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Master mythologist Joseph Campbell had a genius for finding the unifying symbols and metaphors in apparently distinct cultures and traditions. In Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal, Campbell explores, with his characteristic clarity and humor, the principle that underlies all the great religions of India and East Asia, from Jainism and Hinduism to Buddhism and Taoism: the transcendent World Soul.
Joseph Campbell began his comparative study of the world’s religions with a chance meeting with the renowned Indian theosophist Jeddu Krishnamurti on a trans-Atlantic steamer. Though Campbell was deeply fascinated by mythologies and religions from every continent, Asia’s potent mix of theologies captured his imagination more than any other, and offered him paths to understanding the essence of myth.
In Myths of Light, Campbell explores the core philosophies and mythologies of the East, comparing them through vivid examples and stories to each other and to those of the West. A worthy companion to Thou Art That and to Campbell’s Asian Journals, this volume conveys complex insights through warm, accessible storytelling, revealing the intricacies and secrets of his subject with his typical enthusiasm.
“Campbell excels in telling the stories themselves — which feature brahmins and yogis, gods and monsters, as they disguise themselves as charioteers, eat themselves up and spy on mortals — and in his glancing descriptions of traditions foreign to us: Japanese ‘play language,’ an exceedingly polite mode of speech, for instance, or Jainism’s insistence on quenching ‘all desire for life.’. . . A solid primer.”
— Publishers Weekly