Saturday, July 25, 2009

Symboloclasty

Reading the seminal Hero with a thousand faces by Joseph Campbell in the last part of the chapter 'The ultimate boon' following biased transcription seemed quite enlightening to me:
The infantile fantasies which we all cherish in the unconscious appear continually into myth. This is helpful, for the mind feels at home with the images and seems to be remembering something already known. But the circumstance is obstructive too, for the feelings come to rest in the symbols and resist passionately every effort to go beyond. The gulf between the multitudes who fill the world with piety and the truly free breaks down at the line where the symbols give way and are transcended. The ineffable teaching of the beatitude beyond imagination comes to us clothed necessarily in figures reminiscent of the imagined beatitudes of infancy, hence the deceptive childishness of the tales. Hence, too, the inadequacy of any merely psychological reading.


I'd link these ideas to the three stages of sentience according to my kabbalah teacher, Joris De Brandt:
exoteric, meaning the part of knowledge we are able to understand, using the power of our thinking;
mesoteric, the vague no-man'sland between two worlds where thoughts are grasped but in ways beyond our true understanding;
and esoteric, that which is beyond all worlds (this term is usually abused for talking of exoteric and mesoteric insights).
I see the world of myths, allegories and symbols in the mesoteric realm; similarily, but in a simplifying manner of course, the four 'lower' circuits of consciousness seem exoteric to me, the next three mesoteric and the eighth esoteric.

As a 'pataphysician I feel compelled to translate the world into symbolism. But only after the images get shattered one is able to see through the mirror and accept the true reflection.

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