Myth Quotes


Don't touch any of my weapons without my permission."
"Well, there goes my plan for selling them all on eBay," Clary muttered.
"Selling them on what?"
Clary smiled blandly at him. "A mythical place of great magical power.

City of Bones

Cassandra Clare

City of Bones

Can you surf really well, then?"
I looked at Grover, who was trying hard not to laugh.
"Jeez, Nico," I said. "I've never really tried."
He went on asking questions. Did I fight a lot with Thalia, since she was a daughter of Zeus? (I didn't answer that one.) If Annabeth's mother was Athena, the goddess of wisdom, then why didn't Annabeth know better than to fall off a cliff? (I tried not to strangle Nico for asking that one.) Was Annabeth my girlfriend? (At this point, I was ready to stick the kid in a meat-flavored sack and throw him to the wolves.)

Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.

A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.

The Beauty Myth

Naomi Wolf

The Beauty Myth
Beauty    Control    Diet    Fad    Feminism    Feminist    Food    Myth    Obedience

The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
[Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11 1962]

Ideas    Lies    Myth    Opinion    Thought    Truth

Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.

Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this artificial scaffolding...
{
Letter to
John Adams
, April 11, 1823
}

Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never consistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.

Dune

Frank Herbert

Dune

Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith! Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge!

First bubble baths. Now Disney parks. You're shattering every creep vampire myth I've ever heard.

Humor    Kira    Mencheres    Myth    Vampires

If you take myth and folklore, and these things that speak in symbols, they can be interpreted in so many ways that although the actual image is clear enough, the interpretation is infinitely blurred, a sort of enormous rainbow of every possible colour you could imagine.

It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night.

Great Expectations

Jack Kerouac

Great Expectations

When he, whoever of the gods it was, had thus arranged in order and resolved that chaotic mass, and reduced it, thus resolved, to cosmic parts, he first moulded the Earth into the form of a mighty ball so that it might be of like form on every side … And, that no region might be without its own forms of animate life, the stars and divine forms occupied the floor of heaven, the sea fell to the shining fishes for their home, Earth received the beasts, and the mobile air the birds … Then Man was born:… though all other animals are prone, and fix their gaze upon the earth, he gave to Man an uplifted face and bade him stand erect and turn his eyes to heaven.

Myth is what we call other people's religion.

Religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn't there, and finding it.

Deceit    Funny    Humor    Lies    Myth    Skeptic    Skepticism    Wishful thinking

The
place
where the story happened was a world on the back of four elephants perched on the shell of a giant turtle. That's the advantage of space. It's big enough to hold practically
anything
, and so, eventually, it does.
People think that it is strange to have a turtle ten thousand miles long and an elephant more than two thousand miles tall, which just shows that the human brain is ill-adapted for thinking and was probably originally designed for cooling the blood. It believes mere size is
amazing
.
There's nothing amazing about size. Turtles are amazing, and elephants are quite astonishing. But the fact that there's a big turtle is far less amazing than the fact that there is a turtle
anywhere
.

Oh, he did look like a deity – the perfect balance of danger and charm, he was at the same time fascinating and inaccessible, distant because of his demonstrated flawlessness, and possessing such strength of character that he was dismaying and at the same time utterly attractive in an enticing and forbidden way.

Attract    Attraction    Attractive    Balance    Beautiful    Beauty    Bewitch    Bewitched    Bewitching    Boy    Character    Character description    Charm    Charming    Crush    Danger    Dangerous    Deity    Demonstrate    Demonstrative    Description    Dismay    Dismaying    Distant    Entice    Enticed    Enticing    Fascinating    Female    Flawless    Flawlessness    Forbid    Forbidden    Girl    God    Goddess    Goth    Gothic    Gothic romance    Handsome    He    Hero    Heroic    In love    Inaccessible    Legend    Look    Looks    Love    Male    Man    Myth    Mythology    Nightmare    Perfect    Perfection    Personality    Possess    Possession    Possessive    Pretty    Relationship    Relationships    Romance    Romantic    She    Suspense    Tempt    Temptation    Tempted    Tempting    Woman    Young adult    Young adult gothic romance

Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years.
Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person.
Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either.
It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy.
And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.

The gods have become our diseases.

Disease    God    Myth

Fiction is written with reality and reality is written with fiction. We can write fiction because there is reality and we can write reality because there is fiction; everything we consider today to be myth and legend, our ancestors believed to be history and everything in our history includes myths and legends. Before the splendid modern-day mind was formed our cultures and civilizations were conceived in the wombs of, and born of, what we identify today as "fiction, unreality, myth, legend, fantasy, folklore, imaginations, fabrications and tall tales." And in our suddenly realized glory of all our modern-day "advancements" we somehow fail to ask ourselves the question "Who designated myths and legends as unreality? " But I ask myself this question because who decided that he was spectacular enough to stand up and say to our ancestors "You were all stupid and disillusioned and imagining things" and then why did we all decide to believe this person? There are many realities not just one. There is a truth that goes far beyond what we are told today to believe in. And we find that truth when we are brave enough to break away from what keeps everybody else feeling comfortable. Your reality is what you believe in. And nobody should be able to tell you to believe otherwise.

Belief    Beliefs    Believing    Bravery    Courage    Fiction    Folklore    History    Inspirational    Inspirational quotes    Inspiring    Legend    Legends    Myth    Myths    On fiction    Real    Reality    Unreal    Unreality    Wisdom    Wisdom quotes

Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better

Coming out    Innuendo    Lie    Myth

We were talking of DRAGONS, Tolkien and I
In a Berkshire bar. The big workman
Who had sat silent and sucked his pipe
All the evening, from his empty mug
With gleaming eye glanced towards us:
"I seen 'em myself!" he said fiercely.

This century will be called
Darwin
's century. He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers.
Write the name of
Charles Darwin
on the one hand and the name of every theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature; that the Bible is a book written by ignorance--at the instigation of fear
. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there was no person too ignorant to successfully answer
Charles Darwin
, and the more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world, and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her noblest and her grandest.
Charles Darwin
conquered the intellectual world, and his doctrines are now accepted facts. His light has broken in on some of the clergy, and the greatest man who to-day occupies the pulpit of one of the orthodox churches, Henry Ward Beecher, is a believer in the theories of
Charles Darwin
--a man of more genius than all the clergy of that entire church put together.
...The church teaches that man was created perfect, and that for six thousand years he has degenerated.
Darwin
demonstrated the falsity of this dogma. He shows that man has for thousands of ages steadily advanced;
that the Garden of Eden is an ignorant myth; that the doctrine of original sin has no foundation in fact; that the atonement is an absurdity; that the serpent did not tempt, and that man did not 'fall.'
Charles Darwin
destroyed the foundation of orthodox Christianity. There is nothing left but faith in what we know could not and did not happen
. Religion and science are enemies. One is a superstition; the other is a fact. One rests upon the false, the other upon the true. One is the result of fear and faith, the other of investigation and reason.

Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamic of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions sown are directly valid for all mankind

Dream    Myth

I think I have a very good idea why it is that anti-Semitism is so tenacious and so protean and so enduring. Christianity and Islam, theistic though they may claim to be, are both based on the fetishizing of human primates: Jesus in one case and Mohammed in the other. Neither of these figures can be called exactly historical but both have one thing in common even in their quasi-mythical dimension. Both of them were first encountered by the Jews. And the Jews, ravenous as they were for any sign of the long-sought Messiah, were not taken in by either of these two pretenders, or not in large numbers or not for long.
If you meet a devout Christian or a believing Muslim, you are meeting someone who would give everything he owned for a personal, face-to-face meeting with the blessed founder or prophet. But in the visage of the Jew, such ardent believers encounter the very figure who
did
have such a precious moment, and who spurned the opportunity and turned shrugging aside. Do you imagine for a microsecond that such a vile, churlish transgression will ever be
forgiven
? I myself certainly hope that it will not. The Jews have seen through Jesus and Mohammed. In retrospect, many of them have also seen through the mythical, primitive, and cruel figures of Abraham and Moses. Nearer to our own time, in the bitter combats over the work of Marx and Freud and Einstein, Jewish participants and protagonists have not been the least noticeable. May this always be the case, whenever any human primate sets up, or is set up by others, as a Messiah.

Abraham    Antisemitism    Atheism    Christianity    Christians    Einstein    Freud    Humans    Islam    Jesus    Jews    Marx    Messiah    Moses    Muhammad    Muslims    Myth    Prophets    Religion    Theism

But the queen--too long she has suffered the pain of love,
hour by hour nursing the wound with her lifeblood,
consumed by the fire buried in her heart. [...]
His looks, his words, they pierce her heart and cling--
no peace, no rest for her body, love will give her none.

Aeneas    Greek    Myth    Mythology    The aeneid    Trojan    Troy    Virgil

It is interesting to note how many of the great scientific discoveries begin as myths.

A Tinker's Debt is Always Paid:
Once for a simple trade.
Twice for freely given aid.
Thrice for any insult made.

The Name of the Wind

Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind

Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny. As the force of fate, this image acts as a personal daimon, an accompanying guide who remembers your calling.
The daimon motivates. It protects. It invents and persists with stubborn fidelity. It resists compromising reasonableness and often forces deviance and oddity upon its keeper, especially when neglected or opposed. It offers comfort and can pull you into its shell, but it cannot abide innocence. It can make the body ill. It is out of step with time, finding all sorts of faults, gaps, and knots in the flow of life - and it prefers them. It has affinities with myth, since it is itself a mythical being and thinks in mythical patterns.
It has much to do with feelings of uniqueness, of grandeur and with the restlessness of the heart, its impatience, its dissatisfaction, its yearning. It needs its share of beauty. It wants to be seen, witnessed, accorded recognition, particularly by the person who is its caretaker. Metaphoric images are its first unlearned language, which provides the poetic basis of mind, making possible communication between all people and all things by means of metaphors

Jung    Metaphor    Myth

I won't do this movie because I don't believe the love story," she told Selznick. "The heroine is an intellectual woman, and an intellectual woman simply can't fall in love so deeply.

And in the absence of facts, myth rushes in, the kudzu of history.

With the moon walk, the religious myth that sustained these notions could no longer be held. With our view of earthrise, we could see that the earth and the heavens were no longer divided but that the earth is in the heavens. (105)

Earth    Heaven    Moon    Myth    Perspective    Religion

The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.

Only to a magician is the world forever fluid, infinitely mutable and eternally new. Only he knows the secret of change, only he knows truly that all things are crouched in eagerness to become something else, and it is from this universal tension that he draws his power.

The Last Unicorn

Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn

Artistic symbols and myths speak out of the primordial, preconscious realm of the mind which is powerful and chaotic. Both symbol and myth are ways of bringing order and form into this chaos.

Art    Existentialism    Myth    Symbol

The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by ‘the veil of familiarity.’ The child enjoys his cold meat, otherwise dull to him, by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his own bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes back to him more savory for having been dipped in a story…by putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it.

Fantasy    Food    Myth    Value

But, said Lewis, myths are lies, even though lies breathed through silver.
No, said Tolkien, they are not.
...just as speech is invention about objects and ideas, so myth is invention about truth.
We have come from God (continued Tolkien), and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming a 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
You mean, asked Lewis, that the story of Christ is simply a true myth, a myth that works on us in the same way as the others, but a myth that really happened? In that case, he said, I begin to understand.

The ego is as you think of yourself. You in relation to all the commitments of your life, as you understand them. The self is the whole range of possibilities that you've never even thought of. And you're stuck with you're past when you're stuck with the ego. Because if all you know about yourself is what you found out about yourself, well, that already happened. The self is a whole field of potentialities to come through.

Ego    Myth    Self

There is a very popular opinion that choosing life is inherently superior to choosing death. This belief that life is
inherently preferable to death is one of the most widespread superstitions. This bias constitutes one of the most obstinate mythologies of the human species.

Death    Life    Myth    Suicide

The multitude of men and women choose the less adventurous way of the comparatively unconscious civic and tribal routines. But these seekers, too, are saved—by virtue of the inherited symbolic aids of society, the rites of passage, the grace-yielding sacraments, given to mankind of old by the redeemers and handed down through millenniums. It is only those who know neither an inner call nor an outer doctrine whose plight truly is desperate; that is to say, most of us today, in this labyrinth without and within the heart. Alas, where is the guide, that fond virgin, Ariadne, to supply the simple clue that will give us courage to face the Minotaur, and the means then to find our way to freedom when the monster has been met and slain?

By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.

Cybernetics    Identity    Life    Myth    Nature    Politics

Perfect sanity is a myth propagated by straitjacket salesmen.

Culture    Humor    Insanity    Myth    Sanity

He said that people who loved [animals] to excess were capable of the worst cruelties toward human beings. He said that dogs were not loyal but servile, that cats were opportunists and traitors, that peacocks were heralds of death, that macaws were simply decorative annoyances, that rabbits fomented greed, that monkeys carried the fever of lust, and that roosters were damned because they had been complicit in the three denials of Christ.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Gabriel García Márquez

Love in the Time of Cholera
Animals    Myth    Omens    Symbols

The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity. The child enjoys his cold meat, otherwise dull to him, by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his own bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes back to him more savory for having been dipped in a storyby putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it.

Fantasy    Food    Myth    Value

We are meaning-seeking creatures. Dogs, as far as we know, do not agonise about the canine condition, worry about the plight of dogs in other parts of the world, or try to see their lives from a different perspective. But human beings fall easily into despair, and from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that, against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value

Small children believe themselves to be gods, or some of them do, and they can only be satisfied when the rest of the world goes along with their way of seeing things.

Fantasy    Memory    Myth    Personal

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
I have bought this wonderful machine — a computer ... it seems to me to be an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy.

Computer    Dream    Myth

How should we be able to forget those myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.

To have dragons one must have change; that is the first principle of dragon lore.

The Night Country

Loren Eiseley

The Night Country

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