Where is the world whose people don’t prefer a comfortable, warm, and well-worn belief, however illogical, to the chilly winds of uncertainty?
We mythologists know very well that myths and legends contain borrowings, moral lessons, nature cycles, and a hundred other distorting influences, and we labor to cut them away and get to what might be a kernel of truth. In fact, these same techniques must be applied to the most sober histories, for no one writes the clear and apparent truth – if such a thing can even be said to exist.
There are always individuals who pit their minds against the general modes of thought and who are arrogant enough to feel that they alone are right and that the many are wrong.
Rules, established with reason and justice, can easily outlive their usefulness as circumstances change, yet can remain in force through inertia. It is then not only right, but useful, to break those rules as a way of advertising the fact that they have become useless – or even actually harmful.
If we only obey those rules that we think are just and reasonable, then no rule will stand, for there is no rule that some will not think is unjust and unreasonable.