Language is one of the essential tools for communication. And it is more for one of our critical tools to understand the world around us and the universe beyond us.
Like the birth of consciousness, our language was the inception of human history. At the moment when we asked ourselves who we are, where we came from, and where we are going, in these fundamental questions, our consciousness had no choice but to use language expressing the answers.
Our answers were primarily in the form of myths. These are the narratives of our origins, who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. Throughout tribes, ethnicities, cultures, and civilizations, there are various kinds of myths.
While all these look different from one another, as we know the efforts of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and others, all myths share common patterns and structures. Jung called it archetype. Campbell called it monomyth. Why do they share commonalities? Because tales are supposed to be the manifestation of collective consciousness and unconsciousness from our prehistoric era.
As long as we are all humans, when it comes to the fundamental questions, the difference in our possible answers is superficial. Like biology, we are all the same in our consciousness and unconsciousness. What we feel, think, reflect, and contemplate wouldn’t be so different from one another. Hence, our possible answers couldn’t be so different from one another, either.
There are various kinds of myths all over the world, and these are so diverse. Some look so different and unfamiliar. Others strangely look familiar despite enormous cultural and historical gaps. Why do we find them so? Because all of them would share in truth our collective answers to the fundamental questions derived from the birth of consciousness.
And how did we create, share, and preserve our myths? We need language. Without language, we can never have our answers collectively. Myths are the narratives that explain the world around us and the universe beyond us. They tell us about heaven and earth, and God.
And these were initially in the form of oral history without letters. We kept them through our collective memories. From one generation to another, we kept reciting them, which was the only way to preserve our answers collectively. They provided us their answers on who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. We didn’t have to answer them every time. Our effort was keeping the answers that our ancestors had provided already, once upon a time.
As the oral transition through memorizing and reciting, the style was inevitably poetic. That is why, in the history of language, both prayer and poetry preceded other forms such as prose. The word was what we used for worship and reciting prayer and poetry.
And we used them to keep our answers collectively on the fundamental questions from the birth of consciousness. We still pray and recite them. In doing so, we could immerse ourselves into the timeless mysteries on the world around us and the universe beyond us.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.John 1:1
Image by Fathromi Ramdlon