Communiqué to The Public
The First Philosophical Council of Keeferton
KNOW BY ALL YE PRESENT, that on the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, and Twenty-sixth days of August, in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve, there took place in the Lands of Keeferton, County of Rockbridge, Commonwealth of Virginia, the First Philosophical Council (hereinafter “Council”) consisting of Madame Leslie Banta and Messrs. Robert Banta, Timothy Eaton, and Dan Turello, and hosted by the Steward of Keeferton, Timothy Keefer.
Billed as a potentially world-changing event, the participants engaged some of the philosophical challenges in the 21st century age presented by the thinking of the late Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) (author of The Masks of God, and The Power of Myth, among others) to address the question: “How shall we then live?” The thoughts of the late Heinrich Friedrich Schtoudt (1868-1944) were presented as a catalyst to the conversation to frame and vivify the challenges. As documented below, the event lived up to its billing.
- “Myth,” or better said “story,” is a persistent and important aspect of human existence. Schtoudt would say that myth finds and surrounds him, and isn’t that true of us all?
- The purpose of myth or story is transformation of consciousness.
- On the issue of life events for each person, there is a profound revelation in Campbell’s statement: “The adventure that he is ready for is the one that he gets.” Schtoudt’s corollary: “Schtoudt embraces myth as myth embraces Schtoudt.” He wondered if we could all be heroes.
- Religion is a central vehicle of myth and story for human beings, but according to Campbell, interpreting religion means knowing the difference between prose and poetry.
- On the question of the human need for certainty, the discomfort of not knowing leads to a willingness of humans to consciously give up the freedom to know.
- One’s society or group dictates the dogma or doctrine, and that structure will try to fit you in to what it wants you to be. We conform because we are evolutionarily predisposed to need such structures. Campbell claims, however, that the difference between who you are meant to be and what your society expects you to be sets up a conflict that the individual must resolve or live forever in turmoil. Schtoudt: “If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.”
- Campbell’s famous mantra “Follow your bliss,” was meant to be a vehicle for each person to prepare them for their hero journey. It was not intended to be license for an “anything goes” approach. A majority of the Council concurred with this philosophical foundation.
- In recognition that early human storytelling was dominated by animal myths, the Second Council is asked to take up the meaning and importance of the late appearing animal themes during the First Council which include: The Owl Princess; The Dream Mouse; The Mystical Cat; The Seventeen Magical Turkeys and the myth of “The Woodpecker and the Double Lanternpost.”
- Eaton’s Notation: Sometimes the greatest importance is to lighten up, “Lighten up and have a beer; but not lite beer.”
- Rob’s Revelation: “My heroic mission was finding the desserts of my family.”
- Keefer’s Proposition on Einstein’s Mass-Energy Equivalence: Einstein’s formula E=mc2 means that every thing in Creation is convertible between mass and energy or that everything is Mass-Energy. Antoine Lavoisier’s law of conservation of mass means that when matter and energy are converted between each other in a closed system, nothing is ever lost. Keefer’s Proposition states that Energy (or Light) is always moving and all mass contains energy. Everything in existence is both transformative (as an agent) and is transforming (subject) from one form into another, and based on a relativistic perspective in the space-time continuum. As creations that obey the laws of physics, which includes the mind, we are constantly transforming and interacting with transformational change agents such that mass-energy are being converted and what it means to be a “person” is constantly transformed. Furthermore, a transformation also takes place with the observer or, to use another term, the existential third man. As we observe, even if it is simply through reception of information, we change.
- R. Banta rejected the Campbellian notion that “Follow Your Bliss” is an acceptable philosophical answer to “How Shall We Then Live?” because it is ultimately meaningless.
- D. Turello expressed reservations around the use of the terms “essence” and “transcendence.”
- If one is not being whom they are in essence, however that is to occur, one will be in conflict.
- The modern world is struggling to maintain mythologies or stories for understanding its transcendent mystery. What this means for humanity remains an important, but yet unanswered, question.
Entered this, the 1st day of September in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve, and in the Eleventh Year of Keeferton, by our hands:
Leslie Grimes Banta, Artist
Robert Dean Banta, Author
Timothy Wm. Eaton, A.E.
Rdr. Timothy J. Keefer, Esq., Steward of Keeferton
Daniele Turello, Ph.D.