Link: Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell

“Mythology––and therefore civilization––is a poetic, supernormal image, conceived, like all poetry, in depth, but susceptible of interpretation on various levels. The shallowest minds see in it the local scenery; the deepest, the foreground of the void; and between are the stages of the Way from the ethnic to the elementary idea, the local to the universal being, which is Everyman, as he both knows and is afraid to know. For the human mind in its polarity of the male and female modes of experience, in its passages from infancy to adulthood, in its toughness and tenderness, and in its continuing dialog with the world, is the ultimate mythogenetic zone––the creator and the destroyer, the slave and yet the master, of all the gods.”

Joseph Campbell, “The Masks of God, Vol. I: Primitive Mythology,” (Copyright © Joseph Campbell 1959, 1969, renewed 1987), p. 472