Synopses & Reviews
In this book, William Irwin Thompson explores the nature of myth. Acknowledging the persuasive power of myth to create and inform culture, he weaves the human ability to create life with and communicate through symbols with myths based on male and female forms of power.
"This is an abundant, powerful book. Much of its power flows from Thompson's increasing ability to read images, a complicated process. Scholars and thinkers over the last 70 years have slowly rediscovered the stages of this lost ability; and in this book William Irwin Thompson climbs one more step." --
In the opening passages of his classic book, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light, William Irwin Thompson asks the question, "But what is myth that it returns to mind even when we would most escape it?" Acknowledging the pervasive power of myth to create and inform culture, Thompson answers this question by weaving descriptions of the human abilities to create life and to communicate through symbolic myths based on male and female forms of power. Taking us from the earliest periods of prehistory through the time of female goddess worship to the rise of the male-dominated warrior state, Thompson shows the passage of humankind's relationship to nature from initial awe to persistent conquest. At the end of his journey, Thompson finds an answer to his original question: myth is the history of the soul; its creation is ongoing and its power is never-ending. This is a beautiful and fascinating book now being reissued for a new generation of readers, as well as for those it inspired originally.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-272) and index.