The Art of Tetman Callis Lit & Crit The children of lesser gods

The children of lesser gods

“In Egypt a sequence of psychological stages progressed (or, if the reader prefers, declined) from a state of mythic identification, through inflation, to mythic subordination, and in the last of these a certain standard of human decency not inherent in the order of nature was by projection attributed to God. The Pharaoh—that great ‘Nature Boy’—was thereby subdued to human virtue without damage to his sense of participation in the virtue of divinity. But in Mesopotamia this highly flattering sense of participation in divinity dissolved. The king was no longer the Great God, nor even, as in Egypt, the Good God, but the Tenant Farmer of the God. And this mythological rupture set the two orders of nature and humanity apart, without converting man fully, however, to the courage of his own rational judgments. As a consequence, a pathos of anxiety developed in which all the nursery agonies of a child striving to gain parental favor were translated into a cosmological nightmare of mythic dependency, characterized by alternate gains and loss of divine support, and finally a mordant, rat-toothed sense of intrinsic human guilt.” – Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.