Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Mystic's Desire, According to Campbell

"Another of the Sufi mystics said 'The function of the orthodox community is to give the mystic his desire, which is union with God, through mortification and death'."

From The Power of Myth [with Bill Moyers], 1988.

One of Campbell's disciples, Diane K. Osbon, in her The Joseph Campbell Companion, remembered Campbell as repeating this Sufi quotation somewhat differently:

"The function of the orthodox community is to torture the mystic to death: his goal."

Now, a little challenge to my readers, for them to prove their worthiness to receive this doctrine: when you can satisfactorily explain to me the above idea, then I will say that you are truly 'enlightened' and a 'mystic'. Although I certainly could do so (if I wished), I will not now attempt to explain the above idea; I will wait until YOU do so--however short or long that may take.

Remember what the 'Christ' said to his hearers: "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear. ..."
(In other words, these words are meant only for those persons ABLE to comprehend them.)

Campbell quoted a very deep idea (above), and he certainly understood it fully (as do I); DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT?