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Parents, Our Primal Reference Points


by: Robert J. Escandon MA, C.Ht.


Mythology is the aftermath of thought, comprised of stories that focus on themes and lessons that are meant to establish an understanding of life. Mythology is not written by the divine gods and goddesses that so proudly occupy its pages, it is written by the hand of humans in order to make sense of the world around them. It is an aftermath of thought created to shed understanding on the surrounding world. Myths were around before the written word, before language, before literature, religion, philosophy, art and science. For the most part mythology arose to answer the deep philosophical questions that humans often think about, but rarely ask out loud: why am I here, who am I, where did I come from, what should I do with my life, how did the world begin, what is right, what is wrong and how should one live life?

Mythology is symbolic, metaphorical, and aims to answer the very questions that have no answers. Mythology establishes the notion of a worldview, and through this worldview an individual may be able to find the answers he or she looks for. Granted, somewhat abstract in its delivery, the answers are hard to excavate. Mythology opens a civilization’s awareness towards literature, religion, philosophy, science and language. Mythology provides these foundational aspects so that civilizations can reference them. According to Joseph Campbell, myth serves as a sort of introduction into the world. This introduction harmonizes the body and mind in accordance to the way nature dictates life, thus providing the foundation of literature, religion and the other aspects of life, serving as initial frames of reference.[1]

For example, a boy growing up in the ancient Greek city of Sparta may have questions as to how to live his life. As humans, we look towards the outside world to establish our reference points. We do this in order to better understand the world. This boy will look on to his father and mother, which initially serve as foundational reference points for him. The father’s actions, his way of being, his opinions, what the father believes to be right and wrong will bare great influence upon the boy’s developing worldview, as so will the mothers way of being. The deep philosophical questions that we ask of ourselves are rooted within curiosity, aiming to answer the very essence and purpose of life. Those around us give us an indication as to how we should be in the world. They are our reference points and we use them in order to keep somewhat of organized way of being. Regardless of whether or not the boy follows the footsteps of his father precisely, he will attain a foundational structure that will stay with him for the rest of his life. The boy will assimilate the beliefs of the father and his way of being. Essentially, he will be an evolution of the father’s very own framework. This is not to say that the boy will not be influenced by the mother, because he will. In fact, the boy will reference both parents in terms of who they are in their own lives. The mother and the father are the boy’s foundational points of reference.

If we can think about it in a modern context, our parents are the first people we see when we get to earth. The first man, the first woman are our parents. This, is impactful because all of their actions, their ways of being will affect us deeply. We may not know it, but all of this stays within our unconscious minds. Later in life, we act on these unconscious recordings as law within our reality.

What is important to realize is that even these foundational points of reference can be changed, modified and even removed from our current way of being.

Being Aware of them is the beginning, from that point it’s easier to grasp a sense of understanding, and ultimately letting the things that do not work or feel good, go.

You are the master of your life and it is waiting for you to take back the control.


[1] Campbell, The Power of Myth, 85-87.

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1 Comment

  1. Brendan
    January 8, 2015

    “Mythology is not written by the divine gods and goddesses that so proudly occupy its pages, it is written by the hand of humans in order to make sense of the world around them.”

    Very well stated. Mythology helps make sense of the world that we inhabit. It allows the reader to experience for themselves the timeless character and cultural traits that are embedded across civilizations. I appreciate such a scholarly assessment of a vastly underserved topic and look forward to future articles.



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