The World Person Myth; my personal version

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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Roncooper
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The World Person Myth; my personal version

Post by Roncooper » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:53 pm

Campbell said we need a new mythology. One that was for the whole world, and I think he was right. We need it now more than when he said those words. So, trying to be a good student, I created my own version.

This myth has helped me make sense of human society and human behavior as a whole, and so it has helped me. This skeptic has to admit that you folks are right. My myth helps keep me sane.

I am not going to write some giant tome because I have no talent as a writer and I'm certain it would bore even me. Instead I am going to post little bits in no particular order. Just for entertainment. I invite everyone to tell me where I am wrong. That way I can learn. Here goes.

The World Person has a strong will, a loving heart, an awakened consciousness, artistic talent with an eye for beauty, and a rational intellect. This complex person has developed these qualities to the point that each has an inner life of its own and they are integrated into the whole individual the way that fingers are integrated into the hand. Five strong fingers serve better than one big one.

The fact that each quality is developed means that each has a wisdom and a story. There is a wisdom of the heart and a wisdom of the will, and they have stories that present their perspectives.

To start with I am going pick one quality and expand on it. Choosing one that is most dear to me, I will start with the intellect.

According to written history Thales of Miletus is given credit for starting the intellectual path. He said that we should look for reasonable explanations for happenings, and with that the path grew.

In Greece the intellectual path was growing by leaps and bounds, but then tragedy struck. Greece was conquered and intellectuals became the property of the powerful. They were prized by their ability to produce practical results and while this was good for the society it caused harm to the intellectual path itself. I compare this event to the destruction of the Goddess mythologies.

Most intellectuals developed a slave mentality. Everything had to be practical. If you ask an intellectual why love exists, they will answer something like; To improve the chances of survival. Which is a very practical answer. They forget that we love things that are bad for us or that we love for the sake of loving.

In this system daydreaming is bad. One shouldn't waste their time on questions that can't be answered.

These enslaved intellectuals developed a philosophy called materialism that provided psychological support for their resigned perspective. However some intellectual saw further and were lucky enough to be able to pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge. They were able to travel the path for its own sake and this expanded our intellectual dimension.

The great Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman explained that daydreaming and playing was an essential part of his success. He also told his fellow physicists to never do anything for practical reasons. Of course he was speaking to specialists.

I have to stop now. Hopefully, for me, I will continue later.
Alephwyr
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Post by Alephwyr » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:02 pm

It's interesting, but it's a bit too meta. You're apparently creating myth about myth! I'm also not sure it makes room for everyone, since not everyone is capable of all of those things. I certainly am no artist. Those are the only real criticisms I have of it. I like the general idea and where you're going with it.
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:06 pm

Hey Ron; there are a lot of interesting ideas you propose here.

Indeed the times we are living in now cause great concern for many of us; and your considerations are good food for thought. Joseph really opened the door in exposing so much of the world's great cultures to global society and when you add in the environmental factors such as climate change and global warming it seems to truly add impetus for mankind to contemplate them; especially considering the catastrophic alternative of doing nothing. On so many fronts it seems as though humanity is besieged no matter how one looks at the future if the planet is to survive. I'm certainly not suggesting that all is lost but it would seem that globally speaking human beings would try and look for possible solutions instead of going down many of the same old paths of behavior.

Joseph mentioned that: "the world is a mess and will always be a mess"; and given this understanding I think his use of many of Carl Jung's ideas might also be helpful to consider here as to mankind's mental and emotional makeup concerning his behavioral problems. But then there is the problem of consensus or agreement to be reached among the various different groups as to who is right and how to go about things. The older I get it seems the more my day to day concerns have to do with my humble efforts at fixing issues within myself and my own little world; ( the load which seems to grow bigger all the time); but I suppose some of that has to do with aging as well as the shape of things living in an ever increasing technical and complex time.

I'm concerned of course about the world my daughter and grandchild will inherit; but if experience has taught me anything it's what Joseph Campbell said about - "following your bliss"; which is: (finding the voice of one's own path that speaks to you within yourself and following that as the most important thing). Another thing Joseph said that comes to mind about following your bliss is: (" to follow the push out of one's own eternity and existence and the deep sense of being in it; and by following that doors will open where you didn't know there were going to be doors and there wouldn't be a door for anyone else"); so that in essence one becomes the author of their own story and their own personal myth and out of that will come the life and the person who they were meant to become; i.e. the "Individuation" process might be something good to add here for instance. (At least that's my sense of it.) And although as he also said: "the world is perfect just as it is"; perhaps it might be seen that the world by one's participation in the game also becomes a manifestation of that perfection as well.

This I think is part of what he meant by the monomyth or "Hero's Journey" in that the qualities out of one's own character that are evoked and brought into the effort improves the landscape of the world for us all within this mystery of the awe of existence. By that I mean if Shakespeare's quote of: "All the world's a stage and we are merely players" perhaps it is people like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi for instance would seem like two pretty good examples. And if we look at this sense of a "timeless ground" on which we stand or exist then it may not be such a stretch to imagine as Ron suggests of seeing things from a different perspective of deeds and acts that help to bring forth this new type of myth. But I think it is this realization of the (metaphor) or "by example" that is the main clue here in this regard concerning any type of particular religion, mythology or spiritual path; because Joe also mentions the gods; the myths; and the acts of individuals all point to potentials that are within everyone. And by following these we ourselves become signs or references as well. He also said: " I never met an (ordinary) human being in my life. We are "all" heros is his point here I think.

This idea of fixing the world is tricky business in some ways I think. Man has done an incredible job of messing a lot of things up like causing wars or contaminating the environment for instance; and the planet could certainly use some help by "participating in the game"; as it were. But I think certain distinctions are also important in how one interprets this. Religious viewpoints might be a perfect example to keep in mind in this application.


(BTW; A hearty welcome to the forums Alephwyr. )

Indeed I think it is important that each of us must find our own way; that is if I am interpreting correctly what you may be suggesting here; and that path is unique for each of us which is also part of what one might view as the "monomyth" template. At any rate; Ron you bring some very thoughtful input to contemplate. 8)


Namaste :)



Addendum
: Although my emphasis in this particular post has been about the hero's quest; ( which by the way Joseph also includes the scientist and the artist as additional vehicles of delivery for illumination ); he also makes a special effort of pointing out that the old order of things with their defined borders of definition and exclusion have now fallen or dissolved to make way for a new consciousness to evolve. But no one knows exactly what that will be yet. And it is the hero's journey into the dark forrest to obtain the Grail that represents one of the metaphors by which we might follow it's path to our own enlightenment.

I saw this quote of Joseph's on the homepage just now and thought how interesting that it appeared at this moment. "Original Experience" was the part to me that seemed to apply in this particular instance.

[Heroes have] moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience—that is the hero’s deed.

Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers

Cheers :)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:07 am

Alephwyr,

Thank you for the insightful comments. I am creating a framework for the myth and not the myth. This is because I am not a creative writer. A framework is probably the best I can do.

Second, as James points out, the world person represents the ideal for all humanity and is therefore more internally diverse. The qualities I listed roughly agree with what Jung called the functions of the psyche and he pointed out that we are not versed in all of these. but that we have a dominate one.

These are intellect, emotion, sensation, and intuition. For some reason He left off willfulness. Perhaps he considered it to be the backdrop for the others. My world person is a master of all of these, whereas we are usually a master of one.

By the way, after reading your dreams, I think you are very strong artistically. I have boring little dreams that I don't even think are in color.
Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:26 am

James,

You make several good points as usual. I agree that the hero's journey is part of everyone's psychological growth, but I am after a myth that is both objective and subjective. One that includes the major world traditions in a meaningful way and establishes a common ground.

In my myth the Old Testament, Quran, and Confucianism all have something to say. The New Testament and the Upanishads tell different important stories. They are like early scientific theories, like Aristotelian physics, that needed to be updated not rejected. They were tremendous early efforts.

The secret to synthesizing this is to recognize and honor our inner diversity without resorting to "it's all relative," which is a cop out in my opinion.

Inspired by your comments I will plow ahead in the morning.
Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:05 pm

Well I decided to take your advice and redo the myth in story form with a journey. This is going to take a while.
Be back soon.
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:37 pm

Ron:
Well I decided to take your advice and redo the myth in story form with a journey. This is going to take a while.
Be back soon.

Ron your post reminded me of a very special myth I'm sure you are probably already familiar with and I thought it might offer a fanciful metaphor to inspire and entertain your "muse" while you are composing your story. Cindy shared this first link when some of us were exploring a bit of J.R.R. Tolkien's cosmology. It is a wonderful but quite a massive site but is a great resource for learning more about his other work than just "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings".

http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp


(These second gateway and timeline links I came across also offers more of his epic saga and large universe as well.)

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Main_Page

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Timeline


Like "Star Wars" or "King Arthur" it is the special element or quality within myth that both evokes and inspires the best that is within us.


(Much luck in your quest.) 8)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:18 pm

James,

Thanks for the source material. I am getting some ideas.
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