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Showing posts from February 19, 2012

Leaving the Nest -- Writer's Poke #368

“The only true wisdom lives far from mankind, out in the great loneliness, and can be reached only through suffering.” – Igjugarjuk (Caribou Eskimo)


Joseph Campbell suggests that myths act as a nest. But like birds, we must be willing to leave the nest when we’re ready to fly. We must be willing to leave the security of the womb, even if we know that doing so will be a lot tougher.

Who wouldn’t want to be protected by the big parent forever? Just stay in the security of the nest and allow yourself to be fed by the big parent. Accept that reality, and happily eat whatever the big parent regurgitates into your mouth. No suffering involved. And no thinking required.

Myths, writes Campbell, serve four basic functions. The first he calls the “mystical function.” Myths teach us that we are a part of the universe. We need not fear the universe; rather, myths teach us our place within it. Second, myths describe how the universe works; unfortunately, argues Campbell, myths lock into the time…