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deadleaf's avatar

How is mythology similar?

Asked by deadleaf (212points) May 30th, 2010

I have read some details on chinese, korean, aztec, mayan, hindu, jewish, egyptian, and others mythology on gods and found that they all resemble the same foundation. Some even have similarly described gods and demigods. Please share some that you know of so I can use it as a reference point.

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13 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Well, in almost all, if not all cultures and mythologies, there is a creation myth.

Jeruba's avatar

That’s what you’ll find in chapter after chapter of The Golden Bough and other works by Sir James Frazer: comparative mythology. Joseph Campbell wrote a lot on the subject as well.

eden2eve's avatar

Most have some reference to the “sun” being or having some of the attributes of a deity.

Another common thread is the flood story in some form.

Judgment or consequences for poor choices or behaviors, allowing for some sort of reconciliation if behaviors are modified.

Some sort of “prayer” or meditation is a common aspect of many religious cultures.

A “Tree of Life”, in some form, is a common thread in many, i.e. Hindu (Asvantha tree) Judaism and Christianity, Islam, Buddahism, and the religions of Ancient Egypt, Bahai, Chinese Taoism, Paganism and Norse and Turkish Mythology.

Concept of the “Soul” or “Spirit is an important aspect of many of the same religions, as above.

Rituals are common amongst the various forms.

Arthur's avatar

Read the story of Gilgamesh and then the story of Noah, its not just similar its a carbon copy. Oh and FYI Gilgamesh is a couple thousand years older than Noah

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, the flood is one of many stories that have versions in several traditions. Frazer covered this in detail. Wait till you come to killing the god and eating the god, not to mention virgin birth.

Nullo's avatar

Common origin point.

dpworkin's avatar

You may be interested in Freud’s Totem and Taboo and in Jung’s ventures into the idea of the Collective Unconscious.

The Golden Bough should be required reading, if only people still knew how to read.

janbb's avatar

You also might want to look at Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces in which he discusses the connectivity of all mythology. Indeed, that is the primary theme of all his work and the video series of interviews he did with Bill Moyers on The Power of Myth would be enlightening for you too.

deadleaf's avatar

Thank every single one of you! I truly and sincerely appreciate the help.

Qingu's avatar

Someone brought up Gilgamesh and the Bible… the Bible’s flood story is actually more similar to another Mesopotamian myth, an Akkadian text called The Epic of Atrahasis. Atrahasis is the Noah figure in that text.

Yahweh, the god of the Bible, is also similar to earlier Mesopotamian gods. Yahweh’s creation story is similar to Marduk’s creation story in the Babylonian Enuma Elish. Yahweh molds the earth and sky by dividing up watery chaos; in the Enuma Elish, Marduk does the same but with an explicit ocean goddess, Tiamat, who he defeats in battle. In Psalms (older than Genesis), Yahweh is described as defeating Rahab and Leviathan (names for sea monsters) and “defeating the sea.”

Yahweh’s early cult was also similar to the cult of the Babylonian moon god, Sin. Sin’s cult practiced “shabatu” days (about once a week) that were considered astrologically significant, You couldn’t work or make predictions or do unlucky things on these days. The Hebrew idea of “shabat” is obviously derivative. Mount Sinai, considered holy by the Hebrews, refers to the god Sin. (The word “sin,” as in doing something bad, is not related to the god Sin; it’s a different word in Hebrew) Both Sin and Yahweh were also portrayed in pictures as being shaped like bulls.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because some aspects of human psychology are universal.

JackofallTrades's avatar

Because Religon and even Mythology are all matters of opinion. No person alive on this Earth knows the true answers to creation, what comes after death, or all of the other big questions. People form opinions by listening to others thoughts and opinions to form their own. Logically each Myth and religion is influenced by other myths and religions.

amazingcookie's avatar

Similarities would include:
The Flood
Pagan gods
– further, there are many mythologies with animals and humans morphed together

Josh Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces

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