Many / One

A database of 11,000+ illuminated guiding quotations in 40 categories from 600+ inspired books by our most brilliant and influential authors.
Compiled by JoAnn Kite

SHOW detailed search and navigation | Quotes | References | JoAnn

One | Circle | Center | Opposites | Archetypes | Good | Ethics | Living Wholeness | Random

Myth and Symbol
Click to randomize

1 "I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you…I mean a vocabulary in the form not of words but of acts and adventures, which connotes something transcendent of the action here, so that you always feel in accord with the universal being." The Power of Myth (Joseph Campbell)

2 "The task of the modern human being is to interiorize mythic symbology;…to comprehend, in short, that all mythological images are aspects of your own immediate experience." Robert Walter, Foreword World Mythology (Roy Willis, General Editor)

3 "The sign of life is in the symbolism; the life itself is in the grace behind the symbolism." Lamps of Western Mysticism (Arthur Edward Waite)

4 "Culture is inseparable from symbolization; and both had developed by the appearance of Neanderthal man one hundred thousand years ago, as we know from the existence of a variety of stone tools and other artifacts of burial rites and religious rituals." The Protean Self, Human Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation (Robert Jay Lifton)

5 "Mind has the possibility of seeing itself reflected in the forms and symbols to which it gives birth. Its words and numbers, forms and images, are metaphors describing itself, and so are our most powerful tools for penetrating into its actions and modes." Robert Lawlor, 'Ancient Temple Architecture' Homage to Pythagoras, Rediscovering Sacred Science (Christopher Bamford, editor)

6 "Myths hold something which is universal." Greg Stafford, 'Sir Thomas Malory' The Household of the Grail (John Matthews, editor)

7 "That people should succumb to these eternal images (spiritual symbols) is entirely normal, in fact it is what these images are for. They are meant to attract, to convince, to fascinate, and to overpower. They are created out of the primal stuff of revelation and reflect the ever-unique experience of divinity….Thanks to the labors of the human spirit over the centuries, these images have become embedded in a comprehensive system of thought that ascribes an order to the world." 'Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious', CW 9, 1 Basic Writings of C G Jung (V S DeLasslo, editor)

8 "Myth has a universal formulation that speaks to the codings of the deep unconscious. Thus myth is not just an ancient narrative designed to entertain benighted souls during the long winter evenings; it is an imprint in the psychic and spiritual DNA." The Search for the Beloved (Jean Houston)

9 "I believe that a large proportion of the mythological conception of the world which reaches far into the most modern religions is…psychology projected into the outer world." Sigmund Freud, 'Psychopathology of Everyday Life' The Garden of the Golden Flower, The Journey to Spiritual Fulfilment (Longfield Beatty)

10 "The world's sacred poetry, ritual, prayer, and art are filled with images of incarnated divinity, or the eternity that lies in the temporal, or the transpersonal that animates our personal lives." Thomas Moore, introduction Spiritual Literacy, Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat)

11 "Living myths are not mistaken notions, and they do not spring from books. They are not to be judged as true or false but as effective or ineffective, maturative or pathogenic. They are rather like enzymes, products of the body in which they work; or in homogeneous social groups, products of a body social." The Flight of the Wild Gander (Joseph Campbell)

12 "Art and metaphor can speak with the voice of truth as spoken from nature's mouth and as informed by nature's eyes." Breaking the Mind Barrier (Todd Siler)

13 "One's personal myth is the wishing ring that brings to pass the life's events." Tarot Revelations (Joseph Campbell & Richard Roberts)

14 "St. Augustine shows that teaching carried out with the help of symbols feeds and stirs the fires of love, enabling Man to excel himself; he also alludes to the value of all things in nature – organic and inorganic – as bearers of spiritual messages by virtue of their distinctive forms and characteristics." A Dictionary of Symbols (J. E. Cirlot)

15 "Found universally in mythology, the primal womb, or the world-egg, are common symbols for the original wholeness from which all life is derived." Journey Into Consciousness: The Chakras, Tantra and Jungian Psychology (Charles Breaux)

16 "Myth is pre-eminently a social phenomenon: it is told by the many and heard by the many. It gives the ultimately unimaginable religious experience an image, a form in which to express itself, and thus makes community life possible." C. G. Jung: Letters, 1951-1961 (Gerhard Adler and Aniela Jaffe, editors)

17 "Mythology fosters a balanced intuitive and instinctive, as well as rational, ontogenesis, and throughout the domain of the species the morphology of this peculiar spiritual organ of Homo sapiens is no less constant than that of the well-known, readily recognizable human physique itself." The Flight of the Wild Gander (Joseph Campbell)

18 "Symbolism is what might be called a magnetic force, drawing together phenomena which have the same rhythm and even allowing them to interchange." A Dictionary of Symbols (J. E. Cirlot)

19 "All myths are transparent to transcendence: that is, they are psychic metaphors, revelatory of universal axioms." Robert Walter, Foreword World Mythology (Roy Willis, General Editor)

20 "A symbol is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual reality." Esoteric Psychology I (Alice A. Bailey)

21 "Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith, faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically." Madeleine L'Engle Spiritual Literacy, Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat)

22 "Folklore and fairy tales are filled with lessons about the values of love, compassion, generosity, and caring for family, friends, the sick, and the elderly. These are the virtues that matter to heaven. These are the virtues that matter even if there is no heaven. And these are the virtues we are required to develop and refine on our spiritual journey." Invisible Acts of Power: Personal Choices That Create Miracles (Caroline Myss)

23 "We can grow in awareness of the images which deeply affect us in our lives. They can be discovered, listened to , and incorporated into our ongoing story. In our dreams, in our loves, on our journeys, we are being addressed by images. They are inviting us to enter more deeply into our lives, to allow our stories to unfold." Spiritual Pilgrims, Carl Jung & Teresa of Avila (John Welch, O. Carm.)

24 "Everything is alive and possesses a soul. The world is full of spirits, of souls. The myths speak of them." Otto Karrer, 'Religions of Mankind' From Bethlehem to Calvary (Alice A. Bailey)

25 "I agree that those mythic forms are collectively inherited in the psyche. And I agree entirely with Jung that it is very important to come to terms with those mythic archetypes." Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber (Ken Wilber)

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite