What Is This Lost Atlantis of The Co-Ordinated Soul?

Starting on November 20th, on Sunday mornings at the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, we’re going to be discussing the ideas presented in the Power of Myth series, which takes a great deal of its materials from Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero With A Thousand Faces. That book contains a chapter reminding us that mythology isn’t just a matter of the past, entitled The Hero Today.

In that chapter, Campbell writes,

“The hero-deed to be wrought is not today what it was in the century of Galileo. Where then there was darkness, now there is light; but also, where light was, there now is darkness. The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul.

Obviously, this work cannot be wrought by turning back, or away, from what has been accomplished by the modern revolution; for the problem is nothing if not that of rendering the modern world spiritually significant – or rather (phrasing the same principle the other way around) nothing if not that of making it possible for men and women to come to full human maturity through the conditions of contemporary life.

What do you make of this? What is the hero deed that you see as appropriate for our time in our society? What do you think Joseph Campbell is talking about when he’s writing about “the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul”?


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