Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Primordial Choices

Now one of the main problems with mythology is reconciling the mind to this brutal precondition of all life, which lives by the killing and eating of lives. You don’t kid yourself by eating only vegetables, either, for they, too, are alive. So the essence of life is this eating of itself! Life lives on lives, and the reconciliation of the human mind and sensibilities to that fundamental fact is one of the functions of some of those very brutal rites in which the ritual consists chiefly of killing in imitation, as it were, of that first, primordial crime, out of which arose this temporal world, in which we all participate. The reconciliation of mind to the conditions of life is fundamental to all creation stories.

Joseph Campbell, the 20th century American mythologist, lecturer and writer, is known for his work in comparative religion and comparative mythology. He coined the phrase, “Follow your Bliss.” He was interested in the work of James Joyce and the teachings of Krishnamurti. He also explored the ideas of Carl Jung and developed a close friendship with John Steinbeck. He taught at Sarah Lawrence College for 38 years and retired in 1972. The impact that Campbell’s work has had on integrative thinking is nothing short of amazing. Through mythology we realize how connected we all are. One form of consciousness eats another in physical reality in order to create energy to function.

The fundamental concept of birth and death continually plays a daily role in our reality. Our cells die and are reborn constantly. In order to perform any action we need to eat other forms of consciousness that are no longer physically active. Death supports our everyday actions, but we fear the word and its meaning, because we believe it means the end. Our world, however, is a constant recycling event where physical manifestations of consciousness are recycled into different forms of energy.

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