Category: MythBlast

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Flirting With Reality: At Play in the Play of the World

One of the things that I find endearing about Joseph Campbell is that frequently in his writing, as well as his lectures, he displays a palpable enthusiasm for certain subjects. When I read Myths...

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The Jewel In The Lotus

Campbell was fond of talking about dualities and how getting beyond them forms a critical part of the hero’s journey: dualities like finite and infinite, transcendent and immanent, sacred and profane. The blooms of...

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The Blooming of Truth: Campbell on the Mythic Past

Edgar Allan Poe once wrote a little piece called “The Imp of the Perverse,” and I do believe that there must be in the fashioners of piously held beliefs, all over the world, an...

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The Greatest Poem is Lyric Life Itself

This month in the MythBlast Series, we’re focusing on Joseph Campbell’s Masks of God, Vol II: Oriental Mythology. On page 490 of that volume, Campbell quotes from “The Song of the Cowherd” by the...

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The Inner Reaches of Outer Space is Within Reach

Some have confused a mythology as nothing more than an elegantly-packaged ideology. Not so. Nor is it true to say that mythic figures are to be read as literal facts. The confusion commonly stems,...

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The Way of Art and Two-Way Roads

Art, among other things, is image-making. As a teacher of creative writing, I often emphasize the power of images due to their effectiveness in rendering experiences in our readers. Concrete language, which communicates to...

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The Song of the Sirens

One of Campbell’s last projects, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion, was developed from a series of lectures delivered in San Francisco. The series included a symposium at...

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Whosoever Loses Their Life Will Find It

In The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and Religion, Joseph Campbell writes that the mythic metaphor, the mythic image, “is necessarily physical and thus apparently of outer space. The inherent connotation...

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Metamorphosis: Dreaming the New Songs

“Mythology is the womb of mankind’s initiation to life and death,” states Joseph Campbell in his collection of essays titled, The Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension. (34) Death and rebirth...

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The Power of the Personal: Flight of the Wild Gander

Anytime I read, and especially reread, Joseph Campbell’s books, I feel like I am in a personal conversation with a priest or a confessor, one who understands the need for the transcendent in our...

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THE MANDALORIAN and Dangerous Origins

Modern technology has given us more ways than ever before to discover the stories, the rituals, and the characters that make up our mythologies. The technology of the written word vastly changed the ways...

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Sacrificial Origins

The search for origins has always figured among the greatest adventures of humankind in its epic journey on earth. “Who are we?” “Where do we come from?” “Where are we going?” These fundamental questions...

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The Festival of the Passing Forms

Over the coming year, we at the JCF MythBlast Series intend to explore Joseph Campbell’s great work, the four-volume series The Masks of God. The first quarter of 2021 will focus on The Masks...

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Rediscovering the Cosmic Navel

In “Cosmology and the Mythic Imagination,” from this month’s spotlight volume The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, Campbell takes us on a stellar romp through myths of the universe and humankind’s place in it....

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The Infinite Reach of Mercy

The December theme for the MythBlast series has been “The Still Point,” a reference to T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets. The still point is a poetic image that Joseph Campbell remarks upon several times...

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In The Stillness of Love’s Madness

If anyone doubted that the essence of the individual is thoroughly interwoven with the collective fibers of society, our continued state of social distancing and isolation is further proof of the case. Robbed of...