Here is a quick example of the different ways Joseph uses a metaphor that can often get confusing in different texts. I mentioned a reference to a quote I was a bit uncertain about concerning his thoughts about a “cocktail party”. Here was the one I remembered from Osbon’s book: A Joseph Campbell Companion on page (76); which I think was referencing something somewhat different than what everyone was talking about.
“My experience is that I can feel that I’m in the Grail Castle when I’m living with people I love, doing what I love. I get the sense of being fulfilled. But, by god, it doesn’t take much to make me feel I’ve lost the Castle, it’s gone. One way to lose the Grail is to go to a cocktail party. That’s my idea of not being there at all.
My sense of it is you have to keep working to get there. It may take a little while. Even when you have gotten there, it’s easy to get flipped out because the world has things it wants you to do and you have decided not to do what the world wants. The problem is to find a field of action to give you that inner satisfaction so that you are not thrown out.”
Now this may or may not address “part” of what Sunbug was pointing out concerning the Arthurian context she was discussing, but the fact that there are so many versions of the Arthurian mythos, and that Joseph had his favorites which he often referred to I think some of these can get confused with others as to their reference points which Joseph utilized so often.
This sort of thing drives me crazy sometimes because Joseph’s body of work is so huge it often becomes difficult when something he said has several different sources, and often the subject matter in one is referring to something very different from another; or even worse can be interpreted in a number of different ways. At any rate I wanted to clear up what I was referring to in this particular context. The one above I used concerning the Jungian Lecture I left a description title and location for is a perfect example. Joseph spoke on a number of occasions using both Jungian and Arthurian themes, and it’s easy to get confused sometimes about what is where and which one means what. (Yes, I know that quoting and footnoting is a good way to cut down on the confusion so that’s why I left the above clarifiers. Again, my apologies for any confusion.)