books, education, Joseph Campbell, Oswald Spengler, poetry, spirituality, The Decline of the West, The Power of Myth, yoga, Zen
From the very beginning the Omphalos Cafe was conceived as a quiet place, a place away from the tumult and turmoil of our daily round, and a place of slow contemplation and learning from within outwards. For learning and growth is a slow organic process and it cannot be rushed in order to serve the demands of a rapid paced external world.
The Cafe has been my soul-child and sanctuary for more than ten years now and I smile to think how surprised I am when the ‘stats’ page informs me that the number of views has reached thirty in one day! Pathetic, really, if you think about it.
But as I indicated above one of the messages of this pathetic blog is we think too much and do not live enough, and that this thinking too much is directly a result of an educational system skewed inordinately towards the literal and rational rather than the spiritual or mythical. We are like plastic or silk plants glued together or manufactured from without instead of living, breathing organic beings grown and nurtured from within. As a consequence we are hollow and easily broken.
And so the news and internet has gone berserk with the happenings in Washington the other day, but I’m not surprised.
Asked by Bill Moyers “What happens when a society no longer embraces a powerful mythology” Joseph Campbell replied:
“What we’ve got on our hands. If you want to find out what it means to have a society without any rituals, read the New York Times.”
“And you’d find?” Moyers then asked.
“The news of the day, including destructive and violent acts by young people who don’t know how to behave in a civilized society.”—Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, With Bill Moyers
But who reads Joseph Campbell seriously today? And who has even heard of Oswald Spengler, who wrote a hundred years ago of the hollowing out of humankind with the rise to dominance of the great world cities, the megalopolises?
Oh well. The sun is shining and the wind is blowing hard outside my window. After nearly fifty years of living either close to or within cities I am happy to live farther away and surrounded by mountains.
I’ll choose a photo I took on a hike the other day and post these words beneath, and then watch and see if the Omphalos Cafe reaches thirty views by the end of the day.
In life it’s the little things that count….
May you have a quiet and blessed day.
William Daley said:
I enjoy and benefit from your blog. It is inspiring to read. Unusual to find someone who is thoughtful and expressive …
I appreciate that Will, and I especially appreciate the bit about ‘inspiring’, as the intention has never been about parading ‘knowledge’ or ‘intelligence’, but sharing an enthusiasm and passion for learning of whatever form or direction. That’s Life!