The Return of King Arthur: The Chalice of Collective Sovereignty

Overview

An elegant, sweeping, modern-day Jungian interpretation of the two strands of Arthurian myth: the Round Table, Camelot, and King Arthur on one side and the Grail quest on the other.

The quest for the Holy Grail is, in a larger sense, the story of the individual's path to wholeness, while the King Arthur legends represent a collective narrative of humanity.

In The Return of King Arthur, Diana Durham analyzes the key symbols from the intertwined ...

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Overview

An elegant, sweeping, modern-day Jungian interpretation of the two strands of Arthurian myth: the Round Table, Camelot, and King Arthur on one side and the Grail quest on the other.

The quest for the Holy Grail is, in a larger sense, the story of the individual's path to wholeness, while the King Arthur legends represent a collective narrative of humanity.

In The Return of King Arthur, Diana Durham analyzes the key symbols from the intertwined Arthurian myths. Woven through the narrative are discoveries from her personal search for wholeness while she was living in association with a spiritual community and fully embracing a shared lifestyle. Her exploration of the individual path-the Grail quest, and the collective process-the court of King Arthur, eventually resolves itself as one story, offering the reader insights into how they can have a more satisfying existence.

Durham has deciphered the deepest meaning of the Arthurian myths as they relate to our modern lives, and, in the process, uncovered the reasons why they have held our fascination for so long.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Durham meticulously anatomizes the King Arthur legend and the quest for the Holy Grail in the light of Jungian analysis and her own personal life journey and reflections. She mystically elucidates how Merlin dwells within us, "residing" in the unconscious (where Durham believes our deepest psychic wounds are hidden). King Arthur is likened to Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha, as a "hero who brings about a renewal of the world" and is identified with a form of mentorship capable of inspiring and challenging the individual to new personal heights. Conversely, the "Wounded Fisher King" represents a spiritually barren leadership, devoid of connection to God. Durham connects this ubiquitous kind of leader with the spiritual "wasteland" in which she believes most of us live. Her book intersperses analyses of other characters in the legends with a series of diagrams that unfold the symbolic aspects of the sword and the chalice, while pointing to potential for harmonizing polarized parts of the self. As she summarizes Arthurian mythology, Durham boldly relates it to modern experience and to her own passage from a Canadian commune to a life founded in marriage and motherhood. Unfortunately, her discussions of recent global politics and environmental issues, poetry and life trends are, at most, educated, rather than penetrating or original, while her interpretative style is exhaustive rather than suggestive, reducing all to Jungian terminology in ways that largely fail to challenge or excite the imagination, although to some readers-probably her target audience-it may feel comfortingly familiar. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641679841
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/8/2004
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Durham is a writer and a poet who has been involved with spiritual communities for the past twenty-five years.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction 1
The dramatis personae, places, and symbols of the legend 11
1 King Arthur and the Grail King 17
2 The spiral quest 40
3 The fish, the cup, and the anatomy of the wound 61
4 The Fisher King and the double wound 81
5 The wasteland 105
6 The question and the untried sword 129
7 Blessings of the Grail 150
8 The unfinished theme 162
9 Out of stone into water 168
10 Guinevere's gift 184
11 The chalice of collective sovereignty 203
12 Daughter of God 223
13 The dance 244
App. I The intertwined tales of King Arthur and the quest for the Grail 295
App. II Some different meanings of the Vesica Piscis symbol 301
App. III Current overview of the ecological wasteland 304
Notes 310
Permissions 317
Acknowledgments 319
Index 321
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