Saturday, 12 May 2012
One of the most famous stories from the Greek mythology, Theseus and the Minotaur hides a beautiful symbolism that provides deep philosophical lessons.
In ancient times, myths were much more than simple tales. By listening to stories of heroes, monsters and fantastic creatures, people internalized philosophical lessons and solutions for the problems that every human being faces in life.
Although it's true that some myths which were believed to be legends ended up being confirmed as a historical fact, such as the city of Troy, the most important about the myths is that they represent a psychological reality.
No matter whether the facts depicted in the myths were real or not, the message they pass on is always valid, as they represent the human nature and all the obstacles involved in the fascinating art of living.
n. Greek Mythology
A monster who was half man and half bull, to whom young Athenian men and women were sacrificed in the Cretan labyrinth until Theseus killed him.
(Myth & Legend / Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man. It was kept in the Labyrinth in Crete, feeding on human flesh, until destroyed by Theseus
[via Latin from Greek Minōtauros, from Minos + tauros bull]
Fundamentally, the Minotaur represents the primal fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown is deeply-seated in the human psyche. It appears to be a genetic inheritance geared to guard and preserve our tenuous survival in a potentially dangerous universe, in much the same way as our biologically-rooted "fight or flight" response. Developmentally, all infants predictably pass through a brief phase of "stranger anxiety," and children a fear of the dark, a direct manifestation of this innate dread of the unknown. While we eventually more or less outgrow this stage, learning to trust, we never completely leave behind our instinctual fear of the unknown. Anxiety is one way we adults still experience this primitive fear. Indeed, it could be argued that anxiety is the subjective experience of the threatening unknown, whether we are facing or avoiding it.