Friday, September 26, 2008

Joseph Campbell - Initiation - Road of Trials

Medicine man
"In every primitive tribe we find the medicine man in the center of society and it is easy to show that the medicine man is either a neurotic or a psychotic or at least that his art is based on the same mechanisms as a neurosis or a psychosis. Human groups are actuated by their group ideals, and these are always based on the infantile situation. The infancy situation is modified or inverted by the process of maturation, again modified by the necessary adjustment to reality, yet it is there and supplies those unseen libidinal ties without which no human groups could exist." -Dr. Geza Roheim

The medicine men, therefore, are simply making both visible and public the systems of symbolic fantasy that are present in the psyche of every adult member of their society.

"They are the leaders in this infantile game and the lightning conductors of common anxiety. They fight the demons so that others can hunt the prey and in general fight reality."

"Dragons of this kind, which do not reveal themselves as dragons until one sees their wings, sumbolize false love." -Swedenborg

"The problem is not new, for all ages before us have believed in gods in some form or other. Only an unparalleled impoverishment of symbolism could enable us to rediscover the gods as psychic factors, that is, as archetypes of the unconscious...Heaven has become for us the cosmic space of the physicists, and the divine empyrean a fair memory of things that once were. But 'the heart glows,' and a secret unrest gnaws at the roots of our being."
Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious -Dr. C.G. Jung

Inanna's descent into netherworld
Stripped of her royal robes and adornments
First gate crown
Second rod of lapis lazuli
Third the stones about her neck
Fourth the stones about her breasts
Fifth the gold ring about her hand
Sixth the breastplate
Seventh all garments
Naked and brought before seven judges "Anunnaki"
Turned into a corpse and hung upon a stake

The hero, whether god or goddess, man or woman, the figure in myth or the dreamer of a dream, discovers and assimilates his opposite (his own unsuspected self) either by swallowing it or by being swallowed.

"equals of opposites, evolved by a one-same power of nature or of spirit, as the sole condition and means of its himundher manifestation and polarised for reunion by the symphysis of their antipathies" Finnegan's Wake -James Joyce

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Joseph Campbell - Crossing of the First Threshold/Belly of the Whale

The divine thunderbolt
Future Buddha
Self-denying he became divine

Wall of paradise
"Coincidence of opposites"
"The highest spirit of reason, who bars the way until he has been overcome"

The world navel, the womb, passage of the threshhold is a form of self-annihilation.

Finn MacCool. Irish hero swallowed.

The devotee at the moment of entry into a temple undergoes a metamorphosis.

"No creature can attain a higher grade of nature without ceasing to exist."
Ananda Coomaraswamy