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Joseph John Campbell March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987

“The Dead-heads are doing the dance of life and this, I would say, is the answer to the atomic bomb.” – Joseph Campbell

“I had a marvelous experience two nights ago. I was invited to a rock concert. I’d never seen one. This was a big hall in Berkeley and the rock group were the Grateful Dead, whose name, by the way, is from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. And these are very sophisticated boys. This was news to me…. Rock music had never seemed that interesting to me. … But when you see a room with eight thousand young people for five hours going through it to the beat of these boys…. The genius of these musicians—these three guitars and two wild drummers….

Listen, this is powerful stuff! And what is it? The first thing I thought of was the Dionysian festivals, of course. This energy and these terrific instruments with electric things that zoom in…. This is more than music. It turns something on in here (the heart). And what it turns on is life energy. This is Dionysus talking through these kids. Now I’ve seen similar manifestations, but nothing as innocent as what I saw with this bunch. This was sheer innocence. And when the great beam of light would go over the crowd you’d see these marvelous young faces in sheer rapture—for five hours! Packed together like sardines!! Eight thou-sand of them! This is a wonderful, fervent loss of self in the larger self of a homogeneous community. This is what it’s all about!” – Joseph Campbell From ‘Mystic Chemist’ page 166.

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