Nobility of spirit

Nobility of spirit is the grace––or ability––to play, whether in heaven or on earth.

-- Joseph Campbell
The Masks of God 1: Primitive Mythology (27)
Find more quotations at www.jcf.org/quotes

The Masks of God, Volume 1: Primitive Mythology

Volume 1: Primitive Mythology: The primitive roots of the mythology of the world are examined in light of the most recent discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, and psychology. The Masks of God is a four-volume study of world religion and myth that stands as one of Joseph Campbell's masterworks. On completing it, he wrote:
Its main result for me has been the confirmation of a thought I have long and faithfully entertained: of the unity of the race of man, not only in its biology, but also in its spiritual history, which has everywhere unfolded in the manner of a single symphony, with its themes announced, developed, amplified and turned about, distorted, reasserted, and today, in a grand fortissimo of all sections sounding together, irrestibly advancing to some kind of mighty climax, out of which the next great movement will emerge.
Other quotations from this Title
First among the features of the great [paleolithic] caves that are of paramount importance to our study is the fact that these deep, labyrinthine grottos were not dwellings but sanctuaries . . . The enigmatic figures painted into the crypts and deepest recesses of the caves almost certainly hold in their silence the myths of the ultimate source of the magical efficacy of these magnificent shrines. [share]
For the human mind in its polarity of the male and female modes of experience, in its passages from infancy to adulthood and old age, in its toughness and tenderness, and in its continuing dialogue with the world, is the ultimate mythogenetic zone—the creator and the destroyer, the slave and yet the master, of all the gods. [share]
Nobility of spirit is the grace––or ability––to play, whether in heaven or on earth. [share]
The mask in a primitive festival is revered and experienced as a veritable apparition of the mythical being that it represents-even though everyone knows that a man made the mask and that a man is wearing it. The one wearing it, furthermore, is identified with the god during the time of the ritual of which the mask is a part. He does not merely represent the god; he is the god. [share]
Whenever men have looked for something solid on which to found their lives, they have chosen not the facts in which the world abounds, but the myths of an immemorial imagination. [share]