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The Sacredness of Rituals

by Kristina Dryža

“Individualism is perfectly fine if the individual realizes that the grandeur of his being is that of representing something,” writes Joseph Campbell in The Hero’s Journey. “Even representing a system of ideals and images...

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This month’s theme is The Blurred Boundary. Enjoy our Weekly Offerings...

News & Updates

Vesak, May 16, is a public holiday in many Southeast Asian countries, calling to mind the birth, enlightenment, and death of the historical Buddha. Many will gather in temples before dawn on the full moon of Vesakha, raising the Buddhist flag and singing hymns.

Sanja Matsuri, May 21, is Tokyo’s biggest annual festival and it usually begins at noon. Three portable shrines in honor of the three Shinto founders of the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo are carried in sometimes wild procession before millions of people. Word of caution: many events are scaled back or even cancelled due to Covid restrictions. Make plans accordingly.

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Monthly Gift

Our gift to you this month is eSingle titled Envoy: No Horizons. Access this download for free until the end of the month.

This eSingle is an excerpt from Joseph Campbell’s book Myths to Live By.

Campbell famously compared mythology to a kangaroo pouch for the human mind and spirit: “a womb with a view.” In Myths to Live By, he examines all of the ways in which myth supports and guides us, giving our lives meaning. Love and war, science and religion, East and West, inner space and outer space-Campbell shows how the myths we live by can reconcile all of these pairs of opposites and bring a sense of the whole.

Got ideas? Share them with a community of like-minded mythmakers at our discussion forum – the Conversations of a Higher Order.

Joseph Campbell Book Club

“There’s hardly a tale centering a young person that isn’t at some point broadly referred to as a “coming-of-age” story, as if children are nothing but transitional creatures, pre-adults waiting to evolve into their final form. The chasm between childhood and adulthood is broadened and examined in this month’s book: Lydia Millet’s 2020 novel A Children’s Bible. This is a story that will remind adult readers of the ever-present unease of youth, an endemic harshness that keeps children acutely aware, by nature, of death and danger. Millet weaves the reality of current climate crises with Christian allegory to highlight evergreen questions central to humanity’s monomyth: What world have we inherited, and what will we leave behind for the next generation when our time is up?”

Gabrielle Basha
Communications Manager
Joseph Campbell Foundation

Weekly Quotation

Affirmation is difficult. We always affirm with conditions. I affirm the world on condition that it gets to be the way Santa Claus told me it ought to be. But affirming it the way it is — that’s the hard thing, and that is what rituals are about.