Mythology and the rites through which its imagery is rendered open the mind . . . not only to the local social order, but also to the mythic dimension of being – of nature – which is within as well as without, and thereby finally at one with itself. Moreover, the sentiments of this nature within are indeed innate: of love, for example, hate, fear, and disdain, wonder, terror, and joy. They are not ‘developed in the individual,’ as the anthropologist states, ‘by the action of society upon him,’ but evoked by these means and directed to social ends. Nature is prime: it is there at birth; Society is next: it is only a shaper of Nature, and a function, moreover, of what it shapes; whereas Nature is deep and, finally, as inscrutable as Being itself.
The Flight of the Wild Gander: Selected Essays 1944 - 1968
Review: In this book, as in his other work, Campbell displays his immense learning, drawing evidence to support his case from virtually every branch of human knowledge. —The New York Times Book Review Campbell has become one of the rarest of intellectuals in American life: a serious thinker who had been embraced by the popular culture. — Newsweek