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Do you know any WELL KNOWN Religious stories? Need input! As much as possible!

#1 User is offline   Acorn 

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

Okay!


As the title suggests I need more data!
This is a bit odd, but bear with me, there is a good reason for me trying to pick your brain(s)

So I've been querying friends and friends of friends for stories in major (or obscure) religions that are highly popularized or just well known. Particularly those stories known by people with no real connection with that religion...

For example...

The Bible stories: Adam & Eve; Moses and the Pharaoh; Noah and the Arc; and David vs Goliath

They are pretty much universally known in some shape or form. Especially the latter.

I was unfortunately raised in an insane asylum of Christianity (forcibly raised in the church by and surrounded by hypocrites and liars) and have since made a study of religions over the past 12 years. Unfortunately this removes the possibility of an "outside looking in" perspective in most of the major Religions and their popular, multi-cultural insinuation (I think that's the right word.) I've asked my Girlfriend but she's totally unaware as she was raised by Hippy parents and converted into a sect of Hinduism... And she's a horrible sounding board for my writing as she's totally lost when it comes to things with large scope.

There are obviously the stories that the Christians forced into "pagan" religions in order to more easily assimilate the natives into their idea of proper belief and culture. (Such as adding the Adam & Eve beginning as the ending into Norse Mythology's Ragnarok.) But I don't mean things like that.

So... Can anybody think of any other Religion-Based story, myth, fable or parable that is widely known (either by multiple cultures or countries, or even that cross into multiple religions without losing form)??

(This is an effort to expand upon an idea for a story that I started writing background for the other day, thank you!)
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#2 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:58 PM

Kinda neglecting all the other major world religions there, buddy.

That said, Gilgamesh and Enkidu are pretty cool, I vote you research them. Specifically the Flood part.

Or, while hardly widely known, my username. Possibly drop the end s if you need to.
Hello, soldiers, look at your mage, now back to me, now back at your mage, now back to me. Sadly, he isnít me, but if he stopped being an unascended mortal and switched to Sole Spice, he could smell like heís me. Look down, back up, where are you? Youíre in a warren with the High Mage your cadre mage could smell like. Whatís in your hand, back at me. I have it, itís an acorn with two gates to that realm you love. Look again, the acorn is now otataral. Anything is possible when your mage smells like Sole Spice and not a Bole brother. Iím on a quorl.
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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:57 PM

The viking one where a giant wolf eats the sun!!!

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

There are a few Gaelic legends that could fit. The story of Cu Chullain, or Fionn MacCumhail and the Fianna. The legend of the Children of Lir, who were turned into swans and cursed to spend 300 years on each 3 lakes in Ireland. Tales of the Tuatha de Danaan, especially Tir na nOg (Land of Youth) which is akin to many of the stories of people entering the lands of Faerie and returning after a night to find 20 years have passed (vis: Rip van Winkle).

Then you have all the famous Greek myths: Theseus and the Minotaur, Perseus and Medusa, the Iliad and Odyssey, Icarus and Daedalus, Helen of Troy and the Trojan war, Orestes and Clytemnestra, Oedipus, the Golden Fleece, Hercules and the 12 labours -- lots of mileage there. I'd expect people would be more cognisant of the Greek myths than the Norse, though there are a few very well known Norse myths. Baldur and the mistletoe, the ring of the Nibelungs.

There are huge numbers of stories in the Hindu canon. The Mahabharata is a good place to start, and the Vedic cantos. Then you could go further back, to Zoroastrianism, the first dualist religion, where the two gods Ahura-Mazda and Angra Mainyu are the creator/destroyer pairing.

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

There are numerous "good twin/bad twin" stories among the Native Americans that resemble the Zoroastrian Ahriman/Ahura Mazda pairing.

I've also heard a couple stories about why calendars were started when they were started (in Nepal, the king did so because a sage told him after 50 years, the land would turn into gold, which really meant real estate appreciation, but the king thought it meant actual gold would appear).

Also, the "great peacemaker" or the dealmaker pops up fairly often. The Iroquois one is particularly nice: http://en.wikipedia....reat_Peacemaker
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#6 User is offline   Acorn 

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:49 PM

View PostIlluyankas, on 02 February 2013 - 04:58 PM, said:

Kinda neglecting all the other major world religions there, buddy.

That said, Gilgamesh and Enkidu are pretty cool, I vote you research them. Specifically the Flood part.

Or, while hardly widely known, my username. Possibly drop the end s if you need to.


I suppose you forgot to read the part where I said "religious" and instead you filled in "christian"?

Or perhaps you didn't read the paragraph about me not having any exposure to anything else while growing up?

Thanks for the input though, I do appreciate that even prefaced by the other comment =p

@UseOfWeapons:

I know there are an infinite number of stories both religious and fable/mythical... My desire is to take stories that can be recognized by nearly every "people" and integrate them into this background somehow... Such as the story of Atlas carrying the world... Most people know of that one... Most people would not, however, recognize Odin's trade for Wisdom from the Well of Wisdom guarded by Mimir.


@Amphibian:

I like, and have learned many Native American stories and the Lore they pass down from their Ancestors. The Coyote trickster is very common, so that could work well!


RE ALL:

Thanks a bunch for input so far, and I hope to get more... The more, the merrier! I will make it a point to research all of the above stories that I can!

PS don't forget popular Lore like King Arthur/Merlin and Robin Hood and so forth! Are there any extremely well known stories (fictional but fact based is great too) from other cultures that you can remember? Attila? Any Emperor or Queen?

Thanks everyone! an I apologize for any typos, spelling errors or bad word choices, heavy baby sleeping on both arms, hard to type at all
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#7 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:56 PM

There's a pretty well-known mythology about the world riding on the back of a giant turtle/tortoise. You might be familiar with the joke about someone asking "yeah, but what is that turtle standing on" and the reply being "it's turtles all the way down."
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#8 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:05 AM

How dare you accuse me of not reading posts correctly, you horribly accurate person!?

Also both Greece and Japan have some fucked up creation myths, I bet it's to do with island chain nations or something. ~stereotyping~
Hello, soldiers, look at your mage, now back to me, now back at your mage, now back to me. Sadly, he isnít me, but if he stopped being an unascended mortal and switched to Sole Spice, he could smell like heís me. Look down, back up, where are you? Youíre in a warren with the High Mage your cadre mage could smell like. Whatís in your hand, back at me. I have it, itís an acorn with two gates to that realm you love. Look again, the acorn is now otataral. Anything is possible when your mage smells like Sole Spice and not a Bole brother. Iím on a quorl.
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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:45 AM

If you want something that's popular form the eastern tradition, there's always the Ramayana (spelling?). I think there was a televised production you may or may not be able to find. You also forgot Sodom and Gomorrah, you dirty lapsed xtian :p
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#10 User is offline   Use Of Weapons 

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

Stories which cross over many religions: creation myths often have similar elements. There's a flood legend in lots of religions that arose around the Mediterranean basin after the gap of Gibraltar gave way. Tons of religions have 'god takes human form, visits local population to see how they treat each other, and finds only one person/couple who treat him well despite not knowing who he is' stories. They normally end very badly for everyone but the good person/couple. The one I remember is Zeus and Hermes, and the couple who treated them well get turned into trees, while the town they live next to gets turned into a lake.

I wouldn't be so sure that people wouldn't recognise the Odin's eye story. The story of Fionn MacCumhail and the Salmon of Knowledge (yes, the Salmon of Knowledge) has equivalents in many religions.

But I'd agree that the Greek myths are more widely known than many of the others. Prometheus and the theft of fire would be a great one to use, IMO. Pandora's Box. Orpheus and Euridice.
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#11 User is offline   Use Of Weapons 

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

View PostAcorn, on 02 February 2013 - 11:49 PM, said:

@UseOfWeapons:

I know there are an infinite number of stories both religious and fable/mythical... My desire is to take stories that can be recognized by nearly every "people" and integrate them into this background somehow... Such as the story of Atlas carrying the world... Most people know of that one... Most people would not, however, recognize Odin's trade for Wisdom from the Well of Wisdom guarded by Mimir.


I think you're making a distinction between 'myth' and 'religion' that doesn't actually exist. Religions are myths that have survived into the present day.
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#12 User is offline   D'iversify 

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:08 PM

I think when it comes to myth you can divide them into several kinds: (a) creation myths - where does everything come from, who or what is the originator - a noted commonality is many assume a primordial world of water (Sumerians, Egyptians, Hopi Indians, Judaic creation myth arguably) from which land is then raised, whether it be mud on a turtle's back, the butchered carcass of a primeval being or by the will of a deity; (b myths regarding the origin of peoples - these typically focus on the exploits of the progenitors of different ethnic or social groups, which are shown as having common parents; events occurring in the lives of the progenitors are often envoked to explain present relations between different peoples; © 'just-so stories' that explain why certain particularities of the natural or social world hold, e.g. 'how the leopard got its spots'; (d) myths as oral history, i.e. as originating not from a question but rather being based at first on historical events, the stories then being elaborating by the effects of 'Chinese whispers', dramatic license, symbolic abstraction and incorporation within wider mythos (e.g. the Gods being introduced as partipants in the narrative). as to what kinds of myths people hold, this tends to be connected to their surrounding natura and social world (e.g. the particular animal spirits involved in myths as related to those found in neighbouring nature) but also can be influenced by other cultures, or groups may migrate into new terrain but retain a set of myths topically correlated to their ancestral homeland (e.g. the jaguar is a prominent deity in many Andean pre-Columbian cultures which lay outside its natural range - this is either due to Amazonians migrating to the highlands or the influence of Amazonian religion on highland peoples). I therefore think that in creating a mythology it is helpful to estbalish what the history of a people and its movements are and what their external environment is/has been.

This post has been edited by D'iversify: 03 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

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#13 User is offline   Acorn 

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:14 PM

@Worry
Every time I hear about the "Turtles all the way down" I imagine Dr Suess's illustrations, lol. I am partial to no particular "world carrying" legend. I figure that could play into things later - but there are tons of options there, and I wouldn't have too hard a time designing one myself based on those.


@Illy
Yes, I am a detail nut =p

I am aiming at a serious insult to the Christian creation myth... I should probably avoid brutally assaulting other religious assertions of how the world came to be. I will save the other religions for other probing and plundering. I am partial to Norse mythology, as I spent 2 years researching and exploring the Nordic mythology and observations... And I am certainly not sparing them. =)

@BL
I didn't really forget S & G, I just planned on not using it... I can't find any reason to use it in the way I plan. Maybe I'll tuck it away for later and look into how I can bastardize it... But it's going to be a series of death threats and nasty letters and reviews for me already if this ever goes anywhere... Don't need the Sodomites and Gommorahans (spelling?) to hate me too!


@UoW - 1
I can see many correlations between the God-Seeking-Wisdom stories in several religions. It would be rather obvious to try to link all of them to each other - but I wanted to make it a bit more difficult for myself than that.

I hate the constant "Don't treat people badly, they might just be your God in human form" myths in so many religions. I find it insulting, as a human being, that so many people had to try to frighten one another into being decent to each other... But there it is.

@UoW - 2
I suppose I am separating Myths and Religion when they (at least at some point) are the same thing... It makes me realize I'm missing an entire possibility of progression though!

I should start building on the myths and legends of non-religious figures and organizations too!

Damn. Gonna need a lot of caffeine.



@D'ivers
I agree.

And for the sake of argument, there are also myths about certain people (typically leaders) to explain how they have power, why they have power, and what their claim to said power is.

I'm not really interested in breaking every myth and legend out there into tiny little pieces and re-ordering them to a pattern vastly insulting, abrasive and aggravating.... But I do want to take apart the most popular ones to frustrate and confound people... And maybe for my own morbid fascination.
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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:24 AM

You mention Trickster, obviously a favorite (Loki, Coyote, The Fool, uh...the Road Runner), but what would you call his luckless opposite, like (ironically enough) Wile E. Coyote? For instance, not sure you've heard it, but there's that myth about the ancient starving sabre-toothed squirrel who tries again and again to get an oak nut open only to be foiled time and again. You see, he has or almost has what he wants, but he cannot enjoy it for one reason or another.
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#15 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:20 AM

I remember hearing that eons ago, I remember it being a pretty cool story. Three sequels.
Hello, soldiers, look at your mage, now back to me, now back at your mage, now back to me. Sadly, he isnít me, but if he stopped being an unascended mortal and switched to Sole Spice, he could smell like heís me. Look down, back up, where are you? Youíre in a warren with the High Mage your cadre mage could smell like. Whatís in your hand, back at me. I have it, itís an acorn with two gates to that realm you love. Look again, the acorn is now otataral. Anything is possible when your mage smells like Sole Spice and not a Bole brother. Iím on a quorl.
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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

Now I know of a few Malawian beliefs that are interesting in that they kinda graft onto christianity a little in weird and wonderful ways. I think the name for God in Malawi is Chauta, Powerful one. yet traditionally Malawians revered Napolo, a God serpent so big, when rocks cascaded down the side of the mountain it was him shifting in his giant reptilian slumber. I am super vague on the details but effectively Chauta killed Napolo, or tricked him into eternal peace? or something. Many traditionalists came to Christianity after a feeling of debt to Chauta, "the one God" laying down Napolo. again very vague on all this as I heard it when I was on training wheels.

I think That way of subsuming belief is key to every single book of faith. Its the adoption, or at times burglary, of faith. If you're writing a book trying to make a stance on religions foibles all you have to do is make a "new" Deity that borrowed every other Gods clothes, heads and limbs. the more contemporary or accessible the deity the more fear and reverence the devout pour into it. The more archaic and uncivilized the deity, the more likely we kick it to the curb. (See Hoary Bharghast Gods).

I stick to a belief that if God ever made Gods-self known, we obscured and blurred out the truth of it long ago. I think Gaia is the least manipulative idea of God I can imagine. Lots of modern fiction lean that way. such Gods like Krul or the Storm Father for example, a huge sentience made up of all our collective sentience.
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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:45 PM

i vaguely recall reading somewhere that the 'steal fire from the gods and give it to the poor pathetic humans' myth is the most common one to appear in diverse cultures.
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#18 User is offline   Acorn 

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:28 AM

View PostAbyss, on 04 February 2013 - 04:45 PM, said:

i vaguely recall reading somewhere that the 'steal fire from the gods and give it to the poor pathetic humans' myth is the most common one to appear in diverse cultures.




I have seen that around a lot - I do believe that is also the premise behind the Imass (They took the fire from Olar Ethil and made it their own).

I like the idea - and I think that can be worked into the over all story eventually - right now I'm focusing on the history more than anything. Which in this story is going to be larger than any of my previous work. Which is nuts because I have lots and lots of backstory and history for everything I write story-wise... Even my short stories tend to be heavy on the history side.

I've reworked the majority of the popular Christian stories (Adam and Eve, Moses, Noah's Arc, David and Goliath) already. I'm going to start in on some of those mentioned above soon after some more research. I also plan to tackle some of the well known conspiracy theories... IE Lincoln's assassination, MLK Jr... Some of the more popular Musicians, Orators, Generals/Leaders and so forth.

So who knows.... And sadly all of this work will likely not even work into the story itself, save for in small bits and pieces... But that's kind of the point to Back-story and history.
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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:15 AM

I dont know the author but the 1st book in the series is called Left Behind I think? Ive never read them and have no interest in doing so but I know that they were VERY popular when they were coming out at the time in early 2000 or so. Its about the Apcolyspe.
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#20 User is offline   Acorn 

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

View PostBriar King, on 06 February 2013 - 04:15 AM, said:

I dont know the author but the 1st book in the series is called Left Behind I think? Ive never read them and have no interest in doing so but I know that they were VERY popular when they were coming out at the time in early 2000 or so. Its about the Apcolyspe.


Thanks, but they're a bit the opposite of what I intend.

They are heavily pro-Christian propaganda to be entirely honest... They are not written very well, but what they lack in skill, is more than made up in enthusiasm for the Christian belief system and sales are far from dipping because of it.

There are 13 of them if you want to look into them - and its association with the Apocalypse is only the tool used to further the Christian moniker of "Getting right with God" and so forth... From what I remember they're primarily about someone who was left behind after the Rapture/Apocalypse/Revelation/etc and his journey to find meaning and God afterward.

Edit:
I figure I'm not likely to make any friends among the various sects of Christianity (Judaism? as well, since I'll be butchering much of their religious text in the process) so I might as well go for broke as they say.

Regardless, the Left Behind books were a travesty of editorial injustice and the movies were even more so as neither should have been allowed into the light of day, or the dark of night... and Kirk Cameron really should've stayed retired. But alas, we all make mistakes... Some just happen to be more monumental than others. =P

This post has been edited by Acorn: 06 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

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