Category: MythBlast

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...

0

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...

streaming 0

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...

0

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...

0

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...

0

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...

0

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...

Soldier Military Uniform 0

MythBlast | A Bastion for Hope

Back in November of last year, an opinion piece in The New York Times entitled “Fighting the Spiritual Void,”  about the challenges faced by returning combat veterans, came to my attention and I was...

Scar (photo by Daniel Pasikov; used though a Creative Commons license) 0

MythBlast | Scares and Scars

Scars are curious things given an even more curious name: the word scar is derived from the Greek word eschara, meaning “place of fire.” The word does not mean “caused by fire,” nor does...

The Return of Jason (red-figure kalyx, Etruscan, Italy, c. 470 B.C.) 0

MythBlast | Through The Looking Glass

I myself have been traveling around quite a bit, these years, from one college campus to another, and everywhere the first question asked me is, “Under what sign were you born?” The mysteries of...