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Joseph Campbell

Who hasn’t found inspiration in the writings of Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist or Carl Jung, the wise and worldly psychiatrist? Certainly I’ve spent a lifetime pondering their thoughts.

Both Campbell and Jung have written about possible connections between psychosis/schizophrenia and mysticism.

And so, I found that suddenly this train of thought popped up in my own writing of stories. In The Wondrous Apothecary, a first draft, I found myself writing about Rinaldo, a conceptual artist and major character… 

When Rinaldo falls into the river, he thrashes about in panic and soon drowns. But the mystic is a fine, strong swimmer. He relaxes and permits the currents to take him on a journey of discovery down river and deep into the subconscious and collective unconscious.” The Wondrous Apothecary.

Question 1:  I know that idea is drawn from Campbell, but does anyone know where I could find the quote expressing this idea in his work?

Question 2:  Who’s this Rinaldo? In this novel, Rinaldo is a conceptual artist considered by many as the consummate trickster. In fact, he is the leader of the Anti-Aesthetic Art Group. [AAAG]. Below, you’ll see a few examples of his work. In this story, Rinaldo is confined to a mental hospital on the Isle of Wight to determine if he is fit to stand trial on trumped up charges of arson and theft. When he arrives in the hospital, he begins “seeing” people who could only have lived many decades ago. Are they ghosts or creations of his psyche? Is he psychotic, a mystic or neither? Regardless, I’d love to have a citation for Campbell’s idea.

Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, mysticism, mystic, psychology, psychotic, electroshock therapy, mental hospitals, creativity, inspiration, novels, The Trilogy of Remembrance, The Osgoode Trilogy, Art, literature.

Here is the artist Rinaldo. Is he a psychotic or mystic

 

Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, mysticism, mystic, psychology, psychotic, electroshock therapy, mental hospitals, creativity, inspiration, novels, The Trilogy of Remembrance, The Osgoode Trilogy, Art, literature.

 

Is this ART or is it just a tent?

 

Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, mysticism, mystic, psychology, psychotic, electroshock therapy, mental hospitals, creativity, inspiration, novels, The Trilogy of Remembrance, The Osgoode Trilogy, Art, literature.

This is a rotting orange by Rinaldo. It came second in the Venice Biennial Art Exhibition last year. The purchaser was invited to replace this fruit with another kind of fruit once the orange had rotted. According to the Artist’s Statement, the purchaser was being invited to collaborate with the esteemed artist.

Love to hear from you!

In the event you’d like to read some earlier novels from The Osgoode Trilogy and The Trilogy of Remembrance just click on the cash register:

Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, mysticism, mystic, psychology, psychotic, electroshock therapy, mental hospitals, creativity, inspiration, novels, The Trilogy of Remembrance, The Osgoode Trilogy, Art, literature.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Inspiration~Mystic or Psychotic?

  1. What does immersion in water portend? Born again? Baptism? Here, perhaps, a journey into one’s subconscious. The ears will hear only muffled sounds. There can be very little scent because the nose is blocked, The eyes, if open, will see only blurred images. The mind however,seems to be free to roam and discover!

    • Interesting thoughts, David! I think we can draw many meanings from immersion in water. Think of the crossing of the river Styx with Cerberus. I really like your mentioning the physical senses involved in the immersion. Often, when we think of such events, we think in just spiritual terms. As you say, the mind is separated from the body and perhaps has much more freedom. Thanks so much for joining in and please take some time to look around.

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