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alj
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PostSubject: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptySat Mar 12, 2011 9:02 am

Quote :
"There has to be a training to help you open your ears so that you can begin to hear metaphorically instead of concretely. Freud and Jung both felt that myth is grounded in the unconscious.

Anyone writing a creative work knows that you open, you yield yourself, and the book talks to you and builds itself. To a certain extent, you become the carrier of something that is given to you from what has been called the Muses... This is no fancy, it is a fact. Since the inspiration comes from the unconscious, and since the unconscious minds of the people of any small society have much in common, what the shaman or seer brings forth is something that is waiting to be brought forth in everyone. So when one hears the seer's story, one responds, "Aha! This is my story. This is something I had always wanted to say but wasn't able to say." There has to be a dialogue, an interaction between the seer and the community. The seer who sees things that people in the community don't want to hear is just ineffective. Sometimes they will wipe him out." Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

Is this what happens in times of changing paradigms? Think of the Old Testament prophets, for example, who usually told of things the people did not want to hear, because they were not ready to hear it.

Are we not in a similar position today?

Just wondering.

Ann
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptySun Mar 20, 2011 5:08 pm

The majority of readers seem very reluctant to express opinions about books until someone in authority -- book critic -- has declared a book to be either good or bad. Then they will agree or disagree according to their own preferences.

Interesting that you should mention the Bible, Ann. It is the bestselling book of all time but no one ever expresses an opinion about it.

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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptySun Mar 20, 2011 5:15 pm

Dear Ann,
I consider that when I write words onto a paper, not much of it comes from my conscious...I am not sure how to put this.
.
If I write something and it is wonderful and I look at the words after the writing and in the morning, I am amazed that my fingers typed those words and my mind imagined that story. It is a kind of flow that my eyes see and my little mind tries to put into words....if that makes any sense at all. I wonder if we all have a little platteau of creativity, not that anyone else can see, but a little mesa view that gives us vision.

Love,
Betty
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptySun Mar 20, 2011 6:43 pm

Shelagh,

Do you mean a book review of the Bible?

I have not read every word of it.

I find some of it comforting and some parts upsettng.

I know a lot of it by heart.

I believe it is God's Holy Book.

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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptySun Mar 20, 2011 7:19 pm

I guess it's hard to be a critic of the Bible, Shelagh. How long has it been since the "New Theologians" dared to say its truth might be a metaphorical truth?

I guess Brian McLaren (A New Kind of Christian, et al) is one of the more recent ones - a good source for traditionalists, especially, who want to see the connection between the Old Stories and our Postmodern Worldview. When the world changes, our interpretations change, and we start seeing new stuff in that Old Book, or seeing the old stuff in a new light.

I think that when modern writers let themselves go, and just write without thinking about it, they tap into a similar source, and come up with what Betty calls, "a little platteau of creativity, not that anyone else can see, but a little mesa view that gives us vision."

I think I have made it through all of the Bible at one time or another. I'm not sure about making it through all of "Leviticus" or "Deuteronomy." I console myself with the idea that the New Testament expressed a newer paradigm, and a strict adherence to every "jot and tittle" of the old laws was no longer necessary. We don't have to "take an eye for an eye" anymore.

Northrup Frye's, The Great Code is a wonderful source, IMHO, for getting a sense of the modern meaning of The Book as a whole, explaining how the story and its message changes as we evolve in our ability to understand the Transcendent.

There have been too many instances of injustices done to innocent people in the name of a literal approach to the message for me to read it that way. That doesn't mean that there are not Great Truths expressed in it, that it is not, as Alice says, God's Holy Book. We just have to realize that the civilizations and languages it came from no longer exist, so we have to be careful of what we read into it.

I think we are on one of those "changing times" periods right now.

Ann
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptySun Mar 20, 2011 8:17 pm

Some parts of the Bible should not be taken literally.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 12:22 am

Shelagh said:
"Interesting that you should mention the Bible, Ann. It is the
bestselling book of all time but no one ever expresses an opinion about
it."

I think Ann's response summed it up well.

To express an opinion about the bible is opening oneself up to criticism, and most wish to avoid that. It is a no win.

I too have read the bible from cover to cover more than once. I didn't understand much of what I read, but remember the interpretation given from the pulpit. Since that time, I have read books that provide an analysis of the bible from an historical perspective as well as interpretation and translations that have altered the original meaning of words, some of which have been addressed in other threads concerning religious beliefs.

Religious studies shed much light on the bible. Religious dogmas are another study. The more one learns, the more skeptical one may become. The study of religion is often discouraged to prevent one from straying from the faith (dogma) that a particular church represents.

The expression, "The word of God", is misleading. Man wrote those words, presumably inspired by God, however study reveals that politics influenced what was recorded by the Scribes. Recording what Jesus said, from Word of mouth (hearsay) cannot be considered literal quotes. Having said that, the jest of what he is supposed to have said or taught has given man faith and hope. It has also been the cause of strife based on interpretation of the scriptures (derived dogmas) and that continues.

Criticizing the bible should not be a problem. The authors are not available to defend what they wrote. Religious fanatics are the defenders, and they can be very intimidating.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 2:48 am

I was interested in Ann's first post and gave it a great deal of thought before I responded -- and when I did, I avoided answering the question.

Having given it more thought, I'm still struggling with the idea of creating a piece of work from the subconscious being on a par with the Old Testament prophets saying things that people did not want to hear (at the time of writing or at different periods in time since the OT was first written?).

Alice,

I was trying to draw a comparison between the best selling book of all time and any other book on sale at any time. The bible sells by word of mouth and not through marketing and promotion. When I was confirmed, I received a Bible (Old and New Testament) from the Bishop of Blackburn (as did all the children at confirmation). I still have it.

It is a book that has been given away in millions to people of all faiths, all around the world. From my limited experience of giving away books, I receive much better feedback and compliments and no criticism at all from books I give away. When people buy the books themselves, they clam up unless (as in the case of the anthologies) they are authors buying copies for themselves and family. We seem to have a different attitude to the written word based upon whether we paid for those words or not.

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Last edited by Shelagh on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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LC
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 3:17 am

Quote :
When people buy the books themselves, they clam up unless (as in the case of the anthologies) they are authors buying copies for themselves and family. We seem to have a different attitude to the written word based upon whether we paid for those words or not.

I'd just attribute that to people not wanting to criticize a gift. It's a rather poor practice to badmouth something given to you free, no?

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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 5:09 am

Yes, it is. So giving away the Bible was a way to avoid criticism as well as spreading the word.

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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 5:43 am

Back to the OP and the quotation it's based on. I interpreted Smile it something like this. Mythical writing is a product of the unconscious, similar to the way any creative writing comes about when the writer opens to the Muses and lets the unconscious direct the work. So far, I am with him. He proceeds to say that there has to be a common element in the unconscious of the hearer (or reader) for the "Aha!" moment to occur. With him there, too. I had a problem, on first reading, with his next point: The seer is ineffective when he says something that doesn't resonate with the community. Is he criticizing the seer or the community?

Or is he simply describing what happens during periods of changing worldviews? If the community is not recognizing the metaphor, and focusing instead on the concrete elements of the story, the seer's words cannot resonate. Nothing new is learned and no growth can occur.

Making the leap, in my interpretation, from seer to OT prophet comes from reading Campbell's work as often as I do, and putting that body of work together with what I think may be happening right now, and applying all that to what I read into that passage. The shift in people's thinking between the beliefs expressed in the Old Testament and the New of the Judeo-Christian Bible was as dramatic as the shift in thinking that we are seeing take place today. Those prophets were not understood, and sometimes "wiped out" by a community that did not identify with what they were saying. Today, we are caught up in a world where half of the people are ready to "wipe out" the other half, because they think they are living by different stories, when if the stories were taken as metaphors rather than concrete facts, we might see that there is no real difference between them.

Ann
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 5:46 am

Shelagh wrote:
Yes, it is. So giving away the Bible was a way to avoid criticism as well as spreading the word.

And the gift takes on more power than the same words would if you had to pay for them. They become a commodity.

Maybe that's part of the problem today - that best-selling part. The Bible has become a commodity.

Ann
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 6:26 am

Yes, the Bible is a commodity and the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing is the Bible printing capital of the world.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/worlds-biggest-bible-producer-says-sales-down-34234/

alj wrote:
I had a problem, on first reading, with his next point: The seer is ineffective when he says something that doesn't resonate with the community. Is he criticizing the seer or the community?
In modern parlance isn't this simply: "You have to give them what they want."

http://www.writersservices.com/wps/s_letter.htm#I

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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 8:48 am

Maybe, but doesn't that contradict this part?

Quote :
Since the inspiration comes from the unconscious, and since the
unconscious minds of the people of any small society have much in
common, what the shaman or seer brings forth is something that is
waiting to be brought forth in everyone.

Ann
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 8:57 am

I don't see that as contradictory. Within any small society, the seer subconsciously recognises that the majority think the same way and expresses the group's thoughts in words. If the seer says something that doesn't resonate with the community, his words are lost on them.

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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 9:37 am

And they won't "buy" what s/he is "selling"?

Reminds me of a little book of Buddhist parables I found in a night stand in a Tokyo hotel where we stayed back in '69. Kind of like the Gideon Bibles you might find around here (gifts again).

It went something like this:

Quote :
Buddha is like the wise father who has returned from a trip to the city, and sees that his house is on fire, and his children are about to be consumed. He calls to them, "Children, come away before you are burned. But the children are busy at play and do not hear him. So he calls, "Children, come and see the wonderful gifts I bought for you while I was in the city." Whereupon they immediately hear him, run to him, and are saved from the fire.

Ann
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 9:49 am

LC wrote:
Quote :
When people buy the books themselves, they clam up unless (as in the case of the anthologies) they are authors buying copies for themselves and family. We seem to have a different attitude to the written word based upon whether we paid for those words or not.

I'd just attribute that to people not wanting to criticize a gift. It's a rather poor practice to badmouth something given to you free, no?



This is very true. I attribute my rave reviews to the gratitude factor.


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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyMon Mar 21, 2011 11:39 am

You are very wise, Alice. Unfortunately, not everyone has your mind and ability to see the truth. Many believe what they want to believe, even when the truth is staring them in the face.

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materurbium



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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyTue May 10, 2011 9:15 am

I'm new to this forum but I came across this and had to reply. apologies if I step on any toes.

The campbell quote really talks about two things.

One. Creativity. Unconcious Inspiration. Sure, it does come weird. I kind of feel that when it comes, it's like a state of sorts. It's not that all emotions are elevated, but that one particular part of the receiving dish swells up and anything else sort of takes a back seat, like Stargate where the transport thingy is open just for a while, except the giant ring is sort of you and there are things coming through and you need to write them down. That's my two cents.

Second. If you read joseph campbell, you know that he is not talking about Christianity or the Bible specifically (unconscious inspiration, not divine inspiration). He's talking about cultural and social myths that travel down throughout history that serve to teach us universal lessons (that's why they're still around after so long). It really has nothing to do with prophets of the bible. He's talking about creative people who tap into truths that the society they live in doesn't want to hear. Yes, that includes old test prophets, but they are part of the universal mythology. the same prophets exist in all religions, in all culture, over all time. And these people are usually hated (sometimes wiped out) in their lifetimes.

I'm not into giving book reports though, so here's a short bit on the theme of that book from wikipedia:

Quote :
The main theme of the book is the universality of myths that occur throughout the history of mankind, no matter which epoch or whichever culture or society is considered. Myths are the body of stories and legends that a people perceive as being an integral part of their culture. Before the invention of writing, these stories and legends were handed down from generation to generation in the form of rituals and oral traditions. The reappearance of certain themes, time and again, in different mythologies, leads to the realization that these themes portray universal and eternal truths about mankind.

I sort of hate when discussions about creativity and inspiration from the unconscious get mixed in with talks about prophets and divine inspiration. I respect creativity and that "carrier of something" sense so much that I think that's a dangerous road to mix the two. I mean, what happened before the bible existed, there were painters and writers then too. Would they have called it "divine inspiration". No. They wouldn't have known what to call it. I actually like that way better.

I used to live in the church world, so I feel sort of strongly about this. If you ask me what my religion is now, I'd probably have to say it's creating. In whatever form you decide to do it, you are doing God's work.

~materurbium

my blog is at materurbium.com. I write about writing, creativity and publishing. I'd like to invite readers to come by and leave some comments or consider guest posting there.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyTue May 10, 2011 5:41 pm

Quote :
If you read joseph campbell, you know that he is not talking about
Christianity or the Bible specifically (unconscious inspiration, not divine
inspiration). He's talking about cultural and social myths that travel
down throughout history that serve to teach us universal lessons (that's
why they're still around after so long). It really has nothing to do
with prophets of the bible. He's talking about creative people who tap
into truths that the society they live in doesn't want to hear. Yes,
that includes old test prophets, but they are part of the universal
mythology. the same prophets exist in all religions, in all culture,
over all time. And these people are usually hated (sometimes wiped out)
in their lifetimes
.
As far as stepping on toes goes, I do it all the time. I'm very good at it, so you might want to watch your feet. Very Happy

Please note the last two words:
Quote :
Think of the Old Testament prophets, for example

Yes, The Power of Myth, like the rest of Campbell's work is about universals and archetypes. And that includes the Judeo-Christian Bilbe, so pulling an example from it is not out of line, especially in an OP.

I'm a great fan and avid student of Campbell. He's one of my gurus. I've read most of his work. I think my faves, for now, anyway, are Thou art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor, and Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation.

What are yours?

Quote :
I sort of hate when discussions about creativity
and inspiration from the unconscious get mixed in with talks about
prophets and divine inspiration. I respect creativity and that "carrier
of something" sense so much that I think that's a dangerous road to mix
the two. I mean, what happened before the bible existed, there were
painters and writers then too. Would they have called it "divine
inspiration". No. They wouldn't have known what to call it. I actually
like that way better.

I sort of hate it when people take something out of context and make assumptions instead of asking for clarification.

But that's just me. I talk a lot here about universality here. And "divine inspiration" didn't begin with the Bible, from my perspective.

Welcome to the forum.

Ann
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyWed May 11, 2011 4:14 pm

Quote :
W]hen extended to symbolize not only the one historic moment of
Christ's crucifixion on Calvary, but the mystery through time and space
of God's presence and participation in the agony of all living things,
the sign of the cross would then have to be looked on as the sign of an
eternal affirmation of all that is, ever was, or ever shall be. Myths to Live By, Joseph Campbell
Campbell does not deny the Crucifixion in the passage, he extends it so that the cross becomes a universal symbol. Not only is it not dangerous to mix the two; it is unavoidable.

Ann
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materurbium



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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyThu May 12, 2011 7:27 am

Let’s be honest. The problem with forum discussions is they go off on all sorts of side roads. My mistake was trying to talk about how great that original quote was and steer you away from the side road of religion when you compared creative unconscious to prophecy.

That quote in your first post was about creativity (and so is the title of this thread by the way), which is why I even clicked here and read what you wrote in the first place. I imagine it’s the same for other readers who stumbled onto a thread on creativity to see we're talking about crucifixions. I'll repeat the message of my first reply: bible prophets were not doing “creative work”.

Quote :
Not only is it not dangerous to mix the two; it is unavoidable.

I didn’t say it’s dangerous to compare the bible with universal mythologies. I said:

It’s dangerous to mix discussions of “creativity and inspiration from the unconscious” (which is what campbell is talking about in that quote) with talks about “prophets and divine inspiration” (which is what you’re talking
about in your response to that quote).

But you are proving my point exactly. A discussion entitled “Anyone writing a creative work...” and a quote that talks about how creativity springs from the unconscious is being sideswiped by the MAC truck of religion. We aren’t talking about creativity anymore, we’re talking about prophets, universal symbols, and crucifixions...

Tell me how wrong I am. Please.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyThu May 12, 2011 7:58 am

materurbium wrote:
Let’s be honest.
I believe that Ann is always honest.
materurbium wrote:
The problem with forum discussions is they go off on all sorts of side roads.
Welcome to the world of conversation, online or otherwise. Now, do you want to talk about that?
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyThu May 12, 2011 9:14 am

Al,
perhaps you could post the link to that Tube video about on religion. Some good points to consider in it as well as a good laugh.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

Anyone writing a creative work... Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... EmptyThu May 12, 2011 10:11 am

It might offend some. The title is, "Religion is Bullshit." So, if such comedy material would offend, do not view it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o
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Anyone writing a creative work... Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anyone writing a creative work...   Anyone writing a creative work... Empty

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