Joseph Campbell is awful

  • Twigga
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13 Nov 2018 06:01 - 13 Nov 2018 06:08 #329104 by Twigga
Replied by Twigga on topic Joseph Campbell is awful
For those of us on IP 1.0, will our stuff be transferrable into the 2.0 version?

(Tbh what I'm doing is probably IP version 7, but who is really counting?)
Last edit: 13 Nov 2018 06:08 by Twigga.

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  • ReallyRiver
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13 Nov 2018 12:17 - 13 Nov 2018 12:18 #329114 by ReallyRiver
Replied by ReallyRiver on topic Joseph Campbell is awful
I like him. I don't necessarily believe all the same things he does, but he's thought about them and is relatively articulate in explaining his thoughts. Even if I totally disagree with an idea I love the moment of "Oh! Wow! I learned a thing that other people believe and it's fascinating how that belief could inform actions!" I'm a naturally very curious person so for me time/energy gaining knowledge is never wasted.

To me he doesn't come across as arrogant or anything, at least not much. I mean, the only context I've seen him is, is stuff like the assigned materials where he's totally designed to be there star and topic and expert and all that; it's not his fault he's the subject of these studies.

As for his education level, I totally don't care what paperwork he has. I don't believe that someone's level of formal education means anything about what they know or don't know. Some people with high degrees seem to have shared by on a wing and a prayer and some lazy professors, and some of the most rational, deep thinking, informed people I know have no formal education beyond high school.

Maybe it's a sign of my own mental weaknesses or something, but I enjoy the Campbell material.
Last edit: 13 Nov 2018 12:18 by ReallyRiver.

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17 Dec 2018 16:40 #331139 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Joseph Campbell is awful
I'm loving the IP so far.

For anyone not loving it, you need to know that's okay. We're like snowflakes in that no 2 of us are the same, nor should we be.

I grew up in a religion that was kind of force fed intravenously; where you could only disagree privately. I left that religion because I disagreed with a couple of their core tenants. And at least one of those had changed over time from the view of the original founders.

In short, it is easy to get sucked into thinking that you must be assimilated into the collective but if you accept everything you hear are you really learning? Or are you just being programmed? Can the two be the same thing? Sometimes the answers are not as important as the questions.

Yes, when I started listening to Alan Watts (audio book) it started off great and a little Jedi (instead of an angel) on my shoulder was like "let's not be critical just because you heard something you disagree with because if your mind is too defense it can't be open to new ideas. Maybe he's right. Maybe he's asserting his own biases but you have your own biases too." But when he started rubbing me the wrong way I called it out in my journal.

I think it's great. I love being challenged by ideas. The important thing is that they come from a sincere and intellectual place. I think Watts has an extremist philosophical view point that tries deny reality but... a Jedi should be able to have intellectual discussions and respectfully disagree while being open minded. I think the key is being open minded. If you give the author a chance then after that whatever you disagree with is part of the journey.

Going through the content, some may rush through because they're trying to get to a particular end or position or title. But I feel like it's the journey that's important. I hope one day I'll write something worthy of being argued against by great Jedi minds. But disagreement with the IP is something I find to be very healthy and a welcome change from my former religion.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jake Nislan

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  • phillyr
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11 Nov 2019 15:51 #345401 by phillyr
Replied by phillyr on topic Joseph Campbell is awful
This was a great discussion to read and really helped me feel better about some of the things that were dragging me down about this Campbell section of the IP, thank you Paschal!!!!!!!! And thank you to everyone who participated.

I agree that Campbell is kind of a blowhard. There is merit to finding themes and tropes that run through myths of all communities -- it helps us understand that all humanity is very similar in many ways. But cultural erasure is an inevitable outcome of that.

I'm glad, therefore, that Campbell is the FIRST part of the IP. Rip the bandaid off and get it out of the way. Someday I hope we in the TOTJO can have built up enough of our own original content to no longer need the Campbell section of the IP, but in our temple's infancy, there is an obvious need to base our courses on SOMETHING.

I'm gritting my teeth trying to get through Campbell for the same reasons that Paschal listed. But I know at the end it will have been worth it to have the language to be able to expand on my own thoughts on the matters that Campbell discusses, which deviate from his considerably.

I feel more comfortable, after reading this, being a bit more critical of Campbell in my journal going forward.

What a great thread! Thank you!

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12 Nov 2019 18:34 #345452 by Lykeios
Replied by Lykeios on topic Joseph Campbell is awful
The more I study and learn about other cultures' mythologies the more I find I agree with your analysis.

I used to adore, not so much. You're right. He oversimplifies, makes egregious errors in both thinking and interpretation, and is so vague and general so as to be fairly insulting and dismissive.

That being said... Yea...uhhh, idk how "nuanced" the biblical story of Christ's death and resurrection is. Maybe I'm showing my bias against Christian theology and dogma here, but to seems pretty frigging straightforward with only the details being different. And even IF it is "nuanced" and "subtle" and what? The overall story and meaning remains the same. Just my opinion though. I mean, to me...a dying God myth is a dying God myth. Yea, they take on different cultural connotations and interpretations, but I've always found the Christian stories about it to be...clunky, boring, and heavy-handed. (Not trying to offend anyone...just my two cents, feel free to point out why I'm wrong if you like.)

Other than that, though, yea, you're absolutely right. Campbell is pretty awful and basically racist.

"I sae rantingly, an sae dauntingly, sae wantonly gaed he. He played a tune and he danced all aroond below the gallows tree."

"Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." -Zhuangzi

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