Tag Archives: call

a deliberate, terrific refusal

Just reread this Joe Campbell quote while cleaning files yesterday and it explains beautifully my last post, shaman by night. And it regards yoga* to boot:

Willed introversion, in fact, is one of the classic implements of creative genius and can be employed as a deliberate device. It drives the psychic energies into depth and activates the lost continent of unconscious infantile and archetypal images. The result, of course, may be a disintegration of consciousness more or less complete; but on the other hand, if the personality is able to absorb and integrate the new forces, there will be experienced an almost superhuman degree of self-consciousness and masterful control. This is a basic principle of the Indian disciples of yoga. It has been the way, also, of many creative spirits in the West. It cannot be described, quite, as an answer to any specific call. Rather, it is a deliberate, terrific refusal to respond to anything but the deepest, highest richest answer to the as yet unknown demand of some waiting void within: a kind of total strike, or rejection of the offered terms of life, as a result of which some power of transformation carries the problem to a plane of new magnitudes, where it is suddenly and finally resolved.

*The yoga referred to is not physical postural yoga we know in the west, but a system of philosophy. It also seems like a decidedly western reading.