Really the thing comes down to pattern recognition.
It is the commonalities of patterns which help us
recognise in our own context, the awarenesses (not truths)
of other cultures in other contexts. Effective patterns
help us to make the most of our own experiences.
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 11:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Poetry, myths (was: Poets on poetry)
My impression of Campbell is that he does not meet your definition of an
occultist, because he does NOT believe that "the 'key' is hidden and
available only to trained initiates." Certainly, I see no indication that
he believes there is a specific secret with an empirical answer that he, as
an initiate, has access to by reason of his understanding of clues.
Rather, he seems to believe either: (i) that there is no "key" presently
available (if "available" means being accessible merely by adhering to some
pattern or form established by others), or (ii) the key is available to
everyone but, for the most part, one person's key will not work for another,
and must be discovered through communion with the experience of being alive.
Put a little differently, he appears to be more of a modified Nietzschean,
advocating that the way to find the "key" is purely individual (although,
unlike Nietzsche, he seems to allow that, for some, that "individual" way
may involve choosing a traditional, perhaps traditionally religious, path.)
In a message dated 12/5/2003 12:12:16 PM Eastern Standard Time, Richard
Seddon <[log in to unmask]> writes:
* * *
>Campbell has what I would call an occultist usage of myth. Because of the
>emotional baggage attached to the word "occultist" he would probably say
>that this is not a fair characterization. Note however that he repeatedly
>refers to myths as "clues" to truth. Clues are clues only until the "key"
>to the association of "clues" is discovered. Once the "key" is discovered
>truth is revealed. Again, the quest for the "key" to the mysteries is the
>important search for occultists. For the occultist truth is all around us
>if we only knew how to interpret it. The search for that "how" is what
>occultism is all about. The occultist differs from the revealed religions
>in whether this "key" is hidden or not and whether it is available to
>everyone or not. The occultist believes that the "key" is hidden and
>available only to trained initiates. The practitioner of revealed religion
>believes that the "key" is open and available to all who want it.
* * *