Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-475120080002&lang=es vol. 48 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The invention of a future 1</b>: <b>On the future, inventive thinking and language</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die toekoms is onontwykbaar. Mense bly altyd daarmee gekonfronteer. Die uitdagings wat dit stel is ewe onontwykbaar: Wat moet ons daarmee doen? Hoe kan ons ons daarop voorberei? Wat kan gedoen word om dit te verseker? Duidelik stel dit hoë eise aan menslike denke, want geen empiriese hantering van die toekoms is moontlik nie. Deur die eeue het die gedagte van hoop op een of ander wyse gehelp om toekomsverwagtinge te artikuleer, hoop van filosowe, van teoloë, van psigoloë en selfs van rewolusionêres. Die hoop het mense laat voortgaan. Utopiese verwagtinge is gekoester en verkondig. Al hierdie intellektuele oefeninge is menslike denkhandelinge. lets baie besonders word deur die toekoms van die denke gevra en dit vra weer vir 'n spesiale soort denke: allesomvattende denke, verbeeldingryke denke, of eintlik inventiewe denke, geïnspireer deur die noëtiese vermoëns van mense. Hierdie denke, ten einde te floreer en na behore te ontplooi, het taal nodig. Sonder taal sou die denke verstar en die toekoms versper gevind word. Taal help om die toekoms oop te maak, maar dan nie taal as gereedskap nie, maar wel taal as die spreker en denker in en deur mense.<hr/>The future poses unavoidable challenges to human beings. We have to take on these challenges; we have to confront the future; we have to figure out how to deal with it; we have to develop strategies to secure a sensible future for ourselves. We do not hold the future in our hands. It happens to us and very often in unexpected ways. These ways are most likely different from our plans and scenarios. Many maintain that the future contains something catastrophic and monstrous; thinking about the future is often loaded with despair, not to be separated from a kind of death wish. Despite the despair, the catastrophic, the monstrous and the death wish, human life can only be lived by directing the attention to the future in an imperturbable way. The significance of empirical data, of the demonstrable, to help us in this endeavour is limited, and so is its value. We must apply our capacity of thought to deal with the challenges. The urgency of thorough reflection can hardly be denied. This urgency is of a conceptual nature before it becomes political or ethical. But then thought and reflection of a specific quality are required. It must be reflection in the sense of comprehensive thinking, or inventive thinking, as the only mode of thinking that is capable of dealing with the complexity and enormity of the challenges. Thought as calculation is insufficient and needs the support and complementary input of thought as reflection, meditation and invention. An overview of the relevant literature clearly demonstrates the importance of thought and reflection. It becomes abundantly clear that this thinking places hope at the centre of its focus, whether it is hope articulated in terms of philosophy, theology, psychology or even politics and revolution. No single, one-dimensional approach will ever guarantee the future, immaterial of how important guarantees may seem to us and how much we are in need of them. This hope is continuously related to utopian dreams, imaginary expectations and even promising propaganda. It is not only a matter of thinking as a rational issue, but thinking as serious reflection on ethical responsibilities as well. Good thinking is the principle of morality. For the best possible future the best possible thinking is required. The inescapable directedness towards the future must always be a thoughtful directedness with 'the future as promise' in mind. While the promise is alive the possibilities of inventing a liveable future remains alive. Different approaches of making sense of the future have been considered, the valuable insights in the use and abuse of history with respect to the future can be particularly helpful here, but it seems as if a thoughtful orientation may be the most fruitful. For this to happen, thought of a certain order with a focus on meaningful information, language and life is recommended. The inspiration of thought, emerging from the convergence of a noetic disposition combined with imagination, phantasy and reason, leads to invention. For this reason inventive thinking in general is of decisive importance, but especially when the future is at stake. This way of thinking cannot be taken for granted; it must be educated in the sense of 'the formation of human thought as invention'. It is important to keep this kind of thinking alive. In order for this kind of thinking to flourish, language is needed. Language in its fullness and not language merely as a handy tool is needed. When language is merely a tool as often happens, then its use becomes mechanical and it exhausts thinking. Exhausted thinking is unable to invent a meaningful future. It can do nothing more than mutilate any expectations regarding the future, disturb all hope, and obfuscate any vision of a possible future. When language is allowed to faint, hope, expectation, destination, and life itself faint as well. This is when 'barbarism of ignorance' takes over in which case dogmatisms, reductionisms, mutilating theories, and ideological distortions pollute all endeavours to invent a future. Language supports any orientation towards the future, since the future tense, subjunctive and optative, mobilise and organise the future. In this sense language possesses the power of invention. For this reason poetry is important. It uses words to explore many possibilities. Poetry is indeed the thoughtful creation of possibilities. In poetry words are enabled to say as much as possible, to design a future. This is in contrast to ordinary language usage which says the minimum, tries to be 'economical', which very regularly happens in the case of scientific and technical language, as well as in teaching. Such instrumentalisation of language use kills language and is dangerous. Therefore, language in its dynamic fullness, together with comprehensive and inventive thought, must at all costs be kept alive. <![CDATA[<b>South Africa after thirteen years (1994-2007)- with special reference to analogies with Lithuania</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die Ryk van Litoue sowel as kontemporêre Litoue toon talle analogieë met Suid-Afrika en die Litouers met Afrikaanses. Beide het die afgelope tyd transformasie ondergaan en beide word gekenmerk deur 'n verskeidenheid van kulture. Die Litouse ryk se beleid van verdraagsaamheid ten opsigte van diverse kulture was suksesvol. Die Litouse situasie beklemtoon die belangrikheid van taal en kulturele selfbewussyn. Dit het duidelike parallelle in Suid-Afrika. Sowel Litous as Afrikaans was by tye op die agtergrond, maar albei kulture bly behoue. Die betekenis van 'n nie-outentieke bestaan van Litoue in die Sowjet-era word behandel. Die geldigheid van sowel nasionale as internasionale waardes is by sowel Litouers as Afrikaanses van belang.<hr/>Several analogies exist between South Africa and Lithuania in general and more in particular between the Afrikaans and Lithuanian peoples. The article contains much history in so far as it is relevant to the analogies. Therefore it is not a historical treatment of Lithuania's history as such. Although the main point of comparison is the Empire, modern and contemporary Lithuania is also discussed, but then seen in continuity with the Empire. In both Afrikaner and Lithuanian cultures, the important role of heroes in the past is obvious. In South Africa well known examples are Racheltjie de Beer, Piet Retief, Paul Kruger, General de la Rey and many others and in Lithuania these include Gedeminias, Jonas Basanavicius and Roman Kalanta, amongst others. In times of crisis convergence of expressions are noted between hortatory expressions of, for example, Gedeminias and Voortrekker women. Lithuania is discussed because of its little known qualities. Very few academic studies exist outside Lithuania about Lithuania. This is largely because of the closed Soviet past and a general unfamiliarity with Lithuania. British, Roman, Greek, and other empires are very well known, but very few people are even aware of the existence of the Lithuanian Empire. The late usage of Lithuanian in written works may have played a role in this regard. For the same reason as well as background, a short comparison is drawn between the Lithuanian, Latvian, Sanskrit and Latin languages. It is taken into account that the idea of federalism started very early in Lithuanian history. This can be seen in the relative independence of groups or areas. This seemed to get stronger in the Empire. Although there was no federal constitution in a modern sense of the word, the philosophy of relative independence for various cultural groups just seemed to be spontaneously taken for granted. Even today many Lithuanians are keen to speculate on a federation with Latvia, Estonia, Belo-Russia and the Ukraine. The 14th century constituted the culmination of the Empire under the leadership of Gedeminias. Some disanalogies with the two Boer Republics in South Africa, are that Gedeminias occupied large areas of central and Eastern Europe, while the Afrikaners never strived for an Empire. The analogy consists in the multi-cultural realities of both the Empire and later South Africa. Although simple generalizations cannot be made about empires, a significant correspondence exists between such empires and a contemporary multinational state. Both Afrikaans and Lithuanian people have a high regard2for the value of their two languages. The role of the Lithuanian language in the Empire and afterwards varied. In the Empire it did not play a strong normative, let alone constitutive role. Lithuanian was appreciated, as becomes clear from the fact that the Lithuanian people continued to speak it. However, in rustic times before World War I, the top echelons spoke Lithuanian, but preferred Polish above Lithuanian in official and important written works - even in ordinary private correspondence. The analogy with Afrikaners in the Free State Boer republic is striking. Before the Anglo Boer War, in rustic times, the state president, all important officials, and many private citizens, preferred to write and speak English. The moment that oppression and suppression of Lithuanian by the Tsar and the suppression of Afrikaans in the previous Boer republics by British imperialism became evident, a strong awareness of these languages took place among their speakers: the two languages became part of a strong sense of national identity. The Lithuanians were remarkably tolerant in cultural, political and religious matters. Although the Convention of Geneva was still far-off in the future, Gedeminias and many followers applied the rules and spirit of Geneva. The Lithuanians besieged Berlin, and several times Moscow. It was in their power to destroy the cities and people, but they did not do so. And the inhabitants of Berlin and Moscow were treated fairly. Initially Lithuanians comprised about 70% of the Empire but very soon this figure dropped to 30%. Most were Slavic ethnic groups, like Polish, Ruthenian/Ukranian, Belo-Russian, and Latvian. The tolerant spirit in the Empire attracted many Russian principalities outside the Empire as well as many Germans and Jews to settle in the Empire. Never did one hear of ethnic cultural oppression or discrimination. Religious freedom was also highly valued and promoted. The Lithuanians eventually became Roman Catholic, while in the (now) Belo Russia and the Ukraine most were of Russian/Greek orthodox orientation. The Lithuanians even tried to unite the Roman Catholic Church and Greek orthodox churches in the Empire. Jews and Muslims settled voluntarily in the empire - no discrimination was experienced. Some attempts to discriminate were severely dealt with by Lithuanian authorities. I think that this is most remarkable for the 14th and 15th centuries. This tolerance and democratic spirit did not persevere for a very short time only; it was not a whim, but instead this spirit lasted for three ages in the Empire. It was not the outcome of western democratic liberal philosophies. Rather, it is something unique and is still current in contemporary Lithuania where the small Russian population is treated2fairly in contrast to Latvia (related to Lithuanian) where a larger Russian population is compelled to learn Latvian. The logo of the Lithuanian and Boer republics is the same. The Soviet era brought about an inauthentic existence among Lithuanians. Russification as in the Tsar's time was repeated, similar to Lord Milner s Anglicizing of Afrikaners after the Anglo Boer war. Contemporary Lithuania still breathes the tolerant spirit of the Empire. Much is to be learned for South Africa. Although not perfect, it shows that respect for culture and identity, can work in a multinational state. Post-Soviet Lithuanians as well as post-apartheid Afrikaans people, seem to find meaning in both national and international values in several areas of life. <![CDATA[<b>Is increasing wealth vis-à-vis poverty a zero-sum game?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Hierdie artikel toets die hipotese: Is groeiende welvaart teenoor armoede 'n nul-som spel? Die hipotese staan teen die agtergrond van die stelling: Die rykes word ryker en die armes word armer. Hierdie stelling laat die indruk dat groter of groeiende welvaart vir een individu of groep net moontlik is ten koste van ander individue of groepe. In die praktyk is die noodwendige gevolg van ekonomiese groei en toenemende welvaart nie 'n toename in armoede nie. Regerings wat verantwoordelik optree, dra by tot 'n vermindering van armoede, selfs al neem die welvaart van rykes toe. Onderdrukkende regerings maak egter van groeiende welvaart 'n nul-som spel. Die slotsom nadat die hipotese getoets is, laat twee met mekaar botsende antwoorde. Onder sekere omstandighede word die hipotese bevestig, maar onder ander omstandighede word dit verwerp. Die uitdaging wat die wêreld in die gesig staar, is om te verseker dat groeiende welvaart tot almal se voordeel is. Dit sal enige indruk van 'n nul-som spel beëindig. Die keuse lê by ons, en te midde van toenemende polarisasie in die wêreld is ons waarskynlik die laaste geslag wat nog die voorreg van 'n keuse het om 'n verskil te kan maak.<hr/>This paper tests the following hypothesis: is increasing wealth vis-à-vis poverty a zero sum game? This hypothesis is tested on the basis of the statement that "the rich gets richer and the poor poorer". This statement leaves the impression that increased wealth for an individual or group is only possible at the expense of another individual or group. Varying conclusions are reached when the hypothesis is tested in terms of economic growth, government conduct and the Barcelona Consensus. Criticism is often levelled at a perceived unfair distribution between the rich and the poor, or an increase in wealth, or increasing wealth for individuals, hence creating an impression of increasing wealth at the expense of the poor. The basis for this assertion is that any benefits accruing from economic growth are not automatically distributed to the poor in the community, as their skills are often of such a nature that they cannot secure employment opportunities in the economic system. In reality economic growth and increased wealth do not necessarily result in an increase of poverty among the poor, implying that the hypothesis cannot be proven as if it were an economic law. Responsible actions by governments do not confirm the hypothesis, as responsible conduct by any government reduces poverty, even if the wealth of the rich increases. On the contrary, oppressive governments that do not recognise the principles of democracy, market forces, property rights or the rule of law often make a zero-sum game of growing wealth vis-à-vis poverty, hence confirming the hypothesis. Historically improvements of the work-leisure balance have not only benefited the wealthy. The implementation of flexible labour market policies with concomitant changes to the number of hours that workers are expected to work, have changed this balance also for labour. Economic growth can therefore result in improvements in living conditions that are not immediately obvious; for example, increased leisure time or improvements in relative wealth, measured in terms of working hours required to purchase items used by an average household. Irrespective of their income levels, workers are able to enjoy an improved balance between work and leisure, thereby disproving the hypothesis. The Barcelona Consensus confirms the conclusions on economic growth and forms of governments: the hypothesis has no merit within a framework of responsible political and social decisions, but is confirmed when governments act irresponsibly. The Consensus highlights international development problems, increased poverty and the problems associated with globalisation. The conclusion reached is that undemocratic governments and the absence of democratic principles serve as a hindrance to achieving a better world economic order. On the one hand the hypothesis is supported if the current pattern of globalisation and externalities such as global warming are taken into account. On the other hand the Consensus confirms that the hypothesis cannot be confirmed in a framework of responsible decision-making by governments. The final analysis after testing the hypothesis leaves two distinctly divergent answers. In certain circumstances the hypothesis is confirmed and in others it is refuted. The challenge facing the world is to ensure that increased wealth benefits all, thereby ending any impression of a zero-sum game. With increased polarisation in the world, we might be the last generation with the privilege of having a choice about wealth accumulation and poverty eradication, and possibly thereby making a difference. <![CDATA[<b>Some philological remarks on the provenance, nature and genre of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus' <i>Meditations</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Na aanleiding van die onlangse verskyning (2007) van die skrywer se (literêre) vertaling van Marcus Aurelius Antoninus se Meditasies in Afrikaans, lewer hierdie artikel 'n oorsig van 'n aantal filologiese aspekte van die werk, veral ten behoewe van lesers van die vertaling. Aandag word gegee aan die vasstelbare herkoms van die teks, die oorlewering daarvan, die literêre aard en genre van die werk, asook die "innerlike werking" daarvan in 'n poging om die leser by te staan in sy eie verstaan en interpretasie van die Meditasies. In ooreenstemming met die interpretasie van Pierre Hadot, word die Meditasies hier geïdentifiseer en getipeer as Stoïsynse geestelike oefeninge wat ontwerp is om die innerlike diskoers van die beoefenaars daarvan op 'n gestruktureerde wyse te transformeer. Marcus se meditasies word hierin eerder gekarakteriseer as "vrye meditasies" as herhalende en onbuigsame "vraag-en-antwoord"-sessies (Robert Newman). Voorop in Marcus se gedagtes staan altyddeur sy eie waargenome naderende dood. Die voorrang wat Marcus aan sy eie pyn en lyding verleen, betuig 'n nuwe, tweede eeus-geskape kulturele uitdrukkingsvorm vir die subjektiwiteit van die menslike persona, asook Marcus se volledige bekering tot die Stoïsisme (Judith Perkins).<hr/>Following the recent appearance (2007) of the author's (literary) translation into Afrikaans of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 'Meditations (Meditasies van Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 2007]), this article reviews some philological dimensions of the work, especially for readers approaching that translation from various disciplinary angles and who may be unversed in Greek. The provenance and transmission of the text is traced, from its speculated possible origins as Marcus' personal diaries, first entered on wax-tablets during the Roman campaigns in Germania and kept in private circulation after the emperor's death, through the scant references to it, first by Themistios (200 years later), and then by bishop Arethas and the Suidas-lexicon in the 10'h century AD. While the work was apparently read widely in the Byzantine Empire, the editio princeps was only published in the Renaissance by Andreas Gesner in Switzerland in 1559. The textual tradition of the work runs back onto two variant manuscripts, the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1950 (in the Apostolic Library of the Vatican) and the Toxites-manuscript, now lost through fire, on which the Gesner-edition was based. The work presented its first interpreters with many problems because of the stylistic dissonances displayed by the introductory first book with the remaining eleven books of the work, the very few geographic references encountered in it and the apparent incoherence of the thoughts presented in the work. Few commentators understood what Marcus actually was saying, although it was superficially clear that the work contained a number of2personal notes which were clearly meditative in nature. Various good editions of the work appeared in the twentieth century (Haynes, Trannoy and especially Farquharson), but it was only with the publication of Pierre Hadot's interpretation (La Citadelle interieure) in the eighties that a single, coherent principle of translation was suggested which explained the background and workings of Marcus' meditations. He identified and typified the Meditations as Stoic spiritual exercises derived from Epictetus, designed to transform the practitioner's inner discourse in a structured way. The Meditations in fact suggests three essential or disciplinary rules, embodied in three disciplinary activities, viz. that of rational decision-taking, of human desire and of impulse; the rules pertain to the three domains of individual capacity for decision-taking, Universal Nature and human nature. The exercises were calculated to influence the demeanour of the practitioner, always striving to renew him in the face of great personal challenges, especially that of death. The Meditations clearly formed an askesis - a self-discipline by the virtuous and good person. It posed universally valid values and norms to regulate practical conduct. Through the daily, and routinely, repeated dogmata (values, norms) one's inner intentions to do the good are affirmed and entrenched. By turning inwards, the practitioner regularly renews himself spiritually and is able to face life's challenges. Robert Newman has pointed out (ANRW) that the meditatio was characteristic of the Stoa, and that it became the most important ethical tool to heal the individual human spirit in the early Empire. The meditation was highly structured and practised on a routine basis by the use of standard phrases and images in a standard method. Thus Marcus' meditations summon the practitioner to exercise by way of the imperatives introducing so many of his aphoristic sententiae. The call is ever to impress the right norms on one's hegemonikon, the inner guiding rational spirit, to integrate with it in the ablility to guide one's conduct. Meditation was considered essential for the preservation of ethical integrity and for ignoring the non-essential, the externalia. Marcus' meditations have been characterised as 'free meditations' rather than repetititive and rigid 'question-and-answer'-sessions. Newman, in fact, distinguishes four basic types of meditations: short aphorisms containing sententiae; sententiae introduced by imperatives exhorting to a better life; freely composed meditations consisting of summaries of longer meditations, and, fourthly, long meditations including an exhortation containing a number of examples of such a meditation. Omnipresent in the Meditations is the matter of Marcus' own perceived looming death. In fact, his preoccupation with his own pain and suffering not only betrays a new (second century) form of cultural expression of the subjectivity of the human persona, but also Marcus' complete conversion to Stoicism (Judith Perkins). <![CDATA[<b>Joseph Stalin's (1878-1953) physical and psychological health</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Na aanleiding van die onlangse verskyning (2007) van die skrywer se (literêre) vertaling van Marcus Aurelius Antoninus se Meditasies in Afrikaans, lewer hierdie artikel 'n oorsig van 'n aantal filologiese aspekte van die werk, veral ten behoewe van lesers van die vertaling. Aandag word gegee aan die vasstelbare herkoms van die teks, die oorlewering daarvan, die literêre aard en genre van die werk, asook die "innerlike werking" daarvan in 'n poging om die leser by te staan in sy eie verstaan en interpretasie van die Meditasies. In ooreenstemming met die interpretasie van Pierre Hadot, word die Meditasies hier geïdentifiseer en getipeer as Stoïsynse geestelike oefeninge wat ontwerp is om die innerlike diskoers van die beoefenaars daarvan op 'n gestruktureerde wyse te transformeer. Marcus se meditasies word hierin eerder gekarakteriseer as "vrye meditasies" as herhalende en onbuigsame "vraag-en-antwoord"-sessies (Robert Newman). Voorop in Marcus se gedagtes staan altyddeur sy eie waargenome naderende dood. Die voorrang wat Marcus aan sy eie pyn en lyding verleen, betuig 'n nuwe, tweede eeus-geskape kulturele uitdrukkingsvorm vir die subjektiwiteit van die menslike persona, asook Marcus se volledige bekering tot die Stoïsisme (Judith Perkins).<hr/>Following the recent appearance (2007) of the author's (literary) translation into Afrikaans of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 'Meditations (Meditasies van Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 2007]), this article reviews some philological dimensions of the work, especially for readers approaching that translation from various disciplinary angles and who may be unversed in Greek. The provenance and transmission of the text is traced, from its speculated possible origins as Marcus' personal diaries, first entered on wax-tablets during the Roman campaigns in Germania and kept in private circulation after the emperor's death, through the scant references to it, first by Themistios (200 years later), and then by bishop Arethas and the Suidas-lexicon in the 10'h century AD. While the work was apparently read widely in the Byzantine Empire, the editio princeps was only published in the Renaissance by Andreas Gesner in Switzerland in 1559. The textual tradition of the work runs back onto two variant manuscripts, the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1950 (in the Apostolic Library of the Vatican) and the Toxites-manuscript, now lost through fire, on which the Gesner-edition was based. The work presented its first interpreters with many problems because of the stylistic dissonances displayed by the introductory first book with the remaining eleven books of the work, the very few geographic references encountered in it and the apparent incoherence of the thoughts presented in the work. Few commentators understood what Marcus actually was saying, although it was superficially clear that the work contained a number of2personal notes which were clearly meditative in nature. Various good editions of the work appeared in the twentieth century (Haynes, Trannoy and especially Farquharson), but it was only with the publication of Pierre Hadot's interpretation (La Citadelle interieure) in the eighties that a single, coherent principle of translation was suggested which explained the background and workings of Marcus' meditations. He identified and typified the Meditations as Stoic spiritual exercises derived from Epictetus, designed to transform the practitioner's inner discourse in a structured way. The Meditations in fact suggests three essential or disciplinary rules, embodied in three disciplinary activities, viz. that of rational decision-taking, of human desire and of impulse; the rules pertain to the three domains of individual capacity for decision-taking, Universal Nature and human nature. The exercises were calculated to influence the demeanour of the practitioner, always striving to renew him in the face of great personal challenges, especially that of death. The Meditations clearly formed an askesis - a self-discipline by the virtuous and good person. It posed universally valid values and norms to regulate practical conduct. Through the daily, and routinely, repeated dogmata (values, norms) one's inner intentions to do the good are affirmed and entrenched. By turning inwards, the practitioner regularly renews himself spiritually and is able to face life's challenges. Robert Newman has pointed out (ANRW) that the meditatio was characteristic of the Stoa, and that it became the most important ethical tool to heal the individual human spirit in the early Empire. The meditation was highly structured and practised on a routine basis by the use of standard phrases and images in a standard method. Thus Marcus' meditations summon the practitioner to exercise by way of the imperatives introducing so many of his aphoristic sententiae. The call is ever to impress the right norms on one's hegemonikon, the inner guiding rational spirit, to integrate with it in the ablility to guide one's conduct. Meditation was considered essential for the preservation of ethical integrity and for ignoring the non-essential, the externalia. Marcus' meditations have been characterised as 'free meditations' rather than repetititive and rigid 'question-and-answer'-sessions. Newman, in fact, distinguishes four basic types of meditations: short aphorisms containing sententiae; sententiae introduced by imperatives exhorting to a better life; freely composed meditations consisting of summaries of longer meditations, and, fourthly, long meditations including an exhortation containing a number of examples of such a meditation. Omnipresent in the Meditations is the matter of Marcus' own perceived looming death. In fact, his preoccupation with his own pain and suffering not only betrays a new (second century) form of cultural expression of the subjectivity of the human persona, but also Marcus' complete conversion to Stoicism (Judith Perkins). <![CDATA[<b>"Myth" reviewed as a concept in the human sciences</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Daar word in hierdie artikel van die standpunt uitgegaan dat, gegewe die verwarring in definisies van die term "mite", dit nodig is om die term presieser te definieer en ook te verduidelik alvorens dit in akademiese diskoers gebesig word. Dit is ook onbevredigend en soms selfs verwarrend dat die woordeboekdefinisies en wydverspreide gebruik van die term beperk word tot óf die heroïese dade uit die antieke wêreld en die kaperjolle van hulle gode en godinne, óf andersins uitgebrei word om na hedendaagse wanopvattings of selfs valshede te verwys. Jospeh Campbell, een van die prominentste "mitoloë" van die twintigste eeu, verduidelik die sogenaamde mag van mites as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (in Flowers 1988:5). In 'n onlangse publikasie oor die geskiedenis van die mite verbind Karen Armstrong die maak van mites aan "a quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11). As sodanig het die mite 'n houvas op mense deurdat dit hulle versterk en hulle lewe die moeite werd maak. Baie skrywers en navorsers in die menswetenskappe, soos byvoorbeeld Carl Guystav Jung, Thomas Bulfinch, G.M. Kirkwood, D. de Rougemont, die historici Samuel en Thompson, N. Frye, M Scarborough, P.J. Conradie, Etienne Leroux en Charles Malan gaan akkoord met hierdie opvatting oor die essensiële funksie van die mite in die menslike bestaan. Die belangrike vraag skyn te wees: Is dit moontlik dat die mens se soeke na "truth, meaning and significance", sy of haar "quest for the soul", kan uitloop op niks anders as die skep van valshede nie?<hr/>Judging from various definitions by human scientists (among them Joseph Campbell, the historians Samuel and Thompson, Karen Armstrong and others) of the term "myth", it would appear that it is a complex concept, defying a single definition. Steenberg (in Cloete 1999:312) notes that the term is mostly defined in accordance with the researcher's focus, for instance historical, philosophical, theological, aesthetic, or sociological orientations. In 2004 two theses were completed at South African universities with "myth" featuring in the title of the studies: one from a literary perspective and one from the perspective of language sociology, or language politics. Although the focus differed and the bibliographies (despite significant resemblances) indicate different fields of study, the interesting fact is that at the end both researchers came to more or less the same conclusion regarding the nature and function of myths. The first of these two researchers (Van Schalkwyk 2004) uses the concept "coherence system" as more or less synonymous to the term "myth" and quotes Linde in this regard: "A coherence system is a discursive practice that represents a system of beliefs and relations between beliefs" (Linde 1993:164). Other important sources for Van Schalkwyk's study include Northrop Frye (1982), Scarborough (1994) and Roland Barthes (195 7/1975). The second researcher (Jordaan 2004), and author of the present article, studies the role of "myth making" in the "story of Afrikaans" from the perspective of language politics. Given this context, myths are primarily seen as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (Campbell in Flowers 1988:5). "Myth", in this instance, being defined as a narrative reconstruction of the fundamental truths that give meaning to human existence. As such myths are furthermore seen as instrumental in establishing systems of belief as well as value systems and codes of conduct within specific cultural groups (also defined as "imagined communities", cf. Anderson 1991). Jordaan's main sources are Joseph Campbell (1949 & 1988), Samuel and Thompson (1990), Thomas Bulfinch (sine anno), Carl Gustav Jung (1964), P.J. Conradie (1964), Etienne Leroux (1960) and Charles Malan (1978). I argue in this article that the lexicon definitions and widespread use of the term "myth", to refer exclusively either to the heroic deeds of antique heroes and the antics of their gods and goddesses, or to modern day misconceptions and even falsehoods, may be unsatisfactory and even confusing. Definitions by prominent human scientists in the course of more or less forty years defy this superficial view of myths as "falsehoods". The following are a few examples of the view taken on the pertinent role of myths and myth making: [...] a myth expresses rules of conduct of a given social or religious group. It issues accordingly from whatever sacred principle has presided over the formation of this group (De Rougemont 1956:18). The distinctive quality of myth, the aspect of it that gives its peculiar value for literature, is its capacity to express in story form the primary emotional and imaginative workings of the human mind (Kirkwood 1958:22). Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished... It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation (Campbell 1972:3). [. ] myth is a fundamental component of human thought [and] has lost neither its imaginative purchase nor its living power as a historical force today (Samuel & Thompson (eds.)1990:4). As an example of the role of myths in establishing value systems and codes of conduct, I refer in this article to the Afrikaans author and social worker of the twentieth century, Maria Elizabeth Rothmann (M.E.R.), whose writing and life work give ample proof of the central role of myth. The "power of myth" as discussed by Joseph Campbell in televised interviews with Bill Moyers on CBS News is further explicated as additional proof of the fact that a myth may be seen as a fundamental "truth" for which the believer is prepared to die rather than to live without. It is probably with this in mind that the prominent Afrikaans writer, Etienne Leroux, unequivocally stated that a human being would rather die from starvation than go without his life-sustaining myth (Leroux in Kannemeyer 1980:12).} The article furthermore points out the link between myths and literature by referring among other things to the following statement by Barbara Kingsolver in The Poisonwood Bible: "We all are, I suppose. Trying to invent our version of the story. All human odes are essentially one: 'My life: what I stole from history, and how I live with it'" (Kingsolver 1999:492). It is also argued that, in the words of Estes (1992:463), stories ("tales") are "in their oldest sense, a healing art". Stories, like myths, are therefore used to make sense of the human condition, to explain to members of a group (and especially to the young members of the group) where they come from, what sense their life has, and what values are inherent to the group. In the last section of the article examples are provided of prominent and highly respected human scientists who have made use of the term "myth" in scientific discourses in the sense of a misconception or falsehood. It is argued that, according to the lexical definition of the term "myth", the use of the term by these scientists is entirely valid. On the other hand, however, it is stated that, in the light of the preceding discussion of the term as used by prominent human scientists to refer to a narrative (re)construction of man's "search through the ages for truth, meaning and significance", the implication that a myth is a falsehood may undoubtedly create confusion. The pertinent question seems to be: can man's search for "truth, meaning and significance", his or her "quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11), result in nothing more than the creation of falsehoods? <![CDATA[<b>Nicol Stassen & Ulrich van der Heyden (samestellers): <i>German publications on the Anglo-Boer War / Duitse publikasies oor die Anglo-Boereoorlog / Deutsche Publikazionen über den Anglo-Burenkrieg</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Daar word in hierdie artikel van die standpunt uitgegaan dat, gegewe die verwarring in definisies van die term "mite", dit nodig is om die term presieser te definieer en ook te verduidelik alvorens dit in akademiese diskoers gebesig word. Dit is ook onbevredigend en soms selfs verwarrend dat die woordeboekdefinisies en wydverspreide gebruik van die term beperk word tot óf die heroïese dade uit die antieke wêreld en die kaperjolle van hulle gode en godinne, óf andersins uitgebrei word om na hedendaagse wanopvattings of selfs valshede te verwys. Jospeh Campbell, een van die prominentste "mitoloë" van die twintigste eeu, verduidelik die sogenaamde mag van mites as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (in Flowers 1988:5). In 'n onlangse publikasie oor die geskiedenis van die mite verbind Karen Armstrong die maak van mites aan "a quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11). As sodanig het die mite 'n houvas op mense deurdat dit hulle versterk en hulle lewe die moeite werd maak. Baie skrywers en navorsers in die menswetenskappe, soos byvoorbeeld Carl Guystav Jung, Thomas Bulfinch, G.M. Kirkwood, D. de Rougemont, die historici Samuel en Thompson, N. Frye, M Scarborough, P.J. Conradie, Etienne Leroux en Charles Malan gaan akkoord met hierdie opvatting oor die essensiële funksie van die mite in die menslike bestaan. Die belangrike vraag skyn te wees: Is dit moontlik dat die mens se soeke na "truth, meaning and significance", sy of haar "quest for the soul", kan uitloop op niks anders as die skep van valshede nie?<hr/>Judging from various definitions by human scientists (among them Joseph Campbell, the historians Samuel and Thompson, Karen Armstrong and others) of the term "myth", it would appear that it is a complex concept, defying a single definition. Steenberg (in Cloete 1999:312) notes that the term is mostly defined in accordance with the researcher's focus, for instance historical, philosophical, theological, aesthetic, or sociological orientations. In 2004 two theses were completed at South African universities with "myth" featuring in the title of the studies: one from a literary perspective and one from the perspective of language sociology, or language politics. Although the focus differed and the bibliographies (despite significant resemblances) indicate different fields of study, the interesting fact is that at the end both researchers came to more or less the same conclusion regarding the nature and function of myths. The first of these two researchers (Van Schalkwyk 2004) uses the concept "coherence system" as more or less synonymous to the term "myth" and quotes Linde in this regard: "A coherence system is a discursive practice that represents a system of beliefs and relations between beliefs" (Linde 1993:164). Other important sources for Van Schalkwyk's study include Northrop Frye (1982), Scarborough (1994) and Roland Barthes (195 7/1975). The second researcher (Jordaan 2004), and author of the present article, studies the role of "myth making" in the "story of Afrikaans" from the perspective of language politics. Given this context, myths are primarily seen as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (Campbell in Flowers 1988:5). "Myth", in this instance, being defined as a narrative reconstruction of the fundamental truths that give meaning to human existence. As such myths are furthermore seen as instrumental in establishing systems of belief as well as value systems and codes of conduct within specific cultural groups (also defined as "imagined communities", cf. Anderson 1991). Jordaan's main sources are Joseph Campbell (1949 & 1988), Samuel and Thompson (1990), Thomas Bulfinch (sine anno), Carl Gustav Jung (1964), P.J. Conradie (1964), Etienne Leroux (1960) and Charles Malan (1978). I argue in this article that the lexicon definitions and widespread use of the term "myth", to refer exclusively either to the heroic deeds of antique heroes and the antics of their gods and goddesses, or to modern day misconceptions and even falsehoods, may be unsatisfactory and even confusing. Definitions by prominent human scientists in the course of more or less forty years defy this superficial view of myths as "falsehoods". The following are a few examples of the view taken on the pertinent role of myths and myth making: [...] a myth expresses rules of conduct of a given social or religious group. It issues accordingly from whatever sacred principle has presided over the formation of this group (De Rougemont 1956:18). The distinctive quality of myth, the aspect of it that gives its peculiar value for literature, is its capacity to express in story form the primary emotional and imaginative workings of the human mind (Kirkwood 1958:22). Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished... It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation (Campbell 1972:3). [. ] myth is a fundamental component of human thought [and] has lost neither its imaginative purchase nor its living power as a historical force today (Samuel & Thompson (eds.)1990:4). As an example of the role of myths in establishing value systems and codes of conduct, I refer in this article to the Afrikaans author and social worker of the twentieth century, Maria Elizabeth Rothmann (M.E.R.), whose writing and life work give ample proof of the central role of myth. The "power of myth" as discussed by Joseph Campbell in televised interviews with Bill Moyers on CBS News is further explicated as additional proof of the fact that a myth may be seen as a fundamental "truth" for which the believer is prepared to die rather than to live without. It is probably with this in mind that the prominent Afrikaans writer, Etienne Leroux, unequivocally stated that a human being would rather die from starvation than go without his life-sustaining myth (Leroux in Kannemeyer 1980:12).} The article furthermore points out the link between myths and literature by referring among other things to the following statement by Barbara Kingsolver in The Poisonwood Bible: "We all are, I suppose. Trying to invent our version of the story. All human odes are essentially one: 'My life: what I stole from history, and how I live with it'" (Kingsolver 1999:492). It is also argued that, in the words of Estes (1992:463), stories ("tales") are "in their oldest sense, a healing art". Stories, like myths, are therefore used to make sense of the human condition, to explain to members of a group (and especially to the young members of the group) where they come from, what sense their life has, and what values are inherent to the group. In the last section of the article examples are provided of prominent and highly respected human scientists who have made use of the term "myth" in scientific discourses in the sense of a misconception or falsehood. It is argued that, according to the lexical definition of the term "myth", the use of the term by these scientists is entirely valid. On the other hand, however, it is stated that, in the light of the preceding discussion of the term as used by prominent human scientists to refer to a narrative (re)construction of man's "search through the ages for truth, meaning and significance", the implication that a myth is a falsehood may undoubtedly create confusion. The pertinent question seems to be: can man's search for "truth, meaning and significance", his or her "quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11), result in nothing more than the creation of falsehoods? <![CDATA[<b>Francois Bredenkamp (vertaler): <i>Meditasies</i> van Marcus Aurelius Antoninus</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Daar word in hierdie artikel van die standpunt uitgegaan dat, gegewe die verwarring in definisies van die term "mite", dit nodig is om die term presieser te definieer en ook te verduidelik alvorens dit in akademiese diskoers gebesig word. Dit is ook onbevredigend en soms selfs verwarrend dat die woordeboekdefinisies en wydverspreide gebruik van die term beperk word tot óf die heroïese dade uit die antieke wêreld en die kaperjolle van hulle gode en godinne, óf andersins uitgebrei word om na hedendaagse wanopvattings of selfs valshede te verwys. Jospeh Campbell, een van die prominentste "mitoloë" van die twintigste eeu, verduidelik die sogenaamde mag van mites as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (in Flowers 1988:5). In 'n onlangse publikasie oor die geskiedenis van die mite verbind Karen Armstrong die maak van mites aan "a quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11). As sodanig het die mite 'n houvas op mense deurdat dit hulle versterk en hulle lewe die moeite werd maak. Baie skrywers en navorsers in die menswetenskappe, soos byvoorbeeld Carl Guystav Jung, Thomas Bulfinch, G.M. Kirkwood, D. de Rougemont, die historici Samuel en Thompson, N. Frye, M Scarborough, P.J. Conradie, Etienne Leroux en Charles Malan gaan akkoord met hierdie opvatting oor die essensiële funksie van die mite in die menslike bestaan. Die belangrike vraag skyn te wees: Is dit moontlik dat die mens se soeke na "truth, meaning and significance", sy of haar "quest for the soul", kan uitloop op niks anders as die skep van valshede nie?<hr/>Judging from various definitions by human scientists (among them Joseph Campbell, the historians Samuel and Thompson, Karen Armstrong and others) of the term "myth", it would appear that it is a complex concept, defying a single definition. Steenberg (in Cloete 1999:312) notes that the term is mostly defined in accordance with the researcher's focus, for instance historical, philosophical, theological, aesthetic, or sociological orientations. In 2004 two theses were completed at South African universities with "myth" featuring in the title of the studies: one from a literary perspective and one from the perspective of language sociology, or language politics. Although the focus differed and the bibliographies (despite significant resemblances) indicate different fields of study, the interesting fact is that at the end both researchers came to more or less the same conclusion regarding the nature and function of myths. The first of these two researchers (Van Schalkwyk 2004) uses the concept "coherence system" as more or less synonymous to the term "myth" and quotes Linde in this regard: "A coherence system is a discursive practice that represents a system of beliefs and relations between beliefs" (Linde 1993:164). Other important sources for Van Schalkwyk's study include Northrop Frye (1982), Scarborough (1994) and Roland Barthes (195 7/1975). The second researcher (Jordaan 2004), and author of the present article, studies the role of "myth making" in the "story of Afrikaans" from the perspective of language politics. Given this context, myths are primarily seen as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (Campbell in Flowers 1988:5). "Myth", in this instance, being defined as a narrative reconstruction of the fundamental truths that give meaning to human existence. As such myths are furthermore seen as instrumental in establishing systems of belief as well as value systems and codes of conduct within specific cultural groups (also defined as "imagined communities", cf. Anderson 1991). Jordaan's main sources are Joseph Campbell (1949 & 1988), Samuel and Thompson (1990), Thomas Bulfinch (sine anno), Carl Gustav Jung (1964), P.J. Conradie (1964), Etienne Leroux (1960) and Charles Malan (1978). I argue in this article that the lexicon definitions and widespread use of the term "myth", to refer exclusively either to the heroic deeds of antique heroes and the antics of their gods and goddesses, or to modern day misconceptions and even falsehoods, may be unsatisfactory and even confusing. Definitions by prominent human scientists in the course of more or less forty years defy this superficial view of myths as "falsehoods". The following are a few examples of the view taken on the pertinent role of myths and myth making: [...] a myth expresses rules of conduct of a given social or religious group. It issues accordingly from whatever sacred principle has presided over the formation of this group (De Rougemont 1956:18). The distinctive quality of myth, the aspect of it that gives its peculiar value for literature, is its capacity to express in story form the primary emotional and imaginative workings of the human mind (Kirkwood 1958:22). Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished... It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation (Campbell 1972:3). [. ] myth is a fundamental component of human thought [and] has lost neither its imaginative purchase nor its living power as a historical force today (Samuel & Thompson (eds.)1990:4). As an example of the role of myths in establishing value systems and codes of conduct, I refer in this article to the Afrikaans author and social worker of the twentieth century, Maria Elizabeth Rothmann (M.E.R.), whose writing and life work give ample proof of the central role of myth. The "power of myth" as discussed by Joseph Campbell in televised interviews with Bill Moyers on CBS News is further explicated as additional proof of the fact that a myth may be seen as a fundamental "truth" for which the believer is prepared to die rather than to live without. It is probably with this in mind that the prominent Afrikaans writer, Etienne Leroux, unequivocally stated that a human being would rather die from starvation than go without his life-sustaining myth (Leroux in Kannemeyer 1980:12).} The article furthermore points out the link between myths and literature by referring among other things to the following statement by Barbara Kingsolver in The Poisonwood Bible: "We all are, I suppose. Trying to invent our version of the story. All human odes are essentially one: 'My life: what I stole from history, and how I live with it'" (Kingsolver 1999:492). It is also argued that, in the words of Estes (1992:463), stories ("tales") are "in their oldest sense, a healing art". Stories, like myths, are therefore used to make sense of the human condition, to explain to members of a group (and especially to the young members of the group) where they come from, what sense their life has, and what values are inherent to the group. In the last section of the article examples are provided of prominent and highly respected human scientists who have made use of the term "myth" in scientific discourses in the sense of a misconception or falsehood. It is argued that, according to the lexical definition of the term "myth", the use of the term by these scientists is entirely valid. On the other hand, however, it is stated that, in the light of the preceding discussion of the term as used by prominent human scientists to refer to a narrative (re)construction of man's "search through the ages for truth, meaning and significance", the implication that a myth is a falsehood may undoubtedly create confusion. The pertinent question seems to be: can man's search for "truth, meaning and significance", his or her "quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11), result in nothing more than the creation of falsehoods? <![CDATA[<b>Vos, Cas J., Hogan, Lucy L. & Cilliers, Johan H. (reds). <i>Preaching as a language of hope</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000200009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Daar word in hierdie artikel van die standpunt uitgegaan dat, gegewe die verwarring in definisies van die term "mite", dit nodig is om die term presieser te definieer en ook te verduidelik alvorens dit in akademiese diskoers gebesig word. Dit is ook onbevredigend en soms selfs verwarrend dat die woordeboekdefinisies en wydverspreide gebruik van die term beperk word tot óf die heroïese dade uit die antieke wêreld en die kaperjolle van hulle gode en godinne, óf andersins uitgebrei word om na hedendaagse wanopvattings of selfs valshede te verwys. Jospeh Campbell, een van die prominentste "mitoloë" van die twintigste eeu, verduidelik die sogenaamde mag van mites as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (in Flowers 1988:5). In 'n onlangse publikasie oor die geskiedenis van die mite verbind Karen Armstrong die maak van mites aan "a quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11). As sodanig het die mite 'n houvas op mense deurdat dit hulle versterk en hulle lewe die moeite werd maak. Baie skrywers en navorsers in die menswetenskappe, soos byvoorbeeld Carl Guystav Jung, Thomas Bulfinch, G.M. Kirkwood, D. de Rougemont, die historici Samuel en Thompson, N. Frye, M Scarborough, P.J. Conradie, Etienne Leroux en Charles Malan gaan akkoord met hierdie opvatting oor die essensiële funksie van die mite in die menslike bestaan. Die belangrike vraag skyn te wees: Is dit moontlik dat die mens se soeke na "truth, meaning and significance", sy of haar "quest for the soul", kan uitloop op niks anders as die skep van valshede nie?<hr/>Judging from various definitions by human scientists (among them Joseph Campbell, the historians Samuel and Thompson, Karen Armstrong and others) of the term "myth", it would appear that it is a complex concept, defying a single definition. Steenberg (in Cloete 1999:312) notes that the term is mostly defined in accordance with the researcher's focus, for instance historical, philosophical, theological, aesthetic, or sociological orientations. In 2004 two theses were completed at South African universities with "myth" featuring in the title of the studies: one from a literary perspective and one from the perspective of language sociology, or language politics. Although the focus differed and the bibliographies (despite significant resemblances) indicate different fields of study, the interesting fact is that at the end both researchers came to more or less the same conclusion regarding the nature and function of myths. The first of these two researchers (Van Schalkwyk 2004) uses the concept "coherence system" as more or less synonymous to the term "myth" and quotes Linde in this regard: "A coherence system is a discursive practice that represents a system of beliefs and relations between beliefs" (Linde 1993:164). Other important sources for Van Schalkwyk's study include Northrop Frye (1982), Scarborough (1994) and Roland Barthes (195 7/1975). The second researcher (Jordaan 2004), and author of the present article, studies the role of "myth making" in the "story of Afrikaans" from the perspective of language politics. Given this context, myths are primarily seen as "stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance" (Campbell in Flowers 1988:5). "Myth", in this instance, being defined as a narrative reconstruction of the fundamental truths that give meaning to human existence. As such myths are furthermore seen as instrumental in establishing systems of belief as well as value systems and codes of conduct within specific cultural groups (also defined as "imagined communities", cf. Anderson 1991). Jordaan's main sources are Joseph Campbell (1949 & 1988), Samuel and Thompson (1990), Thomas Bulfinch (sine anno), Carl Gustav Jung (1964), P.J. Conradie (1964), Etienne Leroux (1960) and Charles Malan (1978). I argue in this article that the lexicon definitions and widespread use of the term "myth", to refer exclusively either to the heroic deeds of antique heroes and the antics of their gods and goddesses, or to modern day misconceptions and even falsehoods, may be unsatisfactory and even confusing. Definitions by prominent human scientists in the course of more or less forty years defy this superficial view of myths as "falsehoods". The following are a few examples of the view taken on the pertinent role of myths and myth making: [...] a myth expresses rules of conduct of a given social or religious group. It issues accordingly from whatever sacred principle has presided over the formation of this group (De Rougemont 1956:18). The distinctive quality of myth, the aspect of it that gives its peculiar value for literature, is its capacity to express in story form the primary emotional and imaginative workings of the human mind (Kirkwood 1958:22). Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished... It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation (Campbell 1972:3). [. ] myth is a fundamental component of human thought [and] has lost neither its imaginative purchase nor its living power as a historical force today (Samuel & Thompson (eds.)1990:4). As an example of the role of myths in establishing value systems and codes of conduct, I refer in this article to the Afrikaans author and social worker of the twentieth century, Maria Elizabeth Rothmann (M.E.R.), whose writing and life work give ample proof of the central role of myth. The "power of myth" as discussed by Joseph Campbell in televised interviews with Bill Moyers on CBS News is further explicated as additional proof of the fact that a myth may be seen as a fundamental "truth" for which the believer is prepared to die rather than to live without. It is probably with this in mind that the prominent Afrikaans writer, Etienne Leroux, unequivocally stated that a human being would rather die from starvation than go without his life-sustaining myth (Leroux in Kannemeyer 1980:12).} The article furthermore points out the link between myths and literature by referring among other things to the following statement by Barbara Kingsolver in The Poisonwood Bible: "We all are, I suppose. Trying to invent our version of the story. All human odes are essentially one: 'My life: what I stole from history, and how I live with it'" (Kingsolver 1999:492). It is also argued that, in the words of Estes (1992:463), stories ("tales") are "in their oldest sense, a healing art". Stories, like myths, are therefore used to make sense of the human condition, to explain to members of a group (and especially to the young members of the group) where they come from, what sense their life has, and what values are inherent to the group. In the last section of the article examples are provided of prominent and highly respected human scientists who have made use of the term "myth" in scientific discourses in the sense of a misconception or falsehood. It is argued that, according to the lexical definition of the term "myth", the use of the term by these scientists is entirely valid. On the other hand, however, it is stated that, in the light of the preceding discussion of the term as used by prominent human scientists to refer to a narrative (re)construction of man's "search through the ages for truth, meaning and significance", the implication that a myth is a falsehood may undoubtedly create confusion. The pertinent question seems to be: can man's search for "truth, meaning and significance", his or her "quest for the soul" (Armstrong 2005:11), result in nothing more than the creation of falsehoods?