watching “joseph Campbell Mythos 1” a series of lectures, that will supposedly present the entirety of his unique perspective (on the unities through all cultures, outside of time, instead of the usual focus on differences at certain times). Blah blah, you have to seek it. I can’t summarize. a summary would be “mythologies serve us in 4 ways: mystical, cosmological, socialogical and pedagogical. it’s so boiled down it’s useless. blah blah. look it up if you’re interested.
The video so far has me thinking of a few things that i wanted to jot down. (and where better than this creative pursuits journal?)
– we project our anima/us (our personal and generalized vision of feminity) onto women, subconciously, and this causes the initial attaction. she has the same dimples mom had, for example. I don’t see why this would be too terrible for the mind to allow you to conciously appreciate, but apparently people agree that this is how it works. we just like certain girls, and don’t know why.
then we get to know them, and are confronted with “the fact”. at that point we either retreat and try to re-project our anima onto some other girl. Or we accept “the fact” and this what is known as love (and maturity? or was maturity purely related to coming to terms with social pressures? I AM ALREADY FORGETTING. I WATCHED THIS 5 MINUTES AGO! AHHH!).
I find this interesting a very personal level with regard to all the women i’ve ever interacted with, and my owen current dissatisfaction with my age addled mom. I honestly can’t claim to remember her, or any of her features, before the age of 4. but in a way it seems like i can reverse engineer what i must have thought of her during these early formative years, based on what i find attractive in random women. creepy? sure, but : true? hmm. and why do i seek this? why do i mistrust my subconcious?
Further i am puzzled by the ways in which we tend to mold ourselves into what our partner wants. Campbell’s model doesn’t seem (so far) to accomodate the ways we pretend to be what our partners want, and perhaps assume this false persona we’ve presented, because we crave their love. (i’m not sure that this relates exactly to their specific “persona” term, with regard to how we present ourselves to society… personal coupling seems wholly separated from social pressures. deciding if you love someone seems to transcend social pressures. and they claim that in the east, people tend to minimize their Ego and actually believe they are their persona. so what does that say about their capability to see past a persona and accept “the fact?” hmm. i guess is says they don’t really fall in love. or maybe this presentation is just geared towards audiences in the west, and we aren’t supposed to ask such questions).
– side note, campbell’s big “thing” apparently is the idea that you can only understand all the complicated bits of your subconcious- by deriving these abstract and secret truths, from their application to symbols, which your concious Ego can then process. so, for example, I can’t process the idea of “self” until i read about a fox in the story of the sour grapes. then i realize that the fox is my “self”. in this context.
this idea of only understanding my self based on how i see it projected out into examples from the world – strikes me as a very strange part of the human condition. (is this only meant to work in myths? or are mythologies just particularly suited to suggesting these personal subconcious connections?). Doesn’t this mean that we can only understand certain examples of self, and never all at once? because no story can sum up all the different ways your subconcious elements are manifesting? hmm. maybe i’m selling stories, and human learning, a bit short. not sure.
– sati is said to represent your “being”, verses the “asati” which is “nothing”. I only mention this to wonder further at the purpose of the little girl character named “Sati” in the Matrix sequels.
– i was also struck by Campbell’s casual aside that it is popular in our culture to say the character of the teacher is irrelevent, and all that matters is the information the teacher presents. He seemed angry at how false and stupid that notion was, and noted that we imprint subconciously on our favored teachers, based on our subconcious projections, and this determines our interest in learning various things. he noted how you can remember 4 or 5 favored teachers before all others. While this rings true for me, i don’t think i fully understand his point.
And it seems very relevant to my current pursuits in presenting online learning lessons. I’m reminded of a teacher who recently asked that her picture not be shown to the students, preferring that a young assistant narrate everything, and that I animate the TA in a charming cartoon style. Maybe good, maybe false. I dunno. but interesting from Campbell’s character perspective.
(And interesting that no formal pressure is placed on teachers to present themselves well. at a recent conference, one speaker noted that we should insist on certain email etiquette for teachers. but it was left as a personal preference of hers, that we weren’t really expected to fight for. WEIRD! FAIL!?!?!)
that is all, just had to pause the DVD until i could process. While I haven’t processed, at least i’ve noted the three most interesting things, for future distilling.