The Quotes

A post dedicated entirely to the quotes of others?

Why not, I think to myself, considering they are all germane to what goes on here at the Omphalos Cafe.

And as far as I can see what goes on here does not go on anywhere else. It should, I would even go so far as saying it must (if we humans are to truly transcend limitations of time and tradition which seem to go hand in hand with possibly our greatest achievement: civilization), but as yet it doesn’t.

The scope–the breadth of vision–of an Elie Faure, an Oswald Spengler, James Joyce or Joseph Campbell, cannot be taught within the confines of a University. The older I get the more I believe a degree an impediment to this sort of learning–true Living Learning–and something to be overcome, surmounted, if any truly vital Words are to be brought forth.

Which is where we find ourselves today: inundated with words, and craving Words all the same.

These quotes are Words I’ve gathered over the last few years, some of course more resonant than others. They constitute an education in and of themselves, a Living education. There is a great many of them, too many to take in at one sitting. You’ll recognize many of the sources, while a few might be new.

If you have the patience to wade deeper and deeper into them, pay particular attention to those mentioned above: Elie Faure, Oswald Spengler, James Joyce, and Joseph Campbell. These men grasp a vision of Life specific to Western Man. If humankind is to transcend its present state, move forward from its apparent stasis, it will be on a path charted by men such as these. They are the future, if we are to have one at all.

And lastly, listen to the words with your heart and not your brain. They are music, not ideas. Take them slow.

Art, religion, poetry, God, history, philosophy….?

Life is ALL there is.

“…but bear in mind that the word is not the thing, and that the description, however detailed, however intricate, however well-reasoned out and beautiful, is not the thing described.”. –Krishnamurti, You Are The World, pg. 2.

“Thought is the response of memory, knowledge and experience; it is always the product of the past and it cannot possibly bring about freedom because freedom is something that is in the living active present, in daily life.” –Krishnamurti, You Are The World, pg. 3

“When art declines under the blows of criticism or under the weight of fatigue, science, assuming the upper hand, drags to its ruin the previously imagined social poem.” –Elie Faure, The Spirit Of The Forms, pg. 252

“Everything becomes poetry again as soon as knowledge, after having saturated the mind, is obliged to appeal once more to the synthetic intuition to break the rigid circle every system is fated to create when it exhausts its virtue.” –Elie Faure, The Spirit Of The Forms, pg. 255

“Occidental analysis, in ruining the Christian myth, has accumulated in us such unemployed forces that we can foresee their approaching organization on some mystical plane under pain of being destroyed by them if we refuse to utilize them.” –Elie Faure, The Spirit Of The Forms,  pg. 256

“There is no history for a people, as there is no personality for a man, unless he consents to inflict upon the stone, the sound, the word, or the bold adventurous action, the form of that lyric reality which he discovers in the universe.” –Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 1

“I believe that it is necessary simply to learn to play with the most frightful realities of this world, which are also the most permanent. From the time that we know them to be indispensable, from the time that we have gone one step further than they, from the time that we discover at our own expense that the feelings of clear sighted horror that they awaken in our souls cause to flow back into it, like a revenge of the reason liberated from its chains, and of life set free from its limitations, the lyric indifference of great contemplation, one tastes an unspoiled and intoxicating delight. The abyss is covered in flowers.” –Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 5

“Can you listen to me completely silently, without any interference of thought?—Seeing that the moment you try to do this you are already in thought.” —Krishnamurti, You Are The World, pg.10

“Nor can a mind that is filled with knowledge perceive what truth is; only a mind that is completely capable of learning can do that; learning is not the accumulation of knowledge; learning is a movement from moment to moment.”—Krishnamurti, You Are The World, pg. 19

“The hero is the artist, is he who makes no choice. I mean he who does not make a sentimental choice.”—Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 61

“Looking back on my own experiences, they all converge towards a kind of insight to which I cannot help ascribing some metaphysical significance.”—William James, taken from the forward to Alan W. Watts’ The Joyous Cosmology.

“Today the attention of psychologists, philosophers, and theologians is centering on the effects of three synthetic substances—mescaline, lysergic acid [diethylamide], and psilocybin.”—Timothy Leary, forward to Alan W. Watts’ The Joyous Cosmology.

“We have had to return again and again to the nondualistic conceptions of Eastern philosophy, a theory of mind made more explicit and familiar in our Western world by Bergson, Aldous Huxley, and Alan Watts.’—Timothy Leary, forward to Alan W. Watts’ The Joyous Cosmology.

“He is, of course, attempting the impossible—to describe in words (which always lie) that which is beyond words.”—Timothy Leary, forward to Alan W. Watts’ The Joyous Cosmology

“I should perhaps add that, for me, philosophical reflection is barren when divorced from poetic imagination, for we proceed to understanding of the world upon two legs, not one.”—Alan Watts, from preface to The Joyous Cosmology.

“The multitude has become subdivided. There is, as it were, an infinite scattering of its gifts, an absolute eclipse of its lyrical needs, and architecture has disappeared.”—Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 78

“The artist possesses all religions.”— Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 82

“Art is identical with love, which is, in each of us, a need existing before the meeting with the man or woman with whom it becomes identified for a day, a month, or a year, and which survives this meeting to wander, unsatisfied and miserable, up to the hour that the meeting with another woman or man excites its resurrection.”— Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 83

“You look upon Bibles and religions as divine—and I say that they are divine. And I say that they have all come from you, can come again from you, and that it is not they that give life, but you who give life.”—Walt Whitman, as quoted from Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 84

“The Holy Spirit does not descend from God to animate the heart of man; the Holy Spirit arises from man to animate the heart of God.”— Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 84

“In times when disorder rules, the artist, because he is a man of order, approves the revolution.”— Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 112

“Now, when the social organism is in fragments, when criticism has taken up everything in order to destroy and refound everything, a hero appears—as I have already said, it seems—who will sustain the temple on his shoulder and gather up in the silence of his generous and despairing heart the love which has abandoned the multitudes.”— Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 119

“We acknowledge the marvelously hidden plot, the master illusion, whereby we appear to be different.”—Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology, pg. 53

“The principle is that all dualities and opposites are not disjoined but polar; they do not encounter and confront one another from afar; they exfoliate from a common center. Ordinary thinking conceals polarity and relativity because it employs terms, the terminals or ends, the poles, neglecting what lies between them. The difference of front and back, to be or not to be, hides their unity and mutuality.”— Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology, pg. 54

“In the type of experience I am describing, it seems that the superconscious method of thinking becomes conscious. We see the world as the whole body sees it, and for this very reason there is the greatest difficulty in attempting to translate this mode of vision into a form of language that is based on contrast and classification. To the extent, then, that man has become a being centered in consciousness, he has become centered in clash, conflict, and discord. He ignores, as beneath notice, the astounding perfection of his organism as a whole, and this is why, in most people, there is such a deplorable disparity between the intelligent and marvelous order of their bodies and the trivial occupations of  their consciousness. But in this other world the situation is reversed. Ordinary people look like gods because the values of the organism are uppermost, and the concerns of consciousness fall back into the subordinate position which they should properly hold. Love, unity, harmony, and relationship therefore take precedence over war and division.”—Alan Watts, tripping on acid in The Joyous Cosmology, pg. 56

“And will it be always so? Surely, in its great lines. Life changes it’s instruments and it’s decorations, but never its internal rhythm or essence. Man wears diverse clothes, but always the same heart.”—Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 146

“Why should there not be forever, in this hemisphere or another, in this planet or another, old races and tired races, adult races and virile races, innocent races at the dawn of life, or if you do not wish more races, groups of men at a different level,…”—Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 146

“All the regimes die because those who are on high pursue, in the shadow of dead symbols, individual interests, while those who are below pursue, in the light of symbols being born, their collective interests.”— Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 153

“All sing, all build, and all hearts beating together flood with such life the secret God that inhabits them, that His form appears.”—Elie Faure, last sentence of The Dance Over Fire And Water, pg. 158

“History, religion, civilization, the conquest of the universe by man, his pathetic creation of God, all this is nothing but poetry—….”—Elie Faure, The Spirit Of The Forms, pg. 264

“In the next war only the air force will outlive the women and children.”—Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology, pg. 71

“There is simply no problem of life; it is completely purposeless play—exuberance which is its own end.”— Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology, pg. 78

“There is simply no reason to explain it, for explanations are just another form of complexity, a new manifestation of life on top of life, of gestures gesturing.”—Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology, pg. 78

“Since sexuality increased the possibilities of genetic variation, it also greatly accelerated the rate at which evolution could proceed as organisms encountered new environments.”—David Attenborough, Life On Earth, pg.24

“This kind of coordination between constituent cells in a colony was taken a stage further, probably between 800 to 1000 million years ago—…when sponges appeared.”— David Attenborough, Life On Earth, pg. 26

“The marvelous industrial implement which it [science] has created in our epoch is not capable of spiritually augmenting man, like poetry, painting, or music, but it creates the new circumstances and the unexpected dramas in which poetry, painting, and music can renew their nourishment.”—Elie Faure, The Spirit Of The Forms, pg. 275

“But it is possible also for the principle of regeneration to be sought and found within the very walls of the tyrant’s empire itself.”—Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, pg. 17

“This is the process known to Hindu and Buddhist philosophy as viveka, ‘discrimination.'”— Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, pg. 18

“For, as in the visible world of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, so also in the visionary world of the gods: there has been a history, an evolution, a series of mutations, governed by laws; and to show forth such laws is the proper aim of science.”—Joseph Campbell, The Masks Of God: Primitive Mythology, pg. 5

“How teach again, however, what has been taught correctly and incorrectly learned a thousand thousand times, throughout the millenniums of mankind’s prudent folly? That is the hero’s ultimate difficult task.”—Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, pg. 218

“All participate in the ceremonial according to rank and function. The whole society becomes visible to itself as an imperishable living unit. Generations of individuals pass, like anonymous cells from a living body; but the sustaining, timeless form remains.”— Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, pg. 383

“The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul.”— Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, pg. 388

“Such a monkey-holiness is not what the functioning world requires; rather, a transmutation of the whole social order is necessary, so that through every detail and act of secular life the vitalizing image of the universal god-man who is actually immanent and effective in all of us may be somehow made known to consciousness.”— Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, pg. 389

“Clearly, mythology is no toy for children. Nor is it a matter of archaic, merely scholarly concern, of no moment to modern men of action.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 12

“The opaque weight of the world—both of life on earth and of death, heaven, and hell—is dissolved, and the spirit freed, not from anything, for there is nothing from which to be freed except a myth too solidly believed, but for something, something fresh and new, a spontaneous act.” — Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 28

“The image of the inherited enemy is already sleeping in the nervous system, and along with it the well proven reaction.”— Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 30

“Privation and suffering alone can open the mind of a man to all that is hidden to others.”—Words of the primitive Eskimo shaman Igjugarjuk, as quoted in Joseph Campbell’s Primitive Mythology, pg. 54

“These extraordinary creatures have spread to all corners of the earth in an unprecedented way. They live on the ice of the Poles and in the tropical jungles on the equator. They have climbed the highest mountains where oxygen is cripplingly scarce and dived down with special breathing devices to walk on the bed of the sea. Some have even left the planet altogether and visited the moon.”—David Attenborough, Life On Earth, pg. 293

“The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections, They scorn the best I can do to relate them.”—Walt Whitman, Leaves Of Grass, pg.35

“Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Well I have, for the fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of the rock has.”— Walt Whitman, Leaves Of Grass, pg. 41

“As he was browsing the Carmel library one day, his hand moved, as if by itself, he said, to a copy of Oswald Spengler’s monumental Decline Of The West, only recently published in America.” Stephen and Robin Larsen, A Fire In The Mind, The Life Of Joseph Campbell, pg. 176

“It has been one of the chief aims of all religious teaching and ceremonial, therefore, to suppress as much as possible the sense of ego and develop that of participation. Such participation, in primitive cults, is principally in the organism of community, which itself is conceived as participating in the natural order of the local environment.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 82

“Oswald Spengler, in The Decline Of The West, coined the term ‘historical pseudomorphosis’ to designate, as he explained, ‘those cases in which an older alien culture lies so massively over a land that a younger culture, born in this land, cannot get its breath and fails not only to achieve pure and specific forms, but even to develop fully it’s own self consciousness.'”—Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 31

“…and in like manner the North European culture developed throughout its Gothic period under an overlay of both classical Greco-Roman and Levantine biblical forms, in each of which there was the idea of a single law for mankind, from which notion we are only now beginning to break free.” (italics mine)—Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 32

“I exist as I am, that is enough, if no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content.”—Walt Whitman, Leaves Of Grass Used.

“But beyond that [the normal daylight working of the intellect] there is a thinking in primordial images—in symbols that are older than historical man; which have been ingrained in him from earliest times, and, eternally living, outlasting all generations, still make up the groundwork of the human psyche. It is possible to live the fullest life only when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them.” Italics mine—Carl Jung, quoted from Joseph Campbell’s Primitive Mythology, pg. 125

  “The giants were overthrown, pinned beneath mountains, exiled to the rugged regions at the bounds of the earth, and as long as the power of the gods can keep them there the people, the animals, the birds, and all living things will know the blessings of a world ruled by law.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 239

“The shaman represents this principle on the primitive level, as do the mystic, the poet, and the artist in the higher reaches of the culture scale.”— Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 264

“Actually,…there is a formative force spontaneously working, like a magnetic field, to precipitate and organize the ethnic [local, historical] structures from behind, or within, so that they cannot finally be interpreted economically, sociologically, politically, or historically.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 264

“Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them.”—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet, pg. 23

Everything is gestation and then birthing.”—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet, pg. 23

“From my heart comes out and dances the image of my own desire. The gleaming image flits on. I try to clasp it firmly,  it eludes me and leads me astray. I seek what I cannot get, I get what I do not seek.”—Rabindranath Tagore, The Gardener, pg. 13

“We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave….”—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, pg. 68

“For it is one of the curiosities and difficulties of our subject that its materials come to us for the most part through the agency of the male.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 352

“So that even where the woman may seem to have disappeared from the scene…we must realize that she is there, even so, and watch for the ripple of her presence behind the curtain.”— Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 353

“I got to thinking about the friends I used to have and how there ain’t so many as there used to be.”—Henry Miller, from a Letter To Emil [Schnellock], Spring ’25, pg. 13

“The game, if communicated, would then have established a tradition. And the endurance of the tradition would have depended upon the force of its appeal—that is to say, its power to evoke and organize life energy.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg.392

“Why must we consider always the intelligence of the reader? Is it not for the reader to endeavor to understand us?”—Henry Miller, Letters To Emil, pg. 28

“All [religious] doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself.”—Ramakrishna, Joseph Campbell’s Primitive Mythology, pg. 463

“With the turn, however, to agriculture, c. 6000 B.C., and the rapid development of sedentary, highly differentiated, and very much larger social units (up to, say, four or five hundred souls), the problem not only of enforcing but also of rationalizing a dharma in which inequality and yet coordination are of the essence became acute.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 468

“The shaman is in a measure released from the local system of illusions and put in touch with mysteries of the psyche itself, which lead to wisdom concerning both the self and its world; and he thereby performs the necessary function for society of moving it from stability and sterility in the old toward new reaches and new depths of realization.”— Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 471

“There must have been such music [jazz] in Rome under the later emperors.”—Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf, pg. 43

“Many of the books, however, we’re not of a scholarly nature. The majority were works of the poets of all times and peoples.”— Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf, pg. 13

“Now there are times when a whole generation is caught in this way between two ages, two modes of life, with the consequence that it loses all power to understand itself and has no standard, no security, no simple acquiescence. Naturally everyone does not feel this equally strongly. A nature such as Nietzsche’s had to suffer our present ills more than a generation in advance. What he had to go through alone and misunderstood, thousands suffer today.”—Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf, pg. 24

“You know of course, where this other world lies hidden. It is the world of your own soul that you seek. Only within yourself exists that other reality for which you long.”— Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf, pg. 199

“And we may take it also,… that the considerable mutual attraction of the very young and the very old may derive something from their common, secret knowledge that it is they, and not the busy generation between, who are concerned with a poetic play that is eternal and truly wise.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 123

“Could by any chance culture be the meaning and purpose of the second half of life?”—Carl Jung, as quoted from Primitive Mythology, pg. 124

“The myths and rites constitute a mesocosm—a mediating, middle cosmos, through which the microcosm of the individual is brought into relation to the macrocosm of the all.”—Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 150

“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, pg. 280

“And the priests of the chains of Zeus may well tremble; for the bonds are disintegrating of themselves.”— Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology, pg. 281

“It is not that the divine is everywhere: it is that the divine is everything.“—Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 12

“As long as an illusion of ego remains, the commensurate illusion of a separate deity also will be there; and vice versa, as long as the idea of a separate deity is cherished, an illusion of ego, related to it in love, fear, worship, exile, or atonement, will also be there.”—Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 14

“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, pg. 62

“Who ever anywhere will read these written words? Signs on a white field.”—Stephen Dedalus, A.K.A. James Joyce, Ulysses, pg. 49

“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

“Similarly, the symbols and formulas of the Glass Bead Game combined structurally, musically, and philosophically within the framework of a universal language, were nourished by all the sciences and arts, and strove in play to achieve perfection, pure being, the fullness of reality. Thus ‘realizing’ was a favorite expression among the players. They considered their Games a path from Becoming to Being, from potentiality to reality.”—Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi, or The Glass Bead Game, pg. 30

“Whereas the typical Occidental hero is a personality, and therefore necessarily tragic, doomed to be implicated seriously in the agony and the mystery of temporality, the Oriental hero is the monad: in essence without character but an image of eternity, untouched by, or else casting off successfully, the delusory involvements of the mortal sphere.”—Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 243

“To see the [Bodhi-tree] is not enough. Even to go sit beneath the tree is not enough. Each has to find and go sit beneath the tree himself and then, in solitary thought, begin the passage into and to himself, who is nowhere at all.”— Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 274

“All that is form is deceptive. But when it is seen that all form is no form, the Buddha is recognized….All things are Buddha things.”—The Buddha

“The ocean of true and universal knowledge of all the Buddhas derives its source from one’s own mind and thought.”—Shakyamuni, from Joseph Campbell’s Oriental Mythology, pg.316

“The image of Christ in the course of time, however, was to assume a character increasingly realistic, whereas that of the Buddha, on the other hand, was rapidly going the other way.”—Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg.317

“Though he is hidden in all things,

That self does not shine forth.

Yet he is seen by subtle seers

With superior, subtle intellect.”—Katha Upanishad

“For Shinto, at root, is a religion not of sermons but of awe: which is a sentiment that may or may not produce words, but in either case goes beyond them.”— Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 476

“A Shinto rite, then, can be defined as an occasion for the recognition and evocation of an awe that inspires gratitude to the source and nature of being.”—Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 477

“So that living Shinto is not the following of some set-down moral code, but a living in gratitude and awe amid the mystery of things.”—Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 477

“The period—we must note—was that of the fanatic cutting down of the Old Germanic sacred shrines and groves by the early Christian mission (Boniface, the first Archbishop of Mainz, 732)—which…produced in the European psyche a mythic schizophrenia…that is deeply with us still….”— Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 481

“From this absolute emptiness, states Takuan, comes the most wondrous unfoldment of doing.”— Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 495

“Zen, it might be said, is the art of being ‘in form’ for everything, all the time. There is no blocking: all perfectly flows.”—Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pg. 495

“The patriarchal point of view is distinguished from the earlier view by its setting apart of all pairs-of-opposites—male and female, life and death, true and false, good and evil—as though they were absolutes in themselves and not merely aspects of the larger entity of life.”—Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 26

“‘Blood I shall amass,’ he [Marduk] confided to his father; ‘bone I shall frame, and set up a creature. ‘Man’ shall be his name. Yes, Man! He will be required to serve the gods; and these, then, will be free to repose at ease.'”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 84

“And we are going to find, throughout the following history of the orthodox patriarchal systems of the West, that the power of this goddess-mother of the world, whom we have here seen defamed, abused, insulted, and overthrown by her sons, is to remain as an ever-present threat to their castle of reason, which is founded upon a soil that they consider to be dead but is actually alive, breathing, and threatening to shift.”—Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 86

“[W]ith this turn from the plane of the mother to that of the sons, the sense of the identity of life and death disappears, together with that of the power of life to bring forth its own forms, so that all now is strife and effort, defamation of what is alien, pretentiousness, grandiloquence, and a lurking sense of guilt…”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 86

“Professor Gilbert Murray has termed the centuries between the flowering of classical Athens and the growth of the radically different garden of the early Christian era the period of the Failure of Nerve.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 246

“Smiths and shamans are from the same nest,” declares a Yakut proverb cited by [Mircea] Eliade.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 292

“In fact, throughout the history of European myth, the tendency of the later mystic modes to unite with, and to find support in, the modes of both Celtic and Germanic myth has been decisive for the development of much that in our literature is of the highest spiritual strain.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 298

“…I would make as if to put away the book which I imagined was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had gone on thinking, while I was asleep, about what I had just been reading, but these thoughts had taken a rather peculiar turn; it seemed to me that I myself was the immediate subject of my book…”—Marcel Proust, In Search Of Time Lost, first paragraph of the Overture

“For the function of such myth-building is to interpret the sense, not to chronicle the facts, of a life, and to offer the artwork of a legend, then, as an activating symbol for the inspiration and shaping of lives, and even civilizations to come.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 347

“And as the future Buddha, having tested all the sages of his time, bathed in the river Nairanjana and departed to his tree alone, so likewise Jesus, half a millennium later, leaving behind the wisdom of the Law and teaching of the Pharisees, came to the ultimate teacher of his time—and passed beyond.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 350

“I am the Light that is above them all,

I am the All.

The All came forth from Me and the All attained to Me.

Cleave a piece of wood, I am there:

Lift up the stone, you will find me there.”—attributed to Jesus, Gnostic codices from Nag-Hamadi jar, Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 367

“It has been determined that the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels of the New Testament were derived from a common stock of ‘sayings’ (logia), preserved and passed about, at first orally, among the communities of the faithful, which then became fixed in various ways in various writings.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 368

“However, in the course of the second century, when the grandiose promise of the early Christian apocalyptic vision failed to come to pass, so that the expectation had somehow to be spiritualized, the seeds of Christian Gnosticism took root and gained in force.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 376

“It could be said that in turning from Pharisee to Christian, Paul simply transferred his temperament to the other side of the line and that the Christian Church that he founded thus inherited and carried into Europe the stamp of his Levantine regard for the monolithic consensus.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 379

“And so it was that in the name of this community, as its own image of Christ gradually matured, the history of the West for the next two thousand years was to be carved and trimmed.”—Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 380

“All that wells up from the depths of the young soul is cast in the old molds, young feelings stiffen in senile works, and instead of rearing itself up in its own creative power, it can only hate the distant power with a hate that grows to be monstrous.”—Oswald Spengler on the pseudomorphosis, from Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 398

“And the second [Spenglarian pseudomorphoses] might be termed the Levantine revenge; namely, the massive diffusion of Pauline Christianity over the whole culture field of Europe, after which the native Celtic and Germanic sense of being, and manner of experience, we’re compelled to find both expression and support in alien terms, antipodal, or even antipathetic, to every native sentiment and impulse.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 401

“It is a law of our subject, proven time and time again, that where the orthodoxies of the world go apart, the mystic way unites.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 448

“The mystic way… plunges within, to those nerve centers that are in all members of the human race alike, and are at once the wellsprings and ultimate receptacles of life and all experiences of life.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 449

“‘Disobedience,’ the exercise of individual judgement and freedom of decision, was exactly Satan’s crime.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 455

“The intellect proves itself as a kind of nuisance in more ways than one, but it is a useful instrument in our practical life, and as long as we make judicious use of it we shall derive much benefit from it.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 11

“When Zen gives utterance to itself, it goes against the intellect so as to upset it from its very foundation; the intellect loses its way and stands completely dazed.”— D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 14

“God is in all things as being, as activity, as power.”—Meister Eckhart

“Eckhart, of course, was excommunicated: by the bull of Pope John XXII, March 27, 1329; after which his writings passed, as it were, into the underground….”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 515

“The adventure of the Grail—the quest within for those creative values by which the Waste Land is redeemed—has become today for each the unavoidable task; for, as there is no more any fixed horizon, there is no more any fixed center, any Mecca, Rome, or Jerusalem.”— Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, pg. 522

“For those, however, in whom the authorized signs no longer work—or, if working, produce deviant effects—there follows inevitably a sense both of dissociation from the local social nexus and of quest, within and without, for life, which the brain will take to be for ‘meaning.'”—Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 5

“The art required is to make sounds, words, and forms, whether of base or of noble provenance, open out in back, as it were, to eternity, and this requires of the artist that he should himself, in his individual experience, have touched anew that still point in this turning world of which the immemorial mythic forms are the symbols and guarantee.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 94

“For in their view [twelfth century troubadours and minnesingers], not heaven but this blossoming earth was to be recognized as the true domain of love, as it is of life, and the corruption ruinous of love was not of nature (of which love is the very heart) but of society, both lay and ecclesiastical: the public order and, most immediately, its sacramentalized loveless marriages.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 183

“So I have not declared all that appears and is necessary in this work, because there are things of which a man may not speak… Such matters must be transmitted in mystical terms, like poetry employing fables and parables.”—from an early sixteenth-century alchemical text, the Rosarium philosophorum, Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 263

“For this work, you should employ venerable Nature, because from her and through her and in her is our art born and in naught else: and so our magisterium is the work of Nature and not of the worker.”—the Rosarium philosophorum, Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 264

“I conjure you, my brethren, REMAIN TRUE TO THE EARTH, and believe not those who speak unto you  superearthly hopes! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not.”—Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, pg.27

“Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos.”—Stephen Dedalus, A.K.A. James Joyce, Ulysses 

“We all know, in large things as in small, in general as well as in particular, piece after piece collapsed, and how the alarming poverty of symbols that is now the condition of our life came about.”—Carl Jung on the history of Protestantism, Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 367

“What, then, is the Waste Land?

It is the land where the myth is patterned by authority, not emergent from life; where there is no poet’s eye to see, no adventure to be lived, where all is set for all and forever: Utopia! Again, it is the land where poets languish and priestly spirits thrive, whose task it is only to repeat, enforce, and elucidate cliches. And this blight of the soul extends today from the cathedral close to the university campus.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 373

“Here and there I come in touch with German universities: what an atmosphere prevails among the scholars, what a spiritual desert, how lukewarm and complacent! … The hard helotism to which the prodigious range of the contemporary sciences condemns every individual scholar is the main reason why the fuller, richer, more profoundly endowed of our students can no longer find appropriate education or educators. There is nothing from which this culture suffers more than from superabundance of pretentious corner-watchers and fragments of humanity; and the universities, against their will, are the real hothouses of this kind of stunting of the spiritual instincts.”–Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight Of The Idols, 1888

“First, a religious training in coined platitudes from a world as far from the modern as any could possibly be; next, a so-called liberal-arts education, by way of lecture courses, seminars and quizzes, week by week: ‘great books’ summarized and evaluated, stuffed into emptied heads as authorized information, to be signaled back, for grades; and then the sciences—at the outer reaches of thought!—all taught by sterilized authorities who, in those unrecapturable years of their own youth, when the ears, eyes, and heart of the spirit open to the marvel of oneself and the universe, we’re condemned to that same hard helotism of which Nietzsche writes. There is no time, no place, no permission—let alone encouragement—for experience.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 374

“Human need, aggravated by the course of history, leaps backward over intelligent leadership, confuses priestly, folk, and primitive beliefs, grabs now here, now there, at traditions, submerges itself in mysteries, sets fairy tales in the place of poetry, and elevates these to articles of belief. Instead of intelligently instructing and quickly influencing, people now strew seeds and weeds together indiscriminately on all sides; no central point is offered any more on which to concentrate, but every-odd individual steps forward as leader and teacher, and gives forth his perfect folly as a perfected whole.”—Goethe, 1853, from Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 379

“The million of words or so which I had written previously, which were intelligible words, mind you, well ordered, well connected, we’re as nothing to me—crude ciphers from the old stone age—because the contact was through the head and the head was a useless appendage unless you’re anchored in mid-channel deep in the mud.”—Henry Miller, Tropic Of Capricorn

“To get beneath the facts I would have had to be an artist, and one doesn’t become an artist overnight. First you have to be crushed, to have your conflicting points of view annihilated. You have to be wiped out as a human being in order to be born again an individual.”—Henry Miller, Tropic Of Capricorn

“One morning Parzival said courteously (as many there saw and heard), ‘If you will permit, my lady, I should like, with your allowance, to see how things stand now with my mother: I know not whether ill or well.'”—Wolfram Von Eschenbach, Parzival

“There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”—Henry Miller, Sexus

“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 Miler, Sexus

“I cannot do it, Reginald, everything I have written seems as worthless as straw.”—Thomas Aquinas, from Joseph Campbell’s Creative Mythology, pg. 579

“I adjure you by the living God Almighty and by your duty to our Order and by the love you have for me, that so long as I am alive you will never tell anyone what I am going to tell you. ….Everything that I have written seems to me worthless in comparison with the things I have seen and which have been revealed to me.”—Thomas Aquinas, from Joseph Campbell’s Creative Mythology, pg. 579

“By about 1440 the art of printing from movable type had been invented, and, from his press at Mainz, Johann Gutenberg produced in 1454 and 1455 the first dated printed documents, some letters of indulgence made from type cast in a mold; then in 1456 the so-called Mazarin Bible (named from a copy in the library of Cardinal Mazarin, 1602-1661).”—Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 599

Following the great voyages of discovery, ca 1445-1550 AD:

“So that, besides new worlds geographically, new worlds of mythology had also been discovered, and the problem already was recognized that has been exercising students of religion ever since: of how it is to be explained that so many of the basic themes and patterns of the authorized Christian myths and rites appear also (in Satanic parody, as it were) among the heathens of the Americas, Africa, and Asia.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 600

“So let us attempt now to say something of the new prospects for mythology appearing in this fresh world of NOW and HERE, beyond the scattered ruins—still in fragments among us—of the old Sumerian mansion of five thousand years.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 608

“This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: Tat tvam asi, this is you. Or again, in such words as ‘I am in the east and in the west, I am below and above, I am this whole world’.“—Erwin Schrödinger, from Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 610

“Cleave a piece of wood, I am there.”—Jesus, The Gnostic Gospel Of Thomas, from Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 611

“Truth is one, the sages call it by many names.”—Indian Rg Veda, from Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 611

 “No abstract dialectics here, but a fact of living experience full of flesh and blood.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 27

“One of the objects of Zen training is to crush the dualistic idea of mind and body.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 28

“Man makes many tools and uses them effectively in various fields of his activity, but he is always exposing himself to the tyranny of the tools he has made. The result is that he is no more master of himself, but an abject slave to his surroundings, and the worst thing is that he is not conscious of this fact.”— D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 30

“…[W]e cannot take over the Indian solutions. We must enter the new period our own way and solve its questions for ourselves, because though truth, the radiance of reality, is universally one and the same, it is mirrored variously according to the mediums in which it is reflected. Truth appears differently in different lands and ages according to the living materials out of which it’s symbols are hewn.”—Heinrich Zimmer, from Joseph Campbell’s Creative Mythology, pg.625

“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, pg.625

“We cannot borrow God. We must effect His new incarnation from within ourselves.”—Heinrich Zimmer, from Joseph Campbell’s Creative Mythology, pg.626

“…[A]mong the Semites in their desert homeland, where nature—Mother Nature—had little or nothing to give and life depended largely on the order and solidarity of the group, all faith was placed in whatever god was locally recognized as patron-father of the tribe.”—Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 626

“In art, in myth, in rites, we enter the sphere of dream awake. And as the imagery of dream will be on one level local, personal, and historic, but at bottom rooted in the instincts, so also myth and symbolic art.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 671

“The message of an effective living myth is delivered to the sphere of bliss of the deep unconscious, where it touches, wakes, and summons energies;  so that symbols operating on that level are energy-releasing and -channeling stimuli.”—Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 671

“The infantile response system of dependency must be transformed to responsibility, and specifically in terms of the requirements of the local social order. The son has to become father, and the daughter, mother, passing from the sphere of childhood, which is everywhere essentially the same, to that of the variously offered social roles, which radically differ according to the modes of human life. The instincts have to be governed and matured in the interests both of the group and of the individual, and traditionally it has been the prime function of mythology to serve this social-psychological end.”— Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pg. 674

“Today I am proud to say that I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. I have nothing to do with the creaking machinery of humanity—I belong to the earth!”—Henry Miller, Tropic Of Cancer

“Side by side with the human race there runs another race of beings, the inhuman ones, the race of artists who, goaded by unknown impulses, take the lifeless mass of humanity and by the fever and ferment with which they imbue it turn this soggy dough into bread and the bread into wine and the wine into song.”—Henry Miller, Tropic Of Cancer

“Anything else, in my opinion, is literature, and I am not interested in literature.“—Henry Miller, The Cosmological Eye

“I eschew all clear cut interpretations: with increasing simplification the mystery heightens. What I know tends to become more and more unstateable. I live in certitude, a certitude which is not dependent upon proofs or faith.”—Henry Miller, Wisdom Of The Heart

“Understanding is not a piercing of the mystery, but an acceptance of it, a living blissfully with it, in it, through and by it.”—Henry Miller, Wisdom Of The Heart

“Like the primal spirit of the universe, like the unshakable absolute, the One, the All, the creator, i.e., the artist, expresses himself by and through imperfection. It is the stuff of life, the very sign of livingness.”—Henry Miller, Wisdom Of The Heart

“Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.”—Henry Miller, Wisdom Of The Heart

“The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who like the author himself are initiated into the mysteries.”—Henry Miller, Wisdom Of The Heart

“I believe that one must pass beyond the sphere and influence of art. Art is only a means to life, to the life more abundant. It merely points the way, something which is overlooked not only by the public, but very often by the artist himself.”—Henry Miller, Wisdom Of The Heart

“It goes without saying that I am essentially a religious person, and always have been.”—Henry Miller, The World Of Sex

“The facts and events of life are for me only the starting points on the way towards a discovery of truth.”—Henry Miller, The World Of Sex

“If I tell of facts, events, relationships, something strung along like beads on a string, it is only to bring to the reader’s consciousness the all-pervasiveness of the dark, mysterious realm without the existence of which nothing could happen.”— Henry Miller, The World Of Sex

“Few ever get to the heart of the labyrinth. Most of us crawl about the entrance, or else venture timidly a few paces within only to retreat in panic.”— Henry Miller, The World Of Sex

“…[W]hat distinguishes the men I have in mind is that they did not impose their authority on man; on the contrary, they sought to destroy authority. Their aim and purpose was to open up life, to make man hungry for life, to exult life—and to refer all questions back to life.”—Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

“But when we think of a book proper, in the sense that a Bible means a book, we mean more than this. We mean, that is to say, a revelation of something that had remained latent, unconscious, perhaps even more or less intentionally repressed, within the writer’s own soul, that is, ultimately, the soul of mankind.”—Havelock Ellis, preface to The Dance Of Life

“These books are apt to repel; nothing, indeed, is so likely to shock us at first as the manifest revelation of ourselves.”— Havelock Ellis, preface to The Dance Of Life

“Therefore, such books may have to knock again and again at the closed door of our hearts.”—Havelock Ellis, preface to The Dance Of Life

“All these statements defy being fitted into the frame of logical reasonableness. To make them intelligible satori is needed.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 46

“Those who reflect, however, build up a world of concepts, and postulate a continuum. But as this is the result of intellectual deliberation the continuum is not apprehended as such by most.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 47

An all-embracing whole must be directly grasped as a whole complete in itself. But if it is grasped in a way in which parts, atomic parts, are grasped, it ceases to be a whole, it turns to be a part of the whole which, as an infinitely expansible totality, for ever eludes our pretension, which is postulationally conditioned.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 48

“Satori is the continuum becoming conscious if it. When it perceives itself as it is in itself there is a satori.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 50

“Silence is probably the most eloquent way of indicating or suggesting it.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 51

“In conformity with this view gained in satori, the Zen master is a most ordinary man with no mysteries, with no miracles about him; he is not distinguishable from a man in the street. He talks conventionally, acts like a sensible man, and eats and drinks like ordinary human beings.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 51

“Satori obtains when eternity cuts into time or impinges upon time, or, which is the same thing after all, when time merges itself into eternity.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 53

“The bifurcation of reality is the work of the intellect; indeed it is the way in which we try to understand it in order to make use of it in our practical life.”— D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 55

“At the beginning of the intellectual awakening we thought we achieved a grand feat in arranging reality within the frame of time and space. We never thought this was really preparing for  a spiritual tragedy.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, pg. 55

“The spirit comes to guide me in my need, I write, ‘In the beginning was the Deed.'”—Goethe, Faust Part I, pg. 71

“But the doctor thought this was splendid proof of an overwhelming vocation: the only force capable of competing with the power of love. And more than any other the artistic vocation, the most mysterious of all, to which one devotes one’s entire life without expecting anything in return.”—Gabriel García Márquez, Living To Tell The Tale, pg. 30

“Words are only shells. Win conviction of God’s presence through your own joyous contact in meditation.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography Of A Yogi, pg. 56

“The way of ‘self-expression’, individual acknowledgements, results in egotists, sure of the right to their private interpretations of God And the universe.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography Of A Yogi, pg. 61

“Truth humbly retires, no doubt, before such arrogant originality.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography Of A Yogi, pg. 61

“Man makes many tools and uses them effectively in various fields of his activity, but he is always exposing himself to the tyranny of the tools he has made. The result is that he is no more master of himself, but an abject slave to his surroundings, and the worst thing is that he is not conscious of this fact.”— D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen

“Worldly people do not like the candor which shatters their delusions. Saints are not only rare but disconcerting.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography Of A Yogi, pg. 86

“What Zen attempts is no other than the most radical revolution of our world view.”— D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen, p. 69

“But if the vision was true and mighty, as I know, it is true and mighty yet; for such things are of the spirit, and it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.”—Black Elk Speaks, as told by John G. Neihardt, pg. 2

“This, then, is not the tale of a great hunter or of a great warrior, or of a great traveller, although I have made much meat and fought for my people both as boy and man, and have gone far and seen strange lands and men. So also have many others done, and better than I. These things I shall remember by the way, and often they may seem to be the very tale itself, as when I was living them in happiness and sorrow. But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man too weak to use it; of a holy tree that should have flourished in a people’s heart with flowers and singing birds, and now is withered; and of a people’s dream that died in bloody snow.”—Black Elk Speaks, as told by John G. Neihardt, pg. 1

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