Underlining Passages

I was recently musing on something Joseph Campbell said (anecdotal as of this writing): “My spiritual practice is underlining passages in books…”

It occurs to me that a complaint may be leveled at Campbell for looking at human endeavors as sacred (writers are, after all, human). Yet, in the grand scope of writing and art in the world, might it be that God, or the Divine, or the Sacred does truly find voice in the symphony of many voices?

Art, of which writing can certainly be included, touches something sacred within both the artist and the audience.

I think it is beautiful what Campbell is suggesting. It is a kind of pilgrimage to wander through the world of ideas, poetry, and image to find glimpses of the divine, and then to quietly mark them when they appear. As for me, I am with Joe. My pencil is always with me.

About Ben

Mythologist, Fire Fighter
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One Response to Underlining Passages

  1. I agree, which also makes it difficult to give away any books, knowing that when I return to them, I’ll see notes or passages underlined that will take me even deeper in, to whatever and wherever I am at the moment. The words have not changed, but often their meaning is quite different when I return to them.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I’m looking forward to reading more of yours.

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