Noah's Ark & the Flood

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Jalaledin
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Post by Jalaledin » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

I have just had a profound encounter with the archetype of Noah and have taken on a new middlename: "Nuh" which is the Arabic version of Noah. I have not been able to find any "detailed" references by Joseph Campbell to this particular story in Genesis about the Flood. Can anyone point me in the right direction or offer their own interpretation/understanding/analysis of this profound story/myth about Creation/Destruction/Salvation/Conservation & Propagation. I am an aspiring Ecopsychologist and I identify Noah as the father of Ecopsychology because he understood the vital relationship between the survival of the human species and all other species. Your responses and imaginings would be most appreciated.

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Joe the Dragon
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Post by Joe the Dragon » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Hi Jalaledin! Welcome to the JCF forums! Ecopsychology? I've never heard of that field, but it sounds really interesting. I would love to hear what that discipline is all about.

As for Noah and Campbell. Campbell points out that the concept of a world cataclysmic event... most notably a flood, is not unique to the old testament. However, in most mythologies, its not a one shot deal, but rather a recurring event that marks a very large cycle.

The professor goes on to assert that the story of Noah's flood is borrowed directly from Babylonian mythology if i remember correctly, and the scholars writing this story took great care to subtly integrate those influences.

There is an absolutey mind-blowing discussion on this topic in "The Inner Reaches of Outer Space," where he compares the the number years that allegedly pass from Adam to Noah with the number of years that pass between World Destructive events in Babyolonian mythology. Then he proceeds into some pan-mythological numerology that is just spectactular.

It's Probably one of my favorite bits in all of my reading. This discussion was actually the first time i had my mind blown by Campbell. A feeling i've since gotten quite used to. At any rate, I recommend reading the entire first chapter of that book. The chapter is called "Cosmology and the Mythic Imagination."


For more on the general concept of mythological cataclysms i can recommend the second section of "Hero With 1000 Faces": The cosmogonic cycle.

These are the best resources that i know of on this subject... though my research is neither definitive nor thorough, so I wouldn't be at all surprised see more from the wonderfully well-read masses on these forums.

Hope that helps,
Enjoy,
Joe <IMG SRC="/forum/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">
pabston
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Packing the Ark

Post by pabston » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:07 pm

We are studying the Noah story in church (I belong to a United Church of Christ), and our Facebook dialogue was centering around the concept of "do-overs", which certainly fits with the cosmological cycles. But I had an idea last night-- another approach would be to focus on what we chose to pack in our Arks-- what do we value enough in a metamorphosis or re-creation, enough to salvage it? And what symbol could we use to represent that?

The Noah story is interesting to me in that it isn't a complete do-over-- Noah and the animal pairs carry over. If taken literally, the God of Genesis already "poofed" the animals into being once and could have easily done it again-- and even if we substitute evolution for poofing, time being relative, it still wouldn't be a big deal. So what's the meaning of deliberately including the seeds of prior creation in this myth? Seems like that would be important to explore.

Two of us in our group chose a Mobius strip as our symbol-- I chose it to represent continuity, and my friend because there are no ends.

I have been re-reading Campbell recently. As a non-literal Christian, even Spong and Borg are a little too concrete for me sometimes.
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Post by Neoplato » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:51 pm

One common theme of myths is that there is a repitition of the "do over" cycle. It doesn't matter what befalls the Earth, the human race and life, it will endure. I think of it as a form of evolution.

We'll get there...no matter how many times we're sent to the recycle bin. :wink:
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Robert G.
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Post by Robert G. » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:00 am

There's a great discussion on the Flood story in Bill Moyers' Genesis: A Living Conversation. For me at least, Campbell's influence can be felt in Moyers' questions and comments. Many religions and views are represented in the discussion group, but the majority of the interpretation focuses on the psychological aspects.
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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:18 am

Robert! Good to 'see'you! I hope the intervening years have treated you well!
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Re: Packing the Ark

Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:06 pm

pabston wrote: The Noah story is interesting to me in that it isn't a complete do-over-- Noah and the animal pairs carry over. If taken literally, the God of Genesis already "poofed" the animals into being once and could have easily done it again-- and even if we substitute evolution for poofing, time being relative, it still wouldn't be a big deal.
So many of the followers of Christ and Moses are all about the poofing.

I mean, hey! How does a guy prove he's on intimate terms with the Almighty if he can't perform some razamataz and do enough poofing to distinguish himself from the great unwashed?

Huh? Just saying.

:?
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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