[Paleopsych] mythology and the mind

G. Reinhart-Waller waluk at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 3 00:51:18 UTC 2005

Gerry says:

Most literature students are aware that there is one basic concept 
called "conflict" and this results in 7 plots found in all literature.  
These are:

   1. *Man vs. Nature* as in  /Tarzan </index.pl?node=Tarzan>/,
      /Robinson Crusoe </index.pl?node=Robinson%20Crusoe>/, /The Call Of
      The Wild </index.pl?node=The%20Call%20Of%20The%20Wild>/ and /Moby
      Dick </index.pl?node=Moby%20Dick>/.
   2. *Man vs. Man *exemplified by  /Shane </index.pl?node=Shane>/,
      /Othello </index.pl?node=Othello>/, and /Les Miserables
   3. *Man vs. Environment *found in Dickens </index.pl?node=Dickens> -
      /Oliver Twist </index.pl?node=Oliver%20Twist>/ or /David
      Copperfield </index.pl?node=David%20Copperfield>/, for example.  
   4. *Man vs. God *such as Hermann Hesse
      </index.pl?node=Hermann%20Hesse>'s /Siddhartha
      </index.pl?node=Siddhartha>/ and the classic /Zen And The Art Of
      Motorcycle Maintenance
      For more overt battles with the heavens, see Homer
      </index.pl?node=Homer>'s /The Odyssey
      </index.pl?node=The%20Odyssey>/ or the Book of Job
      </index.pl?node=Job> in The Bible </index.pl?node=The%20Bible>.
   5. *Man vs. Supernatural *as in H.G. Wells
      </index.pl?node=H.G.%20Wells>' /War Of The Worlds
      </index.pl?node=War%20Of%20The%20Worlds>/ and Washington Irving
      </index.pl?node=Washington%20Irving>'s /The Legend Of Sleepy
      Hollow </index.pl?node=The%20Legend%20Of%20Sleepy%20Hollow>/.
      Often instead the supernatural in turn act as a catalyst
      </index.pl?node=catalyst> for other conflict - William Peter
      Blatty </index.pl?node=William%20Peter%20Blatty>'s /The Exorcist
      </index.pl?node=The%20Exorcist>/ causes Father Mike to question
      himself, and Edgar Allan Poe
      </index.pl?node=Edgar%20Allan%20Poe>'s /The Tell-Tale Heart
      </index.pl?node=The%20Tell-Tale%20Heart>/ uses the spectral
      </index.pl?node=spectral> beating of a dead man's heart to
      illustrate a murderer's descent into madness
   6. *Man vs. Self.  *Having now conquered all things that man cannot
      directly control - nature, God, other men, his environment, and
      the supernatural - he now finds that he must not be in conflict
      with himself in order to attain happiness
      </index.pl?node=happiness>. Sometimes these conflicts can be
      desperately dark and painful - /Requiem For A Dream
      </index.pl?node=Requiem%20For%20A%20Dream>/'s sordid display of
      addiction </index.pl?node=addiction> and Hamlet
      </index.pl?node=Hamlet>'s suicidal thoughts over the anguish
      </index.pl?node=anguish> of his mother's betrayal and father's
      death are eerie in that they touch close to home about the
      suffering of life. Other books which center on this conflict
      include Salinger </index.pl?node=J.D.%20Salinger>'s /The Catcher
      In The Rye </index.pl?node=The%20Catcher%20In%20The%20Rye>/,
      Christopher Marlowe </index.pl?node=Christopher%20Marlowe>'s
      /Faust </index.pl?node=Faust>/, Virginia Woolf
      </index.pl?node=Virginia%20Woolf>'s /The Voyage Out
      </index.pl?node=The%20Voyage%20Out>/, Wharton
      </index.pl?node=Edith%20Wharton>'s /Ethan Frome
      </index.pl?node=Ethan%20Frome>/ and John Updike
      </index.pl?node=John%20Updike>'s /Rabbit, Run
   7. *Man vs. Machine.  *For some unseemly reason, once man has
      conquered the things he cannot control, and has mastered his own
      self, he is still unsatisfied. His stasis </index.pl?node=stasis>
      is immediately dropped so that he may invent new things with which
      he can conflict. One can only wonder if man is doomed to conflict
      by its very recidivism </index.pl?node=recidivism>, or if in some
      sad masochistic </index.pl?node=masochistic> existentialism
      </index.pl?node=existentialism>, the reason we spend so much time
      analyzing and writing about (and, in this case, creating) our
      conflicts is that to be is to suffer. As the wise Buddha
      </index.pl?node=Buddha> said, "All is suffering." Still, it seems
      almost maddening to think that we were not content with the
      struggles listed before, but have since added machines to our
      list. The battle with the machines usually arises out of a
      dystopia </index.pl?node=dystopia> that occurs as appearance and
      reality are blurred. Of course, the first real exploration of this
      conflict lay in a novel based on the first invention of ourselves
      - Mary Shelley </index.pl?node=Mary%20Shelley>'s /Frankenstein
      </index.pl?node=Frankenstein>/. Some other excellent pieces on
      this include Arthur C. Clarke
      </index.pl?node=Arthur%20C.%20Clarke>'s /2001: A Space Odyssey
      </index.pl?node=2001%3A%20A%20Space%20Odyssey>/, Philip K. Dick
      </index.pl?node=Philip%20K.%20Dick>'s /Man, Android, and Machine
      </index.pl?node=Man%2C%20Android%2C%20and%20Machine>/, and Kokaku
      Kidoutai </index.pl?node=Kokaku%20Kidoutai>'s 1995 film /Ghost In
      The Shell </index.pl?node=Ghost%20In%20The%20Shell>/.

>>>>>Why is there an eternal return of certain mythic themes in religion, such as messiah myths, flood
>>>myths, creation myths, destruction myths, redemption
>>>myths, and end of the world myths? What do these
>>>recurring themes tell us about the workings of the
>>>human mind and culture?<<

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