Summary of the mythical view of the world (The World of Sophie)

In this post you will find a short but detailed summary of the mythical vision of the World of sophieSofia.

The chapter begins when the narrator explains to Sophie what Philosophy is and its emergence in the year 600 BC, as a result of the motivation to understand the origin and why of life and the Universe.

But myths have existed from far back, before the writing emerged. And those myths seek to answer those causes and questions, but the wise Greek philosophers promulgated the need to stop believing in mythical stories.

Next, they delve into a profound explanation of the mythical vision of the world, beginning to analyze the Norse mythology, in which the god Tor was the protagonist and of those stories, come terms that today we use as “thunder”, which means “Tor commanding rays in his carriage pulled by two goats.”

In the same way, a whole tradition arose in Viking agriculture, who worshipped and venerated Tor, whom they labeled as the one responsible for making it rain.

But not only did the Viking farmers worship Tor, but that deity was also special to the Nordic warriors, as their powerful hammer not only caused the rain, but it was also a powerful weapon against enemy forces.

The warrior, who aligned himself with the power of Tor’s hammer, was believed to be invincible, especially in his fight against the trolls, to whom he shattered with such a magical instrument. All this was what Greek philosophers refused to accept as reasonable or logical.

Because of those mythical accounts, countless human sacrifices were unleashed, which were made in honor of the deities, such as in Norway.

All this was done because humans intended to be part of the incessant struggle of light against darkness, good against evil, and they believed that with their bloody sacrifices they would give powers to the gods, so that they could the great battle. In these explanations, the narrator illustrates to Sofia several myths of Asgard and the millennium North.

But the teacher of the young Sophie made it clear to him that all these stories were not because they were because, or the result of the overflowing imagination of the people, let alone their ignorance, but were a coded answer to the primordial questions of the human being.

According to his explanations, myths go even beyond beliefs or attempts at transcendental answers, to the uses of magic and power. This is the case of the myths of agriculture, which led people to imitate the drama of that story in real life, in order to manipulate the seasons of nature and all agricultural processes.

Practically, from these myths came shamanic practices or ceremonial rituals, which supposedly produced considerable and powerful physical effects. But not only did the Nordics have a literary richness of this style; the Greeks too, before the philosophers.

All those previous centuries are full of myths of legendary gods and heroes in Greece, such as Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hercules, Athena, Dionysus, Heracles, Apollo, Hephaestus, among many others.

The great Greek poets of antiquity, such as Homer and Hesiod, wrote too much about their mythology. And thanks to these writings made by them, later philosophers were able to discuss and analyze them to the letter.

One of the arguments of the early philosophers, to dismiss mythical stories in understanding reality, is that divine characters like Homer’s, were very similar to humans and that this gave to conclude that they were only creations imagined of some individual.

One of these philosophers contradictory to mythology was Jenophanes, in 570 BC. “People believe that the gods are born and have bodies, dresses and language like us. Black people think the gods are black and flat, the Thracians imagine them blond and with blue eyes. Even if the oxen, horses and lions had been able to paint, they would have represented gods looking like oxen, horses and lions,” he said fully.

Sophie was trying to make efforts to get out of her head the concepts she had learned at the Institute and those she had acquired from the books of natural sciences and on the contrary, vividly imagine the natural phenomena as they are, like raining, the dawn or sunset, to draw their own conclusions.

She was trying to experiment with putting herself in the shoes of those primitive people who invented these stories, supposedly, to explain nature. So she made up her own story, but in the end, she concluded that the story she had created in her head was so good that had she not learned the notions of science at the academy, she would have ended up believing in her fantasies.

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Summary of the mythical view of the world (The World of Sophie)
Source: Education  
July 28, 2019

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