"

… in Wolfram the guide is within — for each, unique; and I see in this the first completely intentional statement of the fundamental mythology of modern Western man, the first sheerly individualistic mythology in the history of the human race: a mythology of quest inwardly motivated — directed from within — where there is no authorized way or guru to be followed or obeyed, but where, for each, all ways already found, known and proven, are wrong ways, since they are not his own.


For each, in himself, is in his “intelligible character” an unprecedented species in himself, whose life-way and life-form (as of a newly sprung plant or animal sport) can be revealed and realized only by and through himself. Hence that sense of yearning and striving toward an unknown end, so characteristic of the Western living of life — so alien to the Oriental. What is unknown, yet deeply, infallibly intended, is one’s own peculiar teleology, not the one “straight path to Paradise.” The learned Anglo-Indian critic of our civilization, Dr. Ananda Kent Coomaraswamy — who had lived and worked in this country somewhat more than forty years, yet never got the idea nor any sense of the unique majesty of this Occidental style of spirituality — with disparaging intent coined a really telling characterization of the “Faustian soul,” when he wrote (using the pronoun “we” to connote not himself, a master of India’s “eternal” wisdom, but his Occidental colleagues at the Boston Museum and Harvard University) : “We who can call an art ‘significant,’ knowing not of what, are also proud to ‘progress,’ we know not whither.” And indeed we are — and had better be. For as Spengler has well said: “In Wolfram von Eschenbach, Cervantes, Shakespear, and Goethe, the tragic line of the individual life develops from within outward, dynamically, functionally.”


And so we return from the Vulgate monastic epic of Lancelot and Galahad, with its subsequent disintegration of the worldly court of King Arthur, to the earthly Divine Comedy of their nature-rooted predecessors: Gawain, the model lover, at bout the age of Leopold Bloom, and Parzival, the questing youth, like Stephen, willing to challenge even God if the mask that he shows — or is said to have shown — rings hollow when struck… .

"

Joseph Campbell. The Literary Stages of Development: c. 1136-1230. The Paraclete. Creative Mythology. 
@2 years ago with 12 notes
#Joseph Campbell #Wolfram von Eschenbach 

"… For even in the sphere of Waking Consciousness, the fixed and the set fast, there is nothing now that endures. The known myths cannot endure. The known God cannot endure. Whereas formerly, for generations, life so held to established norms that the lifetime of a deity could be reckoned in millenniums, today all norms are in flux, so that the individual is thrown, willy-nilly, back upon himself, into the inward sphere of his own becoming, his forest adventurous without any way or path, to come through his own integrity in experience to his own intelligible Castle of the Grail — integrity and courage, in experience, in love, in loyalty, and in act. And to this end the guiding myths can no longer be of any ethnic norms. No sooner learned, these are outdated, out of place, washed away. There are today no horizons, no mythogenetic zones. Or rather, the mythogenetic zone is the individual heart. Individualism and spontaneous pluralism — the free association of men and women of like spirit, under protection of a secular, rational state with no pretensions to divinity — are in the modern world the only honest possibilities: each the creative center of authority for himself, in Cusanus’s circle without circumference whose center is everywhere and where each is the focus of God’s gaze… ."

Joseph Campbell. The Earthly Paradise. Creative Mythology. 
@2 years ago with 27 notes
#Joseph Campbell 

"… 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 by holding to your own ideals for yourself and rejecting the system’s impersonal claims upon you… ."

Joseph Campbell. The Power of Myth. 
@2 years ago with 81 notes
#Joseph Campbell 

"

… “We are concerned no longer with cultural inflection but with a passage from one culture stage to another. In all previous ages, only restricted portions of the surface of the earth were known. Men looked out from the narrowest upon a somewhat larger neighborhood, and beyond that, a great unknown. They were all, so to say, insular: bound in. Whereas our view is confined now longer to a spot of space on the surface of the earth. it surveys the whole of the planet. And this fact, this lack of a horizon, is something new.”

Now it has been chiefly to the scientific method of research that this release of mankind has been due, and along with mankind as a whole, every developed individual has been freed from the once protective but now dissolved horizons of the local land, local moral code, local modes of group thought and sentiment, local heritages of signs. But this scientific method was itself a product of the minds of already self-reliant individuals courageous enough to be free. Moreover, not only in the sciences but in every department of life the will and courage to credit one’s own senses and to honor one’s own decisions, to name one’s own virtues and claim one’s own vision of truth, have been the generative forces of the new age, the enzymes of the fermentation of the wine of this great modern harvest — which is a wine, however, that can be safely drunk only by those with a courage of their own… .

"

Joseph Campbell. Experience and Authority. Creative Mythology. 
@2 years ago with 17 notes
#Joseph Campbell #Leo Frobenius 

"… Each individual is the center of a mythology of his own, of which his own intelligible character is the Incarnate God, so to say, whom his empirically questing consciousness is to find… The mythogenic zone today is the individual in contact with his own interior life, communicating through his art with those “out there”… ."

Joseph Campbell. Creative Mythology. 
@2 years ago with 8 notes
#Joseph Campbell 

"… The profession of views that are not one’s own and the living of life according to such views — no matter what the resultant sense of social participation, fulfillment, or even euphoria may be — eventuates inevitably in self-loss and falsification. For in our public roles and conventional beliefs we are — after all! — practically interchangeable. “Out there” we are not ourselves, but at best only what we are expected to be, and at worst what we have got to be. The intent of the old mythologies to integrate the individual in his group, to imprint on his mind the ideals of that group, to fashion him according to one or another of its orthodox stereotypes, and to convert him thus into an absolutely dependable cliché, has become assumed in the modern world by an increasingly officious array of ostensibly permissive, but actually coercive, demythologized secular institutions. A new anxiety in relation to this development is now becoming evident, however; for with the increase on one hand, of our efficiencies in mass indoctrination and, on the other, of our uniquely modern Occidental interest in the fosterage of authentic individuals, there is dawning upon many a new and painful realization of the depth to which the imprints, stereotypes, and archetypes of the social sphere determine our personal sentiments, deeds, thoughts, and even capacities for experience… ."

Joseph Campbell. The Word Behind Words. Creative Mythology.
@2 years ago with 10 notes
#Joseph Campbell 

"… We keep hearing about the revolution around us all the time: the revolution, the revolution, the revolution. Revolution doesn’t have to do with smashing something; it has to do with bringing something forth. If you spend all your time thinking about that which you are attacking, then you are negatively bound to it. You have to find the zeal in yourself and bring that out. That is what’s given to you — one life to live. Marx teaches us to blame the society for our frailties; Freud teaches us to blame our parents for our frailties; astrology teaches us to blame the universe. The only place to look for blame is within: you didn’t have the guts to bring up your full moon and live the life that was your potential… ."

Joseph Campbell. Pathways to Bliss.
@2 years ago with 82 notes
#Joseph Campbell 

"… Bertrand Russell has summarized in one sentence both his own idea and Wittgenstein’s of the aim of symbolization: “The essential business of language is to assert or deny facts.” A more usual business of language, however, has been to motivate action and, to excite fear, rage, or desire, to indoctrinate, to prevaricate, to intimidate, and to brainwash. Indeed, to assert or deny “fact” is about the last thing language has ever been used for. “Fiction,” rather, would have been the honest term for this master of clarity to have used — for, as Nietzsche already knew, “whatever can be thought, cannot but be a fiction.” “There are many kinds of eyes. Even the Sphinx has eyes. Therefore, there are many kinds of truths — and therefore, there is no truth.” “Truth is that form of error without which a thinking subject cannot live.” And “Logic rests on presuppositions to which nothing in the actual world corresponds.” … ."

Joseph Campbell. The Earthly Paradise. Creative Mythology. 
@2 years ago with 29 notes
#Joseph Campbell #Nietzsche #Bertrand Russell #Ludwig Wittgenstein 

"

… In the phenomenology of mythology and religion two factors are to be distinguished: the non-historical and the historical. In the religious lives of the “tough minded,” too busy, or simply untalented majority of mankind, the historical factor preponderates. The whole reach of their experience is in the local, public domain and can be historically studied. In the spiritual crises and realizations of the “tender minded” personalities with mystical proclivities, however, it is the non-historical factor that preponderates, and for them the imagery of the local tradition — no matter how highly developed it may be — is merely a vehicle, more or less adequate, to render an experience sprung from beyond its reach, as an immediate impact… .


… In the final analysis, the religious experience is psychological and in the deepest sense spontaneous; it moves within, and is helped, or hindered, by historical circumstance, but is to such a degree constant for mankind that we may jump from Hudson Bay to Australia, Tierra del Fuego to Lake Baikal, and find ourselves well at home… .

"

Joseph Campbell. Shamanism. Primitive Mythology. 
@2 years ago with 9 notes
#Joseph Campbell 

"… Delight in the dreamlike wonder of individuated forms together with a poignant — even rapturous — recognition of their impermanence, not as a refutation but as a heightening of the wonder of their moment in the sun… ."

Joseph Campbell. The Western Individual. The Secularization of the Sacred. The Flight of the Wild Gander. 
@2 years ago with 23 notes
#Joseph Campbell #Nietzsche #Apollo #Dionysus 

"

… It may be really true that, as Alfred Jeremias said, the various cultures of mankind are no more than the dialects of one and the same spiritual language.


“Myth,” he states again, “is the penultimate truth, of which all experience is the temporal reflection. The mythical narrative is of timeless and placeless validity, true nowever and everywhere”; precisely, one might add, as the dream is the penultimate truth about the dreamer, of which all his experience is the temporal reflection.


A serious science of mythology must take its subject matter with due seriousness, survey the field as a whole, and have at least some conception of the prodigious range of functions that mythology has served in the course of human history. It is dreamlike, and, like dream, a spontaneous product of the psyche; like dream, revelatory of the psyche and hence of the whole nature and destiny of man; like dream — like life — enigmatic to the uninitiated ego; and, like dream, protective of that ego. In the simplest human societies mythology is the text of the rites of passage; in the writings of the Hindu, Chinese, and Greek philosophers (as of all who have ever read them) mythology is the picture language of metaphysics. The first function is not violated by the second but extended; both harmoniously bind man, the growing animal, to his world, simultaneously in its visible and in its transcendent aspects. Mythology is the womb of mankind’s initiation to life and death… .

"

Joseph Campbell. Bios and Mythos. The Flight of the Wild Gander.
@2 years ago with 5 notes
#Joseph Campbell 

"… Creative mythology springs not, like theology, from the dicta of authority, but from the insights, sentiments, thought, and vision of an adequate individual, loyal to his own experience of value. Thus it corrects the authority holding to the shells of forms produced and left behind by lives once lived. Renewing the act of experience itself, it restores to existence the quality of adventure, at once shattering and reintegrating the fixed, already known, in the sacrificial creative fire of the becoming thing that is no thing at all but life, not as it will be or as it should be, as it was or as it never will be, but as it is, in depth, in process, here and now, inside and out… ."

Joseph Campbell. Experience and Authority. Creative Mythology.
@2 years ago with 10 notes
#Joseph Campbell 
"

… in Wolfram the guide is within — for each, unique; and I see in this the first completely intentional statement of the fundamental mythology of modern Western man, the first sheerly individualistic mythology in the history of the human race: a mythology of quest inwardly motivated — directed from within — where there is no authorized way or guru to be followed or obeyed, but where, for each, all ways already found, known and proven, are wrong ways, since they are not his own.


For each, in himself, is in his “intelligible character” an unprecedented species in himself, whose life-way and life-form (as of a newly sprung plant or animal sport) can be revealed and realized only by and through himself. Hence that sense of yearning and striving toward an unknown end, so characteristic of the Western living of life — so alien to the Oriental. What is unknown, yet deeply, infallibly intended, is one’s own peculiar teleology, not the one “straight path to Paradise.” The learned Anglo-Indian critic of our civilization, Dr. Ananda Kent Coomaraswamy — who had lived and worked in this country somewhat more than forty years, yet never got the idea nor any sense of the unique majesty of this Occidental style of spirituality — with disparaging intent coined a really telling characterization of the “Faustian soul,” when he wrote (using the pronoun “we” to connote not himself, a master of India’s “eternal” wisdom, but his Occidental colleagues at the Boston Museum and Harvard University) : “We who can call an art ‘significant,’ knowing not of what, are also proud to ‘progress,’ we know not whither.” And indeed we are — and had better be. For as Spengler has well said: “In Wolfram von Eschenbach, Cervantes, Shakespear, and Goethe, the tragic line of the individual life develops from within outward, dynamically, functionally.”


And so we return from the Vulgate monastic epic of Lancelot and Galahad, with its subsequent disintegration of the worldly court of King Arthur, to the earthly Divine Comedy of their nature-rooted predecessors: Gawain, the model lover, at bout the age of Leopold Bloom, and Parzival, the questing youth, like Stephen, willing to challenge even God if the mask that he shows — or is said to have shown — rings hollow when struck… .

"
Joseph Campbell. The Literary Stages of Development: c. 1136-1230. The Paraclete. Creative Mythology. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell #Wolfram von Eschenbach 
"… We keep hearing about the revolution around us all the time: the revolution, the revolution, the revolution. Revolution doesn’t have to do with smashing something; it has to do with bringing something forth. If you spend all your time thinking about that which you are attacking, then you are negatively bound to it. You have to find the zeal in yourself and bring that out. That is what’s given to you — one life to live. Marx teaches us to blame the society for our frailties; Freud teaches us to blame our parents for our frailties; astrology teaches us to blame the universe. The only place to look for blame is within: you didn’t have the guts to bring up your full moon and live the life that was your potential… ."
Joseph Campbell. Pathways to Bliss.
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell 
"… For even in the sphere of Waking Consciousness, the fixed and the set fast, there is nothing now that endures. The known myths cannot endure. The known God cannot endure. Whereas formerly, for generations, life so held to established norms that the lifetime of a deity could be reckoned in millenniums, today all norms are in flux, so that the individual is thrown, willy-nilly, back upon himself, into the inward sphere of his own becoming, his forest adventurous without any way or path, to come through his own integrity in experience to his own intelligible Castle of the Grail — integrity and courage, in experience, in love, in loyalty, and in act. And to this end the guiding myths can no longer be of any ethnic norms. No sooner learned, these are outdated, out of place, washed away. There are today no horizons, no mythogenetic zones. Or rather, the mythogenetic zone is the individual heart. Individualism and spontaneous pluralism — the free association of men and women of like spirit, under protection of a secular, rational state with no pretensions to divinity — are in the modern world the only honest possibilities: each the creative center of authority for himself, in Cusanus’s circle without circumference whose center is everywhere and where each is the focus of God’s gaze… ."
Joseph Campbell. The Earthly Paradise. Creative Mythology. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell 
"… Bertrand Russell has summarized in one sentence both his own idea and Wittgenstein’s of the aim of symbolization: “The essential business of language is to assert or deny facts.” A more usual business of language, however, has been to motivate action and, to excite fear, rage, or desire, to indoctrinate, to prevaricate, to intimidate, and to brainwash. Indeed, to assert or deny “fact” is about the last thing language has ever been used for. “Fiction,” rather, would have been the honest term for this master of clarity to have used — for, as Nietzsche already knew, “whatever can be thought, cannot but be a fiction.” “There are many kinds of eyes. Even the Sphinx has eyes. Therefore, there are many kinds of truths — and therefore, there is no truth.” “Truth is that form of error without which a thinking subject cannot live.” And “Logic rests on presuppositions to which nothing in the actual world corresponds.” … ."
Joseph Campbell. The Earthly Paradise. Creative Mythology. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell #Nietzsche #Bertrand Russell #Ludwig Wittgenstein 
"… 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 by holding to your own ideals for yourself and rejecting the system’s impersonal claims upon you… ."
Joseph Campbell. The Power of Myth. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell 
"

… In the phenomenology of mythology and religion two factors are to be distinguished: the non-historical and the historical. In the religious lives of the “tough minded,” too busy, or simply untalented majority of mankind, the historical factor preponderates. The whole reach of their experience is in the local, public domain and can be historically studied. In the spiritual crises and realizations of the “tender minded” personalities with mystical proclivities, however, it is the non-historical factor that preponderates, and for them the imagery of the local tradition — no matter how highly developed it may be — is merely a vehicle, more or less adequate, to render an experience sprung from beyond its reach, as an immediate impact… .


… In the final analysis, the religious experience is psychological and in the deepest sense spontaneous; it moves within, and is helped, or hindered, by historical circumstance, but is to such a degree constant for mankind that we may jump from Hudson Bay to Australia, Tierra del Fuego to Lake Baikal, and find ourselves well at home… .

"
Joseph Campbell. Shamanism. Primitive Mythology. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell 
"

… “We are concerned no longer with cultural inflection but with a passage from one culture stage to another. In all previous ages, only restricted portions of the surface of the earth were known. Men looked out from the narrowest upon a somewhat larger neighborhood, and beyond that, a great unknown. They were all, so to say, insular: bound in. Whereas our view is confined now longer to a spot of space on the surface of the earth. it surveys the whole of the planet. And this fact, this lack of a horizon, is something new.”

Now it has been chiefly to the scientific method of research that this release of mankind has been due, and along with mankind as a whole, every developed individual has been freed from the once protective but now dissolved horizons of the local land, local moral code, local modes of group thought and sentiment, local heritages of signs. But this scientific method was itself a product of the minds of already self-reliant individuals courageous enough to be free. Moreover, not only in the sciences but in every department of life the will and courage to credit one’s own senses and to honor one’s own decisions, to name one’s own virtues and claim one’s own vision of truth, have been the generative forces of the new age, the enzymes of the fermentation of the wine of this great modern harvest — which is a wine, however, that can be safely drunk only by those with a courage of their own… .

"
Joseph Campbell. Experience and Authority. Creative Mythology. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell #Leo Frobenius 
"… Delight in the dreamlike wonder of individuated forms together with a poignant — even rapturous — recognition of their impermanence, not as a refutation but as a heightening of the wonder of their moment in the sun… ."
Joseph Campbell. The Western Individual. The Secularization of the Sacred. The Flight of the Wild Gander. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell #Nietzsche #Apollo #Dionysus 
"… Each individual is the center of a mythology of his own, of which his own intelligible character is the Incarnate God, so to say, whom his empirically questing consciousness is to find… The mythogenic zone today is the individual in contact with his own interior life, communicating through his art with those “out there”… ."
Joseph Campbell. Creative Mythology. 
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell 
"

… It may be really true that, as Alfred Jeremias said, the various cultures of mankind are no more than the dialects of one and the same spiritual language.


“Myth,” he states again, “is the penultimate truth, of which all experience is the temporal reflection. The mythical narrative is of timeless and placeless validity, true nowever and everywhere”; precisely, one might add, as the dream is the penultimate truth about the dreamer, of which all his experience is the temporal reflection.


A serious science of mythology must take its subject matter with due seriousness, survey the field as a whole, and have at least some conception of the prodigious range of functions that mythology has served in the course of human history. It is dreamlike, and, like dream, a spontaneous product of the psyche; like dream, revelatory of the psyche and hence of the whole nature and destiny of man; like dream — like life — enigmatic to the uninitiated ego; and, like dream, protective of that ego. In the simplest human societies mythology is the text of the rites of passage; in the writings of the Hindu, Chinese, and Greek philosophers (as of all who have ever read them) mythology is the picture language of metaphysics. The first function is not violated by the second but extended; both harmoniously bind man, the growing animal, to his world, simultaneously in its visible and in its transcendent aspects. Mythology is the womb of mankind’s initiation to life and death… .

"
Joseph Campbell. Bios and Mythos. The Flight of the Wild Gander.
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell 
"… The profession of views that are not one’s own and the living of life according to such views — no matter what the resultant sense of social participation, fulfillment, or even euphoria may be — eventuates inevitably in self-loss and falsification. For in our public roles and conventional beliefs we are — after all! — practically interchangeable. “Out there” we are not ourselves, but at best only what we are expected to be, and at worst what we have got to be. The intent of the old mythologies to integrate the individual in his group, to imprint on his mind the ideals of that group, to fashion him according to one or another of its orthodox stereotypes, and to convert him thus into an absolutely dependable cliché, has become assumed in the modern world by an increasingly officious array of ostensibly permissive, but actually coercive, demythologized secular institutions. A new anxiety in relation to this development is now becoming evident, however; for with the increase on one hand, of our efficiencies in mass indoctrination and, on the other, of our uniquely modern Occidental interest in the fosterage of authentic individuals, there is dawning upon many a new and painful realization of the depth to which the imprints, stereotypes, and archetypes of the social sphere determine our personal sentiments, deeds, thoughts, and even capacities for experience… ."
Joseph Campbell. The Word Behind Words. Creative Mythology.
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell 
"… Creative mythology springs not, like theology, from the dicta of authority, but from the insights, sentiments, thought, and vision of an adequate individual, loyal to his own experience of value. Thus it corrects the authority holding to the shells of forms produced and left behind by lives once lived. Renewing the act of experience itself, it restores to existence the quality of adventure, at once shattering and reintegrating the fixed, already known, in the sacrificial creative fire of the becoming thing that is no thing at all but life, not as it will be or as it should be, as it was or as it never will be, but as it is, in depth, in process, here and now, inside and out… ."
Joseph Campbell. Experience and Authority. Creative Mythology.
2 years ago
#Joseph Campbell