Finished Man and His Symbols, picked up The Golden Bough. The latter is going to take awhile. There’s an interesting contrast between Eliade and Frazer: where the former is content to offer one, two, or maybe three examples of a given primitive practice, the latter heaps paragraph after paragraph of examples to support his statements. It’s nice, but it can be overwhelming.
Intriguing so far has been the firm delineation between magic and religion. Frazer’s primitives see magic as a science, as “the way the world works” – no spirits, devils, gods or demigods required for explanation. Where magical practices have a religious explanation, he believes it to be a later edition. Not sure Eliade (or Jung, for that matter) would agree with him there. But then, he was an early explorer in the field, and I understand many of his theories have since been superceded.
Still depressed. Been lingering in bed a lot, which is out of character for me.
Wow. I’ve never used The Golden Bough for anything other than reference. Trying to READ the whole thing cover to cover would be madness!
If you haven’t already, I suggest you put Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell on your reading list.
And just think… the full version is 12 volumes!
“If you haven’t already, I suggest you put Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell on your reading list.”
It’s actually sitting by my bed. I decided to take them on chronologically. I figured Campbell would probably be making a lot of Frazer references.
Yeah he does, and Jung references. . .though honestly, I would have reccomended reading that one first, because it gives the best cohesive picture and he explains any reference he makes pretty well.
Oh, and if you are interested I have a book by one of Campbells Disciples on a similar subject. It’s called Psychic Energy by Esther Harding. It has nothign to do with Psychics; it’s about the hero’s journey and the human psyche.
*goes and reads an excerpt on amazon.com*
Yep, I’m interested.
definetly. Great icon BTW
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