Richard G. Petty, MD

Masters of the Human Spirit

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“The poets, prophets, and visionaries of untold millenniums – Dante, Aquinas, and Augustine, al-Ghazali and Mohammed, Zarathustra, Shankaracharya, Nagarjuna, and T’ai Tsung, were not bad scientists making misstatements about the weather, or neurotics reading dreams into the stars, but masters of the human spirit teaching a wisdom of death and life. And the thesaurus of the myth-motifs was their vocabulary. They brooded on the state and way of man, and through their broodings came to wisdom; then teaching with the aid of the picture-language of myth, they worked changes on the patterns of their inherited iconographies.”         

–Joseph Campbell (American Writer, Editor and Mythologist, 1904-1987)       

“Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays, 1944-1968” (Joseph Campbell)                                 

Myth and Your Body

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“Our creation myth is also the myth of our biological evolution. For me, there is another aspect to the creation and evolution myth – that is, the coming into existence of the body’s subjectivity.

Myth is about the birth and evolution of the body’s inner subjective experience.

Embryogenesis is cosmogenesis; the birth of the body is the birth of the inner emotional cosmos. And the experience of this is still ongoing, is present now.
From the moment of our conception, the organizing of past somatic images is available to us as a guide for being in the world of the present.

The different bodies of our history – personal and impersonal – are in our dreams. Myth presents us also with the body images of various ages and eons. The complex of somatic images gives our present somatic image an organization and dimension, a structure that has duration.

Mostly we are in touch with the surface body, because perception is mostly a surface phenomenon. That doesn’t mean that the other bodies aren’t there.”           

–Stanley Keleman (American Chiropractor, Psychotherapist and Director of the Center for Energetic Studies in Berkeley, California, 1931-)        

Myth and the Body p29:

“Myth & the Body – A colloquy with Joseph Campbell” (Stanley Keleman)

Humanity Has a Spiritual Unity

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“All mythology involves a corresponding philosophy; and if there is only one mythology, as there is only one ‘perennial philosophy’, then that ‘the myth is not my own, I had it from my mother’ (Euripides) points to a spiritual unity of the human race already predetermined long before the discovery of metals. It may be really true that as Alfred Jeremias said, the various cultures of mankind are no more than the dialects of one and the same spiritual language.”      

–Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (Sri Lankan Philosopher, 1877-1947)

“Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays, 1944-1968” (Joseph Campbell)

The Need for Myths

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“Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men’s reality. Weird heroes and mold-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of “the rat race” is not yet final.”       

–Hunter S. Thompson (American Journalist and Writer, 1937-2005)   

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