Thursday, October 2, 2008

Joseph Campbell - Apotheosis

Avalokiteshvara "The Lord Looking Down in Pity"
Suffering the evils of existence
Om mani padme hum "the jewel is in the lotus"
During his final life on earth as a human being, he shattered for himself the bounds of the last threshold (which moment opened to him the timelessness of the void beyond the frustrating mirage-enigmas of the named and bounded cosmos), he paushed: he made a vow that before entering the void he would bring all creatures without exception to enlightenment; and since then he has permeated the whole texture of existence with the divine grace of his assisting presence, so that the least prayer addressed to him, throughout the vast spiritual empire of the Buddha, is graciously heard.

Hinayana Buddhism reveres the Buddha as a human hero, a supreme saint and sage. Mahayana Buddhism regards the Enlightened One as a world savior, and incarnation of the universal principle of enlightenment.

A Bodhisattva is a personage on the point of Buddhahood: according to the Hinayana view, and adept who will become a Buddha in a subsequent reincarnation; according to the Mahayana view, a type of world savior, representing particularily the universal principle or essence is enlightenment.

Mahayana Buddhism has developed a pantheon of many Bdhisattvas and many past and future Buddhas. These all inflect the manifested powers of the transcendent, one and only Adi-Buddha (Primal Buddha) who is the highest conceivable source and ultimate boundary of all being, suspended in the void of nonbeing like a wonderful bubble.

"When the envelopment of consciousness has been annihilated, then he becomes free of all fear, beyond the reach of change."

This is the release potential within us all, and which anyone can attain-through herohood; for, as we read: "All things are Buddha-things" or All beings are without self."

The world is filled and illumined by, but does not hold, the Bodhisattva (he whose being is enlightenment); rather, it is he who holds the world, the lotus. Pain and pleasure do not enclose him, he encloses them - and with profound repose. And since he is what all of us may be, his presence, his image, the mere naming of him, helps.

Eighty four thousand

The pause on the threshold of Nirvana, the resolution to forego until the end of time ( which never ends) immersion in the untroubled pool of eternity, represents a realization that the distinction between eternity and time is only apparent - made, perforce, by the rational mind, but dissolved in the perfect knowledge of the mind that has transcended the pairs of opposites. What is understood is that time and eternity are two aspects of the same experience-whole, two planes of the same nondual ineffable; i.e., the jewel of eternity is in the lotus of birth and death: om mani padme hum.

Male-female gods are not uncommon in the world of myth. They emerge always with a certain mystery; for they conduct the mind beyond objective experience into a symbolic realm where duality is left behind.

Pg 152 yin-yang, tao

Great Original
T'ai Yuan
Combined yin-yang in herself

Word Made Flesh
Adam before Eve
Hermaphrodite (child of Hermes & Aphrodite)

The removal of the feminine into another form symbolizes the beginning of the fall from perfection into duality; and it was naturally followed by the discovery of the duality of good and evil, exile from the garden where Go walks on earth, and thereupon the building of the wall of Paradise, constituted of the "coincidence of opposites", by which Man (now man and woman) is cut off from not only the vision but even the recollection of the image of God.

The mystery of creation
Devolvement of eternity into time, the breaking of the one into the two and then the many, as well as the generation of new life through the reconjunction of the two. This image stands at the beginning of the cosmogonic cycle, and with equal propriety at the conclusion of the hero-task, at the moment when the wall of Paradise is dissolved, the divine form found and recollected, and wisdom regained.

As the original intruder into the paradise of the infant with its mother, the father is the archetypal enemy; hence, throughout life all enemies are symbolical (to the unconscious) of the father. "Whatever is killed becomes the father." The impulse to destroy the father is continually transforming itself into public violence.

Totem, tribal, racial, and aggressively missionizing cults represent only partial solutions of the psychological problem of subduing hate by love; they only partially initiate. Ego is not annihilated in them; rather, it is enlarged; instead of thinking only of himself, the individual becomes dedicated to the whole of his society. Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world.

Page 157 "turn the other cheek"

Motherly fathers, manipulating sons into defense

Pg 158 techniques/devices versus god is love

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves"

"God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God Himself."

Civitas Dei / Civitas Diaboli
St. Augustine

"And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way of consent...They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies"

The perennial agony of man, self-torturing, deluded, tangled in the net of his own tenuous delirium, frustrated, yet having within himself, undiscovered, absolutely unutilized, the secret of release: this too he regards - and is.

We are all reflexes of the image of the Bodhisattva. The sufferer within us is that divine being. We and that protecting father are one. This is the redeeming insight. That protecting father is every man we meet. And so it must be known that, though this ignorant, limited, self-defending, suffering body may regard itself as threatened by some other - the enemy - that one too is the God.

This is the meaning of the image of the bisexual god. He is the mystery of the theme of initiation. We are taken from the mother, chewed into fragments and assimilated to the world-annihilating body of the ogre for whom all the precious forms and beings are only the courses of a feast; but then, miraculously reborn, we are more than we were. If the God is a tribal, racial, national, or secretarian archetype, we are the warriors of his cause; but if he is a lord of the universe itself, we then go forth as knowers to whom all men are brothers. And in either case, the childhood parent images and ideas of "good" and "evil" have been surpassed. We no longer desire and fear; we are what was desired and feared. All the god, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas have been subsumed in us, as in the halo of the mighty holder of the lotus of the world.

This is the sense of the first wonder of the Bodhisattva: the androgynous character of the presence. Therewith the two apparently opposite mythological adventures come together: the Meeting with the Goddess, and the Atonement with the Father. For in the first the initiate learns that male and female are "two halves of a split pea"; whereas in the second, the Father is found to be antecedent to the divison of sex: the pronoun "He" was a manner of speech, the myth of Sonship a guiding line to be erased. And in both cases it is found (or rather, recollected) that the hero himself is that which he had come to find.

Annihilation of the distinction between life and release from life

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Joseph Campbell - Atonement With the Father Part 2


This tale of indulgent parenthood illustrates the antique idea that when the roles of life are assumed by the improperly initiated, chaos supervenes. The son against the father for the mastery of the universe, and the daughter against the mother to be the mastered world.

The traditional idea of initiation combines and introduction of the candidate into the techniques, duties, and prerogatives of his vocation with a radical readjustment of his emotional relationship to the parental images.

The Mystagogue (father or father-substitute) is to entrust the symbols of office only to a son who has been effectually purged of all inappropriate infantile cathexes - for whom the just, impersonal exercise of the powers will not be rendered impossible by unconscious (or perhaps even conscious and rationalized) motives of self-aggrandizement, personal preference, or resentment. Ideally, the invested one has been divested of his mere humanity and is representative of an impersonal cosmic force. He is the twice-born: he has become himself the father. And he is competent, consequently, now to enact himself the role of the initiator, the guide, the sun door, through whom one may pass from the infantile illusions of "good" and "evil" to an experience of the majesty of cosmic law, purged of hope and fear, and at peace in the understanding of the revelation of being.

Circumcision, cutting off the part of the mother, revealing his male power.

Communion/blood drinking rituals.

Egypto-Babylonian & Trojan-Cretan " labyrinth complex", Aeneas & Gilgamesh, "journey of the soul to the underworld"

The paradox of creation, the coming of the forms of time out of eternity, is the germinal secret of the father. It can never be quite explained. Therefore, in every system of theology there is an umbilical point, an Achilles tendon which the finger of mother life has touched, and where the possibility of perfect knowledge has been impaired. The problem of the hero is to pierce himself (and therewith his world) precisely through that point; to shatter and annihilate that key know of his limited existence.

The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being. The hero transcends life with its peculiar blind spot and for a moment rises to a glimpse of the source. He beholds the face of the father, understands - and the two are atoned.

"Gird up thy loins now like a man; I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgement? Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayst be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? Or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. Then I will also confess unto thee that thine own hand can save thee."
God to Job

Man cannot measure the will of God, which derives from a center beyond the range of human categories. Categories are totally shattered to the last. Job was a hero who, by his courage in the fiery furnace, his unreadiness to break down and grovel before a popular conception of the character of the All Highest, had proven himself capable of facing a greater revelation than the one that satisfied his friends.

For the son who has grown really to know the father, the agonies of the ordeal are readily borne; the world is no longer a vale of tears but a bliss-yielding, perpetual manifestation of the Presence.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Joseph Campbell - Atonement With the Father

God's wrath and justice tempered by mercy and grace.


AUM: waking consciousness, dream consciousness, dreamless sleep, Unmanifest Transcendent

Idol worshippers. The image in place of the Word. The Word of God manipulating the masses, rather than the idol giving each their understanding of the symbols in the idol.

The ogre aspect of the father is a reflex of the victim's own ego - derived from the sensational nursery scene that has been left behind, but projected before; and the fixating idolatry of that pedagogical nothing is itself the fault that keeps one steeped in a sense of sin, sealing the potentially adult spirit from a better balanced, more realistic view of the father, and therewith the world.

Atonement (at-one-ment) consists in no more than the abandonment of that self-generated double monster - the dragon thought to be God (superegeo) and the dragon thought to be Sin (repressed id). But this requires an abandonment of the attachment to ego itself, and that is what is difficult.

Joseph Campbell - Meeting with Godess/Woman as Temptress

There exists a very general association on the one hand between the notion of mind, spirit or soul and the idea of the father or of masculinity; and on the other hand between the notion of the body or of matter (materia - that which belongs to the mother) and the idea of the mother or of the feminine principle. Pg 113
Professor Flugel

Kali as balance, fear of death, comfort of life.

Woman, in the picture language of mythology, represents the totality of what can be known. The hero is the one who comes to know.

By deficient eyes she is reduced to inferior states; by the evil eye of ignorance she is spellbound to banality and ugliness. But she is redeemed by the eyes of understanding. The hero who can take her as she is, without undue commotion but with the kindness and assurance she requires, is potentially the king, the incarnate god, of her created world.

Cupid & Psyche

The mystical marriage with the queen goddess of the world represents the hero's total mastery of life; for the woman is life, the hero its knower and master. And the testings of the hero, which were preliminary to his ultimate experience and deed, were symbolical of those crises of
realization by means of which his consciousness came to be amplified and made capable of enduring the full possession of the mother-destroyer, his inevitable bride. With that he know that he and the father are one: he is in the father's place.

Every failure to cope with a life situation must be laid, in the end, to a restriction of consciousness.

The whole sense of the ubiquitous myth of the hero's passage is that it shall serves as a general pattern for men and women, wherever they may stand along the scale.

Acknowledgement of the darkness of humanity, inherent in our very body, causes revulsion of life, and woman in particular as the great symbol of life.

Demonification of the female, transcending earthly planes, embracing the spiritual through chastity.