Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

 
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Studio: Genius Products Inc Release Date: 06/19/2007 Run time: 360 minutes Rating: Nr

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

Customer Reviews:

  • Master Of Mythology Speaks
    Truly inspiring! If you are a storyteller, or a lover of storytelling, or a crafter of stories, this video offers valuable insights in the dynamics of storytelling mythologies. Joseph Campbell, like life's "call to adventure" (for the hero soul), invites us into the human realm of mythology to inform us, to illuminate us, and to endear the hero within us all. Journey along with Bill Moyers as he probes the mysterious mythological meanings in our human stories. Moyers continuously asks the penetrating questions which ultimately reveal Mr. Campbell's profound knowledge our mythological archetypes. Moyers' genuine interest, student-like attitude, and friendly-conversational manner put the viewer directly in the interview. Truly enthralling!...more info
  • Joseph Campbell & Mythology
    A unique, highly relevant look into the mind and theories of one of the greatest mythology experts of the 20th century...more info
  • A four star restaurant is still a pretty great place to eat
    There are some writers whose names continue to pop up and if you're a curious type like me, eventually you just have to check out if they're as good as folks say they are. So it is with Campbell and I finally went down to my local library and checked out his famous "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" book, plus the companion book to the POM series and three of the six videos. (unfortunately # 1 and # 2 are missing, but I'm going back for # 6).

    I sat with headphones on late last night and watched all three tapes I brought home, and I think this is the ideal way to take in the material. If a professor were to play this series to a group of students, most of them would probably be bored within minutes. The one-on-one setting - Moyers and Campell - wouldn't mix well with a large audience, even on a big screen TV. This is not "a stadium concert" this is an intimate small venue jazz/cabaret club thing. So go ahead and put on those headphones and forget about the world for three hours or even the six hours straight if you're up for it.

    I don't think it's a good idea to put anybody on a pedestal or get carried away with the dangerous cult-of-personality "thing". I'm pretty sure Campbell himself wouldn't think it a good idea. It's a shame that, to a certain degree, he has been turned him into a corny New Age icon - yikes!

    To me, he was merely an extremely intelligent human being. A deep thinker, an avid reader, curious, respectful, not arrogant or patronizing, a great storyteller, witty, with a wonderful personality and charisma - you can't take your eyes off him. (He was quite a hunk as a young man and still handsome into his 80's. A vital mind is sexy, no matter what age you are. (I'm a thirtysomething female and hope to be as sexy as that in my 80s!)

    Only a couple of times did he lose me in his train of thought, but for the most part he was brilliant at conveying his knowledge in a fascinating, but not watered down manner. So few teachers/thinkers are capable of this - they tend to bore you to death the moment they open their mouth. Not Campbell, and I'm amazed that some of the Amazon reviewers here said they were bored. It's their right of course, but I'm nevertheless baffled - did we watch the same thing?

    Moyers asks very good questions for the most part, sometimes even brilliant ones, and he's not afraid to be the layperson, who sometimes has to stop Campbell and ask when he doesn't comprehend or want Campbell to elaborate on a topic. The camera often shows Moyers intensely concentrated (in fact, sometimes it looks a bit comical), but I applaud him for being so "naked" in front of us and engaging one of the great minds in American history in these wonderful food-for-thought sessions, and (too many journalists these days are lazy) doing his homework before sitting down.

    Some of the sessions are filmed better than others, which is why I didn't give the series five stars. Now, this was the late 1980s of course (arhhhhhhh), but surely they could have done better. In session # 3 the colors are crisp, the acustics are great, it's intimate, and the background with its library look is even okay and kinda cozy. But in # 5 the colors are terrible, the acustics are poor and it looks like they put them in whatever room was available at the time. What a shame. The sound quality is not superb either. In # 3 (again: otherwise fine) Campbell even bumps his mike several times when trying to demonstrate a point with his hands.

    But other than than: this is superb "edutainment", mesmerizing, intimate. When I think of how many people waste their time obsessing about people such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or whoever the flavor of the month/year/decade is, and how few seek out the knowledge and wisdom of amazing thinkers like Campbell, it makes ya wanna weep...

    Indulge yourself, sit back, enjoy six hours plus of brain gymnastics, but the pleasant kind!

    I should add that although the main topic is mythology, Campbell and Moyers touch on many more sub-subjects via the main topic: Love, marriage, sex, women and men, children, religion, rituals, modern society. He also peppers the conversation with delightful personal anecdotes, such as when he ate a place in Bronxville and overheard a father who was the incarnate of the famous literary character Babbitt: I never did anything I wanted to! Or the time Campell visited the beautiful caves and cathedrals in France and was equally moved and stunned. It's the little extras such as these that make a person fascinating and makes him human and makes you sit up and listen intently to his every syllable. I envy the students who went to Sarah Lawrence where he taught for 38 years (until 1972). No wonder he married one of his students. (Jean Campbell now heads the JC Foundation which has an informative web site, although most of the postings on the boards I read today seemed to consist of lenghty joke exchanges between various members. I read very little related to Campbell!)

    He died after a brief stuggle with cancer on Halloween of 1987 (not 1988 as stated in the editorial review) at the age of 83. What a wonderful life he had by all accounts. He followed his bliss and we should all do that, providing we don't wreck havoc in the process. Don't make him a "god", I'm sure he would not have wanted that. Just listen to him, watch him, read his books, and think for yourself. And don't let his asscociation with Star Wars turn you off, just think of Lucas as merely another Campbell fan.

    He would have been 100 in a few weeks: on March 26 - Happy Birthday Joe! I suspect that with the hugely successful Lord of the Ring trilogy, LOTR fans will be seeking out Campbell's books and the POM interviews will hopefully also appeal to loads of LOTR fans.

    P.S. I was struck by Campbell looking like a cross between Martin Landau and Jimmy Stewart! His voice even sounded a bit like Jimmy's, but without the famous Stewart "stutter"....more info
  • You need this video..
    As an athiest watching Campbells interviews has given me an increased tolerance and understanding of religion and its function in society.Which is an abitity sadly lacking in todays experts for and against religion.

    As for the Hero Myth,I was amazed at how Cambells overriding point is how it can be applied in practical ways in peoples lives.The whole concept already has me thinking about my own life diferently,even in a more positive light.

    Campbell was an amazing orator.I could watch these videos all day and still pick up pearls of wisdow with very veiwing.
    Makes me wonder what Campbell would have had to say about the ever increasing rise of fundamentalism,the internet,9/11 etc.

    ...more info
  • Very Persuasive!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have both the television series and and book transcript. From these I can see Joseph Campbell was a man that had a very persuasive speaking style and made you actually feel comfortable with what he said. He also had a way, when speaking, of smacking people in the face that followed literally these religious concepts without them even knowing it. My favorite Quote from him is, "All religion is true one way or another when understood metaphorically, but when taken literally then your in trouble." The trouble he was talking about is Christians saying your going to hell if you don't believe in Jesus, seperation in families because of diffrent religous philosophies, and and people killing or enslaving other people in the name of what ever god is popular these days. If people could put on the eyes of Campbell and take a new a new look at their holy books, things could become a lot better. Today, not only do we have race, sex and gender to seperate us, but now because of public dreams(As Campbell would say) we have religion.
    ...more info
  • How can I express just in words?
    This unforgettable set of interviews given for Joseph Campbell to Bill Moyers meant for me a towering revelation . The supreme domain and the powerful eloquence of this colossal thinker in every little detail as product of his multifacetic knowledgement let you amazed .
    To me every chapter of these interviews have is so valuable and reveals so many things that it's a must for you watching with your friends or your pupils (according the case)over and over . This set of interviews are from 1986 and the background was the residence of George Lucas .
    If you are really interested not only in the mythology , but in multiple aspects (sociological , historical , psycholigical among others issues) derivated all along every interview , you must not miss this opportunity .
    I know you will never be the same after you watch all of these chapters .
    ...more info
  • Aubree's review
    What comes to mind when someone mentions the word hero? Does a favorite childhood hero come to mind such as Superman or Batman? In Joseph Campbell: Power of the Myth, Mr. Campbell describes a variety of heroes from Star Wars heroes to Bibloigical heroes such as Jesus and Moses. Joseph Campbell does an excellent job of telling stories and myths from all over the world. He is very educated in myths from all different cultures. One myth that stood out to me was the one about the Native American princess who fell in love with a man from another tribe. She went to visit the man's family in their village. During her stay with the family, she found out the man she was to marry was a magician. Her soon to be husband went out every morning to hunt. While he was gone a serpent would come and try to scare her. Then would leave and a few minutes later her fianc¨¦e would come home and ask her, "Honey did I scare you when I was a snake?" The young girl was frightened by the man and wanted to run away and go back home to her own village. She lost her way in the woods and a kind, old man appeared and told her that the man and his brothers had their hearts stolen and if she found them and released them, then the curse would be taken away and they would not turn into serpents again.
    Joseph Campbell also did a great job in telling the stories so one might be able to even mental visualize the story he is telling. This video not a very upbeat video and is a slightly boring, but it has good contents. I give this video two star for the great story telling and great contents!...more info
  • The Power Of Campbell

    Joseph Campbell -- one of those rare beings who loved his work so much that through it he was able to inspire others. This sage academic glows with happiness describing the myths and stories that he studied and analyzed for years. The mythosphere comes to life through his utterance. The links among all cultures are revealed. He was a true teacher in the most profound sense of the word.

    Bill Moyers too has inspired and uplifted thousands if not millions with his journalistic commitment. He has been unwavering in his views that the world can be made a better place through tolerance and open-mindedness. These two shining guides introduced the Western world to folktales and myths in a way that has spawned a revolution in psychology, self-help and academic study.

    In this popular series they manage to keep the simplification in which these stories are presented from being too "dumbed down". Not an easy task. Unfortunately the proliferation of the sentiment "Follow Your Bliss" on bumper stickers, Hallmark cards etc. shows the usual tendency for popular culture to take important thoughts out of context and bastardize them. Campbell didn't mean, "Do whatever you want if it excites you." On the contrary, he was asking people to look within themselves and go beyond the shallow, material, greed mind to find their true selves; to transcend the commercialized world. Less of the Star Wars/Lucas tie in would be in order but that is a small complaint.

    Campbell was working on his writing up until literally the very last moment of his life
    even as he battled cancer. He stood up to go and fix a paragraph in his final book and collapsed. Learn from this. ...more info
  • Power of Myth Review
    Upon seeing the first movie of a series, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, I was a bit confused as to how all of this information applies to any situation and story. By using "smart words" I think that he confuses the listener, he uses examples like Moses and Buddha. Who the reader, never fully interpreting the life of these people, might be confused as to the situation, as was I. Although, examples being unclear, the archetypes and roles of the characters was well understood.
    Campbell uses examples such as the characters in the popular 1970's movie, Star Wars. He notes that the characters of all have typical archetypes. The character of Luke Skywalker was the hero; Obi Wan Kanobi and Yoda were the mentors, Princess Leia was the damsel in distress, etc. Luke Skywalker had to complete challenges and adventures to move on to the next level. The hero has to complete the trials before stepping into a different, harder level (which, by the way, is always suited to the needs of the hero, always adjusting, and changing to fit the level of the hero). The movie tells about the how the hero's life can be diagramed and compared to so many other stories with typical plots. Campbell goes on to explain the characteristics of the hero's journey. For example, a hero might make sacrifices and sometimes even risk "the ultimate sacrifice" (their life), make a transition from child to adulthood, and sometimes is even forced into hero-hood.
    Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth has helped many to understand more into the world of mythology and a hero's adventure. By explaining each step in detail, he has provided a more vivid way of looking into stories. Gathering knowledge from this video is a delight and also a curse, you will find yourself predicting movies more and more often. Beware!
    ...more info
  • joseph campbell, the power of myth
    the product is excellent. i have been searching for this set of interviews for a long time, but i am only new to the internet. the dvd plays perfectly in my machine (region 4). the delievery time was fantastic as it arrived nearly 3 weeks early! thankyou...more info
  • Thoughts on the movie "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
    In my Language Arts class, we watched a Joseph Campbell video. This video was based on the numerous parts of a hero's journey, as well as a variety of ideas on mythology. Campbell stretched out reasoning and ideas to go beyond what people would normally think. He believes that there is different hero's in life. There are physical heroes, spiritual heroes, and people who are thrown into being a hero, such as a solider. One spiritual hero he talks about is Muhammad. Muhammad created the Koran, and he often left home to meditate.

    Joseph Campbell tells us that there are three parts to a hero's journey: the departure, fulfillment, and the return. An example that Campbell gives us is Moses, when he receives the Ten Commandments. He departs from the city up to Mount Sinai, he receives (fulfillment) the Ten Commandments, and he travels back down the mountain with the commandments (return). Along with the journey, the hero faces three temptations: economic, political, and spiritual.

    Joseph Campbell brings up the movie Star Wars when he starts talking about archetypes. He says that Star Wars is a new realm for the imagination. The old man in the movie is the advisor, who trains Luke; Harrison Ford plays the mercenary solo. Luke Skywalker is the hero in this movie. The scene where they are all stuck in the trash compacter is a belly of the whale experience.

    Campbell has a different outlook on life than most people. He thinks that heroes evolve as culture evolves. He also considers are collective unconscious to be one of the most important items that we obtain. He says that a hero is found in each one of us, and that the real dragon that is within us is our ego. In general, Campbell is unlike many people in the way that he thinks and comprehends things.
    ...more info
  • Alan Watts Redux...except not as entertaining...
    I received the dvd and the book years ago, after donating money to my local public TV station. If it were not for the power of the myth I don't believe I would have been unconditioned enough to listen to Alan Watts. Watts said the same thing but he did it back in the 60's. I started to believe that Campbell plagiarized Watts but then I thought some of the things he and Watts were saying I pretty much had came to the same conclusion, the same gist of it all... But then I thought heck yeah he was plagiarizing because he was telling some of the same stories except not as entertainingly as Watts. He was just a lil more palpable to the mainstream so not too many folks caught on.
    The Power of the Myth is a great book if your searching; it will definately put you onto the path of finding. ...more info
  • Well, DUH!
    To the surprising amount of reviewers who issued complaints of boredom because this "movie" was 'too long' and contained 'too much talking', all I can say is, what exactly were you expecting? First off, this program is not a "movie"...its a mini-series of six hour-long episodes, intended to be viewed individually, not in one fat sitting. Secondly, the premise of the program is...(shock!)... a conversation with Joseph Campbell about mythology. If watching a six hour conversation about mythology sounds boring to you, why are you watching, and more importantly, why are you bothering to post a review? What are you going to do next, complain that all they do is talk on "Inside the Actors Studio"? Or maybe that there was too much singing in "The Sound of Music"? Maybe you would have liked "Schindler's List" if it hadn't dwelt so long on the Holocaust?


    Then there's the reviewers who obviously found their way to Campbell by way of George Lucas and hoped they were getting a six-hour dissertation on the Star Wars trilogy. Sorry folks--Joseph Campbell had a fairly robust career long before Lucas picked up his first camera, and the Star Wars films take up only a small portion of one of the six episodes....more info
  • Joesph Campbell
    In my sophomore English class, we watched the movie "The Power of the Myth" where Bill Moyers interview Joseph Campbell. Joseph Campbell is known as one of the chief authorities of myths, archetypes, and heroes.

    Before I saw this movie, I was under the impression a hero was just someone who was a "good guy," such as well known heroes Superman, Spiderman, Batman, etc. I learned that heroes have certain characteristics. They follow a certain journey, and don't have to be make-believe.

    Moses was the hero figure in the story of the 10 commandments. Buddha and Jesus' stories closely resemble each other in the hero's journey. Both of them had 3 temptations they must have overcome to "win" in the end.

    Many people believe that you must have an admiration for a hero- to look up to them and wish you were like them. Truthfully, in more instances than not, you end up feeling pity for the hero. The hero starts a journey for a reason, he's not just going "along for the ride." Oftentimes he seems as if he cannot finish the journey. This is called a "Belly of the Whale" situation. Other examples are Hercules and going into the underworld, or the characters on Star Wars being trapped in the garbage disposal.

    Star Wars is the quintessence of hero and character archetypes. George Lucas, the creator, literally followed Joseph Campbell's writings when he sat down and wrote the script for this movie.

    Campbell has opened my eyes as to what a true hero is and how to distinctly find one within a story. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in mythology or just wants to know how to find a "true" hero.

    ...more info
  • Excellent series
    My husband and I have always loved this series. He showed parts of it to his students in his Phillosophy class before he retired.

    As usuaual, the Amazon service was perfect....more info
  • A Life Changing Series
    I know that it does sound overly dramatic and even trite to say that a television series truly changed my life, but in the case of, "The Power of Myth," it really is true.

    I studied C.G. Jung in College and was introduced to Campbell's written work at that time. It was all very intriguing, but for whatever reason, I never followed up with it then. Not too long after that, my local PBS station ran the entire "Power of Myth" series one weekend as a marathon, complete with pledge breaks. I taped it then and for reasons I can't now imagine, I didn't bother watching the series until some years later when I was trying to sort through my tapes. But when I did, it changed me.

    In the series, Campbell was able to easily articulate so many ideas that I knew were true, but never knew how to truly grasp or say myself. They also gave me inspiration and courage I didn't know I had in me. I've since then watched the series (or listened to the outstanding CD audio release) many, many, many times. I've read Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces" cover to cover a few times over and I'm still making my way through his "Masks of God" books.

    "The Power of Myth" forced me to really examine myself, what I was doing with my life, and how I was living it. Five years or so after first seeing the series, I left my very comfortable, very glamorous, very secure corporate job and set out to take the risk and "follow my bliss." And now, two years after that, I'm in the midst of following my bliss and while it isn't always easy, there's no question that I'm on the right path and I'm happy and stimulated in ways that I only fantasized about before. Campbell's body of work - and "The Power of Myth" specifically - really did change my life for the better and its a reference point which I return to time and again.

    The DVD release of "The Power of Myth" is vastly superior to the old VHS release simply for convenience and durability's sake alone. As an extra, the DVD also adds a bonus Bill Moyers interview with George Lucas in which Lucas discusses mythology. It's a welcome addition to be sure, but why not release the entire hour long "Mythology of Star Wars" interview which this interview was excerpted from? I'm glad I still have my PBS taped VHS of that one!

    Anyway, I'm certainly not complaining. Perhaps "The Power of Myth" won't have the same effect on others that it has had on me, and that's fine. Go ahead...live your life...you don't need Joseph Campbell interviews to do that. But "The Power of Myth" changed - and continues to change - the course of my life for the better and I'll be forever grateful for that....more info
  • Very Indulging
    This book talks about mythology as part of human "need" and its long lastin effects on generations. How religions and culture nurture myths and draw strengths from them. After reading this book I found more similarities between religions and cultures of the world than differences. ...more info
  • Mythology Review
    In my high school sophomore English class, we watched "The Hero's Adventure". In the video, Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell about his opinion of mythology. Campbell is considered the "father of mythology" and wrote twenty different books on the subject. He died in 1987.

    One of the first things that they talked about in the movie was that there are two types of deeds a hero can perform. One type is the physical deed such as a war act or a sacrifice. The other type is a spiritual deed. This is when the hero goes on the adventure learns a new piece of knowledge and returns to communicate it to the people. Whatever the deed, the hero always saves something whether it is a person or his sanity.

    During the interview they also gave examples of a hero's journey. One such example is Moses. Moses led the people out of Egypt. The departure could be when he goes to the top of the mountain and receives the Ten Commandments. The act of receiving the commands is the fulfillment of his journey and when he descends from the mountain is the return. Another example of a hero's journey is Jesus' life. He was born of a virgin mother; he went through temptations and was crucified and resurrected on the third day. Star Wars movies are also a perfect example of the cycle of the hero's journey.

    All myths deal with the transformation of consciousness. The transformation takes place when the hero goes through trial and temptations. All hero's also undergo the "belly of the whale" experience. This is also called "crossing the threshold." The hero must pass from the safety of the traditional world into a world of the unknown. After they complete this step they have to complete some tests so that they can get the reward.

    The movie was very informative, but I thought that it was uninteresting. I think that it would have been better if it was not just an interview. If they went to different places that had a significance in mythology, it would have made it more enjoyable to watch. I would recommend this movie to someone who wanted to know more about Campbell and different parts of a hero's journey. I would not recommend this movie to someone who wanted to watch it for fun, because it is not entertaining to watch.
    ...more info
  • One of the best storytellers of our time!
    This was required reading for a graduate course in the Humanities. This is a great book on DVD written by a very engaging storyteller. Joseph Campbell describes the monomyth in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces as embodying all the necessary elements of the hero's journey in the many myths in human history. Campbell discovered through extensive research that humankind shares a universal monomyth in its various religions and legends especially pertaining to the creation of the world and humankind. Campbell borrowed the term monomyth from James Joyce's book Finnegan's Wake. Campbell's intuitive insight in human myth proves that for thousands of years these myths display a certain standard structure, which he summarizes beautifully in his book.

    A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a
    region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there
    encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back
    from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons
    on his fellow man (Campbell 30).

    There are at least four major stages that a monomyth has however, in his book, Campbell goes on to describe seventeen stages that some monomyth's posses. The four stages making up the cycle of a monomyth are "passage: separation-initiation-return:" In the passage stage the hero is summoned to journey or embark on an adventure by some kind of event that takes place or from a message, he receives. The hero may embark on this passage willingly or reluctantly. During the separation stage, the hero meets with a mentor or wise man who gives the hero either an amulet or some words of wisdom to be of help to the hero on the adventure. It is during this stage that the hero will go through his first transformation, also known as "crossing the first threshold," as he crosses over to another world or dimension leaving behind the old world. In the initiation stage, the hero goes through several trials or tests. The hero often receives help in these ordeals along the way by allies or from a supernatural force. As the hero completes these ordeals successfully, he proves himself more worthy to continue the adventure. Most importantly, during this stage the hero must pass through a major ordeal that will expand his consciousness, and thereby change his character forever. Often, this ordeal entails the death of an ally or enemy. Once the hero successful accomplishes his ordeal he is rewarded with a gift, it could be intrinsic like the "holy grail, or it can be new found knowledge to better the world with. The last stage the hero travels is that of the return whence he came. Often the hero will undergo further trials on his return before he is permitted to cross the threshold back to the world he left. During his return journey, the hero will use his newfound wisdom or gift to make a safe return home. Once home the gift is used to cure some ill in the hero's home or to impart new wisdom to his neighbors.

    Campbell points to the significance of the monomyth in the fact that it describes the cycle that Moses, Jesus, and Buddha had gone through according to their religious adherents. This is not to mention the hundreds of other monomyths told throughout human history. The monomyth proves that humankind shares a common creation DNA in a sense. The monomyth is the perfect vehicle for one to study the Humanities by.

    Recommended reading for anyone interested in history, psychology, philosophy.
    ...more info
  • Mythology with Joseph Campbell
    In the interview with journalist Bill Moyers at Skywalker Ranch, mythologist Joseph Campbell discusses the significance of mythology. "The Power of Myth" has a lot of remarkable information about mythology. He talks about many parts of mythology and describes many myths and how they follow the hero's journey. The discussion about Hero with a Thousand Faces, a book that traces the hero's journey, was an interesting part of this movie. Joseph Campbell truly knows his mythology and has an extremely great sense of knowledge. I have to say that anyone who could study mythology to a very high level such as Joseph Campbell did has to be very intelligent. He surrounded his whole life with his study of mythology. He has also become very popular and many people love his work.
    Also, Joseph Campbell talks about how dreams and myths come from the same place. If you think about it, dreams and myths are pretty much the same ideas. They are both put together in the mind and most of them are very unrealistic. There are also a few differences though like the fact that myths are explanations for something in nature. Joseph Campbell was truly a brilliant man as he wanted everyone to enjoy the works of mythology. Many people have viewed mythology as it was used in Star Wars. George Lucas got some help from Joseph Campbell in the creation of this film. Mythology is a very common study among many people today. Although many myths are supposed to be an explanation, many are confusing. I can understand how many people could get confused by watching "The Power of Myth." I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone who isn't really interested in mythology and understanding its purpose.
    ...more info
  • a message to improve the world
    i'll keep this short and sweet... if everyone followed joseph campbell's truely spiritual message, which encompasses all religions (myths), then the planet would be a much better, peaceful place.
    - stuff to live by. both profound and practical....more info
  • Made me understand some of the minor details that I disregar
    This year, In my tenth grade English class, our teacher gave us the privalege of watching a documentary video on Joseph Campbell- A hero's Journey. My teacher realixed that this video would be very enriching to us because it directly associated with the part of mythology that we were studying.

    I can claim that this video showed and explained to me how the human mind organizes things in society without realizing it because it gave supporting explanations for every claim that the movie made. An example of this was when the video showed us how we build certain buldings according to the job and authority that the structure will have. They supported this claim by giving us examples of many buildings throughout the world that are sized according to there importance among people.

    I would normally not have noticed things such as this because i believed that everything we do has a logical reason that we think about. I now realize that this was a very stubborn way of seeing the human drive to do things.

    Individuals that are not open minded, might watch this video and make the hasty conclution that things on the video show episodes of luck. These people do not realize that there are too many examples of movies that use the hero's journey for their plot. Star wars was one of the movies chosen to examine in this video and I believe this was very appropriate because they showed all aspects that there were to find throughout the movie.

    All together, this video can be analyzed in many different ways. This movie has led me to believe that all humans subconciously think the same and create enriching things based partially on instincts....more info
  • Some people are heroes that you would never expect
    In English class this semester, we recently watched Power of Myth. It had Joseph Campbell being interviewed. Before I watched this video I thought a hero was a person that rescued somebody or did something tremendous in their life, but I realized that we ourselves are heroes. Campbell used Moses as an example of a hero. Moses was to go get the rules (the ten commandments) for the new society. In this case, a hero has three parts: departure, fulfillment, and return. It doesn't take something huge to make a person a hero. A baby being born is a hero. It leaves the threshold and comes into a new, uncanny world (the underworld). Campbell is a very interesting man, he shows much respect for heroes. Studying about heroes have opened my eyes to a new perspective by showing me that heroes are not always people that are extolled in society, they are your average people. Physical and Spiritual heroes are the two types of heroes. An example of a physical hero is Hercules. His strength is what got him recognized. He had to go through twelve labors to become immortal. His physical strength is what got him through the labors. An example of a spiritual hero is Jesus Christ. In his life he sacrificed himself, went through death, and was resurrected. He is well known by healing, helping, and guiding people through hard times. Because of his amazing influence on the people, he is now worshiped and looked upon to help guide people during tribulations. Jesus was just an ordinary man. He wasn't anybody that was held higher than anybody else. He didn't wear nice clothes, just a robe and sandals. He didn't have a house, he walked around and stayed wherever. It doesn't always take somebody who is bigger, or smarter than everybody else to make a hero. It can simply be the person sitting right beside you. ...more info
  • The ways I look at it...
    This year in my English class, we did studies on heroes and mythology and to finish the section up, we watched the video about Joseph Campbell. This video was very outstanding. It really inspired me in very many ways. Campbell was a very intellectual man.

    Joseph Campbell has changed my views about myself and has shaped me into a better person in a lot of ways. In the video, it gives some examples of his work. The segment about war has an impact on me. It shows that I need to fight more for what I believe in, and that if I'm against something, I shouldn't keep it to myself. I believe that was the segment of the video that affected me the most.

    I will admit, I'm not exactly a big fan of Star Wars, however, the part that I watched really made me think hard about it. When Luke Skywalker was driving the airplane thing, a voice game that said, "Use the force, Luke." Those words may be corny, but they were very inspirational. The video showed me that I should have a need for spiritual adventure. I shouldn't go along for the ride. I need to have a purpose and I believe that this has truely affected the way I think about life.

    This video was a great inspiration to me. Campbell showed me a better, more optimistic way to look at my life. It gives me a different perspective to life....more info
  • Expanded my views on heros
    This year in my English class we began to talk about the journey of a hero and how it can be seen in many different movies, books, myths, and real life. Our teacher decided to show us a video with Joseph Campbell in it being interviewed about heros and the journey they take to become one. While being interviewed Mr. Campbell keeps on giving examples and different views on a hero. That really showed that he was a very knowledgeable man on this subject.

    Before watching this video my image of a hero was someone like Spiderman, Superman, or someone with supernatural powers. Joseph Campbell said that heros are people who do something more than what is expected and that is why they are worth writing about. He says there are spiritual heros and physical heros. All you have to do is go through the journey that a hero takes. He really makes this clear when he relates it to my life saying that everyone is a hero in birth. You cross a threshold when you are born and come into a new unfamiliar world.

    Mr. Campbell goes on to relate a heros journey to us when he relates hero's trials to our life through religion. When you loose yourself or give yourself to another is a trial. Tests are just illuminating revelations. This goes on to poove that anyone can be or is a hero if you look at parts of his life.

    Joseph Campbell is a very intelligent man who has changed my views on heros. Now I know a hero is not just someone like Superman but much more. Campbell made me realize that there are many different types of heros in our world which he does through many great examples. Before seeing Mr. Campbell's interview about heros and their journey I was very narrow minded. Now that he has made the hero's journey clear to me in stating what a hero is I can go on to have a better understanding of this subject....more info
  • My Views on Heros
    In my 10th grade Honors English Class, we watched "Joseph Campbell and the Power of the Myth," Joseph Campbell is interviewed and talks about heroes in Mythology. Some of the points he made really changed the way I viewed things, and gave me a great comparison on heroes and real life.

    First, he believes everything begins with a story. This really made sense to me because I feel that everything has to start from somewhere. It makes the most sense to start something with a story. Next, a hero has a moral objective. Her objective is saving people, a person, or an idea. She usually sacrifices herself for something. I think being a true hero is sacrificing your self for something. What could be more fulfilling that giving up your life to save something?

    Joseph Campbell says that all heroes in myths deal with the transformation of consciousness and the hero is transformed by trials. Heroes definitely go through some transformation in their adventures. Of course, they have to be challenged, so they go through trials. In these trials they have physical and spiritual duties. Their physical duty would be to save someone or something. Their spiritual duty would be to win or to find superhuman feeling of being a hero and then sharing it with people. It makes perfectly good sense that they have physical and spiritual duties.

    The main point that Campbell made that stuck out at me was that of Jesus and his temptations. He had three temptations. The first being he was asked to turn rock to bread. The second was when he was tempted to give up his soul to the devil to gain power of the world. The last one was when he was placed on top of Hera's temple, and told to get down. In my opinion, Jesus is definitely the world's greatest hero. Heroes have to go through temptations to test their faith in whatever it is they believe. Jesus was the master at keeping His faith. So this made me realize that a true hero never gives up, even when times are the worst.

    These points really changed the way I viewed heroes. Before, I thought they were just a brave person who did good deeds. Now I realize that there is a pattern that heroes follow. Although these patterns about heroes were founded a long time ago, they still can be applied to modern day heroes. And now, I have help picking out who I truly believe is a hero.
    ...more info
  • Joseph Campbell the Power of Myth
    I have not been able to stop after one session of the 3 on the dvd. It has instructions to continue when pressing the forward button, however it always returns to the first segment. I have had to fast forward it to see the other segements on the dics. I have yet to see the ending....more info
  • I find his views very interesting
    Recently we watched the film "The Power of Myth" in my English 230 class because we are studying archetypes. We watched the first segment, and I was amazed to discover Joseph Campbell's outlook on human interaction. I see Joseph Campbell as an extremely intelligent and well-educated man. He explained that almost all myths are related to religion somehow. Christ, Moses, Muhammed, and other religious figures can be described as heroes. The three major religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, are also relevant to mythology because in a broad outlook, they tell the same story and share the same morals. Joseph Campbell described dreams as symbolic realizations. You may realize something that is important and you discover it symbolically in a dream. I found very interesting his theories of the human conscious and unconscious. Campbell explains that we are the consciousness of earth. He described a human's conscious as what you are aware of. His example was a vine growing up a tree. As soon as the leaves grow off of the vine, they immediately turn towards the sun. This is because the leaves are conscious of the sun. Joseph Campbell thinks of the brain as a secondary organ because it blocks us from knowing what we could truly know. He says that the human conscious takes over and we have no control. Consciousness occurs on different levels. As you go to and from places, your conscious goes to higher or lower platforms. Bill Moyers, the interviewer, asked Joseph Campbell about peace and Nirvana. Joseph Campbell explained that a human's peace is inside himself. The person has to discover it and free himself from fear, because Nirvana is defined as a state when you are no longer compelled by fear. Joseph Campbell's views on a human's conscious have really changed my outlook on the subject. I do not completely understand or agree with all of his theories, but I believe these ideas are relevant to the understanding of human interaction. Joseph Campbell is not only very intelligent but he "thinks outside the box" as I see it. ...more info
  • A great way to start
    If you're interested in learning about the teachings of Joseph Campbell, this is a great way to start. I started by taping the shows when they were on the local PBS station, then collected a "formal" (purchased) set of VHS tapes, and have even purchased the DVD set. I also own the audio version and have a copy of the book based on the series. I don't think you can go wrong with this collection....more info
  • Understanding the core of mythology can resurect your thinking
    The Power of Myth transformed my thinking about mythology. It exposed me to a much finer way of thinking about religion and cultural mythology. It showed me how important myth is on so many levels in society, especially didactically.

    Joseph Campbell has become for me one of the greatest influences in the development of my thinking, both on an internal and external level. He has given me a language to support this development, that when used, can free your thinking even further.

    If you want to be profoundly affected, if you are looking to grow and develop, these six episodes are a must in your collection of things that will change your life....more info
  • Joseph Campbell / Bill Moyers - priceless
    I saw this series of interviews with Joseph Campbell back in the late 80's when it was aired on PBS. Moyers leads Campbell into areas in which Campbell's wisdom is allowed to flower - a great teacher guided by the reverent and thougtful questions of the "student," Bill Moyers. Wow....more info
  • Truly Great...
    This DVD is a real gem...it means so much to me that I have it on my I-Pod so that I can dip in and out of it...each time I watch it I find new meaning. As my own understanding of the topics moves forward, I begin to see the depth of insight that Joseph Campbell had. It has also spurred my interest in those figures that Campbell most respects.....Jung, Joyce, Picasso, Schopenhauer. It wouldn't be too much to say that it has helped me move towards a richer experience of life......more info
  • a) watch this video b) you can die now.
    A humble documentary on why and how we communicate. Relates different cultures to each other by pointing out similarities and differences. Deals with heavy issues like mortality in a natural way....more info
  • Excellent product.
    This is a great DVD and used along with the book (by the same name) it has been a wonderful tool in my university class. Not only is the interview between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell interesting, but there are many clips from _Star Wars_ and images of great art to augment their discussion. And the bonus interview with Bill Moyers and George Lucas is fascinating too....more info
  • The universal themes
    Another work of art from the extraordinary communicator that Joseph Campbell was! Worth the investment....more info
  • LEARN FROM THE MASTER
    Joseph Campbell: Power of Myth is THE book, tape, dvd, whatever medium you like, to learn about how religion has destroyed our mythic lives. As Mr Campbell explains, belief in a god for the god's sake is like eating the menu at the restaurant! Myths show us what is within us, not what is beyond us. Myths are the mirrors of our humanity and Mr Campbell is the light that allows us to see into that reflection. You cannot pass up any chance to hear him, see him or read him. He will change the way you look at the world and your life....more info
  • Joseph Campbell and the Power of the Myth
    The interview of Joseph Campbell by Bill Moyer leaves the viewer feeling lost and unfulfilled. Wrought with terminology and an overabundance of information, the audience detaches themselves from moment to moment to decipher and digest all that
    Campbell has to say. As one sitting in an advanced foreign language class with not a clue of how to say hello, Campbell falls short of relating to his audience. A teacher must be able to draw in her students and express in terms that they can understand. Although gifted and intelligent, Mr. Campbell lacks the important characteristic of interpretation. What good is knowledge if the person cannot share it?
    In the interview, many heroes are discussed. From the current day Luke Skywalker down to the biblical character of Moses, Campbell ties centuries of beings together with his theoretical hero's life journey. It makes sense in the simplicity but there is nothing simple about Mr. Campbell or his thoughts. The journey of Moses leads him through a trip to
    Mt. Sinai where he is given the Ten Commandments and returns to his people to fmd them worshipping idols. This is typical of the hero's journey in that it is an example of the highs and lows associated with being a hero.
    Some heroes are born to be heroes while some are forced into heroism by unforeseen events. September 11th comes into my mind. I believe that Mr. Campbell would express the heroes of this event as those people who were not necessarily chosen, but rose to the occasion without thought, to fulfill their life journey by saving others and giving the ultimate sacrifice.
    It is difficult to be critical of a man who is so exceptionally intelligent and thoughtful; however, I must stand by the premise that in order to teach the world the importance of heroes or any subject, one must have the ability to articulate one's erudition to others.
    Expression is also a gift and unfortunately, one that Mr. Campbell was not amply given. One should not have to be a scholar to grasp the concepts of the hero's life journey....more info
  • Exceptionally insightful
    This DVD series is excellent in terms of framing the existence of myth in the human experience, since the inception of recorded human stories, and how that directly translates into the evolution and development of all religions. ...more info
  • Amazing Power of Myth
    We saw the TV interviews years ago and bought the book because Mr.Cambell is an amazing speaker. The book, though good, doesn't convey his ability to discuss or communicate. I'm so glad we found the dvd of the entire series of J.Cambell interviews with Bill Moyers. Money well worth spending. ...more info
  • The world was enlightened and enriched by Joseph Campbell
    In our post modern era, we have slowly lost touch with myth and ritual. Myth and ritual are two ways in which we are reminded that we are all the same and that we are connected to a much deeper mystery. This series of interviews between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers is a gem to be treasured. Bill Moyers always asking the cutting edge questions is at the top of his game during these interviews. A must see for anyone on a quest for your own spirit and the spirit of the world. ...more info
  • great dvd
    Joe Campell is one of the most well known authors on the subject of myths and lore. He has spend many years researching all cultures on the meaning of mythology in relations to life it self. He makes sense to me and I enjoyed his ideals. His stories on Native Americans was extra special and appreciated. I only wished that I had the chance to met him....more info
  • What a hero means to me now
    This year in my English 230 class we have been studying archetypes and mythology. Our teacher brought in an interview with Joseph Campbell entitled, The Power of Myth and we watched it. The movie talks a lot about Joseph Campbell in the beginning. He says later on in the interview that his hero is Douglas Fairbanks. When most people think of a hero they think of somebody who has some super power. Most children think Superman, Batman, and many other characters to be heroes. Campbell points out in the interview that all a person has to do to become a hero, is to follow the hero's journey. Joseph Campbell gave many examples of the hero's journey. Moses, the man who led the Jews out of Egypt, and the Star Wars movies are some of the few great examples. Up until now, I have thought of heroes to be people who have don't something great or has some special power or talent. After watching this movie I realized that every one of us are heroes. A baby being born is a hero. When it is born it crosses the threshold into a new world, also known as the underworld. Heroes are your everyday citizens, not just people who are always extolled in society. There are two types of heroes, Physical and Spiritual. An example of a Physical hero is Hercules. He had to use his strength to be recognized. Going through the 12 Labors, Hercules had to use his strength to finish the labors. An example of a Spiritual type of hero is Jesus Christ. During his life, he sacrificed himself, died, and was resurrected. Jesus was a normal man, who is now known for guiding and helping people through hard times. Don't always think of a hero as someone who has done something great. There are heroes all around us in society but nobody realizes it. This movie really changed what I think a true hero is. I think it was very helpful and I would recommend people to see it.
    ...more info
  • The Power of Myth
    Absolutely Stunning. I wish I could leave behind such a life work! Joseph Campbell was dieing as this was filmed, but remained at ease and gave an example of courage, as well as a far ranging knowledge of his subject.

    As the interviews went on, I had feelings of regret, as he seemed on the verge of a breakthrough in human understanding. Something seemed to be left just beyond his and our fingertips. I very much recommend this to anyone, High school student, on up, and in any profession. It is about all of us, freely given by a master story teller....more info
  • Power of Myth
    In my honor's literature class, we recently watched "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth." In the video, Bill Moyer is the interviewer of Joseph Campbell. He gives us his insights on mythology and digs deep into it's meanings. The interview takes place in California on the set of Skywalker Ranch, owned by George Lucas. I have never been that interested in mythology or mythological stories, but this video has showed me that mythology is actually relates to many things in my everyday life. I am a Christian and Campbell uses Christ as an example of a Spiritual hero. Buddha and Moses were other examples. They all three followed the specific pattern shown in mythology. Star War movies are linked back to the world's oldest mythological records. This is why the interview was held on the set of the Skywalker Ranch. I really liked how the video gave examples of Star War movies being myths. I have never saw any Star War movies before. I would have never thought about Star Wars being a myth though, but Campbell explains to us that by Luke Skywalker being a hero, it is. Skywalker was called to action, went through many test, and then rewarded. Those are the characteristics of a hero. The modern movie examples that Campbell used made mythology in present time easier for me to understand. Star Wars wasn't the only example he used, he also linked cultures together through their mythology. Two things that I didn't know before watching this video is that many myths are the same all over the world and they do not change over time. Overall, I surprisingly enjoyed this video. It was boring at some points, but very informative to me. I would recommend for you to watch this video, especially if you are very interested in mythology. Even if you're not, you can definitely learn many interesting things from watching it....more info
  • Should be seen by EVERYONE.
    how unfortunate that we have lost this great voice in the woods. he could provide some much needed perspective on current events.

    that aside, this 2-disc set of 6 interviews is something all people should watch. no matter your religion or denomination, or even (especially, actually) if you're an atheist or agnostic.

    i enjoy watching tv and learning something, and believe me you can watch this over and over and learn something new each time. i wish we could have preserved his head like in 'futurama.' lol. BUY IT!...more info
  • a wonder
    campbell is pretty much an unique entity among humans. its really difficult to mention his breadth and vision but what he has done is something near to immortal akin to the myths themselves. he has synthetized and with his insight revealed the kernel of truth that lay encrusted in myths around the world. his visions of myths is what galapagos island was to darwin. it was all there to see, if only we had paid attention! if joseph is ideal teacher bill is teacher's dream come true. bill's penetrating questioning and the deepest enquiries that stirs within us, once in a while makes feel true, alive and sublime, all you get to see within span of few hours. these conversations we will feel like revisiting time and again; its like the nectar of truth, once tasted we cannot shake off the sensation. please experience this, it will be like a moment of truth and divinity in our stupid little lives. ...more info
  • Recommended to ALL
    I first saw this DVD as an assignment in a culture class in college. It most definitely changed my life. Joseph Campbell's enlightened perspective gave me the ability to rise above my life long struggle with faith, religion and beliefs. I don't feel confused about my own beliefs, I don't feel guilt or fear about what to believe, and I've gained a healthy respect & understanding for why people of all religions believe as they do. I cannot recommend it highly enough to EVERY SINGLE PERSON out there....more info
  • Great illustrations of the heros journey
    Although I had previously learned about the mono-myth process and the different aspects of the myths found throughout history, I found this video to be an insightful tool towards gaining more knowledge. Knowing the archetypes, and the hero in particular, references were made easier to be understood after watching this film. After Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, I saw the many connections I could draw from the movie to my own life. The analogies and real life situations Joseph Campbell gave in his explanation of heroes showed me that a person doesn't have to do something spectacular to be a hero.

    Through something as simple as the development of a child, the hero's journey was clearly illustrated. While it is still an embryo in the mother's womb, the fetus undergoes many struggles. The final trial and "crossing of the threshold" occurs at the birth.

    During the interview Campbell gave other examples of the hero's journey. One example is Moses, the man who led the Jews out of Egypt. The departure could be when he goes to the top of the mountain and receives the Ten Commandments. The act of receiving the commands is the fulfillment of his journey and when he descends from the mountain it is the return. Another example of the hero's journey is Jesus' life, which fits nearly all of the characteristics of the hero archetype. He was born of a virgin mother, went through temptations and was crucified and resurrected on the third day. Star Wars movies are also a perfect example of the cycle of the hero's journey.

    The samples of the hero's journey given throughout the film have been a breakthrough in my understanding of the hero archetype and the importance of the journey. Without the hero's journey, myths would be unable to be followed or understood. We can see the hero's journey as it happens in all of our lives, and that is what makes this film substantial.
    ...more info
  • Myth, Mysticism, and Mischief
    Joseph Campbell, in the last years of his life, still had a twinkle in his eyes. He speaks of myth -- the myths of many traditions -- from a lifetime of study, but he's not above chiding Bill Moyer or the audience to explore on their own.

    Although there is a lot of "talking heads" in this series, the topic will fascinate you, if you're so inclined. I couldn't tear myself away. You won't be able to, either.

    Note: the special "effects" are definitely dated, but if you're watching this series for the effects, you are really lost....more info
  • Mythical beginnings explained
    Even if you're not familiar with Campbell's written work this DVD is worth a look if your a fan of mythology or interested in how myths evolved from ancient cultures. The background provided in these interviews between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell covers myths from every culture imaginable around the world. A variety of common place elements (love, hero worship, story telling, creationism, etc.) are explored from their origins through what they mean to people today.

    I'm giving this DVD 4.5 stars (although it's only showing 4 :/), but feel free to add that extra .5 star back if you don't mind the sometimes scripted emotions....more info
  • Intellectually Inspiring
    I have learned more about the impact of myth from watching the Campbell tapes than I ever learned in college. These DVDs are marvelous...more info
  • Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
    I saw this when it was first broadcast. It has not lost any of its power of the years!...more info

 

 
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