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Posts Tagged ‘Learning’

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
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The Hacker Ethic

Access to computers —  and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works — should be unlimited and total.  Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative!
All information should be free.
Mistrust Authority —  Promote Decentralization.
Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.
You can create art and beauty on a computer.
Computers can change your life for the better.
   —  Steven Levy
From his book: “Hackers: Heroes Of The Computer Revolution
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On This Day In:
2017 May I Have Some More, Please?
2016 A Little Lost
2015 This High Place
2014 Elected Madness
2013 Well Written
2012 Related Parts
2011 The King Is Oscar
Better Reputation?

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I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
   ―  Langston Hughes
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On This Day In:
2017 An Accumulation Of Acts
2016 Here’s Lookin’ At You Kid
2015 How To Be Omnipotent
2014 The Promise Of Future Love
2013 Christian, n.
2012 Praise
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
2011 A Few More Lyrics From The Past
5 For The Price Of 1

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What is the first business of one who practices philosophy?  To get rid of self-conceit.  For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.
     —  Epictetus
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On This Day In:
2016 Why Would We Expect Truth From A Liar?
Unknown Fear
2015 Something Pagan
2014 A Note To Self
2013 Determining Our Degree Of Freedom
2012 Journalism And Fantasy
Known Knowns
Jerk, n.
2011 Love Questions

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Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks.  Also learn from holy books and wise people.  Everything  —  even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees  —  should be your teacher.
   —  Morihei Ueshiba
[Found at one of the blogs I follow:   The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally maintained by Ann Koplow
The specific post is:    http://annkoplow.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/day-1750-water/
Check out Ann’s site if you have a free minute… [KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 The Worst Sin
2015 Rules Of Thumb
2014 A Prayer
Orange October (IX) – Giants Lose Game 2 In Bullpen Collapse
2013 Complacent Reality
2012 Two-minute Sex
Just Staring, Why?
2011 A World Of Difference

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1.)  Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
2.)  Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
3.)  Always drink upstream from the herd.
4.)  The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.
5.)  There are three kinds of men:  The ones that learn by reading.  The few who learn by observation.  The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence.
6.)  If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
7.)  Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.
8.)  After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.  He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him…  The moral:  When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
9.)  Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
A.)  The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
B.)  When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
C.)  You know you are getting old when every thing either dries up or leaks.
D.)  One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.
E.)  One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
F.)  Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
10.)  If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you are old.
     —  Will Rogers
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On This Day In:
2016 But, It’s Such A Simple Mistake
2015 Crawl Towards The Light
2014 Sweet Songs
2013 The Wife Of An Ordinary Man
2012 Three Words
2011 Know Anyone Like This?
2010 Apoplexy??
When Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…
Sibling Awareness

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To teach is to learn twice.
     —  Joseph Joubert
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On This Day In:
2016 I Choose To Believe
2015 What They Don’t Teach You At School
2014 Still Trying To Die (5)
2013 Honest Doubt
2012 Choice
2011 Ownership Of Thought

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