“Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilization, every age, must bring forth its own.”—Heinrich Zimmer, from Joseph Campbell’s Creative Mythology
“No abstract dialectics here, but a fact of living experience full of flesh and blood.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen
Quiet, contemplative days. Odd jobs and short walks on a healing Achilles heel.
Finishing a lengthy reread of Joseph Campbell’s four volume Masks Of God series, most definitely one of a handful of books from the last century that will survive the rigorous test of time.
For, how else are we to convey the profoundest experiences of Life except through masks? Mirrors held up to the deepest centers of our inner selves. Often enough mistaken for windows of varying opacity on a great mystery ‘beyond’ or ‘out there’. Yes, mistaken, often enough.
Mirrors, for those with eyes to see, that is. For those without eyes to see the masks are hard and impenetrable and easily manipulated with a clever rational mind, the ego’s instrument.
And how much of what we see, hear, read and otherwise imbibe is a product of the ego?
Listen to the voice of a man following the ego’s death:
“The world would only begin to get something of value from me the moment I stopped being a serious member of society and became—myself.“—Henry Miller, Sexus, volume one of The Rosi-Crucifixion trilogy
Rosi-Crucifixion implying a death and resurrection.
Itself a prominent, ubiquitous Mask Of God.