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League of Inveterate Poets

The out-of-context contextuality of a foolish sage

Only Birth Can Conquer Death

By on July 2, 2010

Heracles“‚Ķschism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. With the soul, with the body social, there must be—if we are to experience long survival—a continuous ‘recurrence of birth’ (palingensia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. For it is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue. Peace then is a snare; war is a snare; change is a snare; permanence a snare. When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified–and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn.”

– Joseph Campbell in
The Hero with a Thousand Faces

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This newly redesigned edition of Campbell”s seminal 1949 work combines the insights of modern psychology with the author”s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. Illustrated.



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