May 3, 2020 at 8:55 pm #73451
Let my first post in this forum, be in honor of our ancient Story tellers.
And let me begin with the first sentence of Joseph Campbell’s seminal book The Hero of a Thousand faces, that gives a glimpse of this enchanting and soul shaking world, that roots us all to the First story – and the teller
“Whether we listen with aloof amusement to the dreamlike mumbo jumbo of some red-eyed witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture thin translations from the sonnets of the mystic Lao-tse; now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimo fairy tale: it will be always the one, shapeshifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be known or told.”
The human mind journeys in time, from the bedrock of sentience shared by lifeforms – to eventually emerge as a distinct cognitive faculty that qualifies our species as Human.
The One story chronicles this tortuous journey and the rich ancestral experience. The story transcends time and space and pours into the deepest chasm of the psyche, to submerge all humanity, in a unitary experience… dream, if you will – revealing the roots of our being. I am reminded of this whenever I see the faitfful reaffirming their Submission to Gods will in the Islamic world.
The words that end the sentence – Quote “a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be known or told.” – allude to the inexhaustible force that propels Humans towards higher dimensions of conscious experience.
The fire that throws light on the mystery of the Universe as Science – also forges the Mythic element – the birthplace of Goddesses, Gods and demons, of Dragons and Serpents and not the least the furnace that moulds the Hero.
This decade will be defined as one where the social fabric of all cultures will be disrupted.
I am sharing an image that I took during the lock down.It shows me stranded in an Island where I live. I could not cross over to the opposite embankment.
The bridge in the background serves no purpose to me. I cannot cross over to the other side. All that I have use for, are those inconspicuous transmission lines. It is my life line.
Humans will be forced to insulate one from the other for the sake of survival. We will evolve an ethos, where disengaging from one another, would ensure the survival of the Whole. Communion and congregations would be discouraged. We can already see the effects of a contagion on the religious establishment.
Will this also spell the demise of the collective experience?
Or would it stimulate a renewed interest in retracing our path to the ‘shared journey’?
And is it finally the time we confronted the uncomfortable question of forging a new First Story?
One that will be preoccupied with breaking the concrete shells of isolation and self absorption- and liberate the spirit to journey into the ‘the empty spaces’?May 4, 2020 at 5:57 pm #73452Stephen GerringerKeymaster
I could see it going either way, Captsunshine.
Humanity right now seems on a collective Hero’s Journey. The question is, what boon do we bring back the other side of the abyss?
We could isolate further and break up into those In-groups that Campbell noted are vying for our attention. This does seem to be the dynamic underlying the emergence of nationalism driving global politics the last few years.
Turns out, though, that the cornavirus does not recognize borders. You just can’t build a wall tall enough to keep Covid out … biologically, this really is one world. Even North Korea, the most isolated nation on the planet, is suffering, best as we can tell.
What’s more, we’ve learned how closely we are connected to each other around the planet. We really do have a global economy: China’s shutdown rippled throughout the world, affecting not just a business here and there, but entire industries … and with each new nation hit by the pandemic, that interconnectedness is underscored all the more. Similarly the turmoil and travail in the carbon fuel industry, which turns out to be far more fragile than anyone thought.
At the same time, we are learning new ways of working and shopping and living in response to this crisis, some of which is bound to stay with us. And, at least in the United States, science –– which so many don’t trust when it comes to global warming and climate change –– turns out to be what we turn to and trust to keep us alive in the face of a pandemic, which I hope tempers at least a bit the collective distrust of scientists.
And then just about everyone, with their own eyes, is witnessing how quickly Earth heals when human activity changes … a lesson I hope stays with us.
This is a powerful mytho-genetic moment: there are plenty of boons to bring back from this collective death-and-rebirth experience of the hero’s journey.
But will we? Therein lies the challenge …
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