Category: MythBlast

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MythBlast | Beyond the Moonshine

“Get up!” Through his sleep, Freddy Bliss vaguely heard the agitated voice, but he was unwilling to open his eyes. “Up! Up! Up! Up!” (Mythic Imagination, 3) For readers of Joseph Campbell, the name “Freddy...

Writer's Block by Isabelle Gallino 0

MythBlast | There and Stuck Again: The Creative Darkness of the Soul

Writer’s Block by Isabelle Gallino (used through a Creative Commons license) Time and again, as artists and writers we come to a point in our development where that proverbial “block” on the road of...

Angela Gregory as a young artist 0

MythBlast | Joseph Campbell, Angela Gregory, and a Future Awaiting All of Us

The art of letter writing has been significantly threatened since e-mails and text messages brought about faster and more efficient ways to communicate with words. Once human relationships depended heavily on written correspondence. This...

Joseph Campbell at the University of Paris, c. 1927 0

MythBlast | Joseph Campbell: A Normal, Beautiful, Standard Life

The text we’re highlighting this month is Correspondence: 1927-1987, which offers selections of Joseph Campbell’s correspondence over the last 60 years of his life. I have long loved reading the correspondence of people who...

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MythBlast | The Known and the Unknowable: A Meeting of Light and Dark

The Dream of Joy (from The Sleep of Sorrow and the Dream of Joy) by Raffaelle Monti (marble, England, 1861. Photo by Chris Beckett; used through a Creative Commons license). Having read and reread...

A Journey Into the Unknown by Bastian Schmidt. Used through a Creative Commons license. 0

MythBlast | Dancing with the Unknown

A Journey into the Unknown by Bastian Schmidt. Used through a Creative Commons License How do we know what we know? When does an introduced idea cross that threshold from something encountered to something...

Kālī Astride Śiva and Śava (watercolor, India, c. 1740 a.d. Courtesy Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 0

MythBlast | The Dark Light of the Goddess

I love those moments in which Joseph Campbell, the world-class scholar of myth, also becomes a story-teller, often drawing a line of Native American wisdom. In The Flight of the Wild Gander, he opens...

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MythBlast | The Unfinished Story

In 1987, the Hindu epic The Rāmāyaṇa was serialized for Indian television. It immediately became immensely popular and was treated with ritualistic honor throughout the country when episodes aired. When it was announced that the...

An Grotesque Woman by Quenten Matys (oil on oak, Germany, c. 1513) 0

MythBlast | The Wedding of Dame Ragnell and Sir Gawain

The story of Dame Ragnell and Sir Gawain is one of the most popular tales to come down from late medieval England, and scholars generally attribute it to Geoffrey Chaucer. In “The Wife of...

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MythBlast | OK, Boomer, Star Wars, and Myth

The recent OK, Boomer brouhaha both amused and bemused me, and made me think (surprise!) about Star Wars and Joseph Campbell, not that I needed an excuse. If you managed to miss it, so-called...

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The Grail Never Fails: Continue the Search in the New Year

The Grail by Alice Popkorn. Used through a Creative Commons license As we begin the new year, I express my gratitude to Evans Lansing Smith for so skillfully editing Joseph Campbell’s research and writing...

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MythBlast | Metaphors, Video Stores, and Old Magic

Our family had a sacred ritual we practiced every Friday night while I was growing up. We traveled to a video store called Movies and Sounds and paid homage to the higher forces that...

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MythBlast | The Still Point of the Turning World

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Deleted: Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is — T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” This December at JCF,...

Juno (with peacocks) and Iris (with rainbow) — Alegoría del Aire by Antonio Palomino (oil on canvas, Spain, c. 1700) 0

MythBlast | Reawakening Wonder

The poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti once wrote that he was waiting for the rebirth of wonder (“I am Waiting”, A Coney Island of the Mind, 49). In an age where technology has simultaneously brought us...

Navaho sand painting to a Blessing Chant. New Mexico, c. 1950 0

MythBlast | The Turn of the Pollen Path

In his 1986 publication The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, Campbell turns to a Navaho sand painting of a Blessing Ceremony which depicts a rite of passage for the initiate. Campbell sees this painting...

Enough is a feast by Arul Irudayam. Used through a Creative Commons license 0

MythBlast | The Birth of Tenderness

Here in America, November marks the celebration of Thanksgiving, and we at JCF have adopted the theme of gratitude for the MythBlasts this month. Gratitude is an interesting assortment of feelings, a complex emotion...

Icarus and Daedalus, Lord Frederic Leighton (oil on canvas, England, c. 1869) 0

MythBlast | Cultivating Gratitude through the Transcendent Function

Gratitude……….. (photo by smile7/flickr.com; used through a Creative Commons license) For me, it has been a challenging privilege to brush shoulders with this month’s theme of gratitude. Gratitude, to me, is simply appreciation, but...

Heinrich Zimmer, c. 1933 0

MythBlast | Voicing Joseph Campbell: How His Story Becomes Our Own

My life long, I’ve loved the relationship between a big mind’s biography and the themes and patterns of their oeuvre. The two mirror one another comparatively, opening up the symbolic dimensions, refracting, reflecting, reiterating...

From The Rubayat of Omar Khayam, 1909 0

MythBlast | An Impossible Thanksgiving: Story of the Birds and Beasts and the Son of Adam

On the 146th night of Scheherazade’s captivity, as told in Joseph Campbell’s edition of The Thousand and One Nights, The Story of the Birds and Beasts and the Son of Adam keeps her sovereign...