The most assholish thing to do

… on a site about belief and magic, but I’m gonna do it anyways for the sake of discussion. During this time of pandemic I’ve kinda had my mind on the spread of disease and notice its parallels in the spread of religion and mythology. They even parallel in a twisted game of telephone where as it grows it evolves with the host of the being it inherits, new mutations of the sort of memetic/viral diseases branch off while some people attempt to “cure” and contain it and others be part of it before it mutates and branches again.

Ive got collections of old journals backed up on paper and electronically so I go through them here n there and came up on this one… “Above” and “Below” from 1890 about Myths being the disease of language. You can find the full 15 page article on

Since I’m a bit religion/occult crazy at times I like to keep my mind open to the opposite sided arguments and ideas to keep the narrative going without being onesided. “Know yourself, know your enemy…” basically. So what’s your opinion on belief and mythology being a disease?

I can see the argument of cults being a disease, though as analogies go it runs out of usefulness fairly quickly. And some religions are just huge cults. The commonality is the part where the religion-pushers try to make it as non-optional as possible with threats and fear mongering.

Since myth and belief are optional, they don’t map to that analogy very well, imo.


I think it’s going to be difficult to keep personal bias out of this, but I’ll jump in.

I recently watched a show on Netflix called “Myths and Monsters”, which talked about the necessity of mythology in early civilizations because of its entertainment value in a time when they didn’t have modern technologies like television, etc.

The show goes on to make a point about mankind’s need to be storytellers, and how collective storytelling tells us a lot about a civilization’s culture and beliefs. I believe this to be a valuable tool for historians, but it’s just my opinion.

I also believe that as a teaching tool, mythology can be a great teaching mechanism by making themes and ideas more relatable to an audience by “personifying” certain archetypes and creating stories that its audience can relate to. In terms of religions being formed off of mythology, I think that–as with all things of the religious nature–beliefs are mankind’s way of explaining the unexplainable.

Do I think it’s a “disease”? No. I think it’s a window into a peoples’ world from long ago and a great source of entertainment. Sometimes people just take things too seriously, as they sometimes do with everything, and it gets a little out of hand. :woman_shrugging:t2:


My personal opinion short and sweet

Do I think mythology is a disease?



Studying mythology through a psychological lense especially Jungian it can be argued that mythology and the need to create it is instinctual and if you lost all the ancient mythologies that have remained they would appear in some new form through some new author

A disease is foreign to our innate nature and hinders our ability to function properly


I would argue that some diseases can be symbiotic in nature(such as fungal parasites increasing oxygen maintenance, worms that eat worms, mouth parasites that clean the teeth for food, and cancer killing toxins found in swamp water but also turning you green), as they can lead to better life choices in order to tend to its effect it has on us, as does a belief or myth.

Just as there are good beliefs there are surely bad beliefs that can harm the ability to function. Take suicide cults and any myth that gave a person alternate facts to whatever they actually experience. First one might die off before knowing anything about what is trying to be conveyed, possibly learning nothing from it for the afterlife if they even get one. The second can take on such an abstract point of view that they might spend more time trying to convey what they think they’ve experienced(though I’ve found that it eventually leads to forms of synesthesia) than actually trying to experience something new or practice self care.

Hmm thats a very thought provoking point. But then you might want to frame your argument by defining disease. A useful parasite might not be defined as a disease but a harmful parasite might.

Ofcourse I don’t think anyone would argue against that. Except to say “good beliefs” are generally defined by what is most beneficial towards society and “bad beliefs” by what is least beneficial

So again is disease beneficial or harmful?

Is it foreign or natural to the body?

I’ve experienced synesthesia to some extent my whole life simply because I’m wired that way. Its also fairly common in creative types. Definitely not a hindrance not would I even call it a disease just how I tend to percieve things

Sound has color to me. Some things sound purple or yellow or white. It’s a big thing whenever I listen to music or as a teen was into musical performance and song writing. I’d often structure how I wanted a song to sound based on what color I wanted it to be

Just to be clear I have not taken offense to anything you’ve said just felt like your reply deserved some feedback and recognition