“Who ever anywhere will read these written words? Signs on a white field.”—Stephen Dedalus, A.K.A. James Joyce, Ulysses
“Where is the centre of events, the common standpoint around which they revolve and which gives them cohesion?”—Hermann Hesse, The Journey To The East
“Looking back today over the twelve delightful years that I spent on this richly rewarding enterprise, I find that its main result for me has been its 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, irresistibly advancing to some kind of mighty climax, out of which the next great movement will emerge.”—Joseph Campbell, on completion of his Masks Of God series (italics mostly mine)
Three voices. Three men uniquely Western—Faustian if you will—in their outlook. Three men having gained their way, each in his own way against tremendous odds, onto the very top shelf here in the quiet back room at the Omphalos Cafe.
Uniquely Western? Absolutely. For it is only our Western European derived and now global civilization which has courageously gazed out into infinite space and infinite time. Other peoples have woven stories around a mythic eternity, surrounded the earth—or at least their known portion of it—with a mythic space, but only Western man from the very outset carried the seeds of all space and time within his striving, venturesome breast.
Now, ever so gradually, measuring time in generations, we move inexorably towards a realization of where we have come from, and where we ARE right here and now.
Three voices: Joyce’s, Hesse’s, and Campbell’s, all attuned to Campbell’s “single symphony,” as are numerous—but not that many—more. Heralds from a future day.
First notes in the next movement.
“For indeed, it is man that has created the Gods, whereas the power that has created the universe is none other than the will that operates in man himself and in man alone has achieved the consciousness of its kingdom, power, and glory.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology