Life is joyful just as it is

Life is joyful just as it is. I don’t believe there was anybody who intended it, but this is the way it is. James Joyce has a memorable line: ‘History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.’ And the way to wake from it is not to be afraid, and to recognize that all of this, as it is, is a manifestation of the horrendous power that is of all creation. The ends of things are always painful. But pain is part of there being a world at all.

-- Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers (book) (p. 65)
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Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers (book)

These stimulating conversations between inspirational scholar Joseph Campbell and veteran journalist Bill Moyers created a national sensation when they first aired on public television. In lively, expansive dialogues, the two men discuss how myths hold the key to understanding human experience. They may vary superficially from culture to culture, but at their deepest level they all reveal the path to self-fulfillment, social integration, and ultimately, transcendence. The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” With Bill Moyers, one of America’s most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit. This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell’s work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.