Saturday, 30 November 2019

This is Why Clowns Are Good




Q : What did you think of Manson when that thing happened?

A : "I don't know what I thought when it happened. 

I just think a lot of the things he says are True, that he is a Child of The State, made by Us, and he took their children in when nobody else would, is what he did. 

Of course he's cracked, all right."


-John Lennon, (December 1970)




What about the eyewitness report of the suspect being a man in a clown mask?

Well, it makes total sense to me.

What kind of a coward would do something that cold-blooded ?

Someone who hides behind a mask.

Someone who is envious of those
more fortunate than themselves, yet they're too scared to show their own face.

And until all those kind of people change for the better....

Those of us who've made something of our lives, will always look at those who haven't as nothing but clowns.








JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
This is why clowns are good.

BILL MOYERS: 
Clowns?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Clown religions, because they show that the image is not a fact, but it’s a reflex of some kind.

BILL MOYERS: 
So does this help explain the trickster gods that show up at times?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
They’re very much that, yes. 
Some of the best trickster stories are associated with our American Indian tales. 

Now, these figures are clownlike figures, and yet they are the creator god at the same time, very often. 

And this makes the point, I am not the ultimate image. 

I am transparent to something. 

Through me, through my funny form, and mocking it, and turning it into a grotesque action, you really get the sense which, if I had been a big sober presence, you get stuck with the image.

BILL MOYERS: 
There’s a wonderful story in some African tradition of the god who’s walking down the road, and the god has on a hat that is colored red on one side and blue on the other side. 

So when the people, the farmers in the field go into the village in the evening, they said, 
Did you see that fellow, that god with the blue hat?” 


And the others said, 
No, no, he had a red hat on,” 
and they get into a fight.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Yes. He even makes it worse by first walking along this direction, and then turning around and turning his hat around, so that again, it’ll be red and black or whatever and then when these two chaps fight and are brought before the king or chief for judgment, this fellow appears and he says,


“It’s my fault, I did it. 

Spreading strife is my greatest joy.”

BILL MOYERS: 
And there’s a truth in that…

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
There sure is, yes.

BILL MOYERS: 
Which is?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
No matter what system of thought you have, it can’t possibly include boundless life. 


And when you think everything is just that way, the trickster comes in and it all blows, and you get the becoming thing again. 

Now, Jung has a wonderful saying somewhere that, 
Religion is a defense against a religious experience.”

BILL MOYERS: 
Well, you have to explain that.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Well, that means it has reduced the whole thing to concepts and ideas, and having the concept and idea short-circuits the transcendent experience. 

The experience of deep mystery is what one has to regard as the ultimate religious experience.

BILL MOYERS: 
Well, there are many Christians who believe that to find out who Jesus is, you have to go past the Christian faith, past the Christian doctrine, past the Christian church. 

And I know that’s heresy to a lot of people, but…

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Well, you have to go past the image of Jesus. 


The image of God becomes the final obstruction. 

Your God is your ultimate barrier. 


This is basic Hinduism, 
basic Buddhism. 

You know, the idea of the ascent of the spirit through the centers, the chakras, as they call them, or lotuses, the different centers of experience. 

The animal experiences of hunger and greed or just the zeal of reproduction or the physical mastery of one kind or another, these are all stages of power. 

But then when the center of the heart is reached, and the sense of compassion on another person, mercy and participation, and I and you are in some sense of the same being this is what marriage is based on there’s a whole new stage of life experience opens up with the opening of the heart.

And this is what’s called the virgin birth, actually, the birth of a spiritual life in what formerly was simply a human animal, living for the animal aims of health, progeny, wealth and a little fun. 

But now you come to something else: to participate in this sense of accord with another, or accord with some principle that has lodged in your mind as a good to be identified with, then a whole new life comes. 

And this is in Oriental thinking, the awakening of the religious experience.

And then this can go on even to the quest for the experience of the ultimate mystery, that is, the ultimate mystery can be experienced in two senses, one without form and the other with form. 

And in this Oriental thinking, you experience God with form here, this is heaven, that’s the identification with your own being, because that which God refers to is the ultimate mystery of being, which is the mystery of your being as well as of the world, so it’s…this is it.

KEEP GOING




 
 
 
“She seems always to me to be asserting that truth is deep, that we must keep going, that truth is hard, that we cannot settle for the merely palatable
 
We must always keep burning through our illusions. When she speaks of Michelangelo or Caravaggio it’s like she speaks to the universal, that there is a language in light, a perennial truth in the expressions of human faces, that the artist can capture, render, create truth. It is this that I need from her. 
 
The spiritual courage to keep looking, a hardness always couched in compassion, the mother’s love but an acceptance of the duty we bear if we choose to walk the path. 
 
Do Not Stop, 
Do Not Deceive Yourself.”
 
Excerpt From
Mentors
Russell Brand
 

Friday, 29 November 2019

Women Break Things


DENZIL :
Del, my man! 
 
DEL :
Denzil my son, how are you? 
 
DENZIL :
Come in.
 
DEL : 
Yeah, great.
 
 
DENZIL :
I haven't seen you for ages, where have you been? 
 
DEL :
Well, you know me, here, there and everywhere - ducking and diving.
 
DENZIL :
Rodney, you're looking good! 
 
RODNEY :
Yeah! 
 
DENZIL :
He's cool, I like it! 
I tell you, if he wasn't so white I'd swear he was black! 
 
DEL :
Yeah, he is white ain't he! 
 
DENZIL :
He's the whitest man I've ever seen in all my life! 
 
RODNEY :
I'm not ever so white! 
 
DEL :
You are!
You'd make an albino look bronzed! 
 
DENZIL :
(handing out the Red Stripe)
Here, grab one of these each!
 
DEL :
Oh, here Denzil, Corinne ain't about is she? 
 
DENZIL :
No, no, she's round her sister's.
 
DEL :
Oh that's alright
 
DENZIL : 
Hey, you ain't still worried about what happened are you? 
Come on Del, she's forgotten all about that now.
Anyway, what brings you round? 
 
DEL :
Just passing through, thought we'd call in.
'Ere have you had this place done up? 
 
DENZIL :
No.
 
DEL :
No, I didn't think you had.
 
DENZIL :
We're getting it decorated soon though.
Corinnes' been at me for ages about it,
but I'm no good at that sort of thing so I got the Irishman to do it.
 
DEL :
Oh Brendan? 
Oh well, you can't go far wrong with him Denzil.
He's a good man.
Here, did you hear about that house he did up in, where was it, Kings' Avenue.
He made a beautiful job of it so I hear.
Mind you I only saw it after the fire! 
Who's a pretty boy? 
He's a lovely boy ain't he! 
Is he yours Denzil? 
 
DENZIL :
No, he's Corinne's, she's had him for a few years - what fire? 
You mean the house burnt down? 
 
DEL :
Yeah, but don't get me wrong, it wasn't Brendan's fault! 
I mean, look, I know a lot of blokes who like a couple of pints at dinner time.
And it's very easy to forget where you left your blow-lamp! 
 
DENZIL :
So it was accidental then? 
 
DEL :
Oh yeah! It was an accident, even the coroner said so! 
 
DENZIL :
Coroner?? 
 
DEL :
Yeah.
 
DENZIL :
Right, that's it, I'm having no drunken Irishman falling about my living-room with a lighted blow-lamp!
No way.
 
DEL :
Oh my Gawd, oh I wish I hadn't said nothing now,
oh I feel really bad about this - you know what, with Brendan being a mate an' all! 
Look, never mind Denzil.
Look on the bright side, he might not burn your place down.
 
DENZIL :
Yeah, well I'm taking no chances Del, I'm getting somebody else to do the job! 
 
DEL :
Oh well.
Well, it's up to you.
I mean, as I always used to say to my customers
when I was in the painting and decorating game, I used to say
'It's your money, it's your choice.' 
 
DENZIL :
You never told me you used to be a painter and decorator? 
 
DEL :
Oh yeah, yeah, it's been the family trade for generations ain't it Rodney? 
 
RODNEY :
Eh?
Yeah.
 
DEL :
There you are, see.
But demand got too much, we had to give it up in the end.
 
DENZIL :
Listen, couldn't you just do this living room for us? 
 
DEL :
What this? 
Oh no, no, no, sorry mate, no, no, you know, we've given the game up now! 
 
DENZIL :
Oh come on Del!
Corinne's been bending my ear about it for ages.
Just this one room yeah? 
 
DEL :
No, no.
No, no, no, no, no, I'm sorry.
If I do it for you I've got to do it for all the others!
Haven't I? 
 
DENZIL :
Del, for a mate in trouble!
Please!
 
DEL :
Alright, just for you though! 
 
DENZIL :
Cheers Del, you're a pal! 
 
DEL :
I don't know.
I don't know what it is with you.
You manage to twist me right round your little finger, don't you? 
 
DENZIL :
When can you start? 
 
DEL :
First thing in the morning.
A hundred up front, we supply the paint and that's extra.
 
DENZIL :
Done.
 
DEL :
And you will be.
 
DENZIL :
I'll get some more drinks.
 
DEL :
Good, what about that Rodney, eh Rodney, nice little earner, eh? 
 
RODNEY :
I don't think I'm ever so white! 
 
DEL :
You are.
You look like a blood donor who couldn't say no! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
Hiya!
Hi hon.
Hello baby, have you missed me?
 

 Denzil!! 
What the hell is he doing in my home?? 
 
DEL :
Hello Corinne, you look as lovely as ever! 
 
DENZIL :
Del just popped in to say hi hon.
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
Did he really?
 
'Hello'.
 
There's the door!
'There's the door.
 
DEL :
She's a card ain't she! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
And what's he doing? 
 
RODNEY :
I want you to tell me the truth Corinne.
Am I white? 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
Denzil - have you and Rodney been at the funny fags? 
 
DENZIL :
No, honest hon, we haven't, we've just got some drinks that's all.
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
I go round my sister's to see how she is after having the stitches out,
and I come back to find my home full of.... crazy people! 
 
DENZIL :
Oh come on babe, be friendly! 
Del's gonna do the decorating for us! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
He's what?!
 
DENZIL :
Well, I blew the Irishman out, I mean I've heard bad things about him! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
Denzil, how can you trust this man? 
Every time you meet him you end up drunk or out of pocket? 
 
DENZIL :
Yeah I know, but he's a mate! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
Would a mate sell you an overcoat like the one he sold you? 
 
DEL :
Oh now, come on, be fair Corinne, that was a very nice overcoat,
looked like it was made to measure! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
Yeah, for the Hunchback of Notre Dame! 
And what about the time he offered to do the catering or us? 
 
DENZIL :
Oh don't bring that up honey please.
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
That was our wedding Denzil! 
 
What was it we were supposed to have Del? 
Lobster vol-au-vents, game pie, kidneys with saffron rice, beef and anchovy savouries! 
Philadelphia Truffles! 
 
And what did we end up with? 
Pie 'n' chips all round! 
 
DEL :
Now I explained all that Corinne, didn't I? 
The fridge went on the blink and all the goodies went manky! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
And what about our three-tier wedding cake? 
 
DEL :
Yeah, well, that was in the fridge with all the other gear! 
I mean the icing melted, it dripped everywhere! 
 
RODNEY :
Yeah, yeah, that's true Corinne, by the end of the week it looked like a big candle! 
 
DEL :
I thought you said she'd forgotten about all this! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
How can I forget it? 
I have to live with that wedding album the rest of my life.
How many times have you seen a picture of a bride and groom cutting a jam sponge? 
 
RODNEY :
Oh be fair, Corinne, be fair.
He only got that at the 11th hour, otherwise it could have been an eccles cake! 
 
CORINNE,
Wife of Denzil :
You want 'em to do the decorating then you let 'em.
 
But I promise you this Denzil —
 
If anything goes wrong
I'll make you wish your mother had had a headache the night you was conceived! 
 
[crash]
 
[something breaks]
 
DEL :
She's a little treasure ain't she? 
 
Come on Rodney, let's leave the love-birds alone! 
Talking about birds, you just make sure that Buzzby's in the kitchen tomorrow 'cos of the paint fumes.
 
Leave the key under the mat! 
Cheer up Denzil, you know it makes sense!
 
Come on, let's get out of here.
That'll keep us out of trouble for a couple of days! 
 

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Profiles in Mentorship : Hold Me




“When Yogananda describes the first sighting of his guru, to a westerner the sincerity of his adulation is almost obscene. 

We only love so wholeheartedly and uncynically in adolescence, or when we revisit that hormonal tundra in juvenile adulthood. 


I was in my own storm of idiocy, my own adolescence beaten thinly almost into middle age, on a trip with a woman who I blindly adored, who I had ill-advisedly appointed as a custodian of my heart – one last throw of the dice. 

We Who Look for God in Romance are Doomed. 
Your idol will fall and you will be too bereft to pick up the pieces.

After a disastrous holiday where the delusion we had impulsively projected shattered and left just the bare bones and broken hearts of us, I ran into Jimmy in an Indian airport. 

I knew Jimmy Mulville already, he works in TV and he doesn’t drink, like me. 
I’d once overheard him say, 
‘I wanted to live an autobiography, not a life,’ 
and instinctively plagiarised it in my own autobiography. 

He was with his wife and three of his four children navigating an airport. 

I was at the carousel with my paramour conducting an introduction with the stink of argument still on us. 

Later on in the flight, Jimmy ambled over and gave me a book he was reading, Robert Johnson’s Inner Gold – a Jungian account of mentorship, how we ‘give another our gold to carry or hold’. 

Gold in this metaphor being, I suppose, a symbol of our highest self, our truest intention, the aspect of us that is so beautiful it is too much for us to hold alone.”


“Asking someone to mentor you, as I have said, is a simultaneous acknowledgement of vulnerability and admiration, and even in the most secular and occidental context bears a trace of Yogananda’s euphoric sincerity. 

No one wants to be rejected by someone they admire and who knows they’re vulnerable

But after my holiday my old method of redemption through love was still giving me a good battering. 

If you’d asked me at the time what the problem was, I would have instantly blamed the woman I was going out with. 
Now I know the problem was my unreasonable, unconscious requirements.

I asked Jimmy for help, he agreed to help me. 

I told him about the melee that was my relationship and he was always able to ‘hold it’. 

Meaning that my problems never fazed him – the last thing you need when opening up your heart is for the person you’ve appointed to blanch or gag. 

He pointedly never offers unsolicited advice, instead meeting my enquiries with his own experience. 

There is a great power in this. 

Some of the things he has said landed as perfectly in my mind as the first maxim of his I plagiarized:
 
‘Being Human, is a ‘Me Too business, we’re all in the mud together’ 
or 
‘Next time you see the signpost that points in the direction of a destructive relationship, don’t go in that direction.”


“Perhaps Young Men like me go awry because 
nobody can hold them. 


I don’t mean embrace, I mean in a parental sense, like parentheses, to ‘bracket’ them, to stand as a dam either side of the wayward lash and unmovingly emit care. 


The only authority I ever knew was negative. 
Either inefficient or corrupt. 

This is the consequence of living with false ideals in a materialistic society. 

The authority that I give to Jimmy is sacred, I know he is flawed but I am not consulting with the flawed part of him I am consulting with the part of him that is willing in spite of his own numerous obligations, work, and family to provide loving counsel for free. 

I believe this relationship becomes a conduit for truth, divine truth. 

That needn’t mean it’s all chocolates and roses. 

There’s a fair amount of ‘suck it up’ and ‘face your fear’, but it is Truth. 

Perhaps we can take Truth to mean the timeless, the universal. 

Things that will not erode and fade, qualities I need to live the life I have moved into.”

Excerpt From
Mentors
Russell Brand


Enough With The Ego-Jerk






Hello, my Snoopys.
My Sigmunds.
My Howdy Doodys.

ACOLYTES: 
Hi, Daddy.

DAVID: 
Are you happy? 
I hope you're happy.

ELOISE: 
Happy, Daddy.
So happy.


DAVID :
Daddy had a hard day.
A bad day.
He made a big mess.
Are you mad at Daddy? 

ACOLYTES :
Hell no! 

LENNY: 
No, Daddy.
We're not mad.
But we got a little bit of a problem here with The Clock.
And I got a family to protect.

DAVID :
We've all got family.
We are family.




LENNY :
Dude, enough with the ego-jerk.
Okay? We all wanna sleep with you.
So stop with the boo-hoo and give me a plan.

DAVID: 
Careful.

LENNY :
Right, 'cause that's my specialty.


DAVID: 
Just use a different tone, okay? 
Be nice.




I need you to be nice, 
or I can't be nice.


LENNY :
Shit.
I don't want you to be nice.
I want you to get mad.

Yeah, I want you to use your almighty powers to save our asses, okay? 


So chop-chop, mama's boy.
Get to work.

DAVID: 
Well, all right.
Look at us talking.
Working things out.
You want honest? Here's honest.

I'm gonna fix this.
Whatever it takes.

Whatever the universe throws at me.

Division 3, time demons.
Send them all.
I'll slay 'em all.

'Cause this is my time.
This is David's time.

And he's got things to do, so Switch? 

Switch.
How are you? Are you okay? 

SWITCH :
I lost another tooth.
When we were in there.


DAVID: 
Yeah, it really takes its toll, huh? Here's the thing.
I'm gonna need you to take me back.
Not far.

SWITCH :
I don't I don't think I can do another  -

DAVID: 
You're not gonna lose any more teeth, okay? 

SWITCH :
I can feel them all loosening.

DAVID: 
Just show me where these things are so that I can -

SWITCH :
And the more we go back, the more doors we open, the more agitated they'll become.
They'll swarm out, like wasps, and pretty soon - everything - 

DAVID: 
Do I have to force you to -[DISTORTED GIGGLING.]

SWITCH :
What did you just say to me? 


DAVID: 
I said I am The Alpha and The Omega.

I eat monsters for breakfast.

Find The Pregnant Virgin






BILL MOYERS: What about the virgin birth? Suddenly the goddess reappears in the form of the chaste and pure vessel chosen for God’s action.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, in the history of Western religions, this is an extremely interesting development. The virgin birth comes in by way of the Greek tradition. When you read your four gospels, the only one with the virgin birth in it is the gospel according to Luke, and Luke was a Greek.

BILL MOYERS: And there was in the Greek tradition images, legends, myths of virgin births?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: All of them. I mean, Leda and the swan, and Persephone and the serpent, and this one and that one and the other one. The virgin birth is represented throughout.

BILL MOYERS: This was not a new idea, then, in Bethlehem and…

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: No. What is the meaning of the virgin birth? In India, there is this system of the kundalini, as it’s called, the idea of the centers, psychological centers up the spine. And they represent the psychological planes of concern and consciousness and action. The first is at the rectum, and this is that of alimentation. The serpent represents this, you know, a traveling esophagus going along just eating, eating, eating, eating. And all of us are — we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t eating. And then the second, the second center is at the sex organ center, and that’s the urge to procreation. The third center’s called, is at the navel, and this is where you eat and want to consume. And it’s not the alimentary eating, it’s the mastering and smashing and trashing of others, do you see? This is the aggressive mood.

Now, the first is an animal instinct, the second is an animal instinct, the third is an animal instinct, and these three centers are located in the pelvic base, do you see. The next one is at the level of the heart, and this is the opening of compassion. And there you move out of the field of animal action into a field that is properly human and spiritual. Now, in each of these centers there is a symbolic form. At the base, the first one, there is the form of the lingam and yeni, the male and female organs in conjunction. At the heart chakra, there is again the male and female organs in conjunction, but in gold. This is the virgin birth. It’s the birth of spiritual man out of the animal man. Do you understand?

BILL MOYERS: And it happens?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: When you are awakened at the level of the heart to compassion and to suffering with the other person. That’s the beginning of humanity. And the meditations of religion properly are on that level, the heart level.

BILL MOYERS: You say it’s the beginning of humanity, but in these Stories, that’s the moment when gods are born, the virgin birth, it’s a god who emerges from that chemistry.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Yeah, and you know who that god is? It’s you. All of these symbols in mythology refer to you. You can get stuck out there and think it’s all out there, and so you’re thinking of Jesus and all the sentiments about how he suffered and all; what that suffering is, is what ought to be going on in you. Have you been reborn? Have you died to your animal nature and come to life as a human incarnation?

BILL MOYERS: Why is it significant that this is of a virgin?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, it is that the begetter is the spirit. It is a spiritual birth. The virgin conceived of the Word, through the ear.

BILL MOYERS: The Word came like a shaft of light.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Yes. And now, the Buddha was born from his mother’s side, at the level of the heart chakra. 
That’s a symbolic birth; he wasn’t born from his mother’s side, but symbolically he was.

BILL MOYERS: 
But the Christ came the way you and I come.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
Yes, but of a virgin.

BILL MOYERS: 
Which is a power greater than…

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: 
And then, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, her virginity was restored. So nothing happened physically, you might say. It’s not a physical birth. It’s symbolic of a spiritual transformation, that’s what the virgin birth is about. And so deities are born that way who represent beings who act in terms of compassion, and not in terms of the lower three centers.

BILL MOYERS: If you go back into antiquity, do you find images of the Madonna as the mother of the savior child?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, what you have as the model for the Madonna actually is Isis, with her child Horus at her breast. This was the actual model for the Madonna symbol.

BILL MOYERS: Isis? Tell me that story.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: This is a prime myth in this period of the Goddess as the redeemer, the one who goes in quest of the lost spouse or lover, and through her loyalty and descent into the realm of death, recovers him. Isis and her husband Osiris were twins who were born of the goddess Nut. And their younger relatives were Seth and Nephthys, who were also twins born from Nut. Seth planned to kill his brother Osiris, and he took Osiris measurements secretly and had a wonderful sarcophagus built that would exactly fit Osiris. So there was a hilarious party in progress one time among the gods, and Seth trots in this sarcophagus, and he says, “Anyone whom this perfectly fits can have it as his sarcophagus.” And everybody at the party tried, and when Osiris got in, of course he perfectly fit. Just at that time, 72 accomplices come rushing out and they clap the lid on, strap it together and throw it in the Nile.

Now, this is the death of the god. Whenever you have a death of an incarnation, a god like this, you’re going to have a resurrection, you can wait for that. So he goes floating down the Nile and is washed ashore in Syria. And a beautiful tree grows up and incorporates the sarcophagus in its own trunk. So this is this wonderful tree with a glorious aroma. And the local king has just had a son born to him, and he is also at the same time going to build a palace. The aroma of this tree is so wonderful, he cuts it down and brings it in to be a central pillar in the main room of the palace.

Poor little Isis, whose husband has been thrown into the Nile, starts this wonderful quest for Osiris, So she comes to the place where the palace is, and learns of the wonderful aroma and she suspects this is Osiris. And she gets a job as nurse to the just-born little child. Well, she lets the child nurse from her finger. And she loves the little child, and she decides to give it immortality. So she does this by placing him in the fireplace in the fire, to burn away gradually his mortal body. But being a goddess she could keep that from killing him, you understand. And when that would happen, she would convert herself into a swallow, and fly mournfully around the pillar where her husband is.

Well, one evening the child’s mother came in to this room while this scene was in progress, saw her child in the fireplace, let out a scream, and that broke the spell, and they had to rescue the child from incineration. Meanwhile the swallow had turned into this gorgeous nurse, Isis, and the nurse gave an explanation of the situation, and she said, “By the way, it’s my husband that’s in that pillar there, and I’d he grateful if you could just let me take it home.” So the king came in and he said, “Certainly.” So he removes the pillar, gives it to Isis and it’s put on a barge. So on the way back to the Nile, she removes the lid, the cover of the sarcophagus and lies on top of her dead spouse and conceives of her dead spouse this is an image that occurs in Egyptian art all the time, out of death comes life and all this kind of business and when they land she in the papyrus swamp gives birth to her child Horus with the dead Osiris beside her.

This is the motif for the Madonna, actually, it becomes the Madonna. In Egyptian symbology, Isis represents the throne, the Pharaoh sits on the throne of Isis, as the child sits on the mother lap. And when you look in the cathedral of Chartres in the west portal, you will see the Madonna as the throne with the little child Jesus as the world emperor on her lap: That is the same image that’s come over.

BILL MOYERS: And you say the Christian fathers took this image?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Definitely, and they really say so. You read the second letter of Peter, and he says those forms which were merely mythological forms in the past, are now incarnate and actual in our savior. There was a mythology of the savior, the dead and resurrected god, and it’s associated with the moon, which dies and is resurrected every month. And you have the three nights dark, and you have Christ three nights in the tomb, and three days in the tomb, and all this kind of thing. It’s an intentional saying, that which was merely talked about is now fact. And no one knows what the date of Christmas ought to be, but it’s put on the date of the winter solstice, when the nights begin to be shorter and the days longer, the birth of light. And so there is an idea of death to the past and birth to the future in our lives and in our thinking all the time. Death to the animal nature, birth to the spiritual, and these symbols are talking about it one way or another.

BILL MOYERS: So when the…

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: And the goddess is the one who brings it about. The second birth is through the second mother. Notre Dame de Paris, Notre Dame de Chartres, our mother church, we are reborn by entering and leaving a church.

BILL MOYERS: And it doesn’t mean physically, it means…

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Spiritually.

BILL MOYERS: That there’s a power that’s unique to the feminine principle.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: It can be put that way. You can… it’s not necessarily unique to her, you can have rebirth through the male, also. But using this system of symbols, the woman becomes the regenerator.

BILL MOYERS: There’s that wonderful saying in the New Testament of Jesus. “In Jesus there is no male or female.” In the ultimate sense of things there is neither.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: That would have to be. I mean, if Jesus represents the source of our being, we are all as it were thoughts in the mind of Jesus. He is the word that has become flesh in us, too.

BILL MOYERS: You and I would possess characteristics that are both male and female.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, actually the body does, And in that Yin-Yang figure from China, you know, in the dark fish or whatever you want to call it, there’s a light spot and in the light one there’s a dark spot. That’s how they can relate; you couldn’t relate at all to something that, of which you did not participate, into which you did not participate at all. That’s why the idea of God as the absolute other is a ridiculous idea, there could be no relationship to that which is absolute other.

BILL MOYERS: The question arises, in discussing the male-female principle, the virgin birth, the spiritual power that gives us the second birth. The wise people of all time have said that we can live the good life if we learn in fact to live spiritually. But how does one learn to live spiritually when one is of the flesh? Remember, Paul said, “the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh.” How do we learn to live spiritually?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, that was the in ancient times and in primitive times, the business of the teacher. He was to give you the clues to a spiritual life, that was what the priest was for. Also, that was what the ritual was for. A ritual can be defined as an enactment of a myth, by participating in a good, sound ritual, you are actually experiencing a mythological life. And it’s out of that that one can learn to live spiritually.

BILL MOYERS: These stories of mythology actually point the way to the spiritual life.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Yes. You’ve got to have a clue. You’ve got to have a road map of some kind, and these are all around us. They’re here.

BILL MOYERS: And the road map to which the goddess stories are pointing is the map of elevating the spiritual to an equality with the physical, so that you live in union with those two.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Yes. There you’ve come to the real sanctity of the earth itself, because that is the body of the goddess. When Yahweh creates, he creates the earth and breathes his life into it. He’s not there, she’s there. Your body is her body. And there’s that kind of identity.

BILL MOYERS: Well, that’s why I’m not so sure that the future of the race and the salvation of the journey is in space. I think it is well right here on earth in the body, in the womb of all of our being.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, it certainly is. I mean, when you go out into space what you’re carrying is your body and if that hasn’t been transformed, space won’t transform it for you. But thinking about space may help you to realize something.

BILL MOYERS: You certainly thought about space in this wonderful passage. You were describing a page out of the National Geographic Atlas of the World, but you read this and something happened to you.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: “What these pages opened to me was the vision of a universe of unimaginable magnitude and inconceivable violence. Billions upon billions, literally, of roaring thermonuclear furnaces scattering from each other, each thermonuclear furnace being a star and our sun among them. Many of them actually blowing themselves to pieces, littering the outermost reaches of space with dust and gas, out of which new stars with circling planets are being born right now. And then from still more remote distances beyond all these there come murmurs, microwaves, which are echoes of the greatest cataclysmic explosion of all, namely, the Big Bang of creation, which, according to recent reckonings, must have occurred some 18 billion years ago.”

That’s where we are, kiddo. And if you realized that, you realize how really important you are, you know, one little microbit in this great magnitude. And then out of that must come the experience that you and that are in some sense one, and that you partake of all of that

BILL MOYERS: And it begins here.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: It begins here.