Sunday, June 17, 2012

From Myths to Live By

Have been gone a lot lately.   Back to Campbell's Myths to Live By

These passages contrast Freud and Jung.  Freud being the boneheaded rationalist whereas Jung  while modern does finds a wisdom and depth from the religious and mythical.

His (Freud's) psychology, however, being of an essentially rational kind, insufficiently attentive to the more deeply based, irrational impulsions of our nature, he assumed that when a custom or belief was shown to be unreasonable, it would presently disappear. And how wrong he was can be shown simply by pointing to any professor of philosophy at play in a bowling alley: watch him twist and turn after the ball has left his hand, to bring it over to the standing pins.

And thus Freud, like Frazer, judged the worlds of myth, magic, and religion negatively, as errors to be refuted, surpassed, and supplanted finally by science.

An altogether different approach is represented by Carl G. Jung, in whose view the imageries of mythology and religion serve positive, life-furthering ends. According to his way of thinking, all the organs of our bodies—not only those of sex and aggression—have their purposes and motives, some being subject to conscious control, others, however, not. Our outward-oriented consciousness, addressed to the demands of the day, may lose touch with these inward forces; and the myths, states Jung, when correctly read, are the means to bring us back in touch. They are telling us in picture language of powers of the psyche to be recognized and integrated in our lives, powers that have been common to the human spirit forever, and which represent that wisdom of the species by which man has weathered the millenniums. Thus they have not been, and can never be, displaced by the findings of science, which relate rather to the outside world than to the depths that we enter in sleep. Through a dialogue conducted with these inward forces through our dreams and through a study of myths, we can learn to know and come to terms with the greater horizon of our own deeper and wiser, inward self. And analogously, the society that cherishes and keeps its myths alive will be nourished from the soundest, richest strata of the human spirit.

They speak, therefore, not of outside events but of themes of the imagination.

Taken as referring not to any geographical scene, but to a landscape of the soul, that Garden of Eden would have to be within us.

That would seem to be the meaning of the myth when read, not as prehistory, but as referring to man’s inward spiritual state.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Fleetwood Mac-Hypnotized (High Quality) Updated Post

previous video replaced with the one above

At times I have feared that the world is one great clockwork machine just as the spiritual legacy of Isaac Newton and Thomas Jefferson and other Enlightenment thinkers has informed us. But one afternoon in 1975 I was walking past the desk of a classmate in a lab in the engineering school at the University of Virginia and this was playing. It put me in a trance at that moment and I have never forgotten it. I have replayed this music through the years and it has promised me, it has tantalized me with the tease that there is the possibility of something else. It conveys feelings that words cannot explain very easily. It has always inspired me and given me hope that the mystery of life has a positive and uplifting end. Not reduced to dreary mechanical laws devoid of hope and meaning. It has always been one of my favorite sermons. Thank you Bob Welch.  Bob wrote and performed this with Fleetwood Mac when he was with them.  Today he died.

Ironically, this video features mesmerizing astronomy pictures.  The very thing that helped our 16th and 17th century scientists begin to discover the mathematical and mechanical nature of the World.  Many thanks are due to them.

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