Joseph Campbell discussion group discussion


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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I noticed while reading 'Stories We Need To Know' that people, especially in the early archetypes, can pull back from their journey for many reasons but sometimes the temptation of falling into material comforts can be the biggest culprit.
This can obviously mean food, alcohol, drugs and things that are clearly bad for us but also brings up the qustion of when does a hobby become destructive and limiting?
Just wondering what people think?

message 2: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments My opinion is that a hobby becomes destructive and limiting when it becomes more important than the people in our lives. Like if my daughter is trying to tell me something and I'm not listening because I'm watching tv, or doing e mail, or whatever. Some people act like tv, sports, their cars, etc. are more important than the people they say they love, and they also don't even think about putting some of that time and energy into exploring spirituality, how to help people or the environment. I think it can become very destructive. If it stays in balance, it's a good thing. Seems like balance is the answer to a lot of questions, and it's the hardest thing, at least for me, to do!

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

A sense of balance is great advice, Leslie, and as you say, is also sometimes difficult to manage!

message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I've really been struggling with balance lately. It's really hard to get any kind of balance when the demands of life, most of them the practical, Orphan-type stuff we have to do, feels like it takes up 99% of my time, my energy, everything! Do you have that problem too?

message 5: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Balance is hard for everyone... After all, at what point does a hobby that brings creativity and joy to the individual turn into an obsession, or an avoidance of reality? It depends on the individual, I suppose. And all that Orphan stuff we have to do just to get through the week! It's a world that loves to keep us in those behaviors. But we don't have to submit.

message 6: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I seem to be struggling with balance more than usual and I'm getting very frustrated with it. But I know that this part of my life is very busy and that in the past I wasn't so busy and in the future, at some point, I won't be so busy. I have a teenager, do a lot of driving, and have a job, of course. I am going to start working from home 3 or 4 days a week, ad Emily will get her license in June--have mixed feelings about that, but it will decrease the driving time.
I have to admit, I have pretty much no respect for people who act like tv, sports, and cars are so important and shut out the people in their lives. That really bothers me!

message 7: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments I could hardly agree more! Balance is very hard, sometimes, but on the whole it's what we need to achieve one way or another. When Emily learns to drive you can help to make her part of the balance by asking her to help you more at times. This will teach her responsibility (an essential part of balancing her life). Inviting her to be a part of the solution will be both loving and trusting towards her, and she'll respect that. Plus, a teenager with a new license will willingly drive to pick up groceries just for the thrill of being behind the wheel!

message 8: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments Yes, things will be different when Emily starts driving! She will be able to help in new ways. And I will do less driving and more worrying!! It's a little scary, but also exciting to see her moving towards that independence that she is in the process of acheiving. I think that working at home will help me have more balance, too. I still have to work 8 hours, but it will be easier for it to be just 8, not lunch and driving there and home, and all the other stuff involved.
I just finished the chapter on Harry Potter! That was good! Very interesting. I haven't read the books, but I've seen all the movies they made so far. I really like them.
I liked what you said about how the archetypes seemed to decline in literature around the time of the Industrial Revolution. I think it has in life, too. It's harder to perceive when our lives are so removed from nature and natural cycles.
The chapters on Shakespere were so good. I'm not familiar with the plots of most of his plays, or of the ancient plays you talked about, so I enjoyed especially reading about them. It makes me want read those classics. Maybe I will after I finish writing my book. I was wondering about Romeo and Juliet. Do you think they ever got past the Orphan stage? I kind of feel like they were ophans that adopted each other and then died before they got any further in life. What do you think?
I'm wondering about my book, too. You mentioned memoirs that never get past the lost orphan stage. Since my book ends when I am 18 and still in that stage, mine will be that way, too. I'm not really feeling good about that when I think of it that way. I know there is merit in books like that, because I know how much they have encouraged me, but still, I'm wondering now, since it ends with the protagonist still in the orphan stage. It documents the struggle, but I didn't have any solutions by then, that's for sure.

message 9: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Leslie,
yes, the Romeo and Juliet section had to be edited out of the final book or it would have been too long by far... The two lovers do meet as Orphans (each disowns their families) and then - they go on a Pilgrimage that tests all their loyalties. Romeo literally gets exiled to Mantua, and Juliet takes the sleeping potion and so 'leaves' Verona. When they meet again in the tomb they are prepared to die for each other, and they do. Pretty clearly Warrior-Lovers. When Capulet and Montague arrive they see the disaster they have created and agree to peace, as people who have been propelled into Monarch status by force, and now have to get on with it. The peace that endures is the legacy of the dead lovers - and so they have, in death, been able to work the magic that in life no one could.....

How this may apply to your book is that in showing your life you know that the person who was you on that last page was still a bit lost, but the reader will have learned a huge amount from watching the struggle. In fact, with any luck, through your efforts the reader will know what it means to be that Orphan who is taking on a pilgrimage, and what that may indicate for our lives. And so the reader completes the transition to Warrior-Lover (at least) in finding things that are worth believing in. And perhaps the effect of reading may encourage and inspire others to be Monarchs. You see?

I hope that helps?

message 10: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments Yes, it does--thank you! I was thinking that maybe my book had less value than I originally thought because it will end at the Orphan stage. Maybe an Orphan-Pilgrim, at best. Maybe not even that. So, that does encourage me!
Wow--the Romeo and Juliet analysis is so much more complex than I thought of--fascinating!! I love how you can read these stories and get so much out of them. I feel like I just read stories and get stories, like from myths, etc. Then I read your book or Joseph Campbell and after I read what you find, then I go back and see it was there all along! Like a picture with the objects hidden, Someone has to show me where they are or I don't see them. Maybe I will, though, at some point in the future. I think the 6 archetypes will make that more do-able, since it gives me a framework to use, not just this amorphorous thing of wanting to know the deeper meaning and not knowing how to find it! It's really helpful and interesting!

message 11: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Leslie,
I'm glad it all has some real resonance for you. I think you'll find the ideas get deeper once you start seeing things more through the archetypal lens. They did for me, and they still do!

message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 16, 2009 02:25PM) (new)

Allan, do you find you've reached a stage where you can be confident with regard to where people are on their journey? I see so many aspects and archetypes within the same person that it's difficult to tell.
I should add that I'm not actually too concerned with where others are, as such, as my own development is more important but people are fascinating and it can be hard to resist trying to match people you know to the different stages.

message 13: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments It seems almost like we all have some of the 6 archtypes in us all the time, since in the chapter on the stages and substages in literature, Allen says that we have to go through all six stages again, each time we move to a new level. The point you make about literature is so true, since it gives us an overview of a person's life or a series of events. We can't get that kind of bird's eye view when we're in the middle of it all. I've heard that a solidier in a battle cannot know what is going on in the battle. The solidier only knows what is happening right there around him, that it takes a person removed from the battle, up high and looking down to see what is happening in the battle as a whole. It seems like life is like that too!
It's interesting too, how, at least in Shakespeare's plays, all different people fulfill the different archetypes. It's not one person's trajectory--it's all the main people in the play. That's pretty fascinating. Like for instance, what if looking back, I go so far in my development and then my daughter builds on that gets to the Magician stage? It's kind of like that, too, for an even bigger picture!
I've wondered about that, too, Dave. It seems like we might not be able to tell where the person is, but we might be able to tell where the particular action came from--like someone gets all mad and defensive and it's coming from the Orphan, or someone does something so amazing, it has to be the Magician rising up. Like the lady in the book who confronted the guys with the knives. We might not be able to tell where she as a person is, as a whole, but that action was an amazing Magician action.
I've been kind of doing it too, like saying, now that sounds like a monarch, or that was the orphan talking. It's kind of fun!

message 14: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments I'm glad you've been having some fun with this, because it can be most illuminating to observe people and see them acting the different archetypes. Then, every so often, you come across someone who is utterly genuine and fully in touch with the personal power of the Monarch - and everyone else looks a bit pale beside them!

So yes, Dave, there is a way we can see ourselves in all this. After a while we can see where we stand most of the time in our lives (as opposed to the occasional moments of clarity or utter confusion) and that's when we know which archetype we're living. But I think Leslie said it better than I did!

message 15: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments As far as the people I know personally, I know three that I think live mostly as Monarchs and flash up to Magician on a regular basis. I'm sure they have their Orphan moments, like everyone, and they've all been Pilgrims, I know that, but these three men are three of my favorite people in the world! My therapist, the man who owns The Village Bookshop and runs our writers group there, and the man who started a private school and animal sanctuary called Blue Heart, where my daughter went to school for four years. I think they are amazing people. Chad, Emily's old teacher, moved to North Carolina, and we both miss him so much.
I feel really blessed to have these special people in my life, and now I'm meeting special people on here--Allen and Dave!

message 16: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Yes, once we pay attention we can see there are monarchs around us - but we may take them for granted if we don't watch out! They may not be world leaders - but they are leading!!

message 17: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I agree--we will find the Monarchs and Magicians in the most unexpected places! Like what you said about children having their magician moments.
I wonder about world leaders. I don't think much of politicians, in general, but some of the greatest people--true Monarchs--have been politicians. What I wonder it how a political person stays morally where they want (I hope) and need to be, with all the deal-making and compromising that has to be done. Anyone who makes it to White House seems suspect to me, because I assume he has to do a lot of things great people don't do, to get there. But that assumption might be false. And then, we have had a lot of great leaders. The whole issue is confusing. I'm glad you brought it up, because it reminds me of questions I've pondered many times, even before I read your book.

message 18: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Leslie,
Perhaps the easiest answer to this is that the Monarch has to lead and to work in an atmosphere that is not always the finest. The monarch is linked to what is possible in this world and so is pragmatic, not totally idealistic. So the 'male' aspect of the Monarch has to work with rogues and thieves to get to a good result, if possible, while the 'female' and compassionate side has to agree to look past their failings for the greater good. That takes tact and skill. The mark of a good leader in political terms is one who can work with flawed and egotistic men and women and still achieve a result that is for the benefit of all citizens. It's a tricky thing to achieve.

Now, you have experienced this. As a parent you know you're not perfect (who is?) but that doesn't stop you working the best you can with Emily in order to get the best result for both of you, even if that means you have an argument sometimes.... Some parents will only do what suits them, and care not a bit about the children, but that's not you.

You see the difference?

message 19: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments Yeah, I does make sense! People like the govenor of Ill. who wanted to sell that senate seat are like parents who do only what is best for themselves, and people who are great leaders really have to walk a fine line, because they end up working with people like him. The parent analogy is a good one.
I've always thought the "good" people would never get anywhere in politics, which is terrible if it's true, because that leaves just the "bad" people to lead the country! But good and bad are too simplistic. The way you are framing it is much more complex and realistic. I like that.
I'm glad we are on each other's friends list now--I should have thought of that a long time ago! Did you read my review of your book?

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Something that ties into the 'bad' people and which I found enlightening is the interpretation of the Orpheus myth; thinking about it as choosing the wrong path makes sense as I feel that no matter how bad things get we know instinctively that we shouldn't sulk and opt out of life or the difficult choice just because of the unfairness of our journey.

message 21: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I agree--I think the Orphan explains so much, so many wrong choices, over-reactions, mistakes, misunderstandings. It's really helping me to think in those terms.

message 22: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Dear Dave and Leslie,
Yes I think the Orpheus myth is a good one from that point of view, since even the son of a god was not allowed an easy ride! There are nasty and selfish folks out there, especially in politics, but that doesn't mean we have the right to opt out.

The Orpheus myth eventually got Christianized, of course, which rather destroyed its value, but then, each religion adapts what was previously present.... Which is why the great medieval Cathedrals of Europe are all built on Druid sites.

message 23: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments Isn't it interesting how that was done? And the Christian holidays that are on the old pagan feast days.
How did that myth get Christianized? By the idea of Christ going to hell during the time between the crucifixation and resurrection? I was always taught he did that during that time.
And Mary--the veneration of Mary, in the place of all the Goddesses. There are so many ways, no matter how many people say that it isn't true, that Christianity got mixed together with the culures and religions that existed before.
The church I went to was a way to opt-out, because is taught that god forsake this country back in the 1950's, and we didn't even vote, much less get involved in politics, and anything environmental was considered a waste of time because of the end of the world being so close. I never thought of it that way before, but it was exactly that, wasn't it?

message 24: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Leslie,
As you say, your church sounds very much like an opt-out, and one that ruled by fear (the end of the world is about as scary as it gets) so I'd have been deeply suspicious of that. Anything that isolates us from others is bound to keep us as Orphans, dependent on the elders of the organization.....>

message 25: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments You're right. It's so mind-boggling how something that is one thing can seem like just the opposite to some people--me included--when other people can see if for what it really is. I guess the Orphan archetype is the answer to that, though. Scared Orphans, just trying to find a place to call home and be part of, are not thoughtful or aware, even, of what we're becoming part of. And then, once I became part of it, I couldn't see outside the walls, and ended up just scared and brainwashed. And it was the abusive marriage that opened my eyes. Isn't that strange, in a sense? If I had been married to a man who treated me decently and didn't go on that power trip that the bible and church helped promote, I might still be there. Wow, I never thought about it that way before. It's almost like he drove me from the church, his behavior and the teachigs that "forced" me to endure it. Even after I left my former husband, with the blessings of the church and the pastor telling me "you don't have to live that way" when I finally told him what was going on, I couldn't sit there, complacently listening to the teachings that had been telling me for over 20 years to live that way, being preached. It almost made me crazy. I was having panic attacks when I went there and I couldn't stand it anymore. Now when I think about how hard I tried to hold on to what I thought I had, it's just sad. Letting go was the hardest thing I ever did.

message 26: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 26 comments Kay, jumping in here! ;)

A phrase that my Mom uses quite a bit that I love is 'Divine Discontent'. I thik it's tied closely to letting go of what you don't need anymore. It's a signal that you get, physcially, mentally or emotionally, that keeps telling you it's time to move on. I think letting go is one of the most difficult things to do in our lives, because of the familiarity (even if it's painful), the pain of loss and the fear of the future. But it's crucial to the journey, because without letting go of some of your past... while bringing with you the learning that came from it ... you cannot open up to the new experience & opportunity that is in store for you.

I'm a big believer in listening to your body, heart & mind when it's giving you signals, just like having panic attacks or anxiety, because it will definitely tell you when it's time. It's usually not free from pain or fear, but without those how can you learn to push forward? We have to test our own mettle and move through pain & fear or we won't grow and find our true selves.

message 27: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I agree 100% Sherrie--now.
But back then it was the bible I believed, more than my own self, by far. And there was a verse for everything and leaving church because of panic attacks would have been just giving into fear and the devil. And leaving church at all, for anything, would be the worst kind of thing to do, the kind that would mean I wasn't right with god and had to answer to him for turning my back on the truth, after being one of the very few, special chosen ones to whom this truth was revealed, on top of the fact of missing the rapture, going through the tribulation period, being here when California fell off the side of the country and created tidal waves that would kill people all the way up through Kentucky, and then getting judged by God in the Great White Throne Judgement. So it was like: panic attacks vs all that. UGH!!!! Once you end up part of a group that says we are the only one that is true, leaving it isn't just leaving it, it's leaving God and everything. I was lucky because my family was never part of it and never turned their backs on me for being part of it, so I had their support.
But now, on the other side--I agree with you and feel glad that what you are saying is true, because it makes me feel like what is inside me is worth listening to, which isn't the case in a church like that. There you listen to god--who speaks through the bible, the prophet, the preachers and your husband, who the bible says to listen to.
I'm glad I'm not there anymore!

message 28: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 26 comments I'm so glad you're not either, Leslie. My upbringing, although not as severe as the way your former church sounds, said the same kinds of things but in a much nicer way, I guess.

It is the most frightening thing in the world to have to leave something that everyone around you says is right & true, especially when you believe your soul is in jeopardy. When I was 16 my aim was to find my own 'testimony' of what my parents had taught me. I hadn't let all those questions come to the surface yet, although they were close. And when I began it was by doing all the 'right' things that they taught us would bring us to the truth - reading scripture, going to church and praying for the Truth (their version, of course). But what I got was a very clear answer, in the form of a female voice (mine? God's? who knows) that whispered to me "You must seek elsewhere". It rocked my entire world and led me into several years of hell. I know you can understand that kind of hell.

But, if I hadn't listened to that voice, which I now believe was mine from a spiritual point of view, I wouldn't have begun my journey and I wouldn't be where I am today.

I think asking those questions is so important. The questions we finally acknowledge are our souls whispering to us, urging us to find ourselves again, to remember what I feel we must have known before we entered into these physical bodies - or perhaps from a unified collective knowledge we all have deep inside. And this opens you to a wider understanding and awareness of the world, as well as who you are inside.

I congratulate you on where you've been, because of what you've gone through and learned and where it will lead you. Above all, I've learned to listen to that 'still small voice' inside, because believing in that will help you overcome any obstacle in your path. Ask the questions, and then search for the answers in the familiar things of your life as well as the vast unknown areas that you've been too afraid to look at.

All the stories, from the bible to ancient texts to legendary myths have a meaning that will teach us. If you look for the meaning behind the stories, the factual reality slips away and just doesn't matter. I love creation myths, which are in every culture and have been written since before writing was invented. They all seem to have the same themes and spiritual lessons, and part of that is to leave the safe 'garden' in search of the unknown (sounds like the Innocent-Orphan-Pilgrim stages to me!). And in exploring that unknown we find the ultimate truths of the universe, and of ourselves.

Allan, I know that Joseph C loved creation myths as well. Have you studied these much? Do they seem to follow your 6 archetypes? I've studied Jung some and similar ideas of his, and I am continually amazed at the threads that carry themselves through myths. One of my favorite books is Women Who Run with the Wolves because she takes old folklore and fairy tales and points out different archetypes from our subconscious in them. She also refers heavily to these same archetypes popping up in our dreams. Have you seen this as well?

Sorry for such long posts, but I am a sucker for these kinds of discussions! I love delving into the psyche and figuring out how we all tick. :D

message 29: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments dear Sherrie and Leslie,

This feels like an important conversation and we're all on the same page with this, I'm sure. Joseph Campbell always asked people to look beyond the fact to the metaphor involved in each myth, which is why it's interesting to compare myths and see just how similar they all are.

Campbell was also eloquent about the Genesis creation story. And there's certainly more to be said about it! I've written a fair amount about it in my two books, and for, and it would take a lot of space to present my analysis here, so perhaps I'll keep this brief! In short, the creation myth was certainly about moving form Innocent to Orphan to Pilgrim stage, and it in fact seems to urge us, as readers, to do that! The snake, you see, is a symbol not of evil but of change and growth (it sheds its skin and so is equated with immortality) so the urge to change and grow inevitably leads us away from 'Eden', and that urge is as nature as the fruit the trees. It comes when its ready.

Which cycles back to Leslie's break with the church. The changes come when we're ready for them, and sometimes even then we don't want them. Adam and Eve tried everything to avoid being sent away from familiar comfortable Eden, and yet it was what they were destined to do....

message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I can identify with Adam and Eve not trying not to be sent out of the garden--that's for sure! I think it's fascinating, too, how all these creation myths have so many similarities, all the myths, actually, once you get past the details. Even a lot of the details are the same. I do believe in the collective unconcious, or universal, can't even remember what it's called, but I believe in it. We're all linked, somehow, just by being human.

Thanks for the encouraging words from both of you about leaving the church and the marriage. Leaving the church was the hardest. It's a paradox, really, because it was the church teachings that kept me in the bad marriage for so long, but it was also the church that helped me survive the marriage.

I really admire the ability to interpret myths and stories--the way you do Allen and Joseph Campbell and the lady who wrote Women Who Run With the Wolves. I read them and don't get past story. I hope one day to be able to extract the deeper meanings, but I'm glad I can read books by people who are already doing that!

message 31: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 26 comments This is exactly how I learned, Leslie. Reading & asking questions & thinking about it & reading some more. I even began dreaming about a lot of it when I was in the thick of things.

I'm really excited for you because you're in a great & frightening time of your life where you have the freedom to ask these questions and then search out the answers. I always feel my most alive when I'm in that mode. And I love being able to talk with others who are going/ have gone through it, because they always have their own lessons & searches that I've never experienced, and I get to learn from that too.

It's not always about the books (although, lol they certainly play a big part in our lives), sometimes it's just about the experiences we're going through and what we do with them.

I'm very excited to be able to talk with you guys about all this! :D

message 32: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Dear Leslie and Sherrie,

Good thoughts! Joseph Campbell suggested that any of us can think mythically about the stories that shape our religions, but it does take a certain amount of attention in order to do so, and practice. In fact he suggests that there are two forces at work in humans, and these are the desire to take things literally, and the desire to see things metaphorically. The literalist tendency he traces back to the pre-semitic tribes that made up what is now the isreali/arab world - herders and raiders of the early iron age. Interestingly the great archaeologist Marija Gimbutas suggests that the peaceful goddess-worshiping societies of the Neolithic time were metaphor and myth centered, and the tribes that moved in and replaced them with male gods were herders and nomads....and literalists!

Whether we see it as two different tribal customs or as the clash between an ego dominated world and a myth rich world is up to us.

message 33: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I agree--thinking and asking questions and reading--that's really how we begin the changes in our lives. And how we sustain those changes. I was doing that even when I was still in the church, then I started seeing a therapist--and that was preached against very strongly. He's helped me so much. He's so amazing!!

I love talking to people who have had similiar experiences too! It's so important! I used to be in a sexual abuse survivors support group and that helped me a lot. I wish I could find one for people who left their churches. The good thing is there are a lot of books by people who have and people on here--like you guys!

That's really interesting about the myths and taking things literally. I have a tendency to take things literally. I have to make a very conscious effort to look past the literal to the meaning.

I had a dream last night that had people from my old church in it--again. When I first left my husband, I was still married to him in my dreams and he was doing terrible things to me, then I started having dreams where I called 911 on him, and where I made decisions and did things--even killed him in one, that protected me from him. Now the dreams are about people from my old church, interacting with them, seeing them (which I do on occasion--used to be enough to set off a panic attack! now it's mildly to not at all anxiety producing :) ) Or going back to church there and then realizing I don't belong there and trying to get away before anyone notices me. Dreams are very important to me, I'm sure to you guys, too.

I feel attracted to goddess religions. I don't know if it's the goddesses I feel attracted to or if it's the goddess as an alternative and even opposite of the god I grew up fearing and maybe loving, I'm not sure about that, that attracts me. I'm trying to just be patient with myself, it's not easy though. Right now I feel like a pilgrim in many ways, but one without a path. Does that make any sense?

message 34: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 26 comments Absolutely makes sense. I still dream about being back in my parents church, with them trying to marry me off to someone they want, and I end up screaming at them all and running out in my white dress. I think a lot of it is your subconscious trying to work through all the feelings that were pent up for so long and just getting it out, recreating the ending that you truly wanted.

After I left, I went through an entire phase of only praying to the Goddess. I even said a very frank prayer to God that I just needed my Mother for a while. I think when you have one side dominate for so long, you have to swing the pendulum for a while to balance it out... to find a comfort in the spiritual side that was denied. Now I'm more drawn to both, but I had to recreate in my mind what I thought the God & Goddess were, in a way that drew me spiritually and helped me feel more connected. I don't think it matters, truly, who or how you pray, just that you find it in yourself to connect to your spirit in the best way for you.

I was just talking to my parents about how the male dominated cultures tend to be more linear and left-brained, more literal & logical, and the female are more right-brained, creative & nurturing. Not to mean that men can't be that way, but the masculine side of an archetype tends to be more left-brained & the feminine right-brained. I believe that when the Judeo-Christian cultures began to make the rules they denied the feminine strengths and played up the weaknesses, because they needed to control the population and a domineering masculine force was the way to do it. It's come down to now through our society, through our schools where they teach in literal & linear left-brained ways, although most people respond better to abstract & exploratory right-brained ways. I just wonder what our culture would be like if we made changes in our education systems to reflect some of this.

message 35: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Education systems put in place by the dominant culture always serve the ends of that culture, so we're unlikely to see any changes there soon.... similarly with belief systems. What's interesting is that our present belief systems are bankrupt, since they lead to war, discord, and distress. When enough people know this there may be change.

message 36: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments Talking about the god and goddess reminds me of the Monarch archetype, which has its female and male side. Like two aspects of the same being. It makes sense. Like the masks of God that Joseph Campbell talks about.
I agree about the educational system. I'm leary of it. I homeschooled Emmily for 4 years, then sent her to an alternative school for 4. Her last 4 before college are in the publich school system, which, if she wasn't in the art program she loves, I wouldn't feel good about. When I was married to her dad, I didn't have a job and I was able to homeschool. I stopped for a lot of reasons and it woudn't even be an option now, with working.
I've never trusted the school system to not squash the creativity and free-thinking right out of kids. And the system "they" set up, serves "their" needs. I believe that with all my heart. Lucklily, along with doing that, the kids also learn to read!!! I've read before the the purpose of the school systems is to turn out workers--not inventors and artists, and I think there is some truth to that.

message 37: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments I agree. The school system is best summed up by the world's first national free school system, in England. It was instituted so that the authorities could legally mandate getting kids to a place where they could give them a cooked meal. This was because there was a lot of malnutrition in 1901. But the authorities were only worried because the kids were to sickly to be conscripted into the army - hence the need to fed the poor things - - so they could become soldiers, defend the Empire, and be shot.

Education has always had a covert reason or two since then...

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

So true, and it even extends to the sciences today; so many discoveries and even grants are all eyed by those who see the militaristic application.

message 39: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments Yes, it's always been a mixed bag. Like in this country mandatory education was originally so people would be able to read the bible. There's always an agenda--workers, solidiers, bible believers. There's always a reson behind the food and teaching to read. I think of schools as sort of factory, feeding it with raw materials, like wood or children, and then having the end product, like tables, or people with the spirit and creativity extracted, if at all possible. The good thing is, in lots of cases, it isn't possible, or if it does happen, it's only temporary.

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmmm, kind of reminds me of that scene from Lord Of The Rings when the orc army is being created!!! I guess the mythological concept is the same.

message 41: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Tolkien definitely saw it that way! And what unpleasant creatures those Orcs were. Of course, Tolkien had the example of Nazi Germany before him, too.

message 42: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments I saw a lot of biblical references in what little I've seen and read of Tolkien. Orcs--Nazi Germany---so many awful things exist, both in this physical realm and in our imaginations--sometimes I wonder if the boundary between the two is as solid as we like to think.

message 43: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Awfulness has always existed. The point is to ask if there is anything else, isn't it? The way out of darkness is to bring light....

message 44: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments That's true. There is light--goodness, truth--all the things that counteract the darkness. The more truth that gets told, like about sexual abuse, the less hiding places the evil doers have to hide, right?

message 45: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Exactly right, Leslie. We bring things 'to light', and remove the terror they had when they were 'kept dark' (see how our language works?) That's the power of truth.

message 46: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments It seems like secrets grow muscles when we let them hide in the dark and terrorize us, doesn't it? I feel like I need to clean house--sweep the secrets out into the air and make them shrivel up and die! The power of tuth!! I like that!

I'm not going to be on-line for a few days--I'm going to start working from home part of each week! I'm excited about it! But I have to take my computer into the hospital so they can download some stuff. I'm doing that tomorrow and then we have to hook it all back up--actually, I should say Emily does, she's the computer expert of the family!! :)
See you soon!

message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

See you soon, Leslie!

message 48: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 162 comments Hey! I'm back and all set up to work at home! Yea!!

message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm hoping to get back to reading and 'normality' for a while after this weekend. My habit of reading 3 or 4 books at the same time has meant that I still have about 1/4 of 'Stories...' to go.

message 50: by Allan (new)

Allan Hunter | 147 comments Ah, the weekend! Delicious refuge that it is!

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