I’ve been recently struck by a sentence I read in “Don’t Know Much About Mythology” by K.C. Davis (2006).
“Jung believed that the entire psychological development of humanity could be traced by studying myths, fairy tales and fables.”
It made me think about the roles of myths and those who study mythology and draw some parallels between archaeologists and psychologists. Archaeologists rummage through the soil in search of fossils, artifacts and antiques and are able to reconstruct life on Earth, since the early days of our planet to the magnificent civilizations which flourished one day.
Through time, the development of the modern homo sapiens from the primeval hominids can be reconstructed by finding and examining traces left behind and preserved. Bones, artifacts and more recently, texts and symbols carved on slate or written on papyrus / scrolls are the clues used by archaeologists to give us detailed accounts from time immemorial.
Psychologists also rummage through a land. The land of our conscious and unconscious worlds.
And myths, like fossils and artifacts provide a great deal of information about our psyche and how it developed together with our intelligence. Myths, just like the traces left by our ancestors also became more and more complex as human beings acquired a better understanding of the world surrounding them.
Therefore, by studying myths, we understand the psychological development of our species as Jung proposed. One more reason to delve into the mythical symbology as a means to finding out more about ourselves and how we came to being what we are today.