Myths Derive from the Visions of People

Myths derive from the visions of people who have searched their own most inward world. Out of the mess, cultural forms are founded. Consider, for example, the great mythic image on which the whole medieval civilization was founded: the myth, that is to say (and it is a myth, a great one, the appeal of . . . → Read More: Myths Derive from the Visions of People

Elementary vs. Ethnic ideas

Adolphe Bastien was a very great German medical man, traveler, and anthropologist back in the 19th century; in the 1860s, the University of Berlin created their chair of anthropology in his name. Bastion had traveled a great deal, paying considerable attention to the customs of the people he encountered. The universal and local aspects of . . . → Read More: Elementary vs. Ethnic ideas

Developing the Individual Personality-the Western Problem press tab

In our culture, we have a different requirement. We ask our students, our children, to be critical, to use their heads, to become individuals, and to assume responsibility for their own lives. Some them start too soon, it seems to me, but on the whole this is a principle of great creative potency. Yet it . . . → Read More: Developing the Individual Personality-the Western Problem press tab

The Fourth Function of Mythology

Finally, the fourth function of mythology is psychological. The myth must carry the individual through the stages of his life, from birth through maturity through senility to death. The mythology must do so in record with the social order of his group, the cosmos as understood by his group, and the monstrous mystery.

The second . . . → Read More: The Fourth Function of Mythology

Transparent to the Transcendent

I’ve lately gotten to know the work of the splendid psychiatrist in Germany named Karlfried Graph Dürckheim (not to be confused with the French sociologist Emile Durkheim). This psychiatrist has summarized the whole problem of health–-psychological and physical–-with reference to myth, continuing the work of Carl Gustav Jung and Erich Neumann. Their lives in us, . . . → Read More: Transparent to the Transcendent

The New Mandala – symbol and meaning.

And so, with reference, now, to our problem of the symbol, we may say that a symbol, like everything else, shows a double aspect. We must distinguish, therefore, between the “sense” and the “meaning” of the symbol. It seems to me perfectly clear that all the great and little symbolical systems of the past functioned . . . → Read More: The New Mandala – symbol and meaning.

Suppressing individualism in agriculturally based societies..

The highest concern of all of the mythologies, ceremonials, ethical systems, and social organizations of the agriculturally based societies has ever been that of suppressing the manifestations of individualism; and this has been generally achieved by compelling or persuading people to identify themselves not with their own interests, intuitions, or modes of experience, but with . . . → Read More: Suppressing individualism in agriculturally based societies..

Mandala as God & Self

C. G. Jung has pointed out, in one of his numerous discussions of modern mandalas, that whereas in the traditional but now archaic forms the central figure was a god, “now,” as he declares, “the prisoner, or the well-protected dweller in the mandala, does not seem to be a god, in as much as the . . . → Read More: Mandala as God & Self

Myths as collective and individual dreams…

The elements (the bricks) of this marvelous dream-the tree at the world center, the crossing there of the two roads, the world hoop (+), the world mountain, the guides, the world guardians, and their tokens, magical powers, etc.–are such as are known to mythologies of many orders. The landscape and the animals involved, on the . . . → Read More: Myths as collective and individual dreams…

From Social function to Pedagogical Function

A mythological system, in short, according to this view, is a natural, I spontaneous production of the individual psyche, but a socially controlled reorganization of the imprints of childhood, so contrived that the sign stimuli that move the individual will conduce to the well-being of the local culture, and of that local culture alone. What . . . → Read More: From Social function to Pedagogical Function