That of the myth is the most spoken language in the history of humanity. It starts with the Assyrian-Babylonian poems and reaches today, the superheroes and even common children’s stories such as Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and his treasured coins (Scrooge took the Dickensian name of the protagonist of a Christmas song, which was already inserted in a previous narrative line many decades before and then transformed into this new Disney story).
When we speak of the Mesopotamian origins we refer to the origins documented by writing, knowing that for the epic story of Gilgamesh, in the same way as it was for the Homeric poems and for many other classical works, their writing fixed on paper, or rather, papyrus, tablet or parchment, what has long been handed down by the wisdom of the peoples.

Anthropology teaches us what common sense makes us understand on our own: the stories of heroes, gods, enchanted worlds and magical instruments were born from the simple observation of nature, as a deduction that, based on the analysis tools that the first human groups possessed, it was most logical to try to understand the environment and get in touch with it. Then, little by little, heroes and divinities entered the popular tradition to become the heart of classical cultures and the basis of their religions.

Values were already inside

It is interesting to note that the creation of the myths was the natural reaction of men to the challenges of life, as if the figures that inhabit the various sagas were already inside of them and were pushing to come out. Or rather, within them there were already values – linked to the vision, to the force, to the divine nature, to the interdependence between reality and the world of the Beyond – of which mythologies speak.
Throughout centuries, millennia, if these values are still within us, we wonder how our ability to tell them changes today. In other words, what are the myths of today, if they still exist. Has the world of today changed their function? Do current myths actually exist?

The myth and Damanhur

These are important questions!
Perhaps Damanhur would not have been born, if Falco Tarassaco and his friends had not been thinking about these issues, and it would not have developed if the Damanhurians in the world had not carried out the same reflection. In your opinion, what is the answer?
The function of the myths today seems to be transformed. They were born to be able to give the first explanations about natural phenomena, from thunder to death but today they refer above all to the exploration of ourselves. Exploring the world of myth, with the figures that populate it and the relationships that unites them, leads to reflection on oneself: our behaviour, our ideals, talents, limits and dreams. Reflecting on the divinities of the pantheon created by the peoples, on their heroes, on the missions carried out by demons and angels, means being able to feel “inside” the voices of these creatures. Little by little, we discover new parts of oneself, correct them if necessary, and learn how to use them fully.
The function of the myth today, in short, is a function of discovery and empowerment of oneself: the myth was born to measure itself with the world and today it develops toward an intimate discovery.

The voices speak

And the contemporary myths? Media news do not offer many, but in the end this can be a natural consequence of the fact that in a world dominated by communication, in which everything is the subject of news, images and comments, it seems that the important element of enchantment is missing, the one that gets us closer to the concept of myth. Unless we consider the fake news as myth, but that to us does not seem to be the right direction.
Do we even have a need for modern myths? The characters that speak to us from classical mythologies, of all latitudes, already include all the elements that make teaching of myths so precious to us. The fact that myth’s function changes, confirms how vital this world is to us.

The task of each of us is to maintain this vitality. Especially in this particular period of the year listen carefully to the voices that speak within you.

What are the myths that speak to you?
What do they tell you?
What do you tell them about you?