Interpreting Symbolic Forms (Audio: Lecture I.5.1)
One way… to destroy the value and spiritual effect of a symbol of this spiritual kind is to say that it refers to a historical event. A spiritual symbol, a religious symbol, a mythic symbol is valid and true here, now and for always. It is not a reference to something that happened somewhere else at another time. —Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell uses the biblical tale of the Garden of Eden as the starting point for an exploration of how we interpret symbolic forms. Observing that certain Western religious traditions view this story of Man’s “fall from grace” as a recounting of an actual event, he insists that this literal, historical perspective provides a limited understanding of the Garden story.
Running time: approx. 60 minutes