Campbell on ‘Neuroticism’
April 7, 2014, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Human Potential, Mental Illness | Tags:

I felt this following excerpt from “The Power of Myth” (which aired on PBS in the 80s) related to my view that the experience of this world is like a walk into the dark alone because it seems at times that no one else mirrors my concerns that something is seriously wrong with society/the way of life here, not wrong with the individual. I also liked this response by Campbell and how it relates to my experience with schizophrenia and how I hope to shed light on my experience to be added to the very biased views of schizophrenia as a flaw, instead of as a remedy to unconsciousness, which is what I feel it is for me. I relate as well to being angry, envious, i.e. “neurotic,” and I do see myself favorably (perhaps somewhat self-inflated?), as a “visionary” [Edited (4/18/14): I just looked it up. “Neurotic” means mentally ill):

Excerpts from “Joseph Campbell – The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers”

MOYERS: But aren’t many visionaries and even leaders and heroes close to the edge of neuroticism?

CAMPBELL: Yes, they are.

Tête à Tête

MOYERS: How do you explain that?

CAMPBELL: They’ve moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience – that is the hero’s deed.

(from “The Power of Myth” as seen on this site)


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