The Reluctant Suitor--the Heroine's Journey

Who was Joseph Campbell? What is a myth? What does "Follow Your Bliss" mean? If you are new to the work of Joseph Campbell, this forum is a good place to start.

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

Locked
User avatar
Martin_Weyers
Working Associate
Posts: 4054
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 6:00 am
Location: Odenwald
Contact:

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

Tree Hugger,

nothing of what you are mentioning and what makes you feel upset is new to us. As I said to Windhorse before: We are working on it. We are against censorship; On the other hand we don't like what you call "kiddie-porn" to be part of the JCF forums by giving some innocent looking links. Maybe those pages are not illegal, but they are definitely against what Campbell and the JCF are standing for. My personal point of view is, that everyone can do in private, what he wants (as long as he does not harm anybody else, of course). Those links at the JCF forums were inappropriate - especially if they appear without warning. They were intended to be provocative.

_________________
"... where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves ..."

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Martin on 2003-04-07 18:02 ]</font>
Lizpete
Associate
Posts: 365
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2002 5:00 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA

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

TH-

For myself, I decline the accolade. As I said above, I am just very pleased if a post of mine is of service. I do find the others you mentioned and yourself to be most worthy of the term hero.

Now that some house cleaning has occurred and before the discussion of the Goddess resumes I think it might be wise to perform some rite of purification or rededication.

I'd like to suggest that you would be the individual to write it.

Sincerely,
Liz
All human wisdom is contained in these words: wait and hope. Alexandre Dumas <br>America: The call that every generation must improve itself. *Member Generation &quot;X&quot;*
User avatar
Clemsy
Working Associate
Posts: 10645
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:00 am
Location: The forest... somewhere north of Albany
Contact:

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

Ahh, redirection and refocus...

Absolutley. Excellent idea.

Clemsy
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

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

Tree Hugger,

Thank you for sharing the information regarding the links that have been put on these threads.
I will now think twice before entering into any new link. Again, I feel myself 'projecting' my image of what Joseph Campbell means to me, onto the other people in these forums. What I hold to be sacred and true may not necessarily be the same as the other associates in these threads. I felt myself forgetting that because we admire the works of Joseph Cambpell, it does not mean that we hold the same values. TH -- thanks for the warning!


I second the motion to have Tree Hugger purify our cyber-home for the goddess.


I leave you with words that inspire me...words that come from a man, who seemed to value the mysteries women offer -- mysteries that help us look into our own souls (whatever gender we are)

Kahlil Gibran (A Second Treasury: The Broken Wings) wrote:

The sorrowful spirit finds rest when united with a similar one. They join affectionately, as a stranger is cheered when he sees another stanger in a strange land. Hearts that are united through the medium of sorrow will not be separated by the glory of happiness. Love that is cleansed by tears will remain eternally pure and beautiful.

Scarlett


_________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Scarlett on 2003-04-07 21:24 ]</font>
Cranky Scientist
Associate
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:00 am

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



The Idea of Order in the Reluctant Suitor Thread


She was the single artificer of the world

In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,

Whatever Self it had, became the Self

That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,

As we beheld her striding there alone,

Knew that there never was a world for her

Except the one she sang and, singing, made.


~With Apologies to Wallace Stevens~

"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

"Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.... And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."

(1 Cor. 13:1-13)

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration;

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, remembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river

The voice of the hidden waterfall

And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness

Between two waves of the sea.

Quick now, here, now, always---

A condition of complete simplicity

(Costing not less than everything)

And all shall be well and

All manner of thing shall be well

When the tongues of flame are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one.



~T.S. Elliot~


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tree Hugger on 2003-04-08 00:39 ]</font>
Cranky Scientist
Associate
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:00 am

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

Please, friends, continue your explorations here, singing and heeding the call with open hearts.

I have one simple request to make of all associates here. If you are new to the work of Joseph Campbell, if you know little of what he taught, then buy a copy of The Power of Myth. Read it, underline it, keep it by your side as you participate in these forums. It represents a small investment that will provide a large return.

Campbell was a great story teller. The Power of Myth is full of stories. What are myths if they are not stories? The stories our associates share here deserve our respect. Book facts are great. They're important. The help us understand the meaning of our stories. But all you have to do to get a book fact is read a book.

When an associate shares an authentic story of pain or triumph, it is as if their heart is reaching out and touching the hearts of a vast, invisible, silent audience. That phenomenon can heal. We may never know of the heart we touched. It doesn't matter. What matters is the love we shared.

Compassion -- the energy that flows from an open heart -- will prevent us from creating an atmosphere where anyone feels they must de-emphasize or camouflage aspects of their experience in order to find acceptance around the village campfire.

Joseph Campbell told us of a tradition where the gods and goddesses play together. It would be a wonderful thing if women and men could face each other here, as equal cocreators of this small universe.

But not everyone can stay to play.

Cambell frequently spoke of the Right Hand Path and the Left Hand Path. The Right Hand Path leads us to life within the village compound, with the pleasure, warmth, and companionship that comes from sitting around the village fire together. The Left Hand Path leads to the quest. It is a lonely road, leading to the dark wood, and there adventure waits.

Keep the home fires burning, my friends.

"And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time."



Tree Hugger


_________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tree Hugger on 2003-04-08 13:40 ]</font>
David_Kudler
Working Associate
Posts: 924
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2001 5:03 am
Location: Mill Valley, California
Contact:

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

TH, Scarlett, Liz, et al.--
Thank you for your patience. Thomas Jefferson once said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." These forums are a constant living example of that precept.

Let us be vigilant, but let us be as vigilant in respecting freedom as we are in protecting it. We have walked that tightrope very successfully so far (for the most part), and I want to encourage all of us to continue to do so.

TH--Thank you for the "purification." I can smell the sage from here. The Eliot quote from the Quartets in particular is one of my favorites.

BTW, this thread started long ago with an innocent post by Judith Feldman regarding a Iroquois story that Campbell referred to. Last night, as I was reading to my younger daughter (yet another reason to be thankful that I am no longer working two jobs), I found the )(*#$)#@ story in one of her picturebooks! The story of the reluctant suitor that Judith was trying to track down has been published in several forms--as "The Horned Snake's Wife" in Barefoot Books' Book of Princesses; and also as "The Girl Who Was not Satisfied with Simple Things". The latter version is all over the internet, but in neither case was I able to find a source. A quick trip to a good university library would probably dig one up.

Judith, if you're out there, I hope this is still of some use!

Doh! Just realized that Tree Hugger answered that question months ago. Serves me right for not rereading the beginning of the thread!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David_Kudler on 2003-04-08 14:30 ]</font>
Cranky Scientist
Associate
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:00 am

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

Scarlett, I am willing to revive this thread if you and other associates are also willing. I would love that.

Julia, your words in another thread were kind and perceptive. I will try to resist the sometimes strong urge to delete my posts. That urge is a whole story in itself. Maybe we can talk about it as the story unfolds here.

Administrators and Moderators: Do your stuff. Please keep this conversation safe from attack from brigands.

Maybe we can start again where we started the first time -- with the tale of the maiden who refused so many suitors that she ended up in a demon marriage. Joseph Campbell told the story in The Power of Myth. He called it The Refusal of Suitors. There are many refusal of suitors tales.

Here's a version of the tale Campbell told that's all over the internet. It differs from the version in PoM.

David, is Campbell's version anywhere among his notes? It would be wonderful to see in full. The story does resonate.

For now ...

Iroquois:The Girl Who Was Not Satisfied With Simple Things

There once was a girl who was not satisfied with simple things. Her parents despaired of ever finding her a husband she would accept. Each man who came was not good enough. "That one was too fat; he will never do." Or "Did you see how shabby his moccasins were?" Or "I didn't like the way he spoke." Such were the things she would say.

One night, as the fire flickered low, a strange young warrior came to their door. "Dahjoh," said the mother. "come inside," but the visitor stood a the edge of the light and pointed his hand at the girl.

"I have come to take you as my wife," he said. Now this young man was very handsome. His face shone in the firelight. Above his waist was a fine, wide belt of black and yellow wampum that glittered like water. On his head he wore two tall feathers and he moved with the grace of a willow tree in the wind.

But the mother was worried. "My daughter," she said, "you would not take any of the men in our village. Would you marry a stranger whose clan you don't know?"

It was no use, for at last the daughter was satisfied. She packed her belongings and walked into the night, following the handsome stranger.

The girl walked for some time through the darkness with him when she began to feel afraid. Why had she left her mother's lodge to come with this man she had never seen?

Just then her husband grasped her arm. "Do not fear," he said, whispering in the darkness. "We will soon come to the place of my people."

"But my husband," said the girl, "how can that be? It seems we must be close to the river."

Her husband grasped her arm again. "Follow me," he whispered "just down this hill. We have almost come to the place of my people."

The two of them walked down a steep bank and came to a lodge which had a pair of horns, like those of a giant elk, fastened above the door. "This is our home," the husband said. "Tomorrow you will meet my people."

The rest of the night the girl was afraid. She heard strange noises outside. She noticed that the lodge had a smell like that of a fish. She held her blankets tightly about her and waited, wide-eyed, for the morning.

When the next day came, the sun did not shine. The grey sky was filled with hazy light. Her husband gave her a new dress, covered just like his with wampum. "You must put this on," he said to the girl, "before you are ready to meet my people."

But the frightened girl would not touch the dress.

"It smells like fish," she said. "I will not put it on."

Her husband looked angry but he said no more. Before long, he walked to the door of the lodge. "I must go away for a time," he whispered. "Do not leave this place and do not be afraid of anything you see." And he was gone.

The girl sat there wondering about her fate. Why had she come with this strange man? She saw that if she had been satisfied with simple things this would not have happened. She thought of the fire in her mother's lodge. She thought of the simple, good-hearted men who had asked her to marry them. Just then a great horned serpent crawled in through the door of the lodge. As she sat there, stiff with fear, it came up to her and stared a long time into her eyes. Around its body were glittering bands of yellow and black. Then it turned and crawled out of the door.

The girl followed slowly and peered outside. All around, there were serpents, some lying on rocks, some crawling out of caves. Then she knew that her husband was not what he seemed, not a human being, but a serpent disguised in human form.

Now this girl who had been foolish was a girl who was not without courage. She knew that she would never agree to put on her husband's magical dress and become a great serpent herself. But how could she escape? She thought and thought and finally, for she had gone the whole night without sleep, she closed her eyes and slept.

Then, as she slept, it seemed to her an old man appeared in her dream. "My granddaughter," said the old man in a clear deep voice, "let me help you."

"But what can I do, Grandfather?" she asked.

"You must do as I say," the old man answered "You must leave this place at once and run to the edge of the village. There you will see a tall steep cliff. You must climb that cliff and not turn back or your husband's people will stop you. When you have reached the top, I shall help you."

When the girl awoke, she realized she had to follow the old man's words. She looked outside the lodge and saw her husband coming, dressed again in the form of a beautiful man. She knew she had to go at once or be caught in this place forever. So, quick as a partridge flying up, she burst from the door of her husband's lodge and dashed toward the cliffs.

"Come back!" she heard her husband shout but she did not look back. The cliffs were very far away. She ran as swiftly as she could. Then she began to hear a sound, a rustling noise like the wind rushing through the reeds but she did not look back. The cliffs were closer now. Then once more she heard her husband's voice close to her whispering, whispering, "Come back, my wife, come join my people." But now she had come to the cliffs and began to climb.

She climbed and she climbed, using all of her strength, remembering the old man's promise, as her hands grew painful and tired. Ahead of her was the top of the cliff and as she reached it she felt the hand of the old man lifting her to her feet.

She looked back and saw that she had just climbed up out of the river. Behind her were many great horned serpents. Then, as she watched, the old man began to hurl bolts of lightning which struck the monsters. And she knew that the old man was Heno, the Thunderer.

The lightning flashed and the thunder drums rolled across the sky. In the river the serpents tried to escape but the bolts of Heno struck them all. Then the storm ended and the girl stood there, a gentle rain washing over her face as the Thunderer looked down on her.

"You're very brave, my child," he said. "You have helped me rid the earth of those monsters. Perhaps I may call on you again, for your deed has given you power."

Then the old man raised his hand and a single cloud drifted down to earth. He and the girl stepped into the cloud which carried them back to her village.

It is said that the girl later married a man whose heart was good. Between them they raised many fine children. It is also said that her grandfather, Heno, came back to visit her many times. Often she would fly with him to help rid the earth of evil creatures.

And when she was old, she always told her grandchildren these words: "Be satisfied with simple things."

http://www.the-office.com/bedtime-story ... things.htm


_________________
Formerly Known as Tree Hugger



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cranky Scientist on 2003-11-02 21:45 ]</font>
User avatar
Clemsy
Working Associate
Posts: 10645
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:00 am
Location: The forest... somewhere north of Albany
Contact:

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

Administrators and Moderators: Do your stuff. Please keep this conversation safe from attack from brigands.
From the Forum Guidelines:
JCF is not responsible for any problem or harassment that is not brought to the attention of a forum moderator or administrator.
If we are to help, it is very important--if not terribly pleasant--for us to see precisely what it is that caused offense, so that we can speak with the sender in specific terms.
We will react when necessary. Preemption, however, is beyond our skills. In the meantime, I would say the threat of fire is currently rather low.

Michael
JCF Forums Moderator

_________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Clemsy on 2003-11-02 22:04 ]</font>
judithfeldman
Associate
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 5:00 am

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

dear c.s. f/k/a t.h.,

thank you so much for reviving the thread. i agree it would be so helpful if we could see the version of the story referred to in the pom conversation. David could you help and look in the notes? He said he was studying the myth at the time of the taping.

curious c.s. what made you tune back in?
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

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

Tree Hugger,

Great way to sweep out the cobwebs or should I say snakes. I think we all have been a little 'reluctant' lately to participate in this thread. However, it's time to climb the mountain and get out the thunderbolts!

One of the messages that I grabbed from the story you posted is that sometimes we look for the wrong things in our lives. We are distracted by "handsome young strangers" and we lose sight of our real quest.

Love the simple things in life.

That is really beautiful!

Scarlett
For all men live by truth and stand in need of expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Cranky Scientist
Associate
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:00 am

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

Judith, it's a pleasure to see your name again. It was Scarlett who motivated me to tune back into this thread.

Yesterday, she wrote in another thread:
I would love to see the Reluctant Suitor Thread open up and come alive once again. However, it is going to take some work for people to feel comfortable.
That seemed like a great idea. However, as Scarlett pointed out, it would take some work to make people feel comfortable. Because of everything that had happened here, it seemed that it wouldn't hurt if I made the first step forward.

The willingness to take that first step did not inspire any great insights in me about how to start, then slowly an idea mosied into view...

How many times in life do situations spin out of control and how many opportunities do we have to go back and start over in the same place we started before?

It's usually possible to make a fresh start from any debacle, but it's not so common to start over again from the same place where we started before.

We can do that here.

Maybe not exactly the same place. Much has happened, and we've all learned from it. Perhaps we can use that experience wisely. As Scarlett pointed out, we sometime lose sight of our real quest. That doesn't have to happen again.

Judith, your original post was thought-provoking. It inspired much conversation. It would be wonderful if we could return to the real quest(ion) posed by the post that started this thread in the first place and then see where the conversation flows.

This was the quest(ion):
On 2002-10-25 18:35, judithfeldman wrote:
in Joseph Campbell's conversation with Bill Moyers, he makes reference to an Iroquois myth he affectionately called "the reluctant suitor". It tells the story of an attractive Indian girl who rejects the local boys for what turns out to be a magician/serpent with seven brothers of like origin whose hearts are separate from their bodies.

The myth was used as an illustration of the greater danger facing the hero who has placed himself in a higher field, but is unwilling or unprepared to ascend to a higher consciousness.

Only a portion of the myth was told and I'm anxious to read the myth in its entirety and any analysis available. I gleaned from his discourse that he indeed was studying it.

Can anyone help me in my search?

many thanks,

judith

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David_Kudler on 2002-11-15 11:41 ]</font>
So, let's go ...

_________________
Formerly Known as Tree Hugger


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cranky Scientist on 2003-11-03 12:43 ]</font>
judithfeldman
Associate
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 5:00 am

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

thank you, T.H....and thank you Scarlett. your timing couldn't be more provocative. the man whose life was the impetus of my original inquiry... who turned out to be my deamon, but lovely marriage... is off on his own like journey. Before he left he told me he dreamt he was falling from the sky... he grabbed onto to a piece of white cloth -- like a parachute -- floating in the sky, but it shredded on touch. nothing to break his fall, he positioned his feet for landing and somehow alluded death. then suddenly he heard a voice, like the sound of thunder... "i saved you" was all it said. He asked me what i thought it meant. At the time my mind went to the Old Testament and the voice of God... only later did i glance again at this myth and realize that the rescuing voice is the Thunderer. The power of the upper air. So if we ever doubted the relevancy of these myths...in these mythic times in which we live.... Welcome back to all!
Poncho
Associate
Posts: 769
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2002 5:00 am
Location: Koh Samui

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

You may be interested to know that Mythinker started a similar thread in the Mythological Tools forum called Heroine's Journey. This was a discussion of whether the Hero meant both male and female or whether there was a female experience that perhaps ran parallel. The thread included a discussion of the Reluctant Suitor story or rather the alternatively titled The Girl Who Was Not Satisfied With Simple Things

I did a fairly long piece which broke the story down into Joseph Campbell's seven stages of the Hero's Adventure. This was an attempt to show that the Hero's Adventure knows no gender. There had been some useful inputs from gracie and from SkiaOura, but my bit seemed to bring the whole thread to an end! Possibly everyone simply fell asleep half way through. It would be a shame however to lose gracie's and SkiaOura's comments.

If you are interested then please press HERE

I would add that before writing this post I wrote to Cranky Scientist earlier on today. I asked her whether, as a chap, I might be seen as intruding on what she once referred to as the only thread that dealt with women's issues!

I appreciate that a lot of hurtful things were said and done on this thread and that the ladies are only just getting their confidence back. The last thing that they might want is some man barging in with his views. In an earlier post on this thread, Cranky had likened it to the Hebrews coming down on the Canaanites!

Cranky's response was that she felt that I would not be intruding. As I say, both gracie and SkiaOura and others made some useful comments which you may find of help in this discussion.

Finally, I would just like to add that I've never got used to calling her Cranky Scientist. Referring to her as " :evil: the artist formerly known as Tree Hugger" is bit too much of a mouthful as well. It seems that her Sedna phase is nearly over. Can she not go back to calling herself Tree Hugger please?

_________________
Greetings from over the Silver Sea



ivor orr

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ivor orr on 2003-11-04 06:51 ]</font>
SkiaOura
Associate
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden.

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

Ivor,

No! I didn´t fall asleep. But it was one of those posts that sums things up so neatly and nicely that at the end I felt: What on earth could I add or say to this? I have nothing better to offer.
I loved it tremendously, and appreciate the effort it must have cost to research and write it. Thank you very, very much.

Julia.
Locked