The Origin of
Mythology and Idolatry
Before entering upon this study, it will be necessary first to learn from
the Doctrines the origin of Idolatry and Mythology, for otherwise we will ever
be groping in darkness, like those of the Old Church who have studied this subject.
They have looked at the legends of the ancients from themselves, from their
own point of view, and with their self-intelligence. Hence they have regarded
this subject objectively and from without, and hence their failure to find in
the Mythologies anything but an utterly confused and confusing mass of names,
stories and superstitions, which have proved of but little genuine value. But
in the New Church all things may be seen from within, because from Divine Revelation.
Hence New-churchmen are better able to place themselves in the states of the
ancients, and to regard their religious ideas from a relatively subjective point
of view; as, for example, a man of the Ancient Church, grounded in the Science
of Correspondences, would have looked upon the various representative images
In order to fully understand the origin of Polytheism and Idolatry, we will
first briefly review the history of mankind from its earliest ages, with respect
to its conceptions of the Divine.