intellectual, rational, or logical methods or procedures; rather, archetypes are thestuff of dreams, the unconscious, ceremony, trance, and ritual.
Drawing upon anthropology, linguistics, and psychology,
suggested that the meaning of myths lies not in their content, but in thestructure of relationships that myths reveal. Myths work to mediate amonglife’s extremes (e.g., life-death, agriculture-warfare), allowing humans toovercome life’s contradictions.
Representations of Death in Various Cultures and Religions
Death and rebirth are two major themes that are recurrent in cultures allaround the world. Since I took specific interest in the death myth, first of all Iwill exemplify it by means of presenting some religions and cultures and howdeath myth is represented within those cultures.The ancient Greeks believed that the dead were ushered to theUnderworld, ruled by the god
, and had to pay a few coins to the ferryman
the River Styx
, and enter the afterlife. In fact, this belief wasso deeply held that the Greeks buried their dead with a coin or coins in their mouths, to afford the fee to Hades. Once in the
, the dead were judged to be good or evil. The good ascended to the
,a place of paradise. The evil descended to fiery
, where they were punished eternally, or in some cases sentenced to repent for long periods before being deemed worthy to enter Elysium. The Greeks also believed inreincarnation, with the judges at the gates of Hades deciding the next incarnationof each soul.
appeared in the sixth century BC, growing out of
.It postulated a series of graded paradises, each more beautiful and sensual thanits predecessor. Ascent through these dimensions is dependent on individualvirtue and meditation. Yet in both religions the desire was not for ultimate and personal pleasure, but for a release from the bondage of
. This purespiritual state is referred to as
. A soul may dwell in the levels of paradise for eons, but ultimately it must leave to continue its pilgrimage. Thougha soul may spend ages in the various paradises, it must eventually return inreincarnation.
(Filoramo: 2003, pp. 306-307)
beliefs in afterlife and practices regarding the dead areimmensely complex and difficult to understand. A great deal of the Egyptians’ beliefs in the afterlife revolved around the pharaoh they worshipped. The belief was that the
was the personal representative of the
Sun God Ra
, andhis followers were assured everlasting life in the afterworld if his body was preserved for eternity through embalming. The embalming of every body was asolemn and sacred ritual for the Egyptians, with priests of
(god of thedead) donning a death mask to perform their deathly duties. Many bodies were