How would Joseph explain current system failures?

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Manish Srivastava
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How would Joseph explain current system failures?

Post by Manish Srivastava » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:35 am

Hi friends,
I am new to the world of JCF but being an Indian, I am well marinated in Power of Myth :)
I have been working with large corporations for last 10 yrs. In recent times I have started wondering how the Captialist economic paradigm is creating large systemic failures including recent melt-down, ever-widening econimical divide, so many bubble bursts, oil wars, global warming etc...
My insights align to some profound researchers who highlight that we are stuck in our industrial revolution captialist paradigm. Some blame it to reductionist newtonian world-view. Others see the issues with the legal birth of corporations. And ask deeply, you will know that the central motif beneath colonialism, captialism and development is similar..
So my QUESTION is...
What is the mythological underpinning of current captialist, wealth-accumulator, west-dominated paradigm?
Where are we coming from?
What is this story that we are continuously playing and replaying?

Pl advice me with your insights, questions, frustrations and if you have refrences to books, sites, people ... who can help!

Thanks
Manish
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Post by Clemsy » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:02 am

Hi Manish, and welcome to the JCF Forums! I don't have a reply for your question at this time, but please check your private messages.

Cheers,
Clemsy
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Post by bodhibliss » Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:11 pm

From last week's JCF UpDate:
What has happened in our [society] is that on the official level the accent is on economics and practical politics, and there has been a systematic elimination of the spiritual dimension ... There's an awful saying of Spengler that I ran into in a book of his, Jahre der Entsheidung (Years of Decision) which are the years we live in now. He said, "As for America, it's a congeries of dollar trappers, no past, no future." When I read that back in the thirties, I took it as an insult. But what is anybody interested in? ... It's a terrible lack of anything but economic concerns that we're facing, and that is old age and death, and that is the end.

(Joseph Campbell, interviewed by Lorraine Kisly in "Living Myths: A Conversation with Joseph Campbell," Parabola, Issue 1 (Spring 1976), pp.70-81)

Experts attribute the current economic crisis to a wide range of interrelated factors - but, as Campbell suggests, the "bottom line" might well be American culture's emphasis on the bottom line, to the exclusion of all else.

And yet, perhaps in response to this materialistic bent, there is a hunger today for what is of enduring value ...
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Post by Samarra » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:18 pm

Manish,

I agree with your friends that the legal “birth” of the corporation, around the turn of the century, is a major reason for our current economic situation. Since, by law, the corporation is considered a legal “entity”, it has many of the same rights as a citizen of the country that spawned it. And because of international laws, that corporation, having citizenship status in all countries, is above the law, or at least able to simultaneously change laws of many countries to fit its purpose.

So what we’ve got is a new kind of global citizen, but not alive -- a machine with absolutely no connection to the mystery and mythologies of life. You might even go so far as to say that entity is completely “soulless”. There are even some executives who want a corporation to be able to VOTE in elections. Now that’s power!

Ahh, but there is always balance! A Non-Profit organization has a different charter. It is the SOCIAL GOAL of that organism, whether it be aid to Africa or preventing Global Warming, that is the main focus, not profit. And as we know, your focus determines your reality.

Why do I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of the Clone Wars (another thread), with a full scale planetary battle being waged for my dollars (aka power). Do you feel the same? If so, how do we, “put an end to this destructive conflict and bring order to the [planet]?”
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Re: How would Joseph explain current system failures?

Post by Ned Kelly » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:48 pm

Manish asked:
So my QUESTION is...
What is the mythological underpinning of current captialist, wealth-accumulator, west-dominated paradigm?
Where are we coming from?
What is this story that we are continuously playing and replaying?
My answer: The late-modern (Western and especially Protestant-English-American) superstitious belief in "progress", and the British-American-Protestant repudiation of belief in "original sin", ie, the Anglo-American-Protestant belief that Man can be "born again" in this world, devoid of any of the effects of the essential corruption of Human Nature - or stated another way, the Anglo-American Protestant/Puritan superstition that we can "begin the world anew", that we can create a "shining city on a hill" in this world.

In this regard, I think the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians are FAR MORE WISE than most American "Christians" AND wiser than most so-called "secular" Americans who - despite what they think they believe - are after all heirs of the Puritans, with their stupid belief in worldly "progress".

Jesus (or more specifically, the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox version of Jesus) did not believe in "progress" in this world. And neither did the Buddha; in fact, Buddhism (in which our teacher Joe Campbell believed for the most part) is even MORE pessimistic about temporal political "progress" than Christianity. (Yet, when Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not of this world", he agreed with all Buddhas!)

But the American religion - which is essentially an English Puritan religion which believes superstitiously in "progress" in THIS world - does not acknowledge the fundamental truths of sin and suffering as the essential conditions of the life of Man on this Earth.

Buddhism does, and Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity do, but the American Religion of "Progress" does not acknowledge this fundamental truth about suffering - which is the first truth that the Buddha taught, and what Jesus taught too, and what all truthful myths teach.

Joe Campbell knew better. He knew better than to hope for any political "progress" in this world. He said (in paraphrase), "The world is what it is, and if you want to help people, you will teach them HOW to live in this world, instead of trying to change it."

Thus, in sum, America's problem - and the mistake most Americans of our time make - is the superstitious belief that we (and especially America) can "change the world"....

...but the Buddha, and all Buddhas, and the Christ, know better. Christ said, "My Kingdom is not of this world", and all Buddhas say the same thing. And America's problem is that America, and Americans, believe that they can "change the world", contrary to the wisdom of all multicultural prophets of all ages.
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Post by Neoplato » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:51 pm

The way I see it, is that we're in a "Tower of Babel" situation. We're so worried about building the tower (corporations) higher and higher that we have become ignorant to the spiritual aspects of our lives. We can't see that all life is a part of each other and that our actions will have consequences. The self (ego) is dominating the nous.
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Post by Evinnra » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:21 am

Some years ago on my first encounter with classical Chinese philosophy, I couldn’t help making the observation that all schools would agree on one particular tenet:

System failure follows from inaccurate discernment or bad judgement of one’s own context.

The Confucians would say something like: without partiality there is no right discernment of the law, as there is no base for making relevant observations.

The Mohists would say something like: without impartial judgement, there is no use in discernment, as objective evaluation would be marred by egoistic impulses.

The Taoists would say: only Heaven knows what is good or bad, right or wrong hence mistakes in right discernment are inevitable. (Entropy.)

But, are there ever two things that can be equal? So there must be a way of discerning between things. No?


For instance: if ministers allocate responsibilities to their friends and family members ( in order to keep their own ministerial position ) instead of allocating responsibility to those people who are best qualified to do the job, the government runs into deficit.

End corruption of values and prosperity can’t help but follow – me think . :roll: 8)
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Post by Ned Kelly » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:39 pm

Evinnra, as a man who has lived in China for some years, and as the husband of a Chinese Lady from Hong Kong, I mostly agree with you,,,,

...except to mention that in today's China, almost nothing remains of any traditional Chinese culture, nor of Confucianism.

Which is a reminder of how fragile all civilisation is. If you want to experience traditional Chinese culture and civilisation, you can find some traces of it in America, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia....

...but virtually none of it in the Communist People's Republic of China. And my Chinese wife and I CURSE all Western so-called "liberals" who colluded in representing Mao's China as some kind of "real" China.

My wife often weeps, late at night, over how the bloody Communists ruined her ancient country, And she holds many American "liberals" partly responsible for that tragedy, an ongoing tragedy to this day.
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Post by Neoplato » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:49 pm

Well, I'm confused. What does liberalism have to do with totalitarianism? And how does that relate to the downfall of a society based on greed, materialism and ignorance of the spirituality of life?
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Post by noman » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:32 am

• In recent times I have started wondering how the Capitalist economic paradigm is creating large systemic failures including recent melt-down, ever-widening economical divide, so many bubble bursts, oil wars, global warming etc...?

• What is the mythological underpinning of current capitalist, wealth-accumulator, west-dominated paradigm?

• Where are we coming from?

• What is this story that we are continuously playing and replaying?

- Mannish

Hello Mannish and welcome to the forums.

Joseph Campbell loved big questions like this. Questions like these, I think, drew Campbell to mythology, and continue to draw so many of us to the work of Joseph Campbell.

I believe ‘The Economy’ has become a deity of worship and sacrifice all by himself. It used to be an auxiliary to other worthy gods. But now, all of these lesser gods are dependent on him. Want power? Want war? Beauty? Charity? Equality? Peace? Health? Knowledge? Want a clean environment? You’d better find wealth first. Of course, I’m talking about American mythology here. It’s the way we think – mythoughtologically.

It’s no surprise that the World Trade Center was attacked on 911 as well as the Pentagon in Washington DC. One represents the economic heart of the West, the other the political. It was, understandably, a shock to our collective psyche to see those buildings fall – as if our mythology itself, of progress, and economic strength, were under attack. Americans were hurting. Naturally, people look to the President during such a time. As a response, President Bush was paraphrased as advising us to , ‘go shopping, have a good time’.

Not really such bad advice to tell people not to let it get to them. But the ‘go shopping ‘ part really stuck. Business newscasters keep telling us that our economy is 2/3’s consumer driven, it is our patriotic duty to support the system by spending money.

I do believe the economic melt-down is a result of our whimsical sky’s-the-limit attitude about spending and borrowing and running up the price of stocks and real-estate to unsustainable prices. But, I don’t see this as such a terrible thing. And I’m not as pessimistic about this downturn as many of the people I talk to. These downturns are part of a process of cyclic growth, in the same way as an individual stumbles and grows throughout his or her life. The price of gasoline has fallen to below two USD per gallon. Prices will correct to reflect their actual value rather than some fantasy speculative value.

A severe sustained depression, if it happens, would have effects that have nothing to do with the economy. On the positive side, there could be a spiritual resurgence. On the negative side, there could be unrest and revolutionary activity as a result of widespread unemployment and economic hardship. But I don’t really think this downturn will be so severe or long-lasting to make a major shift in our mythology.

Yes, ‘The Economy’ warrants the tallest buildings in our cities. But it would be very difficult to displace him from his throne in our culture. We were all raised here with the game of Monopoly, and with 10,000 minutes of TV commercials a year training us to be good consumers. So I can’t see him losing his status. But, instead of wanting to dethrone him, I look for a harmony between him and all the other deities that we worship. Yes, he may be on top, but he lives with the persistent awareness that he is as dependent on his underlings as his underlings are on him, and with the knowledge that, for all of his clout and influence, he is, when alone, a pathetic helpless fool.

- NoMan
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Post by BiggieDe » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:01 am

Pardon me, NoMan. I was looking to read more of your entries and found this response to Manish Srivastava's question:

"So my QUESTION is...
What is the mythological underpinning of current captialist, wealth-accumulator, west-dominated paradigm?
Where are we coming from?
What is this story that we are continuously playing and replaying?"

Manish, maybe we're replaying the myth of Genesis, i.e., man having dominion over the Earth? Maybe we're playing out world myths about "enslavement?" We're doing a pretty good job of THAT all the time. Of course, some of us are more the "enslavers" than others. But, the system as a whole "enslaves."

NoMan said, "It was, understandably, a shock to our collective psyche to see those buildings fall – as if our mythology itself, of progress, and economic strength, were under attack."

I've read that Bin Laden was obsessed with those towers for just that reason. He saw The World Trade Center as standing for, our mythology. Well, I don't know why stuff happens in the world anymore? There's ALWAYS way too much incomplete information to know the cause of anything for sure. I suppose it's always been that way? Except now-a-days, the destructive potential for information, even bits and pieces of it, is SOOO much more powerful! At the same time, so is the constructive potential of information tid-bits, I guess? After all, the world contains its share of people we never hear about who go about doing good. And, that's a HUGE number.

Each with the potential to choose to turn right around and do evil, I'm sad to say. Pairs of opposites after all.
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Post by bodhibliss » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:22 am

BiggieDe wrote:I've read that Bin Laden was obsessed with those towers for just that reason. He saw The World Trade Center as standing for, our mythology .
This isn't so much a direct response as it is a rambling riff, rising out of the intriguing exchange between NoMan and Biggie De, touching on the Twin Towers as a lens onto the American mythscape, eventually narrowing focus to my local community, the Stockton-Modesto region of California's Central Valley, Ground Zero of the mortgage meltdown (and still the hardest hit)

... though I follow a somewhat convoluted path getting from here to there ...

I'm not so sure I'd characterize Osama bin Ladin as obsessed with the Twin Towers (which suggests a psychological hang-up) anymore than he was obsessed with the Pentagon, or the Capitol Building (apparent target of the flight that went down); but he definitely was conscious of the mythic importance of the Twin Towers, which bears greater significance then either Pentagon or Capitol - the same symbolic value Joseph Campbell points to in this quote from The Power of Myth:
You can tell what's informing a society by what the tallest building is. When you approach a medieval town, the cathedral is the tallest thing in the place. When you approach an eighteenth-century town, it is the political palace that's the tallest thing in the place. And when you approach a modern city, the tallest places are the office buildings, the centers of economic life.
Of course, Joseph Campbell points out that symbols don't speak to the head, but to heart and gut. He calls mythic images "energy-evoking and -directing signs" that spark an unconscious emotional response that can compel behavior.

Hand a bouquet of red roses to a single female from a foreign culture, and she doesn't need a botannical lecture or an explanation of local courtship traditions to "get it" - the same "aww" in her heart just isn't there if she's gifted instead with socks or a tube of toothpaste. Similarly, burn an American flag in front of a veteran, and there's no real surprise if an otherwise rationalperson experiences an immediate gutteral reaction, an intense emotional surge, possibly violent and often out of character, powerful enough to override one's better sense.

One doesn't have to intellectually know a symbol is a symbol to react to it.

For example, the conscious intent of the builders, owners, and the renters of the World Trade Center need not be equated with the symbolic value, which is often quite unconscious yet nevertheless present.

That shift Campbell notes from churches and cathedrals to government buildings didn't occur because the government directed architects to design buildings that demonstrate the value of government over religion. Similarly, the skyscrapers of Wall Street and Madison Avenue weren't consciously intended to demonstrate that the economy reigns superior to both religion and government, but simply reflect the value that is, consciously and unconsciously, collectively placed on this function

It follows that property prices, therefore, will reflect what people value - if no one is willing to pay those prices, the prices come down.

Hence, the willingness of a society to bear the costs for large, long term construction projects requiring concentration of wealth and the cooperation and labor of large groups of people over time, whether we are talking the pyramids, or Notre Dame, the Washington Monument, Hoover Dam, or the World Trade Center, is a clue to what a culture values, symbolically concentrated in the concrete manifestation of those efforts. (I am intrigued that the incoming administration, and Barack Obama in particular, seem to be taking this elusive, intangible, but nevertheless real factor into account as they discuss a stimulus package that doesn't consist of tax rebates, but funding for amibitious public works projects - regardless of the pros and cons of fiscal impacts, this may be signaling a significant paradigm shift ... or not ...)

(Ironically, where a society refuses to spend their money - in my hometown of Modesto, that would be in the slums and on the homeless - offers clues to what a community values least - the discards of the culture)

Symbols are rarely consciously chosen - and when they are, they often have a contrived feel to them - though even then the designated symbol may evolve a value all its own in the public consciousness (and then there are some, like Hitler and company, who are adept at manipulating symbols).

The symbolic value of the Pentagon as the seat of American military might certainly seems obvious - but up until their destruction, there was no "official" designation of the World Trade Center Towers as the symbol of American prosperity and economic might; heck, i imagine few Americans ever gave a thought to the WTC towers compared to, say, the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State building, in the decades prior to 9/11.

Those towers were just part of the background, part of the Manhattan skyline

... but all Americans felt it in the gut when the towers collapsed.............

Whether we knew it or not, the Twin Towers represented our technological superiority and our economic might, and were far more a symbol of America than any of us had thought - though those who destroyed them automatically recognized this symbolic value.

In fact, I find it ironic that the Taliban, just two months before, destroyed the towering Buddhas carved into a mountainside in southern Afghanistan, even though there is no Buddhism practiced in the area, so no fear these were idols or demons to be worshipped. They were making a powerful symbolic statement (considering they were a tourist attraction vital to the local community, theology trumped economics)

and so the WTC towers were our own crumbling Buddhas, chosen for their symbolic value.

In my hometown of Modesto, California, the tallest building used to be a twelve story senior residential center - but the last decade and a half it's been a towering luxury hotel, topped by several floors of offices (stockbrokers, corporations, etc.).

As the town grows, we have become a bedroom community for the Bay Area (San Francisco is ninety miles to the west, a daily commute for a significant proportion of our inhabitants, many of whom are displaced residents of the Bay Area who could not afford either homes or rent there). As we have morphed more and more into a sprawling suburb, full of subdivisions dense with cookie cutter condominiums, our community seems to have lost it's center - life is not focused on downtown, but centered around strip malls and fast food outlets.

This leads to an incredible, intense sense of dislocation and dissociation (which is not unique to Modesto, but is, I believe, a condition that contributes to the crisis engulfing our economy).

It isn't much of a surprise to me that Modesto has developed a reputation of being a town where bad things happen: the disappearance of three Yosemite tourists brought our town into the national consciousness a few years back, followed by two more waves of notoriety as a hometown girl serving as a Washington intern disappeared amid an affair with our power-broker congressman (Gary Condit, who I ran against in the mid-eighties when he was serving in the state legislature), and most recently with the disappearance of pregnant substitute teacher Laci Peterson (a colleague) one Christmas Eve, and the eventual arrest and death penalty conviction of her husband Scott - giving our community a national reputation as that place where bad things happen on Larry King Live.

The searing summer heat and dull gray winter fog, the bunker and silo skyline, the acres of strip malls and car lots, the meth labs and cars parked on lawns, the pseudo-feudal dependence on the homegrown empire of Ernest and Julio Gallo - all shape the character of our community.

California's Central Valley - prior to the coming of the white man - was originally desert in summer (temperatures regularly hovering at and above 100), and a vast, marshy inland sea in winter. Agriculture - damming (and damning) rivers, irrigating the land, and providing cheap electricity to sustain large population centers - may have raped the ecosystem, but it made the valley productive and valuable: we are America's Bread Basket.

Yet there is no logical reason for people to live here: no natural fords, no remnants of Indian encampments, not even a hunting trail or trade route ...

Modesto exists solely because it's the place the owners of the Central Pacific Railroad ( part of the robber baron class of late nineteenth century America) decided was the right distance from the port of Stockton to put a loading dock - and so a good spot for the laundries and brothels and opium dens serving the workers who set up ranks of tents and lived here while laying the track.

When one of the Central Pacific partners, William Ralston, was told that the new town (laid out on a standard railroad grid centered not on geographical features or cardinal directions but on the train track) would bear his name, he emphatically declined the dubious honor. Legend has it that a Mexican railroad laborer standing nearby opined on Ralston's humility:

"he ees muy modesto"

and so we have lived up to our name - not much of a stretch - ever since. Not hard to be modest here...

Even our most famous native son, George Lucas, fails to return for dedication ceremonies and celebrations honoring the creator of Star Wars and American Graffiti ("cruising" - symbol of an aimless drift and growing ennui in America's youth - Modesto's one claim to fame - apart from Ernest and Julio - that is, prior to the recent spate of murders and abductions, followed by the collapse of the housing market).

James Hillman speaks of the community soul - and Campbell speaks of how geography shapes local mythologies and the people who live them. Iin both primal and historical cultures every natural feature, every spring and creek and mountain and grove, is sacred. Even in Europe, there are myths and legends thousands of years old associated with most natural landmarks; in the U.S. the best we do is a National Parks sign noting an Indian legend that explains a nearby geographical feature - but we don't live the myth, experience it every time we see that mountain or drink from that spring.

I don't mean to sound so down on Motown, but it is fascinating to step back and survey the scene, and see these dynamics at work. Disconnected from our environment, cut off from the surrounding geography, no lived myths tying us to the landscape, our town has evolved quite the dysfunctional character.

It's not that that there is a direct causal relationship between the market collapse and the lack of any mythological landscape - but the latter reflects an absence of "spirit." I believe we can extrapolate this out to the rest of the country - and the rest of the world, in so far as others embrace "American" values of a corporate-driven consumer culture (think the contraction and inevitable disappearance of the rainforests - our planet's lungs - ignoring the good of the Whole Earth in favor of the short term gain of a relatively small group of economic elites).

Again, Campbell's thoughts
What has happened in our [society] is that on the official level the accent is on economics and practical politics, and there has been a systematic elimination of the spiritual dimension ...
The economic crisis facing us is but a reflection of a larger spiritual crisis. Until we address these fundamental issues of soul - which myth does - I suspect we'll find that a series of quick fixes, despite some short term gains, will not deflect our long term trajectory.

If Spengler is right, perhaps resistance is futile and nothing will set things right.

Nevertheless, I am encouraged by Barack Obama's election, not just because of the pragmatic steps he appears to be taking (though I do find competence soooo refreshing!), but by the spiritual appeal. Yes, his inspirational language can be vague - but then, metaphor always is - but there's no doubt it proved uplifting, and there were moments during the campaign when Obama's vision seemed to parallel Joseph Campbell's. Education, service, science, and compassion are back in fashion once more.

I guess time will tell ... mayhap we will stop bulldozing the mythscape.

Thanks for bearing with my meandering musings.

Metaphorically Yours,
bodhibliss
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Post by BiggieDe » Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:29 pm

Yes, bodhibliss, well . . .

"I guess time will tell ... mayhap we will stop bulldozing the mythscape.
Thanks for bearing with my meandering musings."

I meandered. I thought I'd post kudos for your efforts. To be fair I have to say I lost my way several times. I think that was probably more me than it was you. I'm a combination of slow reader/attention-deprived, after all.

I guess it's my belief that humanity roughly (ultimately) evolves following a course of practicality. That used to be the key element in the generation of our nation's wealth. People made money through bricks-and-mortar stuff. Recently, we've begun profiting by charade. Easy money, there's nothing redeeming in its residue. So, in a word, thanks for BUILDING such an impressively tall entry. Although "rambling," its rubble will still retain inherent value when others take up arms and, for whatever reason, begin tearing it down.
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Post by Clemsy » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:22 pm

I'll be impulsive...

The past two posts reminded me of a quote I saw on a t-shirt at a Unitarian 'Peace Fair' yesterday. (God, but I love Unitarians.)
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. ~John Maynard Keynes
The current financial disaster is 1929 revisited in so many ways despair is a definite option. However, it does seem that the lessons learned from Hoover's reaction were, at least well learned.

Osama hit the symbols of American power: economic, military and political (and he did hit political power even if he missed the capitol building, no?)

However, who were his targets? You? Me? No. We're inconsequential. Bin Laden desires to "liberate" us wee people from the ruling class as much as he wants to "liberate" the world from them.

At the risk of being politically incorrect, the man has a point, however I put "liberate" in quotes for a reason: I'd rather not trade one form of tyranny for another.

I think I'll get to my point eventually.

I imagine that if Campbell were alive today, he'd take a long hard look at the sociological function of myth as applied to what we call democracy (which, mythologically, puts us all at the center of the sphere with no circumference, right?).

I think what he'd say is that many don't live in that structure. Many still live in the obsolete, hierarchical structure of our Sumerian past. That's why someone like George Bush can tell everyone, essentially, "Your patriotic duty is to go shopping and don't question your Father" and get away with it for eight years. Even those of us who really do believe in the Democratic principle of Enlightened Individualism mostly went to sleep, except for those far too few of us who's bumper stickers read "Where's the Outrage?"

Or like yours truly's blog subtitle which read, "What? No Revolution Yet?" (Right now it reads, "Revolution Currently on Hold. Let's Wait a Bit.")

So basically our mythic structure is still, still, evolving away from the flat-earth-centric view of the cosmos. That we are moving, and glaciers move faster, away is evident in that enough of us find ourselves awakened at the center of the sphere with no circumference after repeated slaps to the face at which point we shake our heads and go, "What the hey!!??" and vote a smart person into office who may even be (Please, Great Creator, please!) wise.

Now, just as during FDR's New Deal, we'll get busy putting spike collars on those wicked men who are as removed from our position in their concentrically circled view of the world as the Sumerian priestly class was removed from the slaves.

And we'll probably do a good job of it. I suspect, and sincerely and deeply hope, that Obama may be very 'Campbellian' in his worldview.

However, will we be able to break the pattern of going back to sleep to let it all happen all over again? It's like that old cosmology is so ingrained in our collective psyche that, before we know it, we've closed our eyes and it's back like a nightmare.

Please let me know that my caffeine didn't run away with me this morning.

Cheers,
Clemsy
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Post by BiggieDe » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:09 pm

"However, will we be able to break the pattern of going back to sleep to let it all happen all over again? It's like that old cosmology is so ingrained in our collective psyche that, before we know it, we've closed our eyes and it's back like a nightmare. "

OH EXACTLY, Clemsy! Just see, it's happening RIGHT NOW!!! So, what's the alternative?

I mean, you could scrap the entire system? Hard to imagine that happening because of the level of dislocation (world-wide) involved. If you want to go there, we might as well get rid of money entirely. Which would be the great thing and, what the world REALLY needs. The fractional banking system (debt and interest) is what's at the bottom of EVERYTHING and incidentally INSEPARABLE from most if not all our problems!

Anyway, something more practical, and still incredibly difficult to accomplish, is to redirect people's THINKING and the resulting EFFORTS of people in the direction of . . . "WHAT'S THE BEST THING FOR EVERYBODY?" It's another way to describe the Golden Rule. And, with that, the problem then becomes how to make money by doing "the best thing for everybody," rather than make money following the mantra, "What's the best thing for me?"

You can see the need right now as the World gets economically globalized. We're now so incredibly interdependent that the economic and financial practices in one country (the U.S.) can immediately impact, and undermine, the security of all the other countries, i.e. THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!

But, getting back to your quote at the beginning of my entry, in the immediate sense of RIGHT NOW, you can just see the impetus to go back to the old way of doing things. It's so easy to go backward and so difficult to go forward. You are witnessing the desire to go right back to mindlessly spend-spend-spend to stimulate the economy. I'm hoping, the way it'll play out is, first stimulate the economy then change it's course.

Good luck everyone. Beware of Nassim Taleb's "Black Swans" that are out there in our future.

When will people finally figure out the ridiculous absurdity of the idea of $1 Trillion dollar U.S. deficits. What's it going to take? The thinking is evolving that they really don't matter, ultimately. I almost want to laugh. Then I think, well OK, if you say so? It all depends on whether or not you think the U.S. IS too big to fail. Is it or isn't it? It makes all the difference. I think of it as a chair with three legs, Europe, Asia, and North America. I mean think about the 7 Billion people on Earth sitting on that chair!

Even beyond that, and more Joseph Cambell(ly) basic, is a more fundamental change. We as individuals need to realize that not only is EACH COUNTRY too big to fail, EACH INDIVIDUAL is too big to fail. When we get to that place mentally, we'll be willing to make the kinds of sacrifices that are necessary to realize the tough changes involved in our collective future.

Health to all!
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