The Implied Spider

In this modern day, it seems as though there are as many paths to truth as there are stars in the sky. Every branch of religion is convinced theirs is the path of truth, but presents no evidence to back up that claim. While they often state they take it on faith, who takes other things in life purely on faith?

More, as one looks at those concepts of truth, one notices the contradictions. One notices that they don’t, indeed can’t, make sense, either logically or when compared to science as we know it today. And religion is hardly the only culprit when it comes to this, no, there is politics, social decisions, and curiosities that simply seem illogical when confronted with the facts. It seems almost as though otherwise rational people are pointing at scientific evidence and shouting “Conspiracy theory!”

The implied spider is a theory (in the sociological, not hard scientific sense) put forth by Dr. Wendy Doniger, a Professor of the History of Religions and a scholar I greatly admire. To summarize her book on the subject, which my fellow students of religious studies at the time found rather circular, the implied spider exists across every culture throughout history and puts out the web based on shared human experiences, emotions, interactions, etc., only to be gathered into mythologies that form the basis for religions throughout history. Then:

These human storytellers gather up the strands that the spider emits, like silk workers harvesting the cocoons of silkworms, to weave their own individual cultural artifacts, their own Venn-diagram webs of shared themes all newly and differently interconnected.

Mythology and religion share themes. They share history. Often they share cultures and areas of origin, whether looking at the dominant Western religions that originated in the Middle East, or the dominant Eastern religions that originated in India.

And who am I? Can anyone really say that, at any point in their life? I will do my best to explain, but for now I am a spider in a web. Watching.

By all means, follow me on Twitter (@illogicalword) if you want to watch with me.

Advertisements