Read An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in Conversation with Michael Toms by Joseph Campbell Free Online
Book Title: An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in Conversation with Michael Toms|
The author of the book: Joseph Campbell
Edition: Harper Perennial
Date of issue: May 23rd 1990
ISBN 13: 9780060972950
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 995 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
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I have always found that reading Joseph Campbell on the subject of finding a personal mythology to see one through life to be refreshing and liberating. While this book is nowhere as well organized as Bill Moyers's Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, it's still a fascinating read. Campbell is a great raconteur and can carry the interview by himself. Just a few examples:
THE DEVIL. "Our demons are our own limitations, which shut us off from the realization of the ubiquity of the spirit. And as each of these demons is conquered in a vision quest, the consciousness of the quester is enlarged, and more of the world is encompassed."
NIGHTMARES. ""When people have nightmares, it's principally because they have been repressing the biology and it comes up with a vengeance. The deity that is disregarded turns into a devil."
MEISTER ECKHART. "As he said in his sermon 'On Riddance,' the ultimate riddance, and the most difficult, is getting rid of your god to go to God. Wow! That's the big adventure, isn't it?"
RELIGION. "My favorite definition of religion is 'a misinterpretation of mythology.' And the misinterpretation consists precisely in attributing historical references to symbols which properly are spiritual in their reference. What a mythic image talks about is not something that happened somewhere or will happen somewhere at some time or other; it refers to what is now, and was yesterday, and will be tomorrow, and is forever."
Again and again, Campbell takes us away from the restrictions of "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not" and makes us look at what it is to be a human anywhere in the world. He urges us to look around at what other people believe and how they succeed in finding themselves and freeing themselves from what William Blake called "mind forg'd manacles."
Campbell will, I think, be regarded as one of the great teachers of the twentieth century, even from an interview book such as this one, which is one of his minor works.
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