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Go And Dare

Rest not!  Life is sweeping by;
  go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime,
  leave behind to conquer time.
   —  Johan Wolfgang Goethe
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On This Day In:
2017 And Wealth A Poor Substitute For Ability
2016 Neither Darkness Nor Shadows
2015 It Took Roots
2014 Hard Evidence
2013 Full Participation
2012 Roving (Again)
Ooops, Again
2011 Why Not?
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Storytelling

The Power of Myth”  1988©
Today’s review is for “The Power of Myth“, which is a book based on interviews of Joseph Campbell by Bill Moyers that were the basis for the PBS television series of the same name and the same year.  The book was timed for concurrent release and follows the interview format with editing provided by Betty Sue Flowers.  In fact, the book chapters follow the episode breakdown of the series.
The interviews deal with the universality and evolution of myths in human history and how myths fit (or don’t fit) in the modern day social structure.  Campbell mixes personal experience with stories from many epochs, cultures and civilizations to offer up a thesis that modern society is moving from old mythologies and traditions unique to their times and locations to a new global (and possibly unified) mythology.
Campbell believes myths are the stories / legends / fables which make up their culture.  Campbell believes there are universal “truths” which mankind tries to describe using these myths and this explains why the myths are common around the globe.  To him a “myth” is a way of defining the rituals and oral histories we pass from parents to child.
Because the “myths” of any prior generation were limited by location and technologies of communication, Campbell believes we are in a transition period which is trying to integrate all of the “great” traditions (religions, beliefs and myths) of the past with the rapidly changing technologies of a modern life supported by increasing amounts of technology without concurrent social and moral reinforcement.
Basically, modern culture specifically lacks a social structure to transition males from childhood to adulthood – the traditional “rites of passage”.  Campbell feels this problem is significantly less for females because their rite of passage to adulthood is observationally physical.  On this point, I disagree with Campbell as I don’t believe the completion of puberty is the actual rite of passage from childhood to adulthood except in the most biologically literal sense for males or females.
I found the book fascinating but difficult to read. I find it curious that myths (creation, death, heaven, hell, reincarnation, resurrection and ascension) are common across epochs and continents. I am less convinced that all individuals seek to be “heroes” and to find their “bliss”.  It is my observation that the vast majority of folks (male and female) just want to get on with life and enjoy it (life) and their families with as little hassle as possible.
Final recommendation: highly recommended.  I feel the book is very deep and full of insight – both in word and ideas.  I will be including quotes from it periodically.  My own copy is now high-lighted through large passages of the book. (LOL)
One final note: this book took me almost two years to read, even though, at barely 230 pages, it’s not very long.  This is because it is (was) intellectually challenging (to me) and I felt the need to pause periodically.  The result was start, stop, weeks pass, start, stop, etc.  In the end, I moved on to other books and then (after 90+ pages), when I finally got back to it, I felt I’d lost the train of discussion and started over from the intro.  So, reader be warned…  Well worth your time, but you’ll need to be better disciplined than I am.
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On This Day In:
2017 Happy Meeting Day 33 (And Counting)
2016 Picture Perfect
2015 Life Showed Compassion
2014 And Then I Met Her
2013 Defining Maleness
The Run Continues
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.  I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.
   ―  Pablo Neruda
From his book of poetry: “100 Love Sonnets
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On This Day In:
2017 Happy Meeting Day 33 (And Counting)
2016 Picture Perfect
2015 Life Showed Compassion
2014 And Then I Met Her
2013 Defining Maleness
The Run Continues
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

I Dare You

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
   —  Lucius Annaeus Seneca
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On This Day In:
2017 To Republicans Who Choose Party Over Country
2016 All About Control
2015 Liberty Is Extravagant
2014 Always Remember To Reach
Have You Registered To Vote Yet?
2013 Ripples From The Water’s Edge
Because I Was Alone
2012 POI vs Reality
Dear And Sacred
2011 Chilled Again
The following are some before and after photos of our recent work on trying to upgrade the look of our home by painting the back and side fences.  Note: we didn’t actually try to “fix” the fences.  We only painted them.  This is based on what I learned 40+ years ago in Basic Training: “If it grows, trim it.  If it don’t grow and don’t move, paint it.”  I’m including three older “before” photos for comparison…  A lot of work, but we’re happy with the results.  Not bad for a couple of retirees.
Before After

James

James

Picture of back and retaining wall done.

Back and retaining wall done.

Image of Shiva at "Before" back fence.

Shiva at “Before” back fence.

Picture of back, retaining wall and north side done.

Back, retaining wall and north side done.

Picture of Hil and Shiva

Hil and Shiva

Picture of awkward corner behind tree

Awkward corner behind tree

Picture of back done; south side to go

Back done; south side to go

View of patio area

View of patio area

Picture of south side fence done

South side fence done

Picture of North side fence done

North side fence done

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On This Day In:
2017 Both Dismissed
2016 Poetry Isn’t Going To Work
2015 MA Fix
Getting Better
2014 Actually
2013 Unfortunate Evolutionary Accidents
2012 Tense (Past, Present And Future)
2011 What Is Your Preference?
Nothing is given so profusely as advice.
   —  Francois VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
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On This Day In:
2017 Both Dismissed
2016 Poetry Isn’t Going To Work
2015 MA Fix
Getting Better
2014 Actually
2013 Unfortunate Evolutionary Accidents
2012 Tense (Past, Present And Future)
2011 What Is Your Preference?

Picture of Sean and Kevin relaxing.

Not many meals missed by these brothers…

My sister (Carmen) and I visited my brother (Sean) today.  He is suffering from kidney failure and has to go for dialysis four days a week.  We just wanted to cheer him up with a mid-week visit.  He is trying to convert me into a Oakland fan by giving me an A’s sweatshirt for X-mas and sitting me in the Raiders recliner.  (LOL)
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On This Day In:
2017 Genuine Tragedies
2016 Why I’m Scared Of November
2015 I Can Tell Too
2014 In Hand
2013 No Fear
2012 Comic Books
Keeping The Peace
2011 You Still Have To Pay For It
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