Logic of the Myths

December 4, 2019

The lack of objective references for subjective questions and the unconscious distress favors the use of the myth to explain the incognoscible reality.

Individuals, initially, form social hordes,  the protoplasm social order to, after that, aggregate themselves in clans that, in its turn, change into even more complex social units , as kingdoms, nations and companies. In the path of this evolutive process, religions, for example, hurry in presenting their dogmatics and “sacred” visions to the transcendentals questions of their followers. Beyond them, also kingdoms, nations and companies develop “cosmological” narratives.

Thus, the cosmology of a social group is always doubtlessly a reflection of its culture and the historical moment when it was conceived and refined. No for other reason, according to some scholars,  Genesis presents incredible parallelisms with the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian myth creation, where Flood and Tower of Babel already existed. By the way, it is important to stand out that, to many historians, the Jewish text had been written around the III B.C. and the XVII B.C. Centuries, period in which Jerusalem and Judah were under the Babylonian domain, under the king Nabucodonosor aegis.

Not for other reason also, sun and water, essentials for agriculture, had always occupied a detached place in mythologies of old civilizations for thousand of years. Out of this referential, the Theogony of the poet Hesiod presented the genealogy of the gods, Titans, Cyclopes and Hecatonchires from this logic for, then, positioning the human behavior as a hereditary reflection of this pantheon of deities.

It is also important to stand out that cosmology has, beyond the explanations on the world origin, the fundamental role in social structures justification. Thus, in the Hindu tradition, according to Vedic manuscripts, there are three deities responsible for the cycles of creation and destruction of the Universe: Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves and Shiva destroys to restart the cycle.

Finally, the myth becomes specially a political instrument for social cohesion, by describing the creation of the world and the human beings by god Brahma. He generated two gods - Gayatri and Purusha, the cosmic man from whom many things have being created. Then, while some men had been born of the mouth of Purusha and had become priests, others had been born from his feet and had become slaves.

Thus, going farther the psychological perspective of Carl Jung of the myths as being the collective unconscious expression for the soul archetypes, I follow here the vision of Mircea Eliade in considering that there is no necessary opposition between myth and logic. On the contrary, the human being collective construction of a common identity passes by the unequivocally combination of rational and semiotic elements.

To really understand this duality is still a challenging task to many managers.


Daniel Motta is the Founder and CEO of BMI Blue Management Institute, a leading niche consulting firm. He is a global thought leader focused on culture, strategy and leadership. He has a PhD in Economics, MSc in Financial Economics and BA in Economics. He is also an OPMer from Harvard Business School. He is the Managing Director of USA-based VC company White Fox Capital and the Senior Tupinambá Maverick of bossa&etc. He was a co-founder of Brazilian Society of Finance. He currently serves NGO UNIBES as Strategic Planning Principal. He is the author of the best selling books Essential Leadership and book Anthesis. He also has three articles published by Harvard Business Review. He is a Board Member of MASP.