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-- Joseph Campbell

The Masks of God™ Volume 3: Occidental Mythology (p. 319)

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The Masks of God, Volume 3: Occidental Mythology

The Masks of God™ Volume 3: Occidental Mythology "The high function of Occidental myth and ritual . . . is to establish a means of relationship—of God to Man and Man to God". — Joseph Campbell. Occidental Mythology is a systematic and fascinating comparison of the themes that underlie the art, worship, and literature of the western world. The Masks of God is a four-volume study of world religion and myth that stands as one of Joseph Campbell's masterworks. On completing it, he wrote: "Its main result for me has been the confirmation of a thought I have long and faithfully entertained: of the unity of the race of man, not only in its biology, but also in its spiritual history, which has everywhere unfolded in the manner of a single symphony, with its themes announced, developed, amplified and turned about, distorted, reasserted, and today, in a grand fortissimo of all sections sounding together, irrestibly advancing to some kind of mighty climax, out of which the next great movement will emerge."
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The virtue of heroism must lie, therefore . . . not in the will to reform, but in the courage to affirm, the nature of the universe.    [share]
The adventure of the Grail––the quest within for those creative values by which the Waste Land is redeemed––has become today for each the unavoidable task; for, as there is no more any fixed horizon, there is no more any fixed center, any Mecca, Rome, or Jerusalem. Our circle today is that announced, c. 1450, by Nicholas Cusanus: whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere; the circle of infinite radius, which is also a straight line.  [share]
In the older mother myths and rites the light and darker aspects of the mixed thing that is life had been honored equally and together, whereas in the later, male-oriented, patriarchal myths, all that is good and noble was attributed to the new, heroic master gods, leaving to the native nature powers the character only of darkness––to which, also, a negative moral judgment was now added.  [share]

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