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Modern Mythology

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Inevitably people ask about the existence of myths today. In some cases, the response is obvious. Scientists, for example, use “thought experiments,” made-up narratives, to explain otherwise inexplicable mysteries of the reality they alone can see or understand. Einstein’s famous relativity-based twin paradox is an example:

There were two twins. One went on a round trip into outer space. When he got home he was younger than his brother, because

His heart, brain, and bloodflow “clocks” had slowed down during the trip. This is because time has a material or “length” aspect.

The space twin was surprised on his return to discover how much older his brother was (Capra 1975, p. 170).

This narrative is a modern “myth,” because although it did not actually happen, it serves as a metaphorical description of a reality which is otherwise difficult to explain, much as Genesis I “explains” creation to Abrahamic peoples or the Persephone myth “explains” the seasons and perhaps a psychological aspect...


  • Individual Mind
  • Twin Paradox
  • Psychic Life
  • Religious Philosopher
  • Organize Religion

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Correspondence to David A. Leeming .

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© 2016 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany

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Leeming, D.A. (2016). Modern Mythology. In: Leeming, D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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