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  1. Oh, my! Lou, I think that’s a really lovely review of both Shinto, and the beauty and sacrality of life itself.

  2. Rev. Evans footnoted the quote (which I can’t do in a comment) as being from Joseph Campbell’s “Myths To Live By” (New York: Penguin Books, 1972), p 102.

    I thought it described well the simple power that art, music, and ritual can have on their own, that is lost when it becomes a description instead of an act that involves you.

  3. Your description of sacredness being part of everyday life reminds me of a quote I just read in the introduction of “Shinto Norito: A Book of Prayers” by Rev. Ann Llewellyn Evans:

    Joseph Campbell recounts a story of a western man who did not understand Shinto and requested further explanation from a Shinto priest:

    “You know,” he said, “I’ve been now to a good many ceremonies and have seen quite a number of shrines, but I don’t get the ideology; I don’t get your theology.”
    The Japanese (you may know) do not like to disappoint visitors, and this gentleman, polite, apparently respecting the foreign scholar’s profound question, paused as though in deep thought, and then, biting his lips, slowly shook his head. “I think we don’t have ideology,” he said. “We don’t have theology. We dance.”
    That, for me, was the lesson of the congress. What it told was that in Japan, in the native Shinto religion of the land, where the rites are extremely stately, musical, and imposing, no attempt has been made to reduce their “affect images” to words. They have been left to speak for themselves — as rites, as works of art — through the eyes to the listening heart. And that, I would say, is what we, in our own religious rites, had best be doing too. Ask an artist what his picture “means” and you will not soon ask such a question again. Significant images render insights beyond speech, beyond the kinds of meaning speech defines.
    — Joseph Campbell

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