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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:33 AM
Original message
"The Power of Myth" -- Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers
Is anyone else out there familiar with this? During the snowstorm on Saturday, NYC's channel 13 was running this for their pledge drive. It's a six-part series from the mid 1980's in which Bill Moyers interviews Joseph Campbell, a former professor of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. For anyone who appreciates stimulating discussions of religion and myth and mankind's search for meaning, this series is indispensable! Campbell died in 1987, which makes this series even more important as a preservation of a very in-depth and unique perspective.

I only caught pieces of it here and there, but many of the pieces gave me "WOW!" moments -- like when Moyers and Campbell are discussing how early religions of agrarian communities were centered around female dieties -- for the purpose of elevating fertility in the soil and person as the source of life. The Abrahamic traditions turned this notion on its head, by portraying God as a "father" -- one that even took away the more "female" aspects of creation and life. As such, it has evolved into a diminished appreciation of the earth -- because these traditions teach that God is separate from nature, and even that the world itself is "evil", while the earlier traditions were intertwined with respect for the earth.

A lot of pretty heavy stuff, but for any of you out there who are at all familiar with it, I'd appreciate your thoughts on it.
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DianeK Donating Member (612 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. i watched this series when it first aired
many years ago and it really had a significant effect on how i began to view things...campbell was a wonderfully brilliant man and contributed much
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. Joseph Campbell was the first person
Edited on Mon Dec-08-03 10:42 AM by burythehatchet
who resonated with me and my thoughts about spirituality. I taped the series in 1990 and have referred to it often. If you look at my tag line in my messages you will see one of his quotes - one that is at the core of his philosophy.

on edit

He gave new meaning to Star Wars for me. It used to be just a sci fi flick until I listened to Campbell's analysis
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. That's a great quote -- it reminds me of my discussions...
... with people who identify fiercely as "Christians".

I have said that we really have no way of knowing what any kind of "higher power" is really like, or what a world beyond the physical one is like -- because we are inhibited by the fact that we can only understand things from the perspective of the physical world.

Of course, they almost never get this -- and often respond with something about how the "truth" is in the Bible, or something like that. ;-)

His outlook completely resonated with me as well. Even in the bits and pieces, I heard him talk about so many things that just made me step back and THINK for a moment, it was almost too many to count.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. similar to a quote from Lao Tzu
Edited on Mon Dec-08-03 11:52 AM by G_j
from the 'Tao Te Ching"

on edit: here is a similar quote from Lao Tzu (who Campbell was a big fan of):
http://teachanimalobjectivity.homestead.com/files/ttc57...

FIFTY-SIX
Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.
Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Temper your sharpness.
Simplify your problems.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the earth.
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.

This therefore is the highest state of man.
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
36. Fantastic!!
Thanks. SO much to read...so little time
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. no doubt one of the worlds
most important religious texts, and my personal favorite. It's quite short, and very, very old.
Check out all the chapters here:http://teachanimalobjectivity.homestead.com/files/ttc83...

here's another:

SEVENTY-EIGHT
Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people
is fit to rule them.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves
to be king of the universe.
The truth often sounds paradoxical.


**ALSO, there are some very profound statements about war and weapons.
--------
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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. Funny that you should ask
I have the set and was thinking about re-watching it just last night. Odd that you should ask. ;-)
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. Campbell was brilliant
That's my favorite series he did. You can pick up the book that is a complete transcript, too.

Read Campbell's hero series as well. It's fantastic!
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Don Claybrook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. I have the DVD's
It's a wonderful, wonderful series of interviews. I also highly recommend a set of Campbell lectures called Mythos. It's a little drier than the treatment Moyers gives, but it's good stuff, 10 hours' worth.

As for The Power of Myth, I watch it over and over again, on and off. I think you're referring to the segment called "From Goddess to God". Campbell also does a great job of dispensing with the idiotic question of whether God is male or female by explaining that god is heirarchically "before" either male or female, 0 or 1, on or off, etc. The god concept transcends pairs of opposites and therefore is neither and is, by definition, undefinable, transcendent.

Thanks for the post, Chris. I love talking Joseph Campbell. So does Mark Morford, by the way. Search his archives if you'd like to read a nice column about this series and how we need to heed its message.

Thanks.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I gave a pledge to get the set on audio CD's
That was exactly the segment I was referring to. Of particular interest to me was the way in which the Abrahamic traditions go to such great lengths to portray God as being somehow separate from nature -- even to the point of Christians who describe Satan as having sway over the physical world, almost in an attempt to discourage ANY kind of reverence for nature.

He also did an interesting interpretation of the Garden of Eden, and how the serpent was really little more than a scapegoat for Adam and Eve. After all, it wasn't like they had to do what the serpent told them to do -- and poor snakes have been bearing the brunt of this twisted myth for ages!
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theivoryqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. yes, Mark Morford has link for Mythos on his daily columns
if it's half as good as the Moyer interviews, I gotta get it.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
6. Yes and the interview was done at the Skywalker ranch!
Love it.
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buddhamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
7. watched some of the series recently
about a month ago. i borrowed them from the Library. the one on Heroes was my son's choice. I haven't gotten through them all yet, but if i remember right, the episode you are speaking is the first in the series.

Is that the one where he discusses the cave paintings and the animal worship as well?
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. Yes, that's all the same one -- "From Goddess to God"
It discusses the difference in philosophies in which God has a female identification as opposed to ones in which God has a male personification (i.e. Abrahamic traditions).
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theivoryqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
10. I treasure this series
it has inspired me so profoundly - my gallery and artwork are a direct result!
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
11. Follow your bliss.
I had my first experience of Joseph Campbell when at 19, I read his The Hero With A Thousand Faces in 1974. That year I attended my first of over 75 Grateful Dead concerts. A few years ago I read this from Campbell, and it rang in words as true as it had in my heart that night.

I had had my first rock and roll experience at a performance of The Grateful Dead in Oakland (in 1986, he was 82 years old). Rock music had always seemed a bore to me, but I can tell you, at that concert, I found eight thousand people standing in mild rapture for five hours while these boys let loose everything on the stage. The place was just a mansion of dance. And I thought, "Holy God! Everyone has just lost themselves in everybody else here!" The principal theme of my talk was the wonderful innocence and the marvel of life when it recognizes itself in harmony with all the others. Everyone is somehow or other at one with everybody else. And my final theme was that this is the worlds only of answer to the atom bomb. The atom bomb is based on differentiation: I-and-not-that-guy-over-there. Divisiveness is socially based. It has nothing to do with nature at all. It is a contrivance and here, suddenly, it fell apart.


J. Campbell, the Mythic Dimension Harper Collins, p. 152, 1993.

I was carried away in rapture. And so I am a Deadhead now.

The Heros Journey: Joseph Campbell on his Life and Work edited by Phil Cousineau, Element books, p.221, 1999.

From that night in 1974, my philosophy has been to dance and as I move, the rhythm and unity of the Universe, and I have been delighted that message was what Campbell felt too. And will be a Deadhead til I die.

My motto is Campbells. Follow your bliss.

"When you see the Earth from space, you don't see any divisions of nation-states there. This may be the symbol of the new mythology to come; this is the country we will celebrate, and these are the people we are one with."
- Joseph Campbell, "The Power of Myth"

http://www.jcf.org /
http://freenet.msp.mn.us/org/mythos/mythos.www/TENCOM.H...
http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC12/Campbell.htm
http://www.whidbey.com/parrott/toms.htm
http://www.newdimensions.org/html/campbell.html
http://www.rain.org/~young/articles/campbell.html
http://www.spiritsite.com/writing/joscam/part2.htm
http://members.aol.com/ServantWRX/pwrmyth.html
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world
I've never had better advise before or since.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
12. wonderful series
I taped it when it first aired and have watched it a number of times since.
What has always stood out for me is Campbell's focus on the direct personal experience of the devine mystery, which he points out is at the heart of what becomes "religion" but is not religion in itself. At least thats what I've taken away from these interviews.

I also LOVE the way Moyers expresses a childlike enthusiasm in interviewing Campbell and seems to delite in sharing a sense of wonder with Joseph. I've been a Moyers fan ever since.
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Locrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
16. great series
The comment on the male vs female dominated is spot on. How else to illustrate the trashing of the planet?

I agree with Campells final commnet that the "new" religeon will HAVE to be based on a more integrated path with nature. That or we simply will not be here.




"...Many Christians have behaved as though the devil were a First Principle, on the same footing as God. They have paid more attention to evil and the problem of its eradications than to good and the methods by which individual goodness may be deepened, and the sum of goodness increased. The effects which follow too constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous. Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes even perceptibly worse than it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
from "The Devils of Loudun," by Aldous Huxley, Harper & Brothers NY NY, 1952.
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Paxdora Donating Member (223 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. Campbell's "new" religion...
is actually the world's oldest Nature-based religion: Pantheism.

"We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea. To say that divinity informs the world and all things is condemned as pantheism. But pantheism is a misleading word. It suggests that a personal god is supposed to inhabit the world, but that is not the idea at all. The idea is trans-theological. It is of an indefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being."

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)

Carl Sagan also saw this "new" religion emerging in the world:
"A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge."
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot (1994)

http://www.paxdoraunlimited.com/PantheistAge.html
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sistersofmercy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
17. Huge fan of Joseph Campbell!
Sorry don't have time to go into lengthy discussion maybe later.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
19. Life-changing
has changed the way I view life more than all the years spent in church.
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imhotep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
20. the most important lesson of Campbell
which is also what Nietzsche said, is that God is dead.
Not literally, but mythologically.
The flaw of all religions is they have not evolved and adapted to modern times and gives no existential answers any longer.
And Carl Jung said this loss of meaning has resulted in neurosis.

Neurosis is due to the senselessness and aimlessness of the lives of those who suffer from it.

Everything is banal, everything is nothing but; and that is the reason why people are neurotic.

You see, man is in need of a symbolic lifebadly in need.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
21. it's how I discovered Campbell!
I highly recommend the series, and the book, to everyone, no matter what your religious or non-religious background is. There is MUCH to chew on with the ideas and thoughts expressed within.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
22. It's amazing how much of the old is tied up with the future
Campbell is a gateway into the place
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/006096463...
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005MEV... *
(snip)
Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth is essential viewing for anyone old enough to appreciate its vital teachings. One of the greatest interviews ever recorded, this six-part, six-hour encounter between teacher- mythologist Campbell and student-journalist Bill Moyers (recorded in the two years preceding Campbell's death in 1988) covers a galaxy of topics related to Campbell's central themes: Mythology is humanity's universal method of seeking the transcendental, and "follow your bliss" is the timeless formula for spiritual satisfaction. Campbell himself is the embodiment of these themes, an erudite scholar and quintessential storyteller, recalling a wide spectrum of myths from throughout history (Japanese, Native American, Egyptian, Mayan, and many more) to illustrate humankind's eternal quest to grasp the mysteries of creation. Historical artifacts and illustrations bring these timeless stories to life.

An astute interviewer, Moyers is an acolyte in perfect harmony with Campbell-as- mentor, wording questions with penetrating perfection as their intellectual dance reaches exhilarating heights of meaning and fascination. Moyers also finds the perfect hook for a global audience, examining Campbell's admiration of George Lucas's Star Wars saga as a popular tapestry of ancient myths, and Lucas himself is interviewed in a DVD bonus segment ("I'm not creating a new myth," he says, "but telling old myths in a new way"). Campbell's seemingly endless well of knowledge reaches a simple conclusion: we need myths to survive like we need oxygen to breathe, as a life force with which to understand our existence--past, present, and future. --Jeff Shannon


Description
An exhilarating journey into the mind and spirit of a remarkable man, a legendary teacher, and a masterful storyteller, conducted by TV journalist Bill Moyers in the acclaimed PBS series. Includes The Hero's Adventure, The Message of the Myth, The First Storytellers, Sacrifice and Bliss, Love and the Goddess, Masks of Eternity. 360 minutes.
(snip)
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
23. Yes, Joseph Campbell sure put religion in perspective.
I watched the series then and bought the accompanying books. You may still find them in libraries or used book stores. I don't know how many are still in print. They are worth reading and go into more depth than the conversations Campbell and Moyers had.

I find that his finding of the roots of each diety very interesting and how they evolve through history and take on many names.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
24. I used that series to teach mythology classes
I also own it. Good stuff.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
26. The inevitable opposing view...
Edited on Mon Dec-08-03 12:15 PM by JHB
:) Campbell was a scholar of myths, not an archeologist. My understanding is that the actual physical evidence of the mythologies of such "pre-Abrahamic" societies is pretty thin and doesn't support such broad claims (for instance, the "stone age Venus" statuettes first gained noteriety because of their exaggerated female characteristics, but obviosly male and indistinct/neuter objects are also found).

Attempts to pin down the location, timeframe, and extent of this society haven't met with success; nobody seems to fit the picture.

On certainly has to wonder how megafauna (large animals) around the world always seemed to undergo a mass extinction whenever humans colonized a new area (Australia - ~50,000 years ago, perrenially cold areas of Eurasia & the Americas - ~10,000 years ago), if these "pre-Abrahamic" peoples respected the land as much as they're given credit for.

Other reading & resources, to start off:
http://cafe.utne.com/lens/spirit/84spiritmyth.html
http://www.matrifocus.com/LAM03/thealogy.htm
http://trushare.com/71APR01/AP01GODD.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/096532089...
http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrichment/excerpts/exc_2...
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Thanks for the alternative perspective
On certainly has to wonder how megafauna (large animals) around the world always seemed to undergo a mass extinction whenever humans colonized a new area (Australia - ~50,000 years ago, perrenially cold areas of Eurasia & the Americas - ~10,000 years ago), if these "pre-Abrahamic" peoples respected the land as much as they're given credit for.

I've read similar accounts myself -- most notably, in the book Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. It does make one wonder somewhat, does it not?

Anyway, perhaps a better way of looking at it would be the emphasis in the Abrahamic traditions of somehow separating ourselves AND "God" from nature itself. While prehistoric civilizations and hunter-gatherer groups may not have been the best stewards of the environment that we like to make them out to be, they still recognized (due to their closeness with nature) that their livelihood was completely intertwined with the natural world around them. Perhaps, knowing what we know today through science, we can re-awaken a belief in the interdependence of all things in nature (including ourselves) and usher in a "new mythos" for all of humanity?
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Paxdora Donating Member (223 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Check out Pantheism...
""We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea. To say that divinity informs the world and all things is condemned as pantheism. But pantheism is a misleading word. It suggests that a personal god is supposed to inhabit the world, but that is not the idea at all. The idea is trans-theological. It is of an indefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being."
- Joseph Campbell


If he had lived a bit longer, I am certain he would have been a proponent of the modern Pantheism movement.

Find out more here:
http://www.pantheism.net
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Campbell never claimed to be an archaeologist.
His perspective comes from examining the myths and legends of people around the world, both past and present, to come to these conclusions. They are as valid in their own as a window into the collective mind of man as archaeology is a window into the bones and artifacts of men.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Nor did I claim he claimed so.
But it's important to note his perspective and scholarship is in examining the power of myth and legends, not linking them up (or only glossingly doing so) with the hard data of archeological digs, so, as you put it, what he looks at is "the collective mind of man", not history.

Ideally, Campbell and similar scholars could be thought of as the "theoreticians" to archeologists "experimentalists"; both are needed to truly advance knowledge.
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SnowGoose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
30. His many works probably available at your Public Library
A toast to Joe!

I want to echo what several folks have said. Specifically, the Mythos sets are fun - I'd disagree with whoever said they were dry, I didn't find them so at all; in fact it was different in a nice way from the give-and-take with Moyers to see Campbell spinning the narrative in his own way (delivering lectures). There's another set called (I think) "the World of Joseph Campbell", haven't seen those in several years, and I could have the title wrong - they're a lot like the Mythos series, IMO, but not as well produced.

Also dig out the books! Someone has mentioned the companion volume to Power of Myth, which is ok, but is mostly transcripts from the show. I'd rather see you pick up some of his other work - I was just revisiting "the inner reaches of outer space" last weekend (instead of studying), which is some big fun. His magnum opus, the Masks of God, is written in a drier, more academic tone, and I've never made it all the way through - but maybe that's just me.

Also, I'd remind you that your local library is pretty likely to have at least the Power of Myth series on video - useful if you're like me, because sometimes you just want to go "Whoa! Rewind that a sec, will ya?"

I hope you enjoy digging into Joseph Campbell. If you're like me, it's a body of work you'll be able to return to later, and obtain totally different insights from.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
31. love it
My first year teaching, at the suggestion of my lead teacher, I tried to lead a group of high school kids through part of it as part of an overall discussion of mythology. MUCH head-scratching ensued, but it was fun.

I took Campbell's book The Inner Reaches of Outer Space to Key West a few years back and read it on the beach. Yeah, I'm weird. :D

The Power of Myth is excellent stuff.
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ursacorwin Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. campbell is a hack
he's what we're taught to avoid, not to do, etc.

he's a great read, no doubt about that. it's a fun little fantasy world that he's created in his examination of ancient times, but the man didn't know squat about more than half of the languages and cultures he tried to tie together. i've spent the last 6 years trying to master just a handful of these texts and archaeological records, and believe me, it's nowhere near as simple as a lot of his work suggests.

campbell is a perfect example of what so wrong with the way we think of the ancient world. we look for modern narratives when none exist, we inject our political and religious ideas onto people who had never heard of them and lived before many of these concepts were even invented. we cherry pick the written and material record for information that fits our own conclusions. campbell is king of that last.

i'm glad people find his original ideas compelling, i'm a pagan and would love a return to more diverse spirituality. but please, take it from a person in the top ranked historical divinity program, most of what he posits isn't really what happened and there are lots of better authors writing about ancient religious practice. fantasy is fantasy, not fact.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. I think you're being a little bit overzealous in condemnation
What I took away from the pieces of his interview that I saw was not anything wrapped around a strict study of history or anything like that -- but rather a window into man's neverending search for meaning, and the mythos that spring from that search. It is through these mythos that we can not only extract the way we search for meaning, but the very way in which we LIVE.

I find it amusing and very interesting that Campbell would offend your theological sensibilities, because one of the people I know who has most highly recommended the series he did with Moyers is my minister, at my UU fellowship.

And I'm not trying to be confrontational here in any way, but could you please explain to me how someone who is a self-professed Pagan is involved in any sort of theological studies? The two would seem contradictory to me.
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. You see where my tag line comes in real handy?
:)
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. Campbell Is A Hack...And Einstein.. And Da Vinci... And Mozart... And...
Crap!!!

I'm so sorry Joseph Campbell got in the way of your quest for eternal truths. Damn, I hate when that happens!!!


:wtf: :wtf: :wtf:
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SnowGoose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-03 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #32
44. Roland Barthes
I used to have problems with various "readings" of works of art or culture (e.g. marxist readings of pre-industrial texts, or maybe a better example would be the abundant feminist readings of people like Hildegard of Bingen).

I used to wish that the author/creator could be around to say "that's not what I meant."

But the French Semiotician Roland Barthes convinced me otherwise. He would argue that it's not necessary that an author understand all that they are revealing about themselves and their context.

If you accept that, say, some author doesn't realize/intend that they are revealing some deep-seated racism or tree-hugging impulse, but may *still* be moved/affected/even to a certain extent controlled by these ideas, then it's probably fair to say the same about myths/religions.

People have been talking lately about the DaVinci Code, and Mary Magdelene. If it were all true, de-emphasis of women's role in xianity need not be consious, but may still reveal truths about the culture which spawned it.

That having been said, I'd go as far with you as: it's possible (and maybe too easy) to superimpose our views on cultural artifacts and lose the intent of the creator(s) of the artifact. The next generation may (and probably will) have a very different reading. As Roland Barthes would say, we need to remember that there is never a final "correct" reading, and our current reading says as much about *us* as is does about *them*.

I wonder if Free Republic has these kind of discussions... I tend to doubt it.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
38. Joseph Campbell was a treasure
I loved the series during its first run and would love to see it again. Would love to show my children. I think I'll head on over to Amazon to see if I can find it on DVD.

Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers helped me to sort out my thoughts on the meaning of life. It was a very moving time for me and I imagine it was for you too.

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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
39. Myth for a New Milennium
The Legend of the Rainbow Warriors

"Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind...Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation." - Joseph Campbell


(snip)

In brief, the legend of the rainbow warriors says that when the Earth becomes desperately sick some of the people will recognize that they are destroying themselves and their Earth Mother. With spiritual insight and support, the rainbow warriors people of all colors and faiths will come to the rescue using only peaceful means, eventually establishing a long and joyous reign of peace.

the rest of the story...
http://www.chiron-communications.com/communique%207-9.h...
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. yes!!! n/t
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drfemoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
42. Females
early religions of agrarian communities were centered around female dieties -- for the purpose of elevating fertility in the soil and person as the source of life. The Abrahamic traditions turned this notion on its head, by portraying God as a "father" -- one that even took away the more "female" aspects of creation and life. As such, it has evolved into a diminished appreciation of the earth --

There is enough evidence for me to belive this. It wasn't just the earth that got trashed. Women became less than second class -- they became the root of 'evil'. My own blood line traces back to a matriarchal native american culture. So I don't see why this is so hard to believe.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-03 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. I agree.
Men just can't accept this concept. Also, Robert Graves of "I'Claudius" fame has also come to this conclusion studying the poetry and myths of ancient Europe. He outlines much of it in his book about the evolution of poetry "The White Goddess".

He believes societies were matriarchal before they were overrun my patriarchal invaders and their religions and literature reflected the changes in the social order, yet there are the bones of the previous order hidden in the stories and songs.
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