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The Fires of Love-Death, with Mythologist Norland Téllez

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  • #73758

    Welcome to our discussion with writer, director, artist, teacher, and mythologist Norland Téllez, our guest this week in Conversations of a Higher Order to discuss “The Fires of Love-Death,” his latest entry in JCF’s MythBlast series.

    I will get us started with a few questions, but please feel free to join the discussion and engage Dr. Tellez directly with your observations and questions.

    Norland, you have a knack for addressing difficult subjects. Before we dive into questions of life and death, sex and sacrifice (yes, there will be blood!), perhaps we could start with something lighter. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your background, and how you have ended up where you are? What first drew you to the study of mythology? Was this something you always wanted to do, or was it a slowly dawning realization?

    And perhaps you could speak a bit about your doctoral dissertation: perhaps a brief paragraph explaining why the Popol-Vuh, summarizing what you were looking for, and what you discovered? (I know a passing glimpse doesn’t do your work justice – but rather than deep detail, I’m interested in giving forum participants a better sense of where you are coming from?)

    I’ll follow up on your reply with a specific observation on  “The Fires of Love-Death,” and a question or two.

    #73771

    Yes, Stephen, I welcome the lighter start. I realize that the subject matter I gravitate towards in my mythblasts may be a bit heavy or “dark” at times and it would be helpful to trace on a more personal note the trajectory that leads me to explore the depths of the unconscious—a place that by definition holds all the unpleasant truths we would rather hide from view.  As you may imagine, this penchant of mine is what first led me to study depth psychology in the first place, following Jung’s dictum about not being content to “imagine figures of light” (i.e. ideology) but instead to take up the work, as unpopular as it may be, of “making the darkness conscious.”

    I was born in Managua Nicaragua in 1971 in a modest household of working professionals. My mom was a school teacher at that time and my dad a painter and photographer. This obviously had the biggest influence on my becoming an animation artist—and anybody who looks at my website may be surprised to find that professionally I create child-friendly animated content—as well as a PhD in Mythological Studies, having graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2009. So you could say that from my mom, I inherited the love of learning and academic performance, and from my dad, my artistic talent in drawing and painting. But this would be only the most superficial answer of the question of my origins. It corresponds to the level of the persona where it is important to keep everything “light” and pleasant, always agreeable and easy to digest. But it would be a different matter were I to share a little factual piece of my life story, the kind of experience which I think does inform my interest in the underside of things, the dreaded “negativity” that informs the way I study myth, so to speak, through a Xibalban or underworld approach—a methodology I developed in my dissertation on the Esoteric Dimensions of the Popol-Vuh.

    So why the interest in the “necrotypal” perspectives of the Underworld? Because therein lies the prima materia of truth. Nothing is more mythic than a true story. After all, as we know, all great myths express great truths whose genealogical lines reache us to this very day.

    So do you want to know what this piece of my true story is about? Having been born in Nicaragua and lived through a brutal dictatorship in a revolutionary environment which culminated in civil war, the story of where I come from may not be suitable for polite conversation! It’s funny you should ask me that as a means to keep things light and easy. Of course, I don’t blame you, but it did make me—and my family—smile.

    Having lived through such an experience—the civil war which exploded in 1979, when I was 8 years old—not to mention the traumatic passage of immigration to the United States—has made me feel great affinity with the African American experience in this country (apropos of African American History month), this peculiar state of having 2 souls or “double-consciousness”—something which, as we know, was also characteristic of Jung too with his personality 1 and 2, what he called in the Red Book the “spirit of the times” vs “the spirit of the depths”—except that as people of color perhaps I may say that it is precisely in the times that we find the depths. To quote W. E. B. Du Bois:

    “One feels his two-ness, — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

    #73770

    Thank you so much, Norland!

    “Lighter” is a term that clearly falls short here – but what you have shared allows forum participants to learn more about your background, personal as well as professional, and affords an opportunity to ease into the material you cover.

    Joseph Campbell did not like to dwell on his personal history and resisted writing a memoir, believing that one’s body of work matters more than one’s biography (ironically, in his lengthy, detailed Introduction to The Portable Jung he spends considerable time discussing aspects of Jung’s life that played a role in his personal and professional development); it took the concerted efforts of multiple friends to persuade Campbell to agree to participate in the documentary The Hero’s Journey: A Biographical Portrait.

    My sense is very different – I believe one’s background and experiences inform one’s work, especially in the creative sphere. One needn’t know the intimate details of Picasso’s complicated relationships with Dora Maar, Marie-Thérèse Walter, and other lovers to appreciate his work, but such awareness does add a layer or two to one’s understanding.

    Your experiences remind me of what a privileged life I’ve led as a white male born a U.S. citizen – and underscore that your essays are more than just abstract attempts to understand and interpret humankind’s distant and difficult past past, but have immediate relevance for our present.

    Forgive the rambling that will follow. Your MythBlast triggers all sorts of thoughts and impressions; rather than spending another week or two organizing that into some cohesive whole, I’m just going to spill all sorts of observations out across the page.

    Turning to your most recent work, “The Fires of Love-Death,” you state

    Setting aside our spontaneous anachronistic horror at such gruesome spectacles, we would have to recognize that, at some basic level, these collective rituals worked. That is, they performed the vital existential function they were meant to perform. But what was that function?”

    You note that Campbell observes

    “the link between sacrificial rites and the real feeling of communitas that binds the existence of a people or tribe. There is little doubt that a fundamental root of our sense of transcendence lies in the archetypal experience of the ‘living spirit’ in communitarian union.”

    I’ll admit I much prefer the sense of communion that arises from the Christian mass – which still involves eating the flesh and drinking the blood of a sacrificed god, but only in the abstract (transubstantiation notwithstanding).

    However, I can’t help but wonder about the example you cite from Primitive Mythology, where, at the culmination of the puberty rite of the Marind-anim on New Guinea, all the lads who have come of age have their first sexual experience in a very public ritual setting with a girl playing the role of a female dema (a mythological being) who, along with the last adolescent male in line for her favors, is crushed to death in sexual embrace. (Paul Wirtz, whom Campbell cites, uses the term “orgy” to describe this practice, essentially  projecting modern libertine attitudes onto the event; Dr. J. Van Baal, in his 1966 volume Dema, prefers the Marind term otiv-bombari to describe ritual couplings – this ceremony isn’t the only example, though others don’t end with death – as it’s not a frenzied orgy but an institutionalized ritual stretching many days, with prescribed actions before and during intercourse for both initiates and the chosen female to follow that correspond to an associated myth – which is not to deny this is an ordeal for females even in ceremonies that don’t end with human sacrifice).

    This ritual brings together sexuality and death. More than just a means of organizing society into a communitas, I can’t help but think of the subject of your December MythBlast (“In the Stillness of Love’s Madness”), where you point to the primordial twin impulses of libido (the self-generative life-force) and todestrieb (the death death drive) within the psyche:

    In their native soil of possibility and pure potentiality, the archetypes of the collective unconscious are the nocturnal creatures of nightmarish fantasy, hidden deep in the dark primeval forests of cosmic matter and its universal unconsciousness. This is why archetypes, when properly understood, do not become fixed objects of empirical cognition. They are accessible only to a peculiar ‘dark mode”’ of consciousness — an existential hermeneutic of myth which takes place near the threshold of being and nonbeing in the ‘noumenality’ of time.”

    Acknowledged or not, these unconscious forces have the power to compel our actions: are not these the forces underlying the violent and bloody human sacrifices you reference in the current MythBlast and in “Sacrificial Origins”, your January essay?

    If I understand you, such sacrificial acts serve as a means of containing and channeling these archetypal energies. In the discussion in these forums following your December piece, you quote René Girard, who posits these acts as a form of scapegoating:

    The victim is not a substitute for some particularly endangered individual, nor is it offered up to some individual of particularly bloodthirsty temperament. Rather, it is a substitute for all the members of the community, offered up by the members themselves. The sacrifice serves to protect the entire community from its own violence; it prompts the entire community to choose victims outside itself. The elements of dissension scattered throughout the community are drawn to the person of the sacrificial victim and eliminated, at least temporarily, by its sacrifice. (Violence and the Sacred 8)

    And, in our January discussion of “Sacrificial Origins,” you also reference Wolfgang Giegerich’s description of sublation, applying it to the process that brings us from the sacrifice of humans standing in for gods – practiced by our ancestors on a massive scale – to the foot of the Cross, where one human conceived of as god is symbolically sacrificed over and over again:

    Clearly we can see how it has performed the three-fold function of sublation. The literal killing and anthropophagic rite is canceled in its literalism. At the same time, the image of the crucified God rescues the primordial sense of the sacrificial act. And finally, through its ‘negative interiorization’ (Giegerich) it places its anthropological meaning at a higher level of development.”

    And yet, these archetypal energies of libido and todestrieb (or “love-death”) still course through our psyche, individual and collective.

    Six million Jews sacrificed in the death camps during World War II – speaking of scapegoating – along with millions of Roma (aka “gypsies”), Slavs, communists, trade unionists, homosexuals, and others; nearly two million Cambodians murdered by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1970s,;at least half a million Tutsis in Rwanda; the slaughter of the Rohingya in Myanmar and Uighurs in China; the atrocities of your youth in Nicaragua – all have me doubting we have truly escaped the echoes of eons past.

    Sublation and sublimation may have a practical effect, but I can’t help but wonder if these aren’t a bit like squeezing part of a balloon: might be smaller on one end, but the balloon then bulges out somewhere else. The reasons and justifications vary, but sacrificing fellow humans seems very much with us still. We may be more enlightened in some arenas, but collectively are just as unconscious as ever of this part of our nature. Despite the efforts of many to make the unconscious conscious, this doesn’t seem anywhere about to change.

    Frankly, in the discussions in these forums of your last three MythBlasts, what I’m most drawn to is your appeal to Art:

    It is indeed an experimental mode of knowledge which brings the mind of the artist to the Primal Matter, or in Michelangelo’s language, the marble block that hides within it the design of transcendence. . . .

    Now, to the second question: does everyone or the public at large have any use for this type of knowledge? Absolutely they do. There is a multi-million dollar industry whose sole purpose is to create fictions and thus transmit, albeit in an unconscious manner, the mythic knowledge of the transcendent One. . . .

    Nevertheless, in the archetypal forms of myth and art, as in the entertainment industry and the culture at large, this special ‘knowledge’ remains unconscious, and thus in a peculiar epistemological state to say the least. Early on, psychoanalysis faced criticism for the audacity of the paradox involved in the notion of ‘unconscious knowledge.’ But so it is. In the collective mind of the culture at large, this ‘knowledge’ or gnosis remains hidden, in exactly the way Michelangelo understood it, waiting to be released from the Primal Matter of the Stone—hence the ‘practical’ need for the Artist  in society as the one who ‘knows’ consciously how to set it free!”

    [NOTE: for those who have not viewed these discussions, the ellipses have left so much out – I’m just stitching together a few highlights here]

    followed a little later by your reply to Marianne:

    It is a general insight about Art that it functions as a kind of mirror of society and the historical epoch in which it was created. Of course, this ‘leadership’ of Art remains mostly unconscious and it requires a further step to bring what the artist has formulated in aesthetic terms back into the conceptual element of the understanding to become part of our conscious life.

    That last is the part I’m unclear about: apart from plastering a moral onto every sculpture and at the end of every movie, how does the artist bridge that gap between the aesthetic creation and our conscious life? Are we talking about didactic art, designed to convey specific values or inspire action (the “socialist realism’ of Soviet art or the novels of Ayn Rand perhaps the clumsiest examples, which smack of propaganda)?

    Or are we talking about art that mirrors, and yet transcends, the human condition?

    I think of Picasso’s Guernica, born of the brutal Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Looking back on that moment, it’s clear which side captured the artist’s heart – but long after the details of that local conflict are forgotten his work endures, evoking an experience in the viewer of the loss and heartache, death and destruction of War itself, rather than this war.

    Clearly, Guernica did not end violent wars; art does not have the power to end “man’s inhumanity to man,” any more than it has the power to end death – but it does have the power to help one transcend death.

    Once more I turn to an observation of Campbell’s I cited in one of our previous MythBlast conversations:

    There’s that wonderful picture of Death playing the violin to the artist, by a Swiss painter named Böcklin. The artist is there with the palette and brush, and Death is playing the violin. That means that the eyes should be open to something of more cosmic import than simply the vicissitudes and excitements of your own petty life. Hearing the song that is beyond that of your own individual life cycle is the thing that opens you to wisdom. You can hear it in your life, interpreting it, reading it, not in terms of the calamities or boons of your individual existence, but as a message of what life is.⁠”

    “Mythic Reflections: an interview with Joseph Campbell,” by Tom Collins,

    Please forgive me for taking such big bites! I hope I don’t come across as taking issue with your points, which is not my intention. I do, though, want to draw attention to the through-line in your essays, and how they resonate with one another: taken together, they present a multi-dimensional picture, a Whole that adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

     

     

    #73769
    Participant

    Hello,

    Wow

    Great Myth Blast.

    Great rabbit hole.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve read up on Melanesian myth and ritual.

    I would recommend everyone do a refresher google search Jstor has some great articles. The explicit sexual symbolism is fascinating. I was looking for symbolism of the puberty rites ritual. There are also some informative you tube videos.

    Is the procession of boys a reenactment of the generational procession of the ancestors through the female ? Are the heavy logs symbolic of vegetation fertility ? The tree of life ? The ancestors? Totems representing the pair ? Human life is a portion , the log is cut , has a beginning and end , birth and death . The sacrificial pair represent the current living generation . They are an enactment of the mundane truth of life and death. All have the log hanging over, a memento mori. “When the bough breaks the cradle will fall…”. The Cross is constructed ,through carpentry , of two logs. Symbolic of the vertical transcendent and the horizontal temporal with all the quadrant associations of time and space.

    It is an honor to die becoming one with the ancestors.

    May we all be food for future generation of the species. May they receive sustenance from our successes and failure.

    May our boys become men and our girls become women .

    It is all the ancestors could hope fore.

    May we procreate wisely in flesh mind and spirit.

    May we make them proud

    May they give us wisdom .

    There is a thinly veiled veneer between us and them. Gossamer …

    Do you think Love is a western projection on their ritual ?

    “INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE VISIBLE: AT LEAST THAT IF NO MORE”

    “diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it, it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.”

    I enjoy the ethos of the cargo cult. How it has been used in pop literature. Who is John Frum ?

    “INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE VISIBLE: AT LEAST THAT IF NO MORE”

    “diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it, it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.”

     

    It is a great photo. Isn’t it? With so many narratives behind it of the sacred and profane. Visual perception inception conception … Primordial Nobility !!!

    Photo

    #73768

    Thank you Stephen and Robert,

    Thank you for your kind words and your courage to engage in these dark matters. I’ll start in reverse order and answer Robert’s last question first and work my way back to Stephen’s probing contribution, which does a great job, by the way, in threading the general tenor of my mythblasts over the last few months.

    Is “Love” a western projection on these rituals? It certainly would be. But what Campbell attempts to formulate under the rubric of “Love-Death” in citing these rituals has nothing to do with Love or death taken separately in our sense of the word. In the same vein, Robert, all the wonderful interpretations you propose, which I do think fit the mark in some sense for us (the procession of boys as a reenactment of the generational procession of ancestors through the female, the heavy logs symbolic of vegetation fertility, the tree of life, etc..) would likewise be alien to the archaic context. For the very act of interpretation itself puts us squarely on the side of “Western projections,” which can be summed by the line of thought already developed in the 19th century, as I mentioned in my blast:

    “At the time Campbell wrote Primitive Mythology, there was no solid answer to this question. Campbell even seems content with the old 19th-century hypothesis of Leo Frobenius which essentially says that the existence of these rites ‘are but the renditions in act of a mythology inspired by the model of death and life in the plant world’ (Primitive Mythology 171).

    This speaks directly to Stephen’s last point concerning the work of art, where it seems unclear to him how the artist is supposed to bridge the gap between aesthetic creation and our conscious life.

    Campbell answered this question plainly when he said that if an artist wanted to insult his audience she would spell out what the work is supposed to mean for them. It is not the artist’s job to make this interpretive bridge for her audience; it is the job of the individual viewer or “consumer”—not to mention the professional critic— to build such a bridge if it is so desired. Most people are happy to be simply moved by the work of art in some mysterious way that escapes their conscious grasp. That is as it should be. Moreover, even if the artist had the best intentions to “facilitate” the enjoyment of meaning, it would be impossible for her to do it since the “other side” of the bridge is always different, highly individual and idiosyncratic, permeated as it is with deeply personal experience, and no one but the individual himself could provide a bridge to his “inside.” Otherwise, as Stephen correctly states, were the artist to attempt to make such a bridge for others she would end up, like the sad case of Ayn Rand, creating a glorified piece of state propaganda. Such is the fate of every form of didactic art.

    And this is again why the spiritual leadership of art (and myth) remains—and must remain— unconscious. It is typical for artists to say not only that they “know not what they do,” but that they must not know it. For if I knew what I was doing as an artist then there would be no reason for me to do it!

    #73767

    Robert – intriguing questions, as is Norland’s response.

    Best as I can tell from J. Van Baal’s exhaustive volume Dema, there are several mythic elements represented (as well as different versions of this rite, some less lethal, depending on which branch of the Marind-anim one belongs), one of which relates to Yawi, whose head is cut off and buried – from which sprouts the coconut tree (the head about the size of a coconut), a central myth. But there are many other layers to this ceremony as well; seems to be about way more than just one thing.

    #73766
    Participant

    Stephen,

    Thank you for you reply. I like the tree from coconut/head motif. Reminds me of Golgotha … Perennial Humanity sprouting from the skull of the ancestors , the skull of Adam. Also brings to mind Athena/Venus sprouting from the head of Zeus.

    It always  amazes me how my acknowledged bias leads my mind to these associations. Lots of fun to follow !

    #73765

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Norland Téllez for once again coming to spend a week with us in Conversations of a Higher Order. Norland, your generosity of spirit, especially considering all the time and attention to detail you’ve devoted to this discussion, is much appreciated.

    Of course, even though the week Dr. Téllez agreed to give us is long up, that doesn’t mean the conversation needs to end here.

    Norland’s essays shine a light on the deep, dark underbelly of “living myth,” very much in sync with Campbell’s mythological perspective. There is all too often a tendency to gloss over the dark deeds of our mythic past (and present) in favor of Happy Happy Joy Joy prescriptions of bliss. That one-sided approach, however, was not Joseph Campbell’s way. Joe was not afraid of the dark; whether discussing myth, psychology, or art, he never ignored the shadows (even “following your bliss” calls for a willingness to endure much suffering and pain to stay true to one’s path – something generally overlooked by those who promote it as a form of wishcraft).

    Those shadows are all part of being human – we can’t just ignore or banish them by an act of will. Norland’s contributions to the discussions of his December, January, and February MythBlasts these forums offer invaluable clues on how to acknowledge, understand, integrate, and transcend those energies.

    But this is not just the domain of myth scholars: those new to this thread are invited to add your thoughts and observations and continue the conversation (I suspect artists, in particular, might have much to share).

    #73764

    Norland and Stephen and Robert and All,

    I am wondering where I have heard this story before about the logs and the boy and girl being killed under them, but I did not recall the part about the cannibalistic aspect of that ritual. And thank you Norland, also, for telling us more about yourself and the difficult and dark times you have been through and your family and community, along with your Mythblast. It is a good reminder that not all our current “Newer Age” practices, whether being meditation or shamanic or pagan reconstructionist type groups or solitary practitioners, come from such a light place as many people might like to think they did. We often like to glorify those days of old thinking how “magically mythic” life might have been back then, but then there is the dark side too. And while this is not directly pertinent to the subject matters of this Mythblast, I also want to say that in saying the “dark side,” I do not feel or think that all darkness is of course evil–we have beautiful darkness of a night of a romantic crescent moon or the brighter darkness of a beautiful full moon or the moon’s reflection on water or snow and so many ways in which the dark can be beautiful or good and not evil. But sometimes, it is ugly, hideous.

    And Robert, I enjoyed your lists of questions about the possible symbolism in the ritual–so many of those meanings you give seem to also say at the root that there is a death-in-life aspect and a life-in-death aspect in this world we know around us and even in the cosmos if we study the life of–the start and stop–of stars. In the life celebrating summer solstice, since light is already at its height and longest day of the year, right after that high point, the longevity of the days will start decreasing down to the death of that height finally on the winter solstice or shortest day of the year and as the shortest day of light of the year, it will from that point on also increase again in its “reborn” or “”life-in-death” aspect until the summer solstice again bringing us back to the death in life aspect. I suppose anyone could switch those around depending upon how they would like to look at it–we could say that the life in death and the death in life are in both solstices.

    I also appreciated the following commentary on personal myth which Stephen wrote about helpful to describe my own feelings about writing about oneself or background:

    Joseph Campbell did not like to dwell on his personal history and resisted writing a memoir, believing that one’s body of work matters more than one’s biography (ironically, in his lengthy, detailed Introduction to The Portable Jung he spends considerable time discussing aspects of Jung’s life that played a role in his personal and professional development); it took the concerted efforts of multiple friends to persuade Campbell to agree to participate in the documentary The Hero’s Journey: A Biographical Portrait.

    My sense is very different – I believe one’s background and experiences inform one’s work, especially in the creative sphere. One needn’t know the intimate details of Picasso’s complicated relationships with Dora Maar, Marie-Thérèse Walter, and other lovers to appreciate his work, but such awareness does add a layer or two to one’s understanding.

    I feel this way too. My own writing about Jungian depth psych comes most usually from my own experience. I love to write about my own hardships as well as my dreams–which are sometimes one and the same! I feel as if in many ways my life can “testify” to the theories of Jung and then what I love about Campbell is the beauty of the mythology that he can add with his ideas and writings on myths. And with that combination I feel I am often swimming in the ecstasy of bliss that Campbell would tell us to find and follow–or actually as he would tell us it finds us, that we find it has been waiting for us all along, as he says.

    I think my psyche needed to mention something about bliss!–not to ignore the awful darkness completely, but only for now, for now I am signing out for a while at 4:30 AM to get some sleep.

    –Marianne

     

    #73763

    Hi Marianne,

    I regret I must be brief for now but I love your suggestions and insights—I never thought of relating “sacred” to “scared,” that’s kind of a brilliant move. These “word scrambles” are exactly like the ones Freud also loved, clearly taking advantage of a linguistic perspective into the depths of the unconscious, and effectively vindicating the Lacanian motto: “the unconscious is structured like a language.” You are so on the beam on this!

    Also couldn’t agree more on the “life-in-death,” “death-in-life” perspective—like the concept of the “undead”— very nicely shows the dialectical inter-relation or interplay between love and death in the psychoanalytical view.

    #73762
    Participant

    Hello,

    Yawi – Yahweh , one of those intriguing etymological homonyms ? I know of no connection other than in my eclectic mind.

    I enjoy the Solstice celebrations that are mentioned. For me they reach their pinnacle in their personifications of the Christian myth of Christ -winter solstice and John the Baptist – summer Solstice motif. Lots of fun to follow the associations. Christ the Hope eternal in the dead of winter (Sol Invictus). John the Baptist – the eater of the excess bounty of summer honey and locust , rich in symbolism. Making the way straight in the wilderness.

     

    For me these indigenous rituals of our collective ancestral heritage are all prototypical antecedence. Evolutionary expressions of our collective human urge to create abstract and symbolize ourself and our environment  physically psychologically intellectually.  Lots of fun to impose and discern similarities within our imagination following the trajectories to modern scientific thought. Always keeping the mythopoetic aspect of the creative artistic urge in mind. Science at its vanguard is artistic. We are the archaic ancestors of our descendants.

     

    #73761

    Robert

    I would agree the only connection between Yahweh and Yawi is the one that exists in your eclectic mind, though it’s fun to play with . . .

    And I would also point out, as I believe Norland does in his essay, that even though this motif (sacrificing a mythological being at the dawn of time and burying the head, from which grows the culture’s primary food plant) may be an element in these sacrificial rituals, there are multiple layers and a heck of a lot more in play than just the one mythic image. It’s not so much an either/or as – can’t quite wrap it up that simply. I’d say that, though this observation by Campbell (and Fraser and company) does ring true, there’s more to it than just that: the ritual seems to encompass a multitude of myths.

    #73760
    Participant

    Stephen,

    I totally agree.

    I often grapple with where coincidences are just that and where to note non causal associations as meaningful. For me I find my playful imagination enjoyable. Just thoughts passing in the night of mind. I enjoy sharing them here to see where they lead. All journeys start somewhere. I tend to be Judeo-Christian centric because that is what the western mind is to a large extent and I acknowledge that I am a product of my time and place.

    It would be hard to write the totality of the web of associations that manifest in my mind so I try to keep it simple.

    the old KISS principle. Just making observations for conversation for those who enjoy mythic correlations. Our minds are capable of manifesting all types of chimera. It is what mythology is all about to me.

    I’m sure the homonym is something Joyce would enjoy playing with and find amusing. It does exist is self evident and is outside my mind.

    Maybe the roots of the  Y source of the Pentateuch go deeper than thought ????

    At the root I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there is a germ and kernel of truth in all just waiting to sprout …

    Funny how after so many millennia the metaphor still rings true. It is what sprouts from our mind our head that brings us sustenance, our thoughts our knowledge our wisdom our technology is indeed organic and perennial growing with us. Our brain is a garden for cultivation. Always fun to empathize with archaic idioms.
    Yes. Let the mind Bloom with visions of roots in ancient ritual and blossoms of future aesthetic epiphanies …

    What myths specifically do you see the ritual encompassing?
     

     

    #73759

    Hi R3,

    Thanks so much for your comments and questions. I’ll take up this last one, asking what specific myths are encompassed by the archaic sacrificial rituals. In a word, one could say: all of them! For here we hit the source of the mythic image and our entire spiritual life! This goes back to Giegerich’s phrase I quoted in an earlier mythblast, that in the sacrificial blow, the soul killed itself into being.

    We have of course, on the other hand, all the myths of dying and resurrecting gods, which culminate in the radical reformulation of human sacrifice by the Christian myth. At the same time, we can look at the tragedies of Love, such as Tristan and Isolde, which Campbell was so fond of, as well as the Dynosian orgies of dismemberment and sexual abandon for a similar union of love and death. And this is just the tip of this iceberg!

     

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