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Reply To: Campbell on Writing


    Let me suggest something you might want to mull over before deciding how you want to handle this. First; ask yourself why this bothers you so; (yes; I find it a bit irritating as well); but my point being you might be able to turn this into your service by the way you write about it; (hence Stephen’s topic statement); and exploring your process.

    Two; you could also invite her over here to discuss these thoughts thereby exposing her to the resources available here. After all these Forums were designed for fleshing out ideas concerning Joseph’s themes and one of the main guidelines states we don’t have to agree on everything; but “all” are welcome here and allowed to express their thoughts in a respectful atmosphere.

    Three; she may not be aware of how much of the new material concerning the feminine or “Goddess” themes or principles Joseph wrote about has been released. (There is still a great deal of new material that the Foundation is in the process of publishing. And there are many new developments in store for the future as you can see as you peruse this website.) It should also considered one of the frustrating realities I think that contributes to all of this misinterpretation of what Joseph was about has to do with lack of background concerning his backstory; much less his enormous output of material on a huge variety of topics.

    And lastly it should be understood Joseph was defiantly not a Jungian and said so. Joseph addressed this on page 123 in Michael Tom’s: “An Open Life” where he specifically states:

    You know for some people Jungian is a nasty word, and it has been flung at me by certain reviewers as though to say, “Don’t bother with Joe Campbell; he’s a Jungian.” I’m not a Jungian! As far as interpreting myths, Jung gives me the best clues I’ve got. But I’m much more interested diffusion and relationships historically than Jung was; so that the Jungians think of me as a kind of questionable person. I don’t use those formula words very often in my interpretation of myths, but Jung gives me the background from which to let the myth talk to me.

    If I do have a guru of that sort, it would be Zimmer—the one who really gave me the courage to interpret myths out of what I knew of their common symbols. There’s always a risk there, but it’s the risk of your own personal adventure instead of just gluing yourself to what someone else has found.”

    So there are a lot of misconceptions about Joseph and what he was driving at concerning his thoughts on these mythological themes and what he was attempting to convey. What I think might be preferable is sounding out these disagreements in an atmosphere of respectful discussion which is what the Forums were originally designed for before social media came into play. (Have a look at the older retired version of CoaHO as a model for a good window into the past on how this was handled.)

    At any rate this is something you might want to consider before going any further; and I don’t think the continued stream of misunderstanding Joseph is going to stop anytime in the near future; (especially concerning the present state of toxic social media discourse).