Definitions: (1) marked by intellectual depth; (2) seriously or intensely felt; (3) thoroughgoing <profound judgments>
Synonyms: humble, mysterious, penetrating
Quote: The first function, one might say, of every mythology has always been a mystical, metaphysical function: that of awaking in the mind and spirit of the individual a sense of awe before the mystery of “being” itself. This is the mystery dimension and the first function of mythology is to communicate that [mystery], so that in the field of mythological forms and of the rites by which you participate in those forms you are made aware, experientially, of the ultimate, absolute mystery of the universe which cannot be caught in words. It is antecedent to meaning. Meanings are the mental interpretations, and these vary.
Now, not only the universe itself, but also the imagery of myth is intrinsically without meaning. It is a “being” statement. And the experience of the “getting turned on” or the “ripple or buzz” comes when all of your meaning interpretations smash, break up; and what has been called the… fascinating, tremendous mystery of this whole thing comes zooming through.
Now, it is a tremendous mystery and it is an appalling, monstrous mystery; to think of the nature of life itself: it lives on life. — Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Volume II: The Cosmogonic Cycle« Back to Glossary Index