Myth, Scripture, and Initiation

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Even though religious stories may not be literally true, the meaning that is revealed by the stories is true. Among contemporary educated people, myths are typically dismissed as childish fantasies or the unscientific gropings of primitive minds. But the mythological view of the world has always been, and still remains, an important way of understanding and appreciating our world. This is not because they explain natural phenomena. It is because myths bring us face to face with our deepest psychological and spiritual truths.

And in western Scripture, as in all great mythology, they do even more. Through allegory and symbol they provide psychological instructions for a soul that has descended into material life and must now find its way home again. This journey of transformation, from inner slavery to spiritual awakening and enlightenment, has been called the Return to the Promised Land, the Quest for the Holy Grail, Muhammad’s Journey to the Seven Heavens, and many other names. In other words, all the sacred Scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have the common aim of teaching us how to raise our level of Being and return to a state of conscious union with Divinity – a process that is universally known as Spiritual Initiation.