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Thread: Joseph Campbell

  1. #1
    Creepy-

    Default Joseph Campbell




    quotes:

    "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."

    "Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble."

    "I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. ... Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer."

    "The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature."

    "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."

    "If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."

    "Out of perfection nothing can be made."

    "Heresy is the life of a mythology, and orthodoxy is the death."

    "It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back. In fact, it may very well be that the very high incidence of neuroticism among ourselves follows the decline among us of such effective spiritual aid. We remain fixated to the unexorcised images of our infancy, and hence disinclined to the necessary passages of our adulthood."

    "If we could dredge up something forgotten not only by ourselves but by our whole generation or our entire civilization, we should become indeed the boonbringer, the culture hero of the day—a personage of not only local but world historical moment. In a word: the first work of the hero is to retreat from the world scene of secondary effects to those causal zones of the psyche where the difficulties really reside, and there to clarify the difficulties, eradicate them in his own case (i.e., give battle to the nursery demons of his local culture) and break through to the undistorted, direct experience and assimilation of what C. G. Jung called "the archetypal images." This is the process known to Hindu and Buddhist philosophy as viveka, "discrimination."

    "Campbell: Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. There's a wonderful formula that the Buddhists have for the Bodhisattva, the one whose being (sattva) is illumination (bodhi), who realizes his identity with eternity and at the same time his participation in time. And the attitude is not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but to realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder and to come back and participate in it. "All life is sorrowful" is the first Buddhist saying, and it is. It wouldn't be life if there were not temporality involved which is sorrow. Loss, loss, loss.
    Moyers: That's a pessimistic note.
    Campbell: Well, you have to say yes to it, you have to say it's great this way. It's the way God intended it."

    "The passage of the mythological hero may be overground, incidentally; fundamentally it is inward—into depths where obscure resistances are overcome, and long lost, forgotten powers are revivified, to be made available for the transfiguration of the world. ...Something of the light that blazes invisible within the abysses of its normally opaque materiality breaks forth, with an increasing uproar. The dreadful mutilations are then seen as shadows, only, of an immanent, imperishable eternity; time yields to glory; and the world sings with the prodigious, angelic, but perhaps finally monotonous, siren music of the spheres. Like happy families, the myths and the worlds redeemed are all alike."










    The Timeless Tale of the Hero's Journey: Full Film - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cczCwCsbz_U
    Last edited by silke; 03-27-2018 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    IEI-Fe of the splendidly brilliant and ingenious variety.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    haha, so

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    Actually, watching him more, I'm considering EIE.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I think that Ni-ego is obvious, as the interpretation of subjective patterns in storytelling is one of his major motifs.
    "Alpha Quadra subforum. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." ~Obi-Wan Kenobi
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    Ni Role.

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    He's INTp. ego is obvious, isn't there.

  8. #8
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    I dunno, he seems rational.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Yeah, he does seem rational.

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    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Well he's just heavier than the ILIs I've encountered, not as removed. He's direct in communicating his ideas in a manner that IEIs aren't, but his facial expressions are fairly variable, and he does project internal energy rather directly and fairly consistently for an Fe PoLR. I'm beginning to consider LIE-Ni, perhaps 6w5 sx/so.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    He's direct in communicating his ideas in a manner that IEIs aren't,
    He also seems rather assuming, in the rational sense of the word.

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    INFp
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

  13. #13
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Hmm, doesn't strike me as particularly heavy. He is direct and explicit in his communication in a way I see indicative of . The variability in facial expressions would make sense for any Dynamic (EJ or IP) type; further, it's not at all unusual to see an IXTp come across more engaging when conversing on a subject of interest (not to mention, the stereotype of IXTps as being emotionally stoic is vastly played out).

    Here's a bunch of interesting quotes by him that I've had archived. Most of these distinctly resonates with me as being ego w/ HA; an easy case can be made for DS as well. Rejection of and is also a recurring theme:

    [INDENT]“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about, and that’s what these clues help us to find within ourselves.” (/)
    See, this strikes me as distinctly more Fe than Fi: the "experience of being" as an active theme, rather than something that defines us internally.

    “There’s no meaning. What’s the meaning of the universe? What’s the meaning of a flea? It’s just there. That’s it. And your own meaning is that you’re there. We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about.” (/)
    I see mostly Se/Ni there.

    “[Marriage is] primarily a spiritual exercise, and the society is supposed to help us have that realization. Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state, and that’s what is threatening the world at this minute.” ()
    I see Se and Ni again; marriage doesn't make it Fi, and an "altered perspective" on what marriage truly is, in terms of reconstructing traditional viewpoints, points to Fe>Fi, IMO.

    “When a judge walks into the room, and everybody stands up, you’re not standing up to that guy, you’re standing up to the robe he’s wearing and the role that he’s going to play. What makes him worthy of that role is his integrity, as a representative of the principles of that role, and not some group of prejudices of his own. So what you’re standing up to is a mythological character. I imagine some kings and queens are the most stupid, absurd, banal people you could run into, probably interested only in horses and women, you know. But you’re not responding to them as personalities, you’re responding to them in their mythological roles. When someone becomes a judge, or President of the United States, the man is no longer that man, he’s the representative of an eternal office; he has to sacrifice his personal desires and even life possibilities to the role that he now signifies.” (/anti-)
    Seems more anti-Fi to me, with preference for Fe (focusing on how people "become the role") with Ni.

    “Joining the army, putting on a uniform, is another [ritual]. You’re giving up your personal life and accepting a socially determined manner of life in the service of the society of which you are a member. This is why I think it is obscene to judge people in terms of civil law for performances that they are rendered in time of war. They were acting not as individuals, they were acting as agents of something above them and to which they had by dedication given themselves. To judge them as though they were individual human beings is totally improper.” ()
    Sounds like an Aristocratic perspective, if you ask me. This theme of interpreting so much as "ritual" and so forth is drastically Beta.

    “On this immediate level of life and structure, myths offer life models. But the models have to be appropriate to the time in which you are living, and our time has changed so fast that what was proper fifty years ago is not proper today. The virtues of the past are the vices of today. And many of what were thought to be the vices of the past are the necessities of today. The moral order has to catch up with the moral necessities of actual life in time, here and now. And that is what we are not doing. The old-time religion belongs to another age, another people, another set of human values, another universe. By going back your throw yourself out of sync with history. Our kids lose their faith in the religions that were taught to them, and they go inside.” (/)
    I see Ni and Ti in the first sentence. Sounds like classic Beta: changing the spiritual "models" that we live our lives by. I see some emphasis on Fi, but its mostly disdainful.

    “I walk off Fifty-first Street and Fifth Avenue into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I’ve left a very busy city and one of the most economically inspired cities on the planet. I walk into that cathedral, and everything around me speaks of spiritual mysteries. The mystery of the cross, what’s that all about there? The stained glass windows, which bring another atmosphere in. My consciousness has been brought up onto another level altogether, and I am on a different platform. And then I walk out, and I’m back on the level of the street again. Now, can I hold something from the cathedral consciousness? Certain prayers or meditations are designed to hold your consciousness on that level instead of letting it drop down here all the way. And then what you can finally do is to recognize that this is simply a lower level of that higher consciousness. The mystery that is expressed there is operating in the field of your money, for example. All money is congealed energy. I think that that’s the clue to how to transform your consciousness.” (/)
    Sounds like Ni and Fe to me. What's Te about that?

    “A god is a personification of a motivating power of a value system that functions in human life and in the universe—the powers of your own body and of nature. The myths are metaphorical of spiritual potentiality in the human being, and the same powers that animate our life animate the life of the world.” (/)
    "The same powers that animate our life animate the world." Classic Ti; anti-Fi, if you ask me. Fi types revolt at this kind of statement, IME.

    “Heaven and hell are within us, and all the gods are within us. This is the great realization of the Upanishads of India in the ninth century BC. All the gods, all the heavens, all the worlds, are within us. They are magnified dreams, and dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other. That is what myth is. Myth is a manifestation in symbolic images, in metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body in conflict with each other. This organ wants this, that organ wants that. The brain is one of the organs.” (/)
    Why is that Te? Just because its a reification of what is often taken to be formless?

    “Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new experience for other people to experience—that is the hero’s deed.” (/)
    Ni/Se: forming ones own inner world, interpreting raw experience into one's own integrated perspective.

    “The ultimate mystery of being is beyond all categories of thought.” (anti-)
    No, anti-logic. Why anti-Ti?

    “ ...The idea of the supernatural as being something over and above the natural is a killing idea. In the Middle Ages this was the idea that finally turned that world into something like a wasteland, a land where people were living inauthentic lives, never doing a thing they truly wanted to because the supernatural laws required them to live as directed by their clergy. In a wasteland, people are fulfilling purposes that are not properly theirs but have been put upon them as inescapable laws. This is a killer.” (anti-)
    Why is that anti-Ti? Religion assuming that God is unnatural is Ti? It's just a faulty belief. I see Ni focus, and a particularly Beta sentiment, in the idea of "living inauthentic lives," ie at the chains of "the machine;" Gammas tend to be more nonchalant or practically minded about such things.

    “Remember the last line [of Babbitt]? "I have never done the thing that I wanted to in all my life." That is a man who never followed his bliss. Well, I actually heard that line when I was teaching at Sarah Lawrence. Before I was married, I used to eat out in the restaurants of town for my lunch and dinners. Thursday night was the maid's night off in Bronxville, so that many of the families were out in restaurants. One fine evening I was in my favorite restaurant there, and at the next table there was a father, a mother, and a scrawny boy about twelve years old. The father said to the boy, "Drink your tomato juice."And the boy said, "I don't want to." Then the father, with a louder voice, said, "Drink your tomato juice." And the mother said, "Don't make him do what he doesn't want to do." The father looked at her and said, "He can't go through life doing what he wants to do. If he does only what he wants to do, he'll be dead. Look at me. I've never done a thing I wanted to in all my life."And I thought, "My God, there's Babbitt incarnate!" That's the man who never followed his bliss. You may have a success in life, but then just think of it-what kind of life was it? What good was it-you've never done the thing you wanted to do in all your life. I always tell my students, go where your body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling, then stay with it, and don't let anyone throw you off.” ()
    Doing what you want to do is Fi? Don't give me this crap. It sounds more Se, scorning the man's curbing of the child's impulses and willpower.

    CAMPBELL: Darth Vader has not developed his own humanity. He's a robot. He's a bureaucrat, living not in terms of himself but in terms of an imposed system. This is the threat to our lives that we all face today. Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes? How do you relate to the system so that you are not compulsively serving it? It doesn't help to try to change it to accord with your system of thought. The momentum of history behind it is too great for anything really significant to evolve from that kind of action. The thing to do is learn to live in your period of history as a human being. That's something else, and it can be done.
    MOYERS: By doing what?
    CAMPBELL: By holding to your own ideals for yourself and, like Luke Skywalker, rejecting the system's impersonal claims upon you. (anti-)
    "The System" is not Ti, Ashton. In fact, perception of "The System," and seeing it as a threat to one's individuality, is a classic Ti assessment: being invested in the "logic" that our lives are run by, and interpreting what is really an eternally shifting, largely unplanned, self-correcting morass of business and government and technology and living conditions, as one interconnected "field" of systematic functioning, is a classic example of Ti interpreting Te conditions.

    “The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who's on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.” (/anti-)
    I see more anti-Te in this: simply focusing on changing the way things function disregards the value of personal experience and personal values.

    “We are having experiences all the time which may on occasion render some sense of this, a little intuition of where your bliss is. Grab it. No one can tell you what it is going to be. You have to learn to recognize your own depth.All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as the result of invisible hands coming all the time-namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.” (/)
    I see Ni, mostly. Where do you see Fi?

    “Schopenhauer, in his splendid essay called ‘On an Apparent Intention in the Fate of the Individual,’ points out that when you reach an advanced age and look back over your lifetime, it can seem to have had a consistent order and plan, as though composed by some novelist. Events that when they occurred had seemed accidental and of little moment have turned out to have been indispensable factors in the composition of a consistent plot. So who composed that plot? Schopenhauer suggests that just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of yourself of which your consciousness is unaware, so, too, your whole life is composed by the will within you. And just as people whom you will have met apparently by mere chance become leading agents in the structuring of your life, so, too, will you have served unknowingly as an agent, giving meaning to the lives of others. The whole thing gears together like one big symphony, with everything unconsciously structuring everything else. And Schopenhauer concludes that it is as though our lives were the features of the one great dream of a single dreamer in which all the dream characters dream, too; so that everything links to everything else, moved by the one will to life which is the universal will in nature […] Everything arises in mutual relation to everything else, so you can’t blame anybody for anything. It is even as though there were a single intention behind it all, which always makes some kind of sense, though none of us knows what the sense might be, or has lived the life that he quite intended.” (//)
    I see mostly Ni+Fe there: focusing on how people change each other in interaction and how the influences of different people affect the course of our lives.

    You need to quit this fucking monkey business of just putting functions at the end of quotes, and actually say what you're thinking. This is just disingenuous, presumptuous, and potentially manipulative by way of confirmation bias. And it doesn't put your ideas at risk, which is why I think you do it.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

  14. #14
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    You're looking too much at the ideas being said, not how they were said (or the fact that they were said at all). Of course an valuer could hold similar beliefs in many of the same things he states; that ain't exactly type related (it's more related to intelligence/awareness IMO). The overriding point here is the style in which he speaks of them; he's relatively "dry" and straightforward, he doesn't embellish with superfluous faggy prose like β-NFs tend to, etc.
    Right, because all Beta NFs use flowery language I wish you could hear some of my conversations outlining personal philosophy.


    Um, I think you're looking at this in an way. How is one's being not something internal?
    I didn't say it wasn't internal; I said that Campbell outlines it as something that is lived out actively, and experienced actively, rather than something that is held like a precious little nugget. Dynamic>Static ethics.

    Besides that, where do Betas talk about this? In my experience Betas tend to regard this sort of thing as something of contempt to speak about, even if they're quite aware of it's truth.
    This is the kind of thing I talk about all the time. It's literally the subject matter of my personal thought quest in life, and he approaches and explains it in a manner that is identical to my own. I think the Beta NFs you've been reading just have low IQs and/or are too self-absorbed to think realistically about their situations.

    I suspect this is like what happened in that as Resonance thread, when Galen mentioned that part of Jung's description as being very relevant to his own experience. And you were like, "fuck nah, I do that too!" And then you described it, and it was flat out obvious, even to you, as not being the same thing.
    I spoke of one very particular kind of resonance there, that wasn't what Galen described. Doesn't mean I don't relate to this.

    Yes. But the perspective is also too matter-of-fact to indicate /.
    Why can't Fe/Ti types be matter of fact? Nick used to get pissed off at me all the time for being too literal in my elucidations of personal perspective.


    Of course the subject of 'marriage' isn't . Not sure what you mean about "reconstructing traditional viewpoints"… I've never met a person who didn't view marriage in the way he described. The difference being that valuers tend not to talk about such things.
    Says who...?


    You're the one agreed with Jung's depiction of as being an embrace of roles, so I don't see how this is anti-
    No, I agreed with it being an awareness of roles. That's what functions dictate: awareness.

    Campbell's a bit disparaging of 'roles' (and references that character/integrity should take priority). Naturally, egos can and usually are aware of the phenomenon of 'roles' too—but they're more likely to be "yeah, so what?" about it, and rather tend to focus on utilizing it as an effective means to an end. Why talk about it?
    But he is analyzing the roles, observing them, which is essentially using Fe.

    Emphasizing an understanding of an individual's actions in terms of that person and their situational context is "Aristocratic"? Objectifying the ritual process is β? Haha, news to me.
    No, but if you read his writing, he tends to cast things in the light of their relevance to this natural human theme of ritual. THAT is what's Beta.



    Disdain for ? Not sure where you saw that. He's only saying that the access way to the spiritual realities of life, need to be in sync with the tangible realities of contemporary life. Otherwise you're not communicating anything to anybody.
    Sounds like Object-Ethics to me.



    Find me an ego who would ever talk about it so mechanically.
    Me.


    It's a statement most Betas would probably find vomit-inducing. The motivating power of a value system? The spiritual potentialities of life? βs don't talk like that.
    Are you kidding? That's what Betas are ALL ABOUT, even if it is sometimes largely subconscious. Watch more videos on the Third Reich.


    Somewhat. He's explaining a process in a more explicit and mechanical way. Not much β-NF fluff going on.
    But his subject matter is largely Ni+Fe related. You presume that Betas would pollute it with fluff.

    Ugh. Everyone integrates experience into their own personal perspective FFS. That's just being human. Once again, you are entirely missing the point.
    Then enlighten me, o enlightened one.

    usually likes systematic order and categorization. Most valuers don't utter such things.
    I hardly think that expressing personal value as a matter of direct experience indicates a quadra value.

    Beta is usually more about populism and manipulating mass emotion through ideology (politics, religion, etc.) to serve their own ends. Which is exactly what Campbell is against here, seeing ideology as a falsehood which perverts individual imperative in life. Betas OTOH tend see this as a natural condition of life to be endured and embraced, even to the extent of "if I don't do it, someone else will, so it might as well be me."
    Whence springs this assumption that Betas are inherently or "all about the masses?" All I see is Campbell casting "ideology," which IS a universal human trait, in the mold of embracing personal archetypes.


    Again that wasn't the point :/
    Then get off your fucking high horse and explain yourself.

    Reference what I said about Betas using ideology as a means to an end. It's the same shit here. If you haven't noticed, aristocratic quadras on the whole usually don't bitch about "The System" in and of itself. Alphas/Gammas do most of the complaining in this respect. Beta only gets pissy about it when it's not their system.
    I bitch about the system all the time, lol; it's practically a subtext to all of my thoughts. I think Deltas are pretty much the only ones who don't, and Alphas and Gammas tend to at least have some compromise with it, even if they objectify it; Alphas sort of resignedly participate, whereas Gammas tend to rationalize that "it is what it is" and maintain a sort of personal distance from it. IME Betas are the most explicitly for or against the system, and all Campbell is complaining about is how the system impinges upon the self and the pursuit of individual actualization.

    He's saying that a change in external conditions doesn't necessarily help alter one's internal conditions.
    I don't see how that's not an anti-Te sentiment.

    It's another one of those things valuers don't seem to talk about much. I've no doubt they have experiences of the same. But I've only seen valuers talk at length about it.
    Well he is rather more casually sentimental about it than most Betas would be, that's fair enough, but that in and of itself resonates with my own attitude towards the subject, and I tend to think it's more a matter of intelligence and holding the proper perspective on such things, rather than one of quadra values.


    I saw it more as illustrating implicit emergence in the order of life. Instead of force-fitting things and being fatalistic like Beta.
    Well it seems to me that it's an emergence of the impact people have upon each other. That's more Fe.


    No, I just hate having to write out a bunch of explanation. Having to clarify things and be concise about it takes effort.
    If you're posts here are intended as anything more than wankery, you should have the patience to explain yourself.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    You're looking too much at the ideas being said, not how they were said (or the fact that they were said at all). Of course an valuer could hold similar beliefs in many of the same things he states; that ain't exactly type related (it's more related to intelligence/awareness IMO). The overriding point here is the style in which he speaks of them; he's relatively "dry" and straightforward, he doesn't embellish with superfluous faggy prose like β-NFs tend to, etc.
    check your premises. relatively few intelligent beta NFs (btw what is the key code for those quadra letters?) speak in purely florid terms, unless the purpose is some explication of poetic rhythm.

    How is one's being not something internal?

    Besides that, where do Betas talk about this? In my experience Betas tend to regard this sort of thing as something of contempt to speak about, even if they're quite aware of its truth.
    I don't know about contempt. I definitely regard a being as something internal, but one which is inherently connected via every external thing, i.e. transcendent subjectivity. this aligns with the objective pulse that manifests in attitudes combined with the subjective abstractions implied in an pov.

    You're the one who agreed with Jung's depiction of as being an embrace of roles, so I don't see how this is anti-; Campbell's a bit disparaging of 'roles' (and references that character/integrity should take priority). Naturally, egos can and usually are aware of the phenomenon of 'roles' too—but they're more likely to be "yeah, so what?" about it, and rather tend to focus on utilizing it as an effective means to an end. Why talk about it? Which I see as having something to do with why ENFj supervises INTp—both tend to be equally aware of this reality, but the former embraces it and so acquires a leverage of effective understanding, while the other rejects it and thus develops a certain vulnerability.
    no, / is emphatically focused on the nuances of social roles that derive from a higher order; beta especially plays into this, hence the collective unconscious, an idea cultivated by someone you type Ni-INFp. I don't think / types assess roles in the same way, as each person occupies their own role, based on the composite of their internal qualities, which operates in a fluid, mechanical state of expansion/growth. / types see the social roles as recursive, the structure implicit.

    Emphasizing an understanding of an individual's actions in terms of that person and their situational context is "Aristocratic"? Objectifying the ritual process is β? Haha, news to me.
    yeah, actually it has some truth to it. is double abstract fields – you think that wouldn't lead to a strict, idealistic purification of core principles and attitudes that would end up shaping the context behind an individual's behavior? you need to interact with more ideologically-driven beta groups, if you really believe this. the empathic ones will literally cast a specific energy over you the second you enter the room.

    It's a statement most Betas would probably find vomit-inducing. The motivating power of a value system? The spiritual potentialities of life? βs don't talk like that.
    bullshit. it may not be some delta campfire dance where everyone toots their flute in slightly varied ways while staying in objective sync, but yeah, value systems are typically seen as vital personal tools for betas. Look at Ayn Rand for proof, she just outlined it in an incredibly manner. also, read this post before you just write off what I'm saying.

    usually likes systematic order and categorization. Most valuers don't utter such things, though I think they can be perfectly well-aware of them.
    yeah, except Da System is completely subjective, and any objective system is subserved to the values embedded in the former. this is what gilly was getting at, in stating that -valuers (deltas to a much higher degree) are better able to make a compromise with existing systems, based on the sheer efficacy of their operation.

    Beta is usually more about populism and manipulating mass emotion through ideology (politics, religion, etc.) to serve their own ends. Which is exactly what Campbell is against here, seeing ideology as a falsehood which perverts individual imperative in life. Betas OTOH tend see this as a natural condition of life to be endured and embraced, even to the extent of "if I don't do it, someone else will, so it might as well be me."
    no, what you are describing are beta j-sub rationals gone off the deep-end within an amorphous, totalitarian delta state. you're being way too absolutist in these assessments, fwiw. I would never even consider that some mass political appeal was the true way for an ideological revolution; the impregnation of the idea would have to occur naturally within individual experience. I do agree that betas will sometimes resign themselves in preparation for a revolt, but this is hardly the natural quadra attitude.

    Reference what I said about Betas using ideology as a means to an end; it's the same shit here. If you haven't noticed, Aristocratic quadras on the whole usually don't bitch about "The System" in and of itself. Alphas/Gammas do most of the complaining in this respect. Beta only gets pissy about it when it's not their system.
    actually, beta frustration stems from not being able to follow their own system without interference (esp among p-subs, who aren't as collectively-attuned). it's only when the limitations becoming gravely stagnant, that a reverse imposition of a system becomes necessary.

    He's saying that a change in external conditions doesn't necessarily help alter one's internal conditions. Usually Betas will primarily focus on changing outer conditions as a means to alter a person's inner conditions, regard them as more essentially mutable.
    that makes no sense. the focus in betas is driven from a purely subjective pov, and always seeks to either solidify or redefine the inner landscape. that's why so many betas are very protective of, and hesitant to share, their ideologies, because they don't want objective conditions (essentially normative operation) to stifle the personal expression.

    I saw it more as illustrating implicit emergence in the order of life. Instead of force-fitting things and being fatalistic like Beta.
    bs! I rarely ever act on my fatalistic inclinations, even if I see things moving in that direction; there's no point in becoming a contradiction to destroy another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    No, I agreed with it being an awareness of roles. That's what functions dictate: awareness.

    But he is analyzing the roles, observing them, which is essentially using Fe.
    I am using Fe 24/7?

    No, but seriously. I've no idea what Campbell's type is, and I don't really agree with some points Ashton makes about Te/Fi in these quotes, but I simply don't get why people keep repeating roles or roleplaying is Fe. Fe actors might be better because of control over emotional expression or something, but it doesn't make roles as a concept, or roleplaying as a mindset in any way related to it. It's actually one of the most accurate things I could say of Ni-dominants - and indeed it's often mentioned in IEI descriptions, yet it's supposedly Fe and not Ni. I just wish that someone would explain it for once.

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    Well I think that type of analysis is generally Ni, but when it's applied to people and how they interact, it's involving ethics.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    So someone isn't smart enough to understand Fe without learning Socionics first?

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    How's this for flowery Beta NFery:

    "The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe."

    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    FWIW the people I know who are most attracted to Campbell are Alphas and Betas. George Lucas, SEI incontestably, was a big follower of Campbell's ideas and perhaps the most famous implementer of the archetypes he outlines. I think Campbell's approach of outlining salient/consistent archetypes in mythology and storytelling is primarily an Ni+Ti/Fe exercise.



    PS Ashton How do you do the greek symbols?
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    edits
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    This is the sentiment of an ILI?
    The image of the cosmos must change with the development of the mind and knowledge; otherwise, the mythic statement is lost, and man becomes dissociated from the very basis of his own religious experience. Doubt comes in, and so forth. You must remember: all of the great traditions, and little traditions, in their own time were scientifically correct. That is to say, they were correct in terms of the scientific image of that age. So there must be a scientifically validated image. Now you know what has happened: our scientific field has separated itself from the religious field, or vice-versa. … This divorce this is a fatal thing, and a very unfortunate thing, and a totally unnecessary thing.
    Have at it: Joseph Campbell Quotes.
    "Alpha Quadra subforum. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." ~Obi-Wan Kenobi
    Johari Box

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    Epic right there.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    FWIW the people I know who are most attracted to Campbell are Alphas and Betas. George Lucas, SEI incontestably, was a big follower of Campbell's ideas and perhaps the most famous implementer of the archetypes he outlines. I think Campbell's approach of outlining salient/consistent archetypes in mythology and storytelling is primarily an Ni+Ti/Fe exercise.



    PS Ashton How do you do the greek symbols?
    My friends who've been seriously into Campbell were ENFJ, INFP, and ENFP. Just an observation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    You do the flowery prose shit a lot IMO.

    This isn't a criticism, only the way β-NFs typically come across to me. I'm not sure how else to convey the quality of what it's like to me. Sometimes this results in quite beautiful and effective writing. The only point was that Campbell's writing lacks something qualitatively about it.
    admittedly, I do need to read a bit more of his writing to conclude (initial impression was Ni-ENFj), but I've still yet to see many gammas speak of spiritual/archetypal matters with the same delicate kind of abstraction. at the very least, I would expect an Ni/Se subtype (though even someone like patton or HST retains the raw, blunt delivery to a degree I have yet to see in him).

    Oh, and the quadra letters thing I did by going into System Preferences > Language & Text. Then click the Text tab. And you can set up automatic substitutions that way. Like I use " \a " to type " α " for instance (make sure to include the surrounding spaces).
    couldn't even find a language and text option lol

    There's the "prose" I was referring to. You guys feel like you're dancing indirectly around the subject instead of saying it more outright, whenever you speak on matters of one's personal being and depictions of your own inner states.
    yeah, that's because there's a shitton of inner states to be woven together; it isn't just subsumed into this ineffable 'whole' that is somehow conveyed via direct, sequential reasoning (not even quite sure what it is you Te/Fi'ers do). it ties back to that thing I said about Fe needing Ti's solidity in relations to be effective.

    Of course they don't see nor treat 'roles' in the same way; my only point to Gilly was that isn't going to be any less aware of them per say than .
    ah, ok. well, what I'm saying is, the / style of thinking better accords with actual ideas dealing with roles, such as the collective unconscious, because of how it naturally segregates things. I can clearly see roleplay going on in deltaville, but it just has a way different twist, like a never-published children's story. kinda creepy.

    Seeing these roles as recursive and implicit features of life, isn't a unique property of /… I mean, if these roles weren't recursive, they wouldn't be archetypes.
    yeah, except the structure necessitates recursive causality in a way that 's doesn't; constantly rotates in on itself, with the same social nuances and chains of events 'guiding the tides' in different yet identical ways. I don't see this attitude with /

    Of course that would shape an individual's behavior. Who ever said otherwise…*?
    the point was, that it will be much more emphatic with betas. especially with j-subs, you can see the individual in a way subsumed under an abstraction; a lifestyle can become a 'purified' expression of said thing, etc.

    This is of course, precisely a problem I have w/ β—that strict, idealistic purification bent. Subjugating one's outlooks to a double-abstract framework like this incurs a certain loss of perspective, which IMO tend to see as somewhat 'dehumanizing' (again, not saying it is that). I feel like βs often go around conceiving people in terms of abstract templates, derived from whatever perceptions of universal patterns they've picked up on over time. And there's something coldly detached and annoying about that, even if I agree that the generalizations they operate by are frequently true.

    And yes, I am obviously well-aware that γ types do this sort of thing too. Aiss has a point about it being something of an thing I think; it's just that in γ it's done through criteria instead of criteria. So that makes it "okay"
    lol... I just always think of the phrase, "...this is necessary" but whatever. the truth is, betas just want their perceptions to have that ideological purity; no event necessarily doesn't have symbolic significance, and anything which has that, obviously ties into a broader pattern. where are my fractal pictures...

    God dammit. I wasn't saying value systems can't be β and I thought I'd made that clear. The contrast is in the way quadras speak of them/implement them.

    Ayn Rand is a prime example of the kind of annoying ideological fascism that a (neurotic?) β mentality inculcates (Murray Rothbard made fun of Objectivism as a form of religious zealotry lol). And this has nothing to do with disagreeing w/ her really; my own beliefs/views are probably about 90% similar. So I recognize the obvious truths in many things she says… but the way she goes about explaining them I find positively distasteful.
    eh, she was a little excessive, but it was kind of cute, like continual face-bashing just for her own thrills. plus, she's too on point to be mad at. and I remember that article lol (worn down husband on the couch...)

    Too much text. What post? It didn't send me to a specific one.
    the one where I replied to marie. had to do with the value/belief shit, but probably irrelevant now.

    What you're talking about is more an attribute of Aristocratic quadras (that means you and δ), not .

    And no shit it's completely subjective, but it has very objective consequences on one's life. Everybody knows this already, as it's a reality they contend with on a daily basis. Some people like to complain about 'the system' more than others, but ultimately most know that all you can do is suck it up and get on with the business of living as best you can within its consequent limitations. Entertaining serious thoughts of revolution is a luxury of the very wealthy and/or very unemployed.
    ok, so what are the typical attitudes that gammas take towards the system?

    I'm talking about an overall trend, not an absolute. And you're being a bit extreme, because I made no mention of ideological revolutions and what not. Aristocratic quadras just have a more natural understanding of populism and knowing how to harness it. They don't have to like it, but they more readily recognize the utility in it.
    I can agree with that. not necessarily populism, but a combination of structure and humanitarianism.

    Yeah, just like I said. βs don't like 'the system' when it's not their system lol. Same goes for δs of course. Hence why the two are eternally at war; they're literally each other's shadow archetype.
    and the difference between us, is that betas will follow their own system without coercion, if left alone; whereas deltas will hold the invisible contract in front of everyone, as if subservience to moral objectification is noble.

    Which δs tend to see as stifling to their personal expression…
    what, basing expression around ideological alignment?

    Are you sure?
    for now, yeah.

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    "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
    I really like this one. We plan, God laughs. All plans get destroyed by the supernova artistry of real art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    No, just .
    It's talking about the correlative relationship between beliefs to knowledge.That's not Ti? Sure there's Ni emphasis/perspective, but what's being examined or noticed is Ti: systems of knowledge and belief.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    He's always arriving at some moral conclusion..
    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    I really like this one. We plan, God laughs. All plans get destroyed by the supernova artistry of real art.
    yeah fo real

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedrat360 View Post
    He's always arriving at some moral conclusion..
    Yeah, like a Rational type.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    It's talking about the correlative relationship between beliefs to knowledge.That's not Ti? Sure there's Ni emphasis/perspective, but what's being examined or noticed is Ti: systems of knowledge and belief.
    No. Don't take it the wrong way, I'm not arguing this guy's type, as I don't have an opinion of it at this point. How you put it sounds Te-ish to me, actually. But the fragment itself can be interpreted in many ways, and probably to everyone the most natural interpretation is in terms of their own values.

    To me he speaks of the necessity for beliefs to keep up with times, rather than lagging behind and expecting to preserve the status quo by the virtue of tradition, which is simply sensible rather than socionics-related. In terms of commonly used stereotypes, it's about shaping a system around evidence (Te implying Fi) rather than reacting to this evidence based on the idealized system (Ti implying Fe).

    It's one of possible interpretations, and it just happens to be the one that jumps out at me - probably because of my own type. Nevertheless, I'd never say it's "pure [insert any element]". Perhaps in context or with author's meaning made clearer, it would point to one of them or another, but it's by no means indicative of type on its own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Lol, I thought 'moral conclusions' were the supposed realm of … ? Apparently I haven't been keeping up to date with the stereotypes.
    That's not really a stereotype so much as a basic understanding of the rational/irrational dichotomy: control vs. emergence.

    Understanding correlations between beliefs and knowledge is a pretty generic thing that most humans readily grasp.
    Just like how all humans use every function. Funny how that works...

    And he's not really talking about "systems of knowledge and belief" here; all he mentioned was something of a general pattern which characterizes that relationship (between belief and knowledge) as it exists today.
    He's not just making the observation of a pattern, though; he's saying "this is how it should be," an abstract logical imperative governing the relationship between two bodies of knowledge. This is Field Logic.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I see the Ni similarity; not sure what else you're pointing to.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Default Joseph John Campbell

    Joseph Campbell: EIE?










    - From The Politics of Myth: A Study of C. G. Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell by Robert Ellwood; pages 127-33 [JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE NEW QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL (“THE SAVANT AS REACTIONARY”)]:

    Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was probably the best known of all interpreters of myth to late twentieth-century Americans, thanks to a series of learned but highly readable books, assiduous lecture-hall performances, and above all his posthumous PBS appearances with Bill Moyers. The response to that series of six interviews was remarkable. As Mary R. Lefkowitz put it: “On television Joseph Campbell was the embodiment of the ideal academic: gentle, fatherly, informative, reassuring, unworldly, spiritual, and articulate without being incomprehensible. He was knowledgeable about what we didn’t have time (or inclination) to discover for ourselves, pleasantly remote, and (unlike most of nontelevision professors) entertaining. Campbell could tell a good story.”

    But perhaps Campbell’s greatest triumph of all, though an indirect one, was in the overwhelmingly successful series of Star Wars movies, commenced in 1977 and directed by George Lucas. Together with that other science-fiction classic the Star Trek series, these films have created out of science fiction what seems to be the dominant living imaginative mythology of our time, comparable to the role of Arthurian fantasy in Victorian England or Wagner’s heroes in Wilhelmine Germany. The sacred atmosphere of the Wagnerian Bayreuth festival in its golden age was reproduced on the opening nights of the Star Wars “Phantom Menace” in 1999, when crowds across the country cheered deafeningly, then settled into reverential stillness save for appropriate hisses and acclamations as the epic ground forward. While of course Campbell cannot be given full credit for this modern myth cycle, George Lucas freely acknowledges the influence of reading that savant’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Masks of God. Later, beginning in 1983, the relationship developed into a personal friendship over the last three years of Campbell's life.

    In the older Star Trek, cooperation among a diverse crew was the key to success in saving the galaxy. But in Star Wars the emphasis was more on individual heroism, a theme dear to Joseph Campbell’s heart. Those films wonderfully combine ultra “high tech” computers and spaceships with gunfights and combat in one-man fighters reminiscent of a generation of matinee westerns or of World War II dogfights. Then, on a still deeper level of meaning, there came the swordplay of Jedi knights and the solitary quests of dedicated heroes like Luke Skywalker. The fundamental cultural message was that a great society is founded upon great individuals. One should be oneself, fighting for oneself and one’s friends and comrades alone, except when freely joining a band of like-minded heroes to lose, or rather transcend, individual separateness in the mystique of a noble cause—which will be the cause of individualism against tyranny. Moreover, many subordinate themes of traditional mythology and folklore, often also themes made famous by Joseph Campbell, appear in the Star Wars cycle: the hero who is of noble blood but doesn’t know it (Luke Skywalker), the intelligent robots in the role of the companion animal or faithful “sidekick” like Don Quixote’s Sancho Panza.

    Furthermore, an almost indefinable quality in Star Wars from the experience of the title frame on makes it like walking into a dream, above all if the film is experienced in the cavernous womb of a great theater with a wide screen. The unforgettable images of huge ships, archetypal monsters and heroes, and otherworldly planets loom into consciousness like denizens of the night. It is as though, along with wanting to make the world safe for individuals, Campbell/Lucas wanted to make it safe for dreams. The association of myth and dream-like mood in Campbell is no accident for, following Jung but if possible even more so, he thought myth and dream, as well as truly great literature, all came from the same place. His storytelling skill told us as much, for like an ancient bard he had the ability to bring the reader or hearer into the world of the myths he retold as into the secret places of one’s own dreams, so that for the time the narration was the receiver’s subjective as well as outer reality.

    The heroic notes in Star Wars are not really about conquest, no more than are those in the Arthurian and Wagnerian cycles of myths. All three epics showed the ultimate futility of grasping for power. Rather, these stories make their way into subjective consciousness because they are about deep-level psychic identities—above all, one’s own. Of that deepset individual identity the adventurous individual heroes of all great stories are symbolic vehicles. So Campbell profoundly believed. His message supreme above all was that all myths are really about oneself, one’s profoundest identity, the innermost self still waiting to be found and realized. Campbell’s conviction was that myths are not past but present, embodying the eternal essence of life.

    Something in Campbell’s message clearly resonated with the yearnings of the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton years. Certainly the appeal of Campbell was rooted in a quality more fundamental than entertainment. When Moyers asked if myths “are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance,” Campbell replied:

    People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about, and that’s what these clues help us to find within ourselves.

    Campbell could make others believe with him that myths were important because they are vivid and timeless voices of the rapture of life, and clues to the identity of the enraptured self. People respond to people with passionate convictions about human life, and Campbell manifestly cared about human life and about myth—perhaps in that order.

    For despite his academic credentials as a professor at Sarah Lawrence College, and though remarkably widely read in mythology, Campbell exhibited limited interest of the usual academic sort in his subject matter. He evinced little concern about mythic variants or philological issues, or even about the cultural or ritual context of his material. He was not really a folklorist, much less an anthropologist; he had started his scholarly career in literature and cultural studies, and always basically approached myth through the eyes of a cultural critic.

    For him a myth seemed to be a rather disembodied, timeless story of eternal human significance. It might happen to come from here or there, but in the final analysis all myths are equal and interchangeable—with the possible exception of those of “the Yahweh cult” upon which the Judaic-Christian-Islamic tradition is based, and which Campbell clearly disliked. Otherwise, what myths all say, finally, is that behind all forms there is a Brahmanlike Oneness, and that in moving toward its realization one should “follow one’s own bliss”—a saying no doubt capable of interpretation on several levels.

    Despite the exoticism of many of Campbell’s myths, the importance they gave to the inner experience of a pure and authentic self fitted with that American gnostic strand Harold Bloom detected in the national soul. We have noted Harold Bloom’s provocative thesis that American religion is fundamentally gnostic in character; if that is so, this must also help explain Campbell’s wide appeal in a culture so formed. Karen L. King in fact earlier had written of Campbell’s “American Romanticism,” which held that truth lay in authentic experience of the often alienated but genuine inner self; a view which, she holds, was shared by the ancient gnostics and helped explain Campbell’s interest in both the gnostic and romantic traditions.

    Robert A. Segal, probably Campbell’s most measured and perceptive critic, confirmed that Campbell’s draw lay in the “unashamed romanticism” of his theory of myth. Romanticism, along with Enlightenment post-Christianity, was the seedbed of modern mythology, and moreover was a significant strand in that “gnostic” Americanism of political individualism and individual salvation to which Campbell ministered. But Campbell was, if conceivable, even more romantic in spirit than Jung or Eliade. Disdaining any of the pretense to medical or historical science that remained with the two Europeans, he built firmly on the foundation of literary romanticism his equation of feeling-inflected consciousness and cosmic meaning.

    For Campbell, a myth was an eternal, not merely a primitive, narrative. Nothing could supersede it, because it is not about protoscientific explanation but about the human condition, which in the last analysis is always expressed metaphorically, and always has to be spoken. Thus for Campbell, according to Segal, myth is indispensable, and the primitives who first bespoke it were really wiser than moderns because they knew implicitly that the metaphors of story tell human things better than the abstractions of science, and they constructed a worldview centered on their stories.

    Elsewhere the same commentator, Segal, remarked that actually Campbell “is oddly not much interested in myth—as myth. He is much more interested in human nature, which he simply finds revealed in myths. He sees myths as a repository of the experiences and beliefs of mankind. He is far more concerned with the information myths contain than with myths themselves.” But while it is easy for academics to disparage such an attitude, this is in fact no more than the approach that most predicants, more concerned with saving the world than with footnotes, take toward their scriptural and other sources, and no doubt represents one legitimate level of hermeneutics.

    What of Campbell’s social and political views? Although, unlike Jung and Eliade, he never expressed himself fully and explicitly in print on such matters, they were known to acquaintances, and posthumously created something of a furor. The ruckus was essentially started in a 1989 article in the New York Review of Books by Brendan Gill, who claimed to have known Campbell well. Gill complains that, though one might have expected a person given to a lifelong study of the world’s diversity of cultures to accept a variety of points of view in his own culture, this Campbell was never able to do—toward minorities, toward feminists, or toward liberal social programs. The mythologist was reportedly anti-Semitic, anti-Black, and in 1940 unable to grasp the threat represented by Hitler. Needless to say, the sixties did not meet with his approval at all, despite his frequent lectures at one of the decade’s most celebrated shrines, the Esalen Institute. Brendan Gill commented: “So far was Campbell from applying the wisdom of the ages to the social, political, and sexual turbulence that he found himself increasingly surrounded by that he might have been a member of the Republican Party somewhere to the right of William F. Buckley. He embodied a paradox that I was never able to resolve in his lifetime and that I have been striving to resolve ever since: the savant as reactionary.” [Brendan Gill, “The Faces of Joseph Campbell,” New York Review of Books, Sept. 28, 1989, pp. 16-19.] Gill advanced several scraps of evidence, largely anecdotal and hearsay, to support Campbell’s reactionism.

    As to why Campbell’s Moyers interviews were so well received, Gill opined that most viewers assumed his was a liberal message—religiously liberal, at least, with its relativistic openness toward the myths and faiths of many cultures. But, Gill claims, the covert message of the tag-line, “Follow your bliss”—whatever makes you happy—is none other than the philosophy of “Wall Street yuppies, junk-bond dealers,” or of an Ayn Rand type of elitist individualist with no discernible social conscience.

    Gill’s article was followed by an orgy of letters-to-the-editor activity. Further anecdotal support was given the legend of Campbell’s rightist biases. He was called a “romantic fascist” and virulent anti-communist, was said to have objected to admitting Blacks to Sarah Lawrence, and at the time of the Moon landing in 1969 to have remarked that the earth’s satellite would be a good place to send all the Jews. One woman recounted that she had been in a class of his at the height of the sixties campus upheavals: Campbell had said he would flunk any student who took part in political activism—and when she did, he made good on his threat.

    Other correspondents rose as vehemently to the mythologist’s defense. One contended that his position at Sarah Lawrence had to be understood in light of the fact that he had fallen foul of a faculty “Marxist clique”—the same academic politics satirized in Mary McCarthy’s Groves of Academe. Others argued that “Follow your bliss” has nothing to do with Ayn Rand individualism, much less materialistic selfishness, but the opposite—follow your own way to spiritual liberation.

    Admittedly, it is hard to connect the Campbell of the bigot stereotype with a man who for nearly forty years was an immensely popular teacher at Sarah Lawrence, until recently a women’s college and one which has long had a reputation as a liberal bastion with a large Jewish enrollment. Yet, if even some of the anecdotes are true, there does appear to be a paradox, the paradox of what Gill called “the savant as reactionary”—in this case, not so much a sophisticated intellectual reactionary, a de Maistre or even a Jung or Eliade, as a smooth articulate nonpolitical mythologist who, off the record, dropped remarks one might have more readily expected to hear from a country club Bourbon. One almost senses a double life.

    That perception would not, however, be correct; there were relationships between the mythologist and the political reactionary, and Campbell's political views, though strongly held and on occasion forcefully expressed, were more subtle than might appear on the surface. Campbell loved a good argument, often taking “contrarian” positions at polar opposite to those of his circle or his interlocutors perhaps as much to spark lively debate as anything else. Yet he expressed himself with such charm and contagious intellectual enthusiasm that even many who disagreed strongly with his views remained friends and fans.

    At the same time, he held deeply to political and social opinions usually identified as conservative. In his way of thinking, they stemmed from the passionate belief in individual intellectual and artistic liberty that had always been important to him. Thus, in the early fifties, he saw liberty as far more threatened by communism than by the transitory phenomenon of McCarthyism and said so, appalling his more liberal colleagues. In the sixties, despite a long infatuation with pacifism, he supported the Vietnam War on the same antitotalitarian grounds against a hostile intellectual atmosphere. Yet in 1940 and 1941 he had not been able to muster a similar opposition to Hitler, then holding instead to a very high view of the artist’s and intellectual’s need to remain an independent observer above the political passions of the moment.


    Pages 134-41:

    Like Eliade, Joseph was both an avid Boy Scout and a precocious reader. While still in grade school, particularly after being taken by his father to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, he cultivated a strong interest in American Indians. He admired the Native Americans both for their simple way of life and their heroic though futile resistance to the Whites. He imitated Indian practices on camping trips, and by the time he was ten or eleven was reading the voluminous reports of the Bureau of American Ethnography.

    After attending Canterbury, an upscale Catholic boarding school, Joseph enrolled as a freshman at Dartmouth in 1921, soon transferring to Columbia. He took English, comparative literature, and languages, and listened to lectures in anthropology by the distinguished Franz Boas. He combined an outstanding academic career with national-class, and some thought potentially Olympic, dash and middle distance running, a sport of course emphasizing individual strength and competitiveness. Handsome and outgoing, he was socially popular as well. In 1923 Joseph and the family returned to the east coast from a trip to California by ship, passing through the Panama Canal and visiting points in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean en route. Campbell’s letters and journals indicate he was mainly impressed by the heat, dirt, and flies of that impoverished part of the world, a “culture shock” he was much later to experience again in India, and one much in contrast with the experience Europe was to be for him the following year and later. But Campbell never really resolved a deep-level conflict between love at a distance for the culture and myths of exotic places, and a virtually physical revulsion at their characteristic lack of order and cleanliness when confronted first-hand.

    In 1924, between his junior and senior years, Joseph traveled to Europe with his family, in part to attend the Olympic Games held in Paris that year. As it happened he was on the same ship with the young spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti and a small coterie of supporters. Although Krishnamurti was then being advanced by many in the Theosophical Society as the “vehicle” of a coming World Teacher, Campbell encountered him chiefly as an attractive youth full of unpretentious but deep wisdom. The American toured England with this group, and through his new friends and their circle enjoyed his first real encounter with oriental spirituality. Rosalind Williams, later Rosalind Rajagopal, one of the young “messiah’s” youthful companions, gave Edwin Arnold’s The Light of Asia to Campbell to read on shipboard; he was enthralled by this poetic story of the Buddha’s quest for the greatest treasure of all, supreme enlightenment.

    Joseph’s undergraduate career at Columbia was followed by graduate studies in medieval literature at the same institution. He took an M.A., writing a dissertation on the Grail legend, a theme to which he was to return throughout life. In 1927 Campbell received a munificent grant through Columbia enabling him to spend two years in Europe studying Old French and Provencal in preparation for the Ph.D. he later received from the Sorbonne. Like any intelligent young man abroad he studied many other things as well. He read the Parisian publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses while that controversial novel was still banned in the U.S. He kept in touch with Krishnamurti, visiting him at Eerde in Holland, a center for the Krishnamurti movement. It was after hearing Krishnamurti lecture in Paris in 1928 on rejecting all dependence on external authority that Campbell stopped attending mass; he remained free of formal religious attachments for the rest of his life.

    He was soon to find philosophical and mythological grounds for his own subjective deinstitutionalization of religion. Traveling on to Germany, he found himself deeply drawn to German language and culture. During this time he read Freud and Jung and, no less significantly, the novelist Thomas Mann. A little later, though undoubtedly on the basis of the love of Germany and German scholarship acquired on this trip, he also delved deeply into the work of the historian of the West’s decline, Oswald Spengler, and that of the anthropologists Adolf Bastian and Leo Frobenius.

    Joyce, Freud, Jung, Mann, Spengler, Bastian, Frobenius . . . these are the names, whether in fashion or not, which recurred by far the most frequently in Campbell’s writing up until the very end of his life. It is indeed remarkable the extent to which Campbell’s intellectual life from then on was set in grooves cut in those two wonderful wandering years in the gay but tormented Europe of just after the Great War, the Europe of giddy futurism and reactionary pessimism, of Weimar Germany and the Paris of the “lost generation.”

    Except perhaps Freud, the Germans who so deeply influenced Campbell were then parts of an antimodern reaction that set against Weimar’s democratic ideals the romantic organic view of society to which we have already alluded, a perspective often associated with “volkish” thought, and with mythology, in that era. (Mann was, to Campbell’s distress, later to renounce much of this credo.) The position also entailed what Spengler and Frobenius called “cultural morphology,” the idea that societies possess distinctive and interlocking cultural patterns in all areas of expression, a concept important to Campbell to be discussed later.

    First an even more significant Campbellian issue initially derived from the cultural pessimism side of Weimar Germany. Although differing in many particulars, these three—Mann, Spengler, and Frobenius—also agreed that it was important to look at the calamitous events of recent history from the perspective of a larger screen on which whole cultures and epochs flourish and decline like biological units. And they believed in standing back from the screen. Facing this stupendous panorama, the true artist and scholar maintains personal autonomy, observing and interpreting, but disdaining both fatuous optimism and the soiled passion of practical politics.

    For Campbell, such artistic independence was certainly associated with an advanced view of artistic freedom, like that of Joyce publishing in Paris despite censorship in the United States, not to mention in his Catholic Irish homeland. Something of the Parisian and, above all, late twenties German, intellectual worlds found an abiding home in Joseph Campbell. (The apparent dissonance between cultural morphology, with its implication of cultural and historical determinism, and Campbell’s fierce individualism might seem to be another contradiction in the man, although he tried to deal with it by claiming, with Frobenius, that a new era of individualism was what the cycles of history had scheduled for the world now emerging.)

    After returning to the United States as the great depression began, Campbell spent several unsettled but immensely valuable years continuing life as a sort of intellectual pilgrim. He lived among writers and artists in the Catskills 1930 to 1931, sampling the life and times of the avant garde. In 1931 to 1932 he was with John Steinbeck, Robert Jeffries, and their circle in Monterey, California. In the summer of 1932 he shipped with a biological expedition to Alaska, where he made observations of Native American culture. He taught briefly at his old school, Canterbury. During all this time he was also attempting a career as a writer, and he sold a few short stories. In the early thirties, like many intellectuals of those desperate years, Campbell harbored a sympathetic and hopeful interest in communism and the Russian “experiment,” though he was never politically active. Then, in 1934, he joined the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where he was to spend the remainder of his academic career.

    Campbell thus had the opportunities to absorb two brief but fabulous cultural eras of the twenties that have since passed into legend: the Paris of the famous expatriates, of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Joyce, and the rest; and the raucous, “decadent,” yet desperately and brilliantly creative Weimar Germany of its purple twilight years before night fell. With his bright curiosity and his knack for meeting the right people and being in the right place at the right time, the young visitor from overseas returned with an abundant hoard of memories and stories of a Europe all too soon to be forever gone. Upon his return to gritty depression-era America he managed to add to his repertoire of experience another hardly less extraordinary culture circle: the California writers around Miller and Jeffries. And he added to his pack yet another experience of a sort that helped credential not a few American writers: a year of Jack Londonlike labor with the sailors and loggers of the great Pacific northwest, and up the coast to Alaska. Amid all these encounters with various worlds within the world, he went through a common early thirties infatuation with the Soviet venture and flirtation with the radical left, before settling down to the kind of comfortable academic life in which such halcyon days as these could be recalled at leisure—though his work was not over and the skies outside continued to darken.


    WAR AND PEACE

    The environment at Sarah Lawrence changed Campbell politically and ideologically. The first course he taught, on “Backgrounds to Literature,” was based on “Spenglerian morphology.” In his third year he taught a course on Thomas Mann and the influence of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche on that writer. By now the Germany he loved was under the Nazi boot. His German interests brought him in close contact with another faculty member, the artist Kurt Roesch, a refugee from Hitler who was antimarxist as well. Campbell came to realize that a maverick individualist like himself would not fare well in a dictatorship of either left or right, nor would the values of inner-directed free expression in the arts that were almost a religion to him. By the late 1930s he claimed to be nonpolitical, and his interests were moving in the direction of mythology under the influence of cultural morphology.

    The tormented thirties ended with the opening shots of the greatest war in history. Campbell, who knew more intimately than most Americans the intellectual Europe in which its demons had gestated, was now safely on the western side of the Atlantic. But the miasma of a world sorely divided did not escape him, no more than it did the United States generally. Campbell was eminently affected in two ways: through a controversial lecture on values in time of war he gave on December 10, 1940, to which Thomas Mann responded; and through his association with two distinguished refugees from Germany, the indologist Heinrich Zimmer, and the publisher Kurt Wolff, who was to found the Pantheon Press.

    The talk, “Permanent Human Values,” was given at Sarah Lawrence in days that were dark indeed for the Western alliance, just after the fall of France and the Battle of Britain. Britain and its empire stood alone against the tyrants of Berlin and Rome, and the United States was still an island of peace in a world of war. Campbell clearly wished it to remain so, and he wished moreover to maintain an attitude of even-handedness toward the belligerents. He made such statements as, “Permanent things . . . are not possessed exclusively by the democracies; not exclusively even by the Western world. My theme, therefore, forbids me to be partial to the war-cries of the day.” In light of “the duties of objective intelligence in the face of sensational propaganda,” “no educated gentleman can possibly believe that the British Empire or the French Empire or the American Empire was unselfishly founded in ‘kindly helpfulness,’ without gunpowder or without perfectly obscene brutality.” After speaking of the original sin in all and the admonition of Christ to “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” he added, in his most inflammatory statement, that “We are all groping in this valley of tears, and if a Mr. Hitler collides with a Mr. Churchill, we are not in conscience bound to believe that a devil has collided with a saint.—Keep those transcendent terms out of your political thinking—do not donate the things of God to Caesar—and you will go a long way toward keeping a sane head.”

    As for the permanent values at risk in time of war, they included capacity for critical objectivity, the apparently useless diligence of the disinterested scientist and historian, the work of the literary man and the artist, education as human beings rather than as patriots, the preaching of religion free of those “always ready to deliver God into the hands of their king or their president.” (“We hear of it already—this arm-in-arm blood brotherhood of democracy and Christianity.”) [Stephen and Robin Larsen, A Fire in the Mind: The Life of Joseph Campbell, pp. 287-90.]

    Much of this is of course unexceptionable on one level. Few sober observers can deny that the evil which is war has its ways of corrupting participants on all sides, that the first casualty of war is often truth, and that the best means of maintaining some degree of sanity amid war’s horror is to keep in contact with permanent values forever above and beyond the battlefield. But in 1940 the apparent moral equivalency which Campbell, unnecessarily, kept positing between the democracies and their totalitarian adversaries, as though no more was involved than a personal quarrel between “Mr. Churchill” and “Mr. Hitler,” or as though Britain, for all its faults, was on the same abysmal moral level as the Nazi regime, was more than many then or since could swallow. One critic was his one-time idol Thomas Mann, who by now had fled to America. In his Weimar period Campbell had been much influenced by Mann’s 1918 Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (“Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man,”) a disillusioned statement from the end of World War I. In that tract for the times the great novelist wrote with disdain of the one-sided tendentiousness of every political achievement, and celebrated instead the balanced and full-blooded portrayals of the human condition accessible to the artist and poet. That transcendent vision, Campbell thought, Mann had achieved in his own many-layered and luminous novels. But by 1940 Mann had undergone a considerable awakening to the profound evil of which politics was capable, and the danger of viewing evil in the Hitlerian degree with aloof neutrality.

    Campbell had sent to Mann a copy of the “Permanent Human Values” talk at the suggestion of Mrs. Eugene Meyers, an older student who knew both the professor and the German exile. Campbell had earlier met the novelist through her mediation. Even then, Campbell had been disturbed by Mann’s 1938 book The Coming Victory of Democracy, in which the refugee from the land of concentration camps had simply identified the good with democracy and evil with fascism. The once “Great Master of Objectivity,” as Campbell called him, who had started out as the supreme advocate of seeing both sides of every question, was now so far in the partialities of the temporal world as to see God, or the timeless Absolute, as on the side of the “democracies.”

    Then, in a letter of January 6, 1941, in response to the talk, Mann pointedly asked Campbell what would become of the five “permanent values” of which he spoke if Hitler triumphed. “It is strange,” the novelist declared, “you are a friend of my books, which therefore in your opinion probably have something to do with Permanent Human Values. Well, those books are banned in Germany and in all countries which Germany rules today. And whoever reads them, whoever sells them, whoever would even publicly praise my name, would end up in a concentration camp, and his teeth would be beaten in and his kidneys smashed.”

    Campbell replied to Mann equivocally enough, but to his journals he confided his disappointment: “The letter which I received from Thomas Mann in reply was one of the most astonishing revelations to me: it signified for me the man’s practical retraction of all his beautiful phrases about the timelessly human which no force can destroy, and about the power of love over death and about the Eternal altogether. It exhibited a finally temporal-political orientation, and not only that, but a fairly trivial and personal view of even the temporal-political.”

    Here as elsewhere in his journals, he set against the evils ascribed to the fascist side the British role in Ireland and India, the American conquest of the continent and its native population, and the situation of “Negroes” in the South, together with all the graft and hypocrisy of which democracy was capable. It would be unjust to say Campbell was then or ever pronazi or profascist; he several times expresses his distaste for the crudeness, brutality, and anti-Semitism of Germany’s present masters. But against all that, he put his freely admitted love for Germany as a country and a culture, and also the passion of hatreds closer to home. He possessed an Irishman’s bitterness toward the British Empire, and he was the sort of American intellectual who despised many of his countrymen’s shallow patriotism and self-satisfied complacency with the vitriol of an H. L. Mencken, whom he read. Unfortunately, it was perhaps his yearning for transcendent, mythical purity of thought, together with a lack of such actual experience as Mann had had, that kept him from willingness to admit any degree of proportionality in the political evils of the world, or any absolute moral obligation to oppose as well as transcend the worst of them.

    Moreover, not only did Campbell like to see himself as an Olympian above the fray, as we have seen he also liked a good argument and had a tendency, which more than once got him into trouble, to argue for the opposite point of view from that prevailing among the company he was keeping. As American public opinion moved more and more decisively toward Britain, whose claims to superior virtue left Campbell quite unimpressed, he remained blind to anything but equivalency and a deeply felt pacifism. When the United States entered the war on December 8, 1941, Campbell wrestled with his conscience, reading among other things pacifist literature from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, for nearly three months before finally registering for the draft. He soon found, to his immense relief, that he was just past the age limit for being called up to active service.



    - From The Hero of a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell; pages 59-66 (Refusal of the Call):

    Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or “culture,” the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless—even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire of renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his Minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.

    “Because I have called, and ye refused . . . I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” “For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” [Proverbs 1:24-27, 32.]

    Time Jesum transeuntem et non revertentem: “Dread the passage of Jesus, for he does not return.”*

    *“Spiritual books occasionally quote [this] Latin saying which has terrified more than one soul” (Ernest Dimnet, The Art of Thinking, pp. 203-204).

    The myths and folk tales of the whole world make clear that the refusal is essentially a refusal to give up what one takes to be one’s own interest. The future is regarded not in terms of an unremitting series of deaths and births, but as though one’s present system of ideals, virtues, goals, and advantages were to be fixed and made secure. King Minos retained the divine bull, when the sacrifice would have signified submission to the will of the god of his society; for he preferred what he conceived to be his economic advantage. Thus he failed to advance into the life role that he had assumed—and we have seen with what calamitous effect. The divinity itself became his terror; for, obviously, if one is oneself one’s god, then God himself, the will of God, the power that would destroy one’s egocentric system, becomes a monster.


    I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
    I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
    I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
    I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
    *

    *Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven, opening lines.


    One is harassed, both day and night, by the divine being that is the image of the living self within the locked labyrinth of one’s own disoriented psyche. The ways to the gates have all been lost: there is no exit. One can only cling, like Satan, furiously, to oneself and be in hell; or else break, and be annihilate at last, in God.


    “Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
    I am He Whom thou seekest!
    Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.”


    The same harrowing, mysterious voice was to be heard in the call of the Greek god Apollo to the fleeing maiden Daphne, daughter of the river Peneus, as he pursued her over the plain. “O nymph, O Peneus’ daughter, stay!” the deity called to her—like the frog to the princess of the fairy tale; “I who pursued thee am no enemy. Thou knowest not whom thou fleest, and for that reason dost thou flee. Run with less speed, I pray, and hold thy flight. I, too, will follow with less speed. Nay, stop and ask who thy lover is.”

    “He would have said more,” the story goes, “but the maiden pursued her frightened way and left him with words unfinished, even in her desertion seeming fair. The winds bared her limbs, the opposing breezes set her garments aflutter as she ran, and a light air flung her locks streaming behind her. Her beauty was enhanced by flight. But the chase drew to an end, for the youthful god would not longer waste his time in coaxing words, and, urged on by love, he pursued at utmost speed. Just as when a Gallic hound has seen a hare in an open plain, and seeks his prey on flying feet, but the hare, safety; he, just about to fasten on her, now, even now thinks he has her, and grazes her very heels with his outstretched muzzle; but she knows not whether or not she be already caught, and barely escapes from those sharp fangs and leaves behind the jaws just closing on her: so ran the god and maid, he sped by hope and she by fear. But he ran the more swiftly, borne on the wings of love, gave her no time to rest, hung over her fleeing shoulders and breathed on the hair that streamed over her neck. Now was her strength all gone, and, pale with fear and utterly overcome by the toil of her swift flight, seeing the waters of her father’s river near, she cried: ‘O father, help! If your waters hold divinity, change and destroy this beauty by which I pleased o’er well.’ Scarce had she thus prayed when a down-dragging numbness seized her limbs, and her soft sides were begirt with thin bark. Her hair was changed to leaves, her arms to branches. Her feet, but now so swift, grew fast in sluggish roots, and her head was now but a tree’s top. Her gleaming beauty alone remained.” [Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, 504-553 (translation by Frank Justus Miller)]

    This is indeed a dull and unrewarding finish. Apollo, the sun, the lord of time and ripeness, no longer pressed his frightening suit, but instead, simply named the laurel his favorite tree and ironically recommended its leaves to the fashioners of victory wreaths. The girl had retreated to the image of her parent and there found protection—like the unsuccessful husband whose dream of mother love preserved him from the state of cleaving to a wife.

    The literature of psychoanalysis abounds in examples of such desperate fixations. What they represent is an impotence to put off the infantile ego, with its sphere of emotional relationships and ideals. One is bound in by the walls of childhood; the father and mother stand as threshold guardians, and the timorous soul, fearful of some punishment,* fails to make the passage through the door and come to birth in the world without.

    *Freud: castration complex.

    Dr. Jung has reported a dream that resembles very closely the image of the myth of Daphne. The dreamer is the same young man who found himself . . . in the land of the sheep—the land, that is to say, of unindependence. A voice within him says, “I must first get away from the father”; then a few nights later: “a snake draws a circle about the dreamer, and he stands like a tree, grown fast to the earth.”* This is an image of the magic circle drawn about the personality by the dragon power of the fixating parent. [The serpent (in mythology a symbol of the terrestrial waters) corresponds to Daphne’s father, the river Peneus.] Brynhild, in the same way, was protected in her virginity, arrested in her daughter state for years, by the circle of the fire of all-father Wotan. She slept in timelessness until the coming of Siegfried.

    Little Briar-rose (Sleeping Beauty) was put to sleep by a jealous hag (an unconscious evil-mother image). And not only the child, her entire world went off to sleep; but at last, “after long, long years,” there came a prince to wake her. “The king and queen (the conscious good-parent images), who had just come home and were entering the hall, began to fall asleep, and with them the whole estate. All the horses slept in the stalls, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons on the roof, the flies on the walls, yes, the fire that flickered on the hearth grew still and slumbered, and the roast ceased to simmer. And the cook, who was about to pull the hair of the scullery boy because he had forgotten something,let him go and fell off to sleep. And the wind went down, and not a leaf stirred in the trees. Then around the castle a hedge of thorns began to grow, which became taller every year, and finally shut off the whole estate. It grew up taller than the castle, so that nothing more was seen, not even the weathercock on the roof.” [Grimm, No. 50.]

    A Persian city once was “enstoned to stone”—king and queen, soldiers, inhabitants, and all—because its people refused the call of Allah.* Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt for looking back, when she had been summoned forth from her city by Jehovah. [Genesis, 19:26.] And there is the tale of the Wandering Jew, cursed to remain on earth until the Day of Judgment, because when Christ had passed him carrying the cross, this man among the people standing along the way called, “Go faster! A little speed!” The unrecognized, insulted Savior turned and said to him, “I go, but you shall be waiting here for me when I return.”

    *The Thousand Nights and One Night, Richard F. Burton translation, Vol. I, pp. 164-167.


    Some of the victims remain spellbound forever (at least, so far as we are told), but others are destined to be saved. Brynhild was preserved for her proper hero and little Briar-rose was rescued by a prince. Also, the young man transformed into a tree dreamed subsequently of the unknown woman who pointed the way, as a mysterious guide to paths unknown. Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required. So it is that sometimes the predicament following an obstinate refusal of the call proves to be the occasion of a providential revelation of some unsuspected principle of release.

    Willed introversion, in fact, is one of the classic implements of creative genius and can be employed as a deliberate device. It drives the psychic energies into depth and activates the lost continent of unconscious infantile and archetypal images. The result, of course, may be a disintegration of consciousness more or less complete (neurosis, psychosis: the plight of spellbound Daphne); but on the other hand, if the personality is able to absorb and integrate the new forces, there will be experienced an almost super-human degree of self-consciousness and masterful control. This is a basic principle of the Indian disciplines of yoga. It has been the way, also, of many creative spirits in the West.* It cannot be described, quite, as an answer to any specific call. Rather, it is a deliberate, terrific refusal to respond to anything but the deepest, highest, richest answer to the as yet unknown demand of some waiting void within: a kind of total strike, or rejection of the offered terms of life, as a result of which some power of transformation carries the problem to a plane of new magnitudes, where it is suddenly and finally resolved.


    *See Otto Rank, Art and Artist, translated by Charles Francis Atkinson, pp. 40-41: “If we compare the neurotic with the productive type, it is evident that the former suffers from an excessive check on his impulsive life. . . . Both are distinguished fundamentally from the average type, who accepts himself as he is, by their tendency to exercise their volition in reshaping themselves. There is, however, this difference: that the neurotic, in this voluntary remaking of his ego, does not get beyond the destructive preliminary work and is therefore unable to detach the whole creative process from his own person and transfer it to an ideological abstraction. The productive artist also begins . . . with that re-creation of himself which results in an ideologically constructed ego; [but in his case] this ego is then in a position to shift the creative will-power from his own person to ideological representations of that person and thus render it objective. It must be admitted that this process is in a measure limited to within the individual himself, and that not only in its constructive, but also in its destructive aspects. This explains why hardly any productive work gets through without morbid crises of a ‘neurotic’ nature.”


    This is the aspect of the hero-problem illustrated in the wondrous Arabian Nights adventure of the Prince Kamar al-Zaman and the Princess Budur. The young and handsome prince, the only son of King Shahriman of Persia, persistently refused the repeated suggestions, requests, demands, and finally injunctions, of his father, that he should do the normal thing and take to himself a wife. The first time the subject was broached to him, the lad responded: “O my father, know that I have no lust to marry nor doth my soul incline to women; for that concerning their craft and perfidy I have read many books and heard much talk, even as saith the poet:

    Now, an of women ask ye, I reply:--
    In their affairs I’m versed a doctor rare!
    When man’s head grizzles and his money dwindles,
    In their affection he hath naught for share.


    And another said:

    Rebel against women and so shalt thou serve Allah the more;
    The youth who gives women the rein must forfeit all hope to soar.
    They’ll baulk him when seeking the strange device, Excelsior,
    Tho’ waste he a thousand of years in the study of science and lore.”


    And when he had ended his verses he continued, “O my father, wedlock is a thing whereto I will never consent; no, not though I drink the cup of death.”

    When the Sultan Shahriman heard these words from his son, light became darkness in his sight and he was full of grief; yet for the great love he bore him, he was unwilling to repeat his wishes and was not angry, but showed him all manner of kindness.

    After a year, the father pressed again his question, but the youth persisted in refusal, with further stanzas from the poets. The king consulted with his wazir, and the minister advised:”O King, wait another year and, if after that thou be minded to speak to him on the matter of marriage, speak not to him privily, but address him on a day of state, when all the emirs and wazirs are present with the whole of the army standing before thee. And when all are in crowd then send for thy son, Kamar al-Zaman, and summon him; and, when he cometh, broach to him the matter of marriage before the wazirs and grandees and officers of state and captains; for he will surely be bashful and daunted by their presence and will not dare to oppose thy will.”

    When the moment came, however, and King Shahriman gave his command before the state, the prince bowed his head awhile, then raising it towards his father, and, being moved by youthful folly and boyish ignorance, replied: “But for myself I will never marry; no, not though I drink the cup of death! As for thee, thou art great in age and small of wit: hast thou not, twice ere this day and before this occasion, questioned me of the matter of marriage, and I refused my consent? Indeed thou dotest and art not fit to govern a flock of sheep!” So saying Kamar al-Zaman unclasped his hands from behind his back and tucked up his sleeves above his elbows before his father, being in a fit of fury; moreover, he added many words to his sire, knowing not what he said, in the trouble of his spirits.



    Pages 18-25 (Myth and Dream):

    These “Eternal Ones of the Dream”* are not to be confused with the personally modified symbolic figures that appear in nightmare and madness to the still tormented individual. Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions shown are directly valid for all mankind.


    *This is Geza Roheim’s translation of an Australian Aranda term, altjiranga mitjina, which refers to the mythical ancestors who wandered on the earth in the time called altjiranga nakala, “ancestor was.” The word altjira means: (a) a dream, (b) ancestor, beings who appear in the dream, (c) a story (Roheim, The Eternal Ones of the Dream, pp. 210-211).


    The hero, therefore, is the man or woman who has been able to battle past his personal and local historical limitations to the generally valid, normally human forms. Such a one’s visions, ideas, and inspirations come pristine from the primary springs of human life and thought. Hence they are eloquent, not of the present, disintegrating society and psyche, but of the unquenched source through which society is reborn. The hero has died as a modern man; but as eternal man—perfected, unspecific, universal man—he has been reborn. His second solemn task and deed therefore (as Toynbee declares and as all the mythologies of mankind indicate) is to return then to us, transfigured, and teach the lesson he has learned of life renewed.

    “I was walking alone around the upper end of a large city, through slummy, muddy streets lined with hard little houses,” writes a modern woman, describing a dream that she has had. “I did not know where I was, but liked the exploring. I chose one street which was terribly muddy and led across what must have been an open sewer. I followed along between rows of shanties and then discovered a little river flowing between me and some high, firm ground where there was a paved street. This was a nice, perfectly clear river, flowing over grass. I could see the grass moving under the water. There was no way to cross, so I went to a little house and asked for a boat. A man there said of course he could help me cross. He brought out a small wooden box which he put on the edge of the river and I saw at once that with this box I could easily jump across. I knew all danger was over and I wanted to reward the man richly.

    “In thinking of this dream I have a distinct feeling that I did not have to go where I was at all but could have chosen a comfortable walk along paved streets. I had gone to the squalid and muddy district because I preferred adventure, and, having begun, I had to go on. . . . When I think of how persistently I kept going straight ahead in the dream, it seems as though I must have known there was something fine ahead, like that lovely, grassy river and the secure, high, paved road beyond. Thinking of it in those terms, it is like a determination to be born—or rather to be born again—in a sort of spiritual sense. Perhaps some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the highroad to the soul’s destination.” [Frederick Pierce, Dreams and Personality, pp. 108-109.]

    The dreamer is a distinguished operatic artist, and, like all who have elected to follow, not the safely marked general highways of the day, but the adventure of the special, dimly audible call that comes to those whose ears are open within as well as without, she has had to make her way alone, through difficulties not commonly encountered, “through slummy, muddy streets”; she has known the dark night of the soul, Dante’s “dark wood, midway in the journey of our life,” and the sorrows of the pits of hell:

    Through me is the way into the woeful city,
    Through me is the way into eternal woe,
    Through me is the way among the Lost People.
    *

    *Words written over the Gate of Hell:

    Per me si va nella città dolente,
    Per me si va nell’ eterno dolore,
    Per me si va tra la Perduta Gente.

    —Dante, “Inferno,” III, 1-3.

    The translation is by Charles Eliot Norton, The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri


    It is remarkable that in this dream the basic outline of the universal mythological formula of the adventure of the hero is reproduced, to the detail. These deeply significant motifs of the perils, obstacles, and good fortunes of the way, we shall find inflected through the following pages in a hundred forms. The crossing first of the open sewer,* then of the perfectly clear river flowing over grass,** the appearance of the willing helper at the critical moment [(e.g.) Dante’s Virgil], and the high, firm ground beyond the final stream (the Earthly Paradise, the Land over Jordan):*** these are the everlastingly recurrent themes of the wonderful song of the soul’s high adventure. And each who has dared to harken to and follow the secret call has known the perils of the dangerous, solitary transit:

    A sharpened edge of a razor, hard to traverse,
    A difficult path is this—poets declare!

    [Katha Upanishad, 3-14 (from Robert Ernest Hume, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, translated from the Sanskrit]

    *Compare Dante, “Inferno,” XIV, 76-84, (op. cit., Vol. I, p. 89): “a little brook, the redness of which still makes me shudder . . . which the sinful women share among them.”

    **Compare Dante, “Purgatorio,” XXVIII, 22-30 (op. cit., Vol. II, p. 214): “A stream . . . which with its little waves was bending toward the left the grass that sprang upon its bank. All the waters that are purest here on earth would seem to have some mixture in them, compared with that which hides nothing.”

    *** “Those who in old time sang of the Golden Age, and of its happy state, perchance, upon Parnassus, dreamed of this place: here was the root of mankind innocent; here is always spring, and every fruit; this is the nectar of which each of them tells” (“Purgatorio,” XXVIII, 139-144; op. cit., Vol. II, p. 219.)


    The dreamer is assisted across the water by the gift of a small wooden box, which takes the place, in this dream, of the more usual skiff or bridge. This is a symbol of her own special talent and virtue, by which she has been ferried across the waters of the world. The dreamer has supplied us with no account of her associations, [page 23:] so that we do not know what special contents the box would have revealed; but it is certainly a variety of Pandora’s box—that divine gift of the gods to beautiful woman, filled with the seeds of all the troubles and blessings of existence, but also provided with the sustaining virtue, hope. By this, the dreamer crosses to the other shore. And by a like miracle, so will each whose work is the difficult, dangerous task of self-discovery and self-development be portered across the ocean of life.

    The multitude of men and women choose the less adventurous way of the comparatively unconscious civic and tribal routines. But these seekers, too, are saved—by virtue of the inherited symbolic aids of society, the rites of passage, the grace-yielding sacraments, given to mankind of old by the redeemers and handed down through millenniums. It is only those who know neither an inner call nor an outer doctrine whose plight truly is desperate; that is to say, most of us today, in this labyrinth without and within the heart. Alas, where is the guide, that fond virgin, Ariadne, to supply the simple clue that will give us courage to face the Minotaur, and the means then to find our way to freedom when the monster has been met and slain?

    Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, fell in love with the handsome Theseus the moment she saw him disembark from the boat that had brought the pitiful group of Athenian youths and maidens for the Minotaur. She found a way to talk with him, and declared that she would supply a means to help him back out of the labyrinth if we would promise to take her away from Crete with him and make her his wife. The pledge was given. Ariadne turned for help, then, to the crafty Daedalus, by whose art the labyrinth had been constructed and Ariadne’s mother enabled to give birth to its inhabitant. Daedalus simply presented her with a skein of linen thread, which the visiting hero might fix to the entrance and unwind as he went into the maze. It is, indeed, very little that we need! But lacking that, the adventure into the labyrinth is without hope.

    The little is close at hand. Most curiously, the very scientist who, in the service of the sinful king, was the brain behind the horror of the labyrinth, quite as readily can serve the purposes of freedom. But the hero-heart must be at hand. For centuries Daedalus has represented the type of the artist-scientist: that curiously disinterested, almost diabolic human phenomenon, beyond the normal bounds of social judgment, dedicated to the morals not of his time but of his art. He is the hero of the way of thought—singlehearted, courageous, and full of faith that the truth, as he finds it, shall make us free.

    And so now we may turn to him, as did Ariadne. The flax for the linen of his thread he has gathered from the fields of the human imagination. Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where he had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where he had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where he had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.


    2.

    Tragedy and Comedy


    “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” With these fateful words, Count Leo Tolstoy opened the novel of the spiritual dismemberment of his modern heroine, Anna Karenina. During the seven decades that have elapsed since that distracted wife, mother, and blindly impassioned mistress threw herself beneath the wheels of the train—thus terminating, with a gesture symbolic of what already had happened to her soul, her tragedy of disorientation—a tumultuous and unremitting dithyramb of romances, new reports, and unrecorded cries of anguish has been going up to the honor of the bull-demon of the labyrinth: the wrathful, destructive, maddening aspect of the same god who, when benign, is the vivifying principle of the world.
    Last edited by HERO; 03-26-2018 at 03:08 PM.
    “Must get that Capel street library book renewed or they’ll write to
    Kearney, my garantor. Reincarnation: that’s the word.

    — Some people believe, he said, that we go on living in another body
    after death, that we lived before. They call it reincarnation. That we all lived
    before on the earth thousands of years ago or some other planet. They say we
    have forgotten it. Some say they remember their past lives.

    The sluggish cream wound curdling spirals through her tea. Better remind
    her of the word: metempsychosis. An example would be better.”

    —from Ulysses by James Joyce

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    WE'RE ALL GOING HOME HERO's Avatar
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    Joseph Campbell: EIE?










    - From The Politics of Myth: A Study of C. G. Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell by Robert Ellwood; pages 127-33 [JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE NEW QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL (“THE SAVANT AS REACTIONARY”)]:

    Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was probably the best known of all interpreters of myth to late twentieth-century Americans, thanks to a series of learned but highly readable books, assiduous lecture-hall performances, and above all his posthumous PBS appearances with Bill Moyers. The response to that series of six interviews was remarkable. As Mary R. Lefkowitz put it: “On television Joseph Campbell was the embodiment of the ideal academic: gentle, fatherly, informative, reassuring, unworldly, spiritual, and articulate without being incomprehensible. He was knowledgeable about what we didn’t have time (or inclination) to discover for ourselves, pleasantly remote, and (unlike most of nontelevision professors) entertaining. Campbell could tell a good story.”

    But perhaps Campbell’s greatest triumph of all, though an indirect one, was in the overwhelmingly successful series of Star Wars movies, commenced in 1977 and directed by George Lucas. Together with that other science-fiction classic the Star Trek series, these films have created out of science fiction what seems to be the dominant living imaginative mythology of our time, comparable to the role of Arthurian fantasy in Victorian England or Wagner’s heroes in Wilhelmine Germany. The sacred atmosphere of the Wagnerian Bayreuth festival in its golden age was reproduced on the opening nights of the Star Wars “Phantom Menace” in 1999, when crowds across the country cheered deafeningly, then settled into reverential stillness save for appropriate hisses and acclamations as the epic ground forward. While of course Campbell cannot be given full credit for this modern myth cycle, George Lucas freely acknowledges the influence of reading that savant’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Masks of God. Later, beginning in 1983, the relationship developed into a personal friendship over the last three years of Campbell's life.

    In the older Star Trek, cooperation among a diverse crew was the key to success in saving the galaxy. But in Star Wars the emphasis was more on individual heroism, a theme dear to Joseph Campbell’s heart. Those films wonderfully combine ultra “high tech” computers and spaceships with gunfights and combat in one-man fighters reminiscent of a generation of matinee westerns or of World War II dogfights. Then, on a still deeper level of meaning, there came the swordplay of Jedi knights and the solitary quests of dedicated heroes like Luke Skywalker. The fundamental cultural message was that a great society is founded upon great individuals. One should be oneself, fighting for oneself and one’s friends and comrades alone, except when freely joining a band of like-minded heroes to lose, or rather transcend, individual separateness in the mystique of a noble cause—which will be the cause of individualism against tyranny. Moreover, many subordinate themes of traditional mythology and folklore, often also themes made famous by Joseph Campbell, appear in the Star Wars cycle: the hero who is of noble blood but doesn’t know it (Luke Skywalker), the intelligent robots in the role of the companion animal or faithful “sidekick” like Don Quixote’s Sancho Panza.

    Furthermore, an almost indefinable quality in Star Wars from the experience of the title frame on makes it like walking into a dream, above all if the film is experienced in the cavernous womb of a great theater with a wide screen. The unforgettable images of huge ships, archetypal monsters and heroes, and otherworldly planets loom into consciousness like denizens of the night. It is as though, along with wanting to make the world safe for individuals, Campbell/Lucas wanted to make it safe for dreams. The association of myth and dream-like mood in Campbell is no accident for, following Jung but if possible even more so, he thought myth and dream, as well as truly great literature, all came from the same place. His storytelling skill told us as much, for like an ancient bard he had the ability to bring the reader or hearer into the world of the myths he retold as into the secret places of one’s own dreams, so that for the time the narration was the receiver’s subjective as well as outer reality.

    The heroic notes in Star Wars are not really about conquest, no more than are those in the Arthurian and Wagnerian cycles of myths. All three epics showed the ultimate futility of grasping for power. Rather, these stories make their way into subjective consciousness because they are about deep-level psychic identities—above all, one’s own. Of that deepset individual identity the adventurous individual heroes of all great stories are symbolic vehicles. So Campbell profoundly believed. His message supreme above all was that all myths are really about oneself, one’s profoundest identity, the innermost self still waiting to be found and realized. Campbell’s conviction was that myths are not past but present, embodying the eternal essence of life.

    Something in Campbell’s message clearly resonated with the yearnings of the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton years. Certainly the appeal of Campbell was rooted in a quality more fundamental than entertainment. When Moyers asked if myths “are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance,” Campbell replied:

    People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about, and that’s what these clues help us to find within ourselves.

    Campbell could make others believe with him that myths were important because they are vivid and timeless voices of the rapture of life, and clues to the identity of the enraptured self. People respond to people with passionate convictions about human life, and Campbell manifestly cared about human life and about myth—perhaps in that order.

    For despite his academic credentials as a professor at Sarah Lawrence College, and though remarkably widely read in mythology, Campbell exhibited limited interest of the usual academic sort in his subject matter. He evinced little concern about mythic variants or philological issues, or even about the cultural or ritual context of his material. He was not really a folklorist, much less an anthropologist; he had started his scholarly career in literature and cultural studies, and always basically approached myth through the eyes of a cultural critic.

    For him a myth seemed to be a rather disembodied, timeless story of eternal human significance. It might happen to come from here or there, but in the final analysis all myths are equal and interchangeable—with the possible exception of those of “the Yahweh cult” upon which the Judaic-Christian-Islamic tradition is based, and which Campbell clearly disliked. Otherwise, what myths all say, finally, is that behind all forms there is a Brahmanlike Oneness, and that in moving toward its realization one should “follow one’s own bliss”—a saying no doubt capable of interpretation on several levels.

    Despite the exoticism of many of Campbell’s myths, the importance they gave to the inner experience of a pure and authentic self fitted with that American gnostic strand Harold Bloom detected in the national soul. We have noted Harold Bloom’s provocative thesis that American religion is fundamentally gnostic in character; if that is so, this must also help explain Campbell’s wide appeal in a culture so formed. Karen L. King in fact earlier had written of Campbell’s “American Romanticism,” which held that truth lay in authentic experience of the often alienated but genuine inner self; a view which, she holds, was shared by the ancient gnostics and helped explain Campbell’s interest in both the gnostic and romantic traditions.

    Robert A. Segal, probably Campbell’s most measured and perceptive critic, confirmed that Campbell’s draw lay in the “unashamed romanticism” of his theory of myth. Romanticism, along with Enlightenment post-Christianity, was the seedbed of modern mythology, and moreover was a significant strand in that “gnostic” Americanism of political individualism and individual salvation to which Campbell ministered. But Campbell was, if conceivable, even more romantic in spirit than Jung or Eliade. Disdaining any of the pretense to medical or historical science that remained with the two Europeans, he built firmly on the foundation of literary romanticism his equation of feeling-inflected consciousness and cosmic meaning.

    For Campbell, a myth was an eternal, not merely a primitive, narrative. Nothing could supersede it, because it is not about protoscientific explanation but about the human condition, which in the last analysis is always expressed metaphorically, and always has to be spoken. Thus for Campbell, according to Segal, myth is indispensable, and the primitives who first bespoke it were really wiser than moderns because they knew implicitly that the metaphors of story tell human things better than the abstractions of science, and they constructed a worldview centered on their stories.

    Elsewhere the same commentator, Segal, remarked that actually Campbell “is oddly not much interested in myth—as myth. He is much more interested in human nature, which he simply finds revealed in myths. He sees myths as a repository of the experiences and beliefs of mankind. He is far more concerned with the information myths contain than with myths themselves.” But while it is easy for academics to disparage such an attitude, this is in fact no more than the approach that most predicants, more concerned with saving the world than with footnotes, take toward their scriptural and other sources, and no doubt represents one legitimate level of hermeneutics.

    What of Campbell’s social and political views? Although, unlike Jung and Eliade, he never expressed himself fully and explicitly in print on such matters, they were known to acquaintances, and posthumously created something of a furor. The ruckus was essentially started in a 1989 article in the New York Review of Books by Brendan Gill, who claimed to have known Campbell well. Gill complains that, though one might have expected a person given to a lifelong study of the world’s diversity of cultures to accept a variety of points of view in his own culture, this Campbell was never able to do—toward minorities, toward feminists, or toward liberal social programs. The mythologist was reportedly anti-Semitic, anti-Black, and in 1940 unable to grasp the threat represented by Hitler. Needless to say, the sixties did not meet with his approval at all, despite his frequent lectures at one of the decade’s most celebrated shrines, the Esalen Institute. Brendan Gill commented: “So far was Campbell from applying the wisdom of the ages to the social, political, and sexual turbulence that he found himself increasingly surrounded by that he might have been a member of the Republican Party somewhere to the right of William F. Buckley. He embodied a paradox that I was never able to resolve in his lifetime and that I have been striving to resolve ever since: the savant as reactionary.” [Brendan Gill, “The Faces of Joseph Campbell,” New York Review of Books, Sept. 28, 1989, pp. 16-19.] Gill advanced several scraps of evidence, largely anecdotal and hearsay, to support Campbell’s reactionism.

    As to why Campbell’s Moyers interviews were so well received, Gill opined that most viewers assumed his was a liberal message—religiously liberal, at least, with its relativistic openness toward the myths and faiths of many cultures. But, Gill claims, the covert message of the tag-line, “Follow your bliss”—whatever makes you happy—is none other than the philosophy of “Wall Street yuppies, junk-bond dealers,” or of an Ayn Rand type of elitist individualist with no discernible social conscience.

    Gill’s article was followed by an orgy of letters-to-the-editor activity. Further anecdotal support was given the legend of Campbell’s rightist biases. He was called a “romantic fascist” and virulent anti-communist, was said to have objected to admitting Blacks to Sarah Lawrence, and at the time of the Moon landing in 1969 to have remarked that the earth’s satellite would be a good place to send all the Jews. One woman recounted that she had been in a class of his at the height of the sixties campus upheavals: Campbell had said he would flunk any student who took part in political activism—and when she did, he made good on his threat.

    Other correspondents rose as vehemently to the mythologist’s defense. One contended that his position at Sarah Lawrence had to be understood in light of the fact that he had fallen foul of a faculty “Marxist clique”—the same academic politics satirized in Mary McCarthy’s Groves of Academe. Others argued that “Follow your bliss” has nothing to do with Ayn Rand individualism, much less materialistic selfishness, but the opposite—follow your own way to spiritual liberation.

    Admittedly, it is hard to connect the Campbell of the bigot stereotype with a man who for nearly forty years was an immensely popular teacher at Sarah Lawrence, until recently a women’s college and one which has long had a reputation as a liberal bastion with a large Jewish enrollment. Yet, if even some of the anecdotes are true, there does appear to be a paradox, the paradox of what Gill called “the savant as reactionary”—in this case, not so much a sophisticated intellectual reactionary, a de Maistre or even a Jung or Eliade, as a smooth articulate nonpolitical mythologist who, off the record, dropped remarks one might have more readily expected to hear from a country club Bourbon. One almost senses a double life.

    That perception would not, however, be correct; there were relationships between the mythologist and the political reactionary, and Campbell's political views, though strongly held and on occasion forcefully expressed, were more subtle than might appear on the surface. Campbell loved a good argument, often taking “contrarian” positions at polar opposite to those of his circle or his interlocutors perhaps as much to spark lively debate as anything else. Yet he expressed himself with such charm and contagious intellectual enthusiasm that even many who disagreed strongly with his views remained friends and fans.

    At the same time, he held deeply to political and social opinions usually identified as conservative. In his way of thinking, they stemmed from the passionate belief in individual intellectual and artistic liberty that had always been important to him. Thus, in the early fifties, he saw liberty as far more threatened by communism than by the transitory phenomenon of McCarthyism and said so, appalling his more liberal colleagues. In the sixties, despite a long infatuation with pacifism, he supported the Vietnam War on the same antitotalitarian grounds against a hostile intellectual atmosphere. Yet in 1940 and 1941 he had not been able to muster a similar opposition to Hitler, then holding instead to a very high view of the artist’s and intellectual’s need to remain an independent observer above the political passions of the moment.


    Pages 134-41:

    Like Eliade, Joseph was both an avid Boy Scout and a precocious reader. While still in grade school, particularly after being taken by his father to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, he cultivated a strong interest in American Indians. He admired the Native Americans both for their simple way of life and their heroic though futile resistance to the Whites. He imitated Indian practices on camping trips, and by the time he was ten or eleven was reading the voluminous reports of the Bureau of American Ethnography.

    After attending Canterbury, an upscale Catholic boarding school, Joseph enrolled as a freshman at Dartmouth in 1921, soon transferring to Columbia. He took English, comparative literature, and languages, and listened to lectures in anthropology by the distinguished Franz Boas. He combined an outstanding academic career with national-class, and some thought potentially Olympic, dash and middle distance running, a sport of course emphasizing individual strength and competitiveness. Handsome and outgoing, he was socially popular as well. In 1923 Joseph and the family returned to the east coast from a trip to California by ship, passing through the Panama Canal and visiting points in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean en route. Campbell’s letters and journals indicate he was mainly impressed by the heat, dirt, and flies of that impoverished part of the world, a “culture shock” he was much later to experience again in India, and one much in contrast with the experience Europe was to be for him the following year and later. But Campbell never really resolved a deep-level conflict between love at a distance for the culture and myths of exotic places, and a virtually physical revulsion at their characteristic lack of order and cleanliness when confronted first-hand.

    In 1924, between his junior and senior years, Joseph traveled to Europe with his family, in part to attend the Olympic Games held in Paris that year. As it happened he was on the same ship with the young spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti and a small coterie of supporters. Although Krishnamurti was then being advanced by many in the Theosophical Society as the “vehicle” of a coming World Teacher, Campbell encountered him chiefly as an attractive youth full of unpretentious but deep wisdom. The American toured England with this group, and through his new friends and their circle enjoyed his first real encounter with oriental spirituality. Rosalind Williams, later Rosalind Rajagopal, one of the young “messiah’s” youthful companions, gave Edwin Arnold’s The Light of Asia to Campbell to read on shipboard; he was enthralled by this poetic story of the Buddha’s quest for the greatest treasure of all, supreme enlightenment.

    Joseph’s undergraduate career at Columbia was followed by graduate studies in medieval literature at the same institution. He took an M.A., writing a dissertation on the Grail legend, a theme to which he was to return throughout life. In 1927 Campbell received a munificent grant through Columbia enabling him to spend two years in Europe studying Old French and Provencal in preparation for the Ph.D. he later received from the Sorbonne. Like any intelligent young man abroad he studied many other things as well. He read the Parisian publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses while that controversial novel was still banned in the U.S. He kept in touch with Krishnamurti, visiting him at Eerde in Holland, a center for the Krishnamurti movement. It was after hearing Krishnamurti lecture in Paris in 1928 on rejecting all dependence on external authority that Campbell stopped attending mass; he remained free of formal religious attachments for the rest of his life.

    He was soon to find philosophical and mythological grounds for his own subjective deinstitutionalization of religion. Traveling on to Germany, he found himself deeply drawn to German language and culture. During this time he read Freud and Jung and, no less significantly, the novelist Thomas Mann. A little later, though undoubtedly on the basis of the love of Germany and German scholarship acquired on this trip, he also delved deeply into the work of the historian of the West’s decline, Oswald Spengler, and that of the anthropologists Adolf Bastian and Leo Frobenius.

    Joyce, Freud, Jung, Mann, Spengler, Bastian, Frobenius . . . these are the names, whether in fashion or not, which recurred by far the most frequently in Campbell’s writing up until the very end of his life. It is indeed remarkable the extent to which Campbell’s intellectual life from then on was set in grooves cut in those two wonderful wandering years in the gay but tormented Europe of just after the Great War, the Europe of giddy futurism and reactionary pessimism, of Weimar Germany and the Paris of the “lost generation.”

    Except perhaps Freud, the Germans who so deeply influenced Campbell were then parts of an antimodern reaction that set against Weimar’s democratic ideals the romantic organic view of society to which we have already alluded, a perspective often associated with “volkish” thought, and with mythology, in that era. (Mann was, to Campbell’s distress, later to renounce much of this credo.) The position also entailed what Spengler and Frobenius called “cultural morphology,” the idea that societies possess distinctive and interlocking cultural patterns in all areas of expression, a concept important to Campbell to be discussed later.

    First an even more significant Campbellian issue initially derived from the cultural pessimism side of Weimar Germany. Although differing in many particulars, these three—Mann, Spengler, and Frobenius—also agreed that it was important to look at the calamitous events of recent history from the perspective of a larger screen on which whole cultures and epochs flourish and decline like biological units. And they believed in standing back from the screen. Facing this stupendous panorama, the true artist and scholar maintains personal autonomy, observing and interpreting, but disdaining both fatuous optimism and the soiled passion of practical politics.

    For Campbell, such artistic independence was certainly associated with an advanced view of artistic freedom, like that of Joyce publishing in Paris despite censorship in the United States, not to mention in his Catholic Irish homeland. Something of the Parisian and, above all, late twenties German, intellectual worlds found an abiding home in Joseph Campbell. (The apparent dissonance between cultural morphology, with its implication of cultural and historical determinism, and Campbell’s fierce individualism might seem to be another contradiction in the man, although he tried to deal with it by claiming, with Frobenius, that a new era of individualism was what the cycles of history had scheduled for the world now emerging.)

    After returning to the United States as the great depression began, Campbell spent several unsettled but immensely valuable years continuing life as a sort of intellectual pilgrim. He lived among writers and artists in the Catskills 1930 to 1931, sampling the life and times of the avant garde. In 1931 to 1932 he was with John Steinbeck, Robert Jeffries, and their circle in Monterey, California. In the summer of 1932 he shipped with a biological expedition to Alaska, where he made observations of Native American culture. He taught briefly at his old school, Canterbury. During all this time he was also attempting a career as a writer, and he sold a few short stories. In the early thirties, like many intellectuals of those desperate years, Campbell harbored a sympathetic and hopeful interest in communism and the Russian “experiment,” though he was never politically active. Then, in 1934, he joined the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where he was to spend the remainder of his academic career.

    Campbell thus had the opportunities to absorb two brief but fabulous cultural eras of the twenties that have since passed into legend: the Paris of the famous expatriates, of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Joyce, and the rest; and the raucous, “decadent,” yet desperately and brilliantly creative Weimar Germany of its purple twilight years before night fell. With his bright curiosity and his knack for meeting the right people and being in the right place at the right time, the young visitor from overseas returned with an abundant hoard of memories and stories of a Europe all too soon to be forever gone. Upon his return to gritty depression-era America he managed to add to his repertoire of experience another hardly less extraordinary culture circle: the California writers around Miller and Jeffries. And he added to his pack yet another experience of a sort that helped credential not a few American writers: a year of Jack Londonlike labor with the sailors and loggers of the great Pacific northwest, and up the coast to Alaska. Amid all these encounters with various worlds within the world, he went through a common early thirties infatuation with the Soviet venture and flirtation with the radical left, before settling down to the kind of comfortable academic life in which such halcyon days as these could be recalled at leisure—though his work was not over and the skies outside continued to darken.


    WAR AND PEACE

    The environment at Sarah Lawrence changed Campbell politically and ideologically. The first course he taught, on “Backgrounds to Literature,” was based on “Spenglerian morphology.” In his third year he taught a course on Thomas Mann and the influence of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche on that writer. By now the Germany he loved was under the Nazi boot. His German interests brought him in close contact with another faculty member, the artist Kurt Roesch, a refugee from Hitler who was antimarxist as well. Campbell came to realize that a maverick individualist like himself would not fare well in a dictatorship of either left or right, nor would the values of inner-directed free expression in the arts that were almost a religion to him. By the late 1930s he claimed to be nonpolitical, and his interests were moving in the direction of mythology under the influence of cultural morphology.

    The tormented thirties ended with the opening shots of the greatest war in history. Campbell, who knew more intimately than most Americans the intellectual Europe in which its demons had gestated, was now safely on the western side of the Atlantic. But the miasma of a world sorely divided did not escape him, no more than it did the United States generally. Campbell was eminently affected in two ways: through a controversial lecture on values in time of war he gave on December 10, 1940, to which Thomas Mann responded; and through his association with two distinguished refugees from Germany, the indologist Heinrich Zimmer, and the publisher Kurt Wolff, who was to found the Pantheon Press.

    The talk, “Permanent Human Values,” was given at Sarah Lawrence in days that were dark indeed for the Western alliance, just after the fall of France and the Battle of Britain. Britain and its empire stood alone against the tyrants of Berlin and Rome, and the United States was still an island of peace in a world of war. Campbell clearly wished it to remain so, and he wished moreover to maintain an attitude of even-handedness toward the belligerents. He made such statements as, “Permanent things . . . are not possessed exclusively by the democracies; not exclusively even by the Western world. My theme, therefore, forbids me to be partial to the war-cries of the day.” In light of “the duties of objective intelligence in the face of sensational propaganda,” “no educated gentleman can possibly believe that the British Empire or the French Empire or the American Empire was unselfishly founded in ‘kindly helpfulness,’ without gunpowder or without perfectly obscene brutality.” After speaking of the original sin in all and the admonition of Christ to “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” he added, in his most inflammatory statement, that “We are all groping in this valley of tears, and if a Mr. Hitler collides with a Mr. Churchill, we are not in conscience bound to believe that a devil has collided with a saint.—Keep those transcendent terms out of your political thinking—do not donate the things of God to Caesar—and you will go a long way toward keeping a sane head.”

    As for the permanent values at risk in time of war, they included capacity for critical objectivity, the apparently useless diligence of the disinterested scientist and historian, the work of the literary man and the artist, education as human beings rather than as patriots, the preaching of religion free of those “always ready to deliver God into the hands of their king or their president.” (“We hear of it already—this arm-in-arm blood brotherhood of democracy and Christianity.”) [Stephen and Robin Larsen, A Fire in the Mind: The Life of Joseph Campbell, pp. 287-90.]

    Much of this is of course unexceptionable on one level. Few sober observers can deny that the evil which is war has its ways of corrupting participants on all sides, that the first casualty of war is often truth, and that the best means of maintaining some degree of sanity amid war’s horror is to keep in contact with permanent values forever above and beyond the battlefield. But in 1940 the apparent moral equivalency which Campbell, unnecessarily, kept positing between the democracies and their totalitarian adversaries, as though no more was involved than a personal quarrel between “Mr. Churchill” and “Mr. Hitler,” or as though Britain, for all its faults, was on the same abysmal moral level as the Nazi regime, was more than many then or since could swallow. One critic was his one-time idol Thomas Mann, who by now had fled to America. In his Weimar period Campbell had been much influenced by Mann’s 1918 Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (“Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man,”) a disillusioned statement from the end of World War I. In that tract for the times the great novelist wrote with disdain of the one-sided tendentiousness of every political achievement, and celebrated instead the balanced and full-blooded portrayals of the human condition accessible to the artist and poet. That transcendent vision, Campbell thought, Mann had achieved in his own many-layered and luminous novels. But by 1940 Mann had undergone a considerable awakening to the profound evil of which politics was capable, and the danger of viewing evil in the Hitlerian degree with aloof neutrality.

    Campbell had sent to Mann a copy of the “Permanent Human Values” talk at the suggestion of Mrs. Eugene Meyers, an older student who knew both the professor and the German exile. Campbell had earlier met the novelist through her mediation. Even then, Campbell had been disturbed by Mann’s 1938 book The Coming Victory of Democracy, in which the refugee from the land of concentration camps had simply identified the good with democracy and evil with fascism. The once “Great Master of Objectivity,” as Campbell called him, who had started out as the supreme advocate of seeing both sides of every question, was now so far in the partialities of the temporal world as to see God, or the timeless Absolute, as on the side of the “democracies.”

    Then, in a letter of January 6, 1941, in response to the talk, Mann pointedly asked Campbell what would become of the five “permanent values” of which he spoke if Hitler triumphed. “It is strange,” the novelist declared, “you are a friend of my books, which therefore in your opinion probably have something to do with Permanent Human Values. Well, those books are banned in Germany and in all countries which Germany rules today. And whoever reads them, whoever sells them, whoever would even publicly praise my name, would end up in a concentration camp, and his teeth would be beaten in and his kidneys smashed.”

    Campbell replied to Mann equivocally enough, but to his journals he confided his disappointment: “The letter which I received from Thomas Mann in reply was one of the most astonishing revelations to me: it signified for me the man’s practical retraction of all his beautiful phrases about the timelessly human which no force can destroy, and about the power of love over death and about the Eternal altogether. It exhibited a finally temporal-political orientation, and not only that, but a fairly trivial and personal view of even the temporal-political.”

    Here as elsewhere in his journals, he set against the evils ascribed to the fascist side the British role in Ireland and India, the American conquest of the continent and its native population, and the situation of “Negroes” in the South, together with all the graft and hypocrisy of which democracy was capable. It would be unjust to say Campbell was then or ever pronazi or profascist; he several times expresses his distaste for the crudeness, brutality, and anti-Semitism of Germany’s present masters. But against all that, he put his freely admitted love for Germany as a country and a culture, and also the passion of hatreds closer to home. He possessed an Irishman’s bitterness toward the British Empire, and he was the sort of American intellectual who despised many of his countrymen’s shallow patriotism and self-satisfied complacency with the vitriol of an H. L. Mencken, whom he read. Unfortunately, it was perhaps his yearning for transcendent, mythical purity of thought, together with a lack of such actual experience as Mann had had, that kept him from willingness to admit any degree of proportionality in the political evils of the world, or any absolute moral obligation to oppose as well as transcend the worst of them.

    Moreover, not only did Campbell like to see himself as an Olympian above the fray, as we have seen he also liked a good argument and had a tendency, which more than once got him into trouble, to argue for the opposite point of view from that prevailing among the company he was keeping. As American public opinion moved more and more decisively toward Britain, whose claims to superior virtue left Campbell quite unimpressed, he remained blind to anything but equivalency and a deeply felt pacifism. When the United States entered the war on December 8, 1941, Campbell wrestled with his conscience, reading among other things pacifist literature from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, for nearly three months before finally registering for the draft. He soon found, to his immense relief, that he was just past the age limit for being called up to active service.



    - From The Hero of a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell; pages 59-66 (Refusal of the Call):

    Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or “culture,” the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless—even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire of renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his Minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.

    “Because I have called, and ye refused . . . I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” “For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” [Proverbs 1:24-27, 32.]

    Time Jesum transeuntem et non revertentem: “Dread the passage of Jesus, for he does not return.”*

    *“Spiritual books occasionally quote [this] Latin saying which has terrified more than one soul” (Ernest Dimnet, The Art of Thinking, pp. 203-204).

    The myths and folk tales of the whole world make clear that the refusal is essentially a refusal to give up what one takes to be one’s own interest. The future is regarded not in terms of an unremitting series of deaths and births, but as though one’s present system of ideals, virtues, goals, and advantages were to be fixed and made secure. King Minos retained the divine bull, when the sacrifice would have signified submission to the will of the god of his society; for he preferred what he conceived to be his economic advantage. Thus he failed to advance into the life role that he had assumed—and we have seen with what calamitous effect. The divinity itself became his terror; for, obviously, if one is oneself one’s god, then God himself, the will of God, the power that would destroy one’s egocentric system, becomes a monster.


    I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
    I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
    I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
    I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
    *

    *Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven, opening lines.


    One is harassed, both day and night, by the divine being that is the image of the living self within the locked labyrinth of one’s own disoriented psyche. The ways to the gates have all been lost: there is no exit. One can only cling, like Satan, furiously, to oneself and be in hell; or else break, and be annihilate at last, in God.


    “Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
    I am He Whom thou seekest!
    Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.”


    The same harrowing, mysterious voice was to be heard in the call of the Greek god Apollo to the fleeing maiden Daphne, daughter of the river Peneus, as he pursued her over the plain. “O nymph, O Peneus’ daughter, stay!” the deity called to her—like the frog to the princess of the fairy tale; “I who pursued thee am no enemy. Thou knowest not whom thou fleest, and for that reason dost thou flee. Run with less speed, I pray, and hold thy flight. I, too, will follow with less speed. Nay, stop and ask who thy lover is.”

    “He would have said more,” the story goes, “but the maiden pursued her frightened way and left him with words unfinished, even in her desertion seeming fair. The winds bared her limbs, the opposing breezes set her garments aflutter as she ran, and a light air flung her locks streaming behind her. Her beauty was enhanced by flight. But the chase drew to an end, for the youthful god would not longer waste his time in coaxing words, and, urged on by love, he pursued at utmost speed. Just as when a Gallic hound has seen a hare in an open plain, and seeks his prey on flying feet, but the hare, safety; he, just about to fasten on her, now, even now thinks he has her, and grazes her very heels with his outstretched muzzle; but she knows not whether or not she be already caught, and barely escapes from those sharp fangs and leaves behind the jaws just closing on her: so ran the god and maid, he sped by hope and she by fear. But he ran the more swiftly, borne on the wings of love, gave her no time to rest, hung over her fleeing shoulders and breathed on the hair that streamed over her neck. Now was her strength all gone, and, pale with fear and utterly overcome by the toil of her swift flight, seeing the waters of her father’s river near, she cried: ‘O father, help! If your waters hold divinity, change and destroy this beauty by which I pleased o’er well.’ Scarce had she thus prayed when a down-dragging numbness seized her limbs, and her soft sides were begirt with thin bark. Her hair was changed to leaves, her arms to branches. Her feet, but now so swift, grew fast in sluggish roots, and her head was now but a tree’s top. Her gleaming beauty alone remained.” [Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, 504-553 (translation by Frank Justus Miller)]

    This is indeed a dull and unrewarding finish. Apollo, the sun, the lord of time and ripeness, no longer pressed his frightening suit, but instead, simply named the laurel his favorite tree and ironically recommended its leaves to the fashioners of victory wreaths. The girl had retreated to the image of her parent and there found protection—like the unsuccessful husband whose dream of mother love preserved him from the state of cleaving to a wife.

    The literature of psychoanalysis abounds in examples of such desperate fixations. What they represent is an impotence to put off the infantile ego, with its sphere of emotional relationships and ideals. One is bound in by the walls of childhood; the father and mother stand as threshold guardians, and the timorous soul, fearful of some punishment,* fails to make the passage through the door and come to birth in the world without.

    *Freud: castration complex.

    Dr. Jung has reported a dream that resembles very closely the image of the myth of Daphne. The dreamer is the same young man who found himself . . . in the land of the sheep—the land, that is to say, of unindependence. A voice within him says, “I must first get away from the father”; then a few nights later: “a snake draws a circle about the dreamer, and he stands like a tree, grown fast to the earth.”* This is an image of the magic circle drawn about the personality by the dragon power of the fixating parent. [The serpent (in mythology a symbol of the terrestrial waters) corresponds to Daphne’s father, the river Peneus.] Brynhild, in the same way, was protected in her virginity, arrested in her daughter state for years, by the circle of the fire of all-father Wotan. She slept in timelessness until the coming of Siegfried.

    Little Briar-rose (Sleeping Beauty) was put to sleep by a jealous hag (an unconscious evil-mother image). And not only the child, her entire world went off to sleep; but at last, “after long, long years,” there came a prince to wake her. “The king and queen (the conscious good-parent images), who had just come home and were entering the hall, began to fall asleep, and with them the whole estate. All the horses slept in the stalls, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons on the roof, the flies on the walls, yes, the fire that flickered on the hearth grew still and slumbered, and the roast ceased to simmer. And the cook, who was about to pull the hair of the scullery boy because he had forgotten something,let him go and fell off to sleep. And the wind went down, and not a leaf stirred in the trees. Then around the castle a hedge of thorns began to grow, which became taller every year, and finally shut off the whole estate. It grew up taller than the castle, so that nothing more was seen, not even the weathercock on the roof.” [Grimm, No. 50.]

    A Persian city once was “enstoned to stone”—king and queen, soldiers, inhabitants, and all—because its people refused the call of Allah.* Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt for looking back, when she had been summoned forth from her city by Jehovah. [Genesis, 19:26.] And there is the tale of the Wandering Jew, cursed to remain on earth until the Day of Judgment, because when Christ had passed him carrying the cross, this man among the people standing along the way called, “Go faster! A little speed!” The unrecognized, insulted Savior turned and said to him, “I go, but you shall be waiting here for me when I return.”

    *The Thousand Nights and One Night, Richard F. Burton translation, Vol. I, pp. 164-167.


    Some of the victims remain spellbound forever (at least, so far as we are told), but others are destined to be saved. Brynhild was preserved for her proper hero and little Briar-rose was rescued by a prince. Also, the young man transformed into a tree dreamed subsequently of the unknown woman who pointed the way, as a mysterious guide to paths unknown. Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required. So it is that sometimes the predicament following an obstinate refusal of the call proves to be the occasion of a providential revelation of some unsuspected principle of release.

    Willed introversion, in fact, is one of the classic implements of creative genius and can be employed as a deliberate device. It drives the psychic energies into depth and activates the lost continent of unconscious infantile and archetypal images. The result, of course, may be a disintegration of consciousness more or less complete (neurosis, psychosis: the plight of spellbound Daphne); but on the other hand, if the personality is able to absorb and integrate the new forces, there will be experienced an almost super-human degree of self-consciousness and masterful control. This is a basic principle of the Indian disciplines of yoga. It has been the way, also, of many creative spirits in the West.* It cannot be described, quite, as an answer to any specific call. Rather, it is a deliberate, terrific refusal to respond to anything but the deepest, highest, richest answer to the as yet unknown demand of some waiting void within: a kind of total strike, or rejection of the offered terms of life, as a result of which some power of transformation carries the problem to a plane of new magnitudes, where it is suddenly and finally resolved.


    *See Otto Rank, Art and Artist, translated by Charles Francis Atkinson, pp. 40-41: “If we compare the neurotic with the productive type, it is evident that the former suffers from an excessive check on his impulsive life. . . . Both are distinguished fundamentally from the average type, who accepts himself as he is, by their tendency to exercise their volition in reshaping themselves. There is, however, this difference: that the neurotic, in this voluntary remaking of his ego, does not get beyond the destructive preliminary work and is therefore unable to detach the whole creative process from his own person and transfer it to an ideological abstraction. The productive artist also begins . . . with that re-creation of himself which results in an ideologically constructed ego; [but in his case] this ego is then in a position to shift the creative will-power from his own person to ideological representations of that person and thus render it objective. It must be admitted that this process is in a measure limited to within the individual himself, and that not only in its constructive, but also in its destructive aspects. This explains why hardly any productive work gets through without morbid crises of a ‘neurotic’ nature.”


    This is the aspect of the hero-problem illustrated in the wondrous Arabian Nights adventure of the Prince Kamar al-Zaman and the Princess Budur. The young and handsome prince, the only son of King Shahriman of Persia, persistently refused the repeated suggestions, requests, demands, and finally injunctions, of his father, that he should do the normal thing and take to himself a wife. The first time the subject was broached to him, the lad responded: “O my father, know that I have no lust to marry nor doth my soul incline to women; for that concerning their craft and perfidy I have read many books and heard much talk, even as saith the poet:

    Now, an of women ask ye, I reply:--
    In their affairs I’m versed a doctor rare!
    When man’s head grizzles and his money dwindles,
    In their affection he hath naught for share.


    And another said:

    Rebel against women and so shalt thou serve Allah the more;
    The youth who gives women the rein must forfeit all hope to soar.
    They’ll baulk him when seeking the strange device, Excelsior,
    Tho’ waste he a thousand of years in the study of science and lore.”


    And when he had ended his verses he continued, “O my father, wedlock is a thing whereto I will never consent; no, not though I drink the cup of death.”

    When the Sultan Shahriman heard these words from his son, light became darkness in his sight and he was full of grief; yet for the great love he bore him, he was unwilling to repeat his wishes and was not angry, but showed him all manner of kindness.

    After a year, the father pressed again his question, but the youth persisted in refusal, with further stanzas from the poets. The king consulted with his wazir, and the minister advised:”O King, wait another year and, if after that thou be minded to speak to him on the matter of marriage, speak not to him privily, but address him on a day of state, when all the emirs and wazirs are present with the whole of the army standing before thee. And when all are in crowd then send for thy son, Kamar al-Zaman, and summon him; and, when he cometh, broach to him the matter of marriage before the wazirs and grandees and officers of state and captains; for he will surely be bashful and daunted by their presence and will not dare to oppose thy will.”

    When the moment came, however, and King Shahriman gave his command before the state, the prince bowed his head awhile, then raising it towards his father, and, being moved by youthful folly and boyish ignorance, replied: “But for myself I will never marry; no, not though I drink the cup of death! As for thee, thou art great in age and small of wit: hast thou not, twice ere this day and before this occasion, questioned me of the matter of marriage, and I refused my consent? Indeed thou dotest and art not fit to govern a flock of sheep!” So saying Kamar al-Zaman unclasped his hands from behind his back and tucked up his sleeves above his elbows before his father, being in a fit of fury; moreover, he added many words to his sire, knowing not what he said, in the trouble of his spirits.



    Pages 18-25 (Myth and Dream):

    These “Eternal Ones of the Dream”* are not to be confused with the personally modified symbolic figures that appear in nightmare and madness to the still tormented individual. Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions shown are directly valid for all mankind.


    *This is Geza Roheim’s translation of an Australian Aranda term, altjiranga mitjina, which refers to the mythical ancestors who wandered on the earth in the time called altjiranga nakala, “ancestor was.” The word altjira means: (a) a dream, (b) ancestor, beings who appear in the dream, (c) a story (Roheim, The Eternal Ones of the Dream, pp. 210-211).


    The hero, therefore, is the man or woman who has been able to battle past his personal and local historical limitations to the generally valid, normally human forms. Such a one’s visions, ideas, and inspirations come pristine from the primary springs of human life and thought. Hence they are eloquent, not of the present, disintegrating society and psyche, but of the unquenched source through which society is reborn. The hero has died as a modern man; but as eternal man—perfected, unspecific, universal man—he has been reborn. His second solemn task and deed therefore (as Toynbee declares and as all the mythologies of mankind indicate) is to return then to us, transfigured, and teach the lesson he has learned of life renewed.

    “I was walking alone around the upper end of a large city, through slummy, muddy streets lined with hard little houses,” writes a modern woman, describing a dream that she has had. “I did not know where I was, but liked the exploring. I chose one street which was terribly muddy and led across what must have been an open sewer. I followed along between rows of shanties and then discovered a little river flowing between me and some high, firm ground where there was a paved street. This was a nice, perfectly clear river, flowing over grass. I could see the grass moving under the water. There was no way to cross, so I went to a little house and asked for a boat. A man there said of course he could help me cross. He brought out a small wooden box which he put on the edge of the river and I saw at once that with this box I could easily jump across. I knew all danger was over and I wanted to reward the man richly.

    “In thinking of this dream I have a distinct feeling that I did not have to go where I was at all but could have chosen a comfortable walk along paved streets. I had gone to the squalid and muddy district because I preferred adventure, and, having begun, I had to go on. . . . When I think of how persistently I kept going straight ahead in the dream, it seems as though I must have known there was something fine ahead, like that lovely, grassy river and the secure, high, paved road beyond. Thinking of it in those terms, it is like a determination to be born—or rather to be born again—in a sort of spiritual sense. Perhaps some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the highroad to the soul’s destination.” [Frederick Pierce, Dreams and Personality, pp. 108-109.]

    The dreamer is a distinguished operatic artist, and, like all who have elected to follow, not the safely marked general highways of the day, but the adventure of the special, dimly audible call that comes to those whose ears are open within as well as without, she has had to make her way alone, through difficulties not commonly encountered, “through slummy, muddy streets”; she has known the dark night of the soul, Dante’s “dark wood, midway in the journey of our life,” and the sorrows of the pits of hell:

    Through me is the way into the woeful city,
    Through me is the way into eternal woe,
    Through me is the way among the Lost People.
    *

    *Words written over the Gate of Hell:

    Per me si va nella città dolente,
    Per me si va nell’ eterno dolore,
    Per me si va tra la Perduta Gente.

    —Dante, “Inferno,” III, 1-3.

    The translation is by Charles Eliot Norton, The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri


    It is remarkable that in this dream the basic outline of the universal mythological formula of the adventure of the hero is reproduced, to the detail. These deeply significant motifs of the perils, obstacles, and good fortunes of the way, we shall find inflected through the following pages in a hundred forms. The crossing first of the open sewer,* then of the perfectly clear river flowing over grass,** the appearance of the willing helper at the critical moment [(e.g.) Dante’s Virgil], and the high, firm ground beyond the final stream (the Earthly Paradise, the Land over Jordan):*** these are the everlastingly recurrent themes of the wonderful song of the soul’s high adventure. And each who has dared to harken to and follow the secret call has known the perils of the dangerous, solitary transit:

    A sharpened edge of a razor, hard to traverse,
    A difficult path is this—poets declare!

    [Katha Upanishad, 3-14 (from Robert Ernest Hume, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, translated from the Sanskrit]

    *Compare Dante, “Inferno,” XIV, 76-84, (op. cit., Vol. I, p. 89): “a little brook, the redness of which still makes me shudder . . . which the sinful women share among them.”

    **Compare Dante, “Purgatorio,” XXVIII, 22-30 (op. cit., Vol. II, p. 214): “A stream . . . which with its little waves was bending toward the left the grass that sprang upon its bank. All the waters that are purest here on earth would seem to have some mixture in them, compared with that which hides nothing.”

    *** “Those who in old time sang of the Golden Age, and of its happy state, perchance, upon Parnassus, dreamed of this place: here was the root of mankind innocent; here is always spring, and every fruit; this is the nectar of which each of them tells” (“Purgatorio,” XXVIII, 139-144; op. cit., Vol. II, p. 219.)


    The dreamer is assisted across the water by the gift of a small wooden box, which takes the place, in this dream, of the more usual skiff or bridge. This is a symbol of her own special talent and virtue, by which she has been ferried across the waters of the world. The dreamer has supplied us with no account of her associations, so that we do not know what special contents the box would have revealed; but it is certainly a variety of Pandora’s box—that divine gift of the gods to beautiful woman, filled with the seeds of all the troubles and blessings of existence, but also provided with the sustaining virtue, hope. By this, the dreamer crosses to the other shore. And by a like miracle, so will each whose work is the difficult, dangerous task of self-discovery and self-development be portered across the ocean of life.

    The multitude of men and women choose the less adventurous way of the comparatively unconscious civic and tribal routines. But these seekers, too, are saved—by virtue of the inherited symbolic aids of society, the rites of passage, the grace-yielding sacraments, given to mankind of old by the redeemers and handed down through millenniums. It is only those who know neither an inner call nor an outer doctrine whose plight truly is desperate; that is to say, most of us today, in this labyrinth without and within the heart. Alas, where is the guide, that fond virgin, Ariadne, to supply the simple clue that will give us courage to face the Minotaur, and the means then to find our way to freedom when the monster has been met and slain?

    Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, fell in love with the handsome Theseus the moment she saw him disembark from the boat that had brought the pitiful group of Athenian youths and maidens for the Minotaur. She found a way to talk with him, and declared that she would supply a means to help him back out of the labyrinth if we would promise to take her away from Crete with him and make her his wife. The pledge was given. Ariadne turned for help, then, to the crafty Daedalus, by whose art the labyrinth had been constructed and Ariadne’s mother enabled to give birth to its inhabitant. Daedalus simply presented her with a skein of linen thread, which the visiting hero might fix to the entrance and unwind as he went into the maze. It is, indeed, very little that we need! But lacking that, the adventure into the labyrinth is without hope.

    The little is close at hand. Most curiously, the very scientist who, in the service of the sinful king, was the brain behind the horror of the labyrinth, quite as readily can serve the purposes of freedom. But the hero-heart must be at hand. For centuries Daedalus has represented the type of the artist-scientist: that curiously disinterested, almost diabolic human phenomenon, beyond the normal bounds of social judgment, dedicated to the morals not of his time but of his art. He is the hero of the way of thought—singlehearted, courageous, and full of faith that the truth, as he finds it, shall make us free.

    And so now we may turn to him, as did Ariadne. The flax for the linen of his thread he has gathered from the fields of the human imagination. Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where he had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where he had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where he had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.


    2.

    Tragedy and Comedy


    “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” With these fateful words, Count Leo Tolstoy opened the novel of the spiritual dismemberment of his modern heroine, Anna Karenina. During the seven decades that have elapsed since that distracted wife, mother, and blindly impassioned mistress threw herself beneath the wheels of the train—thus terminating, with a gesture symbolic of what already had happened to her soul, her tragedy of disorientation—a tumultuous and unremitting dithyramb of romances, new reports, and unrecorded cries of anguish has been going up to the honor of the bull-demon of the labyrinth: the wrathful, destructive, maddening aspect of the same god who, when benign, is the vivifying principle of the world.
    Last edited by HERO; 03-26-2018 at 03:01 PM.
    “Must get that Capel street library book renewed or they’ll write to
    Kearney, my garantor. Reincarnation: that’s the word.

    — Some people believe, he said, that we go on living in another body
    after death, that we lived before. They call it reincarnation. That we all lived
    before on the earth thousands of years ago or some other planet. They say we
    have forgotten it. Some say they remember their past lives.

    The sluggish cream wound curdling spirals through her tea. Better remind
    her of the word: metempsychosis. An example would be better.”

    —from Ulysses by James Joyce

  35. #35
    Kill4Me's Avatar
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    LIE-Ni

    Saddam Hussein:








    Added: https://www.pinterest.com/socionics/lie-ni/
    Last edited by Kill4Me; 03-30-2018 at 05:47 PM.

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    And don't forget to look at his quotes if you don't like taking the VI shortcut. Almost every quote by Campbell has to do with adventure. In fact, that very well sums up his life: Adventure. Campbell was a real life Jack London. He lived it, unlike college students with no experience in the real trenches of reality who nevertheless think they can read people but stink at it. Absolutely not an introvert and too silver-tongued for any type of introvert....people were his magnets. Total extrovert and could sell ice to an eskimo (probably did)

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    Joseph Campbell - ISFP - Dumas


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