Baksheesh and Brahman: Asian Journals - India

Baksheesh and Brahman: Asian Journals - India

by Joseph Campbell
     
 

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After ten years of intensive study of Indian art and philosophy, Joseph Campbell, at 50, finally embarked on a journey to India. Searching for the transcendent (Brahman), he found instead stark realities: growing nationalism, religious rivalry, poverty, and a prevalent culture of what he called “baksheesh,” or alms. This journal chronicles the

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Overview

After ten years of intensive study of Indian art and philosophy, Joseph Campbell, at 50, finally embarked on a journey to India. Searching for the transcendent (Brahman), he found instead stark realities: growing nationalism, religious rivalry, poverty, and a prevalent culture of what he called “baksheesh,” or alms. This journal chronicles the disillusionment and revelation that would change the course of Campbell’s life and study, and his transition from professor to counterculture icon. Balancing Campbell’s astute explorations of mythology and history are his often amusing observations of a sometimes frustrating alien culture and his fellow Western travelers. This account also includes personal photographs, specially commissioned maps, and illustrations redrawn from Campbell’s own hand.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Campbell argued that each religion's myths were simply different versions of one archetypal myth residing in the collective unconscious of humankind. This collection of journals shows how he arrived at his conclusions. In the fall of 1954, when he was 50, Campbell traveled to India in hopes of experiencing firsthand all the elements of Indian religious practice that he had been studying for a decade. From the beginning, he struggles with ambivalence: "when you look at India from the outside it is a squalid mess and a haven of fakers; but when you look at it from the inside... it is an epiphany of the spirit." These journals chronicle Campbell's meetings with holy men, his management of his wife Jean's dance tour through the country, and his meeting with Nehru. The climax of his visit is his meeting with Sri Krishna Menon in Trivandrum. The guru confirms Campbell's understanding of the Indian scriptures that the goal of the Self is to become one with the Universal. In these journals, Campbell also lays out an ambitious research plan for a project in comparative mythology that would eventually become his four-volume The Masks of God. Although sometimes arrogant and condescending, Campbell interrogates his own prejudices, dismantles them and builds the foundations of what has become an influential way of thinking about the world's religions. (Oct. 15) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781577312376
Publisher:
New World Library
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Series:
The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
390
Sales rank:
951,690
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.72(h) x 1.34(d)

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