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ThePoliticsofMyth

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SUNYseries,IssuesintheStudyofReligion
BryanRennie,Editor

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ThePoliticsofMyth
AStudyofC.G.Jung,MirceaEliade,andJosephCampbell
RobertEllwood

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Publishedby
StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,Albany
1999StateUniversityofNewYork
Allrightsreserved
PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica
Nopartofthisbookmaybeusedorreproducedinanymannerwhatsoeverwithoutwrittenpermission.Nopartofthisbookmaybestoredinaretrievalsystemor
transmittedinanyformorbyanymeansincludingelectronic,electrostatic,magnetictape,mechanical,photocopying,recording,orotherwisewithouttheprior
permissioninwritingofthepublisher.
Forinformation,address
StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,
StateUniversityPlaza,Albany,N.Y.12246
ProductionbyDaleCotton
MarketingbyAnneM.Valentine
Acknowledgment
PortionsofthisbookpreviouslyappearedinRobertEllwood,"WhyAreMythologistsPoliticalReactionaries?"publishedinJacobNeusner,ed.,Religionandthe
SocialOrder:WhatKindsofLessonsDoesHistoryTeach?1994bytheUniversityofSouthFloridaandpublishedbyScholarsPressfortheUniversityofSouth
Florida,theUniversityofRochester,andSaintLouisUniversity,andreprintedherebykindpermissionofScholarsPress,Atlanta.
LibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationData
Ellwood,RobertS.,1933
Thepoliticsofmyth:astudyofC.G.Jung,MirceaEliade,and
JosephCampbell/RobertEllwood.
p.cm.(SUNYseries,issuesinthestudyofreligion)
Includesindex.
ISBN0791443051(hc.:alk.paper).ISBN079144306X(pbk.
:alk.paper)
1.Eliade,Mircea,1907Viewsonpolitics.2.Campbell,
Joseph,1904Viewsonpolitics.3.Jung,C.G.(CarlGustav),
18751961Viewsonpolitics.4.MythologistsAttitudes
History20thcentury.I.Title.II.Series.
BL303.5.E441999
291.1'3'0922dc219854277
CIP
10987654321

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Contents

Preface

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1
Myth,Gnosis,andModernity

2
CarlGustavJungandWotan'sReturn

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3
MirceaEliadeandNostalgiafortheSacred

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4
JosephCampbellandtheNewQuestfortheHolyGrail

127

5
Conclusion:TheMythofMyth

171

Notes

179

Index

203

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Preface
Amidthehorrorsofworldwarandtheexponentialexpansionoftechnologiesandeconomies,themidtwentiethcenturysawalsoalatemodernupsurgeofpopular
andacademicinterestinmythology.Threepersonswereprimarilyassociatedwiththisdevelopment:theanalyticpsychologistC.G.Jung,thehistorianofreligion
MirceaEliade,andthewidelyreadpublicmythologistJosephCampbell.Theinterestwasnotmerelyaesthetic:theseinterpretersofancientmythsaidmuchtolead
theirpublictobelievethatarediscoveryofmeaninginmythcouldcontributetosolvingthepersonalandsocialproblemsofthosetumultuoustimes.Atthesametime,
allthreemythologistshaveattimesbeenassociatedwiththepoliticsoftheextremeright,even,accordingtosomecharges,withsympathyforfascismandanti
Semitism.Thepresentbookreferstotheseseriousaccusations,whilechieflyendeavoringtoextractthepoliticalandsocialphilosophypresentedexplicitlyand
implicitlyintheentirelifeworkandpublishedcorpusofthethreepersons.
Theintroductorychapter,"Myth,Gnosis,andModernity,"treatsofthenatureof"modern"beliefinprogressandtheunityofknowledge.Itportraysthemythological
movementas,likefascismandcommunism,representinganextremecaseofmodernismevenasit

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washighlycriticalofmanyaspectsofit:ofmaterialism,"massman,"andtheuprootingoftraditionalsocieties.Forthemodernmythologistscouldonlycritiquethe
modernfromoutofthecontextofmodernsciences,academicinstitutions,andmeansofcommunication.Theambivalenceoftheir"reaction"andtheir"gnosticism''
seekinga"hidden"wisdomintheremotepastissoughtfor,asistherelationofmodernmythologytoromanticismandGerman"volkish"thought.
C.G.Jungpresentsaparadigmaticcaseofthisparadox,forthoughhewasamodernmedicaldoctorhecameincreasinglytobelievethathispatientsandthe
modernworldgenerallyneededtogetintouchwiththe"archetypal"powersthatlaybeneathitsrationalsurface,powersbothindividualandcollective.Itisherethat
JungcamedangerouslyclosetoenthusiasmfortheGermanNationalSocialistrevolution.Intheend,though,thepoliticalstanceofthisdifficultandsometimes
contradictorythinkerwasclosertoBurkeanconservatismthantofascism.
TheRomanianMirceaEliade,abrilliantyoungintellectualinhishomelandinthe1930s,andforatimeanadmirerofitsfascistIronGuard,sufferedexileandaradical
disjunctureinhislifeafter1945.Despitetheearlycontext,intheenditwastheexperienceofexilethatshapedwhattherewasofpoliticalthoughtinEliade:itgavehim
thefreedomtobenostalgicfortheunitiesofthedistantpast,whileallowinghimtoseethesacredinthesecularofthemodernworldindiverseplaces,andto
appreciateguardedlythekindofinstitutionshefoundinhisadoptedhomeland,theUnitedStates.
JosephCampbell,theonlyofthethreeborninAmerica,cametoextoltheheroicradicalindividualismheperceivedintheAmericanpastanditstraditions.Astudentin
GermanyduringtheWeimarperiod,heabsorbedtheinfluenceofsuchthinkersandwritersofthateraasSpengler,Frobenius,andMann,aswellasthe
psychoanalystsFreudandJung,withtheirpessimisticviewofthefutureofcivilizationasthemodernworldknewit.Liketheothertwo,whilesupportingthepolitical
righthechieflysawthesavingoftheworldnotin"collective"institutions,butinthetransformationofindividualswiththehelpofthepowerofmyth.
Thebook'sconclusionpointstothewayinwhichthewholeconceptofmythwhichunderlaytheworkofthesethreemythologistsisamodernconstruct.Wecan,it
willbesaid,certainlylistentotheir

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wisdom,butweneednotholdthatitcontainsaunique"gnosis"thatwillsaveusfromtheobligationtochartourownhumanfuture.
Itisimportanttomakeclearwhatthebookisandisnotabout.ThePoliticsofMythisnotprimarilyanassessmentofchargesthatJung,Eliade,andCampbellwere
sympathizerswith,andinvolvedin,Nazism,fascism,orantiSemitism.Todealwithallthechargesthathavebeenmadewouldrequirebooklengthstudiesin
themselves,andthatisnotthetasktowhichIhavesetmyself.Rather,myrealpurposeistodiscusssomewhatmoreabstractlythepoliticalphilosophythatseemsto
emergefromthepublishedwritingsofthethreeonmythologyIviewtheaforementionedinflammatorychargesessentiallyasmattersthatmustbefacedanddealtwith
inthecourseofproceedingontotherealagenda.ThusIdonotclaimthatmytreatmentofthoseissuesisexhaustiveorfinalwhatIhopetodo,atbest,istoputthe
1930sand1940sinthecontextofeachman'stotallifeandwork,andseewherethatleads.Inthecourseofthisprojectitwillbenecessarytoconfrontthedifficult
andoftenhighlychargedissueofaskingpreciselyinwhatwayaresuchaccusations,andevidence,importantastheycertainlyaretoassessingtheoverallwork,
eventheoverallpoliticalphilosophy,ofanyintellectualfigure,includingJung,Eliade,andCampbell.
Atasklikethisinvolvescarefuldefinitionsofterms.AntiSemitism,forexample,cannotbeimputedtoonewhosimplydifferstheologicallywithJudaisminthesame
waythataCatholicmightdifferwithaBaptist,oraChristianorJewwithaBuddhist.ThepejorativelabelantiSemiticisrightlyusedwhenitisclearthatthefeelingof
differenceextendstoJewsaspersonsaswellastotheirsupposedbeliefs:whenJewsappeartobeheldinsomegenericsensetobeunchangeablydifferent
psychologicallyandevenbiologicallyfromothers,sothattheycouldnever"fitin"totherestofasociety,andtheirinfluenceandevenmerepresenceistherefore
destructivetotheunityofsociety.ThisantiSemiticwayofthinkinginvolvesstereotypingintermsofagenericqualitythatallJews,regardlessofindividualdifferences,
aresupposedtohave.ThereforetheantiSemitepresumesthathisantipathytowardJewsrequireswordsandactionsthataredirectedtowardJewsasawhole.
Wemustacknowledgethatitispossibletousetermslikefascist,antiSemitic,orrightist(especiallyintheEuropeansense)asthoughtheyenabledablanket
condemnationofapersonandallhiswork,

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sometimesevenwhenthecondemnationisreallyforotherideologicalreasons.Withoutdenyingthemoralseriousnessoftheissuesraisedbysuchterms,onemuststill
bepreparedtoexaminehonestlythequantitativeandqualitativeimportanceofthatwhichevokesthechargesrelativetoawriter'stotalcorpus.Thecriticmustthen
cometoclarityonjusthowthoseaccusatorywordsmaybeconnectedtootheraspectsoftheperson'sintellectualwork.Certainlythereareunitiesinallofamajor
thinker'sendeavorsdeepstructures,paradigms,polarities,valuesthatrunthroughthem.Atendencytothinkingenerictermsofpeoples,races,religions,orparties,
whichasweshallseeisundoubtedlytheprofoundestflawinmythologicalthinking,includingthatofsuchmodernmythologistsasourthree,canconnectwithnascent
antiSemitism,ortheconnectionmaybetheotherway.AnegativitytowardJudaism,forexample,seenasareligionofapersonalmonotheisticdeityactinginthe
historyofaparticularpeople,maywellresonateelsewhereinthewriter'spageswithageneralnegativitytowarddivinepersonality,towardthenotionofhistoryasthe
definingframeworkofhumanexperience,towardhistoricalwaysofthinkingingeneral,andtowardanysenseofreligiousmissionbyanyparticularizedgroup.Butitis
importantthatsuchintellectualcontinuitiesnotbejustassumed,butasdifficultasthatmaybeinthiscaseafterAuschwitzassessedfreelyandfairlyontheirown
terms,notonlybyakindofintellectualguiltbyassociationunlesstheassociationisclearlyevident.Somestructures,somegenericcategories,areprobablynecessary
toanyintellectualworkandcanbefoundinwriting,includingwritingaboutJudaism,farremovedfromantiSemitism.Thesearehardthingsofwhichtowriteand
speakIcanonlyhopethattheremainderofthisbookwillmakemymeaninginrespecttothemclear.
Forthereisnodoubtthatthethreemythologistshereunderconsiderationhaveintellectualrootsinthesamespiritualclimateasthatinwhichearlyfascismand
sometimesantiSemitismflourished:Nietzsche,Sorel,OrtegayGasset,Spengler,Frobenius,Heidegger,thelesserRomaniannationalistsandGerman"volkish"writers
and,beforehiscourageousrejectionofNazismandexile,ThomasMann.Mostofthesejustnamedwerenotfullblownpartisansoftheirrespectivenationalfascist
partiessome,suchasNietzsche,wouldhavecondemnedpoliticalfascismasutterlycontrarytotheheroicindividualismforwhichtheystood.Soalso,bytheirown
latertestimony,didthethreemythologists.Yetthereisinthatclimateandthethreemytholo

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gistsanunmistakablecommonintellectualtone:antimodernismandantirationalismtingedwithromanticismandexistentialism.Thissubsetofmodernthoughtisdeeply
suspiciousofthelargermodernworld,asthatworldwascreatedfundamentallybytheEnlightenment(despite,asweshallsee,theirembracingofsomethemes,like
nationalismandthepurifyingrevolutionidea,carriedoverfromtheAgeofReason'sturbulentfinale).Aboveall,theromanticantimodernsdecriedmodernity's
exaltationofreason,"materialistic"science,"decadent"democracydependentontherootless"massman''itslevelingfosters.
Incontrast,theylaudedtraditional"rooted"peasantculture,includingitsarticulationinmythsthatcamenotfromwritersbutfrom"thepeople,"andtheynolesspraised
thecharismaticheroesancientandmodernwhoallegedlypersonifiedthatculture'ssupremevalues.Aboveall,onefeltinthesewritersadistinctivemoodofworld
weariness,asensethatallhasgonegrayand,justbeneaththesurface,surging,impatienteagernessforchange:forsometremendousspasm,emotionalfarmorethan
intellectual,basedfarmoreonexistentialchoicethanonreason,thatwouldrechargetheworldwithcolorandthebloodwithvitality.Perhapsanewelite,oranew
leadercapableofmaking"greatdecisions"intheheroicmoldofold,wouldbeatthehelm.
ThisflavorwasintheairtoaremarkableextentintheUnitedStatesduringthetenyearsorsoafter1945.Anyovertlyfascistovertoneswere,needlesstosay,well
disguisedinthoseyearsafterthegreatvictoryoverthatlostcause.Butinasenseitwasnotsomuchthatthelargerantimodernintellectualcontextinwhichfascism
flourishedwaslost,asthat,willinglysheddingitsbastardfascistformandredressedinnewapparel,itcamebacktohauntaworldwearyfromthestruggleagainst
fascism.Fortherootdissatisfactionsofthemodernmindwerefarfromlaid.Reformatted,wistfulversionsofSpenglerandNietzscheandHeideggerandthe
mythologicalmoodsuitedthespiritualandintellectualfatiguemanyfeltafterthegreatwarandtheideologicalbattlesofthe1930s.Traditionalreligionswereonthe
rise.Purposelessamidstabundance,peoplefelt"decadent"andalienatedfromsomethingcrucial,whichhadprobablybeenbetterknownintheremotepast.Thisspirit
alsoconsortedwellwiththeemerginganticommunismofthe1950s,sinceMarxismpresenteditselfasquintessentialmodernand"scientific"politicsattheopposite

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polefromsuchreactionarynostalgiaandmuchinthereactionarymoodalsofittedwellwiththeantirationaldiscourseofthenfashionableexistentialism,despitethefact
thatmanyexistentialists,especiallytheFrench,claimedtobepoliticallyleft.Aboveall,nostalgiaforlostvaluesprovidedaplatformforthoseofboththeeliterightand
theeliteleftcriticalofemergent1950s"massculture":thenewworldoftelevision,theautomobile,andsuburbantracthouses.The1950s"Beats"likedSpengler,and
thesamesortofideasatleastweresavoredbyrightistcriticsinthemoldofWilliamBuckley,RussellKirk,andB.I.Bell.Itwasalsoaround1950thatthevoguefor
CarlJung,MirceaEliade,andJosephCampbellbegantoaccelerateintheUnitedStates.
Indealingwiththesematters,aswellaswhatmightbecalledthecumulativepoliticalphilosophyofthesethreefigures,muchwillhavetobetakenintoaccount.Iwill
pleadguiltytothechargethatthethreemainchaptersofthisbook,oneoneachofthethreefigures,coverseveraldomains:themythologist'spersonalandintellectual
biography,aconsiderationofhislatemoderntimes,asummaryofhisviewofmythanditsexplicitandimplicitpoliticalramifications,andhereandtheremyown
criticalresponse.Buttomymindthisissimplyunavoidable.Thesearecomplexpersonsandissues.Noneofthesestrandscanbeseparatedoutfromastudysuchas
thisisintendedtobebecausetheyareallprofoundlyinterlinked.Whatevertheymayhavethought,themythologyofthethreewasnotfromtheperspectiveofeternity,
butasmuchaproductofitstimesasanyintellectualendeavor,andwasinterwovenwiththesubject'sownlifeandpoliticalcontext.Tobringthisoutisverymuchthe
pointofthisbook.
Eventhetermsthatforcethemselvesintoadiscussionlikethismaybecontroversial.Forconvenience,IhaverepeatedlyreferredtoJung,Eliade,andCampbellas
mythologists.Somewillnodoubtprotestthatthethreewerenotreallymythologists(orfolklorists)inastrictacademicsense.Theydidlittlefieldwork,itwillbesaid,
orserioustextualandphilologicalworkonmythrather,dependinglargelyonthelaborsofothers,theyemployedmythsometimesselectivelyandcavalierlyinthe
serviceofotheragenda:promotingaschoolofanalyticpsychology,establishingahistoryofreligionacademicdiscipline,addressingthespiritualproblemsoftheday.It
willbepointedoutthatthereareother"working"mythologists,includingsomenowactiveinthescholarlyworld,whoundoubtedlydonot

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sharethepoliticsofJung,Eliade,orCampbell.Itakethepoint,butwillhavetoaskthatforthepurposesofthisbookweacceptthetermmythologistonthegrounds
oftheirintenseinterestinmythandtheiravidconcernforpromotingawarenessofit.
ForatimeIthoughtoflabelingthethreereactionaries.Even"conservative"didnotseemstrongenough.Likeitsantonymliberal,thewordconservativeisoften
slipperyinmeaning,andhashadsomewhatdifferentconnotationsinEuropeandAmerica.Furthermore,thesurfacemeaningofjustkeepingthingsastheyarehardly
doesjusticetotheradicalovertones,asoveragainsttheircontemporaryworld,ofsomeofthevisionsinvolved.
Reactionaryisalsonotquiteright,ifitimpliesmerelyaColonelBlimpsortofyearningfordaysthatarenomore,oraBourbonlikepassiontorecoverlostaristocratic
privileges.Yetallthreemendidinfactwanttodrawwisdomfromwellssunkdeepinpaststheydeemedpreferableincrucialhumanrespectstothepresent.Idonot
saytheywantedsimplytoreturntothosepasts,fortheywerewellawarethatwasnotpossible,orevendesirable.Theywerealsoprofoundlymodern,evenifthey
embracedtraditionalismandantimodernismasideologicalstanceswithinthemodernspectrum.Asscholarsandintellectuallyengagedpersons,theywerealsoaware
thatthedifferentiatedconsciousnessofthemodernworldhaditsvalue.Itcouldevenbearguedbytheirpartisansthatthestanceofthemodernmythologist,withone
footineachworld,archaicandmodern,wastheideal.Atthesametimetheyknewtherewasmuchinmodernitytoreactagainst,eventhoughinsomewaystheywere
moremodernthantheyrealizedtheyknewthatonecoulddoworsethanlookbackwardswithcontemplativeifnotnostalgiceyesuponcitiesandcenturieswell
temperedbystoriesandritesthat(ideally)madehumansocietylikeagreatdance,itselfintegratedsmoothlyintothedanceoftheuniverse.
Forthemthiskindofreactionwasanurgentlyfeltideologicalandevenspiritualcause,whichwouldbringthemnoeconomicorsocialgain,andindeedmuchobloquy
insomequarters,butwhichtheyfeltentailedamessagetheworlddesperatelyhadtohear.Thepasttheyevokedwasnosubjectofmerenostalgia,muchlessof
materialbenefit,butatimewhenvaluesandspirituality,nowalmostforgotten,reigned.
Stilllivingandworkablepastswereinfacttwofoldforeachofthemythologists.Ontheonehand,likealingeringearthlyparadiseanundatedprimordialgoldenage
whenmythswerestrongandhuman

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lifewasmeaningfullayshimmeringonadistanthorizonontheotherhandthemythologistsalsodiscernedamoreimmediatesecondarysilveragewithinthelastfew
hundredyears,morefallenbutalsoperhapsmoreaccessible,forwhichtheypined:Jungforamedievalharmonyofsymbolandlifebeforeitwasfracturedbythetriple
evilsoftheReformation,theEnlightenment,andtheIndustrialRevolutionEliadeforthesilveryearsofRomania'snineteenthcenturyculturalrenaissanceCampbellfor
anidealizedearlyAmericaofmoralvirtueandsturdyindividualism.
Toputitanotherway,allcastpassionate(thoughnotalwaysuncritical)eyesupontheprimitive,believingthat,largelythroughthepowerofmythandritual,primal
humanitywasbetterintegratedspirituallyandcosmicallythanmoderns,andtheyalsoheldthatenoughrecentexamplesobtaintosuggestthatprimalintegrationcanbe
recoveredatleastinpart,thoughperhapsonlyonaindividualbasis.Intheirownterms,theywerenotsomuchreactionary,then,asintegrationist:holdingthatthe
mythologicalpastneededtobeintegratedfullyintothesubjectivelivesofmodernpersons.Toascertainwhatthatmeantforthesubjectivtyoutofwhichpolitical
actionsflowwillbethemajorthemeofthisbook.

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1
Myth,Gnosis,andModernity
TheMidcenturyMythicTrinity
Myth,mythology,andtheideaofmythhavehadaremarkableplaceintheintellectualandspiritualawarenessofthetwentiethcentury.Amidstthetroubleddaysand
nightsofthoseyearshavebeenheardsweetandseductivewordsfromoutofthepast,notseldomtransmittedandinterpretedbymenwidelyregardedaslivingsages.
Talesofcreation,ofheroesandtimelesslovefascinatedmanyactorsonthestageofaworldboundbytimeandhistory,bywarandcoldwar."Myth"tookitsplacein
contemporaryconsciousnessalongsideexpandingeconomiesandgenocidalhorrors.
Tobesure,eventsofthecontemporarydramaitselfreachednearlymythicproportionsinthecentury'sbattlesoflightagainstdarkness,andtheintroductionof
weaponsdrawingtheirpowerfromthesameawesomeenergiesthatlightthesunandstars.Mythsprovidedmodelsfortheworldaround,yetatthesametimeoffered
avenuesofeternalreturntosimplerprimordialageswhenthevaluesthatruletheworldwereforged.

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Three"sages"aboveallwerefoundationalfiguresofthetwentiethcenturymythologicalrevival:C.G.Jung,MirceaEliade,andJosephCampbell.Theirwork
stimulatedbeliefthattherecoveryofmeaningsenigmaticallyencodedinancientmythologiescoulddomuchtohealdeepmidcenturywoundsinbothindividualand
collectivepsyches.Moreover,thewordstheytransmittedfromoutofthepastresonatedwithanantimoderncounterpointtothecentury'sgiddydevotionto
"progress,"withitsterribleshadowsideofwar,devastation,anddestructiveideology.
Theirteachingsinthetwentiethcenturyhadaroleratherlikethatofgnosticisminantiquity.Botherasconfronteddazzlingchangeandbafflingcontradictionsthat
seemedunmanageableintheirworld'sownterms.WhetherinAugustanRomeormodernEurope,democracyalltooeasilygavewaytototalitarianism,technology
wasasreadilyusedforbattleashumancomfort,andimmensewealthlayalongsideabysmalpoverty.Facedwithatimeofrapidchangessomeaccountedprogress,
yetalsosurveyingsufferingtooprofoundtobeselfhealing,gnosticspastandpresentsoughtanswersnotinthecourseofoutwardhumanevents,butinknowledgeof
theworld'sbeginning,ofwhatliesaboveandbeyondtheworld,andofthesecretplacesofthehumansoul.Toallthisthemythologistsspoke,andtheyacquiredlarge
andloyalfollowings.
TheelderofthemodernpopularmythologistswastheSwissanalyticpsychologistCarlG.Jung(18751961).Inhislateryears,hisgentle,whitehairedfeatures
suggestedamodernmasterofforgottenwisdomasheproddedatroubledworldtolookinwardthroughwidelyreadbookslikeModernManinSearchofaSoul
(1933)orTheUndiscoveredSelf(1958).Theyinevitablypointedtosicknessesofthecontemporarysoulthatcouldwellbediagnosedandalleviatedthrough
recoursetotheloreofmyth.Forhavewenotallwithinus,strugglingtodeclareandrightlyalignthemselves,somethingofthe"archetypes"heidentifiedinbothmyth
andmoderndream?Fartoooften,hardlyknowingwhatwearedoing,thereforedoingitbadlyandwithoutbalance,weandthetormentedhumanworldaroundusact
outthepartsoftheWarrior,theWizard,theMother,andthemanysinisterguisesoftheShadow.
Bythelate1950s,Jungianinterpretationsofmythwereascendantforcesintheintellectualandspiritualworlds,evenastheregnant

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Freudianismwasbeginningtofade.ThedistinguishedliterarycriticNorthropFrye,whoreadJungassiduouslyinthelateforties,didmuchtomake"mythanalysis"of
Shakespeareandotherliteratureanacademicvogue.1 TheologianslikeVictorWhite(GodandtheUnconscious,1952)andDavidCox(JungandSt.Paul,1959)
tookJungianideasseriouslyinrelatingChristianitytocontemporaryconsciousness.
NorwasregardforJunglimitedtoacademiccircles.Timemagazine,in1952,didastoryonthesageofZurichthatpresentedhimas"notonlythemostfamousof
livingpsychiatrists,"butalsoas"oneofthefewpractitionersofthecraftwhoadmitthatmanhasasoul."Jungwas"anunabasheduseroftheworld'spiritual,'''who
heldthatthe"religiousinstinctisasstrongasthesexual,"thoughthenewsmagazinedidacknowledgethatJungwasodd,inaperhapslovablethoughperhapsalso
slightlydisturbingway:"HishomeisfilledwithstrangeAsiaticsculptures.Hewearsacuriousring,ornamentedwithanancienteffigyofasnake,thebeareroflightin
thepreChristianGnosticcult."2
Thispiece,andthegeneraltendencytoadulateJungasoneoftheworld'swisemeninthefiftiesandafter,wasmuchincontrastwithanotoriousarticleonlythree
yearsbeforeintheSaturdayReviewofLiterature.RobertHillyer's"Treason'sStrangeFruit"wasmainlyaprotestagainsttheawardingoftheBollingenPrizebythe
LibraryofCongresstoEzraPoundforhis1948PisanCantos.Hillyer'simpassionedessayraisedthematterofPound'swellknownantiSemitismandapologetics
forMussolini,butalsoponderedthecuriousfactthatthisprestigiousAmericanprizewasnamedafterCarlJung'shomeinSwitzerland,Bollingen.
ThereasonwasthattheawardwasfundedbytheBollingenFoundationofNewYork,whichalsohappenedtobethesponsorofthePantheonPress,Jung'smajor
Americanpublisher.JosephCampbellwaseditoroftheBollingenSeriesofPantheonbooksonmythologyandcomparativereligion.AlltheseBollingenworkswere
offeredultimatelybygraceofthewealthyPaulMellon,sonofAndrewMellon,TwentieseraSecretaryoftheTreasury.PaulMellon'sfirstwifehadbeenapatientof
Jung's,andPaulwasdedicatedtotheSwissdoctor'snameandfame.
ButHillyer,unimpressed,remarkedcausticallythatitwasappropriatetogivePoundaprizewithaJungianname,givenhisperceptionthattheyweretwoofakind
whatwasshockingwasthattheawardwasgrantedbyanAmericancommittee.Hillyerwentonto

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claimthatJungwashardlylessproAxisthanPound,citinganumberofsayingsbytheformer,notallincontext,tosupportthenotionthat"foratimeDrJung's
admirationforHitlerwaswarm,"andthatthisenthusiasmalsoincluded"racismingeneral,thesuperman,antiSemitism,andaweirdmetaphysicsembracingoccultism,
alchemyandtheworshipofWotan."Thearticleprovokedabarrageofletterstotheeditor,largelybutnotentirelyindefenseofJung.3
QuiteinterestingalsowasHillyer'smentionofanew"literaryculttowhomT.S.EliotandEzraPoundaregods."Jungpresumablywasvirtuallyathirdmemberof
whatwouldthenhavebecomeadivinetrinity.Thiswasthe"cult"ofthe"NewCriticism"which,inprofoundreactionagainstthebrutalideologicalwarsofthirtiesand
fortiesliterarydiscourse,soughttoseeonlywhatwasinapoeticorfictionaltextitself,initsowntextureofmood,image,andinternalallusion.Itdeliberatelydetached
theprintedpagefromsocialanddoctrinalcontext.TheimagistPoundandthenostalgicEliot(whohadbeenamemberofthecontroversialBollingenPrizecommittee,
andwhosepoliticalandsocialviewshavealsonotgoneunquestioned),bothconsideredconsummatecraftsmenonthelevelofwordsandsentences,fittedintothe
NewCriticismcanonwelldespitetheirbaggageofideasunsavorytoholdoverDepressioneraliberals.Jung,orworksinfluencedbyhimlikeJosephCampbell's1949
book,TheHerowithaThousandFaces,werethenabletomakemodernpoetsspeakthe"timelesstruth''ofarchetypeandmyth.Intheimmediatepostwarperiod
JungandtheNewCriticismwereonlypartsofalargermoodofselectivenostalgiafortimesandvalues,includingformsofspirituality,outofagespastbeforethe
disastrousupheavalsofthetwentiethcentury:onealsorecallsAldousHuxley'sperennialphilosophy,thepilgrimageofThomasMertontohisTrappistmonastery,and
Zen.Moreover,after1945theNazisandfascistshadbeenreplacedbyanotherenemy,communism.Allloversoftraditionalthings,thoughtheymighthave
equivocatedbeforethehalfarchaic,halfmodernworldoffascism,couldfreelyhatethisfoewithsinglenessofheart.
Thefiftieswereonlyananticipationoftheheadycounterculturalatmosphereofthesixties.ThenJungandthemythologicalmooddefinitelywonout,overbothFreud
andthepragmaticstyleofmodernismthatsawprogressmeasuredbyelongatedfreewaysandbetterbombers,inthedecade'sflourishingcounterculturalcircles.But
thattriumphrequiredacuriousmovementofmyth,archaism,and

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Jungianismfrompoliticalrighttoleftinitsperceivedplaceintheintellectualspectrum,leavingbehindpeoplelikeEliotandCampbell.Inthosedayswhen,intheimage
ofapopularsong,magicwasafoot,revolutionariesevenmorethanreactionarieswerelikelytodreamofearliertimeswhenmythswerestrong.Accordingtoa1967
Timeessayonthe"NewLeft"ofthosedays,theradicalswantedtorepeal"bigness"themarkofmodernityandyearnedforsmall,selfcontainedidyllicvillagesof
suchnineteenthcenturyvisionariesasCharlesFourierandRobertOwen"NewHarmonycomputerized."Thiswouldbe''thetotallybeautifulsociety,"andthearticle
categorizedthemovementasreally"notpoliticalbutreligious."4 Extremesofconsciousnessmet,andfoundcommongroundinopposingwhatpassedformodernity.
Talkofarchetypesandreturntothearchaicworldseemedtofitwhenpeopledressedlikefigmentsofmythordream,andwantedtoestablishcommuneswherethey
couldliveclosetotheearth.
ItwasduringthesixtiesthatIhadtheprivilegeofstudyingthehistoryofreligionwiththesecondofthethreemythologistsunderconsiderationinthisbook,Mircea
Eliade(19071986).TheRomanianbornscholarcametomyattentionin1962,whenIwasaMarinechaplainstationedonOkinawa.OkinawaandJapanhadbeen
myfirstexperienceofanonWesternculture,andIhadnaturallybeenatpainstocometoanunderstandingoftherelationbetweenWesternreligionandtheShinto
andBuddhismIsawaroundme.IcouldnothelpbutbelievethatsomeindefinablespiritualpresencelingeredinthelovelysylvanshrinesofShinto,orthattherewas
morethanmereatmosphericsinthegreatpeacethatfilledtemplesoftheBuddha.OnedayIcameacrossareviewofoneofEliade'sbooks.Somethingaboutthe
accountledmetobelieveitmighthelp.Iorderedtheslimvolume,readit,andsuddenlythesignificanceofawhollynewwayoflookingatreligionroseinto
consciousness:nottheological,butintermsofitsphenomenologicalstructures,itsorganizationofsacredspaceandtime,itsuseofmythasmodelsofhowthingswere
doneintheultimatesacredtimeoforigins.Itwasoneofthosebooksthatmakeonethink,"Thiswasreallytrueallthetime,butIdidn'trealizeituntilnow."SoonIhad
leftthechaplaincyandenrolledasagraduatestudentunderMirceaEliadeattheUniversityofChicagoDivinitySchool.
Eliadewasakindlyandconscientiousteacher,athisbestinasmallseminarofhighlymotivateddocents.Irecallengrossingdiscussionofsuchfascinatingtopicsas
shamanismandinitiationrites.His

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luminousbookstaughtthatmythswerefromoutofilludtempusthattime,theothertimelesstimewhenthegodswerestrongandmadetheworld,andwhenthe
primordial"gestures"ofheroessetthepatternsforwhatisstillsacredinourfallen"profane"world.Fewrumorshadasyetarisenconcerningtheagingprofessor's
relationtotheprofascistandantiSemiticIronGuardinhisnativeRomaniathirtyyearsbefore,andIrecallremarkablylittlediscussionofconcretepoliticalimplications
ofhisconceptofhistoryofreligions,despitetheintenselypoliticalnatureofthesixtiesdecade.ItwasasthoughEliade'sworldwasaplaceofwelcomeescapefrom
theturmoilallaround.
Thethirdmythologist,JosephCampbell(19041987),wasAmericanbornandbred.HewasofIrishCatholicbackground,andanaturalrebelwhoearlybeganto
makehisownwayinreligionandlife.Butheendedupanacademic,teachingatSarahLawrenceCollegeinsuburbanNewYork.Onthemythologicalfront,heearly
madehismarkwithTheHerowithaThousandFaces(1949),atendentiousifbrilliantandsometimesmagicalstudyoftheheromythinallitsvarietiesand
commonalitiesitwasfollowedbyafourvolumeseriesonmyths,TheMasksofGod.FundamentallyJungianintemperamentandapproach,Campbellwasforatime
alsounderFreudianinfluence,chieflybywayofGzaRheim,thepsychoanalyticanthropologist.Awidelytraveledlectureraswellasapopularwriter,Campbell
acquiredalargefollowing,aboveallfromtheposthumouslyairedseriesoftelevisioninterviewswithBillMoyers.Theresponsetothatseriesofsixinterviewswas
remarkable.Itseemedasthoughtheworldwaswaitingforsomeonetotellstoriesthatundercutthemodernnarrativesofurbanizedmeaninglessnessanddespair,and
yetatthesametimereinforcedtheworthmoderntimesputonheroicindividualachievementandrealizationofselfhood.Butquestionswerealsoaskedabouthow
muchofthemythicmeaningwasCampbellandhowmuchwasinthemythsthemselves,andwhataworldofCampbelliteheroeswouldreallybelike.ForCampbell,
themythicherowasatimelessmodelofanoriginalidealhumanitythatcouldbesetagainstmodernity'sfallintoambiguity.
ForJung,Eliade,andCampbell,mythologywasnothinglessthanagrand,ultimatesourceforthe"timelesstruth"undertowagainstthemoderntide.Evenolderand
moreuniversalthanthegreatreligions,thanTrappistmonasteriesorHuxley's"perennialphilosophy,"mythseemedatruevoiceoftheprimordialandeternalworld,the
ultimate

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nonmodernpoleofhumanexperience.Then,atleastintheeyesoftheexemplarymythologistsandtheirdocents,thehumanpsychewasfresherandpurer,and
timelesstruthcouldbehiddeninitsstories.Yetthemythologists,essentiallybothacademicsandcursofthesoul,wereinanambivalentposturebetweenthe
primordialworldandmodernity.TheywerenotdropoutBeatsormonks,butprofessorsandphysicians,insidethemodernistcamp,credentialedbyitsmost
characteristicinstitution,themodernuniversity.Forthem,intheend,mythhadtobecomemythologytobeusefulithadtobestudiedandanalyzed,andfromit
extractedwhatwasuniversalandasapplicabletodayasever.Thiswastricky,forinfactmythinitsoriginalpackagingisonlyparticularandonedimensional.Itis
alwaysamythofaparticulartribeorpeople,originatingfromsomeparticulartimeinhistory,fullofallusionstomattersthatwouldbebestknowntopeopleofthat
timeandplace.Moreover,exceptinlaterliteraryversionsancientormodern,mythsdonotusuallyspelloutthemoralattheend.Thereasonwhyitistold,whatitis
about,mustsimplybeknown,perhapswithoutwords.
Jung,Eliade,andCampbell,however,spentcountlesswordsinthetellingbothofthestoriesandthemeanings.Likethenineteenthcenturyromantics,whoseworldof
thespiritwastheirtruehome,theybelievedfirstandfinaltruthtobelocatedintheDistantandthePast,orinthedepthsoftheself.Thereturntothesupposedworld
ofmythologywasareturnreallytothepremodernworldasenvisionedbythemodernworld.Mythologyinthenineteenthandtwentiethcenturieswasgroundedon
themodernworld'sfantasyofthepremodern.Forthemythologists,asfortheirromanticistprogenitors,themythologicalrevivalmeantspiritualitythatwascloseto
natureandthesoil,thatwassymbolbased,thatexpresseditselfinaccountsofheroesandotherarchetypesratherthanindividualfigures.ItwastheworldofPlato's
cave,andtheshadowsonthewallwerecastbythepurelightofprimordialdawn.Themythologists'mythsweremythsselectedandrelatedtofitmodernneed.
Thisisnotunusualreligionreconstructsitselfineverygenerationandmust.Thequestionis,whatweretheneedsofthemodernworldunderstoodtobe?Itis
significantthatintheirownmythologicalreconstructionofreligion,thesethree,especiallyCarlJung,paidparticularattentiontoancientGnosticismandthatarecent
literarycritichasprovocativelyarguedthatmodernAmerica,whichbyfarcontained

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thethreemythologists'largestandmostenthusiasticaudiences,isfundamentallygnosticinspiritualstyle.Wewillnowturntothematterofgnosticisminthemodern
world,inthiswriter'sviewatouchstoneforinterpretationofthemodernmythologicalvogueandmuchelseaswell.
ModernGnosticism
Theanswertothe"needsofthemodernworld"questionwas,inmythologicaleyes,thatwhattheworldneededwasawisdomoutsideitself,foritsproblemscouldnot
beresolvedontheirownterms.Whathumanwisdomfromoutsidethehumanpresentcouldbetterbereceivedandappliedbymodernhumansthanthatcontainedin
myth?Itcamefromelsewhere,yetitdidnotrequirethedifficultfaithofdogmatic,exclusivistreligion.Itseemedrather,aspackagedandinterpretedbymodern
mythologists,tobeuniversalandselfvalidating.Thisisthekindofwisdomknownasgnosticism:asavingwisdomtellingauniversallyimportantsecret,butonewhich
hastobereceivedbyonewhohasundergonerightinitiation(orperhapshassufficientlysuffered,andhasrightintentandsincerity),andwhichhasbeenrevealedby
therightsavior.
AncientgnosticismwasgenerallypartoftheChristianmovementthoughrelatedtoNeoplatonism,Zoroastrianism,Mithraism,andotheractivitiesstirringinthespiritual
meltingpotoftheHellenisticworld.AtravelertomarketplacesofideaslikeAlexandriaorAthenswouldhaveheardofthevariousgnosticschoolsofteacherslike
Valentinus,Basilides,ortheOphites,andwouldalsohavefoundrelatedJewishmovementsinculcatingthesortofmysticismthatwouldeventuateintheKabbala.
Manichaeanism,commencinginthethirdcenturyC.E.,putgnostictypebeliefsonaworldreligionbasis.
WhatwerethecorebeliefsoftheancientGnostics?Typically,thatthisworldwascreatedbya"demiurge,"alessergodsomewhereonthechainofintermediaries
betweentheultimateLightandmaterialearth,whobungledthejob.ThetrueGodispureuncreatedlight,utterlytranscendentandwithoutpartsorpassions.Theinner
natureofatleastsomehumansisthesameasthatofthetrueGodbut,owingtotheBungler,theuncreatedlightisentrappedinourphysicalenvelope.Wehumansare
sufferingbecausewewerenotmadeforthisworldbutarecaughtinitanyway.Salvationreleasingusbacktothe

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lightfromwhencewecameisattainedthroughknowledge,orgnosis,ofourtrueorigin,nature,anddestiny.Thisknowledgemustfirstbeshowntousbyasavioror
enlightenedbeing,whoserevelationthenenablesustodiscoveritstruthwithinourselvesasweshallsee,RichardNollhasarguedthatCarlJungbelievedhimselftobe
suchagnosticsaviorforthemodernworld.
Thisgnostic"monomyth,"toborrowJosephCampbell'sterm,wasthenpopulatedwithnumerouscolorfulifnotbizarrenamesanddetails.Gnosticismspeaksthe
languageofmythevenasithelpsoneunderstandthemodernfascinationwithmyth.Butthefundamentalpointisalwaysthesame:salvationisessentiallyinwardor
intrapsychic,andentailsthepossessionofsecret,savingknowledge.Itsbasicassumptionsthenare:
1.Weareinwardlyofadifferentnaturefromthesurroundingevilworld,inwhichweareentrappedthroughnofaultofourown.
2.Salvationmustcomefromasourceoutsidethepresentevilenvironment,whichcannotovercomeitscontradictionsonitsownterms.
3.Salvationisintheformofsecretknowledgeorgnosis.
The"secret"aspectmeantthatgnosticismwasoftentakentobe,inthewordsofamodernauthority,"aknowledgeofdivinesecretswhichisreservedforanelite."5
Somegnosticschoolstaughtthatonlycertainhumanshadthedivinelightwithinmostheldthatonlysomewerenowreadytoreceivethefullnessofwisdom.Atthe
sametime,anauthoritylikeHansJonas,inhisclassicTheGnosticReligion,stressestheuniversalityatleastofthegnosticquest,comparingthegnostics'desperate
searchformeaninginanalienworldtothatofexistentialisminmoderntimes.6 ThewidelyreadscholarofgnosticismElainePagelshasemphasizedgnosticism's
compatibilitywithcontemporarypsychologicalandtherapeuticthought.Shequotes,forexample,thisstrikinglymodernsoundingpassagefromthegnosticteacher
Monoimus:
AbandonthesearchforGodandthecreationandothermattersofasimilarsort.Lookforhimbytakingyourselfasthestartingpoint.Learnwhoitiswithinyouwhomakes
everythinghisownandsays,"MyGod,mymind,mythought,mysoul,mybody."Learnthesourcesofsorrow,joy,love,hate....Ifyoucarefullyinvestigatethesemattersyou
willfindtheminyourself.7

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Suchlinesmakethelikelihoodthatmoderngnosticismcouldcometousintheformofacombinationofmythologyandpopularpsychologyappearnotatallfar
fetched.Whyisitthatancientgnosticismsoundsbothdistantandcontemporary?Thethoughtworldsgenerallyaredifferent,despitetheabove,butthehistorical
settingsdisplaysimilarities.Inboth,peopleexperiencedrapidchangeandsomedegreeofprogress.TheRomans,foralltheirfaults,hadbroughtrelativepeaceand
prosperitytotheMediterraneanworld,andbuilttheirfamousroadsandspectacularcities.The"progress"ofthenineteenthandtwentiethcenturiesgoeswithout
saying.Enoughprogresshadbeenexperiencedtosuggestthatsomeday,justpastthecuttingedgeofthemostadvancedphysics,wemightlearntheinnermostsecret
oftheuniverseanditsmanipulationtheultimategnosis.
YetthesewerealsotimesofanxietyanddespairRome'sroutinecrueltyandenslavement,modernity'swarsandholocaustssuggestingthatthesecretwasnotin
plainsight,butmustbefoundthroughcunning,andneededalargerstagethanthepresent.Thenewgnostics,likethoseofold,thuscametoconcludethatthegreat
secretwasnottobefoundwithinthesameworldthatbroughtmixedprogressanddisasterintheirhopelesslyselfcontradictoryentanglement.Itcouldnotbelocated
inthesamescience,engineering,socialscience,ormedicalbasedpsychologythatmadetheroadsandstaffedtheschools.Itwouldneedtocomefromsourcesfar
deeperandolderthantheonedimensionalityofthepresent,evenifsuchamessagemightbecapableofreachingnomorethananelite.Thiswastherolethatthe
modernmythologists,wellawareofgnosticismandquitesympathetictoit,sawforancientmythsrecoveredbythem.
Actually,forseveralcenturiesEuropeandAmericahaveharboredaveritablegnosticundergroundofintellectualsreadytosabotageanytoofacilecelebrationof
progressandmaterialism.WriterslikeWilliamBlake,HermanMelville,andFriedrichNietzscheareamongthespokespersonsofagnosticstrandinWesternthought
thatistemperamentallyantimodern.Thiscurrentsoughttoundermineexotericbeliefintheworld'severincreasingtechnicalknowledgewiththehelpofsecretbut
eternalwisdom.
Mainstreamthinking,fromVoltaireanddeCondorcettoHerbertSpencer,believedthatanageofrationalityhaddawnedwiththeeighteenthcentury,bringinganend
tosuperstitionandinjustice.Rationalreligionbasedonsciencewouldreplacepriestcraft,democracywould

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overthrowaristocratictyrants,andintimevastlyimprovedmachinesandmedicineswouldbringafarbetterlifetoall.Buttheundergroundhaditsdoubts.
Blakedecriedtheemergingmodernworld's"number,weight,andmeasure."HewasfranklygnosticinhisexaltationoftheeternalhumanChristoveragainstthe
tiresomeoldGodcalledUrizenorNobodaddy,heofthestaunchloinsandfrozenscowlinBlake'sdrawings,whorepresentedEnlightenment"reason"nolessthan
patriarchaltyranny.Melvillewasalsoagnosticwhotookforgrantedthatthisworldwaswronglymadebyanincompetentspirit,andmostofitsquestslikeCaptain
Ahab'sultimatelyvainsearchesforwhitewhales.Finally,nothingcouldbemoreatoddswithmodernity'sessentialistviewofprogressanduniversalknowledgethan
Nietzsche'snotionofeternalrecurrence,inwhichallthatwemakeisunmadeandremade,overandoverinaworldwithoutend,andallthatistrulyofworthisthe
eternalaffirmationoftheherointhemidstofchangeanddecay.
Noristhemoderngnosticspiritnecessarilypreciousorcultic.TheliterarycriticHaroldBloomasserted:
AndtheAmericanreligion,foritstwocenturiesofexistence,seemstomeirretrievablyGnostic.Itisaknowing,byandofanuncreatedself,orselfwithintheself,andthe
knowledgeleadstofreedom,adangerousanddoomeagerfreedom:fromnature,time,history,community,otherselves.8

TheideathatAmericanreligionisfundamentallygnosticinstructure,asunexpectedasitmaysound,isbasedonconsiderationoftheimportanceoftheconversion
experience,thesubjectivizingofreligionthatgoeswithreligiousfreedomandseparationofchurchandstate,theprevalenceofnewrevelationsandinspirations,andthe
generalimportanceofinnerfeelingandinnerrewardintherepublic'sreligiouslife.TheUnitedStatesisindeedawhollydifferentreligiousenvironment,farmore
differentthanmanyAmericansrealize,fromthereligioussituationalmostanywhereelsepastorpresentsincetheHellenisticageofthefirstgnosticism.Elsewhereone
usuallyfoundonlyasinglereligiousinstitution,astatechurch,oratthemosttwoorthreeviolentlyclashingbodies,dominatingthesituation.Herearisesopportunityfor
rampantdiversity,andwithittheneedtoanchorfaithnotinahistoricchurch,butaboveallwithinthedepthsofoneself.Thoughtheinnerselfmayalsobeshiftingand
elusivetothegrasp,it

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isatleastmorefirmafoundationthanamyriadofsects.TogetherwiththiswastheAmericantheme,alsoaddressedbyEliade,ofreturntothebeginning,tothetime
oforigins.NineteenthcenturychurcheswantedtoreturntotheNewTestament,abolishingifpossiblethelegacyofthemanycenturiesbetweenthenandnow.
LiteraturewasfullofthethemeofreversinghistoryandstartingoverinanewEden.Themythologists,then,claimedtobebearersofstoriesdirectfromthattimewhen
thehumanworldbegan.Theysaidthat,evenifEdencannotberebuiltofmodernbrick,atleastonecanrecoveritintheinwardplaceswellknowntoAmerican
gnosticism.Itislittlewonder,then,thatthegnosisofthemythologists,addressedtotheselffromoutoftimefarbehindeitherthemodernpuzzleorsectarian
proliferation,wasintheendespeciallywellreceivedinAmerica.
Buttheswordofgnosisisdoubleedged.Weneedtotakeintoaccountanotherperspectiveontheterm,thatofEricVoegelin's1952work,TheNewScienceof
Politics.9 Voegelin,apoliticalphilosopherseekingtodiscovertherootcausesoftheillsofthetwentiethcentury,pointedhisfingerattroublemakershelabeled
"gnostics."Theywerethosewhostrovetoriseabovenatureandfindsalvationthroughhiddenknowledgeofthepoliticalandpsychologicallawsbywhichhistory
secretlyworks.ModernexamplesofthegnosticwereComte,Nietzsche,Sorel,andofcoursetheNazisandtheCommunists,withtheirideologicalcredencethat
throughunderstandingthe"secret"lawsofhistoryandnaturethoseof,say,themetaphysicalmeaningofraceor"dialecticalmaterialism"humannaturecouldbe
radicallychangedandperfected.AccordingtoVoegelin,GnosticismledtoWorldWarIIandRussianarmiesinthemiddleofEurope,allbecausegnosticthinkersand
leadersrefusedtoseemoralbarbarismwhenitwasthere,preferringinsteadtheirdreamsofhowtheworldshouldbe.Politicalgnosticismsubstitutesdreamsfor
reasonbecauseitdisregardsthefactsoftheworldthatactuallyexists.Thegnosticelite,nodoubtfiredbyideologicalmyths,fantasizesthatbyhumaneffortbasedon
suprarationalknowledgeoftheultimategoal,theirkindcancreateasocietythatwillcomeintobeingbuthavenoend,anearthlyparadiseequaltoGod's.10Onthe
othersidearethosewhorecognizesinandthelimitationsofhumannature,andforthatreasonareonthesideoffreedom,limitedgovernment,andasociety
unburdenedbyanimposedtotalisticideology.Theybelieve,weareassured,insomekindsof"progress"butnotinhumanperfectibility.

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Voegelinwentsofarastodefineallmodernityasgnosticism,atermwhichencompassedsuchdiversephenomenaasprogressivism,Marxism,psychoanalysis,
fascism,andNationalSocialism.11Laterheclarifiedthepositiontotheextentofrevealingthatmodernpersonswhoholdto"theGnosticattitude"sharesix
characteristics:dissatisfactionwiththeworldbeliefthattheillsoftheworldstemfromthewayitisorganizedsuretythatameliorationispossiblebeliefthat
improvementmustevolvehistoricallybeliefthathumanscanchangetheworldconvictionthatknowledgegnosisisthekeytochange.12Inhismostmemorable
statement,Voegelin,whohadhimselflivedundertheThirdReichbeforegoingintoexileandknewEurope'sideologicalwarsatcloserange,putitwellenoughwhen
healludedto"themassacresofthelaterhumanitarianswhoseheartsarefilledwithcompassiontothepointthattheyarewillingtoslaughteronehalfofmankindin
ordertomaketheotherhalfhappy."13
WerethemythologistsgnosticinVoegelin'snegativesenseoftheword?Someofthesameattitudes,evensomeofthesamepeople(Nietzsche),appearinbothhis
catalogofmodernistgnosticsandinouraccountofantimoderngnosticism.Inbothcasesonefindsthethemeofsecretknowledgeofhowtheuniversereallyworks
thatisaccessibleonlytoanelite,andtheideathatbythepowerofthisknowledgeonecanreverse,oratleaststandoutsideof,thestreamofhistory.Thebasic
problemwithVoegelin,ofcourse,isthatheappliesthetermgnostictospeculativenostrumsthatwereessentiallypolitical,whereasancientGnosticism,togetherwith
gnosticismasrevivedinthemodernerabyantimodernpoetsandmythologists,wasapoliticalifnotantipolitical,scorninganythisworldlysalvation.
Inarealsense,Voegelinisnotatoddswiththemythologists,forwhathecallsgnosticismiswhattheymighthavecalled,inJungianlanguage,"ideologicalinflation."
Bothregardedtheillsofmodernityasfundamentallyspiritualdiseases.AsRobertSegalhaspointedout,Voegelinrecognizedthatwhatdefinedmodernityis
confidenceinitsabilitytomastertheworld.Themodern"gnostics"ofVoegelin'sdemonology,fromSoreltoLeninandHitler,sharedthatconfidenceevenasthey
rejectedordinarynonspiritual,nonideologicalmodernity'smeansofsavingitselfscience,technology,industry,anddemocracy.Likethepoeticandmythological
gnostics,theyknewthatmodernitycouldnotbesavedonitsownterms.Theycontendedthatthesocialcostofthosemeanswastoohightheyhadseentheravages
ofbourgeoiscapitalism

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andtheanomiebehindmodernurbanizationand"democracy."14Astechnologicalantimodernistsandtotalitarianfuturists,theywantedtocombinethebestofwhat
modernscienceandsecularthoughthadtoofferwithsomeformofasecret,gnostic,"spiritual"wisdomandpower,whetherofMarxorMussolini.
ForVoegelinheld,thatatbase,modernity'sconfidencedidnotrestinscienceandtechnologysomuchasinagnosticbeliefthatsupremepowerlayinknowledgeof
thetruenatureoftheworld.Thatknowledge,ultramodernsassumed,couldnowbewithinthegraspofatleastamodernelite.Physicalsciencegavemodernitypartof
thatrulingknowledge,ofcourse.Butthehumanengineeringaspectofmanaginghistorycalledforanotherscienceandothermeansofknowing.Tothetruegnostic,
ancientormodern,theultimateknowledgewhichispowerisnotaboutelementalforcesbutisintrapsychicitisknowledgeofthetruenatureofhumansandsoofright
politicsandsocialorganization.Butthesestudieswerealsobecoming"sciences"inmoderntimes.
Assumingthattheideathathumanscanirreversiblychangetheworldforthebetterisessentiallymodern,thesocialideologyofthepoliticalantimodernsis
paradoxicallyverymodernatthesametime,forthefascistandthecommunisttakestotheultimatedegreethenotionthatbysecretknowledgepoliticaland
historicalgnosistheycouldtranscendhistoryandmakeanewandirreversibleparadisalworld.Theyhadatruebeliever'sconfidenceintheirabilitytoknowthe
worldsecret,whetherenshrinedinMarxismormyth.AsStephanA.McKnighthasputit,forVoegelinthekeygnosticbeliefisthatthegnostichasdirectknowledge
ofultimatehumannature,andsoknowshowtoovercomealienation.ThereforethoughtsuchasthatofComteorMarxisnomorethanpoliticalgnosticism,and
modernityisnottrulysecularbutanewformofreligion,withitsappropriatemythsandrituals.15
AcomparablesituationcanbeseeninJapan,wheretheMarxistinfatuationofmanyintellectualscameratherabruptlytoanendwiththetriumphofmilitaristic
nationalisminthe1930s.AcongruentromanticliterarycultemergedemphasizingclassicalJapan,theaestheticsofdeath,andthedenialofmodernityitwasclearly
alignedtotheneoShintothatenvisionedaprimordialJapaneseparadiseofsimplelivingandheroicvirtues,practicedclosetothekamiorgods,andnowaccessible
primarilythroughmythandritual.16

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Itisclearthattheseromanticdreamswerenotsomucharchaicasawayofbothprotestingmodernismandpreparinganationspirituallyforsuccessinthethoroughly
moderncontemporaryworldofpoliticalandmilitarypower.Thesecretofsuchsuccess,JapaneseatthetimefeltaswellasEuropeansandothers,layinthegnosisof
apastaccessiblethroughmythandanantimodernmoodcapableofgeneratingpowerformoderntriumphs.Themythologistsobviouslywereinthesamecampsofar
asthevalueofmythwasconcernedthequestionis,howconcernedweretheywithitspolitical,incontrasttoitspersonal,application?
ThepoliticalworldoftheRomanEmpireinwhichtheancientgnosticslivedwasrarelynamedintheirwritingsitwasclearlyandutterlypartoftherealmoffallen
powerandmatterfromwhichtheysoughtescape.Tothemgnosticismwastheoppositeofathisworldlyideology.Itwasawayoutoftheworldofsociety,politics,
andpowerintohigherrealmsofbeing.Or,inthetranslationofmodernmythologicalgnostics,itwasawaytouncoverrealmswithinthepsychethatcanneverbe
touchedbythepowersoftheouter,politicalworld.
Thegnosticismofthemythologists,ofJung,Eliade,andCampbell,then,turnsVoegelinonhisheadwhatVoegelinmeansbygnosticismiswhatmythological
gnosticism,closertotheancientmeaningoftheterm,seekstosavepeoplefrom.Itsavesthemfromentrapmentinthefalsehopesofworldlypoliticalfantasies.It
insteadunfoldscompensatoryfantasies,orintrapsychicrealities,whichshowtheselfthatitstruerecoveryofwholenesslieswithin.Ifthemythologists'neognosticism
hadlastingpoliticalramifications,theylayinthewaythatanyostensiblynonpoliticalpsychotherapybydefaultsupportstheexistingorder.Or,atbest,itsustained
spirituallytheeffortsofthosepreparedtomakechangesonthegrubbylevelofeveryday,nonideologicalpoliticsbyhelpingthemgettheirlivesclarified,andsodotheir
usefulworkbetter.
Thethreemythologistsunderstudy,C.G.Jung,MirceaEliade,andJosephCampbell,werenodoubtmoderngnosticsallthewaythrough,andtheywerenot
unacquaintedwithbothpoliticalandintrapsychicgnosticism.Butmysenseisthatintheend,andonlyaftersomeunfortunatedallying,theycamedowntoan
intrapsychic,notapolitical,gnosticism.TheywerecertainlytemptedattimesbysomeversionofthepoliticalgnosticmythinVoegelin'ssense,usuallyinitsfascist
form.Buttheycamethroughbitterexperiencetoagreeimplicitlywiththe

Page16

ancientgnosticsthatgnosticwisdomwasintendedforthesoulratherthanthestate,andtheydidnotpresentanyfullblownmythicalmodelsthatcouldbeenactedon
thepoliticalstage.Theirpoliticalphilosophywasfinallythatthestateandsocietycandonomorethansafeguardthepracticeofintrapsychicgnosticism,andthey
wishedofthemonlythattheyandtheirsortofpeopleremainfreetoreadandteachmythology,practicemythologybasedtherapies,andactouttheirpersonalmyths
intheirprivatelives.
Buttounderstandwhytheydalliedandmayhavecomeclosetopresentingpoliticalmodelsbasedonmythandgnosis,itisnecessarytolookattheirsocialcontext
andintellectualheritage.
Antimodernism
Whymythologicalgnosticism?Andwhydidpoliticalgnosticismbecomeinnergnosticism?Wemustlookagainatthesocialandintellectualworldofthemythologists.
Despitewarandworldwidedepression,inthefirsthalfofthetwentiethcenturytheprevailingwisdomwasthatthefuturewouldbebetter,perhapsalmostunimaginably
better,thananythinghumanityhadsofarknown.Somehow,afterthewarsanddepressions,aftertheproblemshadbeensolved,ashiningnewworldlikethat
adumbratedbythe1939World'sFairinNewYorkwouldappear:aworldofdemocracy,ofeverexpandingscientificknowledge,ofhummingfactoriesanduniversal
prosperity,perhapsevenspaceflightstootherworlds.Thiswasthevision,incaricature,ofwhathasbeencalled''modernism."
Therewas,ofcourse,anotherside.Thiswasthemodernismofmindnumbingassemblylinejobscursingthelivesofpeopleuprootedfromfamiliarfieldsandvillages.
Nowfacelessintheirbleaksmokestackenvironments,these"masses"werelessparagonsofdemocracythan"atomized"individualswithoutextendedfamilyor
significantplace,preytoanydemagoguewhocamealong.Conservativeobserversbemoanedthelossoflocalcohesionfoundincommonmythsandsacralities,the
lossofsocialhierarchy,thelossofmoralandtraditionalvaluesamidthemodernwastelands.
Whatthendidmodernmean?Hereitwillsufficetopresentsomequalitiesofmodernismparticularlyusefulforunderstandingthemythologiststhesecanbesummed
upinthetwo"metanarratives"JeanFranoisLyotardhasofferedastheessenceofmodernism:the

Page17

metanarrativeoftheemancipationofhumanitybyprogressandthemetanarrativeoftheunityofknowledge.17Thefirstmeans,briefly,thatcadresofeducatedelites
sincetheeffectivebeginningofmodernismintheEnlightenmenthavebelievedthathistorycontrolledbypersonslikethemselveswascapableoffreeinghumanityfrom
allitsshacklesthroughmoreandbetterknowledgeanditsapplication.Thesecondmetanarrativetellsusthatthisknowledgewhichemancipatesisfoundthroughthe
generalized,abstract,rationalwaysofthinkingcharacteristicofscienceandsocialscience.Underthisrubrictheparticularissubordinatedtotheabstractcategorythe
oldisgenerallyinferiortothenewthelocalsubmitstotheuniversal.
Themythologistswerefarfromaloneissoundingalarmsatexcessesofmodernism,thoughtheymayberegarded,inaparticularbutauthenticsense,asthemost
radicalofantimoderns.Othersalsosoughttocallthosewanderingonthespirituallystonygroundofmodernismbacktosometruefaith,ortotakevengeanceuponits
hatefulphilistinesthroughacauselikefascism.Butdifficultieslayalongthepathofthose,fromT.S.EliottoBillyGraham,whosoughttocorrectmodernitybyappeal
tooneofthe"greatreligions"likeChristianity.Forthosefaithshadfraternizedwiththeenemyindeedweretheenemyasmuchasnot.Actuallythe"great"religions,
aboveallJudaismandChristianity,withtheirancientfoundersandlonghistories,areworldprototypesofwhatmodernismreallymeans.Beforestateoruniversity
wentmodernonanythinglikethesamescale,theyhadtheirreasoneduniversaltruths,theirelitesandbureaucraticinstitutions,theirbeliefsthathistorywas,despite
oftendismalappearances,anarenaofemancipationthroughprogress:inthiscasethroughrevelationsofGodoruniversaltruthatspecifichistoricalmoments,leading
uptoasupremeconsummation.
TheHebrewscripturespresentGodasrevealinglawandtruthsuccessivelytoNoah,Abraham,Moses,andtheprophetstothisChristianityaddsthemanifestationof
GodinJesusChristbothtraditionslooktoanultimatehistoricalandmetahistoricalfulfillmentinGod'screationofanewheavenandearth.BeyonddoubtWestern
modernismistonosmalldegreethesecularizationofJudaismandChristianity.Atthesametime,fascismwaspatentlynolesshalfmodernandhalfantimodern,using
radios,railroads,andbombers,togetherwithdreamilyutopianvisionsofparadisalracialfutures,onbehalfofAtillatheHunagendas.

Page18

Moreover,onthelocallevel,modernismwasoftenexperiencedasonlythenewestmaskwornbyexploitation.Peasantswhohadcommonlandstakenfromthemto
makefactorysites,andwhosechildrenthenhadtoworkforpenniesinfrontofpitilessmachinesinthatfactory,didnotseethemoderndreamatitsbest.Although
themselvesofdifferentbackground,themythologistsweretemperamentallyattunedtotherhythmsandvaluesoftherural,peasantlifeinwhichlivingfolkloreseemed
tohavebestsurvived.Theywerethereforeatoddswithallthatwasdestroyingthatheritage.
Theothersidewasnotseldomcomprisedofthesortofmodernistcapableofimposingprogressregardlessofcostandwhetherdesiredornot.Althoughdemocracy
wasamongthemostdeeplyheldidealsofmodernism,themodernregimenalsocalledforeffectivepowerbyknowledgeholdingelites.Thesewerepeopleparticularly
adeptatthesecondofLyotard'scriteriaofmodernity,theunityofknowledge,pointingtowardabilitytoorganizeallparticularknowledgeunderuniversalandabstract
categorieslikethoseoflaw,science,orsocialscience,andtoutilizethatknowledgethroughindustrialorsocialengineering.Thekindofeducationthatdidthiswell
preparedmodernity'sprofessionals,industrialists,enlightenedcivilservants,teachers,andoftenreligiousleaders.
Therewerealsothosewhommodernprogressleftbehindinthebywaysofrurallifeandlocalfolklore,andtheyhadtheiradvocates.Themythologistswerepersonsof
moderneducation,reallymoreinterestedinliterarymythologythanlocalfolklore.Buttheirsympathieswereunderstandablyoftenwiththoseoutsidetheprogressive
mainstream,fromNativeAmericanstoRomanianpeasants.
Theruralrootsversusmodernindustrydivideparalleledamorestrictlyinhousemythologicalchasm.Somestudentsofmyth,heirsoftheEnlightenment,sawthe
mythicalworldasquaintandinteresting,butlongsincesupersededasaseriousintellectualforce.Others,includingourthreemythologists,protestedthatmyth
containedapowerfulcritiqueofmodernity,onetowhichtheworldmustlisten.ThedividewasclearlybetweentheEnlightenmentspiritandromanticism.
Romanticismisasslipperyatermasanytodefineprecisely.Asaschoolofthoughtandliteraryorartisticexpression,itisbasedontheconvictionthatwhatexcites
thefeelingsandinspirestheimaginationisasvalid,andevenastrue,asfactualorrationalknowledge.Itspoliticalexpressionshaverangedfromromanticrevolutionary
ardortoreaction

Page19

arydreamsofanidealizedmedievalpast.Whatbothhaveincommonisthecharacteristicromanticsentimentthatpoliticaltruth,likeartistictruth,isknownlessby
rationalconsiderationsthanbyitscapacitytofirethepassionsandconfigureawesomevisionsoftheheavenlycityintheimagination.Politicaltruth,alongwithartistic
andspiritualtruth,isthereforeveryapttobefound,atleastinitsidealtype,inthedistantandthepast,orthefuture,forthatwhichisotherserveswelltochargethe
visionaryimaginationoftheromantictemperament.Romanticismisnotquitemoderngnosticism.Whileithasafeelingforthereceptionoftruthfromthedistantandthe
past,unlikethegnostictheromanticdoesnotnecessarilyhaveadefinitesocialorintrapsychicmessagefromfarawayorlongagosufficientisthesenseofwonder
evokedbythatwhichisfarawayandlongago.PureromanticswouldbemoreintunewiththemusingsofHenryDavidThoreau:
Whilethecommentatorsaredisputingaboutthemeaningofthiswordandthat,Ihearonlytheresoundingoftheancientsea,andputintoitallthemeaningIampossessedof,the
deepestmurmursIcanrecall,forIdonotintheleastcarewhereIgetmyideas,orwhatsuggeststhem.18

TheRomanticRootsofModernMythology
Thisisthesourcefromwhichmodernmythologysprang.Thethreemythologistsarrivedwellafterthefirstandmostpowerfulwaveoftheromanticmovement,but
theywereheirsofitsspiritand,indeed,benefitedfrombeingabletoreceivefromitlivingbutmaturedoctrine,alreadyhardeningintopartisanpositionsoveragainstthe
confidentprogressive,scientificworldoflateVictorianism.
ThemodernrevivalofinterestinmythbeganinthestudyofclassicalGreekandRomantexts,whichwasfoundationaltotheearlymodernuniversity.Thatinitself
remindsusthatmythintheEuropeanmindhasneverbeenfreefromideologicalagenda.Themedievalandearlymoderndividewasbetweenbiblical"truth,"andthe
humananddivineworldsofmyth"backthen"intheclassicalwritersor"outthere"inIndiaorelsewhere.Distinguishingmythfromacceptedbeliefenabledoneto
fabricatefrommythan"Other"offeringcontext,contrast,andprofoundcorrectivetotheforegroundspiritualpatterns.Patristicandmedievalreligionistssettheinferior
temperofthepagangodsoveragainsttheclaimsofChrist.

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Therenaissancebroughtamajorshiftinthepoliticsofmyth,onethatreallylaidthefoundationsofsomethinglikeJosephCampbell'sviewofmyth.Unliketheserious
Christiansofthemiddleages,therenaissancehumanistswhobusilyrevivedmythologicallearningoftenhardlybotheredtoconcealtheirenthusiasmfortherobust
sensualityandpassionoftheGreekgodsandheroes,andtheirdisdainfortheasceticismofthesaintsexceptasanoccasionalsubjectofpiousart.Thetension
betweenthesensualandtheasceticimpulsewasnextexpressedinthePuritan'sinnerasceticismversusouterprosperity,andtheromanticpoet'sproverbialinner
spiritualabundanceversusouterdeprivation.Theenergiesgeneratedbytensionslikethesewereamongthewellspringsofmodernity.
Theromanticmythologicalrevivalofthenineteenthcentury,insofarasithelduptheromantic/mythologicalwayofthinkingasanantithesistomodernity,often
continuedtheChristian/classicconflictbyviewingmuchoftheChristianpastasantagonist,justasitsawthemodernpresentinthesameadversarialrole.Bothcross
andsmokestackseemedrepressiveandhardcomparedtothesimple,joyousandfreelifepromisedbypaganmyth.Mythology'spilgrimagemightnonethelesspause
toadmirethemiddleages,whoseartandknightlyspirittheyoftenappreciatedwhenpresentedinthespiritofSirWalterScottromanticism.Butthenthequestdrove
stilldeeperintothemistsoflostEdens.DuringtheEnlightenmentreligionasamajorunifyingculturalrealityhadsteadilydisappearedtobecomeeitherphilosophyor
superstition.Romanticism,andtheromanticviewofmyth,endeavoredtosalvagetheinnerandculturalmeaningofreligionunderothernames,asart,asnationalism,as
mythology.ThiswholeenterpriseverymuchlivedonthethreemythologistshereunderstudyJosephCampbell,forexample,wasfullofpraiseforbothprimaland
medievalmyths.HelikedaboveallthequestfortheHolyGrail,whilescarcelyhidinghisdislikeofmuchofJudaismandChristianity.Butwherehe,andothers,looked
forthebestofanyreligionwasnotinitspreachingorrites,butinitsartandstories.
TheromanticfoundersofmodernmythologytookthequestbehindtheRenaissancebyseekingoutnotonly"classical"GreekandRomanmyth,butincreasinglymyth
fromGermanic,Asian,and"primitive"sources.TheyacceptedtheromanticviewofmythofGermanthinkerslikeJohannGottfriedvonHerder,FriedrichW.J.
Schelling,andthe"folkpsychology"ofWilhelmWundt.Thatposition,often

Page21

embracedfartoouncritically,insistedthatmythsstandapartinanentirelydifferentcategoryfromotherstylesoffolklore,suchaslegends,fables,orallegories.Those
werestoriesmythswerecollectivecreationsofanentirepeople,andexpressedinstoryformthebasicworldview,andviewofhumannature,ofthatpeople.
Itisimportanttorealizethatthecategorizationofmythasdifferentfromfolkloreandfairytaleismodern.Itcomesoutofamodernneedtosee,inthearchaicworld,
societiesunifiedbycommonfoundationalstoriesbelievedbyall.Unlikemerefables,thesestoriespresentacomprehensivecosmogonyandmodelofthesocialorder.
Modernsyearnedtobelievethattheirancestorsperceivedunitybetweenthehumanandnaturalorders,asymbiosispregnantwithsymbolsandalivewith
significanceallunlikethepainfulmodernschismstheysensedbetweenthecityandnature,orthehumanandthe"dead"cosmos.Inthisbeliefintheuniquenessof
myththeywereinfluencedbyKant,forwhomfaithlayintherealmofemotion,notofreason.Faithandknowledgewerethereforeseparate,astheywereforLuther,
atleastashisbeliefswereunderstoodinnineteenthcenturyinterpretationsofthegreatreformer.
Thusfaithcouldhaveitsownnonrationalbutemotivelypowerfulmeansofexpression:myth.AsinterpretedbyJandeVries,theromanticmythologistsconsideredthat
"thespiritualpowerofmythoverthehumansoulispreciselywhatmakesitimpossibletoseeinmythsomethinginventedorthoughtupbypoetsorphilosophers."19
Myth,nowapowerfulinstrumentofromanticconsciousness,becameamagicpotionbywhichonecouldagaindrinkoftherejuvenatingpowerofhumanity'sprimal
vision.Asecondrankrepresentativeofthisperception,JosephvonGrres(17761848)offeredthisrhapsodicifconfusedrecoveryofthefirsthumansadmiringthe
wondersoftheircosmosheplacedthissceneinIndia,onthebanksoftheGangesandIndus:
Theylookedfromtheearthupward.Thereinheavenwastherealrealmoffire.Therewasthesunburningcontinually.Therethestars,theplanetsandthefixedstarsboth,pierced
throughthedarknesslikeflames.Therethefireswhichonlyshinesparselyonearthwereburningforeverunconquerable.Thenthecultoffirebecameacultofstarsandthe
religionbecamepantheism....Andbecauseallthenationsweretogetherinthisgreatprimordialstate,theseworldviews...formtheinheritancewhichtheyborewiththemon
theirlong,laterjourneys.20

Page22

Accordingtoromanticmythology,mythswerenottheproductsofindividualpoetsorphilosophersbutof"thepeople."Theypresentedadeepwisdom,basedon
experiencesofnatureandthecosmos,andofhumanfeelingoftenconflatedwithnature,thatinhumanity'searlieststageofdevelopmentcouldonlybecommunicatedin
stories.Mythinstilledasenseofwonderandanalmostindefinablekindofinsight,likemysticalexperience.Intheenditsexaltationstranscendedtheindividual,and
eventhedualismofthehumanandthenatural.21
The"folkpsychology"ofAdolfBastianandWilhelmWundtpostulatedthatcollectivefolkwisdomadheredinalldistinctive,"rooted"peoples.Theideaof
"rootedness,"suggestingthesuperiorworthandwisdomofpeasantagriculturalpeopleswholivedgenerationaftergenerationonthesamesoil,wasimportantandwas
tohaveabalefulinfluence.Differentfolk,accordingtoBastianandWundt,havediversenationalorculturalwaysofthinking,expressedinnationalmyths.22A
communityismorethanacollectionofindividuals.Ithasalifeofitsown,anditsproductsaredistinctivebothfromindividualcreativityandfromthoseofothernations.
Thiswasbelievedtobesupremelythecaseamongprimitivepeoples,whoatthetimewereassumedtohaveonlyacollectivementality.Pronouncedindividualswere
rarelyifeverfoundamongthem,althoughherofiguresinmythcouldsinglyembodya"people's"characteristics.
Oneillustrationofthissortofromanticismthatwaspoliticallyreactionary,andimportanttoourstudy,istheGermanmovementknownas"volkishthought,"familiarto
manythroughitsreflectionintheoperasofRichardWagnerandinthepropagandaoftheThirdReich.Originallyaromanticreactionagainsttheinternationalworldof
reason,science,andprogressadumbratedbytheEnlightenmentandreinforcedbytheindustrialrevolution,volkishnesscalledforGermanicdistinctivenessanda
simple,closetothesoilwayoflife.
Hereareafewexamples.Inthe1860sWilhelmHeinrichRiehl,inLandundLeute[LandandPeople],arguedthattheGermanVolkconstitutedanorganicsociety
thatcouldnotbeseparatedfromthenativelandscapeonwhichtheydwelt.Moreover,thissocietywastobehierarchical,patternedaftermedievalfeudalismthe
commercial,bourgeoistasks,ofwhichRiehlwasmoresuspicious,weretobemanagedbycraftguildsfashionedonmedievallines.Tobesure,theformerexploitative
relationoflordandpeasant,ormasterandapprentice,

Page23

couldbeimproveduponRiehladmiredtheidealisticBritishindustrialistRobertOwenforhisexperimentalenterpriseatNewLanark,inwhichthatcapitalistcaredfor
thewelfareofhisfamilyofworkersinthemannerofakindlypatriarch.Workers,inturn,werenottobethedehumanizedautomatonsofthemodernfactory,but
creativeindividualsrootedintheVolkliketheartisanofold.
Theshapelessproletariatoftheupstartmodernindustrialcity,Riehlargued,wasunstable,removedfromthesoil,antivolkishandalmostbeyondredemption.That
classcouldonlyberepressedifnotdestroyed.Therootlessurbanmassincludednotonlythewanderingjobseekingworkerpulledawayfromsoil,kin,andnative
village,butalsosuchproductsofmodernityasthejournalistandtheideologistwhoarguedagainsttheancientwaysoftheVolk.Jewswereparticularlytobefoundin
thisgroup,whichhadtobeextirpatedbeforehealthyvolkishlifecouldberecovered.23
TheestablishmentoftheGermanempirein1871gaveaboosttovolkishthought,bothbecauseitwasatriumphoflonghelddreamsofGermanpatriots,andalsoasa
consequenceofreactionagainstthedisappointinglyunromantic,bureaucratic,commercialnatureofBismarck'simperialstate.Therewerethosewhoyearnedfor
somethingmore,somethingmedieval,orientedchieflytoruralpeasantlife,andatthesametimedeeplyspiritual.Asvolkishmotifsdeveloped,thesespiritualyearnings
foundvoiceineffortstoisolateadistinctiveGermanreligionapartfromtheuniversalisticaspectsofChristianityanditsJudaicroots.VolkishwriterslikeJulius
Langbehn(18511907),beforehisultimateconversiontoRomanCatholicism,embracedSwedenborgianandotherdoctrinesofthetheosophicaltype.Emanuel
SwedenborgappealedtoLangbehnparticularlybecauseofhisbeliefthatsocietiesandtheworldasawholeconstitutedrealorganisms,whiletheindividualreflected
thelivinguniversewithin.
MeisterEckhart,thegreatmedievalGermanmysticintheneoplatonictraditionwhospokeofagnostickindofideaof"GodaboveGod,"wasviewedbyradical
GermanicreligionistsasarepresentativeofadeeperperspectivethanthatoftheJudeoChristianscriptures.Indeed,intheireyes,allauthenticGermanicmystics,
imbibingthepurevolkishspiritandlivingclosetonatureandthecommonpeople,likethegnosticsofolddwellingonaplanefarabovethatoftheliteralistandlegalist,
wereattunedtoadirectandintuitiverealizationoftheonenessofbeing.24

Page24

Spirit,Geist,wasanimportantidea.ItwasembodiednotonlyintheworldofancientmythbutalsoinacurrentfigurelikeFriedrichNietzsche.Nietzschewas
interpretedbyGermanvolkishwriterslikeKarlJoelasasupremeembodimentofGeistorspirit.Nolesssignificantlyhisdoctrineofeternalrecurrenceundercutas
profoundlyasanycouldmodernnotionsofprogressaseternallyoreschatologicallysignificant.25ThedeeplyantiChristiancharacterofNietzscheanthoughtwasalso
seminal.ForNietzscheasforhissometimefriend,thebrilliantrecreatorofmythontheoperaticstageRichardWagner,mythwasthedistinctivearchaicmediumof
communication,thetruevoiceofGeistandVolk.SowellwasthejobdonethatthemerementionofGermanicmythalltooeasilynowsuggeststheentireworldof
nineteenthcentury,antimodern,volkishvalues.26
Suchsentiments,attheirheightinthecenturyroughlyfrom1850to1950,werebynomeanslimitedtotheGermanicworld.Everywhere,amidthedramaticscientific,
technological,andpoliticalchangesofthatera,sensitivesouls,Januslike,lookedforwardandbackward,forwardtothevistasofprogresswithoutendpromisedby
modernity,then,seizedwithanxiety,backtothespiritualcomfortsofmysticism,medievalism,nationalism,andmyth.OneneedthinkonlyofSlavophilisminRussia,
ShintonationalisminJapan,theHindurenaissanceinIndia,the"Celtictwilight"mystiqueofYeatsandothersinIreland,andthecombinedArthuriancultofchivalry,
empire,andtheEnglishgentlemaninBritain.27InEnglandthelateVictorianandEdwardianperiodstowhichwearechieflyreferringwerealsothehighpointforthe
culturalinfluenceoftheosophyandChristianmysticisminthespiritofEvelynUnderhill.IntheUnitedStates,itwastheheydayoftheschoolbookapotheosesofsuch
heroesasColumbusandWashington,andofaglorificationofthewestwardmarchingfrontierthatgavelittlemoreconsiderationtotheaboriginesbehindthatfrontier
thananyGermanicquestforlebensraum.Inmostoftheseandmanyotherexamples,onefindsarediscoveryoffoundingmythsandnationalheroes,anidealizationof
rural"rootedness"andpeasantorpioneerlife,anexaltationoffeudalhierarchiesandvalues,andasensethatthenationisnotjustapoliticalentitybutaspiritualreality
aswell.Someofthesepatrioticmysticismsarenowinbetterodorthanothers.Somewerecertainlybroughtintotheserviceofnationalindependencemovementsand
democraticreformintheprogressiveera("makethenationtrulyworthyofitsheroes")aswellasofreactionary

Page25

agendas.Germanvolkishthought,thoughitcontainedmuchnonsenseandwillalwaysbestainedinretrospectbyitsassociationwiththeevilsoftheThirdReich,atthe
beginningwasoftennobetterorworsethantheothers.
Bythelastdecadeofthenineteenthcentury,however,volkishnesswasacquiringanominousharshness,especiallyinitsattitudetowardJews.Popularnovelslike
WilhelmvonPolenz'sDerBttnerbauer(1895),inwhichapeasantloseshislandthroughdebttoaJewandseesitturnedintothesiteofafactory,picturedJewsas
exploiters,asbringersoftheevilsofcapitalism,industrialism,andmodernity.Aboveall,whatevertheirvirtuesorvices,theywereincreasinglyportrayedas
irretrievablyOther,alientotheorganicunityoftheVolk.Hitleroncesaidthatthisworkhadinfluencedhim.ThenationalistichistorianHeinrichvonTreitschkeclaimed
thatGermanywasayoungstatesearchingforselfawareness,andthereforeJewsshouldnotcomplainifthatawarenesswassometimesexpressedinmaking
distinctionsbetweenGermansandJews.28ItwasvonTreitschkewhoalsofirstutteredtheoffrepeatedline,"DieJudensindunserunglck"[TheJewsareour
misfortune].
AntiSemitismwasbynomeanslimitedtoGermany.UntiltheriseoftheNaziregimeittookitsmostbrutalformsinRussiaandeasternEurope.Atthesametime,it
washardlyunknownintheEnglishspeakingworld."Restrictions"inhousing,education,andclubmembershipsaffected"Semites"everywhere,andonecouldhear
endlessantiJewish"jokes."AntiSemitismwasadarksideofthegloriousmythicdimensionsofraceandnation.AgainsttheirbrightimagesJewswerealien,dark
shadowsonthemarginsofsocialreality.Onecouldpraisethem,dobusinesswiththem,resentthem,hatethem:whatevertheattitude,theywereregardedthemas
different,other,andsoaproblemorpotentialproblem.
IntheGermanspeakingworldantiSemitismgatheredwithominousforce.Notall"realGermans"advocatedthephysicaleliminationofJews.Buttheideathatthey
weredifferent,foreign,"other,"notrealGermans,inalandthattrulybelongedonlytorealGermans,waswidelyaccepted.Howoneshouldrespondtotherealityof
theirpresencewhethertolikethemorhatethem,welcomethemormakethemunwelcome,toleratethemorexterminatethem,weresecondarymatters,thoughof
coursecrucialtoJews,andonthemonemightfinddifferencesofopinion.

Page26

EugenDiederichs,anotablevolkishwriter,editor,andpublisherfromtheturnofthecenturyuntilhisdeathin1927,espousedonepossibleopinion.CarlJunghadon
hisshelvesseveralbooksonGnosticismpublishedbyDiederichs.AcolorfulpersonalitywholivedinthesmalluniversitytownofJena,thisindividualreportedlyheld
courtatthelegendaryGreekfeastsofhis''Seracircle"wearingzebraskinpantsandaturbanasheproclaimeda"newromanticism"tocounterthesimplistic
naturalismandrationalismofthetimes.Hisnewromanticismemphasizedtheonenessoftheworld,andwithinittheunityoflandandVolkbutDiederichsalso
rejectedantiSemitismasheunderstoodit.WhileheportrayedJewsinaccordancewithcurrentstereotypesasgivenovertoaridlegalismandintellectualism,healso
sawthemasadistinctivepeoplewiththeirownspiritandorganiccohesion,aculturetobesetalongsideothers.Asweshallsee,thevacillationsofJung,andintheir
wayalsoofEliadeandCampbell,ontheJewishissueseematroottorevealaninternalcognitivestrugglebetweensomedegreeofliberaldemocraticsensitivityanda
visceralfeelingthattheJewis"other."Enthusiastsofthe"rooted,"traditionalist,organicsociety,socloselyalignedtotheworldevokedbymythology,sensedthatJews
wereinitstermsalienanddifferent,moreapartoftheforcesdestroyingtraditionalismthananantidotetotheevilsofmodernity.ButlikeDiederichstheywerepulled
bothwaysonthematter,unabletogiveupeithervolkishnessorliberalism,ortofolloweitherfirmlyandconsistentlytoitsultimatelogicaloutcome.
Diederichs'snewromanticismcouldseeinotherpeoplesbesidesJewscounterpartstowhatvolkishnessmeanttoGermans.Slavs,Celts,andevennonEuropeanslike
Indians,Chinese,andtheIslamicpeoplescouldalsobe"rooted"intheirownland,culture,andmyths.Herelayanopeningtoanothersignificantdimensionofthenew
mythology:itsattitudetowardnonEuropeanandnonChristianpeoples.ThisterrainhasbeendisputedinthewakeofEdwardSaid'smuchdiscussedOrientalism,
withitsargumentthatEuropeanscholarsessentiallyconstructedtheEasttheypurportedtostudyinthecolonialperiod.29DidEuropeansapproachAsiancultures
withgenuineopenness,ordidtheyseekthereonlywhattheywantedtofindexoticcivilizationswithvaluesquitedifferentfromthoseathome,reservoirsofancient
wisdomlikethatembodiedinmyth,perhaps,butwhosepeoplewerebarelycapableofabstract,rationalthought?Didtheymerelyproject

Page27

ontothemtheprimitiveworldortheOrientthatEuroperequiredforitsowncompletion?DidtheywanttoseealongtheGangesorintheCongosocieties"arrested"
yetforthatveryreasonlessfragmentedthantheirown,offeringvisionsofconstrictedwholenesswhich,whileobviouslynottobetakenintheirentiretybymore
advancedpersons,presentedresourcesforthehealingoftheWest?30
Any"organic"societycallsinsistentlyforanOthertoclarifyitsselfdefinition.ButtheOthercanbe,perhapsmustbe,bothalienandreinforcing.Itcanfunctionasa
negativeconfirmationofone'sown"organic"identityandvalues,astheJewsoservedtheVolk.OccasionallybutsignificantlytheOthercanofferasuperiormodel
ofcivilizationthatconfirmsone'saspirations,andpointedlyreinforcescriticismofone'sownsociety,asdidtheidealizedOrientforsomeromanticsfromThoreauto
Diederichs.LuisO.GomezhasnotedthatCarlJung,inhisstudiesofIndia,was"alsoseekingintheother,inIndia,aselfconfirmation...almostasifoneneededto
recognizeinanotherpartsofoneselfthatcouldnotbeseenassellandwouldotherwiseremaintotallyother,inaccessible,andunacceptable."31Indiarepresented
somethinghiddenintheEuropeanpsyche,thatneededtheexperienceofIndiatobediscoveredandheldupasamirrortoEurope.
Theideaoftheprimitiveandthearchaicobsessedromanticmythologists.Ontheonehandthelostworldwasagloryholeholdingallthemostprofoundandmost
authenticsentimentsofthehumanrace,orofparticularraces,withwhichwhatisbesttodaymustresonate.Ontheotherhandtheprimalworldwastoo
undifferentiatedtobebroughtoverwhole.Buttherecouldbeselectivereaction.
OnecouldofcourseproclaimaradicalpoliticaleschatologyliketheutopianorMarxistenvisioningaconsummationthat,likeallgreateschatologies,wasmythology
fueledreturntotheparadiseofultimatebeginnings.Butpoliticalradicalismhadadestructivesidewithwhichtheromanticwasnotentirelycomfortable.Furthermore,
twentiethcenturyfuturisticutopiasrequiredconfidenceinthescientific,industrial,democratic,andcultural"progressive"tendenciesofthemodernworldtheywould
presumablyfulfill,andthatwasaconfidencetherealromanticlacked.Politicalreactionisandwasamoreimmediatepossibleconsequenceofmodernromantic
thinking.Ifthemodernworldwasfallen,theshortestroadtoparadisemightleadbackward.Eitherway,mythcontainedsomethingmodernityneeded.

Page28

TheMedicineoftheModernWorld
Bythelatenineteenthcentury,then,romanticmythologistshadmademythpotentiallyavailabletothinkersrequiringsucharesourceasmedicinefortheillsofthe
modernsoul.Mythwasanelixirverydifferentfromthosefashionedinthelaboratoriesofmodernindividualism.Torecapitulate,therewerethreemaindifferences:the
mythicworldpointedtoacollective,notindividualistic,society,andsoitscreativitywaslikewisecollectiveratherthanindividualintheworldofmythnaturewasnot
alieninertmattermerelysubjecttotechnologicaluse,butpossessedsubjectivitycontinuouswiththehumanandthedivineandthisalternativeuniverse,recoveredfrom
thespringtimeofhumanity,likeromanticismitselfexaltednonrational,intuitive,"poetic"waysofknowing.Mythconnectstheselftosocietyandworld,unlike
rationality,whichdepersonalizesandobjectifiesthatwhichisotherthanself.
Butwhatofthe"lost"modernproletarian,sodeprecatedbyW.H.Riehl?Whatofthelowlymodernurbanite,whomJosOrtegayGassetandC.G.Jungwereto
call"massman,"whoserootlessnessanddepersonalizationamidthemassesofthemodernindustrialcityseemedlikeadarkparodyoftribalcollectivity?Volkish
writersandtheiralliesexaltedthe"rooted"ruralclasseswhiledeploringtheempty,wanderinglivesofurbanmassesinthegloomynewcitiesbuiltbytheindustrial
revolution.
Herecomesaparadoxicalbutveryimportanttwistinthedialecticofmyth.Mythologistsworshipedattheshrineoftribalcollectiveconsciousnessinthebeginning,
holdingthatmythwasnotcomposedbyasinglepersonbutwasthevoiceofthe"people."Butinthemodernworld,atleastuntilracialconsciousnesswasagain
gatheredintothe"singlewill"ofthepeopleonwhichtheNazisharped,collectivitysimplybecame"massman."Glorylaywiththeindividualismofonewho,patterning
himselfonancientheromyths,wonsolitarytriumphsonbehalfofall.Modernhumanitywasnolongertheprimordialwellofcollectiveinspiration,buthadseriously
fallenfromitinto''massman."Outofthatpitsalvationcanonlybeindividual,yetitmustreflectvalueslargerthantheindividualifthemythicdimensionofthemodern
hero'scallingistohaveanymeaning.Theparadoxofcollectiveandheroicinmythwasneverfullyresolved.
Eveninprimordialtribalsocietiesthehero'srolewasambivalent,fortheheromustemergeoutofanorganicsocietythathasarich

Page29

collectiveconsciousness.Theherowhotranscendsthatcollectivitymustalsobeapartofit,sothatitisthetribe'svaluesthataremadevisibleandtimelessinthegrand
andauthenticgesturesofthehero,theOdysseusorSiegfried.Todaythecollectivehasdegenerated,throughafalseuprootedindividualismwroughtbycommerceand
industry,intothedepressedcounterfeitcollectivityofthemoderncity.Itcanonlyberescued,modernmythmakersmightargue,bynewheroeswhoretrievethepower
latentinancientsymbols,notexcludingthefasces,theswastika,thehammerandsickle.
Thepossiblepoliticalconcomitantsofthiskindofmythologyarealmosttooobvious:onewantsahomogeneous,largelyrural,and"rooted"societywithahierarchical
superstructurethissocietyshouldpossessareligiousormysticaltendencyabletoexpressitsunityrituallyandexperientially.Todaysuchasocietycouldonlybe
recoveredthroughanewenactmentoftheheromythbyoneabletoawakentheprimordialbutslumberingvaluesofthispeopleandcallthemintobeingagain.Thisis
onedirectionmythologycouldgo,andhasgone,inthemodernworld:nationalism,especiallywhenbasedonasingleleaderembodyingthepeople'sGeistand
idealizedtoheroicstature.
Thetwomajoraperturesavailabletogenericmythinthemodernworldwereinindividualpsychologicalproceduresandinnationalism.Otherpossibilitieswere
preempted.LiberalorradicalreformwastakenoverbysecularmythssuchasMarxismorbythemythsofspecificrelevantreligions,asintheChristiansocialgospel.
Socialroleshadtheirindigenousmythicmodelsalreadystakedoutintheearliermythicrevival:VictorianreconstructionsofchivalryprovidedmodelsfortheEnglish
gentleman,DanielBooneepitomizedandidealizedtheAmericanfrontiersman.Thecatastrophictwentiethcenturycalledforsomethingmore:mythstoradically
transformnationsmythstotransform,notmerelylegitimate,individualroles.
Onthefaceofit,toolswereavailableforbothindividualandnationalcourses.Theveryindividualismonwhichtwentiethcenturymassmanquixoticallypridedhimself,
togetherwiththenotionofprogress,madepeoplewanttoprogressinwardly,toinwardlysimulategrowthandevolution,bymovingfromonepsychicstatetoabetter
one.InthehandsofJungandCampbell,mythicscenarioswerereadymademodelsforindividualsintheprocessofinnertransformation.
Nationsalsocouldmoveontowhattheytrustedwerehigherstagesoftheirowndevelopmentthroughattainingtheinnercohesion

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andunityofpurposeaffordedbyamythicmodel,withreferencebacktothe"organic"societysupposedlyrealizedinmythictimes.ThisiswhatEliademeantby
"Romanianism"inthe1930s,andwhatJungatthesametimecalled"Wotanism''inregardtoGermany.
Thesetwoprocesses,theindividualpsychologicalandthenationalistic,wereostensiblyatoddswiththefundamentalcharacterofmodernsocietyitsscientific,
"statistical"homogenization,itsprofessedlydemocraticinstitutions.Moreover,themodernmindcannotreallycountenancethepossibilityofanysortoflargescale
changeexceptthroughthepoliticalprocess.Themythologymovementthereforehadtobeinsomeway(maybeonlyamythicone)political.
Butitcouldnotbeliberalorprogressiveintheordinarysense,sincethatimpliedonlymoreofthesame,scientizingandbureaucratizinghumanliferatherthan
mythologizingit.Itcouldnotbeconservativeintheusualsenseeither,sincethatalsoimpliedmoreofthesamescienceandbureaucracy,savenowmoreinthehands
ofbusinesscorporationsthanofgovernment.Aradicalchange,suchasthemythologistsrequired,couldonlybereactionary,returninginsignificantwaysmaybeonly
individually,maybenationalisticallytoanidealizedtraditionalworld.
ButhereiswheretheapproachofthemythologistsneedstobesetcarefullyagainstthatstrandofthoughtwhichledtoMussolini,Hitler,andStalin.Infact,thegnostic
mythologyofJung,Eliade,andCampbell,contemplativeinfundamentalintent,contrastssignificantlywiththeapocalypticdefinitionanduseofmythinthepoliticalwing
ofmodernmythology.Intheend,Jung,Eliade,andCampbellturnouttobemoreorientedtowardindividualthannationaltransformation,thoughnolesssignificantly
politicalforthatreason.
ApocalypticandGnosticMyth
ThecleavagebetweenEnlightenmentandromanticviewsofmythologyisbutaspecialcaseofalargerdivideinmodernthoughtbetweentheEnlightenmentand
romanticism.ThatisbetweentheEnlightenmentperceptionoftheindividualasautonomousandasecondschool,whicharosetogetherwithromanticism,thataffirmed
thedeterminativeroleofhistoryandsocietyonindividuallives.ThefirstwasthegiftofLockeandhisfollowers,thesecondofHegel,Marx,andtheirheirs.Thelatter
emphasizedtheextenttowhichone's

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veryconsciousnessthefavoredtermisshapedbyone'splaceintheunfoldingofhistory,orbyone'ssocioeconomicstatus.
Nomorethanaglanceatthehorrendousslumsandindustrialconditionsofthenineteenthcenturywasneededforthosepersuadedbythecommunitarianororganic
viewofsocietytopositcertainsituationsasconsiderablymoredisadvantagedoroppressedthanothers.Justifiableinitsoriginalsetting,thisfindingwasultimatelyto
leadbothtosalutarydemocraticreformsfromtheabolitionofchildlabortothelegitimizationofunions,andtothetwinevilsoftwentiethcenturyMarxistandfascist
totalitarianisms.
Theintellectualrootsofcommunismandfascismwereprofoundlyintertwined.Thefoundationofbothwasrejectionoftheliberal,Enlightenmentbeliefinthe
autonomousindividual.Theindividualwasinsteadessentiallyidentifiedasapartofalargercommunityorgroup.Thisidentitywasbelievedtoshapeone's
consciousnessanddestinyinescapablyforbetterorworse.Finallycamethepracticalassumptionthatmanyifnotmostpersonsareinextricablepartsofoppressed
communities.Ifcommunitiesaretoovercomeoppression,itmustbefirstofallthroughconsciousrealizationofthegroupidentityandthenatureoftheoppression.
Thusworkersintheircommoneconomicplightaslaborerswithnothingtosellbuttheirlabormustfirstofallassertthatidentity.Theirsolidaritywiththeir
socioeconomicclass,fromtheMarxistperspective,takesprecedenceoverthoseofcultureorvolkorreligionorindividualpersonalityoranythingelse.
ItisonlyatthispointthatMarxistcommunismandfascismpartcompanysignificantly.TheMarxistidentificationwaswithsocioeconomicclass,emphasizingthe
oppressedproletariatthefascistidentificationwasinsteadwiththeoppressednationorrace.Wehaveseenhowthevolkishapproachtomythologywasinterwoven
withthelatterconsciousness.
Butalthoughthecommunityidentificationthemearoseinitsmodernformalongwithromanticism,itwouldnotbetruetosaythatHegelianismandMarxismwereno
morethanromanticism.Thesephilosophiesandromanticismwerebothreactionsagainstenlightenmentautonomy,buttheywerenotthesamething.Romanticism
possessednotonlywarmfeelingsaboutcommunity,especiallyprimordial"organic"communities,butitalsobestoweditsbenedictiononarichindividualismthat
exaltedinpersonaldreams,raptures,andagonies,andwhichofferedmuchscopeforthefulfillmentofthehero's

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callinginaccordancewithone'sownvision.Idiosyncraticindividualheroicdreamscouldonlyberegardedwithdeepsuspicionintheironcladsocietiesoftotalitarian
salvation.
Thedivergenceofthemerelyromanticorvolkishmythologistfromthefascist/communistuseofmythmaybeilluminedbyturningtotheworkofGeorgesSorel(1847
1922).ThatambivalentFrenchsocialthinker,beginningasaMarxist,becameveryinterestedinthesocialusesofmythandofrevolutionaryviolence.Heinfluenced
Mussoliniand,atleastparadigmatically,articulatedthemystiqueofthetwentiethcenturycultofrevolutionasredemptiveandpurifying.
SoreladdedtoMarx'ssometimesdryanalysisthedynamicantirationalismofradicalromanticism,holdingthatheroicmythsandviolencewerewellspringsofsocial
transformation,andsoprofoundlymoral.Inthiscircumstancethey,andthedoctrinesbehindthem,werenottobejudgedfortheirveracitysomuchasfortheiruseas
weaponsforstruggle.ForSorelmythswere"systemsofimages"thatenablepeoplewhoparticipateinsocialcombattoconceiveoftheirendeavorsasbattlesthat
wouldendintriumphandredemption.Likesoundbitesandpropagandaposters,myths,ormythicimages,werelesstobeconsideredintellectuallyorhistoricallythan
intheirrelationtofeelingandaction.Sorelwasopposedtodiscursivethought,andtodescriptiveorrationalistickindsofthinkinghewasconcernedwithwhatdrove
revolutionaryactionandchange.ForSorel,thefundamentalrevolutionwastheoppressedagainsttheoppressor,theMarxiststruggleoftheproletariatagainstthe
capitalist.Hemadethisconflictantirational,mythical,apocalyptic,andsoreligiousinthefunctionalsenseoftheword.
Itisimportanttorealizethat,whilevolkishandothernineteenthcenturyrecoveriesofmythmayhavehadaplaceinthebackgroundofthetwentiethcentury,itwasthe
SorelianconceptofmyththatwasthedynamicoftwentiethcenturyrevolutionaryMarxismandfascism,insofarastheyaremythologyinaction.Thisistruewhether
thedebtwasexplicit,asitwastoasignificantextentinthecaseofMussolini,orwhetheritamountedtoamoreorlessindependentdiscoveryofthesameprinciple,as
itmaywellhavebeenforcommunismandNazism.ForSorelandtheSorelians,thesocialfunctionofmythwaskeytotheunderstandingoftheterm:itsvaluelayinits
religious,indeedapocalyptic,characterinitsorientationtoworldtransformation.

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Becauseitsapocalypticpictureofchangewastotal,itwasantirational,foritbrookednostandardoftruthorjudgmentoutsideitself.Ithadtobeanincitementto
absoluteactionfreeofanydoubtorqualification.ItissufficienttothinkoftheNaziandcommunistmythsofracialorclassoppressionfollowedbydramatic
revolutionaryredemption.Onthelevelofconcretemythicsymbols,onemayrecalltheswastikaflagsdippedinthebloodofNazimartyrsparadedattheNrnberg
rallies,ortheundecayingbodyofLeninpreservedandvirtuallyworshipedatRedSquareinMoscow.Fortheroleofstimulatingtotalcommitment,socomparableto
thedynamicsofreligiousconversion,mythsandtheirassociatedsymbolswereextraordinarilyeffective,fortheycannotbeundercutsincethegroundofbeliefina
mythicrealityistranscendentandnotsubjecttomerehumancritique.32
However,Sorel'sideaofmythdifferedfromthatofthethreemythologists.Theirsmightbecalledagnosticview(inthenonVoegelinsense),andSorel'sapocalyptic.
ThegnosticconceptisPlatonicandcontemplativeitemphasizesthewaymythfunctionsinindividualsandsocietyasameanstoprofoundunderstanding.Farfrom
immediatelyincitingrevolutionaryaction,itoftenundercutsactionsthroughitsappealtoawiderandmoreacceptingwisdom.Indeed,theworkofthethree
mythologistscouldbe,andhasbeen,accusedofofferingtheoppressedheavydosesofMarx'sopiateofthepeoplebycarryingtheirthoughtsawaytodreamy
inwardlookingorescapistmythologicalworlds.ForbetterorworseJung,Eliade,andCampbellwereessentiallyPlatonicorgnosticintheiruseofmyth.Theymay
haveunearthedsomeofthesamerootmyths,ortypesofmyths,thatSorelianmarxistsandfascistssoughttouseintheserviceofradicalsocialtransformation.Butthe
mythologists'apocalypseswereinwardorintellectual,andsostoodinadifferentrelationtothepoliticalrealmfromtheSorelian.Thelatterisactiondriven,valuing
mythsfortheirpropheticreligiousvalueinimagingandincitingabsolutechange.Themythologists'goalinsteadwasdeepwisdom,aboveallabouttheselfandits
symboliclifeiftherewerepoliticalconsequencesofthisknowledge,intheendthethreecametorealizetheywouldbeindirect,andsometimescounselsofrestraint
ratherthanofaction.
Asecondbutrelateddifferencewasthequestionoforiginalgoodnessversusoriginalsin.AlineageofthinkersfromMenciustoMarx

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hastaughtthathumannatureisgood,peaceable,andsociableinitstrueandoriginalform.Theeviloftheworldisduetoevilstructuresofsocietyratherthaninherent
individualevilmostpeople,apartfromafewsaints,willbenobetterthanthesocietyinwhichtheyfindthemselves.Butmakesocietybetterandpeoplewillbecome
betterintheirnature,recoveringmoreandmoreoftheiroriginalgoodness.Understandably,thisviewhasbeensympathetictothe"rightofrevolution"inpolitical
thoughtwhenevilsocialstructuresarechanged,ifneedbeviolently,humannaturecanpermanentlybechangedtogood.
Theotherside,withalineagefromAugustineandCalvinthroughFreud,Voegelin,andReinholdNiebuhr,arguesthatevil,orthemindlessselfishnessoftheid,is
inherentintheindividualaswellassociety.Thislineofthoughtiscompatiblewiththegnosticviewthattheworlditselfwasmadebyablunderinggod,thecreationand
thefalloneandthesameevent.Itleadstothemorepessimisticviewthatevenifthesocialorderischangedforthebetter,peoplewillfindwaystobeasunpleasantas
ever.Aftertherevolution,thecadresofthetriumphantgrouporparty,themselvesnobetterthantheyoughttobe,willsoonenoughbecome"moreequal"thanothers
andtakeovertheofficeoftheformerexploiters,likethepigsmovingintothehouseinOrwell'sAnimalFarm.
Themythologicalpositiononthismatterwasinsomewaysambivalent,butineffecttendedtowardtheAugustinianside.Thiswasfirstofallbecause,inElladean
language,itputaclearlinebetweencosmosandhistory.Cosmicreligionandspirituality,embodiedintheoldestmyths,waspureinthatitwaspristine,freshfromthe
handsofthegods.Buthistory,leadingdowntomodernity,wasakindoffall,whichhasmeantthat,asAugustiniansandNiebuhrianswouldsay,allattemptstochange
societyforthebetterwithinhistorymeetwithonlyambiguousandpartialsuccess.Whileitisnecessarytotrytomaketheworldbetter,effortstodosoentailthe
dangerofpeoplebelievingtheycanactagainasifinthemythicalpurityofcosmictimes.Itwouldbebettertotrytoimproveconditionsthroughsmallandpragmatic
steps.Thosewhoadvocaterevolutionarychangeasthoughenactingmythologiesofapocalypsearenotaware,thegnosticmythologistswouldinsist,ofhowpowerful
aretheprimordialforcestheyareunleashing.Painfulexperiencesoftheirownhadbeenthemythologists'firstteachersofthislesson.Theenergiesofthefirstcreation
arenotathomeinmoderncivilizationtheyareliketheproverbialbullinachinashop

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theyarelikelytorunoutofcontrolandworkasmuchharmasgood.ThusJungremarked,"IfCommunism,forinstance,referstoEngels,Marx,Lenin,andsoonas
the'fathers'ofthemovement,itdoesnotknowthatitisrevivinganarchetypalorderofsocietythatexistedeveninprimitivetimes,therebyexplaining,incidentally,the
'religious'and'numinous'(i.e.fanatical)characterofCommunism."33
Likeallbelieversinoriginalsin,themythologistswouldsayineffectthatsalvationmustbefirstandforemostindividual,apersonalactofdivinegrace,notmerely
engineeredthroughsocialreform.Onthesegroundstootheywouldfavorthegnosticovertheapocalypticuseofmyth,formythological"contemplation"isthefirststep
toindividuationorpersonalsalvation.Gnosticsalvationfortheancientswasindividualliberationfromthestreamofhistoricaltimeinasufferingworldbacktotheour
truehome,thetimelesshallsoflight.Thebesthopeforsocietyisthatenoughpersonswouldbesufficientlyinterestedintheinnerquesttoforegooutwardgreediness,
andthatnostalgiaforEdenmightleadonetomakethisworldmoreofaparadiseforthesakeofitsrecollection.
Soitwasthatwhileallthreeofthemythologistsdabbledatleastideologicallyinpoliticalmythology,evenonoccasionromanticizingitsapocalypticexpression,finally
forthemmythcametobeinternalizedasameansofcohesionwithone'strueselfratherthanwithsoilandsocialmovements.Onecouldevenmakeboldtosaythat,in
theendandonlyaftersomemissteps,thethreemythologistsmanagedtosavewhatwasbestinvolkishmythologyanditsromanticrootsfromfatalcontaminationwith
unsavorypolitics,andredirectedthosedangerousenergiestomakeofthemaninwardtherapeutic,evenasearlyChristianityallegedlytranslateddisappointed
apocalypticexpectationsintootherworldlysalvation.Letusnowturntothemythologiststhemselvesforconfirmation,ordisconfirmation,ofsuchanidea.

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2
CarlGustavJungandWotan'sReturn
BoyandMan
ThepsychologyofC.G.Jungrestsonpsychicbiography.Biographyinthiscasemeansthenarrativeofthesubject'sinnerlife,aboveallasitisexpressedindreams
andfantasies.ForfromtheJungianperspective,thereallifeofanindividual,asoftheworld,isinward.Soitwas,atleast,thatJunghimselfsawhisownwork,which
isprofoundlyautobiographicalinitsgenesis.FromtheJungianperspective,reallifeisnot,ontheprofoundestlevel,one'sworldlylifeofhomes,marriages,orjobs,but
istheflowofamightyundergroundrivertowhichlife'ssurfacephenomenaarebutreflectionsordiversions.Politicsassucharetheleastofconcernstothegodofthis
river,yettheriveristheultimatesourceofallthathappensinpolitics,asineverythingelse.Seenorunseen,theundergroundriveroftheunconsciousmakesoccur
whatoccurs.
IfthereisanythingthatJung'seightysevenyearsteachus,itisthatprojectingthepassionsofthegrosspoliticalrealmontothepsyche,orconverselyallowingthe
psychetoadventureintotherealmofoutward

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politicsarmedonlywithitsarchetypes,isboundtobedisastrous.Bettertoletthepsycheblossominitsownwayinitsowninternalsoilandunderitsownsun,and
keeppoliticsplainandlowtotheground,astheywereinJung'snativeSwitzerland.TimestherewerewhenJungletthebordersbetweenpoliticsandpsychefray
morethanheshouldhave.Butintheendheseemstohavelearnedthatonlythemostrigorousseparationbetweensoulandstateissafeforrealpeople.Ifthekindof
energyandarchetypalsymbolismthatgointomakingupthepsychewereallowedintopoliticalaffairs,andonetriedtomaketheouterworldworkliketheaffairsof
dreamsandmyths,theresultswouldbeasdisastrousasiffishtriedtoliveonland,orbirdsinthedepthsofthesea.Somebirdscanofcoursedive,andfishleap
brieflyintotheair,butsuchexcursionsareappropriateonlyforashortnourishingmoment,notasawayoflife.
Statecraftoughtthereforetobekeptataminimalist,pragmaticlevelinordertoletsoulsbesoulsintheirownfreeway.Nonetheless,themaintenanceofreligiousand
mythologicaltraditionisimportantinsocieties,forthesearethetreasurehousesofresourcesinstoryandsymbolthatsoulsneedtocompletethemselves.Moreover,
assoulsgoabouttheirownbusinessoffindingpsychiccompletenesstheymaydiscoverthemselves,asitwereinadvertently,makinghistory.
ThusitisnoteasytokeeppsychesoutofpoliticsinJungianthought,foraccordingtothisschoolpsychesultimatelycreatetheworld,andthehistory,inwhichpolitics
happen.Comparedtothepsyche,theouterrealmisapalereality,onlyascreenonwhichtoprojectthetrailingsofthesoul'sinnerweather,itsturbulenceandlight.
Onemustlearntoseeandletbe.HereJungdifferedfromhissometimesmentor,SigmundFreud.InthetermsofJung'sownsystem,Freudwasanextravert,whosaw
theouterworldasthehard,solid"realityprinciple"againstwhichonebattedone'sheadinvain."Maturity"meanttoacceptitanddeeplydiscountallreligiousand
othersystemsthatwouldcastspeciousillusionovertheadamantineactuality.ButforJung,mythandreligionwerefleshandbonesofwhatwasrealbecausetheywere
integraltothepsyche,andthepsychewasinthelastanalysistheonlyrealitywecanknow.Lookingoutward,weseeormakeasoftandshifting"reality"putthere
bythepsyche.
Bythelogicofhisworldview,Freudwasbasicallyapessimistabouthistoryandhumancivilizationtheywerenotsomuchpositive

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goodsasdesperatestratagemstocontainwithacceptablelimitsthepowerfulirrationalenergiesofthelibido,theessentiallysexualinnerself,yearningtobreakfreeand
expressitselfinallwaysatonce.1 Overthatvolcanocivilizationandthehistorymadebyitsmeasuresarenecessarybutrepressivecaps,andtherepressedisseething
beneaththepoliteveneer.Indeed,thelegerdemainofpoliticianscoulddrawasmuchfromwhatwasbeneaththelidascoverovertheboilingpot.Thepositionof
Freud'santhropologicaldisciple,GzaRheim,hasbeendescribedinthismanner:
ForRheim,politicswasakindofblackmagic,thepoliticalleader,farfrombeingdescendedfromthegods(asintraditionalhierarchicaltheory)hadrisenfromthedepthsofhell.
Thepoliticianwasthemoderndescendantofthesorcerer,andpoliticalscience,therefore,wasmostaccuratelytreatedasabranchofdemonology.2

TheHungarianRheim,acentralEuropeancontemporaryofJung,hadlikethelatternolackofobservableevidencetosupportthemostdemonologicaltheoriesof
politicsimaginable.Yet,thoughJungcame,afterhesitation,todevelophisownversionofpoliticaldeviltryatworkinrespecttothemostegregiouscaseofall,
NationalSocialistGermany,hisultimatepositionwasabitdifferentfromtheFreudian.
Freudwasmoderninhisownselfconsciousassumptionsaboutscience,religion,andsociety,eventhoughhetorturedmodernityintodirectionsunfamiliartoheirsof
theEnlightenment.Thechannelshadbeenclearedbyromanticism,buttohearamedicaldoctortalkingaboutdreamsandtheunconsciousin1900andlaterfellas
strangelyonnineteenthcenturyearsasthenewcentury'snewunmelodicmusic.YettheradicalmodernagendawasstillthereforFreud:progress,materialism,health
throughsecularizationandscience.DespitetheAustrianJew'swellearnedskepticismaboutEuropeancivilization,onecouldstillenvisionascientificandperhaps
socialistearthlyparadiseoncehumanity,inamightypsychoanalyticspasm,sloughedoffitsrepressions.
JungwasantimoderninawayFreudwasnot,forhesubstantiallysoughttounderstandandcorrectthemodernfromstandpointsoutsideofitself,likeagnosticaware
thatthetruehistoryofanindividualoraworldbeganimmenseaeonsaboveandbeforeitspresentexperienceintime.Suchastancecouldofcoursehaveopenedthe
doorfor

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endorsementofexplicitlyantimodernpoliticalmovements,andwewilllookatcontroversiesconcerningtheextenttowhichhedidthis.ButJungsawhimelfchieflyasa
doctoroftheindividualsoul,andofcivilizationonaverydeeplevel,whoincreasinglycametounderstandthatinthisworldnothingisquitewhatitseems.Forall
experiencehasbeenprojectedthroughthedistortinglensesofpsycheswhoserealrealmisnottheouterworld.ThisbringsustoJung'sautobiography,Memories,
Dreams,Reflections.3
ThepsychicautobiographicalbaseofJungianismiseminentlyevidentinthislatebook,whereinheprobedinhimself,asthegrandestcaseofall,whathehad
prospectedinthesubterraneanmineshaftsofsomanyotherpsyches.Thisstrangeandwonderfulvolumeisassembledfromautobiographicalandotherwritings
interwovenwithleisurelyreminiscingconversationsrecordedandsubstantiallyeditedbyAnielaJaff,hissecretary.Theendproductislessphotographic
autobiographythanpainterlyselfportrait,withthesymbolicenhancementonemightexpectinsuchaworkfromthehandofamasterofselfcreation.PeterHomans
calledit"aspecialgenreofitsown""automythology."4 Aftersomanyyearsthedetailsofdreamsandfantasiesmaybesmudgedwhatremainsistheimageofalife
interpretingitselfasfiredtoanextraordinarydegreefromoutofthedepthsofitsbeing.Itisthevibrantlyaliveunconsciousthatdrivestheenginesofthisindividualand
isthereal"hero"ofthisnarrativeitisoverwhelminglypowerfuldreamswhich,likeundergroundexplosions,markeachstageinthiscareer.
FewreaderswillsoonforgetJung'sterrifyingnightmareallegedlyattheageofonlythreeorfouryears,whenhecameintoanundergroundchamberandinthedimlight
sawthereenthronedagiganticphallus,asingleluminouseyeatitstip.NorwilltheysoonletsinkintooblivionthepubescentfantasyinwhichGoddroppedahugeturd
onthebeautifulsparklingroofoftheBaselcathedral,shatteringthesacredstructure.AllthiswasagainstthebackdropofyearsinwhichJungwasinacomplexrelation
withhisparents,especiallyhisfather,apastorwhostruggledwithreligiousuncertainty.
CarlJungthoughtitwaspartlybecauseoftheseinappropriatedoubtsthattheclericalJungwasoftenedgy.Notafewstormyscenesdisruptedfamilylife,thoughthe
sonalsorememberedhoursofloveandoftryingtounderstandoneanother.Yetasisoftenthecaseinsuchhomes,especiallywhenoneisasobviouslyacongenital
introvert

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asCarlJung,theboymaintainedarichandsecretinnerlife.Indeed,ashesetoffforcollege,Jungsawhimselfastwofold.''No.1"was"aratherdisagreeableand
moderatelygiftedyoungmanwithvaultingambitions,anundisciplinedtemperament,anddubiousmanners...inhisinnermostessenceahermitandobscurantist."
"No.2,"ontheotherhand,"regardedNo.1asadifficultandthanklessmoraltask,alessonthathadtobegotthroughsomehow,"butinhisownnaturethisstrange
being"hadnodefinablecharacteratall,"butwas"born,dead,everythinginoneatotalvisionoflife,"andthatspecterpursuedthevisibleJunglikeashadow.
TherewasalsosomethingmedievalaboutNo.2,inthesensethatheseemedtobelongtotheoccultworldevokedbyGoethe'sFaust.Atthetime,characteristically
guidedbyadream,theyoungmanbelievedheshouldfollowthelightofconsciousnessandleavetheshadowtoitself.Hewashauntednonethelesstotheendofhis
yearsbywhathetooktobeNo.2'sultimatenature,theVoid,whichembracesallbeginningsandendings,andwhichcouldholditsownagainstfinaldarkness.5
IncollegeJungtookupthestudyofmedicine.ButhealsotooktimetoscantheGermanintellectualworldofhistime.HereadnotonlyFaust,butalsoNietzsche's
ThusSpakeZarathustrathoughthatphilosopherprobablyinfluencedhimmorethananyotherwriteroutsideofprofessionalpsychology,helatersaidhesawin
Nietzscheanunbalancedgeniuswhohadmadeadangerousmistakewhenhe"fearlesslyandunsuspectinglylethisNo.2looseuponaworldthatknewand
understoodnothingaboutsuchthings."6 ThestudentJungalsoabsorbedwithprofitSchopenhauer,Kant,andSwedenborg.Foratimehewasintenselyengagedinthe
studyofspiritualismandpsychicalresearch,notonlythroughreading,butalsobyattendingseances,includingthoseofamediumisticcousinofhis,HelenePrieswerk.
Thoseobservationsbecamethebasisofhisdissertationforthemedicaldegree,"OnthePsychologyandPathologyofSoCalledOccultPhenomena."7
ForashisspecializationJunghadselectedpsychiatry,partlybecausehebelieveditwouldallowhimtocombinehishumanisticandphilosophicalinterestswith
medicine.InDecemberof1900hecommencedhiscareerbytakingupapostasassistantattheBurghlzliMentalHospitalinZurich.ThatsameyearFreud'sepoch
makingTheInterpretationofDreamswaspublished,introducinghisintenselycontroversialtheoriesofpsychoanalysistotheprofessionandthegeneral

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public.Jungreadthebook,recognizedFreud'simportance,andtookuphiscause.Junglaterclaimedthateventhenhedidnotaccepttheopinionofthefatherof
psychoanalysisthatsexualtraumawastheoriginofallrepression,andhadahigherviewofreligionandspiritualthingsthantheolderman.Nonethelesshebecamea
partisanofFreudatatimewhentheViennesedoctorenjoyedlittlerespectabilityinthepsychiatricworld,andsuchdiscipleshipcouldofferfewcareerbenefits.Jung
metFeudin1906foratimethetwomenwereclose,Freudnothesitatingtoanointtheyoungerashischiefdocentandheirapparent.
In1913theybrokewitheachother,oneimmediatecausebeingJung's1912workWandlungenundSymboledesLibido(TransformationsandSymbolsofthe
LibidotranslatedasThePsychologyoftheUnconscious).8 InthatworkCarlJungwentbeyondhissenior's"unendurablynarrow"conceptualframework,asJung
calleditintheforward.CastinghisgazewellbeyondFreudiannarrowness,theSwissdisciplefraternizedwithpremodernandantirationalthemesaswellaswiththe
AgeofReason.ImagesfromthevolkishandNietzscheanmythologicalvogues,inalltheirreactionagainsttheEnlightenmentspirit,begantosuggestinJung's
Wandlungenthatmodernityitselfwastheproblem,andthatEuropeanhumanityneededtoreturntoveryancientwellsforrenewal.YetatthesametimeJungwasa
manofhistimeandplace,andhewasnotalone.Aswehaveseen,inthedecadesbeforeWorldWarIaformoflateromanticnationalismvolkish,Wagnerian,
Nietzschean,sometimesantiSemiticwasshoulderingitswayinalongsidemodernity,batteningonmoderndiscontents.Itcouldnoteasilybearguedwith,forit
concededlittletothecanonsofrationality.LikeJung,andFreudtooinhisway,thiscauseknewthattherealking,thepsyche,rulesbyotherrules.
Jungwascomfortablewithmuchofmythologicallateromanticism,forhewaswellawareofmodernity'sinnerdemons.Heknewhowmuchhadbeenparedoffthe
fullnessofahumanpsychetomakeitfittheneedsofEnlightenmentrationalismandindustrialproduction.Hesawallaroundsymptomsofthemodernalienation,
rootlessness,andspiritualemptinessthatthevolkishtheoreticianstalkedabout.Jungwasconcernedthatmodernmenandwomenfindwaysbacktotheresourcesof
othertimesandplaceswherewhatwasmissingmightberecovered.
ThewholemassiveworkofWandlungenwasbasedonthe"MillerFantasies,"thecharmingjournalofdreams,imaginings,andpoetry

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leftbyayoungAmericanwomanthentravelingaroundtheMediterranean,whowroteas"MissMiller."WeareremindedhowmuchofJung'sinterestinuniversals
startedasatherapistinvolvedinthepsychicprocessesofindividuals.Wandlungenpresentedpsychicprocessasmovementtoward"individuation,"orrebirthasa
newpersoninwhomallunconsciousconstituents,whichappeartodeepconsciousnessas"archetypes"analogoustothoseofmythanddream,havebeenbalanced
off.
Hisbasictaskinthestudy,ashesawit,wastoransacktheresourcesofarchaicmythandreligionformodelsbywhichtoconceptualizeandunderstandthemany
permutationstheFreudianlibidotookinitsquestforfreedomandfullexpression.Jungcorrelated"MissMiller's"personalimageswiththoseofuniversalmythand
dream,andinthatlightfoundtheirmeaning.Asheexcavatedmightyarchetypesfromoutofthesubject'sephemeraldreamsandpoeticthoughts,Jungwasawarehe
wasdealingwithstrongmedicine,butheleftitallonthelevelofthepsyche'sinnerlife.TheclosestWandlungencametopoliticalmaterialwasinillustrativereferences
toarchaicsacredkingmyths,includingthewoundedkingofthegraillegend.Butthesesovereignswereinevitablyturnedintoindividualmodelsformodernsinsearch
ofakinglysoul.9
Thisseminalbookwasclearlythefoundationalworkofamindtooteemingwithoriginalitytobeforeveracolytetoanother.Itputtheanalyticprojectonamuchmore
broadlyhumanisticandlessmedicalfootingthantheFreudian.TheexclusivelysexualdefinitionofthelibidowaspresentedbyJungasonesided.10Stilluglierissues
thanthisbookhadarisenbetweenFreudandJungaswell.By1915FreudwasclaimingthatJung'sdefectionwasconnectedtoacrisisinvolvingbothreligionand
antiSemitism.HesaidinaletterofJuly8ofthatyeartoanAmericansupporter,JamesJacksonPutnam,thathehadlikedJunguntilthelatterwastakenover"bya
religiousethical'crisis'"whichtheyoungermanapparentlyfelthadendowedhimwith"highermorality,rebirth,"andwhichhadledJungtopresent"lies,brutalityand
antiSemiticcondescensiontowardme.'"11
Therupturewasacutelypainfulandconsequentialforboth.ThelesswellknownJungwithdrewintosemiretreat,exploringinwardstormsandvistasduringtimesthat
roughlyconvergedwiththeterribleyearsofWorldWarI.Sometimeshisdreadfuldreamsseemedtoparallelorprophesytheouterhorrorsofthatbloodletting.The
spirituallyafflicted

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Swissdoctorpressedthequestfortheultimatenatureofthesovereignpsycheveryfarindeed,onoccasionveeringtowardthemarginsofmadness.Buthecameout
ofthisdarkpassagewithhisownlifeonafirmfooting,andwithabook,PsychologicalTypes(1921),thatgavehimarecognizedindependentplaceinhisprofession.
Containingtermsthathavemovedintopopularculture,suchasextravertandintrovert,PsychologicalTypesiswidelyregardedasJung'smostoriginalcontribution
togeneralpsychologybythosewhodonotacceptthefullJungiansystem.
Jung'semergingbasicpositionwasthatthegoal,individuation,meantbecomingwhothepersonreallyisinwardly,notthepersonafabricatedbyconventionand
expectation.Thepilgrimagetotherealselfislongandwinding,butmaybeenlivenedbyencounterswithdenizensofthewellpopulatedintermediateranges.The
archetypestheWiseOldMan,theGreatMother,theHero,theMaiden,theShadow,theMarvelousChildwhoisthehopedforindividuatedselfareallreally
facetsoftheself,fragmentsonecanbecomeorrepress,orbetterconfigureharmoniouslyintoamandala,orbalancedpattern,outofthecenterofwhichthenewself
arisesvictorious.
Thatnativityisaidedbytheguidingpresenceofthearchetypesintheloreandreligionsofallpeoplesaswellasinthedreamsoftheindividuatingindividual.Thiswas,
accordingtooneofthemostcontroversialofJungianpropositions,becausetheyarepartsofa"collectiveunconscious"aswellasanindividualfontofforms.Jung
thoughtthatlevelsoftheunconsciousfamily,clan,nation,race,primate,andanimalingenerallaylikegeologicalstratabetweentheindividualandthe"centralfire"
thatenergizedthemall.
BycollectiveunconsciousJungthusmeantmentalcontentssharedwithothers,eithertheentirehumanraceorasubdivisionofit,suchasacultureornationality.Being
unconscious,thiscollectivityobviouslydidnotmeanapeople'sarticulatedbeliefs,ideas,orvocabularies,butratherpointedtothepreconsciousmentalenergiesthat
activatedthem.Beingpreconscious,thosepowerfulforcescouldexpressthemselvesonlyincamouflage,usuallythroughemotionsbearingsymbolicarchetypalforms:
aculture'sparticularversionsoftheFather,theMother,theHero,theShadow.Inatraditionalsociety,theseimageswerebestfoundinitsreligiousorfolkloricmyths
andsymbols.AsRobertA.Segalhaspointedout,Jungusesmythsandtheuniversalityoftheirthemestoestablishtheexistenceofthecollectiveunconscious.12

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NothingismoreimportantthanthecollectiveunconsciousideaforaJungianunderstandingofpoliticsandhistory.Thecollectiveunconscious,expressedthrough
individualsgreatandsmall,istheultimateandsupremesourceofhistoricalandpoliticalconsequences,asvariousnationsandperiodsexaltparticulararchetypesand
soplaytheirpartsonthestageoftime.Thisisofdescriptivesignificanceitmayalsoraisepossibilitiesofhistoricaltherapy.Jungwrote:
Whenwelookathumanhistory,weseeonlywhathappensonthesurface,andeventhisisdistortedinthefadedmirroroftradition.Butwhathasreallybeenhappeningeludes
theinquiringeyeofthehistorian,forthetruehistoricaleventliesdeeplyburied,experiencedbyallandobservedbynone.Itisthemostprivateandmostsubjectiveofpsychic
experiences.Wars,dynasties,socialupheavals,conquests,andreligionsarebutthesuperficialsymptomsofasecretpsychicattitudeunknowneventotheindividualhimself,and
transmittedbynohistorianperhapsthefoundersofreligionsgiveusthemostinformationinthisregard.Thegreateventsofworldhistoryare,atbottom,profoundly
unimportant.Inthelastanalysis,theessentialthingisthelifeoftheindividual.Thisalonemakeshistory,herealonedothegreattransformationsfirsttakeplace,andthewhole
future,thewholehistoryoftheworld,ultimatelyspringsasagiganticsummationfromthesehiddensourcesinindividuals.Inourmostprivateandmostsubjectivelivesweare
notonlythepassivewitnessesofourage,anditssufferers,butalsoitsmakers.Wemakeourownepoch.13

Intheselines,asclearlyasanywhere,isthefoundationofJung'stheoryofhistoryandpolitics.Ifhistoryisaufondaplayofprojectionsofconsciousnessfromoutof
themultitudinouspsychesofhumanity,itwouldbesurprisingifhistorywerenotreallypsychohistoryandarchetypalhistory.Jungianhistory,liketheTrojanWar,isa
taleofgodsaswellasheroes.
Ifwemakeourownhistoricalepochbyprojectinghistoryoutofourcollectivepsyches,canwemakeitwhatwewant,orareweonlyatthemercyofthehidden
gods?
Thisallimportantquestionwas,Ithink,longonthemarginsofJung'smind,andwasonewithwhichhehalfconsciouslywrestled.But,havingseentoomany
disastrousattemptstoawakenandharnessthosegodsordemonsdeliberately,andtomakehistoryintotriumphsofthewill,cautiongenerallyprevailed.Inthe
end,hethought,

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itwouldprobablybebettertokeepthegodstameandbalancedoffagainsteachother,sothatordinaryeverydaylifecouldproceed,andpersonsravagedby
modernitycouldfindwhattheyneededofthegodswithin.
Butforthatstory,wemuststartatthebeginningofhumanconsciousness.
PrimitiveChildhoodandModernMaturity
Fromoutofthepsyche,bywayofthearchetypes,then,one"projects"thecontentsofthepsycheontotheworld,seeingitsobjectsintermssignificanttothe
sovereignpsyche.InJung'sview,primitivemanlivedinastateofalmosttotalprojectionhesentouthisinneremotionsontoexternalobjectsandpersons,seeingthem
theremorethaninhimselfhisangerbecomingacarvedjaguargod,hisfearanaccursedwitch,andsoforthandconsequentlyhelivedinaconditionofminimal
analyticselfconsciousnessorselfknowledge.Howvividlyisthatstatedescribedin"TheRoleoftheUnconscious":
Thecountryhe[primitiveman]inhabitsisatthesametimethetopographyofhisunconscious.InthatstatelytreedwellsthethundergodthisspringishauntedbytheOld
Womaninthatwoodthelegendarykingisburiednearthatrocknoonemaylightafirebecauseitistheabodeofademoninyonderpileofstonesdwelltheancestralspirits,
andwhenanywomanpassesitshemustquicklyutteranapotropaicformulalestshebecomepregnant,foroneofthespritscouldeasilyenterherbody.Allkindsofobjectsand
signsmarktheseplaces,andpiousawesurroundsthemarkedspot.Thusdoesprimitivemandwellinhislandandatthesametimeinthelandofhisunconscious.Everywherehis
unconsciousjumpsoutathim,aliveandreal.14

Thatisindeedanotherworld.Justas"primitiveman"couldhardlyhaveunderstoodthemodern"Western"wayofbeingintheworld,sodowefindithardtorecover
whatitmeanttoourremoteancestors.
Howdifferentisourrelationtothelandwedwellin!Feelingstotallystrangetousaccompanytheprimitiveateverystep.Whoknowswhatthecryofabirdmeanstohim,orthe
sightofthatoldtree!Awholeworldoffeelingisclosedtousandisreplacedbyapaleaestheticism.15

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Buttheformerimmediacyofprojectedunconsciouscontentswasattheexpenseofcriticaldistance,rationalanalysis,andtheindividualitywhichinevitably
accompaniedthesedevelopmentsofthought."Thefurtherwegobackinhistory,"hewrote,followingLucienLvyBruhl'snowdiscreditedideaofprimitive
"participationmystique,""themoreweseepersonalitydisappearingbeneaththewrappingsofcollectivity,andifwegorightbacktoprimitivepsychology,wefind
absolutelynotraceoftheconceptofanindividual."16
Butifindividualconsciousnessinthemodernsensewasnotsharedbyourprimitiveancestors,dreamswere.ForJungasforFreudandNietzsche,dreamsappearas
theroyalroadtorecoveryofthearchaicwayofthinking.InWandlungenhewrote,"infantilethinkinganddreamthinkingaresimplyarecapitulationofearlier
evolutionarystages."HequotedNietzsche'sHuman,AllTooHumantotheeffectthat,"Insleepandindreamswepassthroughthewholethoughtofearlier
humanity..."andFreudfrom"CreativeWritingsandDayDreaming":"...itisextremelyprobablethatmyths,forinstance,aredistortedvestigesofthewishful
phantasiesofwholenations,theagelongdreamsofyouthfulhumanity."OttoRankiscitedasregardingmyththecollectivedreamsofawholepeople.17Such
statementswiththeirlateromanticsweepandtheirfeelofindefinableprofundity,mayormaynotringtrue,buttheyepitomizetheperspectivepsychoanalysissoughtto
bringtohistoryand,byextension,tocurrentaffairs.
Theemergenceofmodernconsciousnesscameaboutwhen,ashistorymovedahead,changingcircumstancesbroughtthegradualwithdrawalofprojectionsanda
consequentincreaseinindividualawareness,togetherwithenhancedknowledgeofbothselfandworldintheWest.Physicalsciencecausedthewithdrawalof"the
mostdistant"projections,reducingmoon,sun,andstarstorocksandgasses.EchoingMaxWeber'sconceptofdisenchantment,Jungreferredtothisasthefirststage
inthedespiritualizationoftheworld.18Thelibidothathadflowedouttoallthosenaturalorsocialobjectsnowhadtothestifledortransferredtoother,perhaps
moredubious,attachments.
ItisworthnotingthatJungconsideredEasterncivilizations,suchasIndia,torepresentadifferentsortofmovement,inwhichacomplexandsubtleculturewas
constructedonthebasisofmuchgreatercontinuitywiththeprimordialwayofthinking.IndiawasfarmoreontheunconsciouslevelthantheWest:"...theIndian...
doesnotthink,atleastnotwhatwecall'think.'Heratherperceivesthethought.He

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resemblestheprimitiveinthisrespect.Idonotsayheisprimitive,butthattheprocessofhisthinkingremindsmeoftheprimitivewayofthoughtproduction.The
primitive'sreasoningismainlyanunconsciousfunction,andheperceivesitsresults.Weshouldexpectsuchapeculiarityinanycivilizationwhichhasenjoyedanalmost
unbrokencontinuityfromprimitivetimes"ingreatcontrasttotheWest,whichmustsufferboththebaneandblessingoftheabrupt"invasion"ofa"higher"levelof
psychologyforwhichitwasnotyettrulyready.Thatintellectualforcedmarchcouldonlybemadeatthecostof"dissociationbetweentheconsciouspartofthemind
andtheunconscious."19
Again,thatconsciousnessleapwasbynomeanswhollybeneficial.Muchcouldbesaidfortheviewthattheearliernatural,easyflowofthelibidooutandbackwas
thewayitoughttobe,andthatwhenitisconstrictedthecostwillintheendoutweighthegain.InanotherwritingonIndia,Jungmused,"ItisquitepossiblethatIndia
istherealworld,andthatthewhitemanlivesinamadhouseofabstractions."Indiais"perhapsthereallife,lifeasitwasmeanttobe,thelifeoftheearth.LifeinIndia
hasnotyetwithdrawnintothecapsuleofthehead."20Andthatheadcapsulecouldbefullofsnakes,fortheworldofprimitivefeelingswhichJungdidnotidealize
eitherliveson,hissingjustbeneaththesurface,inthemodernunconscious.Becauseitisrepressed,ithasallthemorepathologicalpower:"Thislostbitofnature
seeksrevengeandreturnsinfaked,distortedform,"inthe"crazesandcrudities"ofthemodernage,aboveallinthereversiontotribalismonamonstrousscaleinthe
maddevastationofmodernwar.Forthisthereisnoanodyneexceptonthelevelfromwhichthehorrorcomes.Inthelastanalysismodernmadnessderivesfrom
snakepitsdeepwithinthepsychologiesofindividuals,andcanonlybehealedthroughindividualtherapy.''Ourrationalisticattitude,"hewrotein1918,"leadsusto
believethatwecanworkwonderswithinternationalorganizations,legislation,andotherwellmeantdevices.Butinrealityonlyachangeintheattitudeoftheindividual
canbringaboutarenewalinthespiritofthenations.Everythingbeginswiththeindividual."21
AtthispointwemustunderscoretheextremediscontinuityinconsciousnessthatJungperceivedtoobtainovergeographicalspaceandhumantime.The"primitive"
mindwasunimaginablydifferentfromthemodernEuropeanaccessibleperhapsonlytothetrainedandexpansiveimaginationofascholarofthesoullikehimself
and

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themindofIndiatodayhardlylessso.Inlargepart,ofcourse,thatwayofthinkingwascharacteristicofthetimes,fullofevolutionarykulterkreis(culturalstages)and
nationalisticvlkspsychologietheories,whichnotseldomfinishedofftheirHegelianequationswiththeproponents'owncenturyandcityattheapex.Oneproductof
thisEuropeanmentalitywaswhathasmorerecentlybeencalledcolonialistifnotimperialistscholarship,or"Orientalism,"readingsofnonEuropeanpeoplesinterms
thatjustifiedthepoliticalandspiritualhegemonyoftheimperialpowers.Thetwotieredworldwasinplace,evenifasensitivesavantlikeJungcouldoccasionally
indulgeinnostalgiaforprimalsimplicityorpurityofconsciousness,aboveallwhentheprimordialparadisewasalsoidentifiedwithone'sownantecedents.Innosmall
partOrientalismwasdoubtlessonlyaexampleofthemind'snaturaltendencytothinkindichotomies,butinthenineteenthandearlytwentiethcenturiesitwas
uncheckedinboththepoliticalandscholarlyworldsbycompensatingvoices,fortheEuropean'slastredoubtwastheunquestioningfaithheputinthearcanaofhis
ownlinguisticandethnographicsciences.22
Withtypicalflourish,Jungcarriedsuchnotionsveryfartowardultimateseparatism,holdingthattheprofoundeststructuresofthoughtcouldberadicallydifferentin
humansofonetimeandplacefromthoseofanother.Then,withnolessbravado,heturnedthetheoriesontheirheadsbysuggestingthattheWestalso,forallitslight,
exhibitedpathologiesasprofoundasanydisquietingthemostsuperstitious"native."Hewasfarfromaloneinsuchjudgments,especiallyafterthedevastationofWorld
WarI,whichshouldhavesuggestedtoeventhedimmestdoltthatsomethingwaswronginEurope.ButJungwasfairlydistinctiveinlinkingthecritiquetothenew
"medical"disciplineofpsychoanalysisontheonehand,andtothevogueformythologyandfolkpsychologyontheother,bringingthetwotogether.Thecombination
couldbeexplosive,andbroughtJungontodangerousground.Theprocessbywhichhecametohisdistinctivestyleofcritiqueisofconsiderableinterest.
Inawellintegratedculture,hesaid,likethatofprimalhumanity,orindeed(inEurope)ofhumanityupthroughtheMiddleAges,thearchetypesincludingthe
Shadow,representingdestructiveforcesareadequatelybalancedoffinmythscenariosandsymbolicsymmetries,creatingmandalas.Thosesymbolsthenprovided
fortheorderlyreleaseoftheirrationalenergiesthatwelledupfromtheunconscious

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fountainsofthedeep,andsokeptsocietyonanevenkeel.ForJungwasquiteconvincedthatrationalityisapreciousbutprecariousepiphenomenononthesurfaceof
humanlife,thatourrealdrivesareirrationalandfarmorepowerfulthanreason.
Thereisasevereimbalance,Jungthought,betweentheoverdevelopedconsciousintellectanditsinstinctive,unconsciousrootsinmodernWesternman.Mythscanbe
compensationforthatwhichislackinginapsycheoracivilization,andsoprovidecluestothenatureofthelost.Thehiddengnostictruth,whenfoundagain,can
awakendeeplevelsofunderstandingoftherootsofbothliteratureandcurrentevents.Faust,Jungasserted,standsasunconsciousbutproteanShadowoveragainst
Goethe'sconsciousattitudesasachildoftheEnlightenmentmovingtowardRomanticism.23UFOsarea"modernmyth"ofcircularobjectsrepresentingthewholeness
modernssogrievouslylack.24Jungconsideredthe1950papalpromulgationofthedogmaoftheAssumptionoftheBlessedVirginMaryintoHeaventobe"themost
importantreligiouseventsincetheReformation,"becauseofitscompletionofthemasculineChristianTrinitywithafemininecomponent,makingitaperfectand
balancedquaternity.25
Moreominously,Junglaterreportedthatasearlyas1918hehadbeguntonoticea"peculiardisturbance"intheunconsciousofhisGermanpatients,whichhad
suggestedtohimthatthe"blondbeast"wasstirring.26Indeed,inthesamefatefulArmisticeyearhehadwrittenthat,astheChristianviewoftheworlddeclined,the
Germanicmonstercould''beheardprowlingaboutinitsundergroundprison,readyatanymomenttoburstoutwithdevastatingconsequences."27
Junghadlittlefaithinmodernnotionsofdevelopmentandprogress,forhedidnotthinkthatsuchsuperficialchangesintheconditionsofhumanlifecouldreallychange
theequationbetweentherationalandirrational,soheavilyskewedtowardthelatter.Infact,likethevolkishthinkers,hesawthesituationasactuallygettingworse,for
whatmoderndevelopmentsfromtheReformationonhaddonewasbreakupharmonioussymbolicoutletsforpsychicenergy,thereforeseparatingpeoplefromtheir
unconsciousandinstinctualnatures.TheReformationshatteredthesymbolicunitiesofmedievalCatholicismtheEnlightenment,bycreatingtheillusionthatlifecould
berationalanditsworseillusionthatthepsycheisatabularasa,furtheralienatedmodernsfromlife'spowerfulandrichbutirrationalsourcestheIndustrialRevolution
augmentedthedamageasitalienated

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humanity'sconsciousandpsychicnaturesfromeachotherthroughitsonedimensionalandrobotlikeoccupations,andbyherdingpeopleintothesterilelifeofurban
centerswheretheyweretornfromnature,andfromtraditionalcommunitiesinwhichhealthyinstinctsandsymbolicharmoniescanbenourished.
TheresultwaswhatJung,followingOrtegayGasset,called"massman,"humansisolatedsociallyfromothers,whilealsoseparatedfromtheirunconsciousnessand
theirinstincts.JosOrtegayGasset'scelebratedTheRevoltoftheMasses,oneofthelastimportantfrankandunapologeticapologiesforanaristocraticmentality,
fedintotheantidemocraticcritiqueofmodernitysuchlinesasthese:
Thereisonefactwhich,whetherforgoodorill,isofutmostimportanceinthepubliclifeofEuropeatthepresent.Thisfactistheaccessionofthemassestocompletesocial
power.Asthemasses,bydefinition,neithershouldorcandirecttheirownpersonalexistence,andstillrulesocietyingeneral,thisfactmeansthatactuallyEuropeissuffering
fromthegreatestcrisisthatcanafflictpeoples,nations,andcivilization....Itiscalledtherebellionofthemasses.28

Elsewhereinthesamebook,Ortegawroteofanewtypeofman"Icallhimmassman"whosemaincharacteristicisthat,feelinghimself"common,"heproclaims
therighttobecommon,andrefusestoacceptanyoneassuperiortohimself.29Yet"massmen''cannotreallydoanythingbythemselves,sotheyorganizethestate
"thegreatestdanger,thestate"30andwithitspecialization,combiningtoformthebureaucraticwebworksofmodernsociety,butwithoutamoralcode.
Inthesamevein,in"TheUndiscoveredSelf,"Jungspokeof"modernman"intermsof"massmindedness,""massrole,""theblindmovementofthemasses,""the
infantiledreamstateofmassman,"andthelike.31Massmanisalwayslessrealthantheindividual,onlyastatisticalaverage,easilybecomingthevictimofmodern
authoritarianism.Jungnotseldomcounseledareturntosomethingofthepastthoughwithinthecontextofcontemporarysocietybutnotmassmansociety.Soitwas
thatJungremindedusin1945,inlanguagehighlyreminiscentofthevolkish"rootedness"versusurbanizedwanderingthoughnowwithanantiNazithrust,thatone
conditionofa"stateofdegradation"is"theaccumulationofurban,industrializedmassesofpeopletornfromthesoil,engagedin

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onesidedemployment,andlackingeveryhealthyinstinct,eventhatofselfpreservation.Lossofinstinctofselfpreservationcanbemeasuredintermsofdependence
ontheState,whichisabadsymptom."Thisconditionmeansthatthesesorrymassesseekdependencyratherthanpersonalresponsibility.Theybecomepartsof"a
herdofsheep,constantlyrelyingonashepherdtodrivethemintogoodpastures."Andtheshepherdcaneasilyturnintoawolf,aswheninGermanya"megalomaniac
psychopath"tookoverthatrole,"tothecollectivesighofreliefofthesheep."32
Tosomeextentthesefulminationssimplyrepresentviewscharacteristicofthepoliticalright,withwhichJungcertainlyidentifiedhimself,thoughheclaimedina
nonpartisansense.Asamanoftherightheinstinctivelyfavoredsocialclassandstability,andaratherabstractidealofindividualism,overtheinterestsoflaborandthe
benefitsofthewelfarestate.Hewasvociferouslyanticommunist,highlyscepticalofsocialism,abelieveringovernancebyapowerfulelite(insofarasthatwas
compatiblewithSwissdemocracy,thoughbeyondthebordersofSwitzerlandhisrightismcouldattimesembraceadmirationforthelikesofFrancoinSpainand
MussoliniinItaly),andheldtosuchtypicalrightistpositionsasadvocacyoffirmtreatmentofcriminals,includingcapitalpunishment.YetinJungthereisalwaysalittle
morethanstereotypedthinkingreflectingonebandoranotherontheusualpoliticalorintellectualspectrum.Aselitistandcondescendingashisviewsofthecommon
manandwomanmaybe,hedeservestobeheardout.Thenotionthatmodernityhasmeantatomizingandthenreassemblingoncewellrootedsoulsintosheeplike
herdsreadytofollowany"shepherd"whowillpromisethenmoreandstillmoreonmaterialandpsychiclevels,thoughagrosscaricatureofdemocracticliberalism,
helpstointerpretalltoowellsometwentiethcenturyevents.
Theserootlesssheepareeminentlysusceptibleto"psychicepidemics,"thevirulentexpressionofthisextremeinnerimbalance.Aswehaveseen,accordingtoJungthe
catastrophesofhumanhistoryarenotphysicalorbiologicalevents,butpsychichappenings.33Theepidemicsaremostlikelytotakepoliticalform,because
Enlightenmentrationalisminculcatedthatthesourcesofgoodandevilaretobefoundintheobjectivesocialenvironmentratherthaninthepsyche,andsorequire
politicalratherthanreligioussolutionandbecausemassman'surbansocialisolationurgeshimtodealwithhisinnerdemonsthroughsomekindofcompensating
collectiveexpression.

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Forwhatmassman'salienationhaddonewastoleaveavastcloudofunreleasedandirrationalpsychicenergyfloatingintheair,sotospeak,nottieddowntobenign
symbolsorunderstoodthroughlivingmyths,butjustthere,capableofworkingtremendousdestructionandwaitingtobeemployedatthewhimofanydemagogic
personalitymostlikelypoliticalwhoknewhowtoharnessit.ForasJungperceived,mundanelifealoneisnotlikely,inpractice,tobeabletoresistthepsychicand
socialdrivesseducingoneintoconformitywiththeherdandthestate,to"massmindedness."True,"spiritualandmoralautonomy"canonlybeanchoredin"an
extramundaneprinciplecapableofrelativisingtheoverpoweringinfluenceofexternalfactors."Thisamountstoreligionexceptthatreligioncanbeseducedtoo."The
dictatorStatehasonegreatadvantageoverbourgeoisreason:alongwiththeindividualitswallowsuphisreligiousforces.TheStatetakestheplaceofGod.''34
TheseducingfigurewouldbewhatJungcalleda"manapersonality,"likeNapoleon,whoseexcessofpsychicenergymagneticallydrawsothersintoitspattern,and
thenisabletoorganizeanddirecttheflowoftheirownenergiesinonedirection.35Thisprocesswillproduceacollectivepsychic"inflation"asroughnewchannelsare
cut,modernalienationisshortcircuited,andagroupagainidentifieswiththearchetypesofitscollectiveunconsciousorrather,becauseofthesuddenandviolent
natureofthispreemptoryoperation,thepsycheislikelytosoidentifywithonlyoneortwoofitsarchetypesinanunbalancedwaythegroupisalsolikelytoproject
the"shadow"archetypeonitsperceivedenemiesanddemonizethem.Salvationthenmustbegnosticfromelsewhere,psychelevelnotaonedimensionalpolitical
solutionoperatingonthesamelevelastheproblem.RichardNoll,inTheJungCultandTheAryanChrist,hascontendedthatJungsawhimselfasamodern"Christ"
orgnosticsavior.WhilefarfromconvincingasseriousbiographicalinterpretationsofJung,thesebooksdocallattentiontotheprofoundinteractionbetweenhisoften
selfdramatizinginnerlifeandhisunderstandingofthedramasoftheworld.36
ReactionaryModernism
Theemergenceoftruncated"massmen"wasnowreadyforoneofseveralpossibleresponses.Onewouldbesheerreactionism,like

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thatofOrtegayGassetorvolkishthoughtinitspureform.Anotherwouldbethemodernism,orgnosticpseudomodernism,oftotalitarianMarxism.ButJung,
obviouslyintriguedbythevolkishcritiqueoftheevilsofatomisticmodernlifeandfascinatedbythepersistenceofthecollectiveintheunconscious,yetnotpreparedto
giveuphismodernroleasamemberofthemedicalprofession,wasnowmovingtowardathirdway.Thatistheintellectualworld,withwhichJungclearlyhadmore
thananoddingacquaintance,whichJeffreyHerfhasaptlynamed"reactionarymodernism."Itwas,basically,"theembraceofmoderntechnologybyGermanthinkers
whorejectedEnlightenmentreason."Thesephilosophers,someofwhomwereprecursorsofNationalSocialism,didnotthinkofthemselvesasreactionarybut
"viewedthemselvesasculturalrevolutionariesseekingtoconsignmaterialismtothepast.Intheirview,materialismandtechnologywerebynomeansidentical.''37
ThatofcoursehasmuchincommonwithJung'sperspectiveifwithintechnologyweincludethe"scientific"trainingandmethodsofthemedicalpsychiatristand
analyst.Again,weareforcefullyremindedthatamotifofallfascismwasitsideologicalrejectionofmaterialismanditsclaimtobespiritual.Alongwiththeirprofessed
rejectionofatomisticindividualism,thecommonmarkofmassmanandofmuchscornedbourgeoisdemocracy,fascistsfavoreda"spiritual"viewofnationhoodbased
oncommonmyths,archetypes,andGeist.ThethoughtofFriedrichNietzschewascompatiblewiththislineofthought,asthathalfmadgeniusofaphilosopher
galvanizedmanyofthereactionary,romanticdreamsofrevolutionaryapocalypseandspiritualtransformationthatemergedasouterEuropecareenedtowardworld
war.ThosedreamslightedupinthesubterraneanconsciousnessofEuropeansociety,fascinatinganelitewithmadnessandgeniusandsupposedantimaterialistic
spirituality,whilethebourgeoisiemaintainedtheircomfortablelifeandtheworkingclasscontemplatedrevolution.NietzscheravedofaChristian"slavemorality"and
calledfortheappearanceofamasculineelite,thebeautiful"blondbeast"beyondgoodandevil.Jungdrankdeeplyofsuchvisionsevenwhileconsideringthat
somethingwastaintedinthem,andheheardthepsychicrestlessnesstheyinvoked.
ItisimportanttonotewhatJunghadincommonwiththeprecursorsoffascismandNationalSocialism,andwhathedidnot.HesharedwithOrtegayGassetand
Nietzschemuchoftheircritiqueofmodern

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massmanandhisproblemsthoughtobesureJung'stonewasmoremoderatethantheirshrillandextremetirades.Junghadalwaysacapacity,uncommonin
personsoftheantimodernparty,forbalanceandselfcorrection.Hewasawarethathewasdealingwithsubtlelevelsofsoul,notstreetpolitics.UndoubtedlyinJung,
asinOrtega,therewastoomuchoftheselfdubbedaristocratbothcamefromanoldfashionedEuropeinwhichscholarsandintellectualswerespiritualaristocrats
orpretendedtobe.BoththeSwissandtheSpaniardhadthenobleman'sunfortunatereadinesstooversimplifyandstereotypethesubjectivelifeofthe"common"
masses.Jungpreferredthathispsychiatricclientsbefromtheeducatedgenteelclasses.Yettheanalyticpsychologistcouldintheendaftersomeinitialfascination
expressangeranddespairatthosemanapersonalities,liketheoneacrosstheborderinGermany,whotookadvantageofmassman'spsychicdeprivationtopromote
theirownmegalomania.Jungmayhavesharedtheintellectual'stendencytooveremphasizethehelplessnessofthemasses,butheapproachedthem,atleastonthe
professionallevel,withtheheartofahealer,notofatyrant.
PerhapsforthisreasonhedidnotalsosharethefreneticandoveraestheticmoodofwhatAndrewHewitthascalled,inthetitleofhisbookonthesubject,Fascist
Modernismthestyleoffascistworldviewthatprovedsoattractiveandexcitingtoagenerationofwritersandartistsofthe"avantgarde."Suchpoetsandpaintersas
EzraPound,TommassoMarinetti,andthe"Futurist"schoollovedthe"postdecadent"irrationalismandimperialismtheysawencapsulatedinpowerfulmachines,
spectacles,thedramaticgesture,theaestheticsofstruggle.38Theirviewofartwasbetterexpressedindynamicmovementthanthenineteenthcenturysortof
stationaryscenetheytherebyadoredtechnology,movement,thenewartofthecinema,allwellexploitedbythepropagandaoftheneworder.Thissideoffascism
wasadmittedlymoreItalianthanGerman,butcertainlynotunknowninthestageddramasbeingunveilednorthoftheAlps.ButJungwasmoreinterestedindeeper
matters.
TheterribletraumaofGermany'sdefeatinWorldWarIpushedthosewhothoughtabouttheirnationinvolkishtermsinthedirectionofreactionarymodernism:the
mistsofmythwithtechnologicalteethinthem,butlittleregardfordemocracy.BookscameoutlikeOswaldSpengler'sfamousDerUntergangdesAbendlandes
(TheDeclineoftheWest),withitscallsforthedefeatofdemocracy,liberalism,andmoney

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infavorofa"lifeenergy"thatis"blindandcosmic"butraciallyboundtothesoil,andcarriedbyaneliteof"highermen"whomake"greatdecisions."ThewriterErnst
Jngersharedwithothersofhistypethefronterlebnis,frontlineexperience,intheGreatWar,andfoundasdidAdolfHitlerthatwarcouldbetheforgeof
heroesandaprofoundlyliberatingandtransformativeadventure.InsuchbooksasDerKampfasinneresErlebnis(BattleasInnerExperience1922)andFeuer
undBlut(FireandBlood1926)Jngercelebratedtheheroicdimensionsofwartogetherwiththetechnologyofmoderncombat,withits''stormsofiron"and
vulturelikebombers.HedidmuchtoprepareGermanconsciousnessforNazidom,thoughhehimselfneverjoinedthePartyhefoundtheNazisabitplebeian,lacking
hislevelofaristocraticrefinementincontemplatingtheaestheticsofbloodanddeathonthefieldofhonor.(AfterthewarhewastoestablishthejournalAntaioswith
MirceaEliadeandOrtegayGassetand,himselfavoidingallthecentury'sstormsofiron,diedin1998attheageof102.)CarlJung,asaneutralSwiss,hadnocombat
experienceineitherwarand,apartfromhisroleasamedicalofficerintheSwissReserves,nospecialinterestincombatbeyondthearchetypalheromyth.Buthe
sharedintheworldofspiritualcrisisinwhichanErnstJngercouldfindavoice.
PerhapsthereactionarymodernistwhoserolemostparalleledJung'swastheworldclassphilosopherMartinHeidegger,whosebriefcareerasapublicexponentof
Nazismin1933and1934,whilehewasrectoroftheUniversityofFreiburg,hasbeenmuchdiscussed.InhisnotoriousinauguraladdressasrectorinApril1933,and
insubsequentproNazispeeches,Heideggerstressed,inlanguagecomparabletoJungianinwardness,theradicalsubjectivismandcollectivismoftheParty,asover
againsttherationalismandindividualismofotherpolitics.Hitler,hesaid,hadawakenedthewilloftheGermanVlk"andbroughtthiswilltogetherintoasingle
decision."39Asarecentbiographerhasputit,"Heidegger'sNazismwasdecisionist,"andinthissensehewasnotantiSemitic,"certainlynotinthesenseofthe
ideologicallunacyofNazism."40AlthoughJungneverembracedthenewlytriumphantideologyanditspoliticalpractitionersasopenlyasdidHeidegger,itwasinthe
sameyearsthattheSwisspsychiatristmadewhatcompromisingutteranceshewastomakeliketheGerman(althoughHeideggerremainedamemberofthepartyto
thebitterend),by1939hewaswellintodisillusionment.BothHeideggerandJung

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foundthemselvesunabletoacceptcrucialaspectsofthenewReich:Heidegger,whathesawasNazicompromisewithtechnology41Jungthewayinwhichthe
"singledecision"appearedtobeanewaterriblemanifestationofmassmanratherthanapurifyingarchetypeofthenation.
TheGermanProblem
Likenotafewromantics,includingNietzsche,JungwasoftwomindsaboutGermany.Atitsgreatestitwasalandofincomparablyexaltedcultureandvision.Atthe
sametime,itboastedthedeadliestofbourgeoiscivilizations,andbeneathallrandarkandterribleundercurrents.Inhis1918essay"TheRoleoftheUnconscious,"
Jungdeclaredthatthesourceofthe"Germanproblem"layinthewayChristianityhad"splittheGermanicbarbarianintoanupperandalowerhalf,andenabledhim,
byrepressingthedarkside,todomesticatethebrighterhalfandfititforcivilization."But,needlesstosay,thelowerhalf,thecagedbutrestless"blondbeast,"wasstill
there,awaitingitshourofreturnandrevenge.
PlowingaheadwithhissummarytreatmentofGermany'sunconsciousinthatyearofhergreatestdefeattodate,Jungturnedhisattentiontothecountry'shighlyvisible
Jewishpopulation.Forthem,hesaid,theGermansplitunconsciousproblemdidnotexist.Ratherthanprecariouslylivinghalfcivilizedandhalfbarbarian,theyhad
takenoverthecultureoftheancientworld,andontopofithadplacedtheculturesofthenationsamongwhichtheydwelt.ThismeantthattheJew"wasdomesticated
toahigherdegreethanweare,butheisbadlyatalossforthatqualityinmanwhichrootshimtotheearthanddrawsnewstrengthfrombelow"a"chthonicquality"
whichwas,ontheotherhand,"foundindangerousconcentrationintheGermanicpeoples."TheJewshadtoolittleofthis,theGermanstoomuch.42
"Rootedness,"thatstapleofvolkishthought,emphasizedthedifferencesinthethoughtprocessesofdifferentpeoples,claimingthataspecialqualityofmindobtainedin
thosewho,liketheGermansofthecountryside,hadaparticularlyclosebondingtothelandonwhichtheydwelt.Jungprofessedonlytobesayingthatdifferent
peopleshaddifferentmethodstoattainpsychologicalwholeness.Theconceptofracialpsychospiritualdifferencesdidnotnecessarilyimplythatoneracewasinnately
superiortoanother,andJungspendalotoftimein

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themiddlethirties,andafter,explainingthatthatwasnotwhathemeant.Buttheapologeticswererequiredbecause"rootedness"andracialdifferencesinthe
unconsciouswereideasthemoveddisturbinglyclosetotreacherousterrain.SurelyitwasunfortunatethatJungtookracialandnationalpsychologiesandcollective
strataoftheunconscioussoseriously,particularlyattheexpenseofasmuchattentiontoindividualdifferenceswithinthem.(Thesewereprogressivelyhardertosee,
thefartherfromone'sownkindonegot.)Butontheotherhandsuchnotionswerepartsoftheintellectualworldinwhichhelived,alltoolightlytakenforgrantedas
partofwhat"everyoneknows."
Butifideasliketheseweredangerousyetnotserious,whatwasthecauseofthevirulentevil,aboveallthedeadlyantiSemitism,culminatingintheunspeakable
holocaustofJews,whichsweptGermanyinthetwelveyearsoftheThirdReich?Numeroustheorieshavebeenadvanced,fromdemonicpossessionordarkoccult
enchantmenttonotionsthatitwasnothingmorethananacutecaseofordinarypolitics,ornomorethananexpressionofanantiSemitismthathadbeenafirmfixture
ofthe"ordinary"Germanmind,andGermanlife,forcenturies.
Thisisnottheplacetosortoutallthefactorsinthisdreadfulconundrum.Buthereareacoupleofreflectionsthatmaybeofsomerelevancetothemythologicalissues,
andthepoliticsofmythologists,athand.First,thepointmustbemadethatevilis,byitsintrinsicnature,irrational.Ifitwerenotso,ifanoccasionofevil,evenoneas
vastandhorrifyingastheholocaust,couldbefoundtohaveacompleteandwhollysatisfyingrationalexplanation,thenitwouldbelessthanwhatevilappearstobeas
itconfrontsusthatwhichshouldnotbe,yetis:themysteryofiniquity,theabominationofdesolationstandingwhereitoughtnot.Whileofcourseitisappropriateto
lookforthecausesofevilwithaviewtounderstandingandhealing,onewillneverfollowallthreadstotheendanduncoverallcauses.Answeredquestionsleadto
newquestions,firstlevelcausestodeepercauses,untilonecomesuptoultimatemysteriesbuiltintohumannatureandtheuniverseitself.Itisimportanttounderstand
this,fortooeasyafinalitywillnotquietallthedemons.
Second,ontheplaneoffirstlevelcauses,itisnecessarytoacceptanotherperhapsunsatisfyingbutprofoundlyhumanobservation:thatwhathappensdoesnotusually
happenoutofirresistibledestiny,implantedmalignantviruses,orsupernaturalcurses,butoutofordi

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naryhumanchoices,moreorlessfreelymadebut,likeallsuch,coloredbypredispositionandlimitedbyimperfectwisdom.Ifanythingisclearaboutthepolitical
machinationsthatledtotheNaziseizureofpowerinJanuary1933,itisthatitdidnothavetohappen,andwasnotmeanttohappen,inthesenseofbeing
predeterminedbysometranscendentcause.OfcourseNazidomwasmadepossiblebyflawsinbothnationalandindividualcharacter.ThelaterJungemphasizedthe
German"inferioritycomplex"callingforredressbypsychicinflation,andtheneedforcompensationamajorJungiantermforthehumiliationoftheVersailles
treaty.ButaswitlessandunscrupulousastheprincipalplayersvonHindenburg,vonPapen,vonSchleicher,Brningmayhavebeen,theHitlerstatewasnotwhat
theyhadintended.Initsfullydevelopedform,perhapsitwasnotevenwhatthemillionswhocheeredthatwinternighthadintended.Yetithappened.Beyondpure
happenstance,shortofthefullblowndemontheory,maybeJungwasasrightasanyone,ashefoldedthoseominousdevelopmentsintohispsychictheoryofhistory,
thatoutereventsareexpressionsofthemovement,andsuccessiveemergence,ofarchetypesinthecollectiveunconscious.Atleastthatviewplacesanyexplanationin
therealmofthenonrational,whilerelatingittowhatwasatleastpossibleinthepsychiccontextofGermanyinthoseyears.
SoitwasthatJung'sparticulartheoryofGermanculture,expressedbackin1923,contendedthata"mutilation"oftheGermanicsoulhadresultedfromthegraftingof
"awhollyincongruousChristianity,bornofmonotheismonamuchhigherlevel,"togetherwithaveneerofMediterraneancivilization,ontotheprimitiveGerman
religion.Butthesuperficialsouthernpolishconcealedaplethoraofbarbarianattitudes,aproblemthatwastoplagueGermanicculturedownthroughthecenturies:
"Thereisawholelotofprimitivityinustobemadegood."Furtherprogresstowardcivilizationcouldinvolvegoingbacktothoseneglectedprimitiverootsand"giving
thesuppressedprimitivemaninourselvesachancetodevelop."43HerearethetangledrootsofadeeptensioninJungianthought,onewhichwillbeseentohave
profoundpoliticalimplicationsthecollectiveunconsciousversustherapeuticindividualism.Anynotionthatlettingtheprimitiveoutmightbehealthywasinconflict
withanother:theideathat"allhumancontrolcomestoanendwhentheindividualiscaughtinamassmovement,''asJungputitinanessaysoontobeconsidered,
"Wotan."

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IntheEuropeofhistimeJunghadconsiderableoccasiontoobservetheprocessesofmassmanandofmanapersonality,andtoseehisviewsapparentlyconfirmed,
themostegregiouscasebeingacrosstheborderfromhisnativeSwitzerlandinNationalSocialistGermany.In1945,intheredlightofGermany'sGtterdmmerung,
Jungdescribedtheage'sownmanapersonalityvividlyandbitinglyenough:
Hitler'stheatrical,obviouslyhystericalgesturesstruckallforeigners(withafewamazingexceptions)aspurelyridiculous.WhenIsawhimwithmyowneyes,hesuggesteda
psychicscarecrow(withabroomstickforanoutstretchedarm)ratherthanahumanbeing....Asorrylackofeducation,conceitthatborderedonmadness,averymediocre
intelligencecombinedwiththehysteric'scunningandthepowerfantasiesofanadolescent,werewrittenalloverthisdemagogue'sface.Hisgesticulationswereallputon,devised
byahystericalmindintentonlyonmakinganimpression.Hebehavedinpubliclikeamanlivinghisownbiography,inthiscaseasthesomber,daemonic"manofiron"ofpopular
fiction.44

Jung'swordsatthetimeofthehysteric'srisetopowerwerelessdismissivethoughdeeplyuneasy.Ina1933interviewonRadioBerlin,Junghadcommented:
AsHitlersaidrecently,theleader(Fhrer)mustbeabletobealoneandmusthavethecouragetogohisownway.Butifhedoesn'tknowhimself,howishetoleadothers?That
iswhythetrueleaderisalwaysonewhohasthecouragetobehimself,andcanlooknotonlyothersintheeyebutaboveallhimself....Everymovementculminatesorganicallyin
aleader,whoembodiesinhiswholebeingthemeaningandpurposeofthepopularmovement.45

Bythetimeofhisremarkable1936essay"Wotan,"Jungcoulddescribemorefullythevolcanolikeupsurgeofrawlongrepressed,irrationalpsychicenergythathad
producedtheHitlerstate.46ThisfamousandcontroversialpieceofwritingdisplaysanobviouspoeticfeelfortheWotanarchetypeinallitsNietzscheanpower.
Wotanistherestlesswanderer(likeAhasuerus,theWanderingJew),thegodofstorm,andcapableofpossessingpersons.InthenewGermany,oneman,"whois
obviously'possessed,'hasinfectedawholenationtosuchanextentthateverythingissetinmotionandhasstartedrollingonitscoursetowardperdition."47Junghere
appearstometotreatthatnation'spretentiousGermanicspiritualitymovementwithamused

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contempt,thoughhehadoncegivenjointseminarswithJ.W.HauerofTbigen,founderofoneofitsinstruments,theneopaganGermanFaithMovement,whichhad
attempedaliteralrevivalofWotanism.Nowhesawsuchfundamentalistsofthenewregimeasthemselvesalsovictims...ofwhatevermaycomenext.(Andrew
Samuels,however,statesthat"ItishardtoassesswhatJungreallythoughtabouttheGermanFaithmovement,ashespokeofitsadherentsas'decentandwell
meaningpeople,'butalso'possessed'bythe'godoftheGermans'"WotanSamuelsseestheselinesas"innowayarepudiationorcondemnationofHauer."48)
DespitehisowninflationwithsomeoftheintellectualrootsofNationalSocialism,itseemsclearthatJungknewwellenoughatleastaswellasanyoneofcomparable
placementwhatwasreallygoingon.ButhewasnotsurewhatresponsetomaketothismonstrousyetseductiveenchantmentworthyofWotan.Itmustberecalled
thatmostGermanProtestantpastorsofthecultureofJung'sultimaterootswelcomedtheaccessionofHitlertheygenerallydespisedtheWeimarregimefor
royalistreasons,becauseofthegodlessnewculturearisingunderitsaegis,andbecauseoftheirdenominations'relativelossofstatusoveragainstRomanCatholicism
inthenewsecularstate.49Forsomewhatsimilarreasonsofheartandstatus,agreatnumberinGermany'straditionallyconservativelegionsofscholarsandprofessors
likewisehopedforgoodthingsfromHitler.Theytoohadfoundthemselvesinanunfamiliarlandafter1918,astrangecountry,whichhadimpoverishedthemandtaken
fromthemtheunquestioningprestigetheyandtheirvalueshadenjoyedinWilhelmineGermany.AllthistooJungundoubtedlyfelt,ifonlyvicariously.Buthewas
cautiousinthefaceofsomuchforce...andsometimesuncautious.
Jung'sownattitudetowardthe"NewGermany,"especiallyasreflectedinhisactswhenthepresidencyoftheInternationalSocietyforPsychotherapyfelltohimin
1933upontheresignationoftheantiNaziGermanpresident,Prof.ErnstKretschmer,hasbeenmuchdebated.ThestrongGermansection,underintensepressureto
attainGleichschaltung(conformity)withtheideologyofthenewgovernment,wasbeingforcedtopurgeitselfofJews.ThesectioncontainedsomeNazis
sympathizers,oneofwhomwasProf.M.H.Gring,theReichsmarschal'scousinandaNazi,whowouldbecomeheadoftheGermansection,andwhocameto
sharewithJungtheeditorshipoftheZentralblatt,theGermanlanguagejournaloftheInternational

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Society.DuringtheireditorshipsomearticlesappearedthatwerehighlyantiSemiticandlittlemorethanNazipropaganda.ForthisJungaswellasGringhavebeen
faulted,andunderstandablyso.Yetonsuchmattersonemust,regrettably,understandalsothesubtletiesofwritingandworkinginatotalitarianenvironment.Thereis
alsoreasontothinkthatGringwasabletousehisNazicredentials,theprimafacieevidenceofsomesympatheticpublications,andhisexaltedconnectionstoshield
notafewcolleagues,Jewsandothers,whowouldotherwisehavefallenfouloftheGestapo.50ThesectionalsoincludedJewsandothersunsympathetictothe
German"revolution"whowereinadesperatelyprecariousposition.ThesocietywasmadeinternationalinordertocontaintheGermanmaelstromwithinalarger
context.
AnielaJaff,herselfaGermanJewishrefugeeandJung'ssecretaryafterthewar,hasmadeareasonablyconvincingcasethat,atleastonhisownconsciouslevel,Jung
hadnosympathyforNationalSocialismassuch,thoughatfirst,likeothers,hewasperhapsnaiveaboutitsfullpotentialforevil.NodoubtinJung'smindsomesense
ofconfusingcontradictionmayhavearisenbetweentwoofhisprinciples:ontheonehand,thePartywasstrivingtogetbehindthealienationofmodernmassmanby
returningtothe"roots"and"soil"fromwhichhewasestrangedontheother,theGerman"revolution"wasanegregiousdisplayofmassman'ssheeplikeinstinctsin
operation.Afterward,Jungconfessed:
WhenHitlerseizedpoweritbecamequiteevidenttomethatamasspsychosiswasboilingupinGermany.ButIcouldnothelptellingmyselfthiswasafterallGermany,acivilized
Europeannationwithasenseofmoralityanddiscipline.Hencetheultimateoutcomeofthisunmistakablemassmovementstillseemedtomeuncertain,muchasthefigureofthe
Fhreratfirststruckmeasbeingmerelyambivalent.Likemanyofmycontemporaries,Ihadmydoubts.51

Inanycase,inhispresidentialrolehewas,Jaffthought,tryingtodothebesthecouldasmediatorinanextremelydifficultsituation.HealsohelpedindividualJewsin
thoseterribleyears,includinghisgifteddiscipleErichNeumann.52Inregardtothelast,LaurensvanderPostwrote:"[O]newouldberelievedforeverofsuspecting
JungofantiSemitismbythereadingofthelettershewroteindefenceofNeumann,whohadescapedfromGermanyandsettledinTelAviv.Intheselet

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tersheshowssuchaprofoundunderstandingoftheplightoftheJewsinhistory,suchcompassionforalltheyhavesufferedfromChristianprojectionoftheChristian
shadowontothem,suchappreciationoftheiruniqueandindispensablecontributiontothespiritofman,thatonewouldshedthelasttracesofsuspectinghimasanti
Semitic."53
Yetquestionsremain.Jungwrotevoluminously,oftenunguardedly,andsometimesinconsistently,leavingbothcriticsandapologistsmuchtoquoteselectively.
Moreover,likemanyEuropeansandothers,heseemedquitecapableofmakingadistinctionbetweenindividualJewslikeNeumannand"theJews"questions
regardinghisattitudetowardthemperhapshavemoretodowiththefullpoliticalimplicationsofJung'ssystemthanwithanyspecificactionsofthewellmeaningSwiss.
Problematicscenterarounda1934articleofhistranslatedas"TheStateofPsychotherapyToday,"inwhichheexpressedsomehopeforfruitfuldevelopmentin
GermanyoutofNationalSocialism.Thispiecewasclearlyadescendentof"TheRoleoftheUnconscious"(1918)andcontinuesitsstudyofgeneric"Aryan"and
Jewishpsychologies.Thedoctorofthesoulopinedthatthe''Aryan"unconsciouscontainedcreativetensionsand,thoughnowstillpossessedofa"youthfulnessnotyet
fullyweanedfrombarbarism,"mayholdthe"seedsofafutureyettobeborn."54Inthesameessay,JungexpressedviewsoftheJewishpsychologicalcharacterwhich
havegivenmuchoffense,statingthat"theJew,whoissomethingofanomad,hasneveryetcreatedaculturalformofhisown...sinceallhisinstinctsandtalents
requireamoreorlesscivilizednationtoactasahostfortheirdevelopment,"andthatJews"haveincommonwithwomenbeingphysicallyweaker,theyhavetoaimat
chinksinthearmoroftheiropponents...havingacivilizationtwiceasold,theyarevastlymoreconsciousthenweofhumanweaknesses....ButtheJewlikethe
Chinesehasawiderareaofpsychologicalconsciousnessthanwe....Ingeneral[itis]lessdangerousfortheJewtoputanegativevalueontheunconscious...The
Aryanunconsciousontheotherhand,containsexplosivefires."55
ThelinesonJewsareremarkablyparalleltothoseexpressedafewyearsbeforebyAdolfHitlerinMeinKampf:"SincetheJewforreasonswhichwillatonce
becomeapparentwasneverinpossessionofacultureofhisown,thefoundationsofhisintellectualworkwerealwaysprovidedbyothers.Hisintellectatalltimes
developedthroughtheculturalworldsurroundinghim."56

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Jungspentmuchof1934explaininginlettersthatthisarticlewasnotmeanttobeantiSemitic.57Hesaidtoonecorrespondentafteranotherthatmerelytodescribe
psychologicaldifferencesbetweenJewsandChristiansisnottodeprecatetheformer.Occasionallyhepermittedhimselftobeabittestyaboutthe"hypersensitivity"of
Jews.ItisclearalsothatJung'sconflictwithFreudwasstillanopenwound,forhereferredtotheViennesedoctor'sallegeddogmatismanddenialofhisownJewish
roots,atthesametimecomplainingthattheconflictwasoversimplifiedby"German"doctorsintoinissueofChristianversusJewishpsychotherapy.Inaletterto
GerhardAdler,Jungspokeoftherootlessnessofthe"Jewishrationalist,"butadded,"SowhenIcriticizeFreud'sJewishnessIamnotcriticizingtheJewsbutrather
thatdamnablecapacityoftheJew,asexemplifiedbyFreud,todenyhisownnature."HecalledonreligiousJewsto''summonupthecouragetodistinguishthemselves
clearlyfromFreud."58
Thegrossstereotypingoftheoriginalarticle,andthatmoreorlessunconsciouslydisplayedintheapologeticletters,wasperhapsslightlymoreacceptableinJung's
timethantoday,andonedoesnotneedtobeaNazitoatleastraisetheissueofthedistinctivepsychologicalqualitiesofdifferentpeoples,includingJews.59Buttwo
pointsstickinone'smind,evenapartfromthecrudityandplainerroneousnessofthisparticularexampleofcomparativepsychology.First,theappallinglackofmoral
judgmentonJung'spartinchoosingtowriteonracialpsychology,includingthatofJews,preciselyatatimewhensuchrhetoriccouldonlyfantheflamesofracial
fanaticism,andwhentherelativeheatofsuchfanaticismcouldwellbeamatteroflifeordeathforJews.
Jungseemedtorecognizesomethingofthisissue,thoughbynomeansthefullconsequences,inaletterofAbrahamAaronRobackof19December1936:
"UnfortunatelythepoliticaleventsinGermanyhavemadeitquiteimpossibletosayanythingreasonableaboutthemostinterestingdifferencebetweenJewishandnon
Jewishpsychology."(ThedifferenceunderdiscussionwastheallegedJewishability,muchgreaterthanthatofgentiles,toextendconsciousnessintothesubconscious
mind,whichabilitybroughtwithita"tendencyofconsciousnesstoautonomywiththeriskofseveringitalmostentirelyfromitsinstinctivesources.")60
Second,thesweeping,unqualifiedmannerinwhichJungappliedvariousattributestoAryansandJewsassuchsuggeststhetrulybreath

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takingextenttowhichhewaspreparedtothinkonlyintermsofthecollectiveunconsciouswhendealingwithsocialandpoliticalmatters,andnotwithindividual
differences.CloselyconnectedtothiscapacityisJung'sobviousvolkishpredilectiontothinkofaJewFreudoranyotherJewfirstandforemostonlyasaJew,
andsoasOther,alwaysprofoundlydifferentfrom"us."Likehimordislikehim,oneneverlosesawarenessthatthepersonisnotjustaperson,butaJew.
RichardSteincontendsthatdespitehisprotestationsJungbecameidentifiedwiththeimageofthe"manapersonality,"aconditionthatledtoaninflationwiththepower
andvitalityoftheThirdReich.SteinseesJung'sattitudetowardJewsasamanifestationofhisfathercomplex,actedoutbothtowardFreudandtowardtheGod
imageoftheHebrewBible.Ambivalentbothtowardthefeminineandhisownfather,thesonallegedlyidentifiedthroughthe"manapersonality"withtheReichas
"GreatFather."61Thiswouldexplain,intermsofthereconditelanguageofhisownsystem,whyJungcouldwrite,fromsomewherewithinhimself,whathedidabout
AryansandJewswhilemaintainingoutwardindependence.Theseobservationsarenowchieflyofvalueinsofarastheyshowhowthesystemitselfcansupportracist
and(inacertainsense)reactionarymentalitieswhileatthesametimeofferingapowerfulandvaluablecritiquebothoftheanomieofmodernityandthedestructiveness
oftheNationalSocialistupsurgeofirrationalism.Afterthefact,needlesstosay,JungofferedtrenchantdiagnosesofGermany's"epidemicinsanity."62After"Wotan''
and1936JungcurtailedallwritingonraceandJewsconsiderably.Attheendofthewar,heisreportedtohavesaidhe"slippedup"inhisfirstassessmentof
Nazism.63
ItmaybeaddedthattheNazisthemselvesmadecynicalpropagandauseofJung,astheydidofNietzsche,Hegel,andothers,citingthosewritingsofJungthat
appearedtoendorsetheirregime,whilebanningbooksandarticlesfromZurichthatdidnot.IfonewereonlyfamiliarwiththeNazipropagandaJung,hewould
appearinabadlightindeed.Yet,asFrankMcLynnhaspointedout,inasensehehadonlyhimselftoblame."Herantoomuchwiththehareandthehounds,
sometimesappearingtoendorse'themightyphenomenonofNationalSocialism,'atothertimesmockingit."64Afterward,hedidnotcleartheairasthoroughlyand
confessionallyasheshouldhave,insteadseekingtoignoreorevenconcealhis"slipups."ThemoresympatheticwriterLaurensvanderPost,inJungandtheStory
ofOurTime,concedesthat"Therewasabriefmomentatthebeginningwhenthis

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stirringofunconsciousforceshesawinGermanyseemedtohimcapableofapositivepotential,"but"withintwoyearshehadchangedhismind.Hiswarningsagainst
eventsinGermanybecamemorefrequent,urgent,andunqualified,endinginsuchoutrightcondemnationthatwhenthewarbrokeouthisownbookswerebannedin
GermanyandhehimselfwasplacedontheNaziblacklistforliquidationatthefirstopportunity."65
Certainlybythebeginningthewar,JunghadnoillusionswhatsoeverabouttheNewGermany,ifhislettersofthetimearetoberegarded,thoughtheproAllied
unanimityofSwitzerlandmaybequestioned,asweshallsee.InwritingthedistinguishedBritishAmericananalyticpsychologistEstherHardingon28September
1939,inhisslightlyidiosyncraticEnglish,hedeclared:
Wenaturallyhopenottobeimplicatedinthewar,butthereisonlyoneconvictioninSwitzerland,thatifithastobe,itwillbeonthesideoftheAllies.Thereisnodoubtandno
hesitationtheunanimousconvictioninSwitzerlandisthatGermanyhaslosthernationalhonourtoanunspeakabledegree,andtheGermansinasmuchastheystillthinkknowit
too.Ishouldn'twonderifthemostcuriousthingshappenedinGermany.Thesituationiscompletelyopaquebecauseoftheinhumanterrorthewholepopulationiskeptunder
by.66

InJanuaryof1940hewrotetoDr.EdwardLauchenauer,"Whatthepublicstilldoesn'tknowandcan'tgetintoitsheadisthatthecollectivemanissubhuman,nothing
butabeastman,aswasclearlydemonstratedbytheexquisitebestialityoftheyoungGermanfightersduringtheblitzkrieginPoland.Anyorganizationinwhichthe
voiceoftheindividualisnolongerheardisindangerofdegeneratingintoasubhumanmonster."67Thoughthe"massman"conceptmayhavebegunasanaristocratic
condescension,intheenditfulfilleditsowndarkestpotential.
TotheenigmaofC.G.JungandNationalSocialisttotalitarianism,honestypermitsnosimpleanswer.Theissueisascomplexandmultisidedasthemanhimselfor,as
weshallsee,hisnativeSwitzerland.Foreveryincriminatingwordorpose,itsseems,acounterquoteordeedcanbepresentedforeveryargumentacounterargument.
ProbablythemattercanbereducednofurtherJungwasamanofmanymoodsandpersonaewhocannotbecondensedtoasimpleessence.Morever,asaprolific
writerandspeakerhewasfarfromconsistent,

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andquitecapableofunguardedremarkshemustlaterhaveregretted.ThebesthehastogiveusistheJungianperspectiveonthetumultuoustimesinwhichhelived.
Thefirsthalfofthetwentiethcentury,plusadozenyearspastmidpointJung'sdaysinthesunwereindeedawashwithmysteriouswindsandsubmergedcurrentsof
thesoulJung'srealmsofexplorationcapableofroilingthesurfacewatersuptostormforce.Thenamesdiffered:racialdestiny,dialecticalmaterialism,progress,
thewillofthepeople,theFreudianunconscious,thearchetypesofthecollectiveunconscious.Nothingthathappenedwaswhatitseemed,eitherinindividuallifeorthe
affairsofnations:invisiblehands,ofthesortbestperceivedbytruemoderngnostics,itwasagreedonallsides,controlled,fromdeepwithin,theworldofappearances
ofwhatnonethelessprideditselfonbeinganageofsceince,reason,anddemocracy.Thetroublewasthatthoseoutwardvehiclesofmodernityneverwerereallylarge
enoughtoguagefullyallthevagariesofindvidualpassion,orthefateofdynasties.Thereneededtobemore,unplumbeddepthsteemingwithdepthcharges,explaining
whythingsweresometimesbutnotalwaysasscience,reason,orthedemocraticprocessexpectedthemtobe,andinterpretingtheworldintermsacceptabletoboth
modernityandthemysticaltidesbehindmodernhistory.TothisendeavorJungcontributedgenerously.
TheSovereigntyofIndividuation
Paradoxicallyandsignificantly,inlightoftheimmenseGermanfailure,theonlysolutionJunghadtoofferfortheillsofmassmanwasindividualindividuation,the
harmoniousrearrangementofthearchetypesonanindividualbasisandwithinamodernindividual.MoreandmorethisbecameapparentasJungcontemplatedthe
Nazidisaster.Asheconfrontedthelandofblondbeastsacrosstheborder,therewaslessthanbeforeinhiseverflowingwritingsaboutrootednessandlost
communalism,andmoreaboutthereconstitutedindividualastheonlyhope.Massman,alwaysthebaneofmodernitytoJung,increasinglybecameonly"mass
psychosis."In"TheUndiscoveredSelf"(1957),aftershowingthateventhe"religiousforces,"thoughinprincipleapossiblefocalpointforresistancetototalitarianism,
canbeabsorbedbytheomnipotentstate,Jungcomestohischiefhope,thetransformedindividual."Resistancetotheorganizedmasscanbeeffectedonlybythe

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manwhoisaswellorganizedinhisindividualityasthemassitself."68AsHansSchaerhaspointedout,if"modernman"cannotavailhimselfofauniversal
symbol,theprocessmustnowsetinwhichJungcalledindividuation.69Thatwilldependondiscoveringindividualsymbols,forJungputlittlestockindemythologizing,
orthetranslationsofunconsciouscontentsintothebloodlessgenericabstractionssobelovedofacertainsortofmodernistconcretemythicimagesaretherealmeat
oftheunconscious,andiftheindividualdoesnotfindhisorherownsymbolsinthecarefullycraftedwaysofthebestreligionsorskilledanalysis,oneismorethan
likelytoseekthemoutindebasedformsinthepsychicepidemicorthebattlefield.
Jungoncespokeofthreekindsofman:thegoodChristian,CatholicorProtestant,wholivesunquestioninglyinhisfaithandsodoesnotneedpsychology"modern
man"whoisfullyselfconscious,rational,extraverted,andunconnectedwithhispastandsoalltoovulnerabletotheunconsciousandfinally"Jungianman,"modernin
rejectingtraditionalChristianitybutwillingtoreinterpretitinthelightofanalyticpsychology.70InthisrespectJung's"cult"bearstothemodernworldsomethinglike
thestatusofGnosticismoveragainstconventionalChristianityintheancientworld,andJungcametorealizethis.
GnosticismwasapresenceintheintellectualworldofJung'spostwaryears.ThediscoveryofanewlibraryofGnostictextsatNagHamadiinEgyptin1945had
drawnfreshandexcitingattentiontotheancientheresy.CarlJunghimselfhadanindirectpartinmakingthismaterialavailabletothescholarlyworldandthepublic,at
atimewhenaturbulentpoliticalclimateinEgyptcausedseveredifficulties.TheonlyportionoftheremarkablefindtoleaveEgyptinthe1950swasagroupoftexts
thatcametobeknownasthe"JungCodex,"purchasedbytheJungInstituteofZurichinhonorofthemaster'seightiethbirthdaytheprestigeofthegreat
psychologist'snamehelpedpavethewayforthatacquisition.
InthefirstchapterwenotedtheuseofthetermgnosticbythepoliticalscientistEricVoegelinataroundthesametimeinanegativesense,tomeanapresumedbutin
theendfutileknowledgeofthesecretlawsofhistoryandhumannature.WeobservedthatJungsharedasimilarlypessimisticviewofthesocialorder,thoughthe
labelsmightwellbereversed.WhatVoegelincalledgnosticismwasthepoliticalexpressionofJung'smassmanandhispsychicepidemics,undera

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manapersonalityandtheglamourofhisideologyJung'sgnosticismwastheindividual'swayoutofsuchawhirlpoolworld.Heemployedtheterminapositivesense
gnosticwasthenameofthosewhoescapefromsocietybyturningwithin.Thereis,however,thegnosticgodAbraxaswhowasasignificantfigureinJung'spersonal
pantheon,andwhocanrepresentanattitudebeyondgoodandevil,inthesensethatthisdeitystoodforrecognitionandassimilationoftheShadowarchetype.To
Jung'smind,however,whatheoncecalled"gnosticmorality"wasnotnecessarilyunscripturalhoweveritmayconfoundconventionalmorality:itwasGod'scommand
toHoseathathemarryawhore,orJesus'paraboliccommendationoftheunjuststeward.71
Actually,bothVoegelinandJungreshapedrealgnosticismtotheirownideologicalpurposes.TheancientbearersofthenamewerenotpoliticalinVoegelin'ssense,
butviewedallaspectsoftheouterworldwithdeepsuspicion,astheenslavingworkofbentarchonswhodidnotwishhumanitywell.Jung,especiallythelaterJung,
couldsoviewthesocialorder,buthewasnotaspessimisticasthegnosticsintheirmetaphysicaldespairheproposednotindividuationoutoftheworldbutintoit.
JungimplicitlyacceptedthesixcharacteristicsofgnosticismdescribedbyVoegelindissatisfaction,beliefthatthecauseofdissatisfactionisthattheworldispoorly
organized,beliefthatsalvationispossible,thattheworldcanbechangedbyahistoricalprocess,thatchangecancomeaboutthroughhumanaction,andthatto
accomplishitrequiresgnosis,truesecretknowledgeasproperdiagnosticcriteria.Buthemoreandmoreinternalizedthemtotheindividualpsycheratherthanthe
socialorpoliticalrealm,substitutingpsycheforworld.Onceaskedwhatonecoulddotohelptheworldinitsterriblecondition,hereportedlyresponded,"Help
yourselfandyouhelptheworld."72Hewas,ofcourse,alwaysmostinterestedinthepsyche.Hegotintotroublewiththenotionthatgnostic"salvation"wasdifferent
fordifferentracesbecauseoftheirdifferingcollectiveunconsciousnesses.Butitseemstohavebecomecleartohimintheendthatthisideawasafalsegnosis.Thetrue
inwardgnosticsalvationrequiresnothingbutfreespace.Allitdemandsoftheouterworldistobeleftalonesothetherapeuticprocesscanadvance.Onegainsno
positiveinnersalvationfromanyoftheworld'ssocialorpoliticalmovements.
Voegelinwas,incidentally,notpleasedwithanysortof"selfsalvation,"andhemaywellhavehadJungianisminmindalongwithothersoteriologicalvenues."Self
salvationthroughknowledgehasits

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ownmagic,andthismagicisnotharmless,"forthoughunderstandableitrunsawayfromtheworldatthecostofonlyincreasingitsdisorder.Gnosticismdidnotsolve
theproblemsoftheancientworld,Voegelinthought,butitsdeterioratingcivilizationwasinsteadrenewed"bythatmovementwhichstrovethroughlovingactionto
revivethepracticeofthe'seriousplay'(tousePlato'sexpression)thatis,byChristianity."73ButJung'sindividuationcameoutoftheNietzschean,lateromantic
rejectionofbothnormativeChristianityandEnlightenmentclarityandreason.Itfavoredthemoreconvolutedandsubterraneanprocessofhealingtheworldbyhealing
thepsychesthataretherealmakersofhistory,evenifthathealingrequiredtheirwithdrawalfromtheworldtobereforgedinagnosticshop.
TheParadoxicalPowerofMyth
Soobviouslyallthatcanbedoneistoawakenmassmenfromtheirdreamsbyindividuation,tobeachievedthroughopeningchannelstotheunconscious,includingthe
archetypesandthecollective.Mythandritualcanhaveaveryimportantroleinthisawakeningprocess,fortheyareabletopenetratemassman'samnesiaandrecall
tosomelevelofconsciousnessthearchetypesandfinallythemandalaoffullhuman/divineglorytheyembodywhenrealizedandinbalancedharmony.Jungianworks
likeArchetypesandtheCollectiveUnconsciousarefullofstudiesoftheTrickster,Kore,FairyTales,theMotherandChildarchetypes,thelast(asthemarvelous
child,thepueraeternas,theChristChild)beingtheemblemofrebirthandnewtransformedselfhood.
Onceawakened,thearchetypescanthenfairlycontendforthesoulofthepersonaandforgeitaswithhammerandanvil:"Betweenthem,"Jungsaid,"thepatientiron
isforgedintoanindestructiblewhole,an'individual.'"74Ironmustbeheatedtoaburningredtobeforged,andonecanperhapsseewhytheupsurgeofWotan"like
anextinctvolcano"roaringbacktofierylifeinNationalSocialismcouldhavegivenJungaglimmerofhope,sinceatleastconnectionswereoncemorebeingmade
betweenconsciousandunconscious.Butitwasquicklyevidentthisefforthadverybadlymisfireditprematurelyreleasednothingbutrawandthereforedestructive
energiesoftheunconscious,withnotrulyconsciouscontrolatall,naughtbutthatoftheinfantiledreamstateofmassmanwithahystericalmanaperson

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alityaspsychopomp.Itwasnobreakthrough,buttheworstofbothsides:semiconsciousmassmindenergizedbythefiresfrombelow.
Jungwasundoubtedlyconfirmedinthisrealizationbyhisbeliefthatthewayoutcanonlybeindividualthereislittlehopeinmassmovementsorpoliticalaction,for
theyaregenerallypartoftheprobleminstead,annealingmassmanmorethanhealinghim.YetJungnonethelessfeltfreetoapplyonanindividualbasisthesamemythic
potionsthathadbeensodisastrouslypotentwhentheintoxicantswerequaffedbymassmanandhismanamaniacleaders.Theyareindeedpowerfuldraughts:
Onecanperceivethespecificenergyofthearchetypeswhenoneexperiencesthepeculiarfeelingofnuminositythataccompaniesthemthefascinationorspellthatemanates
fromthem....Theuniversalheromyth,forexample,showsthepictureofapowerfulmanorgodmanwhovanquishesevilintheformofdragons,serpents,monsters,demons,
andenemiesofallkinds,andwholiberateshispeoplefromdestructionanddeath.Thenarrationorritualrepetitionofsacredtextsandceremonies,andtheworshipofsucha
figurewithdancesmusic,hymns,prayers,andsacrifices,griptheaudiencewithnuminousemotionsandexalttheparticipantstoidentificationwiththehero.Ifwecontemplate
suchasituationwiththeeyesofabeliever,wecanunderstandhowtheordinarymanisgripped,freedfromhisimpotenceandmisery,andraisedtoanalmostsuperhumanstatus,
atleastforthetimebeing.75

Obviouslytheseexaltationscouldsaveordestroy.
TheBurkeanJungianState
Jungseemedabletoholdoutnohopethatmodernhumanitycouldproduceanysatisfactorypoliticalsolutionititsdilemmas.Regardinghisviewsofdemocracy,
VolodymyrWalterOdajnykwrote,inJungandPolitics:
Jungdoesnotespouseliberaldemocracyasagenerallyapplicable,idealformofgovernment.Rather,heholdsanorganicviewoftherelationshipbetweentheindividual,the
society,andthestate,sothat,wherethereisnohistorical,social,andpoliticalbasisforademocraticorder,itisunwisetograftitonbydecree.Moreover,givenhisopinionofthe
perniciousinfluenceofsheernumbers,Jungwouldcertainlyarguethatdemocracyispossibleonlyonasmallscale.76

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PerhapsthesmallscaleisreflectedinSwitzerland,forin1928hewroteofhisdemocratichomelandasa"Europeancenterofgravity,"despiteitsstolidand
conservativecitizens.77Again,afterthewar,hewasabletosay,"LivingaswedointhemiddleofEurope,weSwissfeelcomfortablyfarremovedfromthefoul
vapoursthatarisefromthemorassofGermanguilt."78HefearedcountrieslargerthanSwitzerlandhereweseesomethingofJung'srealcharacterasapoliticalmanin
thecontextofarealtimeandplace:hisownnation.Thebasicimpressiononegainsfromhis"Swiss"writingsisthatJungwasconservativeinatraditionalist,
democraticsense,moreinstinctivelythanideologicallyitisbetterforasocietytobe,likeSwitzerland,open,democratic,stupid,frustrating,andchangingonlyslowly,
thantobecarriedawaybypsychicepidemics.Forwhatsuchasmall,isolatedsocietycouldreallymeanisasocietyofindividualsboundbynaturalandtraditional
orders,ratherthanthehollowidolsofmassman,andoneinwhichtheonlysalvationwasthroughthefullindividuationoftheindividual.
PerhapsJung'sclaimthatSwitzerlandescapes"themorassofGermanguilt"willstrikemanyreadersasexcessivelysmug.Herearisesanothercomplexifyingtwistto
theJungianpicture.JungmayhavebeenrightinsayingthatmanySwiss,evenGermanSwiss,disdainedNazidomandhopedforanAlliedvictoryduringthewar.Yet
widelypublicizedrevelationshavenowdemonstratedthatSwissbanksprofitedfromNazimoney,includingmoneysstolenfromJewswhoperishedintheholocaust.
MorecontroversialchargeshavealsoallegedthatantiSemiticfiguresintheSwisswartimegovernmentslowedthemountainnation'sacceptanceofJewishrefugees.
NoneofthisisverycreditabletoSwitzerland,butservestoshowthatJungnodoubtsharedthenationalattitudeofmostofhiscountrymen,whoappearedtobe
convincedthatSwitzerlandwasbasicallygoodbut,asasmallstatesurroundedbyfarmorepowerfulandoftenfarmoredubiouspowers,hadnochoicebuttodo
businesswhereveritcouldandkeeponreasonabletermswithallsides.Jung'seffortsatpsychoanalyticstatesmanshipemanatingfromSwitzerlandmayneedtobe
seenpartlyinthislightheprobablythoughthewasactinginthewaymostofhisfellowswouldhavethoughtwastheonlywayonecouldactinsuchasituation.
AlanMorrisSchomhasfoundevidence,publishedinareportsponsoredbytheSimonWiesenthalCenter,that,contrarytoJung'sassertiontotheBritishEsther
Harding,Nazigroupsandsympathizers

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withtheGermancausewerepresentinSwisscitiesandtowns,evenvillages,everywhereamongthenearly70percentoftheSwisspopulationthatisGerman
linguisticallyandculturally,theSwitzerlandofwhichJungwasapart.79Thereisevenaphotographofparading,swastikawearingNazisinZurich,Jung'scity,in
1941.GermansvolkishliteraturehadbroaddistributioninSwitzerlandandantiSemitismaswellasferventanticommunismwaswidespread.Inacompanionreport,
SchomhasshownthatnotonlywasitexceedinglydifficultforJewishrefugeesfromtheNaziterrortobecomeSwisscitizens,conditionsinSwissrefugeecampswere
oftenveryharsh.80AllthisinvolvedblatantdiscriminationbetweenJewishandnonJewishimmigrantsandrefugees,andwastheresultofpoliciessetbyhighranking
antiSemiticSwissofficials.Moreover,althoughoutandoutproNazisandactivist(ascomparedtoattitudinal)antiSemitismmayhaverepresentedonlyaminority,
SwitzerlandwasalsoboundeconomicallytotheAxiscause:by1942,97percentofSwissexportswenttoGermany,andtherewerealsotheNaziarrangementswith
Swissbanks.Allthis,andmanyotherindicationsofproGermansympathiesduringthewaryears,havebeensincesuppressedinSwitzerland,Schomdeclares.81
Ontheotherhand,Jung'sownwritingssuggestitwouldnotbecorrecttosaythatmostSwissendorsedtheextremist,nottomentioncrazyandcriminal,aspectsof
Nazidom,oractuallyhopedforaGermanvictoryandJungappearstohavebeenaboutastypicalaGermanSwissasanyonsuchmatterslaterwewillseethat
JosephCampbell'swifenotedthatwhenJungmovedconversationallyintopoliticalandsocialissues,thelesshewasthebrilliantworldclassthinker,andthemorean
ordinaryprovincialGermanSwiss.EithertheSchomreportsaremisleading,orGermanSwiss,andJungamongthem,werecapableofseriousduplicity,orof
possessingseveralcontradictorylevelsofconsciousnessatthesametime.
Thatisnotimpossible.GermanSwiss,likedecentGermansinthefatherland,couldwellhavebeencaughtintheemotionalbindoffeelingontheonehandanatural
patrioticandvolkish,nottomentioneconomic,identificationwithGermany,andatthesametimeanaturalrevulsionatsomeofitspolicies.Itisalsonotclearthata
realmajorityofSwisswouldhaveactuallywantedtotradeSwitzerland'speculiarbutfunctionaldemocracyforafhrerstate.
Jung,withallhisownimmensesubjectiverealms,wasundoubtedlyamicrocosmoftheSwissperplex,andperhapsdidnotsortitout

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anybetterthanhiscountrymen.Likethem,herescuedJewsyetwascapableofantiSemitismhefeltvolkishnessinhisbloodyetcouldseehowitledtonational
insanity.Likethem,hewasnodoubtrelievedwhen1945broughtanendtothehorribletensionsandcontradictions.PerhapstheseemingcontradictionsofJung's
attitudesonNaziGermanyboildowntonothingmorethanthis:politicallyhewasnotthebrilliantintellectual,butanordinaryGermanSwisswithallthefearsand
prejudicesandcomplicationspertainingthereto.Butthoughhefeltthisidentity,hecouldalsosometimesseethroughithewaslessthanconsistent.
Itisstriking,andnodoubtsignificant,thatFrankMcLynnbeginshismassivebiographyofJungwiththisperhapsunexpecteddeclaration:"TounderstandCarlGustav
JungonemustfirstunderstandSwitzerland,andthisisnoeasymatter."Alludingtothecomplexitiesofarepublicwithoutapresidentandaconfederationwithoutdirect
poweroveritscitizens,McLynnremarksthat"Someobservershaveevensuggested...thatJungcouldnothavehadthetheorieshehadifhehadbeenborn
elsewhere,sincetheSwissconstitutionisitself'Jungian,'"andadds,"Superstitious,xenophobic,conservative,earthbound,introverted,moneymindedallthese
epithetshavebeenusedtodescribeJung,andevenmorefrequentlytodescribehisnativecountry."82
WhenhewasdealingwithGermanyratherthanhisownmultinationalnation,however,Jungseemedinstinctivelytothinkmoreinvolkish,racial,collectiveunconscious
terms.(IflittleSwitzerlandhasadistinctivenationalcollectiveunconscious,Jungneverreallyrevealswhatitishowever,therearenodoubtsaboutGermany'sfrom
theuniquevantagepointofaGermanSwisswhowashalfundertheheavyswayofthatominousunconsciousnessandhalfanoutsideobserverofit.)Andrew
Samuels,inhisimportantandbalanceddiscussionofJungandNationalSocialism,stressesthatitiswhatwemightcallthecorporatethevolkish,ifonewishesside
oftraditionalismthatcarriedJungclosetodisasteronthatissue."ItwasJung'sattempttoestablishapsychologyofnationsthatbroughthimintothesameframeas
Naziantisemiticideology."83"InC.G.Jung,nationalismfounditspsychologist."84ToJung,especiallytheearlierJung,nationalpsychologicalidentitywasvery
important:hencethediscussionsofGermanness,andofthestrangeanomalyoftheJewsasapeoplewithoutanation.ThusSamuelsagreesthereissomething"in

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Jung'shabitualwayofthinkingthatleadstoantisemitism.''85Itproduces"ideograms"aboutnations,Jewsand,leadership,thatcanmoveindangerousconvergence
withNazism.
Iagree.Butallthisneedstobebalancedwithattentiontothenonpolitical,orevenantipolitical,significanceofindividuation.Italsoneedstobebalancedwithwhat
mightbecalledJung'spolitical"Swiss"side,withitscommonsenseifambiguousaversiontoextremism,anditsregardforthesmallandthelocalconcernsalsobasic
tothetraditionalistmind.InadditiontotheanomalyoftheJews,thereistheanomalyoftheSwissasanationmadeupoffragmentsofthreepeoples,whichhasno
particularWotanofitsownandlittleovertpowerintheworld.Yetthisincongruousstateservesasakindofcounterweighttotheragingsofthemighty,andwasalso
abletoprovideJung(andothers)aprivilegedobservationpostintheeyeofthestorm.Itishardtobelievehereallyeverintendedtorejectpersonallythepolitical
virtuesofhisownnation.JungundoubtedlyforhimselfaffirmedcivilrightsdemocracyintheconservativeSwissorAngloAmericanstyle,forcertainlyapioneering
doctorofthesoulneedsadequatefreedomtopublishideasandanalyzepatientswithouttotalitarianinterference.
Intheend,Jung'sapparentpoliticalphilosophyseemscomparabletothatofEdmundBurke(17291797),theiconofmoderndemocraticconservatism.Likethe
Burkeof"OntheSublimeandtheBeautiful"(1756),Jungwasaromanticratherthanaclassicist,holdingthatwhatisgreatestandmostbeautifulisnotclarity,butthe
infinitethespaceyrealmofhis"No.2."Burkeheldthatthesenseoftheinfiniteisheightenedbyobscurity:"Itisourignoranceofthingsthatcausesallouradmiration
andchieflyexcitesourpassions."SurelythatsentimentissimilartothesenseofnuminousmysteryarousedbyJung'sunconscious,breakingintoconsciousnessthrough
theshadowyarchetypes,whichareonlytheconditionedformstakenbyultimatepowerswhoserootsstretchvirtuallytoinfinity.Theirpotencywasonlyenhancedby
Jung'sputativeKantianism,throughwhichheconsideredthattruerealitycannotbeknown,forwecanknowonlytheprojectionsofconsciousnessuponitsoitsform
isarchetypalanditslanguageismyth.
Inpolitics,particularlyinhisfamousReflectionsontheRevolutioninFrance(1790),Burkeaffirmedhisbeliefinthewisdomoftradition.Eveniftheycontainsome
evil,traditionalinstitutionsentailacovenantwiththepastnottobelightlybroken,andtosearchfortoogreat

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apurityinthepoliticalandsocialworldistoinvitefreshcorruption.AsaChristian,theBritishparliamentarianbelieved,likeVoegelin,thattheworldandhumanityare
imperfect,andthequestforperfectioninthesocialorderspurious.Thepoliticalobligationistocorrectfinitepresentillsandpreserveestablishedliberties,nottorisk
destroyingthestateinthehopeofhypotheticallargescaleimprovement.Thus,asiswellknown,BurkefavoredtheIrishandAmericanrebellions,believingtheywere
intendedtopreserveconcretelibertiesandbringaboutincrementalchangewithinthestructuresofestablishedinstitutions,butopposedtheFrenchRevolutionbecause
itwassupposedtoproduceawhollynewsocietybasedonrationalism.UndoubtedlyitwastheFrenchrepublic'snovelphilosophicalbasis,foundedonabstractand
hypotheticalbeliefin"atomistic"humanlibertyandequality,andnolessitsbeliefthatawhollynewandirreversiblehumanordercouldbecommencedinhistorical
timeexactlywhatVoegelinmeantbypoliticalgnosiswhichmostdeeplyoffendedtheconservativethinker.
AlthoughJungneverreferredtotheBritishstatesman,thelatter'scombinationofromanticvisionandcautiouspoliticsbasedonanappreciationoftraditionresonates
wellwithJung'svalues.Traditionis,afterall,wherethemythsandsymbolswhichmustembodythearchetypescomefrom.TheBurkeanJungalsorealizedthatthe
individualsoulcouldoftenexpressitselfinwaysfarremovedfrompolitics,andthereforepoliticswasbyitsownnaturealimitedart.ThroughouthislifeJungwas
deeplysuspiciousofthesocialorder.Adventuresintheprivateworldsofchildhoodandearlyadolescenceforceduponhimanintenseawarenessoftheirrevocable
splitbetweenhisinnerselfandthenormsofthesocialorderinwhichhehadtolivehisouterlife.Heenteredadulthoodconvincedthatprivateexperiencetook
primacyovertheparadigmsofferedbysociety.86Hewouldthereforehavebeennoverywillingrecruittothesubjugationofsubjectivityitselfthatistheultimategoal
ofanyserioustotalitarianism.
ThedeepNo.2selfcarednothingforpoliticsatall,unlesstheycouldbeexperiencedassomehighwindofarushingoverwhelmingforce,powerfulandblind,
inevitableandfinalasbirthordeath.No.1,thoughhemightbeawkwardandillatease,knewhehadtofunctionsomehowintheregularworld,andashedidsoNo.
2hadtobekeptdiscretelyoutofsightandthatappliedtothepoliticsofnationstoo,iftheyweretoberuninsuchawaythatNo.1couldfindlivelihood.

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Thentherewasthestrange,onlyhalfexploredterrainbetween1and2,wherethelatterbrokeintotheconsciousnessof1intheformofdreamandinneradventure.
Thisselfwasquiteatoddswiththesocialorder,foritwantednothingbutfreedomtoexploreitsownrealm.Therequirementsoftheunconsciousandpreconscious
"middle"selfmusttakepriorityoverthoseofthesocialorder,religiousorotherwise,forthefused1and2isthemostauthenticselfknowntousonthespiritualscale
itsneedsmustbemetfirst.
Ordinarilythisselfalsowouldbemostcontentwiththepoliticsofaminimaliststatewhereitwouldbeleftalone.YettheBurkeanidealsof"prescription"or
acceptanceoftraditionsfromthepast,andthesuspicionofexcessivepoliticalrationalism,suitit,forthesewouldbestlinkittowhatisleftof"rootedness"and
medievalglory.Moreover,onceinawhile,intheheatofapsychicepidemic,themiddlerealmmightbefiredbyatremendousWotanlikearchetypethatcalledfor
politicalexpression,orseemedto.Butincreasingly,after1936,Jungrecognizedtheinauthenticityofarchetypalexpressiononthatlevel.Insteadmythmustbetheway
outofpoliticalentrapmentratherintoit,andtheBurkeankindofstateoughttoassurethecontextforsuchamove.
ThoughcapableofadaptingthevolkishlanguageofsomeofhisfellowGermanspeakers,intheendJungpossessedasortofselfcorrectingpragmatismanddecent
respectforhumanvaluesthatputhim,likemanySwiss,moreintheworldofBurkethanofHitler.Atthesametimethecovenantacrossthegenerationshadtobekept
aliveforthesakeofaccesstotheouterformsofthearchetypesencryptedinalltheworld'sancientmythsandreligions.

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3
MirceaEliadeandNostalgiafortheSacred
ALifeinTwoParts
MirceaEliade'slife(19071986)dividesneatlyintotwoparts.Theyearsuntil1945werelivedin,orinrelationto,hisnativeRomania,whereheemergedintheyears
betweenthewarsasprobablythebestknownandmostcontroversialofthepassionateyoungRomanianintellectualsofhisgeneration:aprolificandprovocative
newspapercolumnistwhosepoliticalandculturalviewskindledfierydebateanovelistwhoseworkswerepraisedextravagantlyanddenouncedaspornographica
dynamiclecturerattheUniversityofBucharestwhovirtuallyestablishedhistoryofreligionsandIndologyasdisciplinesthereapoliticalactivistwhowastobeaccused
offascism,andwhosufferedimprisonmentforhisloyaltiesundertheroyaldictatorshipofKingCarolII.
Thentherewasthesecond"life,"when,inexilefromhishomelandafteritfellbehindtheIronCurtain,Eliadenowapparentlynonpolitical1 andnoncontroversial
unlessonarcanescholarlylevelsbecamethepreeminenthistorianofreligionofhistime,widelyknown

Page80

throughsuchclassicsofthatfieldasTheSacredandtheProfane,TheMythoftheEternalReturn,Shamanism:ArchaicTechniquesofEcstasy,andYoga:
ImmortalityandFreedom,amongmanyothers.After1945hetaughtfirstattheSorbonneinParis,andthenfrom1956attheUniversityofChicago.
UntilrecentlylittlewaswidelyknownintheWestaboutEliade'sprewarandwartimelife.WhenIwasagraduatestudentatChicago,onlyafewrumorssomeof
themwildlyinaccurate,itturnedoutfloatedaboutamonghisdocents.Theprofessorhimselftalkedabouthispastverylittle,andthoughkindnessandgraciousness
itselfinhisrelationshiptostudents,hewasnotthesortofpersonintowhoselifeonepriedfreely.Butnowithasbeenreconstructed,firstthroughEliade'sowntwo
volumeAutobiography,2 supplementedbypostwarjournals.3 Second,MacLinscottRicketts,thesplendidtranslatoroftheautobiographiesandotherRomanian
worksofEliade,hascompiledamassiveanddefinitivedocumentaryportraitoftheyearsupto1945,basedoncountlesshoursofdigginginRomanianarchivesand
libraries,andwiththehelpofProfessorEliadehimselfupuntilhisdeath.4 Ontopofthis,acontroversialliteratureaboutEliadeinthethirtiesandfortieshasemergedin
severallanguagesandseveralcountries.5
ThesonofacareerofficerintheRomanianarmy,EliadespenthischildhoodinvarioustownswherehisfatherwasstationedbeforeretiringtoBucharest.Inthat
capitalcityEliadeemergedinhislyceyearsassomethingofateenageprodigy,readingassiduously,learninglanguages,writingarticlesforpopularyoungpeople's
magazines.Hekeptwellpackedjournalsandevenpennedanautobiographicalnovel,Romanuladolescentuluimiop[TheNovelofaNearSightedAdolescent
composed1924].6 Eliadethoughtthatitwasthefirstnovelaboutadolescencebyanadolescent.Hehadmorethanahundredpublishedarticlestohiscreditbyhis
eighteenthbirthday.Commencingastruggleagainsttime,abattlewhichcametohavemetaphysicalaswellaspsychologicaldimensions,thenearsightedstudent
systematicallyreducedhishoursofsleeptoallowtimeforreadingandwriting,aswellassocializingandBoyScoutactivities.MacRickettsremarks:"Andaboutall
thesethingshisreadings,hisintellectualdiscoveries,hisfriends,hisscoutingadventures,hisbiologicalfieldtrips,hisrecurringboutsofmelancholy,hisrunningbattles
withhislyceteachers,andevenhisinnermostthoughts,strugglesandambitionshewrote.Prob

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ablytherearefewadolescencessothoroughlydocumentedasthatofMirceaEliade."7
BeginningstudiesattheUniversityofBucharestin1925,hekeptupthefreneticpace,attendinglectureslessoftenthaneducatinghimself,tryingtodoeverythingallat
onceunderthecompulsionofanoverwhelmingsensethattherewasnotandwouldneverbeenoughtime.Hereceivedhisdegreeinphilosophyonlythreeyearslater.
Duringthoseundergraduatedayshehadbecomearegularcolumnistforadailynewspaper,andwasrecognizedasthe"leader"oftheyoungergeneration,fullofbold
andprovocativethoughtsonliteratureandtheregenerationofRomanianculture.
MirceaEliadeemergedfromtheuniversitywithtwogreatinterestsforcontinuingstudyRenaissancethoughtandIndianphilosophy.Hewasabletospendthree
monthsinRomein1928pursuingtheformer.Atthesametimehenoted,inabookbythedistinguishedhistorianofIndianphilosophySurendranathDasgupta,an
acknowledgmentofthepatronageoftheMaharajaofKassimbazar,thetributeevengivingthatpotentate'saddress.Impulsively,theyoungEliadewrotetheMaharaja,
expressinghisowninterestinIndia.Threemonthslaterhereceivedareplyinvitinghimtocomeandstudyattheruler'sexpense.Arrangementsweremadeforhimto
liveintheDasguptahomeinCalcutta.InlateNovember1928EliadesetsailforIndia,whereheremaineduntil1931.
Thebuddinghistorianofreligionkeptbusyinseveralspheres.Hedidresearchthatlaidthefoundationforhis1933BucharestPh.D.thesisonYoga.8 Hesentletters
andarticlesbacktoRomaniaexcoriatingthebrutalityofBritishruleinIndiaandexpressinghisadmirationforGandhi'snonviolent,spiritualrevolutionagainstit.He
alsofoundtimeforanindiscreetromanticrelationshipwithDasgupta'syoungdaughter,Maitreyi,whichledtohisbeingabruptlyexpelledfromthehomebutwhich
alsoprovidedgristforhisultraromanticshortnovelofinterculturallove,Maitreyi(1933).9 ExilefromCalcuttaenabledhimtospendseveralmonthsatthefamouscity
ofyogis,Rishikesh,sothedisgracewasnotacompleteloss.HewascompelledtoreturntoRomaniain1931forarmyservice,butthedutywasnotarduous,
affordinghimtimetocompletehisdoctorateandestablishhimselfanewasajournalistandwriter.Healsoquicklybecameadynamicyounglecturerattheuniversityas
assistanttohismentor,theexistentialistphilosopherandlaterextremenationalistNaeIonescu.

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LikeIonescu,Eliade,forallhisworldspanningintellectualinterests,wasintenselyconsciousofbeingaRomanianatacriticalmomentinhiscountry'sculturalhistory.
LongprovincializedbutnowmuchenlargedterritoriallybyitsWorldWarIvictory,Romaniawaswonderingifitwasreadytofindaplaceontheworldstage.Some
youngRomanians,includingtheplaywrightEugeneIonescoandthesculptorConstantinBrancusi,hadmigratedtoParistobecomemajorfiguresintheEuropeanavant
gardeofthe1920sand1930s.TheyhadalreadybecamerolemodelsforyoungRomanians.Eliadenowsawhimselfinapositiontodothesameathomein
Bucharest,assuringhisnation'sintellectualyouththattheircountryhadanimportantroleinaddressingbothEasternmysticismandWesternrationalism.Romaniawas,
heandothersbelieved,inauniquesituationbetweenEastandWest,onthetraditionalfrontierbetweenLatincivilizationandtheByzantine,Islamic,or"mystical"East.
TedAntonhascommentedofthosedaysthat"Ofalltheradicalsofthatgeneration,though,itwastheyoung,handsome,adventurous,beardedMirceaEliadewho
captivatedthemmost."10
However,hissortofculturalcosmopolitanismwasnottheonlyenthusiasmofRomanianyouthbetweenthewars.Amorenationalisticarmyofthespiritwasalso
marchinginthestreetsundertheaegisofanarchangel,andEliadeaftersomeresistancewascaughtupinthatironenchantment.Thisbringsustotheproblematicstory
ofEliade'srelationshiptotheLegionoftheArchangelMichael,apolitical/spiritualmovementwithfascistandantiSemiticleaningspowerfulinRomaniaduringthe
thirties.TheLegioncametobebetterknownastheproNaziandvirulentlyantiSemiticIronGuardinfluentialinRomania'stilttowardtheAxispowersin1940to
1941,andassociatedwithnumerousatrocitiesofthatperiod.(Technically,theIronGuardwasoriginallythemilitaryarmoftheLegion,consistingofallmalemembers
betweeneighteenandthirty).EliadesufferedfourmonthsimprisonmentforhisallegedconnectionwiththeLegionwhentheroyaldictatorshipofKingCarolIIturned
againstitin1938.HewasthenenabledtoescapetheworstofthedisastersthatsweptthroughhiscountrybyservingasitsculturalattachinLondonandLisbon.In
1945hebegananewlifeasascholarinexileinParisandfinallyChicago,buttheshadowofhisfreneticandpassionateyouthmusthavecontinuallyhauntedhimfrom
within,eveniftheworldsometimesforgot.

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ItwasdifficulttoassociatethegrayingandratherdetachedscholarlivingneartheshoresofLakeMichiganafter1955withthetumultuousyouthoftheRomanian
thirties,sleepless,wantingtoknowandexperienceeverything,willingtoundertakepoliticaladventureeveninperverseform,somehownaiveandpureinthemidstofit
all.However,therecordisthere.Butonceburned,twicecautiouswhenIknewhiminthesixtieshehadnothingtodowiththepassionatepoliticsofthaterainthe
UnitedStatesapartfromafewcausticcommentsreportedlyheneverreadnewspapersandwasnotalwaysevenawareofwhatwastranspiringoutsidehisstudy.
MessianicNationalism
TheLegionoftheArchangelMichaelwithwhichEliadehasbeenlinkedwasfoundedin1927byCorneliuZ.Codreanu,asamovementdedicatedtotheculturaland
nationalrenewaloftheRomanianpeoplebyappealtotheirspiritualroots.11DeeplyconcernedabouttheendemicpovertyanddemoralizationoftheRomanian
countryside,younglegionnaireswentouttosharethelifeofpeasantsandhelptheminpracticalways,whileLegionliteratureunsparinglydenouncedthecorruptionand
complacencyoftherulingclass.RomanianyouthwhocameofageafterWorldWarIEliade'sgenerationliketheircounterpartselsewhere,wereeagertolaythe
foundationsofanewandbetterworld.Theywerealsolikelytobedeeplynationalistic,partlyinresponsetothebenedictionthecourseofthatconflicthadseemingly
giventoaffirmationsofnationalidentity.Inthetwenties,afterselfdeterminationhadbeenmuchpublicizedasapartofWoodrowWilson'shopefulFourteenPoints,
andaftersomanypeoples,includingtheRomaniansofTransylvania,hadbeenreleasedfrombondagetodyingempires,nationalismhadalltheappearanceofapure,
innocent,andidealisticcommitment.Outofcombinedpassionsforuplift,nation,andspiritualrenewal,togetherwiththenaturalyearningoftheyoungforcommitment
andsolidarity,manyRomanianyouthsofthetwentiesandthirtiesweredrawntoLegionarydreams.Youngpeoplelikealivingideal,andinCodreanutheyhada
leaderwidelyregardedasheroicandsaintly.ForEliade,therichspiritualitytheLegionespoused,encapsulatedinCondreau'stalkof"nationalresurrection"andthe
creationofa"newman,"wasanaddedlure.UnlikecomparablefascisttypemovementsinItaly

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andGermany,theLegionwasexplicitlyChristian,linkedtoRomania'sEasternOrthodoxreligioustradition.
ButtheLegionwasalsocapableofviolenceandrawantiSemitism.In1933threeLegionnaires,whoclaimedtobeactingindependently,assassinatedtheprime
minister,I.G.DucaCodreanuwasarrestedbutlaterreleased.Thelatter,togetherwithpromisingredistributionoflandtothepeasants,pledgedalsothathewould
solvethe"problemoftheyids."LegionaryrhetoriccontinuallyidentifiedJewswithgodlessBolsheviksaswellaswithunpopularfinanciersandforeignintrudersthe
movementcirculatedsuchhoaryantiSemitictextsasthe"ProtocolsoftheEldersofZion,"andworkedforrestrictionsonJewishadmissiontouniversitiesand
participationingovernment.12TherootsandongoingenthusiasmoftheLegionarymovementforviolenceandantiSemitismiswelldocumentedandbeyond
question.13
ThissideofthemovementobviouslygavepausetoEliadeastheyoungjournalistandintellectualtookuphisRomaniancareerafterreturningfromIndiain1931.
AlthoughEliadehadalwaysbeenaculturalnationalistwholikedtospeakofRomanian"messianism,"meaningthatthecountryhadaculturalheritagetoredeemanda
specialdestinytofulfill,theseviewsusuallywererelativelynonpoliticalatfirst.Theyconstituted"Romanianism"Eliadewrotecolumnsofa"Romaniaforthe
Romanians"sort,suggestingthattheinfluenceofthecountry'snumerousminoritiesJews,Hungarians,andotherswasexcessiveandneededtobecurbed.14Inthe
contextofthetimeshewasnotthemostchauvinisticofhiscountrymen.Hismemoirs,aswellasarticlesandcorrespondence,indicatethatdespitethenotoriousanti
Semitismofhishomeland,hepridedhimselfonhisfriendshipwithaJewishnovelistlikeMihailSebastian,andtookarelativelymoderatepublicpositiononthe"Jewish
question."HisjournalisticassaultsonJewishinfluenceinRomanianlife,distastefulastheyare,seemtosingleoutJewsforresentmentlittlemorethanHungarians,
Bulgarians,andotherofthemanypeoplesnowresidentwithinthe''GreaterRomania"createdbyWorldWarI.IntheeyesofpartisansofRomanianism,those
minoritiesappearedpreparedtousurptheprerogativesoftheethnicmajority.
TherewereseveralintellectualinfluencesontheyoungEliade.IvanStrenski,inhisvaluablediscussioninthesectiononEliadeinFourTheoriesofMyth,has
emphasizedtheroleofhisfriendLucienBlaga,aRomanianmythologistandfolkloristwho"sawhisownherme

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neuticworkasahybridformofdepthpsychologyandontology."15Eliadealsocarriedhisunderstandingofreligiouspsychology,especiallyofthesacredandits
primordialsymbols,virtuallybutIbelievenotentirelytometaphysicallengths.
ButnoonewasmoreinfluentialfortheyoungEliadethanthecharismatic,fascistleaningphilosopherNaeIonescu(18901940).Ionescuinculcatedmysticism,
politicalactivism,andasortofpreexistentialistquestioning,risktakingirrationalism.Eliadeenteredtheacademicworldasassistanttothisholderofachairof
philosophyatBucharest.IonescuwrotelittleEliadehimselfeditedhisonecollectionofessaysin1936.ButIonescu'scharmandSocraticmethodofteachingled
manyofhisacolytestofollowhimintodangerouspoliticalrealms.AtonetimehewasasympatheticstudentofJewishthoughtandmysticism.Butastheinfluencehe
hadoncehadatthecourtofKingCarolIIwaned,by1933hewasasupporteroftheLegion.Eliadewashisadmirerandprotgundoubtedlymuchofthe
responsibilityforEliade'sownrightistinvolvementmustbelaidatIonescu'sfeet.Nonetheless,inasignificant1934event,EliaderebukedIonescuoveranappalling
prefacethelatterhadwrittentoanovelbytheirJewishfriendMihailSebastian:Ionescu,bythenanEasternOrthodoxratherthancabalisticmystic,hadsaid,amid
muchelse,thattheJewsuffers"becauseheoughttosuffer,"havingrefusedtorecognizeJesusChristastheMessiah.Thiscontroversyledtoanexchangeinthepress
overwhetherJewscanbesavedagainstmorerigidtheologiansaswellasIonescu,Eliadearguedthattheyindeedcan.16
JewswerecertainlysufferingtothenorthwestinnewlyNaziGermany.Inearly1934Eliadecouldwrite:"HowcanweimitateHitlerismwhichpersecutesChristianity
orCommunismwhichburnscathedrals?TheCommunistarsonistsofchurchesarehooligansandsoaretheFascistpersecutorsoftheJews.Bothofthemtrample
downhumanenessandpersonalfaithwhicharethefreedomsofeveryindividual."17Forthatmatter,hewentontoanticipateanotherevilconsequentuponthe
victoryoftotalitarianismeitheroftherightoroftheleft:thedivisionofthepeopleintotwogroups,one"good"andone''bad"basedonraceinthecaseofNazism,
onsocialclassundercommunism.Onlythoseofthe"right"categorywouldbepermittedtolivein"freedom."Butthis,Eliadeperceived,wasnothingmorethana
reversiontoprimitivetribalism,whereinonlythosewhoknewthecorrecttotemwerefreeto"eatandcoupleatwill."18Talkofpoliticalrevolutionsomuchapart

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ofthirtieslifeonboththerightandtheleft,didnotimpresshim,andhedoubtedifotherswereimpressedeither:"Idon'tbelievethere'saconsciousyoungpersonin
thiscountrywhohasn'tbeensouredbysomuchKarlMarx,somuchMussolini,somuchCommunism,Corporatism,andwhoknowswhatelse?"Thetruerevolution,
heinsisted,wouldhavetobeinward,arevolutionof"soul,"onthelevelofthe"permanentrevolution"broughtbytheSonofMan,whotaught"revolutionagainstthe
oldeconomy''tobringina"neweconomyofcharity,hope,andlove."19Hebelievedthatsucharevolutionwaspossible,evenonthepoliticalplane.InIndia,hehad
beenmuchimpressedwithMohandasK.Gandhiandhisnonviolent,spiritualitybasedmovementforIndianindependenceandrenewal.InDecember1935hetolda
Romanianradioaudience:
Gandhi'snationalistmovementisnotapoliticalmovementbutprimarilyamysticism,thatis,aspiritualrevolutionaddressedtothesoul,aimingatthepurificationofman,the
reformationofsocialvalues,andultimatelythesalvationofthesoul.Paradoxicalasitmayseem,theonlyspiritualrevolutionintheChristianspiritwhichexistsintheworld
todayisGandhi'snonviolentmovement.20

Inthesamespirit,inthoseyearsthe"Romanianism"heferventlypromotedwasdescribedasa"higher,"nonpoliticalnationalism,embracingenthusiasmforallthatwas
sublimeintheRomanianheritage.Indeed,EliadewentonwithsomejusticetocontrasttherenaissancethenunderwayinRomanianartandletterswiththesorrystate
ofthenation'spoliticallife."Romanianism,"hecontended,"isrealizedfullyontheartisticplane,butistrivializedonthepoliticalplane."21
ButtheconsequentthoughhighlyunfortunateresultofawarenessofthisgrossdichotomywasEliade'sgrowingdisillusionmentwithdemocracy:notonlywithwhat
passedfordemocracyinhishomeland,butwiththeideagenerally.Ashisthoughtdevelopedinthisominousdirection,politicaland"mystical"dimensionsofrevolution
becamemoreandmoremixed,andwhileEliadealwaysprofessedtoesteemnonviolent,truly"spiritual"methodsofcombatandrenewalbothindividuallyand
nationally,itbecameincreasinglyeasyforhimtooverlooklapsesonthispointbythosehebelievedgenuinelydedicatedtotherightgoals.In1936hewroteadmiringly
ofMussoliniforthefirsttime,whilenotingthat"democracyhasnotmademodern

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Romaniaapowerfulstate."Hecontrasteddemocracy'sprocessof"slow,larvalevolution,"whichhadonlybroughtpoorRomaniatothepointofbeinga
laughingstock,witha"violent,riskfilledrevolution"thatwouldrestoreapeople'sprideandfaith.22
ItwasthenbutasmallstepfurtherforhimopenlytoextendhisfavortowardtheLegion,theonlyvisibleprospectiveagentofsucharevolutioninRomania.Heseems
tohavebeendirectlyinspiredbythedeathinbattleoftwoRomanianlegionnaireswhovolunteeredtofightintheSpanishcivilwaronFranco'santicommunistside,and
whomhe,likemanyofhiscountrymen,regardedasChristianmartyrs.(Oneofthetwomartyrs,IonMota,hadbeenaferventJewbasherandRomaniantranslatorof
thatnotoriousantiSemiticforgery,TheProtocolsoftheEldersofZion.)
InhismemoirsEliadedilatesalmostironicallyontheLegion's"cultofdeath"inthosesameyears,1937to1938.23But,thoughhedoesnotmentionit,hemusthave
beenawarethatacultofviolenceintheLegionparalleleditscultofdeath.Indeed,Codreanu'sexaltationofbothwasextremeevenbyfasciststandards.Notonlywas
violentstruggleonbehalfofthecountrylauded,notonlywas"martyrdom"foritssaketheworthiestandmostholyofalldeaths,buttoforfeitone'seternalsalvationfor
thesakeofRomania,bycommittingonitsbehalfactsthatwerenecessarybutsoterribletheywouldcastthedoerofthemintohell,wastodisplayanobilitybeyond
praise.ByespousingsuchbizarresentimentstheLegionrevealed,howeverperversely,its"Christian''foundation,incontrasttothepaganismofmostotherfascisms.24
Eliadesaidnothingaboutthis,buthedidcatchthespiritoftheLegion'sgoalof"nationalresurrection."In1939hewroteofthe"newaristocracy"oftheLegion:
"LegionarismhasreintroducedtoRomaniathejoyandthepedagogyofthehonest,openstruggle....Ithascreatedtheawarenessofanhistoricmission,thefeeling
thatwewereborninordertocarryoutauniquerevolutioninthehistoryofthenation...new,Legionaryaristocracy...."25In"WhyIBelieveintheTriumphofthe
LegionaryMovement,"Eliadeismadetosaythatitsaffirmationwasbecause"Ibelieveinthedestinyofournation,IbelieveintheChristianrevolutionofthenewman,
Ibelieveinfreedom,personality,andlove."(ThisarticleappearedintheGuardistpaperBunavestireoverEliade'sname,althoughaccordingtoMacRicketts,Eliade,
in1981,deniedwritingit.Rickettsstates,however,

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thatinanycaseitwasbasedonparaphrasesofarticlesEliadehadwritten,andprobablycontainednothingwithwhichhewouldnothaveagreedatthattime.)26
Whatappealedtohimmostaboutthatmilitantmovementwasits"spirituality,"thededicationofitsyoungcadreswhowentintothevillagestohelppeasants,andthe
movement'sownostensiblededicationtosocialrebirthandthecreationofthe"newman"agoalwhichseemsveryclearlytoexemplifywhatEricVoegelinmeantby
politicalgnosticism.
Thoughperhapswithdistaste,EliadeseemedwillingtoaccepttheLegion'sviolenceandantiSemitismasapricethathadtobepaidfornationalresurrection.Whilehe
clearlyseemedtoviewtheLegionassomethingcomparabletoGandhi'sspiritual,nonviolentmovementfortheliberationofIndia,itmustbenotedthatevenmany
yearslaterheacceptedviolenceasalsoacceptableinIndia'scase.Inhis1978interviewwiththeFrenchjournalistClaudeHenriRocquet,hesaidthatitwasinIndia
thathebecame"politicallyaware,"inseeingtherepressionofIndiansbytheirBritishrulers.
Isaidtomyself:"HowrighttheIndiansare!"Itwastheircountryalltheywereaskingforwasakindofautonomy,andtheirdemonstrationswerecompletelypeaceful.They
weren'tattackinganyone,justdemandingtheirrights.Andthepolicerepressionwaspointlesslyviolent.SoitwasinCalcuttathatIbecameawareofpoliticalinjusticeandatthe
sametimerealizedthespiritualpossibilitiesofGandhi'spoliticalactivity:thespiritualdisciplinethatmadeitpossibletostanduptoblowswithouthittingback.ItwaslikeChristit
wasTolstoi'sdream.
[Rocquetsaid]Soyouwerewonover,heartandsoul,tothecauseofnonviolence....
[Eliade]Andofviolencetoo!Forexample,onedayIheardanextremisttalking,andIhadtoadmithewasright.Iunderstoodperfectlywellthattherehadtobesomeviolent
protesterstoo.27

InreferencetoGandhi'shandlingofthevolatileIndiansituation,Eliadeonceremarkedthat"inapoliticalmovement,theonlyleaderswithachanceofsuccessare
thosewhoknowhowtosatisfy(ortoChloroform)theextremists."28
Atthesametime,itmustbenotedthatEliade'spublicLegionismextendedonlyforlittlemorethantheyear1937ayearofphenomenalgrowthforthemovement
thoughthequestionofhissympathiesduringyearsofservicetorightistRomaniangovernmentsallied

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withHitleruntil1944cannotbeoverlooked.ButheclaimednevertohavejoinedtheLegion,andactuallywroteveryfewpiecesexplicitlypraisingit.However,his
sometimefriend,theJewishwriterMihailSebastian,whomaswehaveseenhebefriendedintheaffairofthepreface,pennedinhisjournalsatthetimethatinprivate
EliadewascapableofexpressingeuphoricenthusiasmfortheLegion,evenitsviolentacts,andalsoforitsantiSemiticoutbursts.Needlesstosay,Sebastianwas
deeplydistressed,commenting,"He'snotjoking,norishedemented.He'sonlynaive.Butthereissuchathingascatastrophicnaivet!"29Sebastianalsohadmuchto
sayaboutthe"Guardistconversion"amongyoungintellectualsspearheadedbyNaeIonescuandthenewspaper,Cuvantul,whichIonescuedited,aswellingtidethat
reacheditsclimaxin1937and1938,theyearsofEliade'sadherence.30
ThoughnothingcanexcuseEliade'senthusiasmstoday,twofactorsmayatleasthelpustounderstand:first,theabysmalcorruptionandincompetenceofthenominally
democraticmonarchythatruledRomaniainthosedaysandsecond,thenaturalattractionoftheLegion'sromantic,spiritual,andmythicrhetoricforoneofEliade's
susceptibilities.Thewayinwhichallfascistmovementsappealedtodeepinstinctualyearningsforcommunalsolidarity,spiritualrebirth,andenactingdeedsofmythic
dimensionfeelingsnotfarremovedfromthereligiousisnottobeunderestimated.
Duringmostofthethirties,thekinghadtacitlyencouragedtheLegionanditsnationalism.Butin1938CarolII,alarmedattheLegion'srapidgrowthandelectoral
triumphs,establishedaroyaldictatorshipandturnedagainsttheLegion,seeingitasarivalsourceofpower.CodreanuwasarrestedinAprilandfinallyexecuted
"whiletryingtoescape"onNovember30,1938.Eliade,alongwithhisbelovedteacherNaeIonescuandmanyothersofsupposedLegionsympathies,was
imprisonedEliadeforrefusingtosignadocumentdissociatinghimselffromtheLegion.Hesaid,first,thathehadneverjoinedsocouldnotleaveitand,second,that
hedidassociatehimselfwithmanyofitsaims.EliadenevercriticizedCodreanu,themovement'sfounderandleader.Inmemoirswrittenshortlybeforehisowndeath,
hewrote:
Idon'tknowhowCorneliuCodreanuwillbejudgedbyhistory....Forhim,theLegionarymovementdidnotconstituteapoliticalphenomenonbutwas,initsessence,ethicaland
religious.Herepeatedtimeandagainthathewasnotinterestedintheacquisitionofpowerbutinthecreation

Page90
ofa"newman."...[He]believedinthenecessityofsacrificeheconsideredthateverynewpersecutioncouldonlypurifyandstrengthentheLegionarymovement,andhe
believed,furthermore,inhisowndestinyandintheprotectionoftheArchangelMichael....AgoodpartoftheLegionaryactivityconsistedinworshipservices,officesforthe
dead,strictfasts,andprayers.31

Eliade,whoemphasizedinhisownautobiographytheextensivenessandseriousnessofreligiouslifeamongtheincarceratedlegionnaires,wasreleasedafterfour
monthsand,in1940,enabledbywellplacedpatronstodeparthisincreasinglydesperatecountrytobecomeitsculturalattachinLondon,whereheenduredthe
Blitz,andthen,justbeforeBritaindeclaredwaronRomaniain1941,inneutralLisbon,Portugal,until1945.
DuringthelatteryearsEliade(whohadnevercompletelyendorsedtheMussoliniorHitlerregimes)foundtimetocomposeabookinpraiseofPortugal's"benevolent"
dictatorAntnioSalazar,afellowprofessorraisedtoapositionofpower,whoseadministrationherecommendedasanexampletohiscountrymen.(Thebook,he
earnestlysaysintheintroduction,waswrittentoansweraquestion:"Isa[national]spiritualrevolutionpossible?"Theanswer,henowfound,isYes!Salazarhas
"achievedamiracle""atotalitarianandChristianstate,builtnotonabstractions,butonthelivingrealitiesofthenationanditstradition.)"32
Atthesametime,wemustnotethat,accordingtohismemoirs,EliadewasawareofLegionatrocities,thoughapparentlyonlythoseoccurringafterthe1938deathof
Codreanu.WhiletheLegionhadalwaysbeenantiSemiticandprotofascistincharacter,the1938persecutionandthereplacementofCodreanubytheextremist
HoriaSimaasleaderstillfurtherdarkenedthecharacteroftheIronGuard,asitwasincreasinglycalled.Then,asloyaltiesshiftedandeventsmovedwithbewildering
speed,in1940thelegioncametopowerinalliancewiththekingandtheproNazimilitarydictatorIonAntonescutocreatea"NationalLegionnaireState."Eliade
wasclearlyshockedbyaseriesofassassinationsofprominentpoliticalenemiesenactedsoonafterbytheLegionnaireStateonNovember30,1940.33Then,in
January1941,accordingtohisautobiography,hefurther"learnedoftheexcessesandcrimesoftheLegionnaires(exampleswerecitedofpogroms:inparticular,one
atIasi)."34Atthesametime,Antonescuturned

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againsttheLegionandtheLegionnaireState,thoughnottheoutrages,cametoanend.Infact,thesehorrorsandlaterRomanianantiSemiticatrocitieswereexceeded
onlybytheNaziholocaustinnumbersandbrutality,leavingscoresofdesecratedsynagoguesandthousandsofmutilatedcorpses.35ItisnotevidentthatEliadesaw
anyrelationshipbetweenthese"excesses"andthecentralideologyofthespiritualnationalism,withitsantiSemitism,thathehadonceadmired,perhapstothepointof
rapture.
In1978,EliadewastowritetoIoanCulianu,afellowRomanianandprotgwhohadquestionedhimabouthisinvolvement:
Idon'tthinkitispossibletowriteanobjectivehistoryoftheLegionaryMovementnoraportraitofC.Z.C.[Codreanu].Thedocumentsathandareinsufficientmoreover,an
objectiveattitudecanbefatalfortheauthor....AfterBchenwaldandAuschwitzevenhonestpeoplecannotaffordbeing"objective."36

Whatheseemstobesaying,ineffect,isthatwhattheLegionmeantfortyyearsbeforetoayoung,starryeyed,andinstinctivelyspiritualpersonlikehimself,capable
ofbeingfiredupbymythologicalarchetypesandwithnoawarenessoftheevilthatwastobeunleashed,isarealitylockedinapastthat,afterthegatesoftimehave
beenslammedshutonit,canneverberecovered,muchlesscommunicatedtoonewhowasnotthere,withouthopelessmisunderstanding.Undoubtedlyinhisyouthful
idealismhehadsidedwiththeLegionbecausehesawthemaspersecutedrighteousmysticsandidealists.RespondingtotheirhighflownChristianandspiritual
rhetoric,hedoubtlessbelievedtheLegionnaireswereatheartpeacefulfriendsofthepeasantry,thoughpreparedtostruggleanddiefortheircause.Butwhocouldsay
orhearsuchthingsnowwithoutacynicalsnicker?Bettersimplytosaynothing.
Whatistobemadeofacaselikethis?Afterthewar,EliadedefinitelycondemnedtheevilsoftheNaziregime,usuallyinparallelismwiththoseoftheMarxiststates,
justashehadintheearlythirties.InMyths,Dreams,andMysteries,talkingaboutthemythologicalcharacterofMarxistcommunism,hesaysthat
itisclearthattheauthoroftheCommunistManifestotakesupandcarriesononeofthegreateschatologicalmythsoftheMiddleEasternand

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Mediterraneanworld,namely:theredemptiveparttobeplayedbytheJust(the"elect,"the"anointed,"the"innocent,"the"missioners,"inourowndaysbytheproletariat),
whosesufferingsareinvokedtochangetheontologicalstatusoftheworld.Infact,Marx'sclasslesssociety,andtheconsequentdisappearanceofallhistoricaltensions,findtheir
mostexactprecedentinthemythoftheGoldenAgewhich,accordingtoanumberoftraditions,liesatthebeginningandtheendofHistory.Marxhasenrichedthisvenerable
mythwithatrulymessianicJudaeoChristianideologyontheonehand,bythepropheticandsoteriologicalfunctionheascribestotheproletariatand,onheother,bythefinal
strugglebetweenGoodandEvil,whichmaywellbecomparedwiththeapocalypticconflictbetweenChristandtheAntichrist,endinginthedecisivevictoryoftheformer.

HehereimplicitlyrecognizescommunismasJungianinflationorasgnosticinVoegelin'ssense.(InajournalentryforNovember3,1960,EliadereportsthatEric
Voegelinvisitedhim,andhewas"surprisedbytheaffinityofourpositions,"andconcerninghisperceptionofmoderngnosticism,Eliadesaidthepoliticalthinker"can't
getoverthefactthatnoonehaseverseenthesethingsuptonow")37Regardingtheothertotalitarianideology,Eliadeinthesamepassageisinfactlessgenerous:
Incomparisonwiththegrandeurandthevigorousoptimismofthecommunistmyth,themythologypropagatedbythenationalsocialistsseemspeculiarlyineptandthisnotonly
becauseofthelimitationsoftheracialmyth(howcouldoneimaginethattherestofEuropewouldvoluntarilyacceptsubmissiontothemasterrace?),butaboveallbecauseofthe
fundamentalpessimismoftheGermanicmythology...fortheeschatonprophesiedandexpectedbytheancientGermanswastheragnorkthatis,acatastrophicendofthe
world.38

However,apartfromthefewallusionsinthememoirslikethosecitedabove,boththemythologyandtheatrocitiesoftheLegionarepassedoverinsilence,almostas
thoughheexpectedfewofhisworldwidereaderstoknoworcareanythingaboutthedarkstainedhistoryofonesmallcountry.
DefendersofEliadelikeBryanRenniepointoutthatEliade'srelativelyfewpublishedstatementsonbehalfoftheLegioninhisoneyearofpublicassociationwere,
giventhecontextoftimeandplace,quitemoderate.Hedidnot,Renniestates,singleoutJewsapartfromotherminoritiesforcondemnation,muchlessutterwords
thatcould

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haveincitedtheantiSemiticterrorismthatcameafterCodreanu'sdeathandthebrieftenureoftheLegionnairestate.Inthemostnotoriouscase,anarticlecastigating
Jewsfortheir"intransigence,"Eliadeactuallyplacedtherealblameon"Christianhistory"anditstragicinfluenceonJewsunderitsshadow.
InReconstructingEliadeRennieanalyzestheallegationsoffourofthemajorcriticsofEliade'spoliticalactivitiesinthethirtiesIvanStrenski,AdrianaBerger,Leon
Volovici,andDanielDubuissonandmakessubstantial,oftenconvincingcountercriticisms.Heleavesus,asdoesRicketts,withapictureofayoungmanwhowas
notpersonallyantiSemiticorfascist,thoughnationalisticandstronglyundertheillusionthattheLegionwasaspiritualandnonviolentactivitysomethinglikeGandhi's
movementfortheindependenceofIndia.RennieconcludeshischapteronEliade'spoliticalinvolvementwiththesewords:"[I]thastobesaidthatthereistodateno
evidenceofactualmembership,ofactiveservicesrendered,orofanyrealinvolvementwithanyfascistortotalitarianmovementsorideals.Noristhereanyevidence
ofcontinuedsupportfornationalistseparatistidealsaftertheirinherentlyviolentnaturewasrevealed,noroftheimprintofsuchidealsinEliade'sscholarship."Scholars
whohavemadesuchallegations,hecontends,"havepursuedtheirownagendaswithlittleregardfortheintegrityoftheirtextualsources."39
CertainlyotherRomanianintellectualsofthethirties,asVoloviciamplyillustrates,werefarmoreblatantlyfascistandantiSemiticthanEliade.Oneneedmentiononly
Eliade's"Mephistopheles,"ashehasbeencalled,NaeIonescu,ortheinsufferableEmilCioran,whoacquiredameasureofpostwarfameasanexistentialist
philosopherinParis.PerhapsEliadewasalsothevictimoftoomuchfametoosoon,abrilliantbutstillimmaturefigurewhomayhavefeltcompelledbyhispositionas
"leaderoftheyoung"totakepublicstandshemightprivatelyhavepreferredtoavoid.Manyofus,includingmyself,wouldnotcaretwentyorthirtyyearslatertobe
heldaccountableforeverythingwesaidorbelievedaboutreligionorpoliticsatagethirtyone.ItisalsofairtopointoutthattheLegionexperienceofthethirtieswas
onlypartofwhatshapedthematureEliadewhoemergedafterthewar,asiffromadifficultandprolongednearsightedadolescence:therewasalsoIndia,theclassical
literatureofseverallanguages,existentialistphilosophy,theideasoftherenaissance.InastrikingjournalentryforJanuary3,1961,Eliadewrote:

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Today,cominghomefromtheuniversity,inthevicinityoftheOrientalInstitute,Isuddenlyexperiencedmylife'sduration.Impossibletofindjusttherightword.Isuddenlyfelt,
notolder,butextraordinarilyrichandfullexpandedbringingtogetherinme,concomitantly,boththeIndian,Portuguese,andParisian"time"andthememoriesofmyBucharest
childhoodandyouth.AsifIhadacquiredanewdimensionofdepth.Iwas"larger,""rounder."Animmenseinnerdomainwhere,notsolongago,Iwaspenetratingonly
fragmentarilybytryingtorelivesuchandsuchaneventwasrevealedinitstotality:I'mabletoseeitfromendtoendand,atthesametime,inallitsdepth.
Avigorous,strongfeeling.Historicalhumanlifesuddenlytakesonmeaningandsignificance.Optimism.40

Nonetheless,onthepoliticalside,Eliadewasoldenoughandexperiencedenoughinthethirtiestoknowwhathewasdoing,orshouldhavebeen.Perhapshewas
"catastrophicallynaive,"butthatalsoisafailingwhichneedstobeaddressed.ThereisnoneedtodoubtthesincerityofhisscattereddenunciationsoffascistorNazi
ideologyandpractice,bothprewarandpostwar,includingofatrocitiesagainstJews,ortocavilathisalsoscattered,respectfultreatmentofJewishscholars,suchas
GershomScholem,andofreligiousJudaism.41
ButwhathasbotheredmanycriticswasEliade'ssubsequentinabilitytorenounceorevendiscussseriouslytheLegionaspectofhisownlife,beyondthestillapologetic
andnaivesoundingreferencescitedaboveintheposthumousvolumetwoofhisautobiography.Hewouldsaylittlemorethanhedid,forexample,inresponseto
denunciationsbyanItalianscholarin1950ofhis"alleged'fascist'activitybeforethewar."Eliadethoughttheallegationsultimatelyemanatedfromthethencommunist
RomanianembassyinRomehisonlycommentwastheremarkthattheywere"atimelyreminderthatmyimprudentactsanderrorscommittedinyouthconstituteda
seriesofmalentendus[misunderstandings,mistakes]thatwouldfollowmeallmylife."42
Yetitisstatementslikethisthathaveonlycauseddoubtstofester.IonCulianu,abrilliantyounghistorianofreligion,aprotgofEliadeandhisliteraryexecutor,put
hisfingerontheprobleminareviewofEliade'sautobiographywhenhesaidof1936to1938:"Whyinsistatsuchlengthonarelativelyshortepisodeinalonglife?
Becausetherestofthatlifeisrelativelywellknownandtransparent,whereasitispreciselythisepisodethatthesecondvolumeoftheautobiographyrevealsina
detachedtone."43

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CulianuwashimselfmurderedattheUniversityofChicagoonMay21,1991,perhapsatthehandsofGuardistelementsstilllingeringinthemurkyworldofRomanian
politics.AsaRomanian,thoughbornandraisedinthecommunistera,hemusthavehadsomeinsightsintoEliade'smentalityandthepoliticalcultureoftheirhomeland
lessaccessibletooutsidersthantoanative.Afterreading"thewholecovetedfileconcerningEliade'spoliticalsympathiesin19381940,"hewroteMacRicketts,"my
positionisstillthesame.Mr.EliadehasneverbeenanantiSemite,amemberoftheIronGuard,oraproNazi.ButIunderstandanywaythathewasclosertotheIG
[IronGuard]thanIlikedtothink."Healsoraisedtheproblem,importanttoourowndiscussionofthreemythologists,ofreadingthewordsandthoughtsofoneera
throughthelensofanother,afterhorribleeventsthatwereoncestillinthefuturehadbecometerrorsofhistory.44Howmuchcanweexcuseamythologistorhistorian
ofreligionfor,likemosthumans,notpossessingabsoluteprecognition,whilestillblamingthemfornotreadingarightthesignsofthetimes?Howcouldsentimentsthat
intheendledtounspeakablehorrorshavebeenatonetimefairly"normal,"thoughnotblameless?
CulianuquotedSeymourCain,"apenetratingreaderoftheAutobiography":
EliadeneverdirectlyforswearshisideologicalassociationwiththeLegionarymovement,andseesitsdeclineandfallasaRomaniantragedy,theinevitableresultofitspolitical
naivet,ratherthanagoodthing.HeismorelikethefellowtravelersofSovietcommunismwhogaveuptheirassociationbutneverrepudiatedtheideologytowhichtheyhad
giventheiryouthfuldevotion.45

OnecanonlyregretthatthematureEliadeneverfoundthetimeorthecouragetoaddressopenandfullythoseerrorsofhisyouth,subjectingthemtotheacute
analysisofspiritualconsciousnessofwhichhewascapableinexaminingtheinitiatoryordealsofothers.Itseemsmorethanlikelythathewasoneofthoseintellectuals
soinnocentandnaive,andsoentrancedbythepullofaspiritualdramathatraisedoneabovethepalecastofthought,thatheasyouthful"mythologist"sawthemyths
hewantedtoseeenactedbytheLegion,andblindedhimselftoitsuglyside.ThroughoutthetwentiethcenturythelikesoftheyoungEliadehaveembracedfascismand
Marxism,feelingonlythesamerighteousnessandjoy.Quitenonviolentbynaturehimself,

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fundamentallymoreaestheticthanpolitical(or,forthatmatter,thanscholarlyinthemostrigoroussenseoftheterm),heexaltedtheLegion'sownmartyrsbut,
incrediblygivenitsmartialtoneanditspropaganda,wassurprisedbyitskills.
Hadhetalkedaboutallthisasthelightofcommondayovertookhisfantasiesafter1945,hewouldhaveraisedhisownstatureintheend,andwewouldhaveknown
moreaboutthemidtwentiethcentury,thateraofunprecedentedopulenceandterror,ofmythandscience,throughwhichhemadehispilgrimage.Culianu,after
mentioningEliade'sreferenceintheautobiographytohistakinga"dangerousturn,"atthatpointinhislife,adds,"Howmuchwewishhehadsaid:awrongone!"46
Buthedidnot.
Theapocalypticyear1945wasatimeofradicaldisjunctureinEliade'spilgrimage,aseasonofmovingfromonelifetoanother.Thelatethirtiesandearlyfortieshad
beenatimeofdeathinhispersonalworld,astheyhadbeenforsomanymillionsintheworldatlarge.Codreanuwasexecutedin1938,NaeIonescudied
prematurelyofaheartattackin1940,Sebastianwashitbyatruckandkilledin1945,Eliade'sfirstwifeNinadiedofcancerin1944.
After1945deathchangedtonewlife.Hemethissecondwife,Christinel,inPariswheretheywerebothpostwarexilesfromRomania.ForEliadewasinexileina
strangenewpostwarworld,aworldshapedbyatomicbombs,therevelationsofAuschwitz,communisttriumphineasternEurope,elsewherethevictoryofBritishand
U.S.values.Insuchaworldthelesssaidaboutthepastthebetter,ofcourse.ButitmustquitehonestlyhavealsoseemedtoEliadethat1945affordedanopportunity
suchasisrarelygivenahumanbeingtoreconstructhimselfthoroughlyandbeginanew,despitethepossibilitythatafewghostly"malentendus"wouldstillwaftoutof
thenowremotepast.Duringthefinalmonthsofthewar,stillinLisbon,hesensedaprofoundchangeovertakinghim.Hesufferedsevereinsomnia:
ButIdidnotresorttosleepingpills.Instead,IrereadandmeditatedontheGospels,tryingtodiscoverthedirectiontotaketogetoutofthelabyrinth.Ithadseemedtomefora
longtimethatIhadbeenwanderinginalabyrinth,andastimepassedIbecamemoreandmoreconvincedthatitwasyetanotherinitiatoryordeal,asmanycrisesinthepast
severalyearshadbeen.Allthedespair,depression,andsufferinghadameaning:Imustunderstandthemassomany"initiatorytortures"preparingmeforthesymbolicdeathand
spiritualresurrectiontowardwhichIwas

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heading.IknewthatIcouldnotremainindefinitelyinmypresentstate:IwasnolongerthemanIhadbeeninthefirstyearofthewar,butstillIhadnotattainedanothermodeof
being.Iwasinanobscurephase,atransitionperiod...[evenas]thewholeworldwasintheprocessofbeingtransformed.47

Manylivesaredividedintodefiniteparts,butinnotallofthemistheresuchaclearwallasinthecaseofMirceaEliade,exilingoneatadefinitepointfromonesetof
daysthatarenomore,andfromaplacetowhichonecanneverreturnphysically.Inevitablytherewillbeasenseoflossandgain,ofregretandofopportunity.But
alsoonewillbeachinglyawarethereissomethinginone'spastwhichnoonewhohadnotlivedinthatnowforbiddenspaceandtimecouldevertrulyunderstand.
UndoubtedlytheexperienceonlyenhancedaninborngnosticlikesenseimportanttoEliadethatexileisamongtheprofoundestmetaphorsforallhumanlife.
ItisnotthepurposeofthepresentstudytosortoutEliade'sguiltorinnocence,orcombinationofboth,inrespecttoRomanianfascism,beyondwhathasalreadybeen
said.Hewasamanofassortedsecrets,andsomeofthemprobablyhetookwithhimindeath.WemustnowturntothelargerquestionofthemeaningofEliade'spast
tothescholar'shistoryofreligionsworkandtotheimplicitpoliticalthemestherein.
Inpursuanceoftheseanswers,weshall,Ithink,learnthreethings:
1.ThatthefundamentalmotifofEliade'slife,certainlyafter1945,butreallyallthewaythrough,wasthethemeofexile.Hefelthimself,afteradolescence,anexile
fromhisownchildhoodandyouth.Beforelongthatfeelingwasextrapolatedintoregardinghimselfassomethingofagnosticexilefrometernity.Evenhispassionfor
Romanianismwasreallythegropingofawanderingsoulforsolidground,morethanthesortofgrittypoliticalcommitmentitmayhavebeenforothers.
2.ThatthereisreasontothinkthedisastrousexperiencewithRomanianismandtheLegionledhimtopluralizeanduniversalizetheexperienceoftheSacred,whileat
thesametimebringinghomeforcefullytheterrorofhistory.Asexperienceroftotalitarianismandasexile,hecouldwellhavebeenledtoperceivetotalitarianism's
oppositeandexile'sopportunity,radicalpluralism,asapositivegood.BryanRenniedoesnothesitatetosay:''IwouldsuggestthatEliade'sbrushwithtotalitarian
ideologiesinthe30sinfluencedhistheoreticalpositionasexpressedinhislaterbooksasareactionagainstsuchtendenciesthathisperilousattractiontotheextreme
rightinhis

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youngeryearsledtoafarmorematurepositionthat,initsownway,hislaterworkswerearepudiationoftheexlusivismandethnicsuperiorityofthelaterIron
Guard."48Themostimportantquestion,however,isnotwhetherEliademadeseriouspoliticalmisjudgmentsatparticulartimes,whichhecertainlydid,butasinthe
caseofJungwhatrelationthosejudgmentshavetohislifeworkasmythologistandhistorianofreligion.
3.Thatinallthishewasnotatraditionalistbutasometimepoliticalandthenascholarlymodernistinthemostrarefiedsenseoftheword,whosawtraditionasmaterial
tobestudied,perhapsusedforpoliticalorotherends,butnottobebelievedorpersonallyadopted.Fortheessenceofwhatinformssacredtraditionisoftenunder
secularcamouflageinasecularage,andifitisdiscoveredatallwillbefoundundernewandoftensecularwrappings.
ButfirstletusconsiderEliadetheexile.
ExilefromEternity
MirceaEliadehasrecordedthisstrikingmemoryfromhisearlychildhood:
Irememberespeciallyasummerafternoonwhenthewholehouseholdwassleeping.IlefttheroommybrotherandIshared,creepingsoasnottomakeanynoise,andheaded
towardthedrawingroom....ItwasasifIhadenteredafairytalepalace.Therollerblindsandtheheavycurtainsofgreenvelvetweredrawn.Theroomwaspervadedbyaneerie
iridescentlight.ItwasasthoughIweresuddenlyenclosedwithinahugegrape.
Inevertoldanyoneaboutthisdiscovery.Actually,IthinkIshouldnothaveknownwhattotell.HadIbeenabletouseadultvocabulary,ImighthavesaidthatIhaddiscovereda
mystery....Icouldlaterevokeatwillthatgreenfairyland.WhenIdidsoIwouldremainmotionless,almostnotdaringtobreathe,andIwouldrediscoverthatbeatitudeallover
againIwouldrelivewiththesameintensitythemomentwhenIhadstumbledintothatparadiseofincomparablelight.Ipracticedformanyyearsthisexerciseofrecapturingthe
epiphanicmoment,andIwouldalwaysfindagainthesameplenitude.Iwouldslipintoitasintoafragmentoftimedevoidofdurationwithoutbeginningandwithoutend.During
mylastyearsoflyce,whenIstruggledwithprolongedattacksofmelancholy,Istillsucceededattimesinreturningtothegoldengreenlightofthatafternoon....Buteven
thoughthebeatitudewasthesame,itwasnowimpossibletobearbecauseitaggravatedmysadnesstoomuch.BythistimeIknewtheworldtowhichthedrawingroom

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49

belongedwiththegreenvelvetcurtain,thecarpetonwhichIhadcreptonhandsandknees,andthematchlesslightwasaworldforeverlost.

Inarealsense,thissceneasrememberedstruckthetemplateofalifegovernedbynostalgia:forchildhood,forhistoricaltimespast,forcosmicreligion,forparadise.
Likeanyrealhistorian,helovedthepastjustbecauseitwaspast,buthealsosawinthegulfbetweenthehumanpresentanditspastaniconoftherupturebetween
timeandeternity.Atthesametime,hewasawarealsothatthehumanconditionistoliveintensionbetweenone'spresentstateandtheobjectsofnostalgia:theycan
neverbefullyrecoveredperhapstheyarealwayspartlyadream.InMyths,DreamsandMysteriesheiscarefultopointoutthatprimalpeoples"werealsoawareof
havinglostaprimitiveparadise."50Theydidnotbelievetheylivedinmythologicaltimetheirmythstooweresetinanindeterminatepast,severedfromtheirpresentby
amythological"fall."ForEliadenomorethanforJungwas"theprimitive''idealizeditwasmerelydifferent,insomewaysembodyingaconsciousnessbetterableto
understand,andtherebytoyearnfor,theprimalparadisesofmyth.
Eliadewasfundamentallyastructuralistwhobeganwithanidealtype,homoreligiosus,religiousman,andthenanalyzedthestructuresoftheworldasseenbythis
person.Hisreligiouscosmosisfirstofallnot"homogeneous"butdividedintothesacredandtheprofane,sacredspaceandtime,likethegreenroom,thespaceof
templesandthelike,thetimeofriteandfestival,overagainsttheir"ordinary,"nonsacredcounterparts.Thesacredultimatelycannotbecontrivedbutonlydiscovered
through"hierophany,"communicatedbymeansofmythandpreservedinriteswhose"gestures"symbolicallyrepeatthoseofthemythicaltime,illudtempus.
Allthiswasbestrealizedbyarchaicpeopleswhostilllivedintheworldof"cosmicreligion,"inthe"paradiseofarchetypes"beforetimehasbeen"allowedtobecome
'history'"throughdiscoveryofthe"irreversibilityofevents"inthosedaysofinnocenceitscorrosiveeffectscouldbeperiodicallyreversedandevilexpelledthrough
ritesofrenewal.51Postarchaicmanhasfallenintohistoricaltimeandhenceintothedolorous"terrorofhistory,"aplaceofnightmaresandignesfatuiinwhich
"Modernman'sboastedfreedomtomakehistoryisillusoryfornearlythewholeofthehumanrace."52Butshadowyrelicsoftheoldcosmicsacredstillabideonthe
fringesofconsciousness,andcan

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beevoked.Whyshouldonecallthemup?Inaword,tobefree.Incontrasttothefalsefreedomofwhichmodernsboast,whichisreallyslaverytohistory,andto
"leaders"whopromisefreedomonlytotakeitaway,
themanofthearchaiccivilizationscanbeproudofhismodeofexistence,whichallowshimtobefreeandtocreate.Heisfreetobenolongerwhathewas,freetoannulhisown
historythroughperiodicabolitionoftimeandcollectiveregeneration....[T]hearchaicandtraditionalsocietiesgrantedfreedomeachyeartobeginanew,a"pure"existence,with
virginpossibilities.53

ThisisaninterestingissueinviewofEliade'sownpoliticalhistory.Fascism,asitshistorianshaveincreasinglynoted,wasaparadoxicalmixoftribal,romantic,and
historicalconsciousnessinaword,amixofcosmosandhistory.FascismwasnotreallyreactionaryasStanleyG.Paynehaspointedout,alargepartofHitler's
NationalSocialismand,Iwouldadd,offascismgenerally,eventhatoftheIronGuardhadrootsasmuchintheEnlightenment,andsubsequentpopularideasof
the"modern"andthe"progressive,"asinromanticreactionsagainsttheEnlightenment:therevoltagainsttraditionalcultureinthenameofarevolutionarysecularism
andracialorsocial''science"(orarevolutionary"Christianity"intheRomaniancase),theideaofprogress,emphasisonthe"people"andthenation,inaccordance
withtheRousseauiannotionofthe"generalwill."54
Butwhatisdistinctiveaboutfascisthistoryisthatitdoesnotwanttoworkthroughrationaldemocratic"larval"progress,dependingontheoccasionalreformthat
survivesthetediouscompromisingcourseofpoliticsasusual,andtheirincrementalhumanimplementation.Itdemandsinsteadsuddenandmagicalhistory,chargedby
thesovereignpowerofwill.ThishistoryismoreakintothestrangefreedomEliadesawincosmicmanthanwhattheterrorofhistorywaslikelytobring.Itisa
recoveryoftheradicalenlightenmentdreamofanewEden,whichafter1789notafewthoughtcouldberefoundedbyrevolutionaryviolence.Nevermindthatthe
cosmicreligionfreedomespiedbyEliadebarelycorrespondstotherealityofprimalsocieties,whichbymodernstandardsareinfactburdenedwithconformity,
repetitions,andexceedinglyslowratesofchange.Theapparentfreedomofnewbeginningssuggestedbyprimalmythsofeternalrenewalimpliedtothismodern
observermagicalrevolution,theGuardistidea

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ofnationalresurrection.Thepointnowis,though,thatafter1945Eliadelookedattheprimalmagicallinthemodeofthemodernscholar/observer,notparticipant/
observer.Whetherinrepentanceorvictory,Eliadeemergesasathoroughlymodernman,ahistorianofreligion.
Andatthesametimehewasaslaveofhistory,whichrolehehadlivedtothefull.AsallfromtheWorldWarIIgenerationknow,thatmightyconflicttaughtthelesson
well.AsStefan,inEliade'smajorandinlargepartautobiographicalnovelTheForbiddenForest,putit:
Todaythemasterofallofusisthewar....Ithasconfiscatedthewholeofcontemporaryhistory,thetimeinwhichwearefatedtolive.AllEurope'sbehavinglikeamonstrous
robotsetinmotionbythenewsbeingreleasedeveryminutefromhundredsofradiostations,fromspecialeditionsofthenewspapers,fromconversationamongfriends.Even
whenwe'realonewethinkaboutthewarallthetime.Thatis,we'reslavesofHistory.

Andheadds,inwhatundoubtedlyareEliade'sownwords:
AgainsttheterrorofHistorythereareonlytwopossibilitiesofdefense:actionorcontemplation.55

Hehadonce,diffidentlyandoutofcharacter,triedtheformer.Thepostwaryearsgaveopportunityforthelatter.
NodoubtinlateryearsEliadefeltabouthisownRomanianpastasdidprimalfolkaboutmythictime.Hewasdrawnbacktoit,yetheknewhecouldnotlivethere,
andthatallwasnotwellwithit.Eventhen,however,therewerenostalgiasuponrichernostalgias.InthethirtieshepublishedIntoarcereadinRai(Returnfrom
Paradise,1934),anovelofthe"younggeneration,"whichdealtwiththe"lossofthebeatitude,illusions,andoptimismthathaddominatedthefirsttwentyyearsof
'GreaterRomania.'"Hehad,hesaid,livedhisadolescenceinanatmosphereofeuphoriaandfaiththatalreadylaybehindhimandhiscohorts."Wehadlostitbefore
becomingawareofit.Ourshadbeen,infact,thefirstandonlygenerationwhichcouldenjoythe'paradise'establishedin19191920''aspiritualandnotpolitical
paradise,hehastenstoadd,andonealreadygone.56"IknewthatIhadlosttheparadiseIhadknowninadolescenceandearlyyouth:disponibilit,theabsolute
freedomtothinkandcreate.ThatwaswhyIhadproduced

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somuch,sofastIknewthattheleisurehistoryhadalloweduswaslimited."57
ThenthereisEliadethePlatonist,whoknewthatonsomestilldeeperlevelthetimelessworldandtheworldrunningdownintimecoexist,thedaysoftimebeing
etemity'smirrors.Thismeantthatthesacred,theilludtempusormythictimeatthebeginnings,alltheinitiationsofshamansandheroes'quests,allthehierophanies,
mustbeasrealnowasever.Insofarasthatsideofrealityisnolongervisibleinitstraditionalforms,itmustbeindeepcamouflage.Thesacredthingsareinfact
universals,likeJungianarchetypes(thoughEliadeinsists,notidenticalwiththem),proteanandcapableoftakingmanyshapesinmanycultures.
The"camouflageofthesacred"isamajorthemeofthereflectivesideofEliade'swork.ProbablythetwoEliadeanthemesthathavemostinfluencedtheintellectual
worldoutsidereligiousstudiesarethenotionofmoderncamouflagesofthesacredandtheinterpretationofshamanisminShamanism:ArchaicTechniquesof
Ecstasy,58withitsvividportrayalsoftheshaman'scall,"initiatorypsychopathology"andmarvelousflight.Agenerationofcritics,playwrights,andpsychiatristsfound
inthoseconstructsabundanttoolsfortheircraft.AttheveryendofTheSacredandtheProfane,Eliadealludestovarious"camouflages''ofthesacredinthe
modern:intheveiledmythologiesrecapitulatedbythecinematic"dreamfactory,"intheyearningfortheGoldenAgeinMarxism,inthe"nostalgiaforEden"ofnudism
andyearningforcompletesexualfreedom.59
InCosmosandHistory,Eliadecompareseternalreturntime,thetimeof"cosmicreligion,"withthetimeofhistory.Thelattertermembracesallthatiscreativeand
destructiveintimeaswe,beingsconditionedbyhistoryandhistoricism,knowit:the"terrorofhistory."Buthistoricalcreativityisactuallylimitedbythepathsthepast
haspreset,andsothepresentisreallydeterminatethoughitseemsfree.Primalman,ontheotherhand,recreatedtheworldeachyearandsoistrulyfree.
Christianity,withitspromiseoffreedombutitsrootednessinspecificconditioningtimeandplaceisthesupremehistoricalreligion.
ThoseimplicationscanbereadinawaythatharksbacktothefirstsignificantbookaboutEliade,ThomasJ.J.Altizer'sMirceaEliadeandtheDialecticofthe
Sacred.60Altizer,famousasoneofthe"DeathofGod"theologiansofthe1960s,arguesthattheultimatefulfillmentof

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Eliade'svisionwouldbeacoincidentiaoppositoruminwhichthesacredandtheprofanebecomeoneinaworldafterthedeathoftheGodwhoisseparatefromthe
worldand"other."CertainlyEliadeseemsoftenonthevergeofsayingthis,ashespeaksofeventheprimaldeusotiosusasafirstNietzscheandeathofGod,of
paradiseasbeingamereobjectofnostalgia,andoftheincreasingcamouflageofthesacredinthemodernworld.ButoneneverfindsinEliadethecelebrationofthe
sacredsecularsymbiosisextolledbyAltizerrather,thereisasenseofwistfulnessforlostdayswhenthetwainwerewelldefined.InreferencetoAltizer,whomhe
knewfairlywellinthedaysofhis19571969journals,Eliaderemarkedinearly1963:"IamcontinuingmydiscussionswithTomAltizer....Ireply:Allthesefamous
authorsthatTomadmiressoareWesterners....MydialoguehasotherinterlocutorsthanthoseofFreudorJamesJoyce:I'mtryingtounderstandaPaleolithic
hunter,ayogiorashaman,apeasantfromIndonesia,anAfrican,etc.,andtocommunicatewitheachone."61
CertainlythereisanelementofnostalgiainEliade'streatmentofcosmicreligiontimeswhenthesacredwasstrongandtheterrorofhistoryhadbarelyraiseditshead.
ButsuchrearviewmirrorsentimentsmustcomeupagainstthephenomenologistandstructuralistsideofEliade'swork,inwhichsehnsuchtladenfeelingsareoflittle
accountandtheobserver'scoldeyecanseetheforms,atleast,ofthesacredinthesecular.Evenwhetherornotathingiscalledreligiondoesnotmatter,solongas
thestructureandtheformsthatappearimagetheancientguisesofthesacred.ThusSupermanisIndraorHerculesreborn,andAphroditeenchantsagainasMarilyn
Monroe.
Charmingasthesecomparisonsare,though,onemaywellaskiftheheroorthegoddesswasreallyfunctionallythesameinthetwoverydifferentcultures.Where,for
themoderndeities,aretheclassictemples,thesmokingaltars,thepaeansbycivicleadersinwhatwerecommunityaswellasprivatedevotions?Canonefind
Eliadeansacredspaceonthesilverscreenor,morerecently,theinternet?
ThesearenotfrivolousquestionsCatholicindulgenceshavebeengivenviatelevisedmasses,andNeopaganritualshavebeenenactedincyberspace.Wecannothere
sortoutalltheissuessufficeittonotethatthesedevelopmentsonlyconfirmthepersistenceofreligion,itsabilitytotakeanastoundingvarietyofforms,andtoadapt
tovirtuallyanynewworldstechnologyandsocialchangemaybring.ThisEliadewouldhardlydeny,andthisopennesstotheflexibilityofthe

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sacredmustbetakenintoaccountinanycomprehensiveviewofthepoliticalimplicationsofEliade'smythology.
NonhomogeneousWorlds
Indeed,somethingoftheprimalvisioncanberecovered,thoughperhapsonlyindividuallyandvicariously,throughthehistoryofreligions.Eliadewasexcitedaboutthe
contemporaryculturalimportanceofhisdisciplineas"anewhumanism,"ultimatelyIbelievebecausehesawitasofferingtheprospectoftranscendingthetyrannyof
history.Notonlydoesmodernhistorytranscendthepast,butthestudyofthehistoryofreligioncanleadtoselftranscendence.Hewrotethat"thehistoryofreligions
isdestinedtoplayanimportantroleincontemporaryculturallife...especiallybecause,byattemptingtounderstandtheexistentialsituationsexpressedbythe
documentsheisstudying,thehistorianofreligionswillinevitablyattaintoadeeperknowledgeofman...[because]bystudyingthereligiousexpressionsofaculture,
thescholarapproachesitfromwithin."62
ButletusreturntotheobservationthatEliadebeganwithanidealtype,theconceptofhomoreligiosus.Whatthisoughttomean,ofcourse,isnotthatallpersons,or
allconventionallyreligiouspersons,alwaysthinkandactlikehomoreligiosus.Butwhentheyareactingreligiouslythey"become"homoreligiosus,andthehomo
religiosuswayofviewingandbeingintheworldiswhattheirritualorotherreligiousbehaviorsaysthroughitsownlanguagetheworldislike,regardlessoftheextent
towhichconsciousbeliefisattunedtoit.LikeJungspeakingofmassmanandcollectiveunconsciousness,however,Eliade'sphenomenologytendstoslideoverthat
lastqualification,andtoassumethatsubjectivityfollowsritualaction.
BeingEliadetrained,IamadamantmyselfthatreligionshouldnotbereducedtoinwardbelieftheProtestanttemptationandthatitisveryimportanttolistentothe
languagesoftheritual,art,andothernonverbalsignsofanyreligiouscommunity.Butitisequallyimportantnottopresupposethatthesubjectivitybehindsuch
"gestures"isnecessarilyholisticandhomogeneousthroughoutthecommunity.Toreturntothepoliticalcaseand,forexamples,totheNationalSocialistera,inthe
postwarinterviewpublishedasOrdealbyLabyrinthEliaderespondedtoaquestionbytheFrenchjournalistClaudeHenriRocquetaboutreligiousmurder,suchas
thatoftheAztec

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sacrifices.Rocquethadinquired,"WhatcriterionenablesustodecidethattheAztecslivedoutajustifiedillusionwhereastheNazistormtroopersdidn't?Whatisthe
differencebetweenordinarymurderandsacredmurder?"
Inreply,Eliadesaid,"FortheSS,theannihilationofmillionsofpeopleintheconcentrationcampsalsohadameaning,andevenaneschatologicalone.Theybelieved
thattheyrepresentedGoodversusEvil....WeknowwhatGoodwasforNazism:fairhaired,Nordicman,whattheycalledthepureAryan.Andtherestwere
incarnationsofEvil,ofthedevil.ItwasalmostaformofManicheanism:thestruggleofGoodagainstEvil."63
ThepointisnotthatEliadewasjustifyingtheNazis.Hewasnot.Laterinthesamediscoursehespokeofthemas"thosesickmen,orzealots,orfanaticsthose
modernManicheans"who"sawEvilasbeingembodiedincertainraces:theJews,theGypsies,"andsoforthem,"sacrificingthembythemillionswasthusnota
crime.''Itisratherthat,first,heneverreallyansweredRocquet'squestionastohowonecantellthedifferencebetweenAztecritualmurder(ifonemakethe
questionableassumptionthatitwasa"justified"religious"illusion")andtheNazicrimesandsecondthat,inapeculiarreflectionoftheNazis'ownmentality,hesawthe
Nazisthemselvescollectivelyratherthansingly,anidealtypeliketheAztecsperformingroles(orratheronerole)intheirownmyth.
Infactnotallstormtroopersliquidatingtheirmillionssawthemselvesconsistentlyandhomogeneouslyasactingouta"Manichean"AryanmythofGoodversusEvil.
Someweresickenedbutfearfulofresistingorders,somewerenumbed,somewerejustordinarysadists,afewdidresistinvariouscovertways,someprobablywere
TrueBelievers.WhileEliade'smythologymayhelpustounderstandthemessageofthegrimoverallpattern,itistheseindividualnuancesthatonemisses:forhimthe
individualbecomeshis/herroleinmythsandritualsthatareessentiallysocial.ForEliadethephenomenologist,unlikeJungthephysician,thereisnoteventalkof
individuationoutofthoserolesunlessthroughastillmythologizedtransformativeprocesslikethatoftheshamanortheyogi,orunlessthatisattainedintheprivileged
positionofthe"newhumanist,"themodernscholarlyobserverlikeEliadehimself!
ThehistorianofreligionwaswellawareofthistendencyonthepartofMarxists,ashemadeclearinajournalcomment:

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I'veextracted,somewhathaphazardly,fromthevocabularyofCommunisttrials:Titoist,Trotskyite,assassin,agentofimperialism.Thesearecategories,characters,archetypes
whichdonotcorrespondtohuman,historicalpersonalities,OnehastheimpressionthatinSoviettrialsitisnotmen,notindividuals,whoappear,buttypes,archetypes,
characters.Exactlyasintheahistoricalhorizonsofarchaicsocieties.(cf.TheMythoftheEternalReturn)

Andagain:
Marxismdoesn'treflecttheobjective,scientificsprit(noteventhespiritofpositivism)butratherthetensionandaggressivityofprophetictheologies.MarxandtheMarxists
writejustasaggressivelyandpolemicallyasthetheologiansoftheReformationandCounterReformation.64

EliadethereforewentontotalktoRocquetsimilarlyofthe"myth"thenafflictinghishomeland:
ExactlythesamecanbesaidabouttheGulagsandtheapocalypticeschatologyofthegreatCommunist'liberation':itseesitselfasconfrontedbyenemiesthatrepresentEvil,that
constituteanobstacletothetriumphofGood,thetriumphofliberty,ofman,andsoon.AllthiscanbecomparedwiththeAztecs.65

Althoughafter1945Eliadenolongermuchcommittedhimselfpubliclytoanypoliticalorothermyths,thereisadeeplevelcontinuitytohiswork.Hesawtheworldas
thearenaof,inhisterm,the"dialecticofthesacred,"or,toputitanotherway,asanarenaofmythagainstmythandritualagainstritual,forinsuchaworldeventhe
profaneisstillpartofthemyth.Thisisaviewthatisreactionary,ifthewordmaynowbeusedinaneutraldescriptivesense,becauseitimpliesthatthearchaicworldis
neededtointerpretthemodern.Themodernworldreallyactsoutmythsasmuchasever,includingthosesoddenwithbloodsacrifice,butknowsnotwhatitdoes.By
returningtothearchaicworld,whichlivedmuchmoreconsciouslybymythandritual,wecanunderstandhowwetooarehomoreligiosusbehindthesecularmasks.In
doingsowemayfindtheratherrarefiedsalvationofferedbyEliade'sNewHumanism,andspiceitwiththehumaneexcitementhefoundinscholarlyexploration.
Thisisnot,however,fullytoagreewithIvanStrenski'scontentionthe"theRomanianright,the'newgeneration'andIonescu'sirratio

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nalisttraditionalismprovidethecontextessentialtoan'external'understandingofEliade'sthoughtingeneral,andhisthoughtaboutmythinparticular."Strenskiholds
thatEliade'sthinkingaboutmythisaspeciesofrightwingpoliticalthinking,"thoughforsometimenowithasbeengiventousinauniversalisedandatleastavowedly
apoliticalform,"butnonethelessoffersarightistsortof"sweepingontologicaljudgementuponthematerial,secular,modernworld"basedona"volkish"sortof
nostalgiaforthe"archaic,cosmicandtelluric.''66TheRomanianrightiscertainlyonecontextinwhichEliade'sthoughtemerged,butStrenski,writingbeforeMac
Rickett'stwovolumeworkonEliade'sRomanianrootsorthepublishedjournals(apartfromNoSouvenirs)wereavailable,wasperhapsnotfullyabletotakeinto
accountthediversityofthehistorianofreligion'sexperiencesandattitudes,whichapartfromoneortwoyearshavebeenmorecomplexthananythingthatcould
simplybepigeonholedas"rightist"or"archaic"ineitherreligionorpolitics.MostsignificantontheothersideoftheargumentisthewayEliadedoesnotfullyembrace
archaismor"cosmicreligion"asamonolithicvalue,butportrayssignificanthumanlifeasincontinuousdialecticbetweenhistory,togetherwithmodernity,andthe
"cosmic."
StrenskirightlycriticizesEliade'sphenomenologyandstructuralismforitslackof"falsifiability,"67andonthegroundsofselectiveandapparently"essentialist"
categories.LikeJungandCampbell,orSirJamesFrazerinTheGoldenBough,Eliadedrawsanoverwhelmingwealthofexamplesfromarangeofsourcesand
culturalcontexts,treatingthemalluncriticallyasequal.Obviousselectivityobtainsinfavorofthepointtobemade,andperhapsonthegroundsofthegreatscholar's
vastbutultimatelyfinitelearning.Thereis,forexample,verylittleifanyuseinhisphenomenologicalbooksofProtestantChristianity,ofwhichheseemstohavehad
littlecomprehensiondespitehismanyyearsonthefacultyofatraditionallyliberalProtestantdivinityschool.(Nevertheless,amongearliermodernthinkersitis
probablythefatherofliberalProtestantism,theromantictheologianFriedrichSchleiermacher,whomostcloselyresemblesEliade'sapproachtoreligiononadeep
level.EliadewasindebtedtotheFrenchschoolofEmileDurkheim,RogerCaillois,L.LviBruhl,andtheirdialecticofthesacredandtheprofane,butin
ScheiermacherandEliadealikethefundamentalmeansofaccesstoreligionisfeeling,orhomoreligiosus'senseofthesacred,andwithoutfeeling,

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boththeRomanianandtheGermanconcur,religionwillneverbeunderstoodaright.)
Eliade'saccumulationofexampleswithoutfullcontextualanalysisoradmissionoffalsifiableevidencefailstoprovethathomoreligiosuslurksbehindeverycultand
culture.Yetintheendavalidapertureintothenatureofreligiousexperienceandreligiousconstructionsofrealityremains.Whatitdoesproveisthathomoreligiosus
haslefthismarkoncountlessminds,fromthoseofatleastsomearchaicmenandwomentothoseofthetravelersandanthropologistswhorecordedthem,tothoseof
thesavantsintheirstudieswhotheorizedaboutthem.Theymaynotbeeverywhere,butthesacredandtheprofane,andcosmosandhistory,areoutthere,as
categoriesofperception,whetheroneseethemreflexivelyinone'sownspirituallifeor,asismorelikely,imputethemtosomeoneelse.Recallthat,forEliadetoo,the
realsacredwasalwayssomewhereelse,insomeagealreadypastorsomefancifullandoverthehorizonourownexamplesarebuttypesandshadows.
Theseimages,thoughtheymayhaverealitymainlyinthemind,attainvividnessastheyarereinforcedoverandover.ThustheIndiansovereignattemptstoreconstruct
inhiscapitalthemythicalcitiesoftheAgeofGoldthepalacefortressofSirigiyainCeylon,forexample,beingmodeledafterthecelestialcityAlakananda,thoughthat
madeit"hardofascentforhumanbeings."68Or,inanunforgettablebutapparentlynowdiscreditedstoryoneofanumberofinstancesinwhichdetailedknowledge
revealsweaklinksinEliade'ssuperficiallyimposingmarshalingofexamplesinsupportofhistheoriesthesadcaseoftheAustralianAchilpatribewhoconstantly
carriedasacredpolewiththemwhichrepresentedthecosmicaxis,andwhodeterminedthedirectiontheywouldmovebythewaythepolebentaftertheyhadsetit
upinthecenteroftheircamp.ItwasasplendidexampleoftheEliadeanAxisMundi.Butononeoccasionthepolebrokethedevastatedpeoplethenwandered
aroundaimlessuntilfinallytheylaydownandwaitedfordeathtoovertakethem.69
Onattainingvividness,theexamplesthenserveascatalystsforfurtherthoughts,insights,intotherealmofthesacredthesearemoreonthelevelofmetaphor,poetic
conceit,orphilosophicalfancythanof"hard"facticity.Onemightmusethatpsychoanalysisisthemodernshaman'sinitiation,orthatMountRushmoreisAmerican
sacredspace.OnemayseewaysinwhicheventhemostunprepossessingProtestant

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churcheshavetheirsacredspaceandtime,theopenBibleonthealtar,themomentofapreacher'scallforconverts.Eliadewouldnotatallhavebeendispleasedby
theseculturalhermeneutics.Hewasreallyfarmoremodernthanreactionaryandtraditional,andheknewit.Asaculturalcritic,andtobethatwashisonlyrealreason
tobeahistorianofreligion,hewasmostinterestedinnewvestmentsforoldgods.In"ANewHumanism"hestatesthatthehistoryofreligionwillplayanimportant
roleincontemporaryculturallife,notonlybecauseoftheculturaldialogueitfacilitates,notonlybecauseofwhatitteachesabouthumannaturegenerallybyrevealingit
inallitsvarietiesandextremes,butevenmorethroughthepowerfulstimulustonewandunexpectedculturalcreativitythat"meetingwiththe'others'withhuman
beingsbelongingtovarioustypesofarchaicandexoticsocieties"inevitablybrings.70
TosayEliadewasan"essentialist,"whobelievedthatthesacredhasaspecialobjectiveontologicalstatusorevenspecialstatusasaheuristicorempiricalcategory,is
amisunderstanding.Heknewwellenoughthatthesacredwasintheeyeofthebeholder:"anelementinthestructureofconsciousness."71Whyotherwisepileupso
manyexamplesofitsthousanddifferentforms?Hedidbelievethatthesacredwasacategoryofperceptioncommontothemindsofmany,''indissolublylinkedtothe
effortmadebymantoconstructameaningfulworld,"72andthiswasworthnoting.Buttohimthesacredwasreallyaphenomenologicalentitycallingsomethinglike
theAchilpa'spolesacredwasshorthandforsayingtheyregardeditassacred,inbroadlythesamewayotherpoles,inothertimesandplaces,havebeenregardedas
sacredelsewhere.Thatpresupposes,ofcourse,thatthesimilaritiesofsuchobjects,times,andplacesacrosstimeandspaceexceedstheirspecificdifferences.Thatis
probablyanintuitivematter,andcanbedebatedendlessly.IcanonlysaythatIfinditmoreusefulthannot,withcertaincautionssuggestedby,amongotherthings,a
religionlikeProtestantism,butthismatterisnotreallygermanetothepresentargument.
Inthesameway,todrawtheconclusionfromEliade'srepeatedcontentionthatreligionissuigeneris,ofitsowntypeofbeingandirreducibletoanythingelse,thatthis
aspectofhumanlifehas,inhiseyes,specialontologicalstatuswouldbeunwarranted.Hemayhavethoughtsobutsuigenerisofitselfneedonlymeanthatreligionas
somepointneedstobeinterpretedoutofitsowncategories,which

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Eliadebelievedhehadisolatedinsuchreferentsassacredspaceandsacredtime.Religionrequiresselfinterpretationnomoreorlessthan,say,politicalscience,
economics,sociologyorpsychology.Onlyacrudeideologuewouldsaythereisnothingatallinthepoliticalworldthatcannotbeexplainedsolelyintermsofmoney
orontheothersidethatthevagariesoffinancearesubjectonlytopoliticalorspiritualconsiderations.Eliadewasconcernedthatthestudyofreligionlikewisenotbe
merelysubordinatedtopolitics,economics,sociology,orpsychology.Butreligionisnomoresuigeneristhatpolitics,economics,sociology,orpsychologyeach
majorsphereofhumanlifehasitsownirreduciblecoreofnecessaryinterpretivecategoriesand"laws,"aswellasvastareasthatarebestunderstoodindialoguewith
theotherhumandisciplines.Thesameistrueofart,andhewasevermoreofanartist,oratleastanaestheticianofreligion,thanascholar.Eliadewrote:
Worksofart,like"religiousdata,"haveamodeofbeingthatispeculiartothemselvestheyexistontheirownplaneofreference,intheirparticularuniverse....Aworkofart
revealsitsmeaningonlyinsofarasitisregardedasanautonomouscreationthatis,insofarasweacceptitsmodeofbeingthatofanartisticcreationanddonotreduceitto
oneofitsconstituentelements(inthecaseofapoem,sound,vocabulary,linguisticstructure,etc.)ortooneofitssubsequentuses(apoemwhichcarriesapoliticalmessageor
whichcanserveasadocumentforsociology,ethnography,etc.)73

NotethatEliade'sideaofreligionassuigeneris,irreducibletoanyotherinterpretation,couldaswellbeappliedtonationalismandpoliticalcommitmentgenerally.If
strongfeelingassociatedwithandfocusedonaparticularclearanddistinctsymbolorideaissufficientlyintense,thesuigenerisargumentseemstobesaying,thenthat
symbolanditsassociatedcirclesoffeelingsandbelieversisaunique,selfvalidatingentity,nottobeexplainedintermsofacademiccategoriesthatarelessintense,
moregenericandabstract.Anexamplecan,tobesure,bejudgedagoodorbadcaseofnationalismonmoralgroundsafter1945Eliadewasapparentlypreparedto
makeamoraljudgmentaboutthequasireligiousnationalismofthestormtroopers.Perhapsifpressedhewouldmakesimilarjudgmentsaboutreligionsasgoodor
bad,thoughhewasusuallyunwillingtodoso.
However,thisisnotthelastwordonEliade.Thereisalsothewayinwhichhisrecognitionoftheintrinsic,suigenerissimilarityofcom

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mitmentandexperienceinthemanymansionsofreligion,andperhapsofquasireligiousmovementsaswell,opensupaworldofbenignpluralism.Thisisitselfagood,
forthecomparativemethodenablesonetoexperiencevicariouslythepassionsofotherfaithsaswellasone'sown,soleadingtothatenrichmentoftotalhuman
experiencethatisthefertilegroundofthenewhumanism.
Aswehavealreadynoted,criticsofEliaderaisechargesof"essentialism"currentlyaverybadwordinsomeacademiccircles,asisitsopposite,"reductionism,"in
theEliadeancampbasedonaparticularreadingofEliade'sconceptofreligionassuigeneris.TheyalsopointtotheRomanian'spoliticalpastanditssupposed
connectionwithhishistoryofreligionproject,implyingthatthefascistessentialismofraceornationisofapiecewithEliade'suniversalessenceofreligion.Needlessto
say,thoseforwhomreligionisaprioriunderstoodtobeaquestforanahistoricalessence(ofhumanity?oftheuniverse?),whichwillneverbefoundbecauseitisnot
there,willprobablyneverbepleasedwithEliade.ThetemptationtothrowinEliade'spoliticalpastasanadditionalproofisthenhardtoresist,thoughtomethe
connectionseemsrathertortured,intheendamountingtolittlemorethananadhominemargumentwhichattemptstotarEliade'sentireworkwiththeillreputeall
decentpeoplefeelforstormtroopersandtheIronGuard.Infact,itwouldseemthatEliade'sreligiousuniversalism,rightorwrong,''essentialist"ornot,isontologically
andmorallyverydifferentindeedfromtheracismornationalisminwhichthefascistfoundhisessences.Itmaybeaddedthatsomeofthesesamescholarswho
criticizeEliadeonpoliticalgroundscitemarxistandmarxisttingedsourceswithoutimputingtothemallthesinsofStalinismandthegulags.
Forpersonslikemyself,instinctivelyreligiousbutcaughtupinmodernity'spluralismofspaceandtime,Eliade'sworkperformedaninterestingfunction.Itenabledone
tousethesenseofrealityfeltinonereligiouscontexttointuitthesameinanother,whileundercuttingclashesoftheologythroughpayingattentioninsteadtotheprops
bywhichreligionformsitsvariousrealities,makingthemnonhomogeneouswiththestreamofprofanelife.Forme,ifnotforeveryone,Eliade'stalkof"thesacred"in
varioustimesandplaces,evensometimesunderdeepcamouflage,wasneithermerereificationofabstractcategoriesnorcoverttheology.Perhapsitwasa
combinationofSchleiermacher'sreligionasfeelingwiththesocialconstructsofDurkheim'ssocial

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effervescence.ItwasquieterandsubtlerthanOtto'sDasHeilege,yetmoreobjectivethanJung'sarchetypes.Wordsaboutitwereakindoflanguagealittledifferent
fromanythingphilosophyortheologycouldspeakofcoherently.Thosewhocouldnotgetitmightbe,asMaxWebersaidofhimself,"religiouslyunmusical."
TheappealaswellastheweaknessofEliadeanismlayinsuchacombinationofvaguenessandanevocativeromanticstyle.Thestyledependedoncallingfortha
mightyarmyofimagesfromthedistantandthepast,freightedwiththefrissonofsignificancethose"musical"tothisapproacharelikelytogivethatwhichcomesacross
greatgulfsofspaceandtime.Theromanticearconsiderssuchfeelingscognitiveandexemplary.
ThustheimportanceonefeltinEliade'sbooksdependedmorethananythingelseonthestylisticandimagisticcallingforthofaromanticsenseofwonderassociated
witharchaicreligion.Yetitmaywellbethatonlywiththeaidofthatsensecouldmodemsintuitatallthesubjectivemeaningofreligionspast,orcomparethem
meaningfullywithreligionorquasireligionpresent.Forwhiletheromanticfeelingmaynotbeexactlythesameasthearchaicreligiousfeeling,itisatleastafeeling
abouttranscendentrealities,andperhapsascloseasmostofuswillgettothesubjectiveexperienceofreligionsofothertimesandplaces.Itcanevoke,asEliadeonce
remarked,"thePlatonicstructureofAustralianspirituality,"inwhich,asfortheGreek,"toknowmeanstoremember."74Thosetowhomsuchfeelingsare
inaccessible,orunimportant,canonlyberegardedas"unmusical"inthisparticularrespect,perhapsthebettertoanalyzethemathematicsofthenotes.
Equallyimportantistheissueofuniversalismversustheparticular.InthelatetwentiethcenturythesortofdiscoveryofuniversalthemessocharacteristicofJung,
Eliade,andCampbell,asofFrazerearlier,hasbeenmuchdenigrated.Inthewakeof"postcolonial"backlashagainsttheintellectual"imperialism"and"Orientalism"of
practitionersoftheuniversalistart,anyideathatthemythicthemesofagivenculturalcontextcouldbetakenoutofthatsettingtodisplayuniversal,archetypal
meaningswasconsiderednotonlyinevitablytodistortthemyth,buttobedemeaningoftheparticularculture.Itimpliedthattheknownmeaningofthemythinthe
culturehadtobesubordinatedtoamoreuniversal"real''meaningassignedbyanoutsider.Yet,asWendyDoniger,MirceaEliadeDistinguishedService

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ProfessoroftheHistoryofReligionsattheUniversityofChicago,haspointedout,extremeparticularismendsupwithabsurditieseverybitasawkwardasthoseofthe
universalistextreme.
Takentoitsownultimateabsurdity,thesensibleobservationthatmythshaveaculturespecificmessagethatcannotbedetachedfromthatsettingwouldimplythat
mythscanhavenomeaningexceptfortheindividualwhocreatesortellsthem."Forwhereextremeuniversalismmeansthattheotherisexactlylikeyou,extreme
nominalism[particularism]meanstheothermaynotbehumanatall."Moreover,wemayfindthatmembersofthe"context"groupmaythemselvesapproachthestory
differently.AchilpasandAlgonquinsarenotentirelyalike,butneitherisanyoneAlchipaorAlgonquinexactlylikeeveryoneelseofthesametribe.Onemightindeed
bemoresimilartoapersonofanotherculturethannot,andjustassomenonEnglishunderstandShakespearebetterthandonotafewEnglishmen,sosomeAlchipa
orAlgonquinmythsmaybeaswellorbetterunderstoodandappreciatedbytwentiethcenturypersonsofEuropeandecentasbysomeoftheirowntribetodenythis
possibilitywouldalsobetodemeanthehumanityoftheircreators.
Rather,everytellingisdifferent,andatellingfromonecountryisaslikelytosharesomethingwithatellingfromanotheraswithatellingfromelsewhereinthesamecountry.The
focusuponindividualinsightleadsustoakindofsecondnaivete:itleadsustoposita"sameness"basednotonanyquasiJungianuniversalismbutonakindofpointillism,
formedfromtheindividualpointsofindividualauthorswhoseinsightstranscendtheirparticularmomentandspeaktousacrosstimeandspace....Bysearchingforour
individualartistsnotmerelyinthebastionsofthewesterncanonbutintheneglectedbywaysoforaltraditionsandrejectedheresies...oneisarguingnotforanarrowrangeof
culturalexcellencebut,onthecontrary,forawiderconstructionofcrossculturalinspiration.75

Eliadehadinfactsaidthesamethingearlier:
Theprincipalobjectionmadeagainstme:I"idealize"theprimitives,Iexaggeratetheimportanceoftheirmyths,insteadof"demystifying"themandemphasizingtheirdependence
onhistoricalevents(colonialism,acculturation,paganChristiansyncretism,etc.)But...itispreciselybecauseithasbeenemphasizedtoomuchandbecausewhatseemstome
essentialisthusneglected:thehermeneuticofreligiouscreations....A

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BantuorIndonesiancriticwillonlybeabletowonder:HowweretheWesternersabletowritethousandsofvolumesonthe"beauty"andthe"eternalvalues"ofTheDivine
Comedy,theworkofapoliticalexile,andseeinourmythologiesandourmessianicsymbolsonlyaprotestofoppressedpeoples?Indeed,whyamIsuspectedof''idealism"each
timeItrytoanalyzetheseprimitiveandarchaiccreationswiththesamecareandthesamesympathythatwebringtocommentingonDanteorMeisterEckhart?76

ThePoliticsofParadise
ThepoliticalphilosophyofEliade'smaturepost1945workisonlyimplicit.Thatinitselfissignificant,forittellsusthereisaclearbreakfromthemercurialyoung
manwithopinionsoneverything,includingrulersathomeandabroad,fromIndiatoItaly.Thesilencesaysasloudlyascouldanywordsthatnotonlydoeshehimself
nolongerhaveinterestinthepoliticalworld,buthealsorejectscommitmenttoparticularpoliticalcausesandideologiesasthewaytoconstructthenewhumanism.
Thatisevident,firstintheexplicitdeconstructionofpoliticalmythologiessuchasthoseofMarxismandNazismwehaveexamined.ThosepostwarEliadeanreductions
ofoncepotentideologiestoageoldbutneverrealizedeschatologicalmotifswouldclearlyrevealtheirfutilitytoallbuthopelesstruebelievers.Thosepassagesput
Eliadebacktowherehewasbefore1936,beforetheCodreanuorSalazaryears,whenhedenouncedthebarbariansofBerlinandMoscowmoreorless
evenhandedly.
Thereisthisdifference,though:nownothingappearsaboutcontemporarypoliticalpartiesormovements,unlessitbebyimplicationthepresentrulersofRomania
thereisonlyharkingbacktothepassionsofthethirties.Ifthosefascisteraideologiesarementioned,itistoplacethem,ashedoestheMarxismthengrippinghis
homeland,inthetimelessmythologicalmatrixtowhichheclearlythinksallsuchschemesbelong,andfromwhichtheyshouldneverhaveescaped.Inthisrespectthey
areallofthenatureofilludtempus,bespeakingthoughwithforkedtonguetheparadiseforwhichwehumansareallnostalgic.Butevenprimalpeoplesareestranged
fromparadiseitcanneverbemorethanadreamandasetofsymbolshereinprofanetime.Asthegnosticswellknew,creationandthefallareone.Totalistic
ideologiesarepoliticsofnostalgiaforparadise,andthereinliestheirappeal

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andtheirdeceptiveness.ButhowmuchelseinthispostEdenworldisnostalgiaforparadiseaswell!
Thereforeeventotalisticideologiesalsoarepartsoftheradicalpluralismoftheworldasitistoday.Radicalpluralismmilitatesagainstabsolutizinganyonemyth.The
dangerofabsolutizingEliadehadnodoubtlearnedfromhisthirtiesandfortiesexperience,thoughagainhechosetosaysoonlyindirectly.Yetanymultiplicityofmyths
andvenuesofthesacredclearlymusthold,foronewhoisawareofit,thepoliticalconsequenceofmandatingeitherfreedomofchoiceorarbitrarytotalitarian
impositionofasingleideologicalmyth.Since1945,Eliadecertainlyneverproposedthelatter,andlivedandtalkedinawaywhollyconsistentwithabidinginaworld
ofmythologicalfreedom.Thatwouldbeaworldinwhichthesacredisrealbutunderallsortsofcamouflagesthestatepresumablyoughttoletagreatarrayofthem
flourish,sothattheymaybefreelyandindividuallydiscernedbythoseabletoseetheirhierophanies.Asanexile,Eliadeknewthesoulsavingvalueofchoiceless
seeing,observing,andunderstandinginaworldofwhichonewasnot,andcouldneverbe,completelyapart.
InOrdealbyLabyrinthEliadeemphasizedthat,althoughhewasdeeplyconcernedaboutthetragicstateofRomaniain1945andafter,hedidnotbelievethatovert
politicalactivitywaswhatwasofmostimportance."Ofcourse,onecanalwayssignamanifesto,protestinthepress.Thatisrarelywhatisreallyneeded."Instead,he
andacircleofRomanianintellectualexilesformedacircleto"maintainthecultureofafreeRomaniaand,aboveall,topublishtextsthathadbecomeunpublishablein
Romaniaitself."Theessentialliberatingwork,inotherwords,wasnotpoliticalbutintellectualandcultural.Itistheintellectual,wearetold,whoisregardedas''enemy
numberone"bytyrants,and"makingculture"isthe"onlyefficaciousformofpoliticsopentoexiles."ThereisnothingisthisdialogueaboutEliade'sprewarlifewhether
thepremiseaboutcultureoverpoliticsisuniversallytrueornot,thediscussiongivesasignificantcluetothepostwaridentityheassignedhimself.77
ThereissomethingmoreherethantheBurkeanaffirmationofexistingtraditionasnecessaryandgoodforthewellbeingofsocietythatwemarkedindiscussingJung.
Hereisamoreradicalthrust.DespiteAltizer'sclaimthatthehistorianofreligionwastoobackwardlooking,inreadingEliadewesensethatnewtraditioncanalways
berevealedbynewhierophanies,thatthesacredcanbefound

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atanytimeinradicalnewformsandinsomewaytheprimordialchaosofcreationcreativelyrevisited.InOrdealbyLabyrinthweread:
WhatIamsureofisthatanyfutureformsofreligiousexperiencewillbequitedifferentfromthosewearefamiliarwithinChristianity,Judaism,orIslam,allofwhicharefossilized,
outmoded,drainedofmeaning.Iamsurethatnewforms,newexpressions,willcome.Whatwilltheybe?Icannotsay.Thegreatsurpriseisalwaysthefreedomofthehumanspirit,
itscreativity.78

Eliadehadnointeresthimselfinmakingorevenselectingmythsforcontemporarypurposeshewascontenttoletmythsfendforthemselvesinafreemarketplaceof
ideas.Hehadnodesirefortheroleofthemythmakerorpropagandist,muchlesstobethefounderofanewreligion.Indeed,thepost1945Eliadeinsistedthatthe
sacredcannotbemadeintentionally,byanactofthewillitcanonlybediscovered,albeitperhapsinnewvenues.
Thisisaveryimportantpoint.Itgivesthelietothosefascistandotherpseudoreligionsthatpresumetomanufacturetheirownsacralities,whileitpermitsthesacredto
befoundinanynumberofunlikelyandunexpectedcornersofthemodemworld.Thepossibilityofnewdiscoveriesofthesacredmeantthatonealwayshadthe
freedomtomakenewbeginnings,itmaybealone.Thiswasafreedomveryimportanttoanexilewhoselifeandworldhadbeensorelyruptured.
Thefreedomtomakenewbeginnings:thisistherealsenseofbeingfreefromtheterrorofhistory.HereEliadeappearstomoveintothepostmodernismofliberation
fromthe"metanarratives"ofprogressanduniversalknowledge,whichalsomeantbondagetotheterrorofhistory.For,tothemodernist,historywithallitsterrorswas
thenecessaryvehicleofanythingmodernismcouldunderstandasprogressortheincreaseofknowledge.Now,backbeforehistory,Eliadehasdiscoveredanother
possibility:thereturntothenearmemory,atleast,ofilludtempus,andthenonreactionaryrecreationoftheworld.
Buttheabolitionofhistoricaltimestandsinequalrelation,inprinciple,toallpointsintime.Itthereforecomesattheendofhistorytheeschatonaswellasatthe
beginning.Moreover,itcanbeenacted,atleastsymbolically,atanypointintimewecanbecomeprimalman,notbyregressbutbyegress,movingoutofhistoryto
gain,asfaraspossible,thevantageofonewhoisunconditioned,

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merelyhumanbeforetheuniverse.Eliadeperceptivelysawthatthemodernquestforthe"origin"ofreligion,soearnestlyengagedinbyanearliergenerationof
anthropologistsandhistorians,wasinfactfutilesinceanabsoluteandsingularbeginningcouldneverbereached.Thesearchwasreallylittlemorethanascholarly
versionofthemythicalquestfororigins.79Onecanonlytry:Eliadeoncesaid,"MyessentialpreoccupationispreciselythemeansofescapingHistory,ofsaving
myselfthroughsymbol,myth,rite,archetypes."80
Howisegresstobedone?Itcanonlybeapproximated,ofcourse.Primalmancanonlyhearofilludtempusandyearnforit,orrecoveritsymbolicallyattheturnof
theyear,neveractually.Sooneleaveshistoryonly,sotospeak,inone'sspiritualbody.Onewaythemodernwayisthroughattainingalevelofscholarshipso
sublimethatoneisabletogazepanoramicallyovertheworldwithsereneanduntouchableunderstanding,themodern"privilegedposition."Thiswasawaywhich
Eliadehimselfstroveasarduously,andassuccessfully,tomasterasanyoneinthetwentiethcentury.Itrepresents,infact,hiscontributiontoculturecreationasthe
sublimestofpolitics.
Intheendhefelthecouldonlychronicletheescapefromhistoryofothers.Eliadeoncesaidinmyhearingthatthehighesthumanbeingwasthemystic,sincehecould
actuallyperceiveandexperienceultimatetimelessrealitythesecondhighestwasthepoet,whocouldatleastexpresswhatthemysticsawinadequatelanguagethe
thirdwasthehistorianofreligionlikehimself,whocouldonlyrecordtheseeingsandthewordsofthemysticandhispoet.Butastheirscholarlychronicler,onecould
perhapsmakethebestpoliticalcontribution,forthemysticandthepoetwiththeirwordsthatdrawlightningaredangerousmediatorsinthatrealm,ashedoubtless
wellknewthoughdidnotsay.ForbysuchamysticoutoftimeEliadedidnotnecessarilymeanonlyacloisteredmonkorayogiinacave.Judgingfromhisnovels,
especiallyTheForbiddenForest,theideawasimportanttohimthatinthemidstofactivelife,evenofwartimeflightacrossEurope,onecouldknowmomentswhen
timestoppedandbegananew.Perhapswhilebecomingafulltimehistorianin1945,EliadeattainedanAltizerianradicalcoincidentiaoppositorumofthesacredand
theprofane,andoftimeandtimelessness.
Ifhedidnot,itwasbecausehetendedspirituallytoprivilegearchaismoverthecontemporaryworld,andtoholdthatwecannolongerquiteexperiencerealityasfully
asourancestors.Itwasonlyin

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thearchaicworld,beforehistory,thatonecouldfullyfacerealityunmediatedandwithoutterror.ToEliade,theprimitivewasnotunconsciousand"buriedinnature,"
asHegelclaimed.Rather,itisimportanttorealizethattheprimalcosmosis"open,"arealmwheretransformationispossible,sothesacredisnotautomaticinthereal
world,butisanexistentialistpossibility.81Thus,wearetoldinPatternsinComparativeReligion,theinaugurationofanewkingorchiefislikeanewcreationof
theworld.82Thismerelysymbolizestheperennialyearningforprimordialreturn,whichisnotareturntothe"primitive,''buttothechaosofcompleteness,whenmale
andfemaleareequal,andallareembracedwithinthedivinity.83Historyisafall,arupture,fromthatprimordialunity.
Thelossofthisstategoesbacktothebeginning,tocosmicreligion,asdoesitsmemory.Thedeusotiosuscouldbecalled"thefirstexampleofthe'deathofGod'"of
Nietzsche,84butgodsdonotsomuchdieaschange,takingcamouflagedformsinadiversityofmyths.PerhapsmorecouldbesaidthanEliadedidabouttheliving
sacredincontemporaryreligion.ForwhateverthecasewithGod,religioncertainlylivesandisvibrantlyexperienced,nodoubtasmuchnowasever.
ButEliade,afflictedbythesecularizationmythlikemostintellectualsofhistime,andalsobyhisownnostalgictemperament,oftenaffectedayearningattitudetoward
thesacredpastwhileacknowledgingitsmetamorphosedformsinthepresent.Insodoinghedidnomorethandistilltheattitudeofmostmodernpeople,whogenerally
assumereligionpasttohavebeenstrongerthanreligionpresent.Nomythofreligionismorepowerful,evenamongscholarsofreligion,nottomentionamongthe
pious,thanthemythofthepiouspast.Likeallmythsofloss,itisladenwithguilt.
Thecrimeisthere:thedeathormurderofGodcannotbeforgottenthatwouldbethesupremesacrilege.SowehaveamodernworldinwhichthememoryofGod
remains,butthedivineiscamouflagedandhiddeninaninfinitevarietyofdisguises.Eliadesaidthatthesacrediscamouflagedintheprofaneinareverseoftheway
FreudandMarxhadclaimedtheprofaneishiddeninthesupposedlysacred!Tofinditinsuchplacesasmodernworksofliteratureoneneedsasortof
"demystificationinreverse."85
Whatcanbedone?Originsandeschatontellusthereishopeavailable,thatwedonotneedtobetiedtoaguiltypastorhistorical

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terror.Eschatology,thenewbeginning,isinthefuturebutstartsnow.InCosmosandHistoryEliadeoftenreferredtothefuturologyofJoachimofFlora,whomhe
likeCampbellandVoegelinsawasaparadigmaticvisionaryofmodernismandbeyond.Hoperequiresafoundingmyth.OnceitwasCodreanu'sideaofnational
resurrectionanda"newman."Eliadeneverapologizedforthisfaithorwishedtoproclaimitagain.Butwhatifthenewworldcouldcomeaboutinanentirelynoveland
surprisingway,nonrevolutionaryandonlymarginallypolitical?
Eliadewasclearlynotinterestedinwritingapostwarpoliticalphilosophy,anditwouldbepresumptuoustoreadtoomuchintomereasidesordiscussionswhosemain
focuswaselsewhere.Hewanted,ifhisremarksinLabyrintharetobetakenseriously,toaffectpolitics,abovealltheliberationofRomania,throughhisworkasa
culturecreatingscholaratypicalEliadean"camouflage."Butwhatkindofpoliticsdoeshisscholarshipteach?Itisclearhewasnot,atheart,atraditionalisteitherin
politicsorreligion.Hewasinterestedintradition,tobesure,butas"other"tothemodernworldtowhichhewasalwaysawarehebelonged.Hewas,indeed,virtually
anarchetypeofthemodernscholar,muchderidedbypostmodernists,secureinhisprivilegedpositionatthehighestpinnacleofhumanprogress,fromthereableto
surveytheearthandtheages,bringingthemalltotermswithhisuniversalcategories.
Moreover,hewasaradicalmodernist:"Ifeelmyselfwhollycontemporarywithallthegreatpoliticalandsocialreformsorrevolutions."86ThosewhoseeEliade's
fascinationwiththeprimordialasmerelyreactionaryintheordinarypoliticalorreligioussenseoftheworddonotunderstandthematureEliadeinasufficientlyradical
way.Heknewverywelltheusesoftradition,ofcourseaspropagandaand,better,asaffordingvicariousexperiencesthatcompletethehumanityofmodernsby
givingthementryintoallthatisandhasbeenhuman.ButtraditionwasnotforhimexactlyBurkean"prescription"orsacredtrusttobekeptalivegenerationafter
generation,forEliadewasfullyawarethattradition,likemenandnations,livesonlybychangingandevenoccultation.Thetackisnottotryfruitlesslytokeepit
unchanging,buttodiscoverwhereitishiding.Thepastcanhelpbyofferingparadigms,butitcannotfullymakethepresent.Itisappropriatetofeelnostalgiafor
particularpowerfulorbeautifulexamplesofthehousingsofthesacredlockedintothecenturies,butitmustbeunderstoodthatEliadedidnotmeantosuggestbysuch

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nostalgiathattheyshouldbeappropriatedwholesaleintothemodernworld.Hewasinfactperhapsunnecessarilyharshinhisscornofattemptstodosobywhathe
calledthe"littlereligions...thepseudooccult,neospiritualistic,orsocalledhermeticchurchesthatalmostalwayspresenttheaberrantaspectofpseudomorphs."87
Nordidhe,inhisownlife,liveasatraditionalistEasternOrthodoxChristianoranythingelse.Hisownsacredwasmuchmorepersonalthantraditional,comprisedof
imagesofwonderfromhistravelandinwardexplorations,andincreasinglyheknewithadtobethatwayformoderns.ThecorporatesacredoftheLegion,for
instance,wasworsethanfutile.Hemayhavecometosensethatitsexcessiveandmorbidfascinationwithmartyrdomanddeathindicatedsomedeepsubconscious
realizationthat,forallitsfaithandpassion,Legionismcouldneverreallylongprevailinamodernworldthathadleftitskindbehind.Itwasasthoughonlyindeath,not
inlonglife,couldsuchanidealastheresurrectionofanationandcreationofanewmanbeachievedinthetwentiethcentury.
WhatwasconsistentforEliadewasbothexileandeschatology,walkingthroughtheworldseeingthesacredoneveryhandbutunattachedtoanysingleformofit,
nostalgicforthebeginningbutalsohopefulforabetterendwhenthescholarandthebelieverwouldnolongerbeatodds.Thepastwasnotthesolecreatorofthe
sacredbecausethesacredcouldmorphintonewformscontinuously,someseeminglysecular,anditcanbefueledbyrevolutionthoughEliadewastornbetweenthe
ideaofthe"newman"ofenlightenmentgnosticismandawarenessofhumanfinitude.Intheendtherevolutionbecameintellectualthe"newman"becamethe''new
humanism"ratherthanpolitical.Itwasinteriorized,andifitwastohavepoliticalformitwouldhavetobeinthepassiveroleofmerelyallowingthenewmanto
emerge,aminimalratherthanamaximaliststate.
EliadeasAmerican
ThisisimplicitinEliade'sappropriationoftheprincipallandofhisexileanationwithapoliticalheritagequitedifferentfromhishomeland'stheUnitedStatesof
America.InresponsetotheconcernsofhisAmericanstudents,whomheperceivedasbeingsurprisinglyconcernedwith"methodology,"hemadearemarkably
sweepingstatementabouthisadoptedlandofexile:

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Oftenastudentwouldaskme,solemnlyandyetwithstrongfeeling:"What'sthebestmethodofstudytounderstandthehistoryofreligions?"ItseemedtomeIrecognizedthe
descendantsofthefirstwavesofpioneers,embarkedontheconquestandcultivationoftheenormousspacethatlaybeyondthefrontier.Itwasthesamefundamentalconviction:
ifwehavethebesttoolspossible,wecanmakeaparadiseofthislandifwehavethebestmethodavailable,wewillunderstandthehistoryofreligionsinallitscomplexity,andwe
willbeinapositiontomakediscoveriesunsuspectedbyanyonebefore.88

HewasnolessimpressedbythepluralismoftheUniversityofChicagoDivinitySchoolfaculty,withitsProtestant,RomanCatholic,Jewish,Buddhist,andagnostic
members,"hardtoimagineinaEuropeanfacultyoftheology."89AllthissuggestedthattheUnitedStateswasaquitedifferentmodelfortheorganizationofideology,
academiclife,andsocietyasawholethanwhathehadknownintheoldRomania,orevenSalazar'sPortugal.
TheonearticleEliadewrotethatfocuseslargelyonAmericais"ParadiseandUtopia:MythicalGeographyandEschatology,"90astudyoftheconsiderablevolumeof
literature,fromtheageofexplorationalmostdowntothepresent,thatmadethenewworldofAmericaanexistingparadise,oratleastaplacewherehumankind,
leavingbehindtheburdensofthepast,couldmakeanentirelynewbeginning.WhilelargelyacelebrationofAmerica'sisolationandintentionalinnocence,Eliade
recognizesthatthelegacyofthe"cityonahill"hasaffectedU.S.foreignpolicyandmadeforaneagernesstospreadits"wayoflife"aroundtheworld.Inhisjournals
for1961,Eliadenotedthat"OnecanunderstandnothingofAmericanlife,culture,andpoliticsifonedoesn'trealizethattheUnitedStateshasitsrootsintheology.''
Thenation'sstrengthsandweaknessesalikestemfromitsreligiousoriginsitisademocracybutnotyetasecularizedone.91Yettheambianceof"Paradiseand
Utopia"indicatehowambiguousthatreligiousdemocracycanbe.Firstpublishedin1966,thatpaperiscontemporaneouswithasimilarneoeschatologicalinterestin
Americabythe"deathofGod"theologians,ThomasAltizerandhiscolleagueWilliamHamilton.AltizerwasdrawntoWilliamBlake'smysticalvisionofAmericaas
theplacewheretheapocalypticfreedomoftheChristianwouldfinallybeexperienced,andHamilton,in"Thursday'sChild,"spokeofAmericaas"theplacethathas
traveledfarthestalongtheroadfromthecloister....Wearethemostprofane,themostbanal,the

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mostutterlyworldlyofplace"andthereforetheplacewheretheradicallyprofaneyetsacredfuturewillberealized.92
Onlyeschatologyperhapscanhandlesuchparadoxes,andEliadenotesalsothatinAmericatherehasalsobeenatraditionofaffirmingthathereisauniquechanceto
beginhistoryagain,todorightthistimewhatwasdonewrongbefore,andinthisconnectionhequotesaseriesofwritersofthestampofJefferson,Hawthorne,
Thoreau,andWhitman,suggestedbyhisreadingofR.W.B.Lewis'sTheAmericanAdam,onAmerica'srejectionofthepastandbeliefinAmerica'sunique
opportunitytobeginhistoryoveranideathathadalwaysfascinatedEliade.Undoubtedlyithadovertonesofhisownalmostuniqueopportunitytobeginoveragain
in1945.Henaturallysawinthisnotiontherevivaloftheageoldhopeforperiodicalregenerationofcosmosandsociety.Indeed,heassociatedthisideawiththe
primordial"archaic"eternalreturnmentalitythatstoodbeforethedismaldiscoveryoftheterrorofhistory.93Wasthearchaicahistoricalparadisereallycomingbackin
Americanguise?Eliadedoesnotsaythathenecessarilyacceptsthisnotion,orendorsesanypoliticalcommitmentitmightentail.Eliadealsonoted,inconnectionwith
asupposedAmericanenthusiasmforthehistoricalthoughtofJacobBurkhardt,thataminorityofAmericanspreferthatwriter'spessimisticEuropeanviewof
history.94
TheAmericanismofEliade'slastyears,unliketheearlierRomanianism,wasnotchauvinistandpresumablyincludedroomforallthecountry'smanyminorities,
includingexileslikehimself.Ontheotherhand,hecalledfornonationalresurrectionorcreationofa"newman"itisasthoughthiswassomehowalready
accomplishedorunnecessary,asthoughparadisewasalreadyinplaceandeschatologyrealizedasmuchasitcouldbeinthegrimyworldofcurrentAmerican
democracy.HewasdisappointinglyindifferenttothecivilrightsmovementinfullspateduringhisfirstAmericandecade.
Hisjournalsrevealthatwhilehewasintriguedbythe"hippies"andthesixtiescounterculturewithitsfreneticrediscoveriesofthesacredpastandpresent,hewasless
favorablyimpressedbythe"newleft"ofthesamedecade,thoughhewasstillwillingtoexperimentmentallywitheventhemostextremepoliticalopenness.Inhis
journalentryforDecember3,1968,hemusesonthewayonewindowoftheuniversitybookstorewasfilledwithbooksagainstthewarinVietnamandAmerican
crimesthere,whileanotherwindowboaststhetrans

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latedworksofMaoTsetung.Earlierinhisjournalshehadsetdownaccounts,broughttohimbyescapeesfromthehomelandheclearlybelievedreliable,of
unspeakabletorturestowhichpriestsandothershadbeensubjectedinRomaniabyitscurrentMarxistregimeintheabsenceofanycorrespondinguniversity
bookstoreexhibitonthosehorrorsheundoubtedlyconsideredtheyoungAmericanaficionadosofMaoandtheVietconghopelesslynaiveandbiased.Hecommented:
"Naturally,allthisseemsdifficulttobelieveinEurope.ButIwonderwhatsignistobeseeninthisexcessoftolerance:strength,selfconfidence,andconfidencein
Americandestiny,orindifference,fatigue,thefirstsymptomsofdecadence?Towhatlimitscantolerancebestretched,politicallyspeaking?"95
Helookedatthecampusupheavalsofthelatesixties,suchasthoseatChicagoandColumbiain1968,withEuropeaneyes,astheworkofwelltrainedagitatorsand
propagandistslikethefascistsofthirtyyearsbefore.Allthatlaybetweenthetwo:"severalmilliondead."96Moreimportantthansuch"ravaginginthenameof
democracy"wastheexistingdemocraticspaceforpluralismand,ifonewish,foranonpoliticallife,orratheroneinwhichthepoliticalgoaloftolerantpluralismcanbe
advancedbythecamouflagedmeansofscholarship.
Onecannotmakeastrongcaseforit,becausehedidnot,butIwouldsuggestthatwhilehemaynothaveknownmuchaboutThomasJeffersonbeyondwhatheread
inLewis'sAmericanAdam,perhapsintheendEliadewouldhaveenjoyedaconversationonpoliticalmatters(aswellasthemanyothermattersonwhichboth
polymathswereeminentlywellinformed)withthesageofMonticelloasmuchaswithanyoneelsewhocomestomind.Bothdidnothidetheirdisdainformanipulative
anddimwittedkingsunderwhoseruletheysuffered,bothhaddeeplyconservativeinstinctsonsuchthingsasaffectionfortraditionalrurallifeanditsvirtues,both
lovedaworldwheretravelandintellectualdiscoverywerepossible.Atthesametime,bothbelievedreligiousandpoliticalinstitutionscouldandshouldberenewed,
thatitwaspossibletoreturn,insomeessentialway,tothepointofcreationandstartanovusordoseclorum.LikeEliade,Jeffersonwasfascinatedbytheidealofa
pristineparadise,whenhumanslivedtogetherinsimplicityandharmonybeforethecomingoffeudaloppression,whichcouldbethemodelofanewage.Bothwere
intriguedwiththeidea,atleast,oftotalliberationfromhistoryandthepast,andanentirelynewhumanbeginning.Thenewbeginningrequired,above

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all,carefulattentiontomethodology,andatthesametimeaparadisalvisionofthefutureaswellasofthepast.
Inpassing,thethoughtoccurstoonethatEliadeandJeffersonhadmorethanalittleincommonincharacteranddestinyaswell.Bothhaveknownperiodsofadulation
inpopularandscholarlyesteembothhavecomedownabitasbothhavebeenaccusedofmoreshowthandepthintheirencyclopediclearning,oflessthanoriginality
intheircoreideas,andofseriousinconsistencyintheirsocialandpoliticalattitudes.Butthereismore:bothwerealsoincrediblycomplexandelusivepersonalities
who,wheneveritseemsonehaspinnedthemdown,displayanothersidethatundercutsaprematureassumption.Jeffersonhadaremarkableabilitytoavoidseeing
unpleasantrealities,asforexamplehisartfuldisguisingthenatureofhisslavequarters,manifestingwhatJosephEllishascalled"thedeepdeviousnessonlypossiblein
thededicatedidealist"97acharacterizationthatcouldwellcoversignificantaspectsofEliade'slife,particularlytherelationshipwiththeLegionoftheArchangel.Yet
inthecaseofbothmenitwouldbequiteunfairtoletalifeofrich,varied,andshiftinginterestsandexperiencesbeswallowedupbyanyoneofthem,includingthe
political.
Eliadewasnotatheartascholar,muchlessapoliticianorsocialscientist,butalitterateur,awriterandliterarycriticthoughitmaybeacriticofmythsratherthan
currentbestsellers.Hisoeuvremustfinallybereceivedandassessedinthatlight.Sohewasatthebeginning,andsoattheend.Ifhewasnotalwaysaccurateor
consistentintermsofsocialscientificcanons,neitherarenotafewotherwritersofworksnonethelessadmiredforelegantstyleandevocativequality.Heclaimsthat
Freudonce"hadthecouragetoadmit:'Iamnotreallyamanofscience....Iambytemperamentnothingbutaconquistador...withthecuriosity,theboldness,and
thetenacitythatbelongtothattypeofperson.'"98MirceaEliadelikewisecouldnotbecontainedinasinglediscipline,butusedlampsstoredinonecornerofthe
academytocastlightaroundseveralroomsandoutintothestreet.ThescholarendeavorstodistancehimselfandhispassionsfromthematerialEliade,themanof
letters,wasconcernedlikeanyliterarywritertoinvokemoodsandfeelingsbytransmittinghisownexperienceandthatofhisgenerationthroughhisshamansand
cosmogonicmyths.Morethananythingelseheyearnedtocreatemirrorsofwordsthatwouldreflectbackandforthbetweentheaeons,andgivehumanityan

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accurateportraitofitselfcomprisedofthemall.Hewouldreallyratherhavebeenknownasagreatnovelistthanhistorianofreligion.
Finally,returningtopolitics,letusmakeEliadealittlemoreradical,aswouldAltizer.Whatkindofpoliticswouldcomeoutoftheradicalconflationofsacredand
profane?AndisthiswhatEliadereallywanted,ordidheallowarolefortensionbetweenthetwoinsafeguardingfreedomonallinnerandouterlevels?Onesensesa
movetowardtheJeffersonianvaluesofhisadoptivesociety,theUnitedStates,ashesawaroundhimalandthankfullypluralisticandpragmatic,thoughonewhichalso
hadadisconcertingwayofidentifyingitselfwiththeprimalortheeschatologicalparadise,andthusoutsidetheterrorsofhistory.Thelatterwasaviewwhich,though
innocentbyEuropeanstandardsofidentifyingthehomelandwithparadise,nonethelesscouldhavepolicyandculturalsignificance.TheAmericanwayofcombiningthe
illusionandrealityofinnocenceinthemidstofasinfulworldwasdescribedinaforcefulanddisturbingbookbyEliade'scontemporaryReinholdNiebuhr,TheIrony
ofAmericanHistory(1952).However,EliadehimselfwascarefulnottoidentifyAmericawithparadise,thoughheappreciatedthevalueofthevisionofanewEden
ifitwasproperlyoptional.
AtleasttheRomanianwasnotsoincautiousinAmericaastocallforunitingsacredandprofanethereinanimmediateeschatologythatwouldlegitimatedemandsfora
nationalresurrectionandnewmanhereandnow.Altizer,incriticizingEliade'sbackwardlookingreverseeschatology,seemsnottoappreciatehowmucheschatology
realizedisnotonlyrevolutionarybutalsototalitarian.Eliadeknewwellenoughthattheappealofeternityactuallydependsontheexperienceofhistory,that,ofitself,
eternitywouldbesoabsoluteastobeoppressive.InTheForbiddenForest,inthemidstofthewartimeterrorofhistory,Anisieargueseloquentlyandatlengththat
allwecanhopeforis"theannihilationofourcivilization"andtheclosingofthepresentcycle,whichwillallow"theothertypeofhumanitytoreappear,ahumanitythat
doesnotliveaswedoinhistorictimebutdwellsonlyinthemomentthatis,ineternity."
ButStefan,whomorethananyonespeaksfortheauthorhimself,answers:"Itoodreamofescapingfromtime,fromhistory,someday....Butnotatthepriceofthe
catastropheyouforecast.Humanexistencewouldseemvaintomeifitwerereducedsolelytomythicalcategories.Eventhatahistoricparadiseofwhichyouspeak
wouldbehard

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formetoendureifitdidn'thavethehellofhistoryaccompanyingit.IbelieveIevenhopethatanexitfromtimeispossibleeveninourhistoricworld.Eternityis
alwaysaccessibletous."99Butclearlywhatmakesrealhumanlifeworthlivingisthedialecticbetweenthetwo.
IfEliadeendsupwithanypoliticalphilosophy,itisinofferingtheidealofawaytodothis,bymeansofapoliticsofradicalsacredinthesecularpluralism,where
nothingistouchedthatwoulddisturbthesacred'sfragileandfascinatingdiversity,sinceitisonlyfromahierophanyhere,andalostparablethere,thatrealhumanismis
learned.HereiswheretheradicalpolarityofEliadeanreligiousuniversalismfromfascisttotalitarianismbecomesclear.Thecapacityforthesacredtotakenewshapes
needstobepreserved.Butitcanonlyexhibititswonderfuldiversityandtakenewshapesinthematrixofaworldwhichcontainsatleasttheapparentnonsacred,
eventheterrorofhistory,againstwhichthesacredstandsinboldreliefandabovewhichitshinesliketheheavens.
Anyapocalypsethatwouldmeltitalldowntoasingleglorymustbeindefinitelypostponed.Nodoubtinpracticethiswouldmeanvotingformoderatecandidateswho
supporthighereducationandarewillingtoliveandletlivesofarasreligionand"values"areconcerned.Tobeotherwisenonpoliticalanddoone'sworkwellisthe
bestwayforanexiledintellectual,artist,poet,orscholartoeffectrealchange.

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4
JosephCampbellandtheNewQuestfortheHolyGrail
"TheSavantasReactionary"
JosephCampbell(19041987)wasprobablythebestknownofallinterpretersofmythtolatetwentiethcenturyAmericans,thankstoaseriesoflearnedbuthighly
readablebooks,assiduouslecturehallperformances,andaboveallhisposthumousPBSappearanceswithBillMoyers.Theresponsetothatseriesofsixinterviews
wasremarkable.AsMaryR.Lefkowitzputit:"OntelevisionJosephCampbellwastheembodimentoftheidealacademic:gentle,fatherly,informative,reassuring,
unworldly,spiritual,andarticulatewithoutbeingincomprehensible.Hewasknowledgeableaboutwhatwedidn'thavetime(orinclination)todiscoverforourselves,
pleasantlyremote,and(unlikemostofnontelevisionprofessors)entertaining.Campbellcouldtellagoodstory."1
ButperhapsCampbell'sgreatesttriumphofall,thoughanindirectone,wasintheoverwhelminglysuccessfulseriesofStarWarsmovies,commencedin1977and
directedbyGeorgeLucas.TogetherwiththatothersciencefictionclassictheStarTrekseries,thesefilmshavecreatedoutofsciencefictionwhatseemstobethe
dominantlivingimaginative

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mythologyofourtime,comparabletotheroleofArthurianfantasyinVictorianEnglandorWagner'sheroesinWilhelmineGermany.Thesacredatmosphereofthe
WagnerianBayreuthfestivalinitsgoldenagewasreproducedontheopeningnightsoftheStarWars"PhantomMenace"in1999,whencrowdsacrossthecountry
cheereddeafeningly,thensettledintoreverentialstillnesssaveforappropriatehissesandacclamationsastheepicgroundforward.WhileofcourseCampbellcannot
begivenfullcreditforthismodernmythcycle,GeorgeLucasfreelyacknowledgestheinfluenceofreadingthatsavant'sTheHerowithaThousandFacesandThe
MasksofGod.Later,beginningin1983,therelationshipdevelopedintoapersonalfriendshipoverthelastthreeyearsofCampbell'slife.2
IntheolderStarTrek,cooperationamongadiversecrewwasthekeytosuccessinsavingthegalaxy.ButinStarWarstheemphasiswasmoreonindividual
heroism,athemedeartoJosephCampbell'sheart.Thosefilmswonderfullycombineultra"hightech"computersandspaceshipswithgunfightsandcombatinoneman
fightersreminiscentofagenerationofmatineewesternsorofWorldWarIIdogfights.Then,onastilldeeperlevelofmeaning,therecametheswordplayofJedi
knightsandthesolitaryquestsofdedicatedheroeslikeLukeSkywalker.Thefundamentalculturalmessagewasthatagreatsocietyisfoundedupongreatindividuals.
Oneshouldbeoneself,fightingforoneselfandone'sfriendsandcomradesalone,exceptwhenfreelyjoiningabandoflikemindedheroestolose,orrathertranscend,
individualseparatenessinthemystiqueofanoblecausewhichwillbethecauseofindividualismagainsttyranny.Moreover,manysubordinatethemesoftraditional
mythologyandfolklore,oftenalsothemesmadefamousbyJosephCampbell,appearintheStarWarscycle:theherowhoisofnoblebloodbutdoesn'tknowit
(LukeSkywalker),theintelligentrobotsintheroleofthecompanionanimalorfaithful"sidekick"likeDonQuixote'sSanchoPanza.
Furthermore,analmostindefinablequalityinStarWarsfromtheexperienceofthetitleframeonmakesitlikewalkingintoadream,aboveallifthefilmisexperienced
inthecavernouswombofagreattheaterwithawidescreen.Theunforgettableimagesofhugeships,archetypalmonstersandheroes,andotherworldlyplanetsloom
intoconsciousnesslikedenizensofthenight.Itisasthough,alongwithwantingtomaketheworldsafeforindividuals,Campbell/Lucaswantedtomakeitsafefor
dreams.Theassociationofmythanddream

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likemoodinCampbellisnoaccidentfor,followingJungbutifpossibleevenmoreso,hethoughtmythanddream,aswellastrulygreatliterature,allcamefromthe
sameplace.Hisstorytellingskilltoldusasmuch,forlikeanancientbardhehadtheabilitytobringthereaderorhearerintotheworldofthemythsheretoldasintothe
secretplacesofone'sowndreams,sothatforthetimethenarrationwasthereceiver'ssubjectiveaswellasouterreality.
TheheroicnotesinStarWarsarenotreallyaboutconquest,nomorethanarethoseintheArthurianandWagneriancyclesofmyths.Allthreeepicsshowedthe
ultimatefutilityofgraspingforpower.Rather,thesestoriesmaketheirwayintosubjectiveconsciousnessbecausetheyareaboutdeeplevelpsychicidentitiesabove
all,one'sown.Ofthatdeepsetindividualidentitytheadventurousindividualheroesofallgreatstoriesaresymbolicvehicles.SoCampbellprofoundlybelieved.His
messagesupremeaboveallwasthatallmythsarereallyaboutoneself,one'sprofoundestidentity,theinnermostselfstillwaitingtobefoundandrealized.Campbell's
convictionwasthatmythsarenotpastbutpresent,embodyingtheeternalessenceoflife.
SomethinginCampbell'smessageclearlyresonatedwiththeyearningsoftheReagan,Bush,andClintonyears.CertainlytheappealofCampbellwasrootedina
qualitymorefundamentalthanentertainment.WhenMoyersaskedifmyths"arestoriesofoursearchthroughtheagesfortruth,formeaning,forsignificance,"
Campbellreplied:
Peoplesaythatwhatwe'reallseekingisameaningforlife.Idon'tthinkthat'swhatwe'rereallyseeking.Ithinkthatwhatwe'reseekingisanexperienceofbeingalive,sothatour
lifeexperiencesonthepurelyphysicalplanewillhaveresonanceswithinourowninnermostbeingandreality,sothatweactuallyfeeltheraptureofbeingalive.That'swhatit'sall
finallyabout,andthat'swhattheseclueshelpustofindwithinourselves.3

Campbellcouldmakeothersbelievewithhimthatmythswereimportantbecausetheyarevividandtimelessvoicesoftheraptureoflife,andcluestotheidentityofthe
enrapturedself.Peoplerespondtopeoplewithpassionateconvictionsabouthumanlife,andCampbellmanifestlycaredabouthumanlifeandaboutmythperhapsin
thatorder.
FordespitehisacademiccredentialsasaprofessoratSarahLawrenceCollege,andthoughremarkablywidelyreadinmythology,

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Campbellexhibitedlimitedinterestoftheusualacademicsortinhissubjectmatter.Heevincedlittleconcernaboutmythicvariantsorphilologicalissues,orevenabout
theculturalorritualcontextofhismaterial.Hewasnotreallyafolklorist,muchlessananthropologisthehadstartedhisscholarlycareerinliteratureandcultural
studies,andalwaysbasicallyapproachedmyththroughtheeyesofaculturalcritic.
Forhimamythseemedtobearatherdisembodied,timelessstoryofeternalhumansignificance.Itmighthappentocomefromhereorthere,butinthefinalanalysisall
mythsareequalandinterchangeablewiththepossibleexceptionofthoseof"theYahwehcult"uponwhichtheJudaicChristianIslamictraditionisbased,andwhich
Campbellclearlydisliked.Otherwise,whatmythsallsay,finally,isthatbehindallformsthereisaBrahmanlikeOneness,andthatinmovingtowarditsrealizationone
should"followone'sownbliss"asayingnodoubtcapableofinterpretationonseverallevels.
DespitetheexoticismofmanyofCampbell'smyths,theimportancetheygavetotheinnerexperienceofapureandauthenticselffittedwiththatAmericangnostic
strandHaroldBloomdetectedinthenationalsoul.WehavenotedHaroldBloom'sprovocativethesisthatAmericanreligionisfundamentallygnosticincharacterif
thatisso,thismustalsohelpexplainCampbell'swideappealinaculturesoformed.KarenL.KinginfactearlierhadwrittenofCampbell's"AmericanRomanticism,"
whichheldthattruthlayinauthenticexperienceoftheoftenalienatedbutgenuineinnerselfaviewwhich,sheholds,wassharedbytheancientgnosticsandhelped
explainCampbell'sinterestinboththegnosticandromantictraditions.4
RobertA.Segal,probablyCampbell'smostmeasuredandperceptivecritic,confirmedthatCampbell'sdrawlayinthe"unashamedromanticism"ofhistheoryofmyth.
Romanticism,alongwithEnlightenmentpostChristianity,wastheseedbedofmodernmythology,andmoreoverwasasignificantstrandinthat"gnostic"Americanism
ofpoliticalindividualismandindividualsalvationtowhichCampbellministered.ButCampbellwas,ifconceivable,evenmoreromanticinspiritthanJungorEliade.
DisdaininganyofthepretensetomedicalorhistoricalsciencethatremainedwiththetwoEuropeans,hebuiltfirmlyonthefoundationofhteraryromanticismhis
equationoffeelinginflectedconsciousnessandcosmicmeaning.

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ForCampbell,amythwasaneternal,notmerelyaprimitive,narrative.Nothingcouldsupersedeit,becauseitisnotaboutprotoscientificexplanationbutaboutthe
humancondition,whichinthelastanalysisisalwaysexpressedmetaphorically,andalwayshastobespoken.ThusforCampbell,accordingtoSegal,mythis
indispensable,andtheprimitiveswhofirstbespokeitwerereallywiserthanmodernsbecausetheyknewimplicitlythatthemetaphorsofstorytellhumanthingsbetter
thantheabstractionsofscience,andtheyconstructedaworldviewcenteredontheirstories.5
Elsewherethesamecommentator,Segal,remarkedthatactuallyCampbell''isoddlynotmuchinterestedinmythasmyth.Heismuchmoreinterestedinhuman
nature,whichhesimplyfindsrevealedinmyths.Heseesmythsasarepositoryoftheexperiencesandbeliefsofmankind.Heisfarmoreconcernedwiththe
informationmythscontainthanwithmythsthemselves."6 Butwhileitiseasyforacademicstodisparagesuchanattitude,thisisinfactnomorethantheapproachthat
mostpredicants,moreconcernedwithsavingtheworldthanwithfootnotes,taketowardtheirscripturalandothersources,andnodoubtrepresentsonelegitimate
levelofhermeneutics.
WhatofCampbell'ssocialandpoliticalviews?Although,unlikeJungandEliade,heneverexpressedhimselffullyandexplicitlyinprintonsuchmatters,theywere
knowntoacquaintances,andposthumouslycreatedsomethingofafuror.Theruckuswasessentiallystartedina1989articleintheNewYorkReviewofBooksby
BrendanGill,whoclaimedtohaveknownCampbellwell.Gillcomplainsthat,thoughonemighthaveexpectedapersongiventoalifelongstudyoftheworld's
diversityofculturestoacceptavarietyofpointsofviewinhisownculture,thisCampbellwasneverabletodotowardminorities,towardfeminists,ortowardliberal
socialprograms.ThemythologistwasreportedlyantiSemitic,antiBlack,andin1940unabletograspthethreatrepresentedbyHitler.Needlesstosay,thesixtiesdid
notmeetwithhisapprovalatall,despitehisfrequentlecturesatoneofthedecade'smostcelebratedshrines,theEsalenInstitute.BrendanGillcommented:"Sofar
wasCampbellfromapplyingthewisdomoftheagestothesocial,political,andsexualturbulencethathefoundhimselfincreasinglysurroundedbythathemighthave
beenamemberoftheRepublicanPartysomewheretotherightofWilliamF.Buckley.HeembodiedaparadoxthatIwasneverabletoresolvein

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hislifetimeandthatIhavebeenstrivingtoresolveeversince:thesavantasreactionary."7 Gilladvancedseveralscrapsofevidence,largelyanecdotalandhearsay,to
supportCampbell'sreactionism.
AstowhyCampbell'sMoyersinterviewsweresowellreceived,Gillopinedthatmostviewersassumedhiswasaliberalmessagereligiouslyliberal,atleast,withits
relativisticopennesstowardthemythsandfaithsofmanycultures.But,Gillclaims,thecovertmessageofthetagline,"Followyourbliss"whatevermakesyou
happyisnoneotherthanthephilosophyof"WallStreetyuppies,junkbonddealers,"orofanAynRandtypeofelitistindividualistwithnodiscerniblesocial
conscience.
Gill'sarticlewasfollowedbyanorgyofletterstotheeditoractivity.FurtheranecdotalsupportwasgiventhelegendofCampbell'srightistbiases.Hewascalleda
"romanticfascist"andvirulentanticommunist,wassaidtohaveobjectedtoadmittingBlackstoSarahLawrence,andatthetimeoftheMoonlandingin1969tohave
remarkedthattheearth'ssatellitewouldbeagoodplacetosendalltheJews.Onewomanrecountedthatshehadbeeninaclassofhisattheheightofthesixties
campusupheavalsCampbellhadsaidhewouldflunkanystudentwhotookpartinpoliticalactivismandwhenshedid,hemadegoodonhisthreat
Othercorrespondentsroseasvehementlytothemythologist'sdefense.OnecontendedthathispositionatSarahLawrencehadtobeunderstoodinlightofthefact
thathehadfallenfoulofafaculty"Marxistclique"thesameacademicpoliticssatirizedinMaryMcCarthy'sGrovesofAcademe.Othersarguedthat"Followyour
bliss"hasnothingtodowithAynRandindividualism,muchlessmaterialisticselfishness,buttheoppositefollowyourownwaytospiritualliberation.
Admittedly,itishardtoconnecttheCampbellofthebigotstereotypewithamanwhofornearlyfortyyearswasanimmenselypopularteacheratSarahLawrence,
untilrecentlyawomen'scollegeandonewhichhaslonghadareputationasaliberalbastionwithalargeJewishenrollment.Yet,ifevensomeoftheanecdotesare
true,theredoesappeartobeaparadox,theparadoxofwhatGillcalled"thesavantasreactionary"inthiscase,notsomuchasophisticatedintellectualreactionary,
adeMaistreorevenaJungorEliade,asasmootharticulatenonpoliticalmythologistwho,offtherecord,droppedremarksonemighthavemorereadilyexpectedto
hearfromacountryclubBourbon.Onealmostsensesadoublelife.

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Thatperceptionwouldnot,however,becorrecttherewererelationshipsbetweenthemythologistandthepoliticalreactionary,andCampbell'spoliticalviews,though
stronglyheldandonoccasionforcefullyexpressed,weremoresubtlethanmightappearonthesurface.Campbelllovedagoodargument,oftentaking"contrarian"
positionsatpolaroppositetothoseofhiscircleorhisinterlocutorsperhapsasmuchtosparklivelydebateasanythingelse.Yetheexpressedhimselfwithsuchcharm
andcontagiousintellectualenthusiasmthatevenmanywhodisagreedstronglywithhisviewsremainedfriendsandfans.
Atthesametime,hehelddeeplytopoliticalandsocialopinionsusuallyidentifiedasconservative.Inhiswayofthinking,theystemmedfromthepassionatebeliefin
individualintellectualandartisticlibertythathadalwaysbeenimportanttohim.Thus,intheearlyfifties,hesawlibertyasfarmorethreatenedbycommunismthanby
thetransitoryphenomenonofMcCarthyismandsaidso,appallinghismoreliberalcolleagues.Inthesixties,despitealonginfatuationwithpacifism,hesupportedthe
VietnamWaronthesameantitotalitariangroundsagainstahostileintellectualatmosphere.Yetin1940and1941hehadnotbeenabletomusterasimilaropposition
toHitler,thenholdinginsteadtoaveryhighviewoftheartist'sandintellectual'sneedtoremainanindependentobserverabovethepoliticalpassionsofthemoment.
WanderingandWondering
OnecanbegintounderstandJosephCampbellbylookingathislife.Hewasbornin1904ofIrishAmericanparents,whomovedfrequentlybutalwaysinoraround
NewYork.BothhisgrandfathersarrivedintheUnitedStatesaspoorimmigrantsescapingtheIrishpotatofamine,butJoseph'sfather,CharlesW.Campbell,wasa
successfulsalesmanwhoraisedhisfamilytouppermiddleclassstatuswithalltheadvantagespertainingthereto:travel,entertainment,goodprivateschools.They
werealivelybunch,theparentsalwaysreadytogiveJosephandhisyoungerbrotherandsisterexposuretotheartandcultureoftheworld.Theywenttoconcerts,
plays,andmuseums,andtraveledathomeandabroad.PracticingCatholicswithoutexcessivepiety,hisfamilyandCatholicschoolsdoubtlessbestowedonJosephan
innatesenseofreligionanditssymbolism,andatthesametime

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presentedhimwithanexperienceofreligiousinstitutionalismhewaslatertorebelagainst.Thewellroundedfamilyalsolovedsports,andJosephhadample
opportunitytodevelophisnaturalskillasanathlete.Thechildrenallmadesomethingofthemselves:Joseph'sbrother,CharlesJr.,becameanactorhissister,Alice,a
sculptor.
LikeEliade,JosephwasbothanavidBoyScoutandaprecociousreader.Whilestillingradeschool,particularlyafterbeingtakenbyhisfathertoBuffaloBill'sWild
Westshow,hecultivatedastronginterestinAmericanIndians.HeadmiredtheNativeAmericansbothfortheirsimplewayoflifeandtheirheroicthoughfutile
resistancetotheWhites.HeimitatedIndianpracticesoncampingtrips,andbythetimehewastenorelevenwasreadingthevoluminousreportsoftheBureauof
AmericanEthnography.
AfterattendingCanterbury,anupscaleCatholicboardingschool,JosephenrolledasafreshmanatDartmouthin1921,soontransferringtoColumbia.Hetook
English,comparativeliterature,andlanguages,andlistenedtolecturesinanthropologybythedistinguishedFranzBoas.Hecombinedanoutstandingacademiccareer
withnationalclass,andsomethoughtpotentiallyOlympic,dashandmiddledistancerunning,asportofcourseemphasizingindividualstrengthandcompetitiveness.
Handsomeandoutgoing,hewassociallypopularaswell.In1923JosephandthefamilyreturnedtotheeastcoastfromatriptoCaliforniabyship,passingthrough
thePanamaCanalandvisitingpointsinMexico,CentralAmerica,andtheCaribbeanenroute.Campbell'slettersandjournalsindicatehewasmainlyimpressedbythe
heat,dirt,andfliesofthatimpoverishedpartoftheworld,a"cultureshock"hewasmuchlatertoexperienceagaininIndia,andonemuchincontrastwiththe
experienceEuropewastobeforhimthefollowingyearandlater.8 ButCampbellneverreallyresolvedadeeplevelconflictbetweenloveatadistancefortheculture
andmythsofexoticplaces,andavirtuallyphysicalrevulsionattheircharacteristiclackoforderandcleanlinesswhenconfrontedfirsthand.
In1924,betweenhisjuniorandsenioryears,JosephtraveledtoEuropewithhisfamily,inparttoattendtheOlympicGamesheldinParisthatyear.Asithappenedhe
wasonthesameshipwiththeyoungspiritualteacherJidduKrishnamurtiandasmallcoterieofsupporters.AlthoughKrishnamurtiwasthenbeingadvancedbymany
intheTheosophicalSocietyasthe"vehicle"ofacomingWorldTeacher,Campbellencounteredhimchieflyasanattractiveyouthfullofunpre

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tentiousbutdeepwisdom.TheAmericantouredEnglandwiththisgroup,andthroughhisnewfriendsandtheircircleenjoyedhisfirstrealencounterwithoriental
spirituality.RosalindWilliams,laterRosalindRajagopal,oneoftheyoung"messiah's"youthfulcompanions,gaveEdwinArnold'sTheLightofAsiatoCampbellto
readonshipboardhewasenthralledbythispoeticstoryoftheBuddha'squestforthegreatesttreasureofall,supremeenlightenment.
Joseph'sundergraduatecareeratColumbiawasfollowedbygraduatestudiesinmedievalliteratureatthesameinstitution.HetookanM.A.,writingadissertationon
theGraillegend,athemetowhichhewastoreturnthroughoutlife.In1927CampbellreceivedamunificentgrantthroughColumbiaenablinghimtospendtwoyearsin
EuropestudyingOldFrenchandProvencalinpreparationforthePh.D.helaterreceivedfromtheSorbonne.Likeanyintelligentyoungmanabroadhestudiedmany
otherthingsaswell.HereadtheParisianpublicationofJamesJoyce'sUlysseswhilethatcontroversialnovelwasstillbannedintheU.S.Hekeptintouchwith
Krishnamurti,visitinghimatEerdeinHolland,acenterfortheKrishnamurtimovement.ItwasafterhearingKrishnamurtilectureinParisin1928onrejectingall
dependenceonexternalauthoritythatCampbellstoppedattendingmassheremainedfreeofformalreligiousattachmentsfortherestofhislife.
Hewassoontofindphilosophicalandmythologicalgroundsforhisownsubjectivedeinstitutionalizationofreligion.TravelingontoGermany,hefoundhimselfdeeply
drawntoGermanlanguageandculture.DuringthistimehereadFreudandJungand,nolesssignificantly,thenovelistThomasMann.Alittlelater,thoughundoubtedly
onthebasisoftheloveofGermanyandGermanscholarshipacquiredonthistrip,healsodelveddeeplyintotheworkofthehistorianoftheWest'sdecline,Oswald
Spengler,andthatoftheanthropologistsAdolfBastianandLeoFrobenius.
Joyce,Freud,Jung,Mann,Spengler,Bastian,Frobenius...thesearethenames,whetherinfashionornot,whichrecurredbyfarthemostfrequentlyinCampbell's
writingupuntiltheveryendofhislife.ItisindeedremarkabletheextenttowhichCampbell'sintellectuallifefromthenonwassetingroovescutinthosetwo
wonderfulwanderingyearsinthegaybuttormentedEuropeofjustaftertheGreatWar,theEuropeofgiddyfuturismandreactionarypessimism,ofWeimarGermany
andtheParisofthe"lostgeneration."

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ExceptperhapsFreud,theGermanswhosodeeplyinfluencedCampbellwerethenpartsofanantimodernreactionthatsetagainstWeimar'sdemocraticidealsthe
romanticorganicviewofsocietytowhichwehavealreadyalluded,aperspectiveoftenassociatedwith"volkish"thought,andwithmythology,inthatera.(Mannwas,
toCampbell'sdistress,latertorenouncemuchofthiscredo.)ThepositionalsoentailedwhatSpenglerandFrobeniuscalled"culturalmorphology,"theideathat
societiespossessdistinctiveandinterlockingculturalpatternsinallareasofexpression,aconceptimportanttoCampbelltobediscussedlater.
FirstanevenmoresignificantCampbellianissueinitiallyderivedfromtheculturalpessmimismsideofWeimarGermany.Althoughdifferinginmanyparticulars,these
threeMann,Spengler,andFrobeniusalsoagreedthatitwasimportanttolookatthecalamitouseventsofrecenthistoryfromtheperspectiveofalargerscreenon
whichwholeculturesandepochsflourishanddeclinelikebiologicalunits.Andtheybelievedinstandingbackfromthescreen.Facingthisstupendouspanorama,the
trueartistandscholarmaintainspersonalautonomy,observingandinterpreting,butdisdainingbothfatuousoptimismandthesoiledpassionofpracticalpolitics.
ForCampbell,suchartisticindependencewascertainlyassociatedwithanadvancedviewofartisticfreedom,likethatofJoycepublishinginParisdespitecensorship
intheUnitedStates,nottomentioninhisCatholicIrishhomeland.SomethingoftheParisianand,aboveall,latetwentiesGerman,intellectualworldsfoundanabiding
homeinJosephCampbell.(Theapparentdissonancebetweenculturalmorphology,withitsimplicationofculturalandhistoricaldeterminism,andCampbell'sfierce
individualismmightseemtobeanothercontradictionintheman,althoughhetriedtodealwithitbyclaiming,withFrobenius,thataneweraofindividualismwaswhat
thecyclesofhistoryhadscheduledfortheworldnowemerging.)
AfterreturningtotheUnitedStatesasthegreatdepressionbegan,Campbellspentseveralunsettledbutimmenselyvaluableyearscontinuinglifeasasortofintellectual
pilgrim.HelivedamongwritersandartistsintheCatskills1930to1931,samplingthelifeandtimesoftheavantgarde.In1931to1932hewaswithJohnSteinbeck,
RobertJeffries,andtheircircleinMonterey,California.Inthesummerof1932heshippedwithabiologicalexpeditiontoAlaska,wherehemadeobservationsof
NativeAmericanculture.Hetaughtbrieflyathisold

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school,Canterbury.Duringallthistimehewasalsoattemptingacareerasawriter,andhesoldafewshortstories.Intheearlythirties,likemanyintellectualsofthose
desperateyears,CampbellharboredasympatheticandhopefulinterestincommunismandtheRussian"experiment,"thoughhewasneverpoliticallyactive.Then,in
1934,hejoinedthefacultyofSarahLawrenceCollegeinBronxville,NewYork,wherehewastospendtheremainderofhisacademiccareer.
Campbellthushadtheopportunitiestoabsorbtwobriefbutfabulousculturalerasofthetwentiesthathavesincepassedintolegend:theParisofthefamous
expatriates,ofHemingway,Fitzgerald,Picasso,Joyce,andtherestandtheraucous,"decadent,"yetdesperatelyandbrilliantlycreativeWeimarGermanyofitspurple
twilightyearsbeforenightfell.Withhisbrightcuriosityandhisknackformeetingtherightpeopleandbeingintherightplaceattherighttime,theyoungvisitorfrom
overseasreturnedwithanabundanthoardofmemoriesandstoriesofaEuropealltoosoontobeforevergone.UponhisreturntogrittydepressioneraAmericahe
managedtoaddtohisrepertoireofexperienceanotherhardlylessextraordinaryculturecircle:theCaliforniawritersaroundMillerandJeffries.Andheaddedtohis
packyetanotherexperienceofasortthathelpedcredentialnotafewAmericanwriters:ayearofJackLondonlikelaborwiththesailorsandloggersofthegreat
Pacificnorthwest,andupthecoasttoAlaska.Amidalltheseencounterswithvariousworldswithintheworld,hewentthroughacommonearlythirtiesinfatuationwith
theSovietventureandflirtationwiththeradicalleft,beforesettlingdowntothekindofcomfortableacademiclifeinwhichsuchhalcyondaysasthesecouldbe
recalledatleisurethoughhisworkwasnotoverandtheskiesoutsidecontinuedtodarken.
WarandPeace
TheenvironmentatSarahLawrencechangedCampbellpoliticallyandideologically.Thefirstcoursehetaught,on"BackgroundstoLiterature,"wasbasedon
"Spenglerianmorphology."InhisthirdyearhetaughtacourseonThomasMannandtheinfluenceofKant,Schopenhauer,andNietzscheonthatwriter.Bynowthe
GermanyhelovedwasundertheNaziboot.HisGermaninterestsbroughthiminclosecontactwithanotherfacultymember,theartistKurtRoesch,arefugeefrom
Hitlerwhowasantimarxistaswell.Campbellcameto

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realizethatamaverickindividualistlikehimselfwouldnotfarewellinadictatorshipofeitherleftorright,norwouldthevaluesofinnerdirectedfreeexpressioninthe
artsthatwerealmostareligiontohim.Bythelate1930sheclaimedtobenonpolitical,andhisinterestsweremovinginthedirectionofmythologyundertheinfluence
ofculturalmorphology.
Thetormentedthirtiesendedwiththeopeningshotsofthegreatestwarinhistory.Campbell,whoknewmoreintimatelythanmostAmericanstheintellectualEuropein
whichitsdemonshadgestated,wasnowsafelyonthewesternsideoftheAtlantic.Butthemiasmaofaworldsorelydivideddidnotescapehim,nomorethanitdid
theUnitedStatesgenerally.Campbellwaseminentlyaffectedintwoways:throughacontroversiallectureonvaluesintimeofwarhegaveonDecember10,1940,to
whichThomasMannrespondedandthroughhisassociationwithtwodistinguishedrefugeesfromGermany,theindologistHeinrichZimmer,andthepublisherKurt
Wolff,whowastofoundthePantheonPress.
Thetalk,"PermanentHumanValues,"wasgivenatSarahLawrenceindaysthatweredarkindeedfortheWesternalliance,justafterthefallofFranceandtheBattle
ofBritain.BritainanditsempirestoodaloneagainstthetyrantsofBerlinandRome,andtheUnitedStateswasstillanislandofpeaceinaworldofwar.Campbell
clearlywishedittoremainso,andhewishedmoreovertomaintainanattitudeofevenhandednesstowardthebelligerents.Hemadesuchstatementsas,"Permanent
things...arenotpossessedexclusivelybythedemocraciesnotexclusivelyevenbytheWesternworld.Mytheme,therefore,forbidsmetobepartialtothewar
criesoftheday."Inlightof"thedutiesofobjectiveintelligenceinthefaceofsensationalpropaganda,""noeducatedgentlemancanpossiblybelievethattheBritish
EmpireortheFrenchEmpireortheAmericanEmpirewasunselfishlyfoundedin'kindlyhelpfulness,'withoutgunpowderorwithoutperfectlyobscenebrutality."After
speakingoftheoriginalsininallandtheadmonitionofChristto''Judgenot,thatyebenotjudged,"headded,inhismostinflammatorystatement,that"Weareall
gropinginthisvalleyoftears,andifaMr.HitlercollideswithaMr.Churchill,wearenotinconscienceboundtobelievethatadevilhascollidedwithasaint.Keep
thosetranscendenttermsoutofyourpoliticalthinkingdonotdonatethethingsofGodtoCaesarandyouwillgoalongwaytowardkeepingasanehead."

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Asforthepermanentvaluesatriskintimeofwar,theyincludedcapacityforcriticalobjectivity,theapparentlyuselessdiligenceofthedisinterestedscientistand
historian,theworkoftheliterarymanandtheartist,educationashumanbeingsratherthanaspatriots,thepreachingofreligionfreeofthose"alwaysreadytodeliver
Godintothehandsoftheirkingortheirpresident."("WehearofitalreadythisarminarmbloodbrotherhoodofdemocracyandChristianity.")9
Muchofthisisofcourseunexceptionableononelevel.Fewsoberobserverscandenythattheevilwhichiswarhasitswaysofcorruptingparticipantsonallsides,
thatthefirstcasualtyofwarisoftentruth,andthatthebestmeansofmaintainingsomedegreeofsanityamidwar'shorroristokeepincontactwithpermanentvalues
foreveraboveandbeyondthebattlefield.Butin1940theapparentmoralequivalencywhichCampbell,unnecessarily,keptpositingbetweenthedemocraciesand
theirtotalitarianadversaries,asthoughnomorewasinvolvedthanapersonalquarrelbetween"Mr.Churchill"and"Mr.Hitler,"orasthoughBritain,forallitsfaults,
wasonthesameabysmalmorallevelastheNaziregime,wasmorethanmanythenorsincecouldswallow.OnecriticwashisonetimeidolThomasMann,whoby
nowhadfledtoAmerica.InhisWeimarperiodCampbellhadbeenmuchinfluencedbyMann's1918BetrachtungeneinesUnpolitischen(''Reflectionsofa
NonpoliticalMan,")adisillusionedstatementfromtheendofWorldWarI.Inthattractforthetimesthegreatnovelistwrotewithdisdainoftheonesided
tendentiousnessofeverypoliticalachievement,andcelebratedinsteadthebalancedandfullbloodedportrayalsofthehumanconditionaccessibletotheartistand
poet.Thattranscendentvision,Campbellthought,Mannhadachievedinhisownmanylayeredandluminousnovels.Butby1940Mannhadundergonea
considerableawakeningtotheprofoundevilofwhichpoliticswascapable,andthedangerofviewingevilintheHitleriandegreewithaloofneutrality.
CampbellhadsenttoMannacopyofthe"PermanentHumanValues"talkatthesuggestionofMrs.EugeneMeyers,anolderstudentwhoknewboththeprofessor
andtheGermanexile.Campbellhadearliermetthenovelistthroughhermediation.Eventhen,CampbellhadbeendisturbedbyMann's1938bookTheComing
VictoryofDemocracy,inwhichtherefugeefromthelandofconcentrationcampshadsimplyidentifiedthegoodwithdemocracyandevilwithfascism.Theonce
"GreatMasterofObjectivity,"asCampbellcalled

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him,whohadstartedoutasthesupremeadvocateofseeingbothsidesofeveryquestion,wasnowsofarinthepartialitiesofthetemporalworldastoseeGod,orthe
timelessAbsolute,asonthesideofthe"democracies."
Then,inaletterofJanuary6,1941,inresponsetothetalk,MannpointedlyaskedCampbellwhatwouldbecomeofthefive"permanentvalues"ofwhichhespokeif
Hitlertriumphed."Itisstrange,"thenovelistdeclared,"youareafriendofmybooks,whichthereforeinyouropinionprobablyhavesomethingtodowithPermanent
HumanValues.Well,thosebooksarebannedinGermanyandinallcountrieswhichGermanyrulestoday.Andwhoeverreadsthem,whoeversellsthem,whoever
wouldevenpubliclypraisemyname,wouldendupinaconcentrationcamp,andhisteethwouldbebeateninandhiskidneyssmashed.''10
CampbellrepliedtoMannequivocallyenough,buttohisjournalsheconfidedhisdisappointment:"TheletterwhichIreceivedfromThomasManninreplywasoneof
themostastonishingrevelationstome:itsignifiedformetheman'spracticalretractionofallhisbeautifulphrasesaboutthetimelesslyhumanwhichnoforcecan
destroy,andaboutthepowerofloveoverdeathandabouttheEternalaltogether.Itexhibitedafinallytemporalpoliticalorientation,andnotonlythat,butafairly
trivialandpersonalviewofeventhetemporalpolitical."11
Hereaselsewhereinhisjournals,hesetagainsttheevilsascribedtothefascistsidetheBritishroleinIrelandandIndia,theAmericanconquestofthecontinentandits
nativepopulation,andthesituationof"Negroes"intheSouth,togetherwithallthegraffandhypocrisyofwhichdemocracywascapable.Itwouldbeunjusttosay
Campbellwasthenoreverpronaziorprofascistheseveraltimesexpresseshisdistasteforthecrudeness,brutalityandantiSemitismofGermany'spresentmasters.
Butagainstallthat,heputhisfreelyadmittedloveforGermanyasacountryandaculture,andalsothepassionofhatredsclosertohome.HepossessedanIrishman's
bitternesstowardtheBritishEmpire,andhewasthesortofAmericanintellectualwhodespisedmanyofhiscountrymen'sshallowpatriotismandselfsatisfied
complacencywiththevitriolofanH.L.Mencken,whomheread.Unfortunately,itwasperhapshisyearningfortranscendent,mythicalpurityofthought,togetherwith
alackofsuchactualexperienceasMannhadhad,thatkepthimfromwillingnesstoadmitanydegreeof

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proportionalityinthepoliticalevilsoftheworld,oranyabsolutemoralobligationtoopposeaswellastranscendtheworstofthem.
Moreover,notonlydidCampbellliketoseehimselfasanOlympianabovethefray,aswehaveseenhealsolikedagoodargumentandhadatendency,whichmore
thanoncegothimintotrouble,toarguefortheoppositepointofviewfromthatprevailingamongthecompanyhewaskeeping.AsAmericanpublicopinionmoved
moreandmoredecisivelytowardBritain,whoseclaimstosuperiorvirtueleftCampbellquiteunimpressed,heremainedblindtoanythingbutequivalencyandadeeply
feltpacifism.WhentheUnitedStatesenteredthewaronDecember8,1941,Campbellwrestledwithhisconscience,readingamongotherthingspacifistliterature
fromtheFellowshipofReconciliation,fornearlythreemonthsbeforefinallyregisteringforthedraft.Hesoonfound,tohisimmenserelief,thathewasjustpasttheage
limitforbeingcalleduptoactiveservice.
Refugeesfromtheotherside,however,keptcomingintohislife.AndwhileitisclearthatCampbellhadlongfeltdeepinnercurrentsflowinginthedirectionof
mythologicalinterests,thenewcontactsduringWorldWarIIseemtohavemovedhimdecisivelyinthatdirection.BothconnectionswerewithGermanswho,like
Mann,wereintheUnitedStatesbecauseofHitler.HeinrichZimmer,anIndologistwhosewifewaspartJewish,andwhowasafriendofbothMannandJung,had
fledNaziGermanyin1938.AfterteachingatOxfordfortwoyears,hehadcometoNewYorkandColumbiaUniversityin1941.ThereCampbellwasamonghisfirst
pupils.HehadfirstmetZimmerthroughSwamiNikhilanandaoftheVedantaSociety.WhenZimmerdiedprematurelyin1943,Campbellreceivedtheresponsibility
foreditinghismanuscriptsforpublication.
Thatwasthroughtheagencyoftheothernewcontract,KurtWolff,ahalfJewishGermanpublisherwho,afterafewyearsinItaly,alsoarrivedinNewYorkin1941.
There,initiallyonashoestring,heestablishedthePantheonPress,dedicatedtobooksofintellectualandspiritualsignificance.Amongitsfirstprojectswasthe
BollingenSeries,aJungiantinged(itwasofcoursenamedafterJung'shideaway)setofvolumesonmythandworldreligionfundedbyPaulandMaryMellon.At
Zimmer'ssuggestionCampbellwasnamedfirsteditoroftheseries.AnearlyworkwasMaudeOakes,WheretheTwoCametoTheirFather:ANavajoWar
Ceremonial.Zimmer,knowingofCampbell's

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lifelonginterestinAmericanIndianlore,recommendedthattheSarahLawrenceprofessorwritethescholarlycommentaryonthattext.After1943,Campbell
continuedtoprepareZimmer'sworksforposthumouspublicationintheBollingenseries,sometimesslippinginhisownwritingwhentheolderscholar'snoteswere
disconnectedorincoherent.TheresultsweresuchclassicsofIndologyunderZimmer'snameasMythsandSymbolsinIndianArtandCivilization(1946),The
KingandtheCorpse(1948),themagisterialPhilosophiesofIndia(1941),andthetwovolumeArtofIndianAsia(1955).Thoughitrequiredputtingasidehisown
workforatime,theZimmereffortsundoubtedlylaidaverysolidfoundationforamythologicalcareer.
TheZimmerandWolffconnectionsenabledCampbelltobecomeattachedtothefamousEranosconferencesheldatthevillaofFrauFroebeKaptayninAscona,
Switzerland,overlookingthedeepbluewatersofLakeMaggiore.Thesemoreorlessannualconferencesbroughttogetherthecreamoftheworld'smythologyand
historyofreligionsscholars:personsoftherankofEliade,GershomScholemwhohadrevivedthestudyofJewishkabbalah,thestudentofGnosticismGilesQuispel,
HenriCorbinofIranianmysticism,D.T.SuzukitheapostleofZen,andmanyothers,includinghewhowasbynowthegrandoldmanofthemall,CarlJung.
Campbellhadbeensettoworkin1946byPantheonpreparingselectionsfromseventeenpreviousJahrbcher(Annuals)oftheEranosconferencesforEnglish
publicationintheBollingenseries.In1953,1957,and1959Campbellattendedthelegendaryconclaveshimself,presentingpapersatthelasttwo.Afterthe1953
event,heandhiswifeJeanhadtherareprivilegeofaninvitationfromJungtovisithimathismedievaltowerretreat,Bollingen,outsideZurich.Theconversationmoved
overmanytopicsJeannotedthatwhenspeakingofpsychologyandmythology,thegreatmanwasbrilliantandwideranging,butonsocialorpoliticalissues,"he
becamemoreparochial,sortoflikeasmalltownSwiss."12
Inthemeantime,Campbell'sownwritingwascontinuingapace.Hisfirstbook,writtenwithHenryMortonRobinson(laterauthorofthebestsellingnovel,The
Cardinal),wasonJamesJoyce.ASkeletonKeytoFinnegan'sWake(1944)consummatedhisdaringdiscoveryofJoyceintheParisofthetwenties.
Thebigevent,however,whichtrulytransformedJosephCampbellintoamajorfigureintheworldofmythologyandofmidcentury

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culturegenerally,wasthepublicationin1949ofhisownBollingenseriesbook,TheHerowithaThousandFaces.13Thissweepingandengrossingstudyofthe
heromythwasCampbell'sfirstsingleauthoredwork.Ithadadefiniteinfluenceonagenerationofliterarycriticsandhistoriansofreligion.
Campbell'stwopageprefacesplendidlydefinedthecontextandmissionofthebookinshortspace.Hebegan,significantly,withafewlinesfromSigmundFreud's
TheFutureofanIllusion:"Thetruthcontainedinreligiousdoctrinesareafterallsodistortedandsystematicallydisguised,thatthemassofmankindcannotrecognize
themastruth."Campbellwrote,ofcourse,intheheydayofFreudianpsychoanalysisasanintellectualvogue,andtheFreudianCampbellbehindtheJungianversion
mustneverbeforgotten.YetthelinesbespeakCampbellevenmorethantheViennesedoctor.TheyareCampbell'swayofsayingthatthewholemythological
enterprisemustbeunderstoodnotasmereantiquarianism,butanimportantintellectualventureconductedinthemidstofthemodernworld,withfullawarenessofits
thoughtcurrentsanditsneeds.Campbell'smythologyreadilyconcedesallthatmodernskepticismclaims,andstillarguesforthediscipline'scontemporaryimportance.
Campbellthenproceededtoexplainwhathewasdoinginhisownwords:"Itisthepurposeofthepresentbooktouncoversomeofthetruthsdisguisedforusunder
thefiguresofreligionandmythologybybringingtogetheramultitudeofnottoodifficultexamplesandlettingtheancientmeaningbecomeapparentofitself."Whenthis
isdone,usingpsychoanalysisasatool,"theparallelswillbeimmediatelyapparentandthesewilldevelopavastandamazinglyconstantstatementofthebasictruths
bywhichmanhaslivedthroughoutthemillenniumsofhisresidenceontheplanet."Thisunifiedstoryhecalled,afterJamesJoyceinFinnegan'sWake,the
"monomyth."Thatwastheaccountofthehero'sadventurefromdeparturethroughinitiationtoreturn,whereheunderwentalongthewaysuchintriguinglynamed
experiencesas''TheCrossingoftheFirstThreshold,""TheBellyoftheWhale,""TheMeetingwiththeGoddess,"and"AtonementwiththeFather,"afterwhichhe
becomes"MasterofTwoWorlds."Asecondpartofthebook,"TheCosmogonicCycle,"discussessuchrelatedthemesastheVirginBirthandvariousformsofthe
hero:warrior,lover,emperor,redeemer,saint.Inall,thebookhasCampbell

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doingwhathedoesbest:hetellsstoriesandtellsthemwell,bringingthemtogetherwithprofoundseemingundergirdingsoftimelessmeaning,andsaysitisallvery
importantforourlivestoday.
Thebasicmonomythinformsusthatthemythologicalhero,settingoutfromaneverydayhome,isluredoriscarriedawayorproceedstothethresholdofadventure.
Hedefeatsashadowypresencethatguardsthegateway,entersadarkpassagewayorevendeath,meetsmanyunfamiliarforces,someofwhichgivehimthreatening
"tests,"someofwhichoffermagicalaid.Attheclimaxofthequestheundergoesasupremeordealandgainshisreward:sacredmarriageorsexualunionwiththe
goddessoftheworld,reconciliationwiththefather,hisowndivinization,oramightygifttobringbacktotheworld.Hethenundertakesthefinalworkofreturn,in
which,transformed,hereenterstheplacefromwhencehesetout.14
Heroresonatedwithitstimes.TheBollingenaurawasintheair.Insomecircles,themidcenturyintellectualmoodwassaturatedwithmyths,dreams,mysticism,
psychoanalysis,andarchetypes.StanleyEdgarHyman,reviewingHerointheKenyonReview,remarkedthat"Mythisthenewintellectualfashion,apparently."He
wasnotfullyimpressed,however.Agreeingthatmythscantell"basictruths,"hefoundCampbellabittoogeneraland"mystical."Onecansay"yes''tothenotionthat
mythshavemeaning,butstillask"when,andtowhom?""Thestudyofmythcontinuestobetheleastrationalofthehumanities.JosephCampbell...nowcomes
forwardwithanamiablybefuddledvolumethepurposeofwhichistodiscoverthe'secret'truthsconcealedinthemythsandtoapplythesetruthstoourdesperate
modernsituation."HymanalsopertinentlynotedthatCampbellwasstillfundamentallyliteraryfolktalesweretohiminferior,"undevelopedordegenerate"inrelation
tothe"greatmythologies"ofthehighercivilizations.15ThedistinguishedfolkloristRichardDorsonalsolaterobservedthatCampbellemphasizedtheuniversal,
dreamlikequalityofmyth,callingattentiontothefactthathewasactuallya"professorofliterature."16
Significantly,Hero,likemostofCampbell'swork,wentdownbetterwithliteraryanddramacritics,andtheliteratepublic,thanwithprofessionalfolkloristsor
anthropologists.Campbell,baskinginhispopularsuccess,cametotakethisphenomenoninstride.Theissueswerelarger,inhismind,thanwhetheraparticular
volumewas"amiablybefuddled."Theywerenodoubtalsolargerthanthelatercom

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plaintofaSovietcriticwho,laboringundertheterminologyofdoctrinairemarxism,complainedthatHerocompletelydivorcedmythfrom"therealactualityinwhichit
arisesanddevelops"asitoverlooks"thesocialroleofagivenwork,itsspecificnationaltraits,itsartisticimageryandideologicalpeculiarities."17Theuniversalizing
andpsychoanalyticstudyofmythintheCampbellmodewould,fromthisperspective,undoubtedlyrepresentitsappropriationbybourgeoisconsciousnessthelatter,
inmarxisteyes,tendstosubjectivizeandaestheticizemythsandstoriesthathadtheirrealrootsinsocialalienationandeconomicdeprivation.
Campbell'sownsocioeconomicsetting,atthetimeofHero,wastheunprecedentedaffluenceofpostwarAmericaandthecoldestyearsoftheColdWar.Schools,
colleges,andadulteducationprogramswere,likechurches,growingbrisklyasveteransenrolledundertheGIbill.Morefamilieshadmoneyforcollegethanever
before,andschoolsandbusinessespreparedforthenewworldofthebabyboomersnowbeginningtoseethelightofday.Mythologywasnotamajorpartof
postwareducation,butitwasnotanentirelyinsignificantfactoreither.Torecapitulatethemesfromourintroductorychapter,wemayrecallthatliterarydiscourseinthe
NewCriticismstylewasseriousthen,andCampbell'selegant,lightlypsychoanalyticandliterarycriticalstyleofmythologyfittedinwell.Itsappealwasenhancedby
thepostwaryearningtoretrievethebestofthepremodernpast,articulatedingeneralizedmythologyaswellasinVedanta,Trappistmonasticism,Zen,andthe
ThomismofCatholiccampuses.Abigissuethatobsessedtheearlyfiftieswastheindividualversus"masssociety."TheexistentialistsandsocialcriticslikeDavid
RiesmanofTheLonelyCrowdapproacheditintheirownwaysCampbelldiditbymakingtheherothecentralfigureinmythandshowingthat,therefore,onlyinthe
individualistheretrueglory.
TheMatureMythologist
Campbellwasverymuchapartofthisworldbutasusualeverythingwasalittledifferentforhim.IntheMcCarthydayshisproblemwasnottoavoidblacklisting,as
itwasformanyprofessors,Hollywoodfigures,andothersitwasratherthedisdainthatcomeinsuchcirclestooneperceivedasbeingontheotherside.ButHarold
Taylor,presidentofSarahLawrenceatthetimeandafriendofCampbell's,

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saidofhimthat"Campbell'sviewwasalwaysmorecomplexthancouldbeeasilygraspedbymostpeople."
OneofthethingsJoereallydidn'tlikewasCommunists....[But]hedidn'tthinkweshould,asacollege,bejustonethingeachpersonwhocameinshouldbegivenlegroomto
moveinwhateverdirectionhislegstookhim....Hewasamanofstrong,independentviews....Hewasveryfondofthecollegeandalotofthepeopleinit,buthewasannoyed
bythepoliticsofthehabitualliberalsonthefaculty.18

CampbellgottoknowAlanWattsaroundthistime.Theyweretwoofakind,lively,sensual,stillyoungishloversofspiritualtraditionswhoalsoknewhowtoenjoy
goodfood,drink,andallnightparties.Inhisautobiography,InMyOwnWay,WattsdescribedCampbellinthismanner,"...hisattitudetolifeisTantric:analmost
fearsomelyjoyousacceptanceofalltheaspectsofbeing,suchthatwheneverIamwithhimhisspiritspillsoverintome."19
LikeWatts,CampbellwaspartofamovementtobringthewisdomoftheEastintotheclassroomsandlivingroomsoftheWest.Butforhimthisprocesswasabit
morecomplicatedthansimplepraiseandappropriation.Foronething,hewasneverquitesurejusthowmuchhelikedtheEast.Confrontingit,hecouldswingfrom
fulsomeaccoladetoacerbicimpatiencehelovedthemythologyandphilosophyhehadexploredintheZimmeryears,andevenasfarbackasthemeetingwith
Krishnamurti.ButthesocialandpoliticalrealityofAsiatodaycouldbesomethingelse,aboveallwhentheyseemedatrightanglestothemythologist'sproud
individualismandstaunchpoliticalopinions.Intheend,hefellbackononeofhisfirstloves:thepaganorquasipaganmythsoftheWest,fromtheOdysseytothe
GrailtoJamesJoyce.
Theissuewasexacerbatedin1954and1955,whenCampbelltookanextendedtourofIndia,acountryhehadofcoursestudiedintensivelybyvirtueofhisworkon
theZimmermanuscripts.HewasaccompaniedbySwamiNikhilanandaandacoupleofprominentmembersoftheNewYorkRamakrishnaVivekanandaCenter.
TheRamakrishnaMissionhadarrangedlecturesandopeneddoorsforhim.Buthisopinionsandobservations,recordedinanengrossingjournal,werehisown.20
NeitherhenorZimmerhadactuallybeentothelandwhoserichartandthoughthadsoinfluencedthem,andof

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whichtheyhadundoubtedlyconstructedahalffantasylandofwonder.IndiaonthegroundwasanexperiencethatleftCampbellshakenbynosmalldegreeofculture
shock.
Campbelladmittedinalettertohiswife,Jean,thatnothingintherealIndia"wasquiteasgoodastheIndiaIinvented"inNewYorkbeforethetrip.21Thereligion,
thetemples,thegurus,themythologicalbackgroundofcoursewasthere.Butallwasinterfusedwiththeheat,thepoverty,thedirt,thebeggars,andthechauvinismof
thenewlyindependentstate.Therepressivequalitiesoftheancientcivilizationwerealsomorethanevident,intheevilsofcasteandthehopelessdrudgeryofthoseon
itslowerrungs.ForonewhoseidealwasobviouslythecleanlinessandorderofGermany,Indiawithitsfilthandchaosclearlyleftmuchtobedesired,justashadthe
CentralAmericaofanearliertrip.AfewscenesapproachedtheGermanicideal.OfthestateofOrissathevisitorwasabletosaythatitwas"thebestthingsofarin
India:lovelyair,beautifulskies,fertileflatlandbythesea,and,afterCalcutta,cleanandorderlylookingpeople."22
ButmuchofIndiawashighlyunsuitabletooneofCampbell'svaluesandtemperament.Mostinfuriatingtohimweretheubiquitousandpersistentconmenandself
appointedguidesandattendants,allclamorousforbaksheesh.Ontopofthat,hehadtodealwiththeofficiousbutinefficientbureaucracy,andtolistentotiradesfrom
intellectualsclaimingthattheUnitedStatesnotevenBritainwassomehowresponsibleforIndia'sproblems.AtthesametimeIndiawas,atthismoment,enamored
withsocialistvisionsandtheideaoffriendshipwiththeSovietUnionandthecommunistbloc.Allthisdefinitelyhitasorespotinthedevoutlyanticommunist
mythologist.
HefoundhimselfbecomingmorepatrioticallyAmericanthanever,andmorepromodernaswell.Once,inresponsetoacommentbySwamiNikhilanandathat"there
isnoprogress,onlychange,"Campbellreplied,"Iusedtothinkthattoo,Swamiji,butsincecomingtoIndiaIhavechangedmymind.Ithinkthereisprogress,andI
thinkIndiawillbegintoexperienceprogresstoo,prettysoon."23EvenGandhididnotenjoyfromCampbellthewholeheartedadmirationhereceivedfromEliadethe
AmericancalledhimandhisdiscipleVinoba"primitivists,"whose"alienationfromtheinevitablesofmodernlifemakesforakindofromanticescapism."24
CampbellalsolearnedsomethingabouthimselfandhisownalienationinIndia.Inatellingremarkinhisjournals,hesaid,"Inthe

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OrientIamfortheWestintheWestfortheOrient.InHonoluluIamforthe'liberals,'inNewYorkforbigbusiness.InthetempleIamfortheUniversity,inthe
Universityforthetemple.Theblood,apparently,isIrish."25Thatsortofindependent,contrarianindividualismwaswhathemissedinmodernIndia.
AfterTheHerowithaThousandFacesandthejourneytoIndiacamethefourvolumeseriesofcollectedandannotatedmythologiescalledTheMasksofGod:
PrimitiveMythology(1959),OrientalMythology(1962),OccidentalMythology(1964),andCreativeMythology(1968).26Inthisseriestheattitudetoward
EastversusWestwasgraduallychanging,thoughoftenwaveringbackandforth.InHeroCampbellhad,despitetheindividualistictheme,praisedtheEastforits
mythologicalsubtlety,andsodidheintheOrientalvolumeofMasks.ButbythetimehegottotheOccidentalvolume,andinCreativeMythology,hewas
increasinglyhostiletotheEastforitssuppressionoftheindividual.
LikemostofCampbell'sworktheMasksseriesimpressedliteratelaitymorethanspecialists.WritingfromthelattersideaboutOccidentalMythology,StephenP.
DunnvividlydeclaredintheAmericanAnthropologistthat
Campbell'sbookisinasenseathrowbacktoanearlierheroicageofanthropology,whentheairwasdarkwithflyinghypothesesandcomparisonsraineddownlikeacornsin
autumn.Readingit,thecasehardenedsocialscientistderivesthesamesortofnostalgichalfshamefacedpleasureastheordinaryadultwouldfromreadingG.A.HentyorRobin
Hoodtohischildren.Campbellusesthetraditionalequipmentandmethodsoftheliterarycritic,forwhomcomparisonandanalogyaretantamounttoproofandfact.Hewritesina
curiouslyarchaicstylefullofrhetoricalquestions,exclamationsofwonderanddelight,andexpostulationsdirectedatthereader,orperhapsattheauthor'sotherselfwhichis
charmingaboutathirdofthetimeandratherannoyingtherest.27

LikeEliade,Campbellwasnotreallyasocialscientist,andthoseinthelattercampcouldtell.DunnfeltthatCampbelldidnotdistinguishsufficientlybetweengreatand
littletraditionsofreligionnoneofthelatter,sofarashewasaware,reallyembracedthemysticismorpantheismthathesawbehindallmyth.Norwerehisviewson
HebreworGreekreligionparticularlynovel.Butapoet,asCampbellwasatheart,canseewhathewantsinthelivesandbeliefsofnonpoeticfolk,andinsodoing
maketheirlivessing.

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AninterestingdocumentofCampbell'sEastWestwobblingisa1967paper,"TheSecularizationoftheSacred."28Thiscuriousessayhasthefeelofsomething
transitional.Itcommencedwithratherstandardremonstrancesagainstthe"anthropomorphic"GodoftheWest,atfirstexaltingEasternreligionsovertheWesternfor
theirabilitytoseethedivineineverythingratherthaninaparticularplace,andbecausetheEastseemstopointbeyondtheimageratherthanlimitingGodtotheliteral
andtheparticular.
ButthenCampbellcametothetheologyofloveandthetransformationofhumantodivinelove,oferostoagape,kamatoprema.(Hisstudyofthisprocessisoneof
hismoresignificantcontributionstocomparativereligion.)Hesawthisexchangeasanimportantsectorofseveralspiritualtraditions.Inbhakti,lovefortheparticular
formbecomeslovefortheuniversaldivine.InChristianityitbecomesarelationshipinwhichloveforthehumanbelovedismoreandmorereplacedbytheloveofGod
fordivineloverslikeSaintFrancisandSaintBonaventure.But,inamoveCampbellloudlyapplauded,intheWestpaganlovewasthensurreptitiouslyrevivedin
storieslikeTristanandIsoldeorParsifal,inwhichtheheroesandheroinesremainseparateandearthlyinalltheirglory.
Inmakingthispoint,"TheSecularizationoftheSacred"becameanaffirmationofsomethingearlyinCeltoGermanicandGrecoRomanculture,whichwas
subsequentlyweakenedbyChristianitywithits"Semitic"absolutizingoftheparticularsacred."Itismythought,thatthewealthandgloryofthewesternworld,andof
themodernworldaswell(insofarasitisstillinspirit,western)isafunctionofthisrespectfortheindividual,notasamemberofsomesanctifiedconsensusthrough
whichheisgivenworth."29
Thosewordswerewrittenataboutthesametimeasturmoiloverthegreattraumaofthelatesixties,Vietnam,ragedthroughtheUnitedStates.Regardingthewar,
Campbell'scontrarianinstinctsweretorileup.Infact,asCampbell'sbiographers,StephenandRobinLarsen,pointout,hispositionin1967hadsimilaritiesaswellas
differenceswiththattakeninthe1940"PermanentHumanValues"speech.DuringWorldWarIIhefavorednonintervention.Butinthesixties,whilehecontinuedto
loathewar,heseemedtobelievethatcommunismrepresentedsuchamindenslavingsystemthatviolentoppositiontoitwasjustified.Howeverhismainconcernat
SarahLawrencewas,asin1940,thatstudentsshouldbestudents,concernedwithmorepermanentvalues

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thanthoseofdaytodaypolitics,ortheactivismassociatedwiththedecade.Withperhapsatouchofselfdeception,hesawhimselfasanonpoliticalclassroom
professor,andinsistedhewastheretoteach,andstudentsoncampustheretolearnwhathehadtoteachandfornootherreason.
TheLarsensstatethat,contrarytowhatwassometimesalleged,Campbelldidnotactuallyfailstudentsforpoliticalactivismassuch,butdidholdthemresponsiblefor
materialpresentedinclassevenduringstrikesanddemonstrations.TheydescribethelatesixtiesatmosphereatSarahLawrencevividly,evokingthehighlyvisible
postersofMao,theVietcongflags,andthestudentstrikes,whichsoinflamedtheconservativemythologist,thoughhehimselfhadbeeninfatuatedwithcommunismin
theearlythirties.30TheLarsenswerefriendsofCampbellandtheirbiographyisgenerallysympathetic,thoughtheyacknowledgethatintheVietnamerathey"leaned
totheleft"andoftendisputedCampbell'sprowarRepublicanismwithhim,tryingtogethimtoseesuchsixtiesdramasasthemarchonthePentagonsympatheticallyas
contemporaryeventsofmythicdimension.Theyattributehisthenunpopular(atleastinthecirclesinwhichheandtheygenerallymoved)stancetohisvisceral
anticommunism,hisidealizationofAmericanindividualism,andhisstubbornindependence.TheypointoutthatlaterhealsohadproblemswiththeRepublicanismof
theeightiesonthreeimportantpoints:itsalliancewithChristianfundamentalism(hebelievedstronglyinseparationofchurchandstate,anddidnotcareforeither
CatholicorProtestantauthoritarianism),itsoppositiontoabortion(perhapsbecauseofhisradicalindividualism,hebelievedinawoman'srighttochoice),andthe
GOP'sinadequatestandonecology(agreatloverofnature,Campbellsupportedstrongmeasuresforitsprotection).Asthedecadeadvanced,heclaimedhewasso
disillusionedwithallpartiesthathemightnotvoteatall.
ItmightalsobeaddedthatCampbellenjoyedfriendshipwith,andinfluenced,anumberofprominentfiguresofthesixtiesandseventieswhodidnotnecessarilyshare
hispoliticalviewsbutappreciatedhiscreativeintellectandwhoappliedhismythicvisiontotheirartorsocialrole.InadditiontothefilmmakerGeorgeLucas,these
includedBobDylan,TheGratefulDead,thepsychologistJoanHalifax,andCaliforniagovernorJerryBrown.

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HowdidCampbellcomebytheconservatismthatsethimapartfromwhatotherwiseoughttohavebeenaverycongenialdecadeforoneofhisvision?Oneviewis
presentedinTobyJohnson'sTheMythoftheGreatSecret,aninterestingaccountoftheauthor'spersonalmovementawayfromconventionalRomanCatholicism
undertheaegisofCampbell'sperceptionofmyth.Johnson,whodidnotanddoesnotshareCampbell'spolitics,reportshewasquitetakenabackwhen,unawareof
Campbell'sviews,hefirstmethimin1971,duringtheyearsofupheavaloverVietnam,andfoundthathismentoridentifiedhimselfasaRepublicanandasupporterof
Nixonandthewar.(Johnsonhad,infact,steeledhimselftoopposethewarthroughthepowerofcertainlinesaboutthehero'sresolveinCampbell's1949classic,
TheHeroWithaThousandFaces.)HefoundalsothatCampbellwasopposedtosixtiesstylesexualandpsychedelicdrugexperimentation,and"soundedlikehe'd
beenlisteningtotoomuchArtLinkletter."31
Infurtherconversations,JohnsoncametounderstandCampbellbetter.Themythologistcalledhimselfa"classicalconservative,"citingthestoryoftheGrailQuestas
anexampleofthestaunchindividualismonwhichthatpositionisallegedlybased:theknightsagreeamongthemselvesthattheywillnotfollowinanother'sfootsteps,
butthateachshouldpursuehisownpathtotheholyobject,beginningatthatplaceintheforestthatwasdarkestandmostalone.Campbell,infact,accordingto
Johnsonpridedhimselfonnotreallybeingpartofthemodernworld.Heneverwatchedtelevisionandhadnointerestinpopularculture.(Eliadetoo,incidentally,
duringtheChicagoyearswhenIknewhim,neverreadnewspapersorsatinfrontofaTVandhadvirtuallynoawarenessofwhatwashappeningintheouterworld.)
InCampbellthenwesee,inthiscontext,anextremeandobviouslyidealizedindividualismtheassumptionthattheknightsofcapitalismwouldvoluntarilyallstart
equallydistantfromtheprizecombinedperhapswithsomethingofthepuritanismofhisIrishCatholicbackground,werethedominantconstituentsofCampbell's
socialviews.HeexplainedtoTobyJohnsonthattherealdangerinmodernsocietywasthethreatofswampingpersonalfreedomwithconcernforcollectiveneeds,
whichwouldleadthegovernmenttomeddleinpeople'slivesandcatertopressuregroups.
BythetimetheMasksserieshadbeencompleted,JosephCampbellwasfamous.Hehadreachedseveralaudienceswhobelievedthat

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whathehadtosayaboutmythandcontemporarycivilizationwasworthhearing.TheHerowithaThousandFaceshadfascinatedaquorumofwritersandliterary
criticslikehimself,andtogetherwiththerestofthepostwarmythmoodhadhelpedlaunchthe"mythcriticism"ofscholarslikeNorthropFrye.TheBollingenSeries
work,especiallytheeditedEranosYearbooks,hadmadehimafamiliarnameinthelargeprofessionalandlaycirclesinterestedincomparativereligion,Jungianism,
andrelatedinquiries.NowtheMasksserieshitthenation'sbookshopsandcoffeetablesinanotherdecade,thesixties,muchtakenwithrecoveringthewisdombehind
mythsandsymbolsfromouttherace'soccultpast.Theirimpactwasabettedbyactivelecturingandmediaappearancesonthepartofanauthorwholookedsomuch
theHollywoodimageofthepopular,winsomeyetwiseprofessor.Therewerecritics,butfewofthemhadroyaltiestomatchCampbell's.
Thenextbook,MythsToLiveBy(1972),reworkedlecturesgivenovermanyyearsattheCooperUnioninNewYork.32EmmettWilson,Jr.,intheSaturday
Reviewcalledit"badlywritten,"retaining"thecloyingchatterofaratherunstructuredlecturertalkingtoanundemandingaudience."33Thebookdid,however,
continuesomethingofanewdepartureforthemythologistbeguninCreativeMythology:writingdirectlyandcentrallyconcernedwiththecontemporaryneedfornew
mythsinatimeofwhathecalled"pathologyofthesymbol,"whenreligionsbasedonoutdatedviewsofthecosmoshavebeenlosingtheirforce,butthenewgods
havenotyetarrived.InCreativeMythologyhehadbecomeveryconcernedwiththeroleofmythologyinsocialstability:
Forthoseinwhomalocalmythologystillworks,thereisanexperiencebothofaccordwiththesocialorder,andofharmonywiththeuniverse.Forthose,however,inwhomthe
authorizedsignsnolongerwork...therefollowsinevitablyasensebothofdissociationfromthelocalsocialnexusandofquest,withinandwithout,forlife,whichthebrainwill
taketobefor'meaning.'"34

InMythsToLiveByCampbellreturnedtoSpenglerandFrobeniusforwaysofunderstandingthecurrentcriticaleschatologicalsituation,andtalkedoffindingnew
mythologiesinOuterSpace.J.A.Appleyard,writinginCommonweal,wasdisconcertedbyCampbell's"weknowbetter"attitudetowardthewisdomofthepast,
butothers,likePeden

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CreightonintheJournalofReligiousThoughtrecognizedthatthepresentsymbolsituationwasschizophrenic,andwhetherornotCampbellhadalltheanswershe
wasatleastaskingthequestions.35
Therewereotherbooksbythematuremythologist:TheFlightoftheWildGander,acollectionofhismostscholarlypapersthelatethreevolumesoftheHistorical
AtlasofWorldMythology,andanotherlecturecollection,TheInnerReachesofOuterSpace,aswellasposthumousjournals.36TransformationsofMyth
ThroughTimewastheposthumouspublicationofhislastlecturetours,alsovideotapedforaPBSseries.37Thatfinalcollectionoflecturesnodoubtgratified
Campbell'snumerousfans,butdidlittletoquietcriticalconcernsaboutthemythologist'soversimplificationofhistoricalmattersandtendencytomakemythmean
whateverhewantedittomean.Indeed,onehasafamiliarbutdisturbingsenseofanoldmanbecomingmoreandmoresetinhisopinionsastheyearsadvance.Thatis
apparentinhistreatmentoftheSemiticelementinEuropeanandAmericanculture.
InTransformations,herecallsscoldingastudentofhisatSarahLawrenceforsayingthatifshedidn'tthinkofherselfasJewish,shewouldn'tknowheridentity.
CampbelltoldherthatheknewwhohewasevenapartfromthinkingofhimselfasanIrishman.Onthesamepage(91)hepresentsaconfrontationhehadwiththe
celebratedJewishtheologianMartinBuber,whomhetooktotaskforexpressinghorroratthesacrificeofchildrentothepagangodMolochdespiteAbraham's
willingnesstoobeyYahweh'scommandtosacrificehisownsonIsaac.Whatevertherightsorwrongsoftheargument,itisapparentthatexamplesofwhatCampbell
considersbadreligionoftenseemtoinvolveJudaismanditsprogeny.ThereturnfromEasttoWestdidnotnecessarilymeanareturntothesereligions.Inchapter11
ofthesamebook,"WhereThereWasNoPath:ArthurianLegendsandtheWesternWay,"hemakesthosefamousstoriesspeakofalingeringpaganindividualism
standingoveragainstanoppressive"NearEasterntradition"importedbyChristianity,buttressingthecasethroughhopelesslyselectiveuseofthematerial,anddespite
thefactthatweknowKingArthuronlyasaChristianhero.Anyonewho,despitegreatlearning,couldsoforgetboththeruthlessandrepressivesidesoftribal
paganism,andthestunningexamplesofJewishandChristianindividualisticheroesfromDavidtoJesus,toembracesuchasimplisticviewofEuropeanculture,is
beyondrationalargument.

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Regrettably,inJosephCampbelloneseesamaninwhom,forallhiscelebratorystatusandaccomplishment,somelevelsofpromiseremainedunfulfilled.Inplaceof
ongoinggrowthinwisdomandunderstanding,thereisalifetoosoonforeclosedaroundviewsthatseemmorefirmlyrootedinquirksoftemperamentthanintellectual
analysis.Heseemsoneofthosegoldenyouthstowhomtoomuchcametoosoonandtooeasily,andwhothereafterdoeslittlebutrepeatthehomiliesthatfirstwon
himthelaurelsofpopularacclaim.
YetthereisanotherCampbell,acounterparttothecharismaticpublicfigure,aCampbellwhowasalmostbafflinglyinward.Thismysteriouspersonasurfacedinoneof
hismostremarkablebooks,onethatonlyhecouldhavewritten,TheMythicImage(1974).
Perhapsthatistheworkwithwhichtobestendthisnarrative.TheMythicImageisastunninglyillustratedgiftbookandthequintessentialCampbell,notableforits
richassociation,alwaysimportanttoCampbell,ofmythandart,andofbothtothereveriesofdream.Thefirstsectionisentitled''TheWorldAsDream,"andof
coursesuggeststhatmythsarethekeytotheinterpretationoftheoneiricfantasyweseeallaroundusandtakeforreal.Thebookreceivedvirtuallyawestrucknotices
insuchmediaastheNewYorkerandNewsweek,butthehistorianofreligionCharlesH.Long,intheReligiousStudiesReview,perhapshadthebesttakeonitashe
noticedthattheorganizationoftheworkitselfisdreamlike.Itwanderslikeadreamfromoneimagetoanother:fromrockpaintingsto"wildanderotic"Tantricartto
gruesomesacrificestothemonumentalbuildingsoflostcivilizations,andonandon.BynowCampbellisentirelyuninhibitedinhisfreeassociationofsymbolsacross
spaceandtime.ThesleepingKundaliniserpentofTantricyogaremindshimofsomethinginRembrandt'spaintingofFaust,andinoneofthecavetemplesof
AurangabadtheBuddhaholdsa"lotusladder"reminiscentofboththeNorseYggdrasilandJacob'sladder.Thereisnonecessaryculturalconnectioninthesethings,
butthereisasortofdreammeldingofoneimageintoanother,an"oneiriclogic,"evocativeofwhathereisCampbell'scentralconcern,therelationofdreamtomyth.
Thebook,Longconcludes,readsasthoughithadbeenwritteninadream,whileasleep.Itispassive,ambiguous,haunting.38
BasicIdeas
Whatismythologysupposedtodo?Here,fromMythsToLiveBy,arefourfunctionsofmyth.Allfouroftheseclearlyhavedirector

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indirectpoliticalramifications,eitherinthewaymythsgivespiritualpowerandidentitytoanindividualnoticetheprimaryemphasisontheindividualintheselines
andsostrengthensone'sfunctioningwithinthepoliticalorder,orbyvalidatingthatorderdirectly.
Thefirst[function]iswhatIhavecalledthemysticalfunction,towakenandmaintainintheindividualasenseofaweandgratitudeinrelationtothemysterydimensionofthe
universe,notsothathelivesinfearofit,butsothatherecognizesthatheparticipatesinit,sincethemysteryofbeingisthemysteryofhisownbeingaswell.
Thesecondfunctionofthelivingmythologyistoofferanimageoftheuniversethatwillbeinaccordwiththeknowledgeofthetime,thesciencesandthefieldsofactionofthe
folktowhomthemythologyisaddressed.
Thethirdfunctionofthelivingmythologyistovalidate,support,andimprintthenormsofagivenspecificmoralorderthat,namely,ofthesocietyinwhichtheindividualisto
live.
Andthefourthistoguidehim,stagebystage,inhealth,strength,andharmonyofspirit,throughthewholeforeseeablecourseofausefullife.39

SuchfundamentalnotionsastheseremainedconstantthroughoutCampbell'scareer.Theyincludedalsotheideaoftheunityofmyth,thatis,thatmythsthroughoutthe
worldgiveanessentiallyidenticalmessage(withtheexception,perhaps,ofthe"NearEastern").WehaveseenhowtheideawasexpressedinquasiFreudiantermsin
theprefacetoHero.Alsoatthebeginningofhiscareer,hewroteinhisprefacetoMayaDeren'sDivineHorsemen:
Allmythology,whetherofthefolkoroftheliterati,preservestheiconographyofaspiritualadventurethatmenhavebeenaccomplishingrepeatedlyformillennia,andwhich,
wheneveritoccurs,revealssuchconstantfeaturesthattheinnumerablemythologiesoftheworldresembleeachotherasdialectsofasinglelanguage.40

Nolessimportantthemesweretherelationofmythtodreamsandtheunconsciousand,ontheotherhand,totheexplicationofcomparablemotifsingreatliterature.
Insofarasthereweredifferencesintheapparentvaluesofmyths,thatwasattributabletotheworkingsofthe"culturalmorphology"hehadlearnedfromOswald
SpenglerandLeoFrobenius.Formorphologicalchangesinmythasculturechanged

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waspossiblethegeographicaluniversalityofmythwasnotnecessarilyalsoatemporalsamenessageafterage.Theexactlevelofmythicuniversalityversuscultural
specificityoroftimelessversustemporallyconditionedtruthinmyth,however,wasnotexaminedindepthbyCampbell.
BothSpenglerandFrobeniuswereamongthosewhonotonlywereimmenselypopularwritersintheWeimarperiod,butalsoperpetuatedahighlysophisticated
versionofthevolkishmood:antidemocratic,pessimisticaboutthemodernworld.Itisclearthat,morethanmostAmericansofhisgeneration,Campbellwasnurtured
bythemilkofthatparticularstrandofWeimarintellectualism,andalwaysmaintainedasoftplaceinhisheartforthegloriesofGermanthought.
ItmayberecalledthatSpengleralsoenjoyedavogueintheearlyandmidfiftiesinAmerica.Manyintellectuals,includingtheBeats,tookupwiththepessimistic,
antimodernmoodofthinkerslikeAldousHuxley,C.G.Jung,andtherediscoveredSpengler,inoppositiontothebravenewworldoftelevision,fishtailcars,andCold
Warcapitalismappearingoutsidetheirstudywindows.InthedaysofHeroandtheEranosconferences,Campbellwasfarfromaloneinpubliclybemoaning(and
maybecovertlyapplauding)thedeclineoftheWest,butheclungtotheghostsofWeimarintellectuallifelongerthanvirtuallyanyoneelse.
WhatimpressedCampbellaboutSpenglerandFrobeniuswasnotsomuchtheirexplicitpoliticalviewsastheirconceptofthemorphologyofculture,theviewthat
cultureshavedefiniteshapesinspaceandtime,inwhichallfeaturesofaparticularculturalerainterlocktoformadefinitestylethatisasmuchaformofconsciousness
andcharacterasofartandarchitecture.
Forexample,accordingtoSpenglertheRussianshavea"flatplane"cultureexpressedinlowbuildingsandanethicsofegalitarianfellowshipwesternEuropeis
"Faustian,"withitssoaringgothicspires,itsdistanceperspectiveinart,itsworldexplorationandworldconquest,itslongdistanceweapons.Moreover,culturespass
throughdistinctstagesofgrowthanddecline,anditisherethatSpengler'sonecelebratedbook,TheDeclineoftheWest,expresseditspropheticjudgmentona
civilizationthathadalreadypassedmidlife.Campbellfirstreadthatbookduringtheauthor'smomentofpostWorldWarIfamebutheneverforgotit,returningtoits
mainthemesagainuptotheendofhislife.

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ThusfundamentaltoCampbell'spositionallthewaythroughweretwoideastakenfromFrobeniusandSpengleraboutthemythsofparticularcultures.Firstwasthe
conceptofthespiritualunityofaculture.Thatunifiedessenceisexpressedthroughthemythsoftheculturebutisalsofoundinvisualartandeveninindividual
personalitystyles.Theunityisfurtherexpressedintheculture'sparticularformsoftheJungianarchetypesandinitsgreatliterature.JoyceandThomasMannwere
supremeexamples,forCampbell,ofmodernity'sparticularculturalcircle.
Second,Campbellaffirmed,withFrobeniusandSpengler,thatculturalcirclescanevolve.ThemedievalWesternstylewasnotthesameasthemodernWestern.
Spengler,asiswellknown,andasissuggestedintheverytitleofTheDeclineoftheWest,believedthatculturalcircles,likehumanbeingsandallorganiclife,pass
throughseasonsofyouth,maturity,andsenescence,finallytodie.ButhereCampbellpreferredthemoreoptimisticvisionofhisotherGermanmentor,Frobenius.
HewasstruckbyFrobenius'scomparableconceptthateveryracehasitsownpaideumaorsoul,itsownwayoffeelinganditsownspectrumofsignificant
knowledge.Thisspiritisexpressedinitsartanditsmythology,andmayalsoevolveovertime,sothatthepaideumaofaNeolithicagriculturalpeoplemaybedifferent
fromwhatitwaswhentheywerehuntersandgatherers,orthatofRenaissanceEuropedifferentfromthatofmedievalEurope.41
Campbellclearlyseizedonthisidea,towhichhisinterestinmyth,andhishardlylesslivelyinterestinartandliterature,fittedsowell.Whatwasimportantwastolook
notsomuchatthedrearytechnicaldetailsofastoryorsculptureasatthefascinatingmessageencodedinitsoverallstructuresandleadingarchetypes.Whoisontop?
Whoistherebellioushero?Whatisthedominantrepresentationofthedivine,themothergoddessorthepatriarchalmaleorwhat?Campbellwasalsomuch
impressedbyFrobenius'snotionofthreestagesofhumandevelopment,aconceptoutlinedtwice,forexample,inhis1972MythsToLiveBy.42
Thefirststagewasthatofprimitivefoodgatherers,ofnonliteratehunters,gatherers,planters.Thesecondstage,commencingaround3500B.C.E.,wasthatofthe
"Monumental"cultures:Egypt,Mesopotamia,China,Greece,Rome,medievalEurope,modernity.Allthesecivilizationswerecenteredonasupposeddivinecosmic
order,oftenbuttressed

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byapersonalGod,thatgavethetemplateforhumanachievement:citiesweremodeledonthethoseofheaven,empireswerebuiltinthenameofGod.
Buttodayanewstageisemerging,a"global"culturebasedonrealizationthatthesacrediswithin.FollowingFrobenius,Campbellalsobelievedthatwearenow
enteringanewage,athirdageofthespiritlikethatonceprophesiedbyJoachimofFlora,adawning"globalage,"anageof"boundlesshorizons"madeupofthe
comingtogetherofalltheformerlyseparateculturalworldsofhumanity.ThisideaseemstohaveespeciallycrystallizedforCampbellininteractionwiththevisionary
sixties,despitehisprofessedantagonismtosomeofitsvalues.Inthisrisingera,asinthatesotericdecade,religionwouldmoveinamysticaldirection.Thelawsand
godsrulingEarthwillbeseennolongeras"outthere,"butwithintheheartsofhumankind.Inhismostidealisticmoods,Campbellnodoubtviewedhimselfasa
premierprophetofthatnewspiritualdispensation.
Campbellwasclearlydrawntothismodernversionofthecomingspiritualage.Thefirstbenightedstagehadseenthesacredintheplantandtheanimal,thesecond
projectedit"aloftamongtheplanetsandbeyond,"butthethirdputitwhereitbelonged,"inmen,righthereonearth."Itsadventwouldbesunginmodernmyths,by
menandwomenfreedfromthepropsofformalreligion.
ThelastchapterofCreativeMythology,significantlycalled"TheDeathof'God'andtheEarthlyParadise,"tellsusthatthe"technologicaldeterminants"ofthenew
agewouldbescientificmethodandpowerdrivenmachine,evenaswritingand"coercivegovernment"hadbeenfortheMonumentalage.Furthermore:
ThedistinguishingfeatureofthenewmankindasheraldedinthelivesandworksofthosethroughwhomitwasannouncedhasalreadybeensuggestedinWolfram'sParzival:
thatistosay,amankindofindividuals,selfmovedtoendspropertothemselves,directednotbytheconstraintandnoiseofothers,buteachbyhisowninnervoice.43

CampbellthencitedJosOrtegayGassettothesameeffect,andalsoJoachim,RalphWaldoEmerson,ThomasMann,andPaulTillichamoderngnosticcatalogue
ofsaints.
TheLeoFrobeniustowhomCampbellowedthisvision,incidentally,hadanunusualcareer.Neveranacademicinthestrictsense,he

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wasanexplorerandcollectorwhospentmuchofhislifeintheAfricanbushonexpeditionssponsoredbymuseumsanduniversities.Singlemindedlypreoccupiedwith
Africanculture,hetooknointerestinthesocialandpoliticalaspectsofthatchangingcontinent,andthoughnotracisthimselfdidnotarguewithEurocentric
assumptionscharacteristicofhistime.Indeed,duringtheWeimaryearsFrobeniuswasamemberofthe"Doorncircle,"whichmetregularlywiththeexiledKaiser
WilhelmIIathisDutchretreatforconversationsonanthropologyandarchaeology,topicsinwhichtheformeremperorhadalivelyinterest.Althoughhemayhavehad
privatereservations,Frobeniusmustalsohavelistenedcourteouslytothewindydiatribesonreligion,Jews,thesuperiorityandinferiorityofraces,andtheclassical
originsofGermancivilization,withwhichhisimperialhost,oncedescribedasamanofhalfbakedideasandfullyformedprejudices,waswellknowntoafflicthis
guests.Later,duringtheNaziregime,FrobeniusservedasdirectoroftheFrankfortenthographicalmuseumuntilhisdeathin1938.44
AfterreadingFrobenius,Campbellwrote:
Ilearnedthattheessentialformofthemythisacycle,andthatthiscycleisasymbolicrepresentationoftheformofthesoul,andthatinthedreamsandfanciesofmodern
individuals(whohavebeenbroughtupalongthelinesofarational,practicaleducation)thesemythsymbolsactuallyreappeargivingtestimonyofapersistence,eveninto
moderntimes,ofthemythpower.45

ItwasinthespiritofthesewordsthatCampbellwasastudentofmodernmythologytoo.Alwaysmoreofaliteraryscholarandcriticatheartthanafolklorist,much
lessananthropologist,healwayspreferredtodealwithmythsasretailedbygreatwritersandtellersfromHomerandHesiodthroughthemedievalexponentsofthe
GrailstorytoJoyceandMann.InreviewingTheHerowithaThousandFaces,StanleyEdgarHymanremarkedthattoCampbellfolkliteratureisinferior,
"undevelopedordegenerate"inrelationtothe"greatmythologies"ofthehighercivilizations,whichofcourseusuallyhadworthyrenditions.46Therelativedistanceof
literarymythfrom"thepeople"wasnogreatpricetopay.Forif,asCampbellbelieved,mythstelltrulyuniversaltruth,thattruthisastrueforapoetornovelistofthe
firstmagnitudeasforanyoneelse,andthatwritercanprobablytellitbetter,inmoretrulyuniversallanguage.

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InthatlightonemayviewCampbell'sdeepinterestintwomakersofcontemporarymythologies,JamesJoyceandThomasMann,examplesofconsciousnessshaped
bythemorphologyofmodernity.CampbellappreciatedtheIrishandtheGermannovelists'abilitytopaintmodernlifeasfracturedandimperfect.Yeteventhe
seeminglysecular,unheroic,andcomfortablymiddleclasslivesoftheircharacterscomeacrossasprofoundlysignificantbecausethereaderisalsoledtobelieveeach
containsanundyingsparkoftheeternalflame.Campbelldidnotconsidertheshatteringofheroicillusionsinthesemodernliterarymythsasinconsistentwiththe
archetypalthrustofmythology.Tohimthesuprememodernmeaningofmythwasthatalltheimperfectpersonsweseearoundus,eventhemostvacantbourgeois,still
havewithinthemthesamedivinefirethatanimatedthemythichero.InMythsToLiveBy,CampbellpointstoTonioKrgerinMann'snovelofthesamenameas
suchahero,commenting:
Perfectioninlifedoesnotexistandifitdid,itwouldbenotlovablebutadmirable,possiblyevenabore.Perfectionlackspersonality.(AlltheBuddhas,theysay,areperfect,
perfectandthereforealike.Havinggainedreleasefromtheimperfectionsofthisworld,theyhaveleftit,nevertoreturn.ButtheBodhisattvas,remaining,regardthelivesand
deedsofthisimperfectworldwitheyesandtearsofcompassion.)Forletusnotewell(andhereisthehighpointofMann'sthinkingonthissubject):whatislovableaboutany
humanbeingispreciselyhisimperfections.Thewriteristofindtherightwordsfortheseandtosendthemlikearrowstotheirmarkbutwithabalm,thebalmoflove,onevery
point.Forthemark,theimperfection,isexactlywhatispersonal,human,natural,intheobject,andtheumbilicalpointofitslife.47

Atthesametime,CampbellfollowedMann'spolitical(or"unpolitical")thinkinguptoapoint,forhebelieveditwaspreciselyMann'sunpoliticalnaturethatmade
possiblethedeephumanism,theuniversalunderstandingbehindtheseremarkablewords.Itwasthattranscendentcareforthelovableuniquenessineveryimperfect
humanthatCampbellpersuadedhimselfMannhadabandonedashetooka"partisan"antinazistandinthethirties.InthetwentiesCampbell,aswehaveseen,had
beendeeplyinfluencedbyMann'sReflectionsofanUnpoliticalMan(1918),apessimisticendofthewarpiecethatdefendedthetraditionalstateagainst
democracy,andcreativeirrationalismagainst"flat"reason.Mannthencalledformodernstodevelopper

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sonalinternalculturedespitetheshallowvaluesofcivilization.InhisjournalsCampbellwroteofthatwork:
Mannspoke...however,againsttheonesidednessofeverypoliticalachievement,andcelebratedthetwoeyed,ironicpowersoftheartist.Thestrictlybalanceddeedofthe
artist'spenorbrushrepresentedaheroicclearsightedness,andasalubriousaffirmationofthebalancedtruthagainsteverypossibletendentiouspoliticization.48

However,asMannchangedhisideasonpoliticsandsocietyinoppositiontoNazism,Campbellwithdrewintoamoralequivocalismthattendedtosayonlythatfaults
obtainonbothsidesinthegreatideologicalbattlesoftheday.Thetrueartistoughttoobservethehumanscenefromatranscendentperspectiveratherthanchoose
sides.Thisviewwasexpressed,ofcourse,inthe1940talk"PermanentHumanValues."Astimewenton,Campbellbecameonlymorecontrarianaboutthematter.
Herefusedtoletitdieeveninthedifferentworldofthedecadesafterthewar,exceptwhenhetooksidesagainstcommunism.
InTheInnerReachesofOuterSpace,attheendofhislife,hedefiantlywentoutofhiswaytociteMann'sReflectionsonceagain,longafterthetract'sauthorhad
himselfleftitsstancefarbehind.ThistimetheWorldWarIessaywasquotedtotheeffectthateconomicandmilitaryimperialism,conjoinedwith"hypocritical
democracy,"weremorethelegacyofGreatBritainandtheUnitedStatesthanofGermany.OnecansenseCampbell'sIrishbloodrisingasherecordsMannsayingin
1918that"Tomysoul'ssatisfaction,IfindnothinginGermanhistorytocomparewithEngland'streatmentofIreland."Itiswithobviousdisappointmentthatthe
AmericanmustalsonotethatduringWorldWarII,asEnglandstoodalmostaloneagainsttheNazimenace,Mannhadconsiderablychangedhistune,nowgoingso
farastosay,"Canitbedenied,thattheworld,insofarasitisEnglish,findsitselfinrightgoodhands?"
CampbellthencitestwootherwritersinsupportofMann's1918views,menwhoremainedfaithfultothespiritofthoseviewsevenamidtheflamesofWorldWarII:
theAmericanexpatriatepoetandadmirerofMussoliniEzraPound,who"wasatthattimeinItaly,broadcastingcondemnationsoftheWesternAlliancethatwerevery
muchlikethoseofMann'sWorldWarIBetrachtungen,"andthealsocontroversialT.S.Eliot.Campbellthenreturnstothequestionofeyes,

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quotingStrindbergtotheeffectthat"politiciansareoneeyedcats."Butaccordingtothemythologist,theartistseeswithtwoeyes,"andalonetohimisthecenter
revealed:thatstillpoint,asEliotsaw,wherethedanceis.'Andthereisonlythedance.'"49
Onthesametheme,inCreativeMythologyCampbellhadcitedaradioaddressMannhadaddressedtotheGermanpeopleinDecemberof1941,ontheeveof
PearlHarborasitturnedout.CampbellreproducedintactthelengthycatalogueofNaziatrocitiestodateaboutwhichthenovelisthadinformedanyofhiscountrymen
courageousenoughtolistentohim.Then,explaininghisownrole,Mannhadremarkedthattheartistlivesandworksnotforthegloryofhiscountrybutoutof
individual"immanentneed."ThoselastwordsCampbellitalicized.
CampbellthenwentontocommentthatHitler's"monstrousempire"hadnowbeenreplacedby"Stalin'snolessmonstrousslavestate,"towhichwasadded"another
Asianmonster,"theChinese,andwithit"ascientificallyenforcedAsiatizationofworldaffairs."Whatdoesthatmean?''ThisistheoldBronzeageworldimageofan
absolutelyinexorable,mathematicalcosmologyofwhichthesocialorderisbutanaspect...bothIndianandChinese."Tothisisnowaddedthe"equallyinexorable
Marxiannotionofthelogicofhistory."Theleadingchallengetothesemonstrousbutoutdatedsocialmachineswas,notunexpectedly,"thepoliticsofthefree
individual."50OnethinksofthesmallbutheroicandindividualistrebelallianceinStarWarsconfrontingthevastmachinesandfacelessstormtroopersoftheevil
empire.
NowwemustconfrontdirectlytheissueofantiSemitisminCampbell'slifeandwork.RobertA.Segal,inanarticle"JosephCampbellonJewsandJudaism,"has
assembledafullcollectionofevidencetotheeffectthatCampbelldislikedbothJewsandJudaism.51Thereareaccountsofverbaldiatribesonthesubjectfrom
studentsandcolleaguesatSarahLawrence,andmanyillustrationsfromhisbooksoftheroundhousecondemnationsofancientIsrael'sviolenceandexclusivityof
whichCampbellwascapable."Campbell'swouldbescholarlycharacterizationsofJudaismevinceallthestockantiSemiticepithets."Judaismissaidtobe
chauvinistic,fossilized,nationalistic,sexist,patriarchal,andantimystical.Evenprimalpeoples,suchasCampbell'sbelovedNativeAmericans,aresaidto"possessa
broadervisionthanJews."Andtheseattitudes,Segalnoted,becameonlymorepronouncedintheauthor'slatestbooks.

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Ashebecamemoreinterestedin,andpositivetoward,femininevaluesinmyth,CampbellspokeoftheancientHebrewconquestofCanaanasatrulyegregious
exampleofpastoralfightingpeoplesubjugatingthefeminineandpromotingwarlikeattitudes.InThePowerofMyth,explainingtheoriginsofthedolorouspatriarchal
monotheismthathaslongafflictedWesternculture,Campbelldeclaredthat"TheYahwehcultwasaspecificmovementintheHebrewcommunity,whichfinallywon.
Thiswasapushingthroughofacertaintempleboundgodagainstthenaturecult,whichwascelebratedallovertheplace.Andthisimperialisticthrustofacertainin
groupcultureiscontinuedintheWest."52Inthe"SecularizationoftheSacred"essay,aswehaveseen,modernsecularizationispresentedasanaffirmationofvalues
foundinearlyCelticGermanicandGrecoRomanculture,whichwerelaterweakenedbyChristianitywithits"Semitic"absolutizingoftheparticularsacredandits
subsequentdualism.53Inasignificantarticle,MauriceFriedmantouchedonsomeofthesamematerialasSegal,includingCampbell'snotoriousencounterwithMartin
Buber,andalsonotedthemythologist'slackofattentiontotheJewishholocaustsurelyadeedwhoseblacknesswasofmythologicaldimensions,andwhichhas
shapedsubsequentconsciousnessascertainlyashasthebrightmythologiesofheroesandouterspace.54
YetthereareotherperspectivesinCampbell'swork.IntheintroductiontoTheMasksofGod:PrimitiveMythology,Campbellhadreferredtothedestructive
powerofmythologicalracismandAryanisminsuchwritersofthenineteenthandtwentiethcenturyasGobineauandChamberlain,andhedrewfromthemthemoral
that"mythologyisnotoyforchildren,"butcanhaveexplosivepowerinourownaswellasanyotherage.55Onthesamepagehewrote:"Andtheworldisnowfar
toosmall,andmen'sstakeinsanitytoogreat,foranymoreofthoseoldgamesofChosenFolk(whetherofJehovah,Allah,Wotan,Manu,ortheDevil)bywhich
tribesmenweresustainedagainsttheirenemiesinthedayswhentheserpentcouldstilltalk."
ThemajorbiographyofCampbelltodate,StephenandRobinLarsen'sAFireintheMind,statesthatCampbellwasantiZionistbutnotantiSemitic.56Onerelevant
issueaboutwhichsomemisunderstandingseemstohavearisenisthatofFreudversusJunginCampbell'swork.BrendanGill,intheNewYorkReviewarticle,
claimedthatCampbelllikedJungbutdislikedFreud,andthoughtthishadtodowithantiJewishprejudicebutitseemstomethateventheoriginal

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premiseherecanbequestioned.OneofCampbell'smostpowerfulpiecesofwritingisalongsectionon"ThePsychologyofMyth"inPrimitiveMythology,areal
tourdeforceinterpretationofmythinhighlyFreudianterms,frombirthtraumatobreasttodiscoveryofgenitalsexuality.Themostdirectinfluencetherewasthatvery
orthodoxFreudiananthropologistGzaRheim,towhosefestschriftCampbellalsomadeasignificantcontribution.57Rheim,andbehindhimFreud,isalso
prominentinTheHerowithaThousandFaceswehavenotedthequotefromFreudintheprologuetothatwork.ButCampbellalwaysseemedtoacceptthe
commonwisdomthatFreudisthebestguidetothefirsthalfoflife,Jungforthesecond.WhileCampbellappearstohavebecomemoreJungianandlessFreudianas
theyearsadvanced,thereiscertainlynoevidenceofnonacademicbias.Atthesametime,hisbiasagainsttheHebrewGod,andthatdeity'smanifestationsinthree
religions,isevidentrepeatedly.Inthelastyearofhislife,whenhefinallygotacomputerforwriting,henameditJahweh."Alotofrulesandnomercy,"heexplained.58
YetitisnotquitetruethatJudaismwasalwaysportrayednegatively.InHerothereareafewneutralorevenpositivecitations.A"tenderlyricfromthemiserableeast
Europeanghettos"iscomparedfavorablytoJonathanEdwards'sportrayalofanangryGod,attheendofthechapteronatonement.59Wemustalsonotforget
Campbell'scloseandhighlyfruitfulrelationswithHeinrichZimmerandKurtWolff,bothexilesfromHitler'sGermanybecauseofJewishconnections.AntiSemitism
wasnothisonlyprejudice:hisAnglophobiawashardlylessentrenchedEngland,Englishculture,andEnglishpersonsalsoreceivelittleifanyfavorablenoticein
Campbell'scorpus.(EvenhisbelovedArthurandtheGrailstoriesarecitedmostlyinGermanversions.)AtthesametimeitcannotbedeniedthatCampbellhadsome
sortofrecurrentemotionalproblemwithbothJewsandJudaism.Likethedisturbinginabilityaslateasthe1980stoforgiveThomasMannforturningantinaziahalf
centuryearlier,issuesinvolvingJewswerereturnedtoandgnawedonoverandover,moreandmorebitinglyastimeadvanced.Oneisleftwithanunpleasantfeeling
ofsomethingverynarrowlurkingwithinthebroadmindoftheworldscanningmythologist.
AsimilarnarrownessoffocusisapparentasCampbellturnedhiscapacityforcreativemythologytotheAmericaheidealized.ThemythicmodelAmericanisclearly
thefreeenterprise"ruggedindividualist"

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ofaromanticizedpast,onecontinuouswiththeearlierGrailquest,orwithTristanandIsolde'squestforauthentichumanlove.WhatCampbelladmiredwassomehow
notthetypeofheroicindividualismrepresentedinhisowndayby,say,aRosaParksoradraftresister.HowCampbell'spoliticalworldviewwasreconciledwithhis
disdainfortheJudeoChristiantradition,outofwhichatleastsomeofWesternindividualismderives,isnotexplained.
IntheMoyersinterviews,reproducedinThePowerofMyth,CampbelltalkedatsomelengthabouttheAmerican"myth,"orrathermyths,forheheldthattheUnited
Statesinitspluralismhasneverhadasingle,unifiedmythology.TheclassicAmericangoalsoflife,liberty,andthepursuitofhappiness,hesaid,areforthe
individualbutarebuttressedbythecosmicorientationoftheGreatSeal,reproducedonthedollarbill.Itsfoursidedpyramidrepresentstheearth,andthe
descendingeagle,thebirdofZeus,indicatesthe"downcomingofthegodintothefieldoftime."60BynowCampbellwasclearlywellbeyondanyseriousscholarly
studyofthebackgroundofparticularmyths.Hewasconcernedonlytopreachhissermontotheworld.61
Intheend,JosephCampbell'spoliticalthoughtcanonlybeconsideredacollectionofunassimilatedfragments,somebrilliant,somenotthoroughlythoughtthrough,
somefranklybasedonprejudice.Towardthecloseofhislifeheseemedtorealizethathewaspoliticallyoutofstepwithbothleftandright,andlike,eventually,
JungandEliadeaswellreadytogiveuponthewholepoliticalworld.Inalateinterviewhesaid:
Idon'tknowwhatpoliticscando.Ithinkit'sfairtosaythatI'malittlebitdiscouragedbythepeoplewhoareinvolvedinthepoliticallifeofthiscountry.Ibegintofeelithasbeen
betrayed.Itspotentialitieshavebeensoldforvaluesthatareinscrutabletome.62

ThisisnottheplacetopsychoanalyzeJosephCampbell,buttwofeaturesofhischaractermaybenoted.First,fromchildhood,hewaspossessedbyadreamor
fantasyofidealized,andindividualized,NativeAmericanlife.Togetherwiththis,hehad,likesomeirrepressibleyoungbrave,anincorrigiblyrebelliousside,well
articulatedinhissayingthathewasWesterninIndiaandEasterninNewYork.
Second,onenoteshisrevulsionagainstthefilthoftheworld,counteredbyaGermanicpassionfororderandpersonalcleanliness.

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ThistraitwasearlyregisteredonhiscollegeagetriptoMexicoandCentralAmerica,andpresumablywasexpressedalsointhelonglastingsexualinhibitionhis
biographersmention.ThesyndromewasrecoveredonhislatertriptoIndia,wherehisinterestinitsancientculturecombinedwithdeepdistasteforthesubcontinent's
dirt,beggary,andinefficiency.Itallrantogetherinhismindandlefthimfeelingpolluted.WhateverhetookfromIndia,orfromothercultures,hadtobeonhisown
termsandleavehimpersonallyunstained.Individualism,standingapartfromtribeandsectasanobserverofthecollectivemythsofothers,andapreacherofthose
mythsinformsthatexaltedtheindividual,waswhatwasleft.
PoliticstoLiveBy
CampbelldiscussedpoliticsovertlylessthandidJungorEliadeinpublishedwritings.Butheletbroadlypoliticalviews,togetherwithhisrebelliousindividualismand
varioussocialandquasipoliticalprejudices,permeatehisgeneralwritingmorethandidtheothertwo.Itwasclearhethoughtsocietiesshouldhavecommonmyths,
buttheyoughtprimarilytofacilitatetheselfrealizationoftheindividual,especiallyintheroleofhero.Mythwasthereforethewellspringofindividualenterprisemore
thanofcollectivism.Itwasclearalsothatheincreasinglythoughtevenaccessiblecollectivemythsoughtnottobethoseofestablishedreligiousinstitutions.
Undoubtedlyjustforthatreason,unlikeathousandinstitutionalpreachers,heapparentlysawlittleindividualistinspirationinthestoriesofDavidorJesus.Helooked
instead,nodoubtquiteintentionally,tosuchhalfundergroundalternativesastalesofCamelotandtheGrail,storiespowerfuljustbecausetheywereunblessedby
scriptureorpulpit,orthemedievalecclesiasticalestablishment.
WheredidthisleaveCampbellpolitically?MaybewithLibertarianism,althoughparticipationinasmallanddisputatiouspoliticalsectwouldnothavebeenhisstyle.He
evenhadproblemswithRepublicanism,althoughheconsideredhimselfa"classic"conservative.
Buttwokindsofconservativesaretobefoundinmodernsociety.Itisamatterofwhatpastonewantstoconserve.Toryconservativesyearnprimarilyforthe
traditionalist"organic"society,hierarchical,largelyrural,religionbased,andinmanywaysquiteauthoritarian,whichtheyimaginetohaveobtainedintheMiddleAges.
Thisisthe

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conservatismofBurkeandincertainrespectsofJungandEliade.ThenthereistheWhigsortofconservative,farmorecommonintheUnitedStatesthantheTory.
TheseconservativesarefundamentallymoreconcernedwitheconomicthansocialvaluestheyidealizenottheMiddleAgesbutthefreeenterprise,laissezfaire
economicsoftheearlyindustrialrevolution.Whigconservativesliketothinkofthemselvesasruggedindividualists,andinsofarastheyaresocialconservativesitis
becausetheyvaluetheworkethicandproductivestabilitytheyassociatewithtraditionalpropriety.
Campbellwasreallymostlythelatter,theWhiggishsortofconservative.Althoughhedealtwithwhat,totheToryorGermanicvolkishmind,wasthearchaicand
medievalrawmaterialoftheotherconservatism,hemanagedapparentlyhardlyrealizinghewasdoingsotofollowJungbyindividualizingthatmaterialintomodels
forpersonalinnerrealizationandsuccess.
WhatkindofsocietywouldCampbell'sviewofmythconstruct?NotJung'sBurkeanismoftraditionandreasonabledemocracy,orEliade'snewfoundAmerican
utopiaoflevelpluralism.Rather,itwouldbeasocietyofheroesliketheprincipalsofStarWarswhofollowtheirownmyths,andagroundcrewofthosewhoarenot
heroesbutwhosingaboutheroes,andthesongskeepthesocialordertogether.ForwhileCampbellmighthavelikedaJeffersonianutopiafreeofgovernment
coercionandegalitarian,hewouldprobablyhaverealizedthat,inatrulyunconstrainedsocialorder,elites,bybirthortalentormorelikelyboth,willlikehimselfrise
naturallytopositionsofgreaterwealthandinfluencethantheordinary.Butallofthatwillbeaccordingtomyth.Whateveronedoesinthissociety,oneidentifieswith
themythicarchetypeofthatrole:thesoldierorpolicemanwiththeprimalswordsman,thescientistwiththewhitecoatedheroesofhiskind,themotherwiththeGreat
Motheronewiththeearth,loverswithTristanandIsolde.
ItwouldbeasocietylikethatofthetribesofNativeAmerica:thelonewarriorandvisionquester,thesacreddancecompletewithritualclownsaroundthefire.A
centuryortwointhefuture,itmightbesetinouterspace,anepicofbraveexplorersofstrangeplanetsandstaunchsettlersconqueringnewworlds.Intheprocess,
theywouldbedefyinganddefeatingthearmadasofcollectivistswho,liketheAnglowhites,soughttoreducetheirlivestobureaucraticformsandtheirsongstopaper
music.

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Thisisafantasy,andanunlikelyoneatthat.StarWarsnotwithstanding,thebravenewworldoftheconquestofouterspace,orofanyreasonablefutureforour
overpopulatedplanet,willrequirecooperationandorganizationonascalethatwouldneedtobemanagedbyapowerfulgovernment,notbyindividualheroics.Ifa
speculativebooklikeFreemanDyson'sImaginedWorldsisonthemark,thetechnologicalcreationofcollectivehumanmindsthrough"radiotelepathy,"groupminds
andpersonalitiesthatwouldprevailbecausetheywouldbefarmorepowerfulthananyindividualcouldbe,maybepossibleinaslittleasathousandyearsandtheir
comingwouldmeantheultimatedefeatoftheindividualistcreed.63Indeed,Campbellhimselfwasincreasinglyawarethatherepresentedsocialvalueswithmorepast
thanfuture,howevermuchhearguedotherwise.
Thereis,however,moretoCampbellandpoliticsthanindividualism.Onemustalsolookattheconceptofmythasapoliticalrealityandpoliticalforce.Thisis
important,andisonadifferentlevelofdiscoursethanthesupposedmessageoftheparticularmythsonefavors.Threepointsmaybemadeaboutpoliticalmythas
Campbellpresentedit.First,societiesneedacohesivestoryaboutwhoapeopleare,whattheycanaccomplish,andwhattheirdeeplevelvaluesare.Second,the
socialmythcanonlybereceivedandemployedbyindividualsthroughindividualchoice.Third,dominantmythsandsymbolscanchange,andmustasoneordergives
placetoanother,especiallythecomingthirdageoftheSpirit.
Campbellwoulddoubtlessarguethatthespiritualagewillactuallyrequirethemidwiferyofapparentlyconservativepolitics,sincetherequisiteemergenceofthesacred
within,ratherthanintheplantoranimalorinthesky,callsforthatneartotalfreedomforindividualcreativityandenterprisethatCampbellconsideredthecorevalue
ofconservatism.This,heconsidered,isthepoliticalpositionthatfitsbetterthananyotherthenonpartisan,antiideology,neutralobserverpostureoftheearlyMannor
thetwoeyedartist.HemayneverhavefullyconfrontedthecontradictionthisstancepresentedinrespecttothetotalitarianregimeMannhadfled,thoughhemadeup
forthatinhisoppositiontoStalinandMao.AttheendofhislifehehadonlybeguntofaceasimilarcontradictioninU.S.conservatism,inrespecttosuchissuesasits
alliancewithfundamentalistChristianityandtheexploitationofnature.

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But,howeverladenwithcontrariesintherealworld,Campbell'spoliticswillhaveanimpactinproportiontotheextenthisstoriesshapethefantasiesanddreamsof
menandwomen,whichtheywillthenenactintheirownwaysinthetwentyfirstcentury.Inaworldofstoriespast,present,andtocome,thesewillbedreams
remindingusthatourpsychicoriginsareburieddeepinafabulouspast,thatinthepresentonecanfollowone'sownblissandbecomewhateveronereallyiswithin,
andthattheunimaginablefutureofspaceshipsandheroeswillbemadeforpeoplewhocanfollowinnerjoywhereveritleads.

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5
Conclusion:
TheMythofMyth
Whatdoesthesagaofthetwentiethcenturymythologistsmeanforthepoliticsofmythandthemythsofpolitics?
First,likemanyreconstructionsoffavoredpasts,theirenterprisesaidmoreaboutthetimeoftheirreconstructionofthepastthanoftimespast.Mythological
scholarshipinthenineteenthandtwentiethcenturieshasbeenindeeptensionbetweenameaningladenassessmentofmythromanticinfoundationandbasedona
viewthatmythisthevoiceofprimordialorganicsocietyandthekindofEnlightenmentperspectivemoreinclinedtolaughatitsabsurditiesand,atbest,tomakeita
matterofphilologicalandhistoryofreligioninvestigation.VictorianslikeMaxMller,orthepioneeranthropologistsEdwardTylorandSirJamesFrazer,cometo
mindasrepresentativesofthelattercamp.Theysawinmythlittlemorethanadiseaseoflanguage,prerationalscience,orthemagicthatprecededreligionevenas
religionprecededscience.
Othernineteenthcenturyfigures,particularGermanslikevonHerderorSchelling,sawthesignificanceofmythquitedifferently.Theywerethespiritualancestorsof
Jung,Eliade,andCampbell.In

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theireyes,thedistantworldevokedbymythwasnuminouswithsignificanceforunderstandingthewholepanoramaofhumanlifepastandpresent,notmerelyof
scholarlyinterest.Mythswerelikecrypticgnosticrevelations,boundtobeofunimaginableimportanceifonecouldonlycracktheircode.Yetthefathersofmodern
mythologywerealsopersonsofthemodernacademy.Thismeantthat,intheirintellectualtraining,theywerechildrenfarmoreoftheEnlightenmentthanofthe
romanticreactionsofarasscientificandscholarlyvalueswereconcerned.Theyhadtousemodernlanguageandmethodsintheirmythologicalendeavorsthoughtheir
ultimategoalsmighthavebeenbetterunderstoodasabranchofgnosticismormysticism.Suchreactionarysympathiesastheypossessedstemmedfromsemiconscious
andunresolvedtensionbetweenthenatureoftheirmaterial,asitcameoutofaluminousbutunretrievablearchaicworldviewlitbyromanticism,andthemodernist
milieuwithinwhichtheyworkedandwhoseconceptsofknowledgetheylargelyaccepted.
Theromanticschoolharboredwithinitselfafurthertensionbetweentheindividualandthepoliticalpotentialsofmythasmodernmedicine,acleavagecloselyrelatedto
whatwehavecalledapocalypticandgnosticusesofmyth.Shouldonereallyundertakearevolutionaryrebuildingofthecollective,orhealasmatteringofindividuals
pluckedoutofthespiritualemptinessofthemodernworld?OnecanperceiveinourmythologiststhetwoeyesofwhichCampbellspoke.Oneeyeturnedtothesocial
roleofmyth,perhapsenvisioningthepsychicsecurityofaneworganicsocietyand/orthegloryofasocietybasedonanewlyempoweredindividualism.Theother
eye,chastened,recoilingfromthedragonsthatlurkedinsuchdreams,lookedbacktoindividualtherapyandprivatelifeforallpracticalpurposes.Whilethatturning
towardinwardnessmightmeanabandoningcollectivedreamsforthesakeofthesometimesdespisedmodernindividual,italsomeantpotentiallymakingallthe
mythologist'sclientsorstudentsheroesinsofarastheyenactedmythintheirownlives.
Whilemythmayhaveuniversalthemes,concretemythsarealwaysparticular,ofparticularculturesandtimes,pointingtothespecificformwisdomtookinacertain
peopleonacertainsoil.YetthesecondofFranoisLyotard'smetanarrativesofmodernity,theunityofknowledge,evokestheuniversallanguagesthatis,thoseof
scienceandsocialsciencebywhichparticularculturesandtheirparticularknowledgescanbeinterpreteduniversally.Tothesescholarlytonguestheparticulars

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aresubordinated,foritistheuniversalthatgivespower.Aswehavenoted,themodernuniversitywasaboveallthecustodianandpowerdispenserofbothof
Lyotard'smodernmetanarrativesprogressandtheunityofknowledge.Ourthreemythologistswereuniversitypeopleorcloselyrelatedtouniversitywaysof
thinking.Archaicmythwasundeniablyanoutsidertothecognitiveuniversityworldofnineteenthandearlyandmiddletwentiethcenturymodernity.Onthesurfaceat
least,mythisthatwhichscientificprogresshasprogressedbeyond.Fromthescientificpointofview,mythdoesnotunifyknowledgebutfragmentsitintoathousand
faces.Mythmightbestudied,butonlyas''mythology,"thatis,inawaythatsubordinatedittothemetanarratives,treatingitasprescientificandbringingtoitthetools
oftheunifiedknowledgeofmodernscience,socialscience,andphilology.
Thethreemythologistswereenoughpersonsofmodernitytoprofesstodothis.Asscholars,theytookthepanopticprivilegedpositionofthemodernobserver,
surveyingtheworldpastandpresenttobringallitsmythsintotheirpurview,andsubordinatingthemtovariouskindsofhermeneuticsorstylesofinterpretation.But
Jung,Eliade,andCampbellwerenotabletosubjectmythsimplytotherationalistreductionismoftheVictorians.Theylivedalittletoolateforthat,inaworldthat
seemedfarmoredangerousandnonrationalthanQueenVictoria's.Overagainsttheirmodernity,themythicalworld,theworldofacosmosthatisaliveand
harmonizessoulandmatter,inwhichprocessesofindividualtransformationobtain,andwhereheroesgoonadventuresofultimatesignificance,seemedanappealing
"otherness"tosetbesidethedrabworldof"massman."
Forbythemidtwentiethcenturywhenthemythologistswereintheirprime,talkwasrisingtohighdecibelsofhowscienceandreason,farfromunifyingknowledgeor
humanity,hadproduceddeeplevelsofalienation:humanityfromnature,humanityfromitsownsoul.Theproblemswerebecomingvisible,butnoantidotewasat
hand.Materialprogresswasstillhappening,fromjumbojetstothecomputerrevolution,butasthetwentiethcenturyadvanced,hopesthatitwould,almostofitself,
makehumanlifeunequivocallybetterandhappierwereclearlyfading.Itmaybe,firstJungandthenEliadeandCampbellthought,thatthearchaicpeopleswhose
languagewasmythhadinsomewaysdoneitbetter.
Buttomakemythaccessibletomodernityasaremedy,italsohadtobecomesufficientlymoderntobeheard:ithadtobemade

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compatiblewithwhatwasleftoftheideaofprogress,andspeaksomespeciesofuniversaltongue.Themythologistssensedthevastsavingpotentialoftheirarchaic
material,yettheywerealsopeopleoftheirtime.Theycouldnotsimplybecomearchaic,noteventotheextentofthenoisiestofvolkistsandnationalists,mostof
whomwerenonacademic.Rather,themythicalempowermentwouldneedtobeadvancedthroughthemeansofmodernity,whichmeantineffectthroughthe
metanarrativesofprogresstowardemancipation,andoftheunityofknowledge.Whateverthecaseinarchaictimes,twentiethcenturymythhadtobespeaksome
kindofprogress,individualorsocial,andbecomeauniversallanguage.Itcouldtalkthelanguageofnationalredemption,orofpersonalpsychotherapy,bothfamiliar
themesbymidcentury.Themythologistsexploredbothofthoseoptions,endingupmorewiththelatterthantheformer.
Thethreemythologistslivedforthemostpastbeforethefrankdeconstructivefragmentationofpostmodernismtheylivedinatimewhenitwasstillpossibletothinkin
termsofagrandtheoryoranoverarchingsymbolsystemthatcouldunifytheworld.Buttheydidliveatalatestageofmodernismwhenscientificrationalismhad
sufficientlybrokendownthattheprofferedsymbolsystemcould,infact,bemythicalandnonrational,unifyinghistoryandexperienceintermsoftheworldsofmyth
ratherthanofscienceorreason.Itwouldbescientificinthesensethatitwasbasedonmoderncomparativistandpsychologicalstudies,butitsappealwouldbeto
levelsofhumannaturedeeperandmorepowerfulthantherational.Itwould,inaword,saythatallmythswereone,thatbehindtheirthousandfacestheyhadineffect
onemessage,basedonthepsychicunityofhumanity,andproclaimedoneintrapsychicpathtosalvation.ThiswasessentiallythepointofJung'sarchetypes,Eliade's
structuralism,andCampbell'sonemessagebehindallmyths.
Whataboutthemythofmythitself?Whethertherewaseversuchathingaslivingprimordialmythinthesensethemythologistsenvisioneditmaybequestioned.Myth
asweknowitisalwaysreceivedfromanalreadydistantpast,literary(evenifonlyoralliterature),henceastepawayfromprimalsimplicity.Tobesure,suchmythsas
theIliad,theOdyssey,andtheAeneidinclassicalGreeceandRome,theKojikiasitbecameascriptureofJapanesenationalism,ortheArthuriadinTudorand
VictorianEnglandhad,officially,broadculturalmeaning,buttheywerehardlytrulystoriesof"thefolk."Even

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ifwidelydisseminatedinschoolsandatgovernmentsponsoredrallies,itwasnotthesame.Asanyschoolboyknows,therearestoriesonelearnsintheclassroom,
andthentherearethestoriesonetellsintheplaygroundtoone'speers.
"Official"mythsliketheseareinevitablyreconstructionsfromsnatchesoffolkloreandlegend,artisticallyputtogetherwithaneyefordramaandmeaning.Butthereal
mythicimagesofasociety,thosethataresofreshtheyarenotyetrecognizedas"myth"or"scripture,"arefragmentary,imagisticratherthanverbal,emergent,capable
offormingmanydifferentstoriesatoncelikethe"myths"ofUFOsincontemporarysociety,orthedifferentwaysinwhichtheCivilWarwastoldindifferentpartsof
theUnitedStatesinthefirstgenerationafteritsend.EventuallyperhapsUFOswillresolveintoanewgnosticmythofcosmicsalvation,asC.G.Junganticipated,even
astheCivilWarhasgradually,andstillimperfectly,becomeasinglemythofnationalcrisisandhealing.
Itwasatthislaststagethatmythstooktheforminwhichtheywerereceivedbythethreemythologists.Forthem,mythandtherapeuticorsavingpurposewere
inseparablebecausetheysawmythonlyinits"finished"paradigmaticrole,andsoassomethingthatinevitablycameoutofthepastandcallsusbacktoit,astoan
Eliadeanilludtempusofprimordialpowerandsinglenessofheart.Amyth,tothem,wasastorythatcamefromelsewherebuthaduniversalmeaning.Itssavingpower
camefromthefactthatitwasnotthe"official"mythofitsenvironingsociety,butlikeagnosticsavior,likeCampbell'sunofficialWesternscriptureoftheArthuriadto
setagainsttheWest'sofficialJudeoChristianBible,camefromrealmsofgoldelsewheretosuccourusinourneed.Butasociety'srealmythsarefarlessformally
constructedeventhanthe"loyalopposition"ofrecognizedalternatives.
Themythologists'workwasofgreatvalue,butweneedalsotobeabletoseethatlivingmyth,"creativemythology"inCampbell'sterm,isnecessarilyscattered,
fragmentary,andambivalent,evenasarethestoriesofthepersonaldreamstowhichthemythologistsoftencomparedmyth.Livingmythtellsuswhereweare
culturally,butitdoesnottelluswheretogo,orwhatisrightandwrong,untilithasitselfslippedintothepasttobecome,officiallyorbyconsensus,receivedmyth.To
putitanotherway,mythisreallyameaningcategoryonthepartofhearers,notintrinsicinanystoryinitsownright.Mythinthissenseisitselfamyth.

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However,themythologistsbelievedthatacommonmythwaspossibleinthetwentiethcentury,anddesperatelynecessary.Theyviewedthistaskdifferently:Jungsaw
mythasananalytictoolforunderstandingandhealingbothhistoryandtheindividual.Eliadeatfirstyearnedforamodernpoliticalandculturecreatingmythofnational
resurrectionforhiscountry,butintheendhesawmythasbettersolaceforanexilethanideologyforanation.Campbellwantedmythstohavearoleinthemoral
reconstructionofAmerica,butheperceivedthatthereisnotjustoneAmericanmyth,thoughhehadhisfavorites:individualismforthepast,spaceforthefuture.Inthe
end,allthreecametopreferadeeplypersonal,intrapsychicroleformythoverapoliticalcareer.Ifmythhelpedsocietyholdtogether,thatwouldbebecausea
sufficientnumberofpeoplehadinteriorizedandmadetheirownmythsthrustinginasimilardirection:parallelindividualism.
Eventhisupshot,however,isofsomepoliticalsignificance.Whetherornotmythsfromoutofthepastcanreallyprovideworkablemodelsforcontemporarysociety,
theycanhavecertaindefinablefunctions.
First,mythisdiagnostic.Theidealizedworldofmythcansuggest,asitdidtothethreemythologists,thatactualmodernsocietyistoogivenovertoonedimensional
"massman."Itis,dependingonhowonelooksitat,too"atomistic"ortoocollectivizedbutinanycasetheillsofmodernitycallforthedepthandcohesionofan
authentic"organic"society,andtheheroismofthetrueindividual.
Second,onanotherlevelthemythologistsareabletoremindusthatthoughhopesforaremythologizedworldmaybeimpractical,thehopeitselfmustbeprotected,if
needbepolitically.Theirownlivesandlaborstellusthatasocietyneedstobesafeforindividualmythsanddreams.Muchislostifthereisnoplacefortheenhanced
andenrichedindividualismofapersonwhohasinwardlytakenonamythicidentity,thoughsheorhemaybeoutwardlycamouflagedasanordinarymodernperson.
Whatthisentailspolitically,themythologistsseemtosay,isasocietybasedonamoderateandbenignconservatism,whereinthereissomeaccesstotradition,where
somehonorisgivensymbolsandvaluesfromthepast,wherethereisfreedomtoreadmythologicalbooksandtoundertakeprivatetherapy,andthestatehasno
heavyhandedmythologicalagendaofitsown.
Third,themythologistshavefoundawaytomakevaluesandfeelingsveryclosetothoseofreligionaccessibletomanyatleast

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partiallysecularizedpeople.Thesepersonsareseekerswhocouldacceptthesymbolsanddramasoftraditionalreligiousloreassignificantmythology,inJung,Eliade,
andCampbell'ssenseandfromthemasmodern"wisemen,"butwhowouldhavemoredifficultywiththedogmaofinstitutionalizedreligion.Inthemthespiritualquest
isasaliveasever,buttheliterate,universalizing,andalsoindividualizinglanguageofthemythologistsspeakstothembetterthanchurchesortemples.Thatisbecause
inthemythologiststhequestionoftruthcanalwaysbesidesteppedtheyemphasizeinsteadmeaning,andbymeaningisdenominatedthatwhichcomesfroma
universalsourcebutiscongruouswithone'sowndreamsanddeepestsignificantfantasies.Inarealsense,then,themythicalmeaningsarticulatedbythemythologists
aresubjectivelyselfvalidating,makingirrelevantissuesofobjectiveorrationaltruthinreligion.Inasemisecularizedandrampantlypluralizedworldinwhichtheholdof
objectivereligioustruthisincreasinglyproblematic,butinwhichreligiousquestionsandyearningsarecertainlyreal,mythologyisaviableandnotignoblealternativeto
astarkchoicebetweendogmaticreligionandsheersecularism.
Whatdoesthisleavethatisofenduringvalue?
Muchisappealingandprofoundlytrueinthesermonsofthemythologiststothemodernworld.Undoubtedlythatworldisoftenalienatinganddehumanizing,denying
peopleeasyaccesstothedepthsoftheirownsouls.Myth,likeallgreatliterature,canbecomeuniversal,transcendingparticularculturalsettingstoprovidegeneral
modelsofthehumanpredicamentandwaysoutofit.Thisistrueeventhoughthemythologists,intheirgeneralizedreverencefortheirsubject,didnotalwaystakeinto
accountthatmyth,likeeverythinghuman,canbeofquitevariedmoralworth:theAztecmythbywhichthesunmustbefeddailythebloodofsacrificialvictims,orthe
Babylonianmyth,criticizedbyfeministscholars,inwhichMardukcreatedtheworldbycarvingupthebodyofthefemaleentityTiamat,arenotnecessarilytobe
receivedonthesamelevelaslovesuffusedstoriesofKrishnaorJesus.
Moreovermyth,unlikemuchlater"civilized"literature,hasonepeculiarcharacteristic:itdealsalmostentirelyingeneric,"archetypal"categories,reducingindividuals
(andracesorpeoples)totypesandroles,stereotypingthemasHeroorTrickster,asGoodorEvil.Tobesure,mythologyteachesusthatabstractionsarenotthe
solutionstoproblems,butmerelytheirdistancing,andthattherealtruthisin

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story.Thisshouldmeanthatonemustalsoavoidthepseudoabstractionofstorythatismerelystereotypingdidacticism,asmythcanbewhenitisnomorethan
archetypal.WeneedalsothecomplexhumanismofThomasMann.
Hereliesthegreatdangerinapplyingmythiccategoriestocontemporaryaffairs,aboveallpolitical.Themythologistswereawareofthedanger,butnotalways
sufficiently.Theproblemwasnotonlytheiroccasionallysuccumbingtodubiouspoliticalmyths,orinthinkingofcollectivesofpeoplefromJewstoStormTroopersin
generic"bloc"terms,butalsoinamoregeneraltendencytothinkofthemodernworldinastereotyping,homogeneous,andpessimisticwayasmassman.They
therebycametoperemptorilydismisstheworldashopelessforanykindofsalvationbutindividual,orthroughsome(equallyhopeless)corporatereversiontothe
mythicworldinahealthysense.Itwastoolateforthat,andthepseudomythicworldswerefarmoredangerousthantheailment.Butbothalternativesleftthe
mythologistspoliticalconservativesineffect:theindividualsalvationoptionbeingpoliticallyreactionarybydefault,thereversionaryendeavorreactionaryinconcrete
politicalterms.
Insummation,then,weneedtolistentothemythologistsintheirwisdom,andmaketheworldsafeformythanddream.Butweneednotexpecttobesavedbymyth.
Weoughtalsotoreadthesignsofthetimesandextrapolatefromthemourownmythsofthefuture,enjoyingthesamefreedomasthepeopleofthebeginningto
decideforourselveswhatthebesthumanfuturewouldbelike.

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Notes
Chapter1
Myth,Gnosis,andModernity
1.ThomasWillard,"ArchetypesoftheImagination,"inAlvinA.LeeandRobertD.Denham,ed.,TheLegacyofNorthropFrye.Toronto:UniversityofToronto
Press,1994,pp.1527.Seealso,e.g.,NorthropFrye,"Archetype"and"JungianCriticism,"inTheHarperHandbooktoLiterature.WithSheridanBakerand
GeorgePerkins.NewYork:Harper,1985andrelevantportionsofFrye'smajorworks,suchasAnatomyofCriticism.Princeton,N.J.:PrincetonUniversityPress,
1957.OnthegeneraltopicseeJosvanMeursandJohnKidd,JungianLiteraryCriticism,19201980:AnAnnotatedCriticalBibliographyofWorksin
English.Metuchen,N.J.:ScarecrowPress,1988,whichcontainstwentyeightentriesonFrye.
2."Personality,"Time,July7,1952,p.57.
3.RobertHillyer,"Treason'sStrangeFruit,"SaturdayReviewofLiterature,June11,1949,pp.911+lettersJuly9,p.25July16,p.23andSept.10,p.27.
4."TheNewRadicals,"Time,April28,1967,pp.2627.
5.KurtRudolph,Gnosis.SanFrancisco:HarperandRow,1983,p.56.

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6.HansJonas,TheGnosticReligion.Boston:BeaconPress,1958,especiallytheepilogue,"Gnosticism,Nihilism,andExistentialism."
7.ElainePagels,TheGnosticGospels.NewYork:RandomHouse,1979,pp.xixxx.EmphasisaddedbyPagels.
8.HaroldBloom,TheAmericanReligion.NewYork:SimonandSchuster,1992,p.49.
9.EricVoegelin,TheNewScienceofPolitics.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1952.
10.Voegelin,NewScienceofPolitics,pp.16667.
11.Ibid.,p.125andpassim.
12.EricVoegelin,Science,PoliticsandGnosticism.Chicago:HenryRegnery,1968.Trans.ofWissenschaft,PolitikundGnosis,Munich:Koesel,1959.
13.ErichVoegelin,FromEnlightenmenttoRevolution.Durham,N.C.:DukeUniversityPress,.1995,pp.2829.
14.RobertA.Segal,"Introduction,"RobertA.Segal,etal.,ed.TheAllureofGnosticism.Chicago:OpenCourt,1995,p.6.
15.StephenA.McKnight,"VoegelinandGnosticFeaturesofModernity,"inRobertA.Segal,TheAllureofGnosticism,pp.13738.
16.KevinMichaelDoak,TheDreamofDifference:TheJapanRomanticSchoolandtheCrisisofModernity.Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1994.
17.JeanFranoisLyotard,ThePostmodernCondition:AReportonKnowledge.Trans.GeoffBenningtonandBrianMassumi.Minneapolis:Universityof
MinnesotaPress,1984,p.ix.
18.HenryDavidThoreau,Journal.NewYork:DoverPublications,1962,v.8,p.134.
19.JandeVries,TheStudyofReligion:AHistoricalApproach.Trans.withintro.byKeesW.Bolle.NewYork:Harcourt,BraceandWorld,1967,p.46.
20.JosephvonGrres,MythengeschichtederasiatischenWelt,I.Heidelberg:MohruntZimmer,1810,pp.1819.Trans.andcitedinJandeVries,TheStudyof
Religion,p.48.

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21.SeeCarlOtfriedMller,ProlegomenazueinerwissenschafterlichenMythologie.Gttingen:VandenhoekandRuprecht,1825,p.293.Trans.andcitedinJan
deVries,TheStudyofReligion,p.57.
22.WilhelmWundt,VlkerpsychologieseeWundt,ElementsofFolkPsychology.Trans.EdwardLeroySchaub.NewYork:Macmillan,1916.
23.GeorgeL.Mosse,TheCrisisofGermanIdeology.NewYork:GossetandDunlop,1964,pp.1922.
24.Mosse,CrisisofGermanIdeology,pp.4243.
25.KarlJoel,NietzscheunddieRomantik.Jena:Diederichs,1905.
26.OnvisionaryGermanfictionandpropheticliteraturerelatedtotheriseoftheThirdReich,seeJostHermand,OldDreamsofaNewReich:VolkishUtopiasand
NationalSocialism.Trans.byPaulLevesqueincollaborationwithStefanSoldovieri.Bloomington:IndianaUniversityPress,1992.Thisworkpresentsvaluable
documentationandsummariesofavastarrayofrarevolkishandnaziliterature,suchasnaziorientedsciencefiction.However,thebookisoftenhastyandmustbe
usedwithsomecaution.Forexample,theonebriefreferencetoC.G.Jung(pp.23738)portrayshimonesidedlyasonewho"extolled"theNationalSocialist
movement,citingonlyafewoutofcontextquotationsinunspecifiedessayslike"Wotan,"tobediscussedinournextchapterHermand'snotesonthispassagerefer
tonodirectstudyofJung'swritingsonhispartbutsolelytoanunnamedarticleinthepopularmagazineDerSpiegel.
27.MarkGirouard,TheReturntoCamelot:ChivalryandtheEnglishGentleman.NewHaven,Conn.:YaleUniversityPress,1981.
28.HeinrichvonTreitschke,"AWordaboutOurJews"(1879).CitedinMosse,CrisisofGermanIdeology,p.200.
29.EdwardSaid,Orientalism.NewYork:Pantheon,1978.
30.ForinterestingessaysstudyingthisprocessinthecaseofBuddhism,seeDonaldS.Lopez,ed.,CuratorsoftheBuddha:TheStudyofBuddhismunder
Colonialism.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1995.
31.LuisO.Gomez,"JungandtheIndianEast,"inLopez,ed.,CuratorsoftheBuddha,p.211.

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32.IamindebtedtoZeevSternhell,TheBirthofFascistIdeology.Princeton,N.J.:PrincetonUniversityPress,1994,especiallych.1,"GeorgeSorelandthe
AntimaterialistRevisionofMarxism,"forbackgroundforthisdiscussionofSorel.
33.C.G.Jung,"TheUndiscoveredSelf,"CollectedWorks,vol.16,CivilizationinTransition.NewYork:Bollingen,1964,p.264.Orig.pub.1957.
Chapter2
CarlGustavJungandWotan'sReturn
1.SeeSigmundFreud,CivilizationsandItsDiscontents.Trans.JamesStrachey.NewYork:Norton,1961.Orig.Germaned.1930.
2.PaulA.Robinson,TheFreudianLeft:WilhelmReich,GzaRheim,HerbertMarcuse.NewYork:HarperandRow,1969,p.122.
3.C.G.Jung,Memories,Dreams,Reflections.RecordedandeditedbyAnielaJaff.Trans.byRichardandClaraWinston.NewYork:PantheonBooks,1961.
4.PeterHomans,JunginContext:ModernityandtheMakingofaPsychology.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1979,p.29.
5.Jung,Memories,Dreams,Reflections,pp.8688.
6.Ibid,p.103.
7.C.G.Jung,"OnthePsychologyandPathologyofsocalledOccultPhenomena,"CollectedWorksofC.G.Jung(henceforthCW).Trans.R.C.F.Hull.New
York:PantheonBooks,vol.1,1957,pp.388.Orig.publ.1902.SeealsoF.X.Charet,SpiritualismandtheFoundationsofC.G.Jung'sPsychology.Albany:
StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,1993.
8.WandlungenundSymboledesLibido(1912).Trans.asThePsychologyoftheUnconsciousbyBeatriceM.Hinkle.NewYork:Moffat,Yard,1916,1921.
ThecausesofthebreakbetweenFreudandJungweremorecomplexthanthepublicationofthisbookalone.ForsomeindicatorsseeTheFreud/JungLetters:The
CorrespondencebetweenSigmundFreudandC.G.Jung.ed.WilliamMcGuire.Princeton,N.J.:PrincetonUniversityPress,1974.
9.Jung,PsychologyoftheUnconscious,pp.209,295,423.
10.Jung,PsychologyoftheUnconscious,pp.12829.

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11.JamesJacksonPutnam,Letters.Cambridge,Mass.:HarvardUniversityPress,1971,p.376.CitedinRichardNoll,TheJungCult.Princeton,N.J.:Princeton
UniversityPress,1994,p.133.
12.RobertA.Segal,ed.JungonMythology.Princeton,N.J.:PrincetonUniversityPress,1998.Introduction,p.8.
13.C.G.Jung,''TheMeaningofPsychologyforModernMan,"CW10,CivilizationinTransition.NewYork:Pantheon,1964,pp.14849.Orig.pub.1933.
14.C.G.Jung,"TheRoleoftheUnconscious,"CW,vol.10,CivilizationinTransition,p.26.Orig.pub.1918.
15.Ibid.
16.C.G.Jung,"PsychologicalTypes,"CW6,p.10.Orig.pub.1921.
17.AllcitedinC.G.Jung,PsychologyoftheUnconscious,pp.2324.
18.SeeHomans,JunginContext,pp.18990.
19.C.G.Jung,"WhatIndiaCanTeachUs,"CW10,p.518.Orig.pub.1939.
20.C.G.Jung,"TheDreamlikeWorldofIndia."CW10,p.27.Orig.Pub.1939.
21.C.G.Jung,"TheRoleoftheUnconscious."CW10,p.27.Orig.pub.1918.
22.FortheusestowhichfolklorestudiesofthiserawereputinnaziGermanyandAustria,seeJamesR.DowandHannjostLixfeld,ed.andtrans.,TheNazification
ofanAcademicDiscipline:FolkloreintheThirdReich.Bloomington:IndianaUniversityPress,1994.
23.C.G.Jung,"PsychologyandLiterature."CW15,p.94.Orig.pub.1930.
24.C.G.Jung,"FlyingSaucers:AModernMythofThingsSeenintheSkies,"CW10,pp.307436.Orig.pub.1958.
25.C.G.Jung,AnswertoJob.London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1954,p.169.

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26.C.G.Jung,"TheFightwiththeShadow,"CW10,p.219.Orig.pub.1946.
27.C.G.Jung,"TheRoleoftheUnconscious,"CW10,p.13.Orig.pub.1918.
28.JosOrtegayGasset,TheRevoltoftheMasses.NewYork:W.W.Norton,1932,p.11.Orig.Spanished.1930.
29.Ibid.,p.133.
30.Ibid.,p.115.
31.CitedinHomans,JunginContext,p.180.
32.C.G.Jung,"AftertheCatastrophe,"CW10,pp.200201.Orig.pub.1945.
33.Cf.C.G.Jung,"Epilogueto'EssaysonContemporaryEvents,'"CW10,p.235.Orig.pub.1946.
34.C.G.Jung,"TheUndiscoveredSelf,"CW10,pp.25859.Orig.pub.1957.
35.SeeC.G.Jung,"TheManaPersonality,"CW7,orig.pub.1912,rec.1945.
36.AtthispointitmaybeappropriatetopresentRichardNoll'scontroversialbooksTheJungCult:OriginsofaCharismaticMovement(Princeton,N.J.:
PrincetonUniversityPress,1994)andTheAryanChrist:TheSecretLifeofCarlJung(NewYork:RandomHouse,1997).Noll,clearlynosympathizerwithJung
orhis"cult,"endeavoredtoshowthatthesageofZurichcreateda"pagan""Nietzscheanreligion"withhimselfasitsdivine"Christ''orMessiah.Therootsofthe"cult,"
asoveragainstmerelyaschoolofanalyticpsychology,layintheyearsaround19131916,when,inconjunctionwiththesplitfromFreud,Jungunderwenthisspiritual
crisis,andemergedfromitfullyarmedwiththearchetypesandtheindividuatingselfadumbratedintheWandlungenof1912.Inconstructingthis"religion"Jungissaid
tohavedrawnheavilynotonlyfromNietzsche,butalsofromvolkishmysticism,spiritualism,theosophy,and"sunworshiping"movementsfromErnstHaeckel's
"monism"andvogueswithnameslikelebensphilosophieandnaturphilosophie,whichembracedmythicandBergsonianvitalistconcepts.

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ThereisnodoubtthatJungwasinfluencedbyallofthis,andwascapableofboutsofmegalomania.Attheleast,asMyths,Dreams,andReflectionsshows,he
viewedtheouterworldinverylargepartthroughthepowerfullensofhisowninnerpsychiclife.ButasadefininginterpretationofJung,itseemstothiswriterthat
Noll'scase,likeothersimplisticchargesabouttheman,collapsesundertheweightofthesheercomplexityoftheJungiancorpus.Onlyaselectivereadingofthe
material,informedbyapriorhypothesis,couldcometosuchunambiguousconclusions.Thefactisthatthereisnoconsistentreligious,political,orsocialdoctrine
inJungiansimonlyaconsistentapproachbasedonconvictionthatsuchouterexpressionsofthehumanpsychearebutreflectionsofinnerprocesses,inturn
controlledbythearchetypesoftheunconsicous.ButthismentalityonthepartofJungasanalytictherapistmadehisrolemoredescriptivethanprescriptive.Jung
wasnotnecessarilyadvocatingeverythinghesawAbraxasorWotandoing,norwashealwaysabjuringit.Hismind,unlikethoseofactivistbent,wasfartoo
inwardandcontemplativeforthat.Ratherhewas,likehisNo.2,aworldobserver,andmoreandmorepreparedtodirecttheenergiesbehindtheworldoutof
theturbulentstreamofhistoryandintopersonaltransformations.
AttentionshouldalsobedirectedtoseriousanddocumentedcriticismsthathavebeenmadeofNoll'sscholarshipaboutJung,especiallyinSonuShamdasani,Cult
Fictions:C.G.JungandtheFoundingofAnalyticPsychology.NewYork:Routledge,1998.
37.JeffreyHerf,ReactionaryModernism.Cambridge,England,andNewYork:CambridgeUniversityPress,1984,pp.1,2.
38.AndrewHewitt,FascistModernism.Stanford,Calif.:StanfordUniversityPress,1993.
39.Heidegger,"DeutscheMnnerundFrauen,"citedinHerf,ReactionaryModernism,p.113.
40.RdigerSafranski,MartinHeidegger:BetweenGoodandEvil.Cambridge,Mass.:HarvardUniversityPress,1998,p.254.
41.AccordingtoSafranski,byaround1939Heideggerhad"discoveredthatNationalSocialismwasitselftheproblemwhosesolutionhehadoncethoughtitwas.He
sawthefurorofthenewagerampantinNationalSocialism:technologicalfrenzy,government,andorganizationinotherwords,inauthenticityastotalmobilization."
Safranski,MartinHeidegger,p.293.
42.C.G.Jung,"TheRoleoftheUnconscious,"CW10,pp.1213.Orig.pub.1918.

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43.LetterofJungtoOskarA.H.Schmitz,datedMay26,1923C.G.JungLetters,selectedandeditedbyGerhardAdlerincollaborationwithAnielaJaff
Princeton,N.J.:PrincetonUniversityPress,1973,I:19061950,pp.3940.CitedalsoinStevenF.Walker,JungandtheJungiansonMyth.NewYork:Garland
Publishing,1995,pp.106107.
44.C.G.Jung,"AftertheCatastrophe,"CW10,p.204.Orig.pub.1945.
45.C.G.Jung,JungSpeaking,ed.WilliamMcGuire.London:ThamesandHudson,1978,pp.77379.CitedinalsoAndrewSamuels,ThePoliticalPsyche.
LondonandNewYork:Routledge,1993,p.282.
46.C.G.Jung,"Wotan,"CW10,pp.17993.Orig.pub.1936.
47.Ibid.,p.185.
48.Samuels,PoliticalPsyche,p.301.JunghadgivenseminarswithHauer,anIndologist,onKundaliniYoga.Onthemovement,seeJacobHaueretal.,Germany's
NewReligion:TheGermanFaithMovement.London:AllenandUnwin,1937.
49.JamesA.Zabel,NazismandthePastors.Missoula,Mont.,:ScholarsPressDissertationsSeries14,1976,p.1.
50.SeeGeoffreyCocks,PsychotherapyintheThirdReich:TheGringInstitute.LondonandNewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1991.
51.C.G.Jung,"Epilogueto'EssaysonContemporaryEvents,'"CW10,p.236.
52.AnielaJaff,"C.G.JungandNationalSocialism,"inherJung'sLastYearsandOtherEssays.Dallas,Tex.:SpringPublications,1984.
53.LaurensvanderPost,JungandtheStoryofOurTime.NewYork:RandomHouse,1975,pp.19596.
54.C.G.Jung,"TheStateofPsychotherapyToday,"CW10,p.165.Orig.pub.1934.
55.Ibid.
56.AdolfHitler,MeinKampf.Trans.byRalphManheim.Boston:HoughtonMifflin,1943,1971,p.301.

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57.SeeSamuels,PoliticalPsyche,especiallychapters12and13,forfurtherdiscussionanddocumentation,especiallyregardingarticlesthatappearedunderJung's
generaleditorshipoftheZentralblattfrPsychotherapieinthe1930s,andtheextenttowhichhiseditorshipwasmorethannominal.Wecannothereundertakea
fullanalysisofthesituation,andSamuels'streatmentishighlyrecommended.Intheend,andIthinkSamuelswouldagree,thesituationremainsprofoundlyand
puzzlinglyambiguous.HowevermuchevidenceispileduptosupportonesideofthedebateoverJung'sconsciouscomplicitywithNazism,therealwaysappearstobe
aboutasmuchthatcanbeadducedonbehalftheother,andthemysteryremains.SamuelsbelievesthatonereasonforJung'ssometimestwistingpathwassimplya
desiretomaintainhisownpresidencyandleadershipinthepsychotherapeuticmovement,forbothpersonalandwellmeaningreasonshewasoftenwillingtomake
whatpoliticalmoveswerenecessarytothatend.
58.GerhardAdler,ed.,C.G.JungLetters,I:19061950,pp.16465.
59.Ina1933editorialintheZentralblattofthesociety,publishedinLeipzig,Jungwentontosayatthisincendiarymoment,"thedifferenceswhichactuallydoexist
betweenGermanicandJewishpsychologiesandwhichhavelongbeenknowntoeveryintelligentpersonarenolongertobeglossedover,andthiscanbeonlybe
beneficialtoscience...atthesametimeIshouldliketostateexpresslythatthisimpliesnodepreciationofSemiticpsychology,anymorethanitisadepreciationof
theChinesetospeakofthepeculiarpsychologyoftheOriental."ZentralblattfrPsychotherapieundihreGrenzgebieteVI:3,Dec.1933.CW10,pp.53334.
60.Adler,ed.,C.G.JungLettersI,p.224.
61.RichardStein,"Jung's'ManaPersonality'andtheNaziEra,"inAryehMaidenbaumandStephenA.Martin,LingeringShadows:Jungians,Freudians,and
AntiSemitism.Boston:Shambhala,1991,pp.89116.
62.See,forexample,"AftertheCatastrophe,"CW10,pp.194217.Orig.pub.1945.
63.Seethechapter,"NationalSocialism:'Yes,ISlippedUp,'"inGerhardWehr,Jung:ABiography.Trans.DavidM.Weeks.Boston:Shambhala,1987,pp.304
30.Thephrase,"Yes,Islippedup,"concerningJung'sinitialfailuretorecognizetheNazisfortheevilforcetheywere,wasallegedlysaidbyJungtotheformer
concentrationcampinmateRabbiLeoBaeck,duringalongconversationafterthewar,followingwhichthetwomenwerereconciled.

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Wehr,32526,basedonanaccountgivenbyGershomScholemtoAnielaJaff.
64.FrankMcLynn,CarlGustavJung:ABiography.NewYork:St.Martin'sPress,1996,p.367.
65.LaurensvanderPost,JungandtheStoryofOurTime,p.194.
66.Adler,ed.,C.G.JungLettersI,p.276.
67.Ibid.,p.282.
68.C.G.Jung,"TheUndiscoveredSelf,"CW10,p.278.Orig.pub.1957.
69.HansSchaer,ReligionandtheCureofSouls.NewYork:Pantheon,1950,p.121.
70.Homas,JunginContext,pp.18586.
71."AnswerstoQuestionsfromtheRev.DavidCox,"CW18.Orig.text1957.
72.McLynn,Jung,p.528.
73.Voegelin,Science,PoliticsandGnosticism,p.12.
74."Conscious,Unconscious,andIndividuation,"inTheArchetypesandtheCollectiveUnconscious,CW9,p.288.Orig.pub.1939.
75.C.G.Jung,"SymbolsandtheInterpretationofDreams,"CW18.Orig.pub.1961.
76.VolodymyrWalterOdajnyk,JungandPolitics:ThePoliticalandSocialIdeasofC.G.Jung.NewYork:HarperandRow,1976,p.182.
77."TheSwissLineintheEuropeanSpectrum,"CW10,pp.57988.Orig.pub.1928.Jungwrote:"DoesneutralSwitzerland,withitsbackward,earthynature,
fulfillanymeaningfulfunctionintheEuropeansystem?Ithinkwemustanswerthisquestionaffirmatively.Theanswertopoliticalandculturalquestionsneednotbe
only:ProgressandChange,butalso:Standstill!Holdfast!ThesedaysonecandoubtingoodfaithwhethertheconditionofEuropeshowsanychangeforthegood
sincethewar"(p.587).

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78.C.G.Jung,"AftertheCatastrophe,"CW10,p.196.Orig.pub.1945.
79.AlanMorrisSchom,SurveyofNaziandProNaziGroupsinSwitzerland19301945.LosAngeles:SimonWiesenthalCenter,1998.
80.AlanMorrisSchom,TheUnwantedGuests:SwissForcedLaborCamps19401944.LosAngeles:SimonWiesenthalCenter,1998.Itshouldbepointedout
thatSwissofficialshavedisputedsomeofthesecontentionsofboththesereports,andthatRabbiMarvinHier,DeanandFounderoftheSimonWiesenthalCenter,
statesinhisPrefacetoTheUnwantedGueststhat"ItisnotthepurposeofthisreporttocondemntheentireSwisspeopleduringWorldWarII,"andgoesonto
indicatethattherewere"manySwisspeoplefromallsegmentsofsocietynurses,businessmen,membersoftheclergyandordinarypeoplewhoshowedgreat
courageandhumanitytowardtheirfellowmenduringthosedifficultyears."
81.AnnBrenoff,"AlanMorrisSchom:FerretingOutSwitzerland'sTrueRelationshipWithNaziGermany."LosAngelesTimes,August23,1998,p.M3.
82.McLynn,Jung,p.1.
83.Samuels,PoliticalPsyche,p.287.
84.Ibid.,p.313.
85.Ibid.,p.325.
86.SeeHomans,JunginContext,p.199.
Chapter3
MirceaEliadeandNostalgiafortheSacred
1.Apartfromsomearticlesdirectedagainstthecommunistregimeinhishomeland,whichappearedupto1954inRomanianmigrperiodicals.
2.Vol.1:19071937,JourneyEast,JourneyWest,SanFrancisco:HarperandRow,1981vol.2:19371960,Exile'sOdyssey,Chicago:UniversityofChicago
Press,1988.
3.MirceaEliade,Journals.AllUniversityofChicagoPress,vol.1:19451955,19902:19571969,19893:19701978,198919791985,1989.

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4.MacLinscottRicketts,MirceaEliade:TheRomanianRoots,19071945.2vols.Boulder,Colo.EastEuropeanMonographs,1988.DistributedbyColumbia
UniversityPress,NewYork.
5.SeethediscussioninBryanS.Rennie,ReconstructingEliade.Albany:StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,1996,chapter13,"Eliade'sPoliticalInvolvement."
ThischaptercontainssummariesandcritiquesofIvanStrenski,FourTheoriesofMythinTwentietyCenturyHistory,London:Macmillan,1989AdrianaBerger,
severalarticles,especially"FascismandReligioninRomania,"TheAnnalsofScholarship6,no.4(1989),pp.4565and"MirceaEliade:RomanianFascismand
theHistoryofReligionsintheUnitedStates,"inTaintedGreatness:AntisemitismandCulturalHeroes,ed.NancyA.Harrowitz,Philadelphia:TempleUniversity
Press,1994LeonVolovici,NationalistIdeologyandAntisemitism:TheCaseofRomanianIntellectualsintheThirties.NewYork:PergamonPress,1991
andDanielDubuisson,MythologiesduXXeSicle:Dumzil,LviStrauss,Eliade.Lille:PressesUniversitairesdeLille,1993.SeealsocriticismsofEliadein
RussellMcCutcheon,ManufacturingReligion:TheDiscourseonSuiGenerisReligionandthePoliticsofNostalgia.NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1997.
6.PublishedseriallyinthejournalCuvantul,1926Frenchtranslation,L'adolescentmiop.Paris:ActeSud,1992.
7.Ricketts,MirceaEliade,1,p.31.
8.ThatdissertationinturnwasthebasisofhisFrenchbook,Yoga:EssaisurlesorigenesdelamystiqueIndienne(Paris:Guenther,1936),hisfirstimportantwork
inhistoryofreligions,whichafterfurthermajoralterationsbecameYoga:ImmortalityandFreedom(London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1958).
9.Englishtranslation,UniversityofChicagoPress,1994.Thereisaninterestingsequel:Maitreyiherself,bynowaprominentwriterandpublicfigureinherownright,
eventuallylearnedofEliade'sstoryandwroteherownautobiographicalnovel,MaitreyaDevi,ItDoesNotDie(Bengali,1974Englishtranslationbytheauthor,
Calcutta:WritersWorkshop,1976),givingherversionoftheaffair,climaxingwithasceneinwhichsheconfrontsthenowdistinguishedhistorianofreligioninhis
ChicagoofficeabouttheslanderousinsinuationsanddefamationofhercharactershecontendswerepresentedintheyouthfulnovelEliadehasnoanswerbuttolook
atherwitheyes"turnedtostone."SheacknowledgedinalettertoMacRickettsthatthehighdramaofthisunforgettablenovelisticscenewasactuallyaconflationof
severalmeetingsin1973(Ricketts,MirceaEliade,1,p.483).

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10.TedAnton,Eros,Magic,andtheMurderofProfessorCulianu,Evanston,Ill.:NorthwesternUniversityPress,1996,p.43.
11.AusefulsummaryoftheLegion'shistoryandideologycanbefoundintherelevantpartsofStanleyG.Payne,AHistoryofFascism19141945,Madison:
UniversityofWisconsinPress,1995,especiallypp.13638,27981,39197.ThefullestaccountinEnglishisRaduIoanid,TheSwordoftheArchangel,Boulder,
Colo.:EastEuropeanMonographs,1990.ThisisatranslationofaRomanianwork,whichshowssomesignsofitsprovenanceundertheCommunistregime,but
containsessentialdocumentationunavailableelsewhereinEnglish.ThereisreferencetoEliadeasaspokespersonforLegionideology.ForaproLegionapologeticsee
AlexanderE.Ronnett,RomanianNationalism:TheLegionarayMovement.Chicago:LoyolaUniversityPress,1974.Ronnett,whoserealsurnamewas
Rachmistriuc,wasaGuardistandmedicaldoctorwhosettledinChicagoafterthewar.Ina1995interview,RonnetttoldTedAntonthathehadbeenEliade's
personalphysicianinhisChicagoyears,andalsoclaimedthatEliadehadbeenaprominentGuardist.Anton,Eros,Magic,andtheMurderofProfessorCulianu,p.
117.
12.LeonVolovici,NationalistIdeologyandAntiSemitism,pp.6465.
13.See,inadditiontotheworkscitedabove,F.L.Carsten,TheRiseofFascism.Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1967,1982ed.,pp.18193.
14.See,forexample,Ricketts,MirceaEliade,2,pp.90912,91517.ItshouldbepointedoutthatinsomeplacesEliadeurgedmerelythattheminoritiesbe
assimilated,andunlikeotherrightistsevenathisharshestdidnoturgetheuseofforceagainstsuchgroupscollectively.
15.Strenski,FourTheoriesofMyth,p.125.
16.MirceaEliade,Autobiography,1,Volovici,NationalistIdeologyandAntisemitism,pp.101105Ricketts,MirceaEliade,2,pp.72741.
17."Contradrepteisicontrastangi,"Credinta,14February1934,p.3.CitedinRicketts,MirceaEliade,2,p.893.
18."NoulBarbar,"Vremea,27January1935,p.3.CitedinRicketts,MirceaEliade,2,pp.89394.
19."Catevacuvintemare,"Vremea,10June1934,p.3.CitedinRicketts,MirceaEliade,2,p.915.

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20.Ricketts,MirceaEliade,2,p.918.
21."Renastereromaneasca,"Vremea,Easter,1935,p.7.CitedinRicketts,MirceaEliade,2,p.903.
22."DemocratiasiproblemaRomaniei,"Vremea,18December1936,p.3.CitedinRicketts,MirceaEliade,2,pp.900901.Rickettscommentsthatatthetime
Vremea,forwhichEliadewroteregularly,hadrecentlyswitchedfromamoderatetoafarrightpoliticalposition.
23.MirceaEliade,Autobiography,2,p.65.
24.Payne,AHistoryofFascism,p.280.
25."Nouaaristocratielegionara,"Vremea,23Jan.1939.CitedinVolovici,NationalistIdeologyandAntisemitism,p.91.
26.Ricketts,MirceaEliade,2,pp.92829.Thestatement,"Dececredinbiruintamiscariilegionare,"appearedinBunavestire,17December1937.
27.MirceaEliade,OrdealbyLabyrinth:ConversationswithClaudeHenriRocquet.Trans.byDerekColtman.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1982,p.
53.Orig.pub.inFrench1978.
28.MirceaEliade,NoSouvenirs:Journal,19571960.NewYork:HarperandRow,1977,p.220.
29.CitedinRicketts,MirceaEliade,2,p.926.Cf.Volovici,NationalistIdeologyandAntisemitism,p.142,n.134.ThediariesofSebastian,whowaskilledinan
accidentin1945,werethesourceofthearticlethatopenedcurrentdebateonEliade'sRomanianpoliticalstance,"DosarulMirceaEliade"[MirceaEliadeFile],
probablybyTheodorLavi,publishedintheIsraelijournalToladot,JanuaryMarch1972.
30.Volovici,NationalistIdeologyandAntisemitism,p.73,n.90.
31.Eliade,Autobiography,2,p.65.
32.CitedRickets,MirceaEliade,2,pp.11081109.ThebookbyEliadeisSalazarsirevolutiainPortugalia.Bucharest:EdituraGorjan,1942.
33.Eliade,Autobiography,2,p.69.

Page193

34.Ibid,p.85.
35.ThehorrorsclimaxingonJanuary21,1941,happenedasAntonescu,disillusionedwiththeLegion'sexcessesandincompetence,waspreparingtoturnagainst
themwithHitler'sapprovaltheJanuarypogromwaspartofasortofpreemptiverevoltbytheLegion.Butitfailed,andAntonescusoonoutlawedtheLegionwhile
remainingfirmlyintheAxiscamp.TheworstsingleeventinRomania,themurderofseveralthousandJewsinIasi,wasinlateJune1941,justafterGermanand
RomaniantroopshadinvadedRussiaJewswereregardedasSovietsympathizers.ApparentlyGermanforces,Romaniansoldiers,andLegionaryelementsallhada
handintheterrorwiththeconnivanceoftheAntonescugovernment.GeneralAntonescudidorderaninvestigationandlater,tohiscredit,triedseriouslytoprotect
RomanianJews.ButJewswereroutinelymassacredbyRomaniansastheyadvancedintotheformerlyRomanian,nowSoviet,territoriesofBukovinaandBessarabia.
36.LetterofJanuary24,1978.CitedinAnton,Eros,Magic,andtheMurderofProfessorCulianu,p.98.
37.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,p.116.
38.MirceaEliade,Myths,DreamsandMysteries.NewYork:HarperandBrothers,1960,pp.2526.
39.Rennie,ReconstructingEliade,p.177.Seeallofch.13,"Eliade'sPoliticalInvolvement."
40.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,p.120.
41.InhisjournalentryforJune30,1965,EliadestatedthathewasdoingareviewofScholem'sbookontheKabbala,addingthat"intheKabbalawehavetodo
withanew,realcreationoftheJudaicreligiousgenius."NoSouvenirs,p.266.
42.Eliade,Autobiography,2,p.138.
43.IonCulianu,ReviewofEliade,Journals,etc.,TheJournalofReligion72/1(January1992),p.60.
44.TedPeters,Eros,Magic,andtheMurderofProfessorCulianu,p.235.

Page194

45.SeymourCain,''MirceaEliade,theIronGuard,andRomanianAntiSemitism,"Midstream25(Nov.1989),p.29.citedinCulianu,Review...,pp.6061.
46.Culianu,Review...,p.61.
47.Eliade,Autobiography,2,pp.106107.
48.Rennie,ReconstructingEliade,p.165.
49.Eliade,Autobiography,1,pp.67.
50.Eliade,Myths,Dreams,andMysteries,p.43.
51.MirceaEliade,CosmosandHistory:TheMythoftheEternalReturn.NewYork:HarperandRow,1959,pp.7475.
52.Ibid.,p.156.
53.Ibid.,p.157.
54.Payne,HistoryofFascism,p.8seealsoL.Birken,HitlerasPhilosophe:RemnantsoftheEnlightenmentinNationalSocialism.Westport,Conn.:
Greenwood,1995.
55.MirceaEliade,TheForbiddenForest.Trans.MacLinscottRickettsandMaryParkStevenson.NotreDame,Ind.:UniversityofNotreDamePress,1978,p.
250.
56.Eliade,Autobiography,1,p.254.
57.Eliade,Autobiography,2,p.13.
58.MirceaEliade,Shamanism:ArchaicTechniquesofEcstasy.London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1951NewYork:Pantheon,1964.
59.MirceaEliade,TheSacredandtheProfane.NewYork:Harcourt,BraceandWorld,1959,p.205.
60.ThomasJ.J.Altizer,MirceaEliadeandtheDialecticoftheSacred.Philadelphia:Westminster,1963.

Page195

61.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,p.179.
62.MirceaEliade,TheQuest.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1969,p.3.
63.Eliade,OrdealbyLabyrinth,p.127.
64.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,pp.88,113.
65.Eliade,OrdealbyLabyrinth,p.127.
66.Strenski,FourTheoriesofMyth,p.102.
67.Ibid,p.108.
68.Eliade,CosmosandHistory,p.9.
69.MirceaEliade,TheSacredandtheProfane,p.33.ThestorycomesoriginallyfromB.SpencerandF.J.Gillen,TheArunta,London,1926,I,p.388forthe
claimthattheaccountisunreliableseeJonathanZ.Smith,ToTakePlace.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1987,pp.115.Amongothercritiques,Smith
pointsoutthatthetenseofEliade'saccountiswronginsteadofacurrent,observedeventthebrokenpolewasitselfamythicalstoryoftheAchilpa(orTjilpa),setin
themythicaltimeofthebeginning.EliadeacknowledgesthisinthelatertreatmentofthenarrativeinhisAustralianReligions.Ithaca,N.Y.:CornellUniversityPress,
1973,p.53.
70.Eliade,"ANewHumanism,"inEliade,TheQuest.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1969,p.3.
71.Ibid.,preface.
72.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,p.313.
73.Eliade,"ANewHumanism,"p.6.
74.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,p.182.
75.WendyDoniger,"TheImpliedSpider:PoliticsandTheologyinMyth."ReligiousStudiesNews,February1997,p.9.
76.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,p.121.

Page196

77.MirceaEliade,OrdealbyLabyrinth,pp.8081.
78.Ibid.,p.117.
79.MirceaEliade,"TheQuestforthe'Origins'ofReligion,"pub.inEliade,TheQuest,pp.3753.
80.CitedinVirgilIerunca,"TheLiteraryWorkofMirceaEliade,"inJosephM.KitagawaandCharlesH.Long,eds.,MythsandSymbols:StudiesinHonorof
MirceaEliade.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1969,p.351.OriginallyfromJournalsforJune,1954.
81.Eliade,TheSacredandtheProfane,pp.16667.
82.MirceaEliade,PatternsinComparativeReligion.NewYorkSheedandWard,1958,p.405.
83.Ibid,p.424.
84.Eliade,MythandReality,p.95.
85.Eliade,OrdealbyLabyrinth,p.138.
86.Ibid.,p.136.
87.Eliade,TheSacredandtheProfane,p.206.SeealsohisOccultism,Witchcraft,andCulturalFashions.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1976.
88.Eliade,Autobiography,2,p.187.
89.Ibid,p.203.
90.MirceaEliade,"ParadiseandUtopia:MythicalGeographyandEschatology,"inEliade,TheQuest,pp.88111.
91.MirceaEliade,NoSouvenirs:Journal,19571969.NewYork:HarperandRow,1977,p.130.
92.ThomasJ.J.Altizer,"AmericaandtheFutureofTheology,"inAltizerandWilliamHamilton,RadicalTheologyandtheDeathofGod.Indianapolis:Bobbs
Merrill,1966Hamilton,"Thursday'sChild,"inibid.p.87.

Page197

93.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,pp.22729.
94.Ibid,pp.7374.
95.Ibid,pp.303304.
96.Ibid.,pp.310311.
97.JosephJ.Ellis,AmericanSphinx:TheCharacterofThomasJefferson.NewYork:Knopf,1996,p.302.
98.Eliade,NoSouvenirs,p.232.
99.Eliade,TheForbiddenForest,p.314.
Chapter4
JosephCampbellandTheNewQuestfortheHolyGrail
1.MaryR.Lefkowitz,"TheMythofJosephCampbell,"TheAmericanScholar,593(summer1990),p.429.
2.StephenandRobinLarsen,AFireintheMind:TheLifeofJosephCampbell.NewYork:Doubleday,1991,pp.54043.
3.JosephCampbell,withBillMoyers,ThePowerofMyth.NewYork:Doubleday,1985,p.5.
4.KarenL.King,"SocialFactorsinMythicKnowledge:JosephCampbellandChristianGnosis,"inDanielC.Noel,ed.,PathstothePowerofMyth:Joseph
CampbellandtheStudyofReligion.NewYork:Crossroad,1990,p.69.
5.RobertA.Segal,"TheRomanticAppealofJosephCampbell,"ChristianCentury,April4,1990,pp.33235.
6.RobertA.Segal,JosephCampbell:AnIntroduction.NewYork:GarlandPublishing,1987,p.137.
7.BrendanGill,"TheFacesofJosephCampbell,"NewYorkReviewofBooks,Sept.28,1989,pp.1619.
8.LarsenandLarsen,AFireintheMind,pp.3235.

Page198

9.Thetalkispublishedinitsentiretyinibid.,pp.28790.
10.Ibid.,p.298.
11.Ibid.,p.297.
12.Ibid.,p.363.
13.JosephCampbell,TheHerowithaThousandFaces.Bollingenseries17.NewYork:Pantheon,1949.2ded.,PrincetonUniversityPress,1968.
14.Seethesummaryofthisscenarioinibid.,pp.24546.
15.StanleyEdgarHyman,"Myth,Ritual,andNonsense,"KenyonReview11(summer1949),pp.45575.
16.RichardM.Dorson,"MythologyandFolklore,"AnnualReviewofAnthropology2(1973),pp.10726,citationpp.107108.
17.J.Zemljanova,"TheStrugglebetweentheReactionaryandtheProgressiveForcesinContemporaryAmericanFolkloristics,"JournaloftheFolkloreInstitute1
(1964),pp.13044citationp.132.
18.CitedinLarsenandLarsen,AFireintheMind,p.357.
19.AlanWatts,InMyOwnWay:AnAutobiography19151965.NewYork:Pantheon,1972,p.229.
20.JosephCampbell,BaksheeshandBrahman:IndianJournal19541955.Ed.RobinLarsen,StephenLarsen,andAntonyVanCouvering.SanFrancisco:
HarperCollins,1995.
21.LarsenandLarsen,AFireintheMind,p.373.
22.Campbell,BaksheeshandBrahman,p.76.
23.Ibid.,p.65.
24.Ibid.,p.203.

Page199

25.Ibid.,p.157.
26.JosephCampbell,TheMasksofGod.Vol.1,PrimitiveMythology.NewYork:Viking,1959vol.2,OrientalMythology,NewYork:Viking,1962vol.3,
OccidentalMythology.NewYork:Viking,1964vol.4,CreativeMythology.NewYork:Viking,1968.
27.StephenEDunn,reviewofTheMasksofGod:OccidentalMythology,inAmericanAnthropologist67(February1965),p.140.
28.JosephCampbell,"TheSecularizationoftheSacred,"inDonaldL.Cutler,TheReligiousSituation,1.Boston:Beacon,1968,ch.17.
29.Ibid.,p.629.
30.LarsenandLarsen,AFireintheMind,pp.46566.
31.TobyJohnson,TheMythoftheGreatSecret.Berkeley,Calif.:CelestialArts,1992,pp.4849.
32.JosephCampbell,MythsToLiveBy.NewYork:Viking,1972.
33.EmmettWilson,Jr.,SaturdayReview55(June24,1972),p.68.
34.Campbell,MasksofGod:CreativeMythology,p.5.
35.J.A.Appleyard,Commonweal96(September29,1972),p.530PedenCreighton,JournalofReligiousThought30(1973),pp.6468.
36.JosephCampbell,TheFlightoftheWilderGander:ExplorationsintheMythologicalDimension.NewYork:Viking,1969HistoricalAtlasofWorld
Mythology:vol.1:TheWayoftheAnimalPowers.SanFrancisco:HarperandRow,1983vol.2:TheWayoftheSeededEarth.SanFrancisco:Harperand
Row,1983.TheInnerReachesofOuterSpace.NewYork:A.vanderMarckEditions,1986.PublishedjournalshavecommencedwithBaksheeshand
Brahman,op.cit.
37.JosephCampbell,TransformationsofMyththroughTime.NewYork:HarperandRow,1990.
38.JosephCampbell,TheMythicImage.BollingenSeriesPrinceton,N.J.:PrincetonUniversityPress,1974.Reviews:PeterS.Prescott,Newsweek85(March
31,1975),pp.7576WinthropSargeant,NewYorker51(July21,1975),pp.8688CharlesH.Long,"TheDreamsofProfessorCampbell:Joseph

Page200

Campbell'sTheMythicImage,"ReligiousStudiesReview6(October1980),pp.26171.
39.Campbell,MythsToLiveBy,pp.21415.
40.JosephCampbell,forewordtoMayaDeren,DivineHorsemen:TheLivingGodsofHaiti.LondonandNewYork:ThamesandHudson,1953,p.1.
41.SeeLopoldSdarSenghor,forewordtoEikeHaberland,ed.,LeoFrobenius18731973:AnAnthology.Wiesbaden:FranzSteinerVerlag,1973,p.vii.
42.Campbell,MythstoLiveBy,pp.85867,24445.
43.Campbell,CreativeMythology,p.575.
44.LamarCecil,WilhelmII,vol.2.ChapelHill:UniversityofNorthCarolinaPress,1996,pp.31721.
45.Fromthe"WarJournal,"ajournalCampbellkeptduringWorldwarII.CitedinLarsenandLarsen,FireintheMind,p.226.
46.StanleyEdgarHyman,"Myth,Ritual,andNonsense,"KenyonReview11(summer1949),p.474.
47.Campbell,MythsToLiveBy,p.167.
48.CitedinLarsenandLarsen,AFireintheMind,p.325.FromCampbell'sJournals.
49.Campbell,InnerReachesofOuterSpace,pp.14748.
50.Campbell,CreativeMythology,p.321.
51.RobertA.Segal,"JosephCampbellonJewsandJudaism,"Religion22(1992),pp.15170.
52.JosephCampbell,ThePowerofMyth.NewYork:Doubleday,1988,p.21.FromthePublicBroadcastingSystemseries.
53.Campbell,"TheSecularizationoftheSacred,"inDonaldR.Cutler,ed.,TheReligiousSituation1968.Boston:Beacon,1968,pp.60137,andinJo

Page201

sephCampbell,TheFlightoftheWildGander.NewYork:Viking,1969.QuotefromCutler,ed.,p.629.
54.MauriceFriendman,"WhyJosephCampbell'sPsychologizingofMythPrecludestheHolocaustasTouchstoneofReality,"JournaloftheAmericanAcadmeyof
Religion66/2(summer1998),pp.385401.
55.Campbell,TheMasksofGod,p.12.
56.LarsenandLarsen,AFireintheMind,pp.51011.
57."BiosandMythos:ProlegomenatoaScienceofMythology,"inPsychoanalysisandCulture:EssaysinHonorofGzaRheim,ed.GeorgeB.Wilburand
WarnerMuensterberger.NewYork:InternationalUniversitiesPress,1951.
58.LarsenandLarsen,AFireintheMind,p.539.
59.Campbell,Hero,p.149.
60.Campbell,ThePowerofMyth,p.27.SeealsoDabneyGray,"Campbell,America,andtheIndividualasNewHero,"inKennethL.Golden,ed.,Usesof
ComparativeMythology:EssaysontheWorkofJosephCampbell.NewYork:Garland,1992,pp.23548.
61.JosephCampbell,TransformationsofMyththroughTime.NewYork:HarperandRow,1990.
62.JohnM.MaherandDennisBriggs,eds.,AnOpenLife:JosephCampbellinConversationwithMichaelToms.NewYork:HarperandRow,1989,p.101.
Theinterviewsinthisbookareundatedbuttookplaceoveratenyearperiodbeginningin1975.
63.FreemanDyson,ImaginedWorlds.Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1997.

Page203

Index
A
Alexandria8
Alchilpas108,113,195
Altizer,ThomasJ.J.10203,11516,117,121,125
Antaios56
AntiSemitismix,x,25,26,42,56,58,62,8284,87,9193,131,140,153,16264,187
Antimodernismxiii,15,1619,24
Anton,Ted82
Antonescu,Ion9091
Appleyard,J.A.15253
AssumptionoftheBlessedVirginMary50
Athens8
Auschwitzx
Aztecs10405,177
B
Basilides8
Bastian,Adolf22,135
"Beats"xii
Bell,B.I.xii
Berger,Adriana93
Blaga,Lucien8485
Blake,William10,11
Bloom,Herald11,130
BollingenPrize3,4
Buckley,Williamxii,13132
Burke,Edmund7576,115,119,167
C
Cambell,Jean(wifeofJoseph)73,142,147
Campbell,Josephvii,viii,ix,xii,xiii,xiv,2,4,6,7,9,15,20,26,29,33,107,112,119,17172,174,175,177
youth,13337
attitudes,13133
atSarahLawrencecollege,12930,132
andherotheme,128
anddreams,12829
andArthurianthemes,12829
andGrailtheme,135
andWorldWarII,13740
inIndia,14748
andVietnamWar,14950
andJews,153,16264
andcritics,13132,139,144,148,15253
onfunctionsofmyth,15456

Page204

(continued)
Campbell,Joseph
andAmerica,16465
Works:TheHeroWithaThousandFaces,4,6,128,14245,148,15152,155,159
TheMasksofGod,6,128,148,151,16364
"PermanentHumanValues,"13840
ASkeletonKeytoFinnegan'sWake,142,
ThePowerofMyth,163,165
"TheSecularizationoftheSacred,"149
MythstoLiveBy,152,160
CreativeMythology,152,158,162
TheFlightoftheWildGander,153
HistoricalAtlasofWorldMythology,153
TheInnerReachesofOuterSpace,153
TransformationsofMythThroughTime,153
TheMythicImage,154.
CarolII,King82,85,89
Christianity17,20,29,54,57,68,70,76,84,87,91,92,96,100,130,153
Cioran,Emil93
Codreanu,CorneliuZ.83,97,8990,91
Communism12,31,8386,92,106,96,146
Comte,August12
Cox,David3
Culianu,Ion9495,96
D
Dasgupta,Surendranath81
Democracyxi,18,26,55
Deren,Maya,DivineHorsemen(prefacebyCampbell)155
Devi,Maitreya190
Diederichs,Eugen26
Doniger,Wendy11213
Dorson,Richard144
Dubuisson,Daniel93
Dunn,StephenP.148
Durkheim,Emile107,111112
Dyson,Freeman,ImaginedWorlds168
E
Eckhart,Meister23
Eliade,Mirceavii,viii,ix,xii,xiii,xiv,2,56,7,11,15,26,30,33,34,56,79126130,131,134,142,147,167,171,174,175,177
youth,8094,9899
inIndia,81,andLegionoftheArchangelMichael,8589
asculturalattach,97104,120
asexile,97104120
andhomoreligiosus,99100,10409
as"essentialist,"10911
anduniversalism,110116
as"radicalmodernist,"119120
asAmerican,12026
Works:
TheSacredandtheProfane,80.102
TheMythoftheEternalReturn(CosmosandHistory),80,99,100,102,119
Shamanism,80,102
Yoga,80
Myths,Dreams,andMysteries,9192,99
Autobiography,9899,121
Romanuladolescentuluimiop,80
Maitreyi,81
TheForbiddenForest,101,117,12526
Intoarcereadinrai,10102
OrdealbyLabyrinth,10405,115,116,119
"ANewHumanism,"106,109,110,120
PatternsinComparativeReligion,118
"ParadiseandUtopia,"121
Journals,12223.
Eliot,T.S.4,17,161
Enlightenment,thexi,17,20,30,33,39,50,52,70,172
EranosConferences142
Existentialismxi,1
F
Fascismix,xi,15,17,31,32,54,82,8387,94,111,114
Freud,Sigmundviii,4,34,38,39,4142,43,47,6465,118,124,135,136,143,155,16364
Frazer,SirJames107,171

Page205

Frobenius,Leoviii,x,13536,137,15559
Frye,Northrop3
G
Gandhi,MohandasK.81,86,88,93
GermanFaithMovement61
Gill,Brendan13132,16364
Gnosticismviii,716,23,26,30,33,35,6869,130
Gring,M.H.6162
Grres,Josephvon21
H
Hamilton,William12122
Harding,Esther66
Hauer,J.W.61
Hegel,G.W.F.30,31,65,118
Heidegger,Martinx,xi,5557,185
Herder,JohannGottfried20
Herf,Jeffrey,ReactionaryModernism54
Hermand,Jost,OldDreamsofaNewReich181
Hewitt,Andrew,FascistModernism55
Hillyer,Robert3
Hitler,Adolf4,13,20,30,56,60,62,63,131,133,137,13840,162
Huxley,Aldous4,156
Hyman,Edgar144,159
I
Ionescu,Ion8182,85
Ionescu,Nae8182,85,93,96,10607
IronGuard6,82,9091,10001,111
J
Jaff,Aniela62
Japan1415,34
Jefferson,Thomas122,12324,167
Jews,Judaismix,x,17,20,25,26,27,5758,6265,84,85,91,9293,130,164,178,187,193
Johnson,Toby151
Jonas,Hans9
Joyce,James135,137,143,146
Judaism,seeJews,Judaism
Jung,CarlGustavvii,viii,ix,xii,xiii,xiv,25,7,9,15,28,29,35,30,33,35,3777,92,99,107,112,115,130,131,135,142,156,163,167,171,174,175,
177,187
earlyyears,4041,7677
aspsychiatrist,4142
andarchetypes,4344,4950,53,54,7071
breakwithFreud,4344
andcollectiveunconscious,4446
conceptofhistory,45
andthe''primitive,"4650
andEasterncivilization,4748
asrightist,52
andGermany,5059
andNationalSocialism,54,6063,6567
andJews,6365
andidealstate,3738,7177
asSwiss,7274
Works:
ModernManinSearchofaSoul,2
TheUndiscoveredSelf,2,51,67
Memories,Dreams,Reflections,40
PsychologyoftheUnconscious(Wandlungen...)4243,47
PsychologicalTypes,44
"Wotan,"59,6061
"TheStateofPsychotherapyToday,"63
ArchetypesandtheCollectiveUnconscious,70.
Jnger,Ernst56
K
Kabbala8,193
Kant,Immanuel21,137
Kirk,Russellxii
Krishnamurti,Jiddu13435,146
L
Langbehn,Julius23
Lefkowitz,MaryR.127
LegionoftheArchangelMichael82,8396,120,191,193
Lewis,R.W.B.12223
LviBruhl,Lucien47,107
Long,CharlesH.154
Lucas,George127,150

Page206

Luther,Martin21
Lyotard,JeanFranois1617,17273
M
Manichaeism8,105
Mann,Thomasviii,135,137,158,16062,164,168
Marx,Karl,andMarxismxi,14,27,29,30,31,32,33,35,86,9091,10506,111,114,118,123,145
"Massman"28,51,53,55,6768
McCarthyism133,145
McKnight,Stephen14
McLynn,Frank74
Mellon,Paul3
Melville,Herman10,11,
Mithraism8
Monoimus9
"Monomyth"9
Moyers,Bill127,132
Mller,Maz171
Mussolini,Benito3,14,30,52,8687
N
NationalSocialism,German,seeNazism
Nazismix,12,28,33,39,51,54,5657,59,6062,6466,70,82,8586,9192,94,105,114,137,161
Neumann,Erich6263
Neoplatonism8
NewCriticism4
Niebuhr,Reinhold34,125
Nietzsche,Friedrichx,xi,10,11,24,41,42,47,54,57,65,103,118,137
Nikhilananda,Swami141,146
Noll,Richard9,53,18485
O
Oakes,Maude14142
Ophites8
"Orientalism"25,49,112
OrtegayGasset,Jos28,51,54,55,56,158
Otto,Rudolf112
P
Pagels,Elaine9
Plato33,70,112
Polenz,von,Wilhelm25
Pound,Ezra3,4,55,161
Prieswerk,Helene41
Protestantism104,107,121
Putnam,JamesJackson43
R
Rank,Otto47
ReactionaryModernism5355
Reformation,Protestantxiv,50
Rennie,Brian9293,9798
Riehl,Heinrich2223
Ricketts,MacLinscott80,8788
Robinson,HenryMorton142
Roesch,Kurt13738
Rheim,Gza39,164
Romaniaviii,xiv,6,30,7999,115,119,123
Romanticismxi,7,1921,22,31,42,50
S
Said,Edward26
Salazar,Antnio90
Samuels,Andrew61,7475
SaturdayReviewofLiterature3
Schelling,FriedrichW.J.20,171
Schleiermacher,Friedrich10708,11112
Scholem,Gershom94,142,193
Schom,AlanMorris7273,189
Sebastian,Mihail84,96
Segal,RobertA.13,44,130,131,16263
Sorel,Georgesx,12,13,32,33
Spencer,Herbert10
Spengler,Oswaldviii,x,xi,xii,5556,13536,135,137,15559
StarTrek12728
StarWars127129,162,167,168
Stein,Richard65
Strenski,Ivan84,93,10607

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Swedenborg,Emanuel23
Switzerland38,52,56,7274,75,18889
T
Taylor,Herald,PresidentofSarahLawrenceCollege,14546
Thoreau,HenryDavid19
Timemagazine3,5
Tylor,Eduward171
U
UFOs50,175
V
Valentinus8
VenderPost,Lauren6263,6566
Voegelin,Eric1214,15,34,6870,76,92,119
"Volkish"thoughtviii,x,24,22,25,42,51,54,56,5761,167
Volovici,Leon93
Vries,Jande2
W
Wagner,Richard24,42,128
Watts,Alan146
White,Victor3
Wolff,Kurt138,14142,164
Wotan,Wotanism30
Wundt,Wilhelm20,22
Z
Zen4
ZentralblattfrPsychotherapie6162,187
Zimmer,Heinrich138,14142,146,164
Zoroastrianism8