Many people feels the need to believe in their legends , as if knowing that what they described was a part of reality could make them worthier.
I don't want to be dragged into this kind of polemic, it would be for nothing.
People who claim that their beliefs are based on reality, while others' beliefs are based on legends are exactly the same people who call superstitions the moral principles and the beliefs of others.
I prefer to see legends as a projection of our past and a sign of our intellectual development.
Symbols are important if we realize they are symbols of something, not the thing itself.
There are ancient story which I find more appealing and fascinating than others.
The story, or the legend, of that Nepalese prince, born in the sixth century B.C., whose father had made him living a totally secluded and protected merry life, is one of my favourite.
The young prince, who we might like imagining handsome and inclined to reveries, ignored reality, prisoner in his parallel universe of beauty until the day he left his palace and discovered the existence of suffering and the miserable human condition.
He was deeply touched by these sights, and decided to leave his kingdom to lead an ascetic life, and determine a way to relieve the universal suffering that he now understood to be one of the defining traits of humanity.
For several years he made all efforts, endured pain, fasted nearly to starvation, and refused even water to find a spiritual answer, deleting nearly totally the role of the material body
Whatever he tried, he could not reach the level of satisfaction he was looking for, until one day when a young girl offered him a bowl of rice.
As he accepted it, he suddenly realized that corporeal austerity was not the means to achieve inner liberation, and that living under harsh physical constraints was not helping him achieve spiritual release.
From then on, however, he encouraged people to follow a path of balance instead of one characterized by extremism. He called this path the Middle Way.
Of course you have already guessed the name of the prince, who inspired also a great novel by Herman Hesse about the spiritual journey of self-discovery.
I don't mean to speak about religions.
I love the legend of Siddhartha Gautama.