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Then the Lord of Light whose name is karma meaning love desire turned himself into a lot of death of fear of aggression. These are the two great motives of life. And he held against the seated one his army of monsters but there was no sense of I there was absolutely no fear and render weapons a very a thought came into the fear none. They were transformed into lotuses and then the tempter turned himself into the lord of duty like a sociologist. He comes and says What are you doing sitting here you print. You should be in your palace governing the world. Don't you know there's a way out. There are troubles there are things to do. Why what do you do when people talk to you that way. When but your thinking is wisdom and the thought of even
social virtues the Buddha did the only thing that was necessary. He simply touched the nature Mother Nature from which even society comes. And the Goddess Earth herself that this is my beloved son who through many lifetimes has already given of himself. So let him alone and the elephant on which the god of duty was riding bowed before the saintly one. And in the course of that night. Illumination came and wandered to the nature of this illumination. It is the realisation of the truth that I've already spoken. Namely that we are all manifestations of one being who is no being is a transcendent mystery. And along with that and the realisation that it is somehow a mystical deal
that has brought the universe into being. Send the planet spinning and hold everything going. The realization that this is the truth and that we are all manifestations of the joy of the bliss of the wheel of life. Then looking around and seeing how everyone is suffering. I think he is suffering because he is tied to his own little ego whereas in depth he is in bliss but that didn't know it at that moment. Realizing that there is no cure for there except the realisation that this sorrow and this suffering is just a surface flicker on a permanent bliss. This realisation fills the heart with compassion for being who feel that they are suffering whereas one level deeper they are in place. It's a very paradoxical mystery
here. Also involved in this is the realisation that two beings fighting each other are the same being. And that life inevitably manifests itself in this duet. So that a battle is in a certain sense a love affair. And this is the center of the mysticism of war. In the old traditions there is a respect for that other but it is actually through duality that the universe exists. So what are you asking for when you ask for the world to stop. Its suffering that is the end of life itself. And if that's the way you feel about it well then pull out. But don't annoy us by telling us that things should be the way you think they should be. There are wonderful mediæval poets of Strasbourg he says. They tell me there are people who wish
to live in bliss alone. God give them their place. Those are not the people for whom I am writing. I write for those noble heart. Who live in sorrow and bliss at the same time the bliss of their sorrow and the power of their bullets. And this double bind this double agony so to say in joy is the essence of that love mystery which is symbolized in the devil in hell and in Christ on the cross. And in any moment of love. Now the broad idea of compassion is comparable to the Christian idea of charity when Christ's Love thy neighbor as thyself. Or anything beyond that. And this I take to be the high word Christian doctrine. Love your enemies.
That doesn't mean that they're not your enemy. They are. And that double experience is another aspect of this that I'm speaking about. Now these are the great traditional religious approaches to love. Love adds that dynamism of life. In which we participate through our experience of love. Love then is that higher. Heavenly spiritual compassion which is as it were a Trance formation or sublimation of the primary earthly passion into a heavenly one. The idea of these is impersonal. It is indiscriminate. The love is to go forth to all the world. But there is another idea that comes along in that wonderful 12th century with the
troubadours and I want to give a little time to that. It seems to me the typical and great statement of the European as opposed to the other Asiatic ideas which I've been speaking of in this case. We have a company a poet with 12th century troubadours. In the Middle Ages marriage watches largely as it is for most people even now a social affair. One marries according to one's family relationships and what the family expects and then the church comes in and Sacramento rises there and talked about the one flash and all that whereas actually it's two bank accounts that become one bank account. That's about all of their experience of love can come into that kind of situation and that is that. And it certainly
did in the middle ages where for adultery one could be burned at the stake and one believed that one would burn also in hell but love would come just the same. And the theme of the troubadours with the celebration of the passion. The infusion of divine power which according to their view was higher in dignity than the sacraments of the church. Higher than marriage. And they spent a great deal of their poetic concern analyzing psychologically this emotion. And it is epitomized in a beautiful poem by the dog you're out to buy ne. Which state. Love is born of the eyes and the heart. This is a very important point. It is not indiscriminate. It is not love thy neighbor as thyself. Whoever he is.
Charity. It is not just the dynamism of life and the real love of the sexual organs for each other. It is the perception by the eyes of a particular human being a specific person. This one and the communication of that image to the heart. But to what was called the gentle or the noble heart the heart tape about the emotion of love not simply lust. And what then was the nature of the specific love. In the mysticism there rhotic mysticism of the weather of India. The Near East. Islam. The woman who is to be loved is as it were a manifestation of a divine principle. Not so among the troubadours. She was that woman that woman. But typically
and the lab was for her. And the emotion experience was that agony of love. The agony the anguish. Because love can never be totally realized without the kind of extinction that that more experienced the experience the anguish as well as the place of love and that is the emotion that got freed of Strasbourg celebrated in his Tristan. This poet got frayed. Regarded lovely south the garden in little German Mina the Mina thing is where the singers are regarded love as a divine being as a divine power. And this when it has failed to stand any doubt when they had drunk the potion became as it were a
complete torrent that overwhelmed them so that they lost their individual control. And when Brian gaine the maid who was responsible for him drinking the potion shocked at what had happened. They drank it when she wasn't present she sought or left the potion around. You see said knowing what was going to happen this drink is going to be your death. And Tristan said a wonderful thing at this point. He said what kind of death are you talking about. If this delight and loss of myself that I experienced with these out is what you're talking about I will accept this death. I will also accept eternal death and for the 12th century that meant hell. I wrote gladly experience hell for Abba for this love. And there we
have the same thing that we had before in Satan. And when I read Dantes description of his passage through hell you remember the first scenes there where you see Powell and Francesca the two famous lovers in hell. And again like a sociologist he stops and asks How did you come to this. But Francesca very politely answered tell them how they were reading the story of Lancelot and winner there and at a certain moment in the story looked at each other and read no more in the book that day and he thought they were in agony there and they certainly were they were in hell. But he had the point of view of a reality. This isn't a profitable place to be. They had the point of view of love as this is exactly what they want.
But the point about Hell is you're exactly where you want to be now brought that point out in his wonderful play. Now exit. Do you remember. Here are these three people in a room in hell and on the mantel piece is an image of Eros the God of love. The first person is a male during the war. He had been a collaborator and he felt that that somehow wasn't right he should have been but that if people would only comfort I've been say oh you couldn't have done otherwise or something like that. He would get rid of that sense of guilt. That's what he needed. The next person who enters the room is a lesbian a very intelligent woman could certainly if she wished to if she
felt any lab and compassion. Have alleviated his pangs by telling him of yes that would have been all right but she was hard. She would have nothing to do with him. Now he with her. Then there enters our little daughter floozy. She's got her eye on the man but she can't give him what he needs namely the spiritual compassion. The woman has the eye her eye on the younger woman who doesn't know what she's talking about. And so you have these three people each stuck with his own system of love without any compassion any opening for the other. And they are held to each other and that theme goes on and on and on. And you think well anything would be better than this. These people would be glad to get out of here. And just as you're perfectly convinced that anything would be better than
that for them the door of the room that they're in opened just surprising me opens. And they don't go out. Why. There was nothing but blue out there. It was the boy they didn't know where they would be if they were there. They knew when they were here they were in hell. OK. Bernard Shaw make this point also in a Man and Superman that wonderful scene where this little woman is walking around and she finds she's in hell which she thought she was in heaven it was so comfortable to her and she made the gracious gentleman and she said whereas God always said he's just over there. But you wouldn't like that kind of boring it's like sitting in the opera. Stay here are less jazz. And I thought she had her good time and health.
Paralysed the place where love isn't big enough to encompass the total depth and mystery of it all. When I come to a final scene in the Middle Ages we had these two principles social life living as one ought and live with a ripped one out of this. This was a situation that in the Grail legend is represented as the waste land. Life is a fake. People are living in a manner that is not. That of their nature. They are living according to a system of rules. And this is represented by a wounded King who is wont turns the whole country into a waste land.
And the aim the quests The anymore are the Grail night is to heal that king. How can that King be healed that wounded King. Wagner in history Stan and then his part of the hour identified the wound of love with that wound of the wounded King. What kind of love with a hero. This wounding love. The king was one who had not earned his kingship. He had been installed by a ritual that to say he wasn't a true King. Love had come into a life that was a mockery of a life. The only way to heal the wounded King says fall from is to lead your life.
Live your life. Courageously out of your own center. Not doing as you are tolerable but doing what your nature moves you to do. But let it be unknowable in nature not in nature. GROSS And raw by the nature refined by sensibility by suffering by pain by quest by isolation and so forth. And every time the Grail night does as he is told to do things get worse. But when he follows his own volition even to the extent of denying God. Hating God. I'm denying his friend. He's on the track. Finally now.
When the grail quest is achieved a most remarkable occurrence take place. This night involved from one action box version the Grail night part of our has a brother who is a Mahomedan happy mother who is a Muslim and these two these are they polar enemies. Of that period you might say like the United States and Russia now that the two poles of the world the two antagonists in the world seen these two brothers half brothers meet in combat and both in this case are noble very strong fighters. They battle each other furiously. And the poet said if one wished one could say that two men were fighting here and actually they are one. This is quite a statement for that period
to say that the Muslim and the Christian were one. This is the idea of loving the enemy but draws from didn't say they should stop fighting he said. And out of loyalty and courage and resolution they are doing each other much harm. And this is the way of the world in this mythology which I'm speaking of. Now I want to conclude with a modern person a modern author Thomas Mann who has dealt with this problem from one side and the other. And there's a charming this short story that I'm sure our short novel many of you have read Tony are correct. Perhaps you remember this. This is the problem of my blood in literature love in the writer's live in the intellectual heart. Tony was
born in North Germany and he loved his little friend there. And it was particularly susceptible to blue eyed blonde. But he was a rather sensitive you and the girls he always got. Where the dark little one two fell down when they danced. He was destined to be a writer. Presently he leaves his town but he has dedicated his heart to the blue eyed blonde who simply symbolize here. That's him naively living human beings of the Spirit who is why our existence. And he goes to the south of France where he big gets involved in the Bohemian life there and there's a interacting Russian have a tap who becomes
his principal mentor there. And of course as you know in such circles the vocabulary is one of complete distain for the blue eyed blond. Square. And Tony I feel just uneasy there. As we found in the other context. And so he calls himself the last guy between two worlds. And finally he writes a letter to a leader of a time when he has left that part of the way out. And he said. Then word can kill and it is the duty of the writer to find the right word and to name people. It is all you do is send an arrow. But on the point of that arrow you might have a bomb. The
sentiment of love this because erotic irony. And there comes out of this a very interesting principle. What is lovable in a person is not his perfection but his form. The perfect person is a bore. May be quite cold does not evoke the heart. The eye and the mind can see the fault and in finding and naming the faults you have named exactly that which is lovable about the person and there is a way to do this. So that one feels the love. But there comes a part a problem here. Which Thomas Mann found out a little later. I have to say those blue eyed blonde turned out to be from his point of view quite monstrous. Now what do you do.
Well thank Paul tells us. Love bears all things. This is a deep and terrible mystery. Love is as strong as right. And when life produces things like that. You may go into battle against them but the principle of love might not be left either wise. One loses one's own humanity. And only today one of my students brought me reports on a short story by heart on. And in that there was a sentence from our own Puritan author. That just appeared there and I said to myself the God of love has given me this word with which to conclude my talk tonight. And it with this man must not
claim a man must not claim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest And with that I'm going to close. I wonder if you have heard Joseph Campbell professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College as he spoke on the topic. The mythology of love. This was another program in a series. Peace love and creativity the hope of mankind. The speaker on our next program will be gay Wilson Allen professor of English at the New York University Graduate School Professor Alan subject will be William James and the philosophy of the free man's world.
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Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind
Mythology of love, part two
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features the second part of a lecture by Joseph Campbell, Sarah Lawrence College.
Series Description
This series presents lectures from the 1968 Cooper Union Forum. This forum's theme is Peace, Love, Creativity: The Hope of Mankind.
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Speaker: Campbell, Joseph, 1904-1987
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-10-18 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:26:23
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Chicago: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Mythology of love, part two,” 1968-04-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Mythology of love, part two.” 1968-04-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Mythology of love, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from