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Re: Man or Myth?
In Response To: Man or Myth? ()

Charles,

I have no objections against your theory as such. I think there´s a lot to it. And ancient royals probably participated fully in the kind of role play that you are suggesting.

And, well, yes, maybe old Djehuty would recognize himself - at least in some regards - in the biblical figure of Abraham. Just like a lot of us probably would. I mean that´s the reason for the great impact these stories have on people. We may all recognize ourselves, more or less of course, in such characters as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, or David, and so forth. We´ve all experienced, to some extent, our own personal Exoduses - our liberations from bondage of various sorts - or our own "wanderings in the wilderness", and so on.

I guess that´s the way the Jews themselves look upon these stories, not primarily as true historical accounts, but rather as metaphors for a greater truth. And that applies just as well to Donald Duck. Who cannot recognize himself in cocky Donald and the miseries he always gets himself into?

My criticism of your theory, which is meant to be constructive, is only in regards to the two spheres of actual reality on the one hand and myth or saga on the other. At times they seem to get mixed up when you talk about all those royal people of antiquity. As soon as a story is told - even a story about an actual living person - the story takes on a life of its own in the mind of the storyteller, as well as in the minds of the listeners or readers. The characters of the story, although once based on real-life people, begins to live fictitious lives of their own. They are now mythical or legendary figures - metaphors of a greater truth - and no longer historically real.

I feel there is a need to always realize this difference between historical/archaeological reality and mythic reality, and to point it out explicitly when discussing these matters. To talk about the "historical Abraham" or the "historical Jesus" simply makes no sense at all. These are self-contradictory expressions. Mythic people are not historical, neither "Abraham", nor "Jesus", nor "Donald Duck"!

Helge

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Man or Myth? should be Man and Myth