Tom McMahon has proposed a new series of mini-commentaries this year, which we propose to run on Sundays. Drawing from the National Geographic book, "Essential Visual History of World Mythology", Tom describes these commentaries as "an experiment that the little boy from 15th Street who happened to become a Catholic priest will offer weekly during the coming months of the year 2012. The issue of religion is humanly complex found in verbal traditions and written texts. Hopefully this series will shed light on the historical human adventure into the realm of the Divine Mystery. All information herein is offered in condensed form, allowing the reader to go into further investigation."
The mythological aspect of life and belief...
MYTH is the common way humans communicate with one another. Tradition comes from the Latin tradere = to pass on. Humans passed on knowledge as they experienced a truth as they saw it.
The word "god" will not be capitalized throughout this series. Various ethnic backgrounds are chosen at random without reference to priority of time or place. Selections are digested from National Geographic's VISUAL HISTORY OF WORLD MYTHOLOGY.
At the end there will be one question to research. Please use the Catholica Forum if you have your own questions and comments.
#1: The gods common to the Australian Aborigines, Polynesians, and people of Oceania.
Time: Stone Age, pre-1500 b.c.e. to 2010 c.e.
Religious stories/traditions vary from tribe to tribe, no written texts, except Easter Island Creation stories abound; creation gods are hierarchal, middle gods associated with natural phenomenon and ancestor spirits at lowest level. … "sacred", "untouchable", "forbidden" permeate religion, all determined by humans especially the priestly caste.
"Mana" is powerful life energy possessed by clan, family, individual and is associated with aristocrats, boat builders, priests, navigators as well as childbirth and war.
"Taboo" regulates how people interact with human events: death/corpses/loss.
Ancestral aristocrats are "heroes" who offered laws and understanding of nature that protect the tribe and the concept of the divine living in humans. Dreamtime brought these earthy people close to ancestors, a semi-god status. Australia's Ayers Rock is a sacred.place. New Zealand's Maori are considered primitive savages by modern Westerners. These hunter-gatherers do not own land, taking care of it in the name of their ancestors. They sing on the journey of life, their paths called Songlines. and their songs live on in cliff drawings. No one personal teacher/leader is known.
Tom McMahon, in San Jose, Ca. 31Jan2012
What are your thoughts on this commentary?