rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a great book. Campbell gives an in-depth study of mythology and its overlying theme of the infamous "hero's journey." I really enjoyed reading this text and learning more about world mythology and how it all ties together.
Here are some excerpts from the text of things I liked:
-"...every failure to cope with a life situation must be laid, in the end, to a restriction of consciousness. Wars and temper tantrums are the makeshifts of ignorance; regrets are illuminations come too late" (p. 101)
-"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul is to be read, not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man" (p. 21)
-"It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into the human cultural manifestation" (p. 1)
-"What pleases the deity is virtue and sincerity, not any number of material offerings" (p. 181, quote from Tomobe-no-Yasutaka, Shinto-Gobusho)
-"Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed...When a civilization begins to reinterpret its mythology in this way, the life goes out of it, temples become museums, and the link between the two perspectives is dissolved" (p. 213).
-"It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse" (p. 337)
-"And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal...not in the bright moments of his tribe's victories, but in the silences of his personal despair" (p. 337)
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