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Reply To: Defining Myth


    Stephen; here are a few tidbits you might remember from the Wisdom Pool forum – Favorite Joseph Campbell quotations – on page, 8; back on the old CoaHO:


    “A mythological order is a system of images that gives consciousness a sense of meaning in existence, which, my dear friend, has no meaning––it simply is. But the mind goes asking for meanings; it can’t play unless it knows (or makes up) the rules.

    “Mythologies present games to play: how to make believe you’re doing thus and so. Ultimately, through the game, you experience that positive thing which is the experience of being-in-being, of living meaningfully. That’s the first function of a mythology, to evoke in the individual a sense of grateful affirmative awe before the monstrous mystery that is existence.”

    Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss, p. 6″


    “If myth is translated into literal fact, then myth is a lie. But if you read it as a reflection of the world inside you, then it’s true. Myth is the penultimate truth.

    Joseph Campbell, from a 1986 Houston Chronicle interview by Leslie Sowers.”


    “Garry Abrams:
    Mythology, by Campbell’s definition, is a collection of metaphors, or “an organization of symbolic images and narratives metaphorical of the possibility of human experience and fulfillment in a given culture at a given time.”