Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and of the West -- and shows how these two fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.
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There is hardly a secondary Literature curricula in the western world that does not include Greek Mythology. The more inclusive versions include a dabbling in the mythologies of their own indigienous peoples. And, if at all, very seldomly include attention to Eastern or third world mythologies.
It is one of the difficulties for those who truly are attempting to broaden the canon beyond the "dead white guys." It is just difficult to sample both breath AND depth adequately or even a realistic ambition.
HOWEVER, this short video tells a most interesting story about how the differences in the mythologies of the western world and the mythologies of India go a long way towards explaining the difficulties in finding a common ground for understanding how one's core beliefs drive human behavior in very different ways.
There are points at which I realize that many might begin to wonder about the premise of the talk. For example, The speaker uses Greek mythology as the model for western belief systems. Though, his interpretations of the influence of Greek mythology upon western belief and behavior do seem to ring true to a significant degree, which I would guess would trigger a rather sudden rejection among westerners who might jump to assume that their particular version of spiritual beliefs are what drive their behavior, not that old belief set of many gods. And similarly those whose belief sets come from from non spiritual sources might just as quickly reject the notion that Greek mythology is at the center of their behavioral choices.
Yet, I really couldn't get past speaker's description of the western behaviors he sees as evidence of the influence.
But, what is truly intriguing about this talk is that he does not assume that the Indian mythologies are superior; but rather that they are simply very different and their influence leads to very different behavorial choices.
And, I don't want to reveal his conclusion, but it does provide an interesting area worthy of significant contemplation for any educator who teaches any mythology or a particular mythology with little exploration of the mythologies of other cultures beyond a glossing over of surface differences.
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