A Joseph Campbell Companion-Reflections on the Art of Living

This is a forum to discuss specific questions, thoughts and issues raised in the books (paper and electronic) that are part of The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell.

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CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:35 pm

I keep going back to the Companion, David. It's one of the pithiest little things I've ever read. When I agree with him, the truth of it all just seems so obvious. When I disagree, I chalk it up to the fact that he was only one man who lived but one life.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:23 pm

Tfik wrote: I hope my first post has not angered anyone rather that it may provoke responses that could be construed as being of value rather than purely of defence of the Foundation. My intention is not to attack or denigrate in any way but to open an altruistic discussion rather than being very polite, politically correct and praising a man that although extraordinary in his understanding would in my humble opinion not wish to be held up as some kind of Guru. He had a teaching yes but to share with us not to teach down to us.
Hi Tfik....

I'm not sure what the difference is between a Guru and a teacher or guide. Adults generally tend to respond to guidance from another person with a grain of salt, even when we trust experts with our problems and our lives. I hope we don't come across as going overly gaga over our good man Campbell, and if you are game, you can certainly challenge us as you see fit.

We welcome your comments, and we are happy that you joined the Conversations.

Carmela
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:27 pm

Cindy,

I read a lot of the material from the other threads. Your comments about the female hero (remember that Hero was a goddess) are spot on.

Now, I'm more ambivalent than ever about my wish to pursue THE public office, but for some reason, it is hard to let go of the possibility that my message may still resonate, especially with women.

One of the struggles of a woman who aspires to a traditionally male role is that she brings an "other" experience to the mix.

Carmela
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Have a NOOK & purchased ebook of Reflections...

Post by stardazer » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:09 pm

Hi,

Recently I selected a NOOK Tablet from an award catalog where I work and have just acquired Reflections on the Art of Living as an ebook, my second ebook purchase. I bought the original HB version in April 1994 and it was a life changer. I credit Reflections with successfully navigating me through my 40's and have since given copies to selected acquaintances as graduation or milestone birthday celebration presents. I look forwards to browsing its contents in this format. Opening its pages at any point in time in the interim refreshes my soul anew, regardless how many occasions I have read the same passages previously. I do have the lion's share of Professor Campbell's published works--mostly in HB--yet will eventually obtain several more in ebook format in the future. BTW, the first work I picked up as a newbie ebook reader was Doug Thorpe's Rapture of the Deep, which likewise has provided similar guidance through my mid 50's. Thank you for offering these esteemed works of Joseph Campbell as ebooks.
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Post by Clemsy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:39 pm

You're most welcome, Stardazer! We greatly appreciate your feedback.

Cheers,
Clemsy
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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Post by Persephonespring » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:05 pm

It's been a while since I've been here. I have had the hard copy of the Companion for years, read it cover to cover, multiple times. I found the digital version on line and take it with me when I travel.

It is a true treasure, to me.

Jan
Might be a drop in a bucket, but, as I like to say, no drops, no ocean. :-) Clemsy
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Post by CarmelaBear » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:28 am

Having digital versions of the Campbell material is a godsend.

:)
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by Grailking » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:53 am

I will be forever in debt to Joseph and the editor for
compiling this book. It is without a doubt one of the most
enlightened, down to earth from the heart books I have ever
read. I will revere it for the rest of my life.
so much satori... So much gold.
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Post by angusdegraosta » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:32 pm

Got Reflections on Kindle, read the awesome poetic quote collection at the beginning, saw the link to here, and said absolutely. Folks who dig Campbell are always a good bunch.
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Post by Cindy B. » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:09 pm

Welcome, Angus, glad that you found us. Summer posting is always a bit slow, though, so please bear with us, too.

:)
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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Post by Roncooper » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:24 am

I agree that this is a wonderful book. However, I have a question.

I have a first edition which begins with a quote from Einstein that is very misleading. I was wondering if this has been corrected or removed in later editions.

When Einstein said, "There is no place in this new kind of physics for both the field and matter, for the field is the only reality." He was talking about a kind of physics that he neither agreed with nor believed in.

Consider these facts.

Einstein received the Nobel prize for showing that the photon had to be a particle (matter).

Einstein believed in the dual nature of things in that they have both wave and particle natures. It is not either/or, but both.

He spent all of his later years trying to come up with a better system than quantum

mechanics, which he thought was incomplete.


It is very misleading to say that Einstein thought there were only waves.

I understand that someone on a mystical path like Buddhism or Adviata Hinduism might chose to believe that the self is an illusion, and if this helps them so much the better.

However Einstein believed in the scientific duality of both waves and particles because he was forced to by experimental results.

I personally believe that I exist but am not separate. The illusion is not of self but of separateness. This is consistent with the scientific duality.

Back to the original question. Does anyone know if the error has been corrected?
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Post by Roncooper » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:23 pm

I see that the Einstein reference comes from "The Tao of Physics." I have an old copy somewhere. I will look up the reference to see if the error originates there.

In my opinion, it is such a shame that this wonderful book begins with a misleading statement. This hurts its credibility.
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:52 pm

Hey, Ron.

Just adding to the pot...

Did you notice this in the Campbell book's end notes (no. 1) regarding the Einstein quote?

M. Capek, The Philosophical Implications of Contemporary Physics (Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand, 1961), p. 319; as cited in Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics (Boulder, CO: 1975), p. 21.

It seems that Capek was the original culprit. :P

Later!


P.S. By the way, this comes from the 1991 paperback edition.
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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Post by Roncooper » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:05 am

Cindy,

Thank you for the information. I looked up Capek's book at Amazon and they want $40 for a used paperback, so that won't happen. It had one (five star) review. The reviewer states
This is not the place for a detailed review, but it suffices to say that this is probably the best book in its genre: a VERY CAREFUL discussion of the inadequacy of all basic physical concepts (space, time, motion, mass, particle, etc). He carefully documents how the original physical concepts have gradually morphed into completely new concepts but retained the old names, contributing thus to a misleading 'unified' view of physics. Incredibly clear! It is not surprising that, not being a professional physicist (he was a professional philosopher with a master's degree in physics), the author does not propose an alternative foundation for physics, except to point to "events"--instead of "objects" or "particles"--as the fundamental starting concept.
If the reviewer is correct, then it is clear that the author held a non-material view of reality. From my readings of Alan Watts, I would say that he also held this view. It is a reasonable, although not mainstream, scientific view. That's not the problem. The problem is saying that this was Einstein's opinion.

From what I have read it is clear that Einstein accepted the experimental evidence that things have a dual nature. They are both wave and particle. It is also clear that everyone who has looked at this duality has questioned it, because it is not logical, and makes one's brain hurt.

Unfortunately, for the doubters, the data has been thoroughly reviewed, and this duality is here to stay.

From what I have gathered on the web, the editor, Diane Osbon, has passed away. I don't know if there will be a new addition, but it would really help improve the credibility of the book, if the Einstein quote were removed.

The question becomes, who would do that?
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Post by Seamcc » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:26 pm

Hello, I am new to the forum and glad to be reawakening my interest in Joseph Campbell's work, as well as his predecessors (Jung particularly). My first thoughts after reading the first electronic passage which directed me here, was the idea that this is an artful, though masculine heavy, symbolic means of looking at life's journey. I hope to hear more from Cindy and Carmela as I work my way through the readings. I thought the Marga section intro was interesting to me personally and feel that turning inward is definitely warranted in my own second half journeying.

Glad to be here among thoughtful reflection.

MaryHelen
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