Thou Art That
By Joseph Campbell
an age of bigger is better, this slim little volume of collected
lectures and interviews by the late great Joseph Campbell
is a rare gem; a thousand ideas packed into a hundred pages.
I devoured it. Then I savored it.
Granted, Joseph Campbell rings my chimes. I am an unabashed
fan. Rabid, in fact, so I really don’t care what anyone
thinks about this book. I dare you to read it.
Campbell made myth a legitimate venue for the spiritually
thirsty and awakened something in almost everyone who was
blessed to hear him. The PBS series of interviews that Bill
Moyers conducted with Campbell in the late eighties vaulted
Campbell from relative professorial obscurity to massive mainstream
fame and recognition almost overnight. I saw that series.
It stirred something inside me, too.
If ideas like a universal cohesion and the unifying descriptions
of that connection interest you; if some religious doctrines
don’t make sense to you; if myth, mystery, magic and
meaning invite you to look deeper, Thou Art That
will capture your mind and your heart. Campbell holds
court weaving his prodigious and esoteric knowledge with a
wise and compassionate interpretation that lends clarity to
the landscapes he examines.
In particular, since Campbell has quite a different writing
style than speaking style, and since this is a collection
of his lectures which were very popular, the book reads as
though one is sitting at a great master’s feet, an intimate
and easy conversation taking place: a conversation covering
the “reaches of inner space” concerning the nature
of God, symbols, philosophy, theology and the collective narrative
Campbell called “mankind’s one great story.”
I call his telling of it – mesmerizing.
This little book is the perfect complement to a vacation
or a space of time – say a cross country flight –
that would provide the reader an opportunity to be transported
to the land of possibilities inherent to humanity, a wonderful
place to visit, indeed.
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