I have been reading “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell. I’d been meaning to read it for years, but never got around to it until my older brother gave me a copy for Christmas. The book is pretty remarkable and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the purpose of stories and storytelling or in the study of religion, psychology or mythology. If that sounds like a wide net, it is.
The book is one that will likely give a reader something different to take away from it when reading it at different times. The thought I have been struck with is the notion of one of the weaknesses of religious institutions. Religion and faith are meant to teach people important lessons about what it means to be alive and how we should approach the adventure of being, but sometimes the lesson is obscured by the vehicle by which it is delivered.
I know there are religious leaders in every faith that get it right, but the larger institutions in which the work become so obsessed with the minutiae of their individual narratives they lose track of what they were created to do in the first place. It’s like being given the most precious gift in the world, unwrapping it and then parading the wrapping paper around while the gift gathers dust in a closet.
Well, I guess I’m going to have to think about it all some more.
The March Print is here. I call it, “There are things that drift away.”