19 April 2006

the power of myth

I've been wanting to explore Joseph Campbell's work for a few years now. I finally picked up The Power of Myth last week. It is a good introduction to Campbell's work on mythology and comparative religion. The book consists of interviews--more like hearty discussions--between Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers that took place for a PBS documentary.

Here are some excerpts from the book. Campbell on Christianity:

You see, religion is really a kind of second womb. It’s designed to bring this extremely complicated thing, which is a human being, to maturity, which means to be self-motivating, self-acting. But the idea of sin puts you in a servile condition throughout your life.


I once heard a lecture by a wonderful old Zen philosopher, Dr. D. T. Suzuki. He stood up with his hands slowly rubbing his sides and said, “God against man. Man against God. Man against nature. Nature against man. Nature against God. God against nature—very funny religion!”


Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stick to its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.

Here Campbell dissects the Genesis story of the Garden of Eden and the Fall:

That amounts to a refusal to affirm life. In the biblical tradition we have inherited, life is corrupt, and every natural impulse is sinful unless it has been circumcised or baptized. The serpent was the one who brought sin into the world. And the woman was the one who handed the apple to man. This identification of the woman with sin, of the serpent with sin, and thus of life with sin, is the twist that has been given to the whole story in the biblical myth and doctrine of the Fall.

The Genesis story forms the foundation of the Western worldview. It has been used to justify man's conquest of nature as well as man's conquest of woman. Remember it was the woman's fault that we had to leave the garden. (I've mentioned this previously).

The Genesis story is also factually incorrect. God did not create the universe. We all know that it was Chuck Norris who initiated Creation.

Big Bang Theory


I guess you could say this is the "Original Pime". I stopped blogging here regularly in May 2008 (if you don't count the B-Sides diversion - yes it gets confusing) when I joined the Tumblr revolution. Going forward bravely into 2009, this site will serve to house any large image work I produce.

Peace out.


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