Of course we cannot take a planet and nail it to a cross, any more than we can literally believe that an Ash Tree, Yggdrasil, is the axis of the nine worlds upon which the Father of all Gods hung for nine nights as he sought the Holy Runes, the Logos. With the image of the Crucified Earth, we enter the world of mythology. We enter the world of dream.
Many of us have seen the celebrated PBS series The Power of Myth, in which Bill Moyers interviewed that architect of the contemporary mythic vision, Joseph Campbell, right here in
He was a curious character, both wisdom figure and fully embodied individualist in the modern, American mold. His emphasis upon peak experience and his famous mantra “follow your bliss” would be misinterpreted into an epidemic of self centered pleasure seeking. He didn’t like the boomers, finding us nothing more than babies in diapers thinking we could take on the gods. His love of the storied world of the past often blinded him to the stories that were brewing right under his nose. And yet, he opened up a world of wonder that probably could not have been opened in any other way. Most of us who have fallen under the influence of myths and dreams were inspired by him.
He was a master of epigram. In the second of the Moyers interviews, “The Journey Inward,” the subject turns from myth to dreaming. As he guided us from the outer world to the world within,
Moyers: What do we learn from our dreams?
Moyers: Why is a myth different from a dream?
I italicized the last line, because it, too, is one of
Now history is very literal, very concrete, while dreams are without any material substance whatsoever. Jesus was all these things: literal flesh and mysterious, breathy spirit. He never raised himself above others until he was lifted up on a cross.