Joseph Campbell taking questions about Parzival, the Graal, and God – Grail Legends at the Ojai Foundation


How Sir Galahad, Sir Bors and Sir Percival were Fed with the Sanc Grael; But Sir Percival's Sister Died by the Way  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1864

Sir Galahad, Sir Bors and Sir Percival Fed with the Sanc Grael – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1864

God is a function, God experienced is a function of your manner of experience. The elementary idea of God is transcendent of all forms, of all names, the tongue has never soiled it, it never got there.  So, any idea of God is historically conditioned, it’s a local idea no matter how much noise people make about it, it’s just a local notion.  And so, as man transforms, so are the laws of God transformed.  The laws of God are functions of the human psyche in its historic expression and development.  That’s what we get here, and this if Wolfram.

~Joseph Campbell, Grail Legends at the Ojai Foundation

The following is a verbatim transcription of the Q&A portion of a talk entitled Grail Legends, given by Joseph Campbell at the Ojai Foundation before his death in 1987.   We Meme Merchants quote this material frequently, so I thought I would present it to the public since this material is otherwise hard to obtain in digital form since it was originally on audio tape.  So far as I know, no one has ever produced a complete transcript of the presentation.

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Stop Knolling!! – too long for U Tube, an open letter to Tom Sachs on the fetishism of arranging objects


Donald Judd’s perfectly Knolled studio in NYC. Looks pretty cool doesn’t it? But what else is enCoded in the pattern?
[Donald Judd GNU FDL v1.2]

I was visiting a reader’s blog yesterday who tipped me off to a video, 10 Bullets, by sculptor Tom Sachs.  The video is apparently part employee training film for Tom’s studio assistants and part manifesto on the ethos of a working studio, and maybe organizing your life in general.  The video takes the form of elaborating upon The Code that all Tom Sachs Studios employees are expected to work to.

I invite you to take the twenty or so minutes it takes to watch the video before I deconstruct it. [art/design pun intended]

You’re back.  Good.

The video itself is cleverly well done and rather humorous, not your typical HR Department training film [though it does lean a little heavily on the kitty litter].  If your life or organization is surrounded by chaos, Sachs’ 10 Bullets may be just the ticket to help you keep entropy at bay.  The video has received generally very favorable comments from viewers, about a 37:1 thumbs up to thumbs down ratio.  My reaction seems to be among the minority view who’s reactions was something like, “Yes, yes, yes, but….”  I just couldn’t follow The Code to its natural conclusions without an increasingly insistent voice inside saying to me that somewhere along the line a significant and serious boundary had been crossed.

The rest of this post will take the form of an open letter to Tom Sachs.  To be fair, Tom of course is invited to respond in comments or in his own post at this blog.

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