“God and Buddhas in the Orient are not final terms like Yahweh, the Trinity, or Allah, in the West—but point beyond themselves to that ineffable being, consciousness, and rapture that is the All in all of us. And in their worship, the ultimate aim is to effect in the devotee a psychological transfiguration through a shift of his plane of vision from the passing to the enduring, through which he may come finally to realize in experience (not simply as an act of faith) that he is identical with that before which he bows.”
Joseph Campbell, Flight of the Wild Gander, p.197-198
Some days you need a friendly face to motivate your good intentions. Consider Mister Rogers your neighborhood pick-me-up.
“How does the ordinary person come to an experience of the transcendent? For a start, I would say, study poetry. Learn how to read a poem. You need not have the experience to get the message, or at least some indication of the message. It may come gradually. There are many ways, however, of coming to the transcendent experience.
“A significant approach is the way of ritual. A ritual allows us to participate in the enactment of a myth. One prepares internally to move with the image and the transcendent comes through.”
Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That, p.92-93
“I have never separated the writing of poetry from prayer. I have grown up believing it is a vocation, a religious vocation. What I described in Another Life—about being on the hill and feeling the sort of dissolution that happened—is a frequent experience in a younger writer. I felt this sweetness of melancholy, of a sense of mortality, or rather of immortality, a sense of gratitude both for what you feel is a gift and for the beauty of the earth, the beauty of life around us. When that’s forceful in a young writer, it can make you cry. It’s just clear tears; it’s not grimacing or being contorted, it’s just a flow that happens. The body feels it is melting into what it has seen. This continues in the poet. It may be repressed in some way, but I think we continue in all our lives to have that sense of melting, of the ‘I’ not being important. That is the ecstasy. It doesn’t happen as much when you get older. There’s that wonderful passage in [Thomas] Traherne where he talks about seeing the children as moving jewels until they learn the dirty devices of the world. It’s not that mystic. Ultimately, it’s what Yeats says: ‘Such a sweetness flows into the breast that we laugh at everything and everything we look upon is blessed.’ That’s always there. It’s a benediction, a transference. It’s gratitude, really. The more of that a poet keeps, the more genuine his nature. I’ve always felt that sense of gratitude. I’ve never felt equal to it in terms of my writing, but I’ve never felt that I was ever less than that,” – Derek Walcott.
“I have never separated the writing of poetry from prayer. I have grown up believing it is a vocation, a religious vocation. What I described in Another Life—about being on the hill and feeling the sort of dissolution that happened—is a frequent experience in a younger writer. I felt this sweetness…