"Speaking for myself, the definition that seems least inadequate because most embracing is this: Myth narrates a sacred history; it relates an event that took place in primordial Time, the fabled time of the ‘beginnings.’ ... Myth, then, is always an account of a ‘creation’...
* * *
Myth teaches him the primordial ‘stories’ that have constituted him existentially; and everything connected with his existence and his legitimate mode of existence in the Cosmos concerns him directly."
"A father must prefer his child to other children, a citizen his country to others. That is why there are myths — to justify these attachments."
"I'll let you in on a trade secret: After you do enough weddings, you realize that every bride and groom are the same. Don't misunderstand me, of course each one is unique. But in a broader context, every bride and every groom are Adam and Eve. They are players in an eternal drama. They look at one another, their heart's desire, and realize that the other person is a stranger. They live together for forty or fifty years and realize that, for all of their love, the other person is still a mystery. The power of their love is that these feelings transcend them as individuals. That mystery smelts us down into one lump of humanity and makes literature and art possible. The greater the emotion the more intensely personal and intimate the feeling, the more likely it is shared with all human beings."
"Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to he center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world."
Mircea Eliade. Myth and Reality. (1963) Translated from the French by Willard R. Trask. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1975. pp. 5-6, 12.
Allan Bloom. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987. p. 37.
Lawrence Kushner, "'Our Town'," in I'm God; You're Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego. Jewish Lights Pub, 2010.
Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. (1949) Novato, Calif.: New World Library, 2008 (third edition). p. 18.