Tuesday, October 11, 2005
It's only in uncertainty that we're naked and alive
I've been reading the same book for months now. I don't usually dawdle, but this book is full of wisdom-y nuggets that I'm savoring. It's The Power of Myth. Have you read it? Basically, it's an edited transcript of interviews Bill Moyers conducted with Joseph Campbell, the renowned expert on mythology, for a PBS series. I never saw the show, but this book has me transfixed. I never fully realized how some basic ancient myths underpin and predate all the major religions, spanning vastly different cultures, expansive geographic areas and immense stretches of time. How do these strikingly similar myth stories spring up in different cultures and locations around the world in ancient times when there was no connection between them? No conventional connection, anyway. Must there be some very basic font in our humanity, or maybe our genes, that these stories spring from? Garden of Eden-style temptation stories, Cain and Abel-style hunter and gatherer stories, Christ-like sacrifice and resurrection stories, virgin birth stories, trinities...the list goes on. They all came along way before the Bible, cloaked in the guises of their individual places and time. Loving this book.