, many being linked to modern life as well. Being an English teacher and librarian, the 'disassemble' of the stories was okay for me, but someone might just like to read the stories rather than the explanations. It would be a really good book for someone studying or teaching myths as there can be plenty of discussion points about the conclusions and the stories themselves. A longer book than I anticipated, but good. (I read the e-version and always find it hard to tell the real thickness of a book)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Ariela

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Beaumont

  25. 5 out of 5

    Martin Hassman

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marta

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eroc Faka

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bruno

  29. 5 out of 5

    Conny

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dreambirdie Ishere

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