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Reply To: What Happens After This Life?


Andy (aka aqndrooshka), you ask

So do people discuss these weekly resources referrals? Or does it have some other purpose?”

Each week there are are new offerings on JCF’s home page: a featured video clip of Campbell; a featured audio clip from a lecture; a Joseph Campbell quotation; a mythological resource; and a MythBlast essay from a contemporary mythologist, psychologist, artist, thinker, etc. All these offerings are loosely related to the theme under discussion in that week’s MythBlast. (Also, at the start of every month, we post a free download from Campbell’s work that stays up for four weeks).

I seem to recall we had recently had discussions here in Conversations of a Higher Order (COHO) touching on the afterlife, so I thought I would share that week’s Mythological Resource.

You also write

Interesting bio details of Campbell’s personal experiences with ritual, astrology and so on. Where did you hear about those adventures?”

Various places. There are wonderful details in the Joseph Campbell bio by Stephen and Robin Larsen, A Fire in the Mind. I’ve also had access in the past to Campbell’s personal journals (I once transported a couple volumes from the Foundation’s office in the Bay Area, back in the brief period when JCF had a physical office, to the archives at OPUS near Santa Barbara – so, for a few days before the drive down I guarded them closely in my home, and those days stayed up nearly all night poring over the pages while wearing white archivist’s gloves).

I have read Erman’s Die Ägyptische Religion and still consult it as needed (I am much better at reading German than speaking it – far more practice). I have all four volumes of The Masks of God in German; much as I love Campbell in English, his prose seems to me to have even greater depth in German – many of his favorite thinkers and most important influences are German.

(In France at the Sorbonne on a Proudfit scholarship after earning his Master’s Degree, Campbell found all the best scholarship on his subject was in German – so he applied and was approved for an extra year of funding, and transferred to the University of Heidelberg, where he studied German and Sanskrit. While there – and just learning German – he read Jung’s seminal Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, translated into English as Symbols of Transformation – Volume 5 of Jung’s Collected Works – which precipitated Jung’s break with Freud . . . damn impressive, considering reading Jung can be an ambitious undertaking in English.

(If you ever have the chance to visit Joseph Campbell’s personal library on one of the campuses of the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California, and you pull books in foreign languages off the shelf and open them, you’ll find his margin notes in a German book in German, in French tome in French, in a Sanskrit text Sanskrit, and so on; he even taught himself Russian at one point. This is also why some passages from Campbell includes in his work from other authors often can’t be found in exactly that form in published translations, because Joe read them in the original and supplied his own translation.)

As for this question:

So if I want to follow the rigorous and systematic academic work of JC – what titles do you suggest I look at?

I thought the answer to that would better fit in The Works of Joseph Campbell forum, so I started a new thread here.