Books

The Sacred and the Profane

The modern Occidental experiences a certain uneasiness before many manifestations of the sacred. He finds it difficult to accept the fact that, for many human beings, the sacred can be manifested in stones or trees, for example. But as we shall soon see, what is involved is not a veneration of the stone in itself, a cult of the tree in itself. The sacred tree, the sacred stone are not adored as stone or tree; they are worshipped precisely because they are hierophanies, because they show something that is no longer stone or tree but the sacred, the ganz andere.

Mircea Eliade

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

In a daily life that is de-ritualised and punctuated by a lack of reference points, this book was a revelation for us. It deconstructs the hero’s journey by reminding us that we are all everyday heroes/heroines. Because in the end, this vision is reassuring: it is a story that we can easily associate with the different stages of life.

We now look at the world differently: our existential doubts are the stages of a journey of initiation and not just an endless desert crossing. They are part of our life’s journey, and without them, no one would advance as well and as far towards their personal goal and individual knowledge.

In the end, thanks to Campbell, we understand that the hero’s journey is the journey of Life, towards greater self-knowledge. This understanding allows us to place our small individual story within the larger story of humanity.

A hero ventures from the world of everyday life into a land of supernatural wonders, where he encounters fabulous forces and achieves a decisive victory. The hero returns from this mysterious adventure with the ability to confer powers on his fellow man.

Joseph Campbell

Movies

Sacred (2016)

At a time when religious hatred is making headlines around the world, this global yet intensely intimate film explores faith as a primary human experience: how it is used to navigate the milestones and crises of private life. Sacred was shot by 40 film crews around the world. It is an invitation to understand the other in their humanity.

Departures (2008)

Departures (おくりびと, Okuribito) est un film japonais réalisé en 2008 par Yōjirō Takita, avec Masahiro Motoki et Ryōko Hirosue.

Ce long-métrage nous plonge dans la vie d’un violoniste au chômage découvrant le monde des rites funéraires suite à un malentendu. Un jour, il tombe sur une petite annonce intitulée « départs assistés » pour l’agence NK (NKエージェント, NK ējento, en français « agence MEB »). Il va à l’entretien d’embauche en pensant que c’est un travail pour une agence de voyage. Mais lors de l’entretien, il découvre que NK/MEB est l’abréviation pour mise en bière (納棺, nōkan), et qu’il est là pour assister le « départ »…