… [B]lunders are not the merest chance. They are the results of suppressed desires and conflicts. They are ripples on the surface of life, produced by unsuspected springs. And these may be very deep—as deep as the soul itself. The blunder may amount to the opening of a destiny.
Everyone wants a happy life without difficulties or suffering. We create many of the problems we face. No one intentionally creates problems, but we tend to be slaves to powerful emotions like anger, hatred and attachment that are based on misconceived projections about people and things. We need to find ways of reducing these emotions by eliminating the ignorance that underlies them and applying opposing forces.
It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.
Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949)
In the Orient, the gods do not stand as ultimate terms, ultimate ends, substantial beings, to be sought and regarded in and for themselves. They are more like metaphors, to serve as guides, pointing beyond themselves and leading one to an experience of one’s own identity with a mystery that transcends them. I have found that the approach through Freud and Jung greatly helps to make this point clear to students brought up in the mythology of Yahweh—a jealous god, who would hold men to himself and who turned mankind away from the Tree of Immortality, instead of leading us to it. Such a god in the Orient would be regarded as a deluding idol. In fact, heaven itself and our desire for its joys are regarded there as the last barrier, the last obstacle to release, to be transcended.