All this hope for something happening in society has to wait for something in the human psyche, a whole new way of experiencing a society. And the crucial question here, as I see it, is simply: With what society, what social group, do you identify yourself? Is it going to be with all the people of the planet, or is it going to be with your own particular in-group? This is the question, essentially, that was in the minds of the founders of our nation when the people of the thirteen states began thinking of themselves as of one nation, yet without losing consideration for the special interests of each of the several states. Why can’t something of that kind take place in the world right now?
This is a motif that appears in the ancient mythologies all the time under many symbolic forms—out of death comes life.
But holding on to yourself and not letting yourself become food is the primary life-denying negative act. You’re stopping the flow! And a yielding to the flow is the great mystery experience that goes with thanking an animal that is about to be eaten for having given of itself. You, too, will be given in time.
Now, the mother goddess in old mother-goddess mythologies was herself already the universe, so the great creative deed of Marduk was a supererogatory act. There was no need for him to cut her up and make the universe out of her, because she was already the universe. But the male-oriented myth takes over, and he becomes—apparently—the creator.
it means to find what is the source of your own life, and what is the relationship of your body, your physical form, to this energy that animates it. The body without the energy isn’t alive, is it? So you distinguish in your own life that which is of the body and that which is of energy and consciousness.
…the female represents maya. The female represents what in Kantian terminology we call the forms of sensibility. She is time and space itself, and the mystery beyond her is beyond all pairs of opposites. So it isn’t male and it isn’t female. It neither is nor is not. But everything is within her, so that the gods are her children. Everything you can think of, everything you can see, is a production of the Goddess.
We have found hundreds of early European Neolithic figurines of the Goddess, but hardly anything there of the male figure at all. The bull and certain other animals, such as the boar and the goat, may appear as symbolic of the male power, but the Goddess was the only visualized divinity at that time.
It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth—penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words.
Moyers, what mythology has done for you is to place you on a branch of a very ancient tree. You’re part of a society of the living and dead that came long before you were here and will be here long after you are gone. It nourished you and protected you, and you have to nourish it and protect it in return.
I don’t think here is any such thing as an ordinary mortal. Everybody has his own possibility of rapture in the experience of life. All he has to do is recognize it and then cultivate it and get going with it. I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I’ve never met an ordinary man, woman, or child.