Notes for December 2nd, 2022
The friendly competition between my friend and me is ongoing, and she has been kicking my ass all week. Today, I decided to change that by doing 30 minutes of yoga in the morning, then a 20 minute strength workout followed by a 20 minute HIIT workout in the afternoon. I’m now kicking her ass, but at what cost?
Here are some notes from today, this 2nd day of December, 2022:
God or whoever decided to take a cold dump on us yesterday. Tis the season and all that.
I’ve been telling my friends that it’s hibernating in my cave time, but they’re having none of it. I was invited to a friend’s house tomorrow, and I told her I’d be there. Who am I?
I am shutting down my social channels, because that I can control. My feeds will be auto-posting to Mastodon but I won’t be checking it for anything for an indeterminate amount of time. Maybe once the sun comes out again?
I want to focus on my work and health this season. Part of that work involves writing my novel again.
I tried ChatGPT today, and, of course, because my mind was on my novel, I started my conversation with that. Let me just say, I was very impressed! I can totally see Google or whoever using this technology to power their search engine, and instead of a list of links, we could all one day be having a conversation with ChatGPT or what(who?)ever to find the information we’re looking for. I’m curious to see where this goes.
I’m writing a novel about the origins of human mythology—gods and demons and the story we tell ourselves about the world we see. What are some good books to get me started on my research?
There are many great books that explore the origins of human mythology and religion. Some of the classics in the field include “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell, “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers, and “The Golden Bough” by Sir James Frazer. These books offer insight into the common themes and motifs found in myths and religious stories from around the world. Additionally, books like “Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia” by Jeremy Black and “The Ancient Gods Speak” by Donald B. Redford offer more specific insights into the mythology of ancient cultures.
Could you tell me more about what “The Golden Bough” by Sir James Frazer is about?
Certainly! “The Golden Bough” is a classic work of comparative mythology and religion by Sir James Frazer. The book is a wide-ranging exploration of the beliefs, customs, and institutions of various cultures from around the world, with a focus on the role of magic and religion in shaping human society. One of the central ideas of the book is the concept of the “sacred king,” a figure who is believed to possess divine power and who serves as the link between the human and spiritual worlds. The book also explores the rituals and practices associated with the sacred king, including the concept of the “golden bough,” a symbol of his power and authority. Overall, “The Golden Bough” offers a fascinating look at the beliefs and practices of different cultures and is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the origins of human mythology and religion.
What have others said about James Frazer’s idea of the “sacred king”?
Frazer’s concept of the “sacred king” has been both highly influential and highly controversial. Some have praised the book for its comprehensive approach to the study of mythology and religion, as well as its innovative ideas about the role of magic and ritual in shaping human societies. Others, however, have criticized the book for its outdated and overly broad approach to the subject, as well as its lack of focus on the specific beliefs and practices of individual cultures. Some have also questioned the validity of Frazer’s ideas, arguing that they are based on outdated and flawed assumptions about the nature of religion and myth. Despite these criticisms, “The Golden Bough” remains an important and widely read work in the field of comparative mythology and religion.
What other books did “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” inspire?
“The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell is a highly influential work in the field of comparative mythology and religion. In the book, Campbell explores the common themes and motifs found in myths and folktales from around the world, and argues that these stories can be seen as part of a universal “monomyth” or hero’s journey. Campbell’s ideas have had a profound impact on a wide range of fields, including literature, psychology, and film.
One of the most notable books influenced by “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” is “The Power of Myth,” a book that grew out of a series of conversations between Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers. In the book, Campbell expands on many of the ideas from “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” discussing the role of myth and religion in shaping human culture and experience.
Other books that have been influenced by “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” include “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers” by Christopher Vogler, which applies Campbell’s ideas to the field of screenwriting, and “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion” by Joseph Campbell, which explores the role of myth and metaphor in shaping human understanding of the world. Overall, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” has had a significant impact on the study of mythology and religion, and continues to inspire new ideas and approaches in these fields.
When I came up with my story idea, the first book I thought of was The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I read that over a decade ago, so it’s been on my list of books to re-read. Earlier this year, I watched The Power of Myth, and it was incredible. I immediately bought the book, and it’s on my “to read” shelf as I write this. I’m amazed ChatGPT started off with these two works, and the other books it mentioned blew my mind. I had never heard of The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer, but I am definitely intrigued. If anything, it gave me a reading list to checkout:
- Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia by Jeremy Black
- The Ancient Gods Speak by Donald B. Redford
- The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
- The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion by Joseph Campbell
I have to say, this is really cool technology, and I am intrigued to see where this goes.
Remember Ping, Apple’s failed social network built into iTunes? I remember being interested in it when I watched Steve Jobs announce it, and I did try it for a few weeks after it launched. I followed some celebrities on there and watched as the feed showed that so and so just bought the new White Stripes album or whatever. I liked it, but then yeah, the spam, the fake accounts…
But in that similar spirit, here are some albums I bought this week:
- Björk: Medulla
- Björk: Biophilia
- Björk: Utopia
- The Knife: Deep Cuts
- Sudan Archives: Athena
- Sudan Archives: Natural Brown Prom Queen
- SZA: Ctrl (Deluxe)
I finished buying Björk’s discography, which makes me happy. Not having Deep Cuts by the Knife was an oversight on my part, so I needed to rectify that ASAP. I had been a fan of Sudan Archives since I discovered her over the summer, so I’ve been enjoying her two albums. SZA has not been on my radar at all, but I sometimes like to buy albums I know nothing about but that have received good reviews just to expand my musical tastes. So far, I’m loving her. Really good.
Yesterday, I also subscribed to Last.fm Pro. I’ve been “scrobbling since 15 Jan 2022,” and I enjoy it. Considering I’d rather buy my music than stream it, I am curious to see what kind of trends I’ve had this year, similar to Spotify’s Wrapped or Apple Music’s Replay. You can find me on Last.fm over here.