Joseph Campbell and Postmodernism

Joseph Campbell believed that "...each of us has an individual myth that's driving us, which we may or may not know." This forum is for assistance and inspiration in the quest to find your own personal mythology.

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Post by jonsjourney » Thu May 06, 2010 10:53 am

But A is A for everybody and there begins intellectual discourse. -Adirondack
Welcome!

Who defines "A"?
"He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." -Douglas Adams
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Post by adirondack » Thu May 06, 2010 1:59 pm

jonsjourney wrote:
But A is A for everybody and there begins intellectual discourse. -Adirondack
Welcome!

Who defines "A"?
Is that an "A" in your statement?
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Post by Clemsy » Thu May 06, 2010 3:27 pm

Hmmmm... Looks like a variable to me! :lol:
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Post by adirondack » Thu May 06, 2010 3:53 pm

Evinnra wrote:Have to agree with you on this Adirondack, for this entire thread was dedicated to expose this logical fallacy that relative perspectives have nothing substantial to offer to each other. When in doubt, when facing those who go so far as to say ‘you have no idea what it is like …’ I just ask; how the hack would you know? If what you say is true, then you can not possibly have any idea what ideas I have. :roll: :lol:

Welcome to the forum adirondack!
:)
Thank You.
Very true. How would they know that another person might not know. How would they know that there is another person. I don't mind relative perspectives. Each person is unique. But then there is that capability to not dwell on things and eventually I need to eat and accept common sense.

I like this short video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8aWBcPVPMo
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Post by Evinnra » Fri May 07, 2010 3:45 am

adirondack wrote:
Thank You.
Very true. How would they know that another person might not know. How would they know that there is another person. I don't mind relative perspectives. Each person is unique. But then there is that capability to not dwell on things and eventually I need to eat and accept common sense.

I like this short video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8aWBcPVPMo
Yes, on the end of the day we do need common sense to survive. Despite appearances I don't mind relativism per se. As a matter of fact I consider the encounter with different perspectives to be the spice of life.

Joseph Campbell's greatest contribution to our global culture - I believe - was his research into the different mythological and religious paradigms of humanity, resulting in the realisation that on a fundamental epistemological level we are all connected. :)

p.s. Great link, thanks for sharing it. :lol: 8)
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Post by jonsjourney » Fri May 07, 2010 10:53 am

Is that an "A" in your statement?
It is!
Hmmmm... Looks like a variable to me! -Clemsy
How many 'a's" does it take to make an 'A'? :lol:
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Post by adirondack » Fri May 07, 2010 2:20 pm

jonsjourney wrote:
Is that an "A" in your statement?
It is!
Cool. At least I know we have an excellent starting point in which our assumptions are being based on, yours and mine.
For instance, you could have been a strict illusionist and wouldn't see that this letter "A" that I typed as an "A" but rather a "B" even though on my computer keyboard those two signs are in two different places. It's good to get that out of the way on tiny things like one letter before entering into any more complicated discussions.

- thank you
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Post by adirondack » Fri May 07, 2010 2:32 pm

Evinnra wrote:Yes, on the end of the day we do need common sense to survive. Despite appearances I don't mind relativism per se. As a matter of fact I consider the encounter with different perspectives to be the spice of life.
I'd have to say this thread has been one of the most enlightening threads that I've come across on the internet ever! I've run across self-proclaimed pomo's before, and others that call themselves skeptics. I know others that have defended their way as being sophist. I understand where they are coming from, but I don't expect they will know where I am coming from. I have found that frustrating in the past. I try and have been able to understand what they mean, but some self-proclaimed skeptics will not budge on trying to understand me. They'll even agree with me but will find something to quibble about whether it's a name given to a concept or will only focus on the semantics and will never venture into the meaningful substance. I've run across others, again all self-proclaimed skeptics, that practice what I'm saying but will not name it that. Others that talk about preferences and individuality, but denounce my individuality and preferences.
Evinnra wrote:Joseph Campbell's greatest contribution to our global culture - I believe - was his research into the different mythological and religious paradigms of humanity, resulting in the realisation that on a fundamental epistemological level we are all connected. :)

p.s. Great link, thanks for sharing it. :lol: 8)
So you see on a fundamental level our knowledge having underlying connections? Not the ontological, or reality itself, but actual knowledge of this reality being connected though maybe named differently?
If there is a thread that delves into this more I'll be more than happy to read it. Point me the way. Thanks.
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Post by adirondack » Fri May 07, 2010 4:02 pm

noman wrote:Yes Neo - you're beginning to understand. Pomo began as a rejection of 'the self' of modernity. But ended up as being all about the self and self promotion. That is why Tom Wolf called us the 'Me Generation'. One sociologist called it MeWorld. When there are no meta-narratives, not even the pretension of one, everyone's middle name becomes WDIG (What do I get?)
noman, I'm thoroughly enjoying this thread. And your posts have put a finger on what I've run across too, but you've been able to expand on the subject in a way that I've never come across. I thank you.

I know these are old posts, but archives can be grand. In economics there is a theory called Time Preference Theory that correlates interest rates with the time preferences people hold. High Time Preference is what children usually have and adults experience this as well. It is the 'live in the moment' mentality. It's completely ok to 'live in the moment' when I go and buy today's meal. But there is the other side to this. Low Time Preference is where capital is saved. It is the 'wait for a rainy day' mentality. These are not separated, meaning, one person solely has low or high time preferences. But at any given moment a person may be experiencing one of these time preferences. Knowledge accumulated and stored for later is a low time preference mentality. It's wisdom that is passed down from generation to generation. It's investing in the future, meaning, buying up production means such as new technology or investing in raw materials that will become a factory or school someday.

This ties into interest rates because low interest rates influence high time preferences. Credit is cheap (that's low interest rates), loans are available for many people, spend, spend, spend, now, now, now. Put it on the credit card, get loans for projects now even though one really doesn't have the real wealth (savings) to pay for the project. It is hoped that the project will pay for itself over time. That's an excellent idea and what innovation is about or a new capital venture, but to do it without the backing of real wealth from somebody but is rather risked all on credit is a very high time preference activity. There is no wisdom or capital that has accumulated over the years to actually pay for the project. There is no foresight, which logic and wisdom fosters.

It is natural for humans to fulfill current needs now, especially when those needs can be filled now. When the cheap credit is there. And in a culture that has a large, expansive access to cheap credit, if one business doesn't expand to compete with another business that has accepted the cheap credit and is expanding, then the first business mentioned here is small and is up against another business that has access to so much more money. Yet that money was loaned with low interest rates. It is cheap credit. And such a business that is using those cheap loans has all of this loaned money to out-compete other businesses. Yet it's not money based on capital profits of real wealth. It's money to out-compete other businesses based on cheap credit. So other businesses need to get into the game or else these businesses with all of this cheap credit will out spend them on new projects and new in-roads into society to get to the customers. It becomes a whole culture based on credit driven expansion. But it is unsustainable in the long run because either (1) the credit transformed into money, money that wasn't already present sitting in somebody savings, but money that appeared from printing at the Federal Reserve dilutes the monetary value of money. More money means the money becomes less valuable because there's more of it. So prices of products have to go up. It's basic supply and demand. (2) Businesses that use savings and real wealth (capital) to expand can't keep up with all this easy credit so their real savings are depleted. It removes real wealth from the whole of society and in the long run the society doesn't possess real wealth but depends on credit instead.

Now when interest rates are lowered on purpose, meaning, artificial interest rates not based on actual market forces, but are lowered because the Federal Reserve is trying to "stimulate" the economy to forever expand and to sustain the status quo companies from being effected by companies that are more efficient in being able to reach the demands of consumers, those status quo companies thereby have no incentive at all to serve the consumers, meaning, society or their own workers. They do not need to be efficient. They do not need to offer anything that encourages the workers to want to work for them. Such companies can be terrible to their workers and to society at large because they are protected by legislation from having to actually perform effectively with the rest of society. They don't need to because even when they do terribly they will stay in business. This disincentive to serve the consumer, meaning, society at large is what breeds anti-social behaviors (socio-pathic) behaviors within those businesses.

So artificial low interest rates over a whole of an economy creates a rat race of businesses having to access cheap credit or else their neighbor company will and force them out of business. The low interest rates stimulate the "me, me, me" in the human condition. The spend now, go into debt now, and who cares what this does to the future or our children, etc.... The high time preference mentality, especially when low interest rates are kept there artificially for long periods of time which is usually where they are at in most countries except brief periods they are raised because of the unsustainability factors. Mainstream economists know easy credit can't go on forever but try to keep it there as long as they can to the detriment of society as a whole. It is the party until you drop mentality of high time preferences. Now, now, now, and let's not think about how this is destroying the economy tomorrow. To think of tomorrow would be to retrieve the wisdom of old to save for a rainy day. But artificially stimulated high time preference mentalities via low interest rates counters wisdom. To even be able to save becomes worthless because to hold onto money or certain investments lose their value. Average prices on food and energy costs in the U.S. has gone up 18% in the past year.

{source: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id ... _article=1}

For example, say I'm a restaurant owner, if I would have saved $1000 in order to expand my menu the following year (the dollar amount doesn't need to be accurate, meaning of course $1000 dollars wouldn't buy much to expand a menu, etc...., but the concept remains intact.). But now food prices have gone up. That $1000 isn't worth the same amount it was last year. Saving money is actually losing money. This isn't a savings culture. It's not capitalistic and has been anti-capitalistic, meaning, anti-savings for nearly a century with moments throughout history even before the U.S. existed this earth has experienced anti-saving mentalities that effect whole societies.

The point being that interest rates in the control of central planners who artificially raise and lower them not based on demand (consumers, and everybody is a consumer that buys). They raise and lower them based on their own "planning". On what they think is best, not what each individual throughout society thinks is best for him or her self. They don't have the knowledge to know how every single individual person will make their choice in the market on what he or she wants. They can't read minds. Central planners are always trying to dictate underlying spontaneous orders and throughout history fail miserably no matter what central planners get their hands on.

So there is the economic connection in which pomo has entered. Mainstream economists in the universities and elsewhere have stopped debating the accumulated knowledge of economics decades ago. And they recently admit that they have done some things wrong with the economy, eg. Alan Greenspan.
Article wrote:Critics, including many economists, now blame the former Fed chairman for the financial crisis that is tipping the economy into a potentially deep recession. Mr. Greenspan’s critics say that he encouraged the bubble in housing prices by keeping interest rates too low for too long and that he failed to rein in the explosive growth of risky and often fraudulent mortgage lending.

“You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the committee. “Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”

Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”


{source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/busin ... panel.html}

Within the mainstream economic field there is not one perspective on how to centrally plan the economy. There are numerous because they don't know the best way to do it. The Fed. Chairman goes to the Senate and says, 'We are trying creative maneuvers'. Translation: They haven't a clue what to do, but they keep meddling in the economy, admitting, they don't know how to 'meddle in the economy' in an appropriate way. But it's an institution and Congress demands via legislation that the Fed. Reserve find a way. Basically society is a bunch of guinea pigs being experimented on.
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Post by adirondack » Fri May 07, 2010 5:49 pm

noman quoting BLY wrote:
BLY: Yes, yes, there is a difference between proper and improper art. It isn’t all the same. Political art can be to some extent improper. You can still respect it but you can see it more clearly. I have done both kinds; I have done proper and improper art but I didn’t understand the difference. Joseph’s explanation of these functions of myth is really important. Therefore there is something wonderful in him because he is like the classic older man who takes the highest ideas of the civilization and carries them and allows them to appear.

The Hero’s Journey p192
This had me thinking about sensitivity. That which is tender involves a buffer of clarity to be able to put what is into an abstract thought. It is that abstract thought that thereby can be manipulated and intellectually grasped within any individual. It's possessing a thought and then mulling or turning it about in ones head looking at the thought from different angles. Walking around the thought as if it is a sculpture on display, but the abstract thought is on display in ones own head.

I can sit here and wander around a thought in my head, looking at it from different directions while the thought sits or rotates and I can see the content of the thought, pondering, but then figuring out that some thoughts hold content that needs safeguarding in order to deliberate upon whatever that thought is grounded in reality upon.

The more I am stimulated by outside interferences, especially of note those that cause pain and fear, because then my body goes into a fight or flight experience, closing itself off from the world anything that will distracts or implies harm. Not only does the blood pull back in the cold towards my heart to protect what is cherishably mine to live tomorrow, but what of those inner sensitivities of beauty. On the battlefield would I paint in the crossfire?

It's a focus upon the threat. Traumatized. And this can last. It can sustain itself, depending on how much bad news there is and how much I might be bombarded by such bad news. But then when I find myself in a moment of peace, something inside of me peers out, looks around, and cautiously shows it's head.
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Post by adirondack » Fri May 07, 2010 6:30 pm

noman wrote:Metaphorically, it is the point at which we cross the ‘event horizon’ into what I call the black hole of evil, the threshold to a place where language and logic and reason have no value and everything is either self-referential and/or self-contradictory.
Maybe this 'event horizon' is the act of 'going unconscious' where the forms, or the underlying patterns of myth that Campbell wrote about (Jung too) go unconscious. Traumatic events influencing 'sensitive things' to become swallowed up by the unconscious. Logic being what foresight is, ie. implying contingent possibilities, will formulate projections that are false or true. What is false or true can be logically deducted, the falsity or truth-value derived in accord with epistemological means.

Like the hunter seeing another predator come across the prey, ie. deer, and the man-hunter pierced with acute awareness as a cougar comes into sight, what to do? For the moment, many things that the man-hunter possibly does generally in life are put on hold. If a daughter was nearby this wouldn't be the time to play in happy laughter running around in a circle as some loving fathers do with their children. There's a cougar present, remember? So what to do? How many cougars are present with some people on a day to day basis thereby what were once consciously enjoyed become swallowed by the unconscious, put on the back burner so to speak, in hopes at first to be enjoyed another day, but then become lost. Sometimes what become lost are golden nuggets of truth that only generations later the great, great, great grandson stumbles upon a long lost treasure that was always there, but simply put on the back burner of the unconscious, seemingly forgotten, lost, and buried long ago.
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Post by Evinnra » Sat May 08, 2010 5:29 am

adirondack wrote:
I'd have to say this thread has been one of the most enlightening threads that I've come across on the internet ever! ...
Thank you adirondack. :) Our forum moderators Clemsy, Bodhibliss and Matin worked diligently for a good number of years to make this place a quality 'spot' on the internet. Hopefully Noman will also return to post here, soon - otherwise I will personally put pressure on him by sending e-mails to him.
Evinnra wrote:Joseph Campbell's greatest contribution to our global culture - I believe - was his research into the different mythological and religious paradigms of humanity, resulting in the realisation that on a fundamental epistemological level we are all connected. :)

p.s. Great link, thanks for sharing it. :lol: 8)
So you see on a fundamental level our knowledge having underlying connections? Not the ontological, or reality itself, but actual knowledge of this reality being connected though maybe named differently?
If there is a thread that delves into this more I'll be more than happy to read it. Point me the way. Thanks.
Yes, adirondack, I believe on a fundamental level we are connected through the one truth there is. Not all of us have equal access to the truth, but we all have some access to it, hence we can communicate with each other. Perhaps our moderators would be able to direct you better than myself to other threads relating to this topic. Currently, the thread 'Republic of Fools' is one that I believe touches on this topic. Please feel free to join us there. :)
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Post by Evinnra » Sat May 08, 2010 6:09 am

adirondack wrote:
noman wrote:Yes Neo - you're beginning to understand. Pomo began as a rejection of 'the self' of modernity. But ended up as being all about the self and self promotion. That is why Tom Wolf called us the 'Me Generation'. One sociologist called it MeWorld. When there are no meta-narratives, not even the pretension of one, everyone's middle name becomes WDIG (What do I get?)
noman, I'm thoroughly enjoying this thread. And your posts have put a finger on what I've run across too, but you've been able to expand on the subject in a way that I've never come across. I thank you.

....


The point being that interest rates in the control of central planners who artificially raise and lower them not based on demand (consumers, and everybody is a consumer that buys). They raise and lower them based on their own "planning". On what they think is best, not what each individual throughout society thinks is best for him or her self. They don't have the knowledge to know how every single individual person will make their choice in the market on what he or she wants. They can't read minds. Central planners are always trying to dictate underlying spontaneous orders and throughout history fail miserably no matter what central planners get their hands on.
So there is the economic connection in which pomo has entered. Mainstream economists in the universities and elsewhere have stopped debating the accumulated knowledge of economics decades ago. And they recently admit that they have done some things wrong with the economy, eg. Alan Greenspan.
Article wrote:Critics, including many economists, now blame the former Fed chairman for the financial crisis that is tipping the economy into a potentially deep recession. Mr. Greenspan’s critics say that he encouraged the bubble in housing prices by keeping interest rates too low for too long and that he failed to rein in the explosive growth of risky and often fraudulent mortgage lending.

“You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the committee. “Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”

Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”


{source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/busin ... panel.html}

Within the mainstream economic field there is not one perspective on how to centrally plan the economy. There are numerous because they don't know the best way to do it. The Fed. Chairman goes to the Senate and says, 'We are trying creative maneuvers'. Translation: They haven't a clue what to do, but they keep meddling in the economy, admitting, they don't know how to 'meddle in the economy' in an appropriate way. But it's an institution and Congress demands via legislation that the Fed. Reserve find a way. Basically society is a bunch of guinea pigs being experimented on.
The highlighted part above explains perfectly how we have blinded our senses to recognise economic reality in the here and now. It is not that centrally governed economies can not function at all - as they function rather well for a short period of time - but centrally governed economies lose sensitivity to the usefulness or actual quality of things. The solution must be in the knowing of what is the ballanced approach. to progress. Right :?
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Post by jonsjourney » Sat May 08, 2010 11:30 am

I think it might be interesting to take a look at something like depression in a modern vs postmodern perspective, although I acknowledge the topic is more subtle and complex than something that can be boiled down to an either/or proposition.

From a modernist perspective, we assume that those who create antidepressant drugs and encourage those with depression to seek effective psychotherapy because research indicates that a.) depression is a disease, and b.) these treatments are effective for those who suffer. The assumption is made that those who are in power operate under a system of good ethics and with the best interest of patients and the general public in mind. Their is a level of faith in science, and those who operate under its flag, as having integrity and objectivity.

From a postmodern perspective, we challenge the motives behind why depression is categorized as a disease, in spite of there being little, if any, evidence of physiological anomaly. In addition, we challenge the motive of the drug companies who research, manufacture, and market the "solution" to the disease. We are skeptical because we have learned that when profit is the primary motive, the corporate machine cares little, if at all, about ethics. The idea of faith is left to those who sit in a pew. A postmodernist needs no "faith", they have experience, and information. This information frequently conflicts with the advertised message, so we begin to parse out farce from fact.

In many ways, in my view, a modernist perspective supports social stratification as a fact of life and that those who do not rise up to, or above, their station in life fail because they are incapable of playing the game properly...or worse, are unwilling to play at all. It is a veiled caste mentality. In Sociology, this represents a "structural-functionalist" type of perspective. This view essentially says that society works the way it works because that is how it is supposed to work. So things like slavery, inequality, racism, war, poverty, gender stereotypes, etc...are functional parts of a society and we just have to accept that.

A postmodern perspective says, "Oh, hell no!" A social stratification is called what it is, a system that keeps those with the most means in power and those with less means in a position of little, if any, power. The various tools employed to maintain the status quo are identified and criticized. A relativist perspective is adopted because the idea is understood that "objectivity" is largely a part of the stratified system that supports the industries that have created "objective reality". In my view, there is no "real" objective reality, but rather more of a "collective relativity" (as groups we reach a consensus, which is subject to change and does not apply to all people at all times). Just because 2, 50, or 50,000 people agree about something does not necessarily make it a concrete reality. Remember...there was a time when the masses believed in witches, trolls, and dragons. If a person during the great witch hunts dared to question the reality of witches, they were accused and burned as one of the offenders. A mass carrying pitchforks believed in an objective reality that did not exist. Not to mention the multitudes of scientifically accepted ideas and theories that have gone the way of the dodo.

I think it is human nature to want to believe that there are things we can hang our hat on as solid and unchanging. I also think this is why so many suffer so much.
"He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." -Douglas Adams
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Post by Neoplato » Sat May 08, 2010 12:45 pm

JJ Wrote:
I think it is human nature to want to believe that there are things we can hang our hat on as solid and unchanging. I also think this is why so many suffer so much.
And from another point of view, depression is nothing more than another negative emotion that can be overcome by meditation and training the mind.

And most importantly, this view doesn't generate deception, falsehood or negativity. :wink:
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