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Have you dreamed of Joseph Campbell?

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    May I ask if anyone has had a dream featuring Joseph Campbell?

    According to my own theology and cosmology, there is such a thing as death (of course), but I think that consciousness continues and we go on in some form eternally. That being the case, it is my sense that Joseph Campbell is radiantly and fully alive in the eternal.

    I wonder if he casts an eye on our activities on this side of the veil (in between conversing with Schopenhauer, Zimmer, et al., and dancing with dear Jean).

    I believe in dreams as a form of guidance (among other things), and I guess I’m interested to know what Joseph Campbell might be saying to us members of the JCF through the medium of dream…

    I’ll share a dream I’m fond of and was privileged to have some time ago:

    In the dream, I was due to host an event and Joseph Campbell was going to be the speaker. I was at the venue early (I’m an organised sort), and I went out to the corridor to look for him, so I could greet him on his arrival. Suddenly, there he was, standing right before me. “Joe?” I asked. He looked at me and said “YES!”

    That was the dream and I’ve put the ‘YES’ in capitals because the YES was, I think, the whole point: he said YES in a way that was so full of life, and so life-giving, vivid, vivacious and invigorating. It was, I believe, the ‘hearty yes’ that he says we must give to our lives and our adventure.




    That’s a potent dream, Esther!

    Joseph Campbell has popped into my dreams on a few occasions. One, about a quarter century ago, he was driving a beat-up pick-up, backing it down a long set of cement steps somewhere – both he and the truck looked a bit worse for wear. I stepped up to help and comfort him, and so made him a salad, which improved his demeanor.

    Not long after that, through a serendipitous set of circumstances I found myself working with the Joseph Campbell Foundation. One evening dining with colleagues I shared that dream with Lynne Kaufman, who was close to Campbell. She was amused, noting that, at least in waking life, Joe never ever ate a salad – perhaps his Irish meat-and-potatoes (and good scotch) background.

    Though my work at JCF has often involved taking care of the “salad fixings,” so to speak, I do prefer the tenor and tone of your dream. I really like the accent on that YES!  Campbell very much subscribed to Nietzsche’s maxim about “saying Yea” to life – and he also really loved that last chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses, where Molly Bloom’s reverie has her saying yes, yes, yes throughout, ending with that final resounding YES!

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