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Thou Art ThatRk namely that when correctly through the lens of mythology all religions of the world point to the same unending and ever present mystery of being that is alive within each of us Further the book demonstrates in detail that when we refuse to view religious narratives as metaphorical in nature and insist upon interpreting them as historical facts we deprive ourselves of the value and nourishment that they were intended to provide Campbell s sweeping and incredible nowledge of world mythology is displayed beautifully in this book and I encourage anyone who has not engaged his work to make a priority of doing so Interested in exploring some of the Biblical symbols of the Judeo Christian faith I picked up this book with high expectations No doubt this book has helped me wrestle with my faith since picking it up However this book suffers from many shortcomings that by the middle portion of the book almost made me put it down First while the language was not complex the sentence structure and lack of adherence to grammatical rules made the text unwieldy My understanding is that much of this book is based on speeches by Campbell However additional editing is needed to help the readerSecond at various points Campbell goes into long winded rabbit trails that offers little to his main point For example in Chapter V Campbell engages in a two page discussion on the importance of the number 432 as he moved from the subject What Kind of Gods Have We Campbell offers no introduction no conclusion no context as to why 432 is important Just that 432 is important Additionally Campbell arbitrarily searches for this number in all place This is evidenced by the statement that in the 1656 years from the creation to the Flood 86400 weeks had passed Divided by two that again produces 43200 Campbell offers no explanation for dividing by 2 Even that Campbell is so focused on finding 432 that he overlooks the fact that 1656 x 52 86112 Campbell ignoring this fact leads me to my biggest problem with the textThird Campbell has a lot of basic information completely wrong Many of the things that Campbell states are based on erroneous facts As earlier mentioned Campbell is so focused on finding the number 432 that he does not do simple multiplication and division correctly However there are other facts that Campbell asserts about the Bible that is incorrect Here is a few examples Campbell asserts that Christ is born in a cave The only mention of a cave in the 4 Gospel accounts in either the King James or the New American Standard Bible is found in John 11 dealing with Lazarus Campbell s assertion about the nunc dimittis is incorrect Campbell states that the nunc dimittis said by Simeon happens after a young Jesus teaches in the temple However Simeon makes nunc dimittis after Jesus is presented at the temple and before about 12 years before Jesus teaches in the temple Jesus teaching at the temple and the nunc dimittis is found in Luke 2 Campbell states that Jesus was teaching in the temple IN JERUSALEM BECAUSE HIS FAMILY WAS Jerusalem because his family was Jerusalem because of the census Again a reading of Luke 2 indicates that Jesus s family was in Jerusalem because of the Feast of the Passover Mary went to Bethlehem because of the census in Luke 21 Campbell states that Hebrew was the first language and all other language come from it at the Tower of Babel In Genesis 11 there is no mention of a specific language at allAdmittedly I may reading these stories as fact too much However mistakes like simple mathematics or checking the Biblical account to get the story accurate is a greater travesty If Campbell got this wrong what else did he get wron. With characteristic verve he ranges from rich storytelling to insightful comparative scholarship Included is editor Eugene Kennedy’s classic interview with Campbell in The New York Times Magazine which brought the scholar to the public’s attention for the first tim. ,

Joseph Campbell ✓ 5 review

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An attempt to prove the number 432000 repeats in most mythologies It doesn t At least not without some tortured mathematics Of course he never explains what that pertinence is He s interested in identifying patterns even if some of those patterns are only in his head This book is my first exposure to Joseph Campbell s work I now little of mythology and even less on comparative religion study thus this book serves a very valuable introduction to a vast realm of scholarship and writings Here are a few notes for my own edificationWhat Myths Do page 2 onwardFour functions C est la vie presentation of a order of the cosmos validate and support a specific moral and social order carry individuals through the various stages in life with integrity The C est la vie aspect resonates with primitive mythologies to help people to face death including human sacrificial rituals In the author s words helping people to remove themselves to place themselves at a distance from this conception of basic experience ie living and dying More positively myths are to affirm life and is the discovery and recognition of the dimension of the mystery of being This aspect reminds my recent trip to one of Belize s cave which used to serve as a site for human sacrifice by the Mayans a one of Belize s cave which used to serve as a site for human sacrifice by the Mayans a years ago It is called the ATM Cave with pristine remain of a young man Thus the horror of losing life becomes a conduit to a different sphere the mystic sphere The rest of the three functions are highly amenable to social and history conditions One must learn to read myth as metaphors residing in the spiritual realm of inner life instead of describing the outer world That is why the conflict of modern science and mainstream religions happen mostly on the interoperation of sacred text literally and historically The author proposes to abandon the ethical perspective of religious perspective yet retain and develop the mythical one to achieve a higher level of radiance in life Page 16 the experience of mystery comes not from expecting it but through yielding all your programs because your programs are based on fear and "Desire Drop Them And "Drop them and radiance comesWhat about the body and soul Page 20 The fundamental simple and Great Mystical Realization Is That mystical realization is that which you identify yourself with consciousness rather than with the vehicle of consciousness Your body is a vehicle of consciousness Page 21 When you have identified yourself with the consciousness the body drops off Nothing can happen to you You are ready to be grateful to the body and to love it for having brought you to this realization but it is only the vehicleWest vs East religion of God page 27The West separates the Creator from the creature thus Western religion is a relationship of creature to God the East one the creature identifies with the God thus it is an issue of seeking illumination of identity How should one lead a spiritually fulfilling life As the title says Thou art that we are part of divine our life s task is to experience the full measure of living conuering desire and fear and follow your bliss uote Campbell I was reading this book when my father was diagnosed with his lung cancer Talk about literary serendipities It s a gentle Campbellian consideration of cultural assumptions and how they shape our overall thinking It s a really lovely read This is an excellent book and a fast read for anyone wanting to introduce themselves to the work of Joseph Campbell Though the focus of the book is on the symbology and mythology inherent in the Christian Bible the text still provides us with a nice sense of the most overarching and central message of Campbell s life s wo. World mythology According to Campbell society often confuses the literal and metaphorical interpretations of religious stories and symbols In this collection he elouently reestablishes these metaphors as a means to enhance spiritual understanding and mystical revelation. I ve been a huge fan of Joseph Campbell since being led to The Hero with a Thousand Faces from interviews and documentaries about Star Wars I loved that book but in my opinion there are much deeper and fascinating insights to be found in his wider body of work on comparative mythologyThou art That centers on the interpretation of religious metaphor with several specific examples focusing on Judeo Christian religionmyth However the ideas are broader than just Christianity and several pop culture examples are brought in The main idea is that when you interpret religious symbolism as literal historical fact you completely rob the symbolism of its impact and importance you wall yourself off from the real lesson to be learned It goes further by introducing the idea that our scientific minds shaped by the understanding of a vast and calculated universe no longer respond to the old religious symbology The idea of heaven as a place beyond earth the virgin birth etc We are too literal and scientific to allow the metaphor to come through from these stories And since the symbols no longer speak to us we need new symbols Star Wars 2001 A Space Odyssey and many mythologies and religions come into play here and through the lens of Campbell s symbology reveal much deeper and lasting truths than we allow ourselves to understand While I really liked a lot of the ideas Campbell poses in this book I often felt that his presentation of the ideas was rather convoluted and unclear Also neither he nor his editor now how to use commas But if you think you can untangle the linguistic nots and deal with the free association feel of the writing while tolerating comma misuse the concepts presented are well worth the effort Campbell has an unfortunate habit of painting with too broad a brush glossing over the important differences in order to accentuate otherwise minor similarities That trait along with his unfortunate occasional trips into New Age ish theories and terminology at one ment his obsession with numerology and making the mistake he berates others New Age ish theories and terminology at one ment his obsession with numerology and making the mistake he berates others taking something literally when it s metaphorical in this case his discussion of 40 yearsdaysetc as actually being 40 instead of just a way of signifying a long time are on display here weakening an otherwise promising book The fact the the chapters are stitched together from multiple speeches talks interviews and writings does little for this making the presentation somewhat lacking in focus and depth and in the end it is desperately in need of
a slightly less 
slightly less editor to trim the verbal fatHeavily Gnostic in both tone and topic there is interesting material His treatment of the Genesis stories and discussion on connotation vs denotation are particularly interesting it s just that the weaker parts often overwhelm and eclipse the stronger The wise men who bowed down before the baby Jesus as he lay in the manger they were Magi I new that What I didn t now is that Magi were the priests of the God Mithras and for three centuries Mithras was Christianity s main competitor The wise men s presence at the nativity sce I believe in Campbell with my blood and flesh he understood the power of myth so well Campbell makes some important points about the importance of interpreting myths as mythology and not history He also notes some important recurring themes in different world religionsHowever he falls victim to some lazy syncretism here No not all religious mysticism is the same There s still a pretty big difference between Teresa Avila the Upanishads and the KabbalahMoreover he performs some Dan Brown levels of coincidence herding He jumbles numbers in. Thou Art That is a compilation of previously uncollected essays and lectures by Joseph Campbell that focus on the Judeo Christian tradition Here Campbell explores common religious symbols reexamining and reinterpreting them in the context of his remarkable nowledge of.