My magnificent master and great friend of many years ago, Heinrich Zimmer (1890-1943), had a saying: “The best things can’t be told: the second best are misunderstood.” The second best are misunderstood because, as metaphors poetically of what cannot be told, they are misread prosaically as referring to tangible facts.
My magnificent master and great friend
-- Joseph Campbell
Inner Reaches of Outer Space, The (p. xxiii )
Find more quotations at www.jcf.org/quotes
Developed from a memorable series of lectures delivered in San Francisco, which included a legendary symposium at the Palace of Fine Arts with astronaut Rusty Schweickart, this book--the last Campbell completed in his lifetime--explores the space age. Campbell posits that the newly discovered laws of outer space are actually at work within human beings as well and that a new mythology is implicit in this realization. He examines the new mythology and other questions in these essays. Reviews: This book, more than any other, unambiguously delineates his basic understanding of mythology and religion....Inveterate underliners will be tempted to highlight things on virtually every page.— Parabola The wealth and breadth of reference in this small book is truly prodigious ...as Campbell now soars like an eagle to a generalization about The Big Bang, now dives like a hawk to a precise description of the color and number of lotus petals in each of the seven centers of the chakra system, rendering both lucid in a single universe of discourse. — Newsday