Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Musings, Solstice and Campbell

The light is returning and the Solstice has passed. The shift reminds me to move from lunar to solar; to move from the interior to the exterior. To wake up.

The poetry is waking up, too. December's quiet and the blanket of newly fallen snow has encouraged retreat and slumber...gestation. A new month and year hovers on the horizon but for now these musings emerge.

I dance out the lessons of 2009. This is the crescendo - the final movement until the birth of the new year. It is good to get kinetic. To dance funk in bare feet on hardwood floors. To bounce and move on the boards that creak and squeak and tell their age. And for my knees to reveal theirs. The body's music. I dig it.

I also dig Joe Campbell. I dig his work and I dig into it with gusto. My brain chews on the teachings and my foot bounces in anticipation of new lessons.

Not a bad way to spend December.

So, until the poetry decides that it's ready, enjoy these blips from Campbell. They're taken from Sukhavati.


"So yield to what is coming. We're in a free fall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast and always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act."

Shift the perspective: "joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes."

"The problem is to find the immovable center and you can survive anything. And the myths will help you to do that. And this is the quest for the inner life that will enable you to float down the stream like a human being instead of just some Babbit or robot in the hands of a political institution. And that's what I'm interested in bringing forward here and I may not be changing the world but I am changing people and that's what's necessary. That's what's gotta be done."

"The figures of dream are really figures of personal mythologization. You're creating your own imagery related to the archetypes but the culture has rejected them. The culture has gone into an economic and political phase where the spiritual principles are completely disregarded. The religious life is ethical. It is not mystical. That is gone and the society is disintegrating consequently. It is. The question is will there ever be a recovery of the mythological, mystical realization of the miracle of life of which our society is a manifestation and all of us brothers and sisters in the spirit of this all-informing mythos."

"There is no conflict between mysticism and science but there is a conflict between the science of 2,000 BC and the science of 2,000 AD. And that's the mess in our religions. We've got stuck with an image of the universe that is about as simple and childish as you could imagine, you know, the three level universe and all that of the bible. It's of no use to us. We have to have poets, we have to have seers who will render to us the experience of the transcendence through the world in which we're living."


Robur d'Amour said...

The quote you have at the bottom of your pages 'entering the forest...' comes from Sukhavati, it's part of the Arthurian section.

Campbell also has a book 'Transformations of Myth Through Time' which includes the transcript of that part of Sukhavati. That's just part of one chapter. In the book he has two further chapters where he follows up with a lot of detail about the Grail stories. He describes them as 'greater than Dantes Divine Comedy'.

You may also like Marie-Louise von Franz. Described as the greatest interpreter of Jung since his death.

One of her books (not her best) is 'The Grail Legend'. The life work of Emma Jung (Jung's wife) was a study of the Grail story. She died before it was complete. Marie-Louise was a close fiend of the Jung's, and assembled the material, added extra bits, and published it.

But she has lots of stuff of her own too.

Kelly said...

It does come Sukhavati but it also comes from "The Joseph Campbell Companion." I delighted in reading "Transformations of Myth Through Time," which, as you point out, also contains the text. The Grail stories are wonderful and I will search out Marie-Louise von Franz soonest.

So how did you become interested in Jung and Campbell?

George Hartley said...

Your post is over a year old now, but for me it was written just for this moment in my life. Thanks.

A Walk in the World said...

george, you're so very welcome. i'm just glad you found it helpful. warmest thanks for letting me know!

Athanásios said...

it's nice to bump into mates over the journey. I lay down my flower before I go on

A Walk in the World said...

athanasios, so good to know of another mate on the path!