This is the term used to describe a story, generally with some kind of spiritual overtone, offering either an explanation for why an aspect of the natural world is the way it is, an exploration/explanation of human nature, or both. Often played out by archetypal characters (see "Important People - Archetype"), these items exist in most cultures and in all historical periods. They are often the foundations for religious or moral teaching.
This is the term used by Campbell to define the one myth that he suggests lies at the core of the human experience in both its physical and psychological aspects: the myth of the journey. This journey might be summed up as a movement from darkness (pre-birth existence), through birth, life/struggle, accomplishment, and teaching, to the return to the darkness (death, or at the very least leaving the world of the...
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