Who Determines What a Myth is

The story of Athena, the story of the Lost City of Atlantis and the story of the Chinese dragon are all myths. We’ve heard these tales in storybooks and even read them in dictionaries and encyclopedias. Our elders have sat us on their laps & told us fictionist tales of fire breathing animals, a woman that controlled the ability to love and as the sparkle of fascination beamed in our eye they tell us it’s not true. It’s just a myth. Well who decides what story is a myth.
I’ve thought about this on occasion but it wasn’t until I came across the story of the Phoenix that my curiosity was peaked. If you are not familiar with the story of the Phoenix I will briefly summarize it. The Phoenix was a “mythical” bird that was said to have flown the all over world and lived up to five hundred years. According to legend, only one Phoenix could live at a time. The Phoenix never laid eggs and when it felt itself getting too old, too weak or when it sensed trouble it built a nest of twigs and franences and sparked it. A fire grew engulfing the bird and burned until nothing remained but ashes. It goes on to say out of the ashes a new Phoenix was reborn to fly the earth once again.
I find that hard to believe to be untrue. Where did the “myth” originate? Why has it survived the ages and why is there a city named after it? To dive deeper, why do the Native American, Greeks and Chinese all have stories of the Phoenix? If you think about everything we’ve been taught and read you might think a little like this.
The story of the Phoenix has the ability to be true based on the story itself. This bird was said to have lived during and after the age of the dinosaur. There were flying birds during that period the dinosaurs walked, which were for a number of years. Since the Phoenix had the ability to recreate itself when it sensed trouble, it could have survived the very catastrophe that annihilated the dinosaurs. If you want to get technical people didn’t believe giant lizards roamed the earth until the fossils of these massive creatures started to be uprooted from the earth and displayed in museums across North America.
During the period the Greeks believed in Zeus and Medusa there were also stories and accounts of the Phoenix’s existence. There are even popular paintings and sculptures depicting what the Phoenix looked like which, coincidently, match the descriptions set forth by the Chinese and the Native Americans. Just ask yourself do we really need a fossil to believe a creature with abilities far beyond what we see today ever existed? What hard evidence do we need? The Bible is a man written translated interpretation of what happened when Jesus walked the earth. Where is the “hard” evidence that Jesus walked the earth and performed the miracles as they were written? The very existence of Jesus could be labeled as a myth. There has been no discovery of the tomb he was “buried” in nor the cross he was “crucified” on, yet and still people give money weekly, worship and basically base their life around what is written in that book. Zeus was said to have been a god, Jesus is God, but who made that distinction? Maybe some of the abilities Zeus had were exaggerated but were they when the good book says Jesus fed an entire community with one fish and a loaf of bread?
I’m not here to convince you that the Phoenix and Dragons really existed, but I’m trying to assist you in thinking outside of what we were taught. For instance, the city of Phoenix was a Native American village, in the state we know as Arizona, that burned to the ground leaving nothing but rubble and ash and out of that a great city was rebuilt and named after than none other than, the Phoenix. Were the Native people that hard up for inspiration that they had to adopt the name of a creature that never existed? During the time the Native Americans were visited by the Phoenix there could have been no possible way word could have gotten across the world to the Greeks and Chinese. At that time the Greeks and Chinese didn’t even know the other half of the world was there. Instead it makes more sense to think when the Europeans began to sail to Asia, centuries later, they corroborated stories with the people they came in contact with and the same when they encountered the indigenous people of North America. For something to become a story or a legend it has to first originate from an actual witnessed accounts just like the legend of Achilles and Odysseus.
It’s amazing to know that as a society we have accepted the facts that one, humans evolved from a single celled organism or two, God blew breath in dirt and made man. We believe a man lived to be six hundred years old to build an ark then gathered every animal in a pair on that ark and they lived in harmony as God drowned the earth. The story says God drowned the earth to get rid of all the bad people and Noah was to repopulate. Well things are worse than Noah could have ever imagined so if that story is true what did it accomplish? The Bible stories seem a little more far-fetched than the story of the Dragon. No one around now has seen Jesus but there are pictures, paintings, and stories about him. So what makes him different from Athena, the Goddess of love, or Hades, the God of War?
We, as humans, are naive beyond the point of toleration. We walk around believing we are the most mentally and physically advanced creatures in not just the world but the universe and the thought of an animal having “mystical” abilities are just ridiculous that it can only be a myth. From everything science has shown us about evolution it’s almost safe to say that we are not evolving but regressing, that’s why none of the massive or extraordinary animals exist today. Humans are the least advanced creatures to own the earth. We can talk, the only thing no other creature could do, but they all could do so much more. That is why a myth is a myth. We sleep better thinking nothing that ever existed was more advanced than we are.

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