Life is but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death, then, but another mask? ‘How many can say,’ asks the Aztec poet, ‘that there is, or is not, a truth beyond?’
-- Joseph Campbell
Mythic Image, The (p. 160)
Find more quotations at www.jcf.org/quotes
The Mythic Image
Imagery, especially the imagery of dreams, is the basis of mythology. Joseph Campbell's words are at once the inspiration and explanation for this book - a searching of the mythology of the world's high civilizations over five millennia through nearly four hundred and fifty illustrations of mythic art from Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, European, and Olmec culture. Starting with the relation of dreams to myth, Joseph Campbell distinguishes two orders of myth: that of the relatively simple, nonliterate folk traditions, and that of the infinitely more complex literate civilizations that culminated in the triad of the great world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. He traces the development of these immeasurably influential mythologies and, with text and pictures, demonstrates the important differences between Oriental and Occidental interpretations of dreams and life.