4/21 Chpt. 2.4 "Atonement with the Father."

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.

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

Hmmmm, looking at this from a very, very old perspective:

"Campbell deals with the myths that have been handed down to us, which do tend to have a heavy male focus."

Doesn't the Sophia myth, the myth of the goddess predate the warring males and the later one unified god(/dess)? Not to sling any arrows here.
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Post by Clemsy » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am


Not that I'm aware of. But please note that I said 'tends to', which is not all encompassing. Anyway, I'm not that familiar with the Sophia myth... but most references I found date the myth to the Hellene/gnostic period.

Don't want to get off track here. If you wish, you could start another thread on this topic.

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Post by Sophie-David » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Hi Anonymous

I agree of course, that Goddess did predate God, which Campbell himself states on many occasions. It does seem that a vestigial positive goddess figure, Wisdom or Sophia, actually made it into the Old Testament patriachy. Additionally there are strong arguments that the Holy Spirit is female, since the original words used in Hebrew and Aramaic are female: http://www.geocities.com/kibotos2002/feminine.html

But mostly we have negative goddess images in the Old Testament, starting with the snake in Eden. Of course, I choose to see the snake as a positive figure as Joseph Campbell did: the snake brings life into Eden. On page 48 of The Power of Myth (large format edition), Campbell says:
The principal divinity of Canaan was the Goddess, and associated with the Goddess is the serpent. This is the symbol of the mystery of life. The male-god-oriented group rejected it. In other words, there is a historical rejection of the Mother Goddess implied in the story of the Garden of Eden.
Incidentally, going back to one of your earlier posts, I just noticed that on page 167 of the large format edition of The Power of Myth which was written at the end of Campbell's life, he does refer to the feminine aspect of the divine as the "universe" rather than just the "world".
And when you have a Goddess as the creator, it's her own body that is the universe. She is identical with the universe. That's the sense of the Goddess.
So Campbell's language did change somewhat over time, as we see in comparison to Hero with a Thousand Faces which was written in the middle of his career, where the quote about the feminine principle being "the mastered world" comes from.

Anonymous, I think you might find Jean Houston's works a lot more relevant to you - she continues the study of applied mythology from where Campbell left off. Personally, I find her work more relevant to me, but I am also studying the earlier sources such as Campbell and Jung to gain depth and perspective.

Jean Houston is, I think, deliberately vague about who the Beloved might be, and where the Beloved actually comes from. She is much more concerned with guiding us to our personal Beloved, and once discovered, discussing the significance the Beloved has to our lives and to the world.

Anonymous, I quite agree with your implication that the gender categorizations of both men and women, as well as the psychic components described as anima or animus are simplifications. All we can really say is that the masculine or feminine may be dominant in one or the other. In each of what we term "woman", "man", "anima" or "animus", we actually have a mixture or continuum of gender.

I appreciate your interest in my journey. If you would like to join me in the Anima/Animus section on page four, you will see that I have posted an account of my encounter with the Beloved. I would be happy to follow up on that topic with you there.

Clemsy, if you are comfortable with this thread remaining here that's fine with me. But I don't see any point in me reposting what I have already presented about my journey in this section as well.
Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
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Post by Lizpete » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Wow, I'm so thrilled to see the summaries have prompted discussion!! I will try to continue with my summaries/excerpts, but not on a formal schedule this time.

And, if I may be so bold, I personally see the last post (above) as beginning a new discussion.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Lizpete on 2004-07-08 22:11 ]</font>
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Post by Lizpete » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Hmmm, it seems as though I have stopped the discussion and I did not intend to do so.

S-D as I look at the first part of your post you suggest there are a few? many? negative Goddess images in the Old Testament. Can you point out some of these for me? As for the snake- I don't see that as a female image. It seems male to me, but that's just me. Anybody else see it that way?

As for the discussion of the Fall as the rejection of the Mother Goddess of Cannan, I think I would have to know much more about the nature of the female goddess there. To me, the story as you have put it, suggests the rejection of a primal deity that is one sided in nature (that does not contain the essential spiritual dualities as mentioned in this chapter 2.4 and the upcoming chapter 2. of the Hero...)

I think you see a movement, over time, in Campbell's writing that I do not see. (Yet?) If I were to make a little guess, what rattles a bit to us in understanding his explanation is that Campbell was understanding the myths for himself while explaining to all.

Way back up there Anon was talking about the rivalry- its an interesting point, but I think you -Anon- (and maybe Campbell) get it a little mistaken there in the phrase on page 136. Its not just a rivalry of gender against gender, although that's what it may seem to the child. -Remember the child does not yet contain the duality of the initiate parent, and s/he follows the same sex parent for instruction on adulthood.

All human wisdom is contained in these words: wait and hope. Alexandre Dumas (Hmmm, what about a 21st century addition of be pro-active?)
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