Friday, October 10, 2008

Joseph Campbell - The Ultimate Boon is possible to observe, in the earliest phases of the development of the infant, symptoms of a dawning "mythology" of a state beyond the vicissitudes of time. These appear as reactions to, and spontaneous defenses against, the body-destruction fantasies that assail the child when it is deprived of the mother breast. 

"The infant reacts with a temper tantrum and the fantasy that goes with the temper tantrum is to tear everything out of the mother's body...The child then fears retaliation for these impulses, i.e., that everything will be scooped out of its own inside." 

Anxieties for the integrity of its body, fantasies of restitution, a silent, deep requirement for indestructibility and protection against the "bad" forces from within and without, begin to direct the shaping psyche; and these remain as determining factors in the later neurotic, and even normal, life activities, spiritual efforts, religious beliefs, and ritual practices of the adult.

The profession of the medicine man, this nucleus of all primitive societies, "originates...on the basis of the infantile body-destruction fantasies, by means of a series of defense mechanisms."

The first formula is abreaction in fantasy (my inside has already been destroyed) followed by reaction-formation (my inside is not something corruptible and full of faeces, but incorruptible, full of quartz crystals). The second is projection:' It is not I who am trying to penetrate into the body but foreign sorcerers who shoot disease-substance into people.' The third formula is restitution: ' I am not trying to destroy people's insides, I am healing them.' 

Image of indestructibility 
spiritual double - an external soul not afflicted by the losses and injuries of the present body, but existing safely in some place removed. 

Tjurunga - talisman of the man's totem ancestor
The Eternal Ones of the Dream

Indestructible Body
Paradise of the Milk that Nver Fails
Mt. Olympus - Ambrosia (not mortal)
Wotan - 32,000 heroes eat flesh of Sachrimnir, the Cosmic Boar and milk from she-goat Hidrum: she feeds on leaves of Yggdrasil, the World Ash. 

It is obvious that the infantile fantasies which we all cherish still in the unconscious play continually into myth, fairy tale, and the teachings of the church, as symbols of indestructible being. This is helpful, for the mind feels at home with the images, and seems to be remembering something already known. But the circumstance is obstructive too, for the feelings come to rest in the symbols and resist passionately every effort to go beyond. The prodigious gulf between those childishly blissful multitudes who fill the world with piety and the truly free breaks open at the line where the symbols give way and are transcended. The ineffable teaching of the beatitude beyond imagination comes to us clothed, necessarily, in figures reminiscent of the imagined beatitude of infancy; hence the deceptive childishness of the tales. 

The ineffable teaching of the beatitude beyond imagination comes to us clothed, necessarily, in figures reminiscent of the imagined beatitude of infancy; hence the deceptive childishness of the tales. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Joseph Campbell - Apotheosis Part 2

Nirvana - "Extinguised of the threefold fire of Desire, Hostility, and Delusion."
Nirva (snskrit) - 'to blow out', deprived of fuel, the fire of life is 'pacified', it is by ceasing to feed our fires that the peace is reached. Nirvana - "blown out, gone out,extinguished"

Kama-Mara vs. Future Buddha
Magician of Delusion vs. Subdued, ultimate ember of threefold fire
the last projected fantasies of his primitive physical will to live like other human beings

Myth, psychology, metaphysics
Vivid personifications prepare the intellect for the doctrine of the interdependence of the inner and the outer worlds.
Life-wish "eros or libido" corresponding to the Buddhist Kama "desire"
Death-wish "thanatos or destrudo" identical to Buddhist Mara "hostility or death"
The unconsciously grounded delusions from which desires and hostilities arise are in both systems dispelled by psychological analysis (Sanskrit: viveka) and illumination (Sanskrit: vidya).

Psychoanalysis is a technique to cure excessively suffering individuals of the unconsciously misdirected desires and hostilities that weave around them their private webs of unreal terrors and ambivalent attractions; the patient released from these finds himself able to participate with comparative satisfaction in the more realistic fears, hostilities, erotic and religious practices, business enterprises, wars, pastimes, and household tasks offered to him by his particular culture. 

Therefore the aim of the religious teaching is not to cure the individual back again to the general delusion, but to detach him from delusion altogether; and this not be readjusting the deisre ((eros) and hostility (thanatos) - for that would only originate a new context of delusion - but by extinguishing the impulses to the very root.

Buddhist Eightfold Path
"Form is emptiness, emptiness is indeed form. Emptiness is not different from form, form is not different from emptiness. What is form, that is emptiness; what is emptiness, that is form. And the same applies to perception, name, conception, and knowledge."

Having surpassed the delusions of his formerly self-assertive, self-defensive, self-concerned ego, he knows without and within the same repose. What he beholds without is the visual aspect of the magnitudinous, thought-transcending emptiness on which his own experiences of ego, form, perceptions, speech, conceptions, and knowledge ride. And he is filled with compassion for the self-terrorized beings who live in fright of their own nightmare. He rises, returns to them, and dwells with them as an egoless center, through whom the principle of emptiness is made manifest in its own simplicity. 

"Gift waves" go out from such a one for the liberation of us all. "This our worldy life is an activity of Nirvana itself, not the slightest distinction exists between them."

The Taoist Immortals
Four benevolent animals - phoenix, unicorn, tortoise, dragon
Goddess Hsi Wang Mu "The Golden Mother of the Tortoise"
K'un-lun Mountain
"Feast of the Peaches" every six thousand years
Teshouse "abode of fancy" encloses poetic ituition "abode of vacancy"
"abode of the unsymmetrical" suggests movement; the purposely unfinished leaves a vacuum into which the imagination of the beholder can pour
"the secret of temporal existence" "existence to the slightest detail was a conscious expression of eternity"

"The plants, rocks, fire, water, all are alive. They watch us and see our needs. They see when we have nothing to protext us and it is then that they reveal themselves and speak to us" 
Apache or Buddhist "sermon of the inanimate"

Shiva symbol "Lingam" combined phallus and vulva

Third wonder of the Bodhisattva myth is that the first wonder (the bisexual form) is symbolical of the second (the identity of eternity and time). For in the language of the divine pictures, the world of time is the great mother womb. The wise realize that they have come from the father and are returning to the father; while the very wise know that she and he are in substance one.

Tibetan 'Yum - female - time' 'Yab - male - eternity'
The union of the two is productive of the world, in which all things are at once temporal and eternal, created in the image of this self-knowing male-female G0d. The initiate, through meditation, is led to the recollection of this Form of forms (yab-yum) within himself. 
The male figure may be regarded as symbolizing the initiating principle, the method; in which case the female denotes the goal to which initiation leads (Nirvana or Eternity). The two are the same, each is both, and the dual form is only an effect of illusion, which itself, however, is not different from enlightenment. 

"...the pairs of opposites of the universal agony are not what they seem, and that for one centered in eternity the phantasmagoria of temporal 'goods' and 'evils' is but a reflex of the mind..."

This is a supreme statement of the great paradox by which the wall of the pairs of opposites is shattered and the candidate admitted to the vision of the God, who when he created man in his own image created man in his own image created him male and female. In the male's right hand is the thunderbolt, while in his left he holds a bell, symbolizing the goddess. The thunderbolt is both the method and eternity, whereas the bell is "illumined mind"; its note is the beautiful sound of eternity that is heard by the pure mind throughout creation, and therefore within itself.

"And The Word was made flesh"
Et Verbum caro factum est 

"The Jewel is in the Lotus"
Om mani padme hum

Supreme Buddha
Jivan Mukta
The Word Made Flesh
The Void    The World
Eternity     Time
Nirvana    Samsara
Truth    Illusoriness
Elightenment    Compassion
The God    The Goddess
The Enemy    The Friend
Death    Birth
The Thunderbolt    The Bell
The Jewel    The Lotus
Subject   Object
Yab   Yum
Yang   Yin

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Film Notes

Warner Bros., Paramount, Walt Disney/Buena Vista, Sony/Columbia,
Twentieth Century Fox, Universal

Time Warner owns Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Picturehouse, Warner
Independent Pictures
America On Line.
CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network, Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, People, DC
Atlantic, Elektra
Six Flags
Braves & Hawks


Average film
$60 million to make
$35 million to distribute
2000-4000 screens

Theatres = 30 million weekly viewers
Television = 200 million weekly viewers

35mm film = 12+ million pixels
Broadcast Video = 350,000 pixels
HD video = 2 million pixels

Video = 17 million hues
Film = 800+ million hues

Digital compresses film, adding more bit-by-bit encoding to moving
images. Non-moving scenes flat.

Top 10 percent of all films released garners 50 percent of all box
office receipts. Most popular 30 count for 80 percent.