Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (6pc) [VHS]

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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:

  • Power of Myth
    This past semester in my English class we watched the first segment of "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth," which changed my life in many ways. At first I thought it would be a boring movie, Of course I know what a hero is, it's someone who saves somebody from a fire in a building right before it blows up, or even killing the "bad guy" right before he kills you. But, since I saw the movie my view of a hero was changed dramatically. Joseph Campbell was a well educated man. He believes every myth is related to religion in one way or another. He would use analogies to explain his beliefs. He talked about an assortment of subjects during the course of the movie. He explained the hero's journey. He gave some religious examples of heroes such as Muhammad, Moses and Jesus. He explained the three main religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Not only did he give religious examples, he talked about modern day shows such as Star Wars. Now that I watched the movie I believe everyone who is living is a hero. When you are born you cross a threshold to the world known as the underworld. There are physical and spiritual heroes. A physical hero could be known as Hercules or someone such as that. A spiritual hero could be known from the bible such as Jesus or Moses. We live in a society where they judge people by there actions which give us our heroes. If everyone would watch this movie and understand they themselves are probably a hero to someone else might take a second look on things and understand the meaning of living. I enjoyed this interview and would recommend it to everybody....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • For everyone of any religious or non-religious background
    Joseph Campbell brings an enthusiasm to the study of religion and mythology that few can match. Even if you disagree with his major conclusions - and I do disagree with some of them - he will inspire you to look at your own religion in a new light. Seriously speaking, these interviews may change your life....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • A gift from above that transformed my life
    Joseph Campbell was an amazing man full of insight and understanding of the religions of the world and how they all are the same metaphorically, and they all share common themes since the dawn of time. I will share some of his perceptions and thoughts that are reoccurring throughout this 6-hour DVD. Every chapter is spellbinding, delightful and distinctive. There is a wealth of information here that will inspire anyone to a spiritual life and the wonders of the great mysteries of life and God as Campbell sees him. Joseph Campbell was an enlightened man full of the wonder and joy of life. Just watching him I feel a deep sense of connection to God and the mysteries of the universal cosmic truths.

    Myths and dreams are transformations of consciousness and are the way to a deep rich life of mystery; transforming thought. The Ego is the dragon holding you in and keeping you small. Following your bliss by doing what brings you vitality within yourself saves the world. The Buddha says that Nirvana is a psychological state of mind that is not compelled by desire, fear or social commitments or acting out of our own center. We are all seeking an experience of being alive; we are not seeking meaning of life since there is none really. It's the inner value we seek and it is not in what we do. The ultimate mystery of being transcends thought and cannot be understood. God is transcendent and God is within our world, others and us. Eternity is here and now. This is it and we must get it from within ourselves not out there and not after we die! We cannot concretize that symbols as fact. Jesus did not ascend up but within us. All the symbols are metaphors and are not fact. We are all manifestations of Buddha consciousness. Jesus is within us all just as are heaven, and Hell and all the Gods. Inward we are the source. All religions are true for their time. Open up to the mysteries of life of all things, and make a choice to stay in your life and realize the truth and depth of your experience of your own being through consciousness and bliss. Experience it here and now.

    Do not judge. Open-up and love thy enemy. These, Campbell says, are Jesus' greatest teachings.

    We need to shift the perception to joyful participation in the sorrows of life and everything changes. Find the immoveable center within yourself and we can survive anything and float down the stream of life. To save the world we must save ourselves. The influence of a vital person vitalizes the world. The world is a wasteland and we cannot save the world by shifting it around. Bring it to life by being alive yourself.

    Choose to affirm life. Life is great say yes to it. It is a childish way of thinking to say no to life with all its pain. We all participate in evil. No matter what we do it's evil to somebody. If all the universe is Divine how can we say no to anything in the world? Brutality, stupidity, thoughtless ness and suffering; we must say yes. Affirm the world and life. We are not to judge anything. This is the greatest teaching of Jesus. Affirm both good and evil. Do not withdrawal from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but see the horror as the foreground of a wonder. Come back and participate in it.

    To be spiritual we need a deep sense of mystery of the dimension of the universe that is not available to the senses. Divinity is the realization of wonder that is much larger then the human dimension. Divinity is just what we think. God is a metaphor of what is guiding you and comes from within. The transcendent mystery is where we come from and we do not have to identify it. I am the vehicle radiant of the spirit, as we all are. The virgin birth is the symbol of the birth of the heart to the awakening of the spiritual life in accord with another or a principle. To not be driven by the lower centers of lust, greed, power and wanting but to be driven from the compassion of the heart to open-up to the realization that God is within the other and us; a whole new life comes.

    The ultimate mystery is finding God within you. That God is within us just as he is within the earth and all of nature and everything. God is everywhere. This is the real truth- He is not up in the sky separate from us, but within us and around us supporting us always, and we just need to become awake to this fact. I can see why the goal is to die before we die. To die to our animal and material nature and become reborn to the spiritual nature, which is our true nature.

    And he often mentions how we are to live our lives in accord with nature and to worship nature just as most of the world does. Western Christian thought sees nature as fallen and our religion is one of exile that nature is fallen and evil. This is ridiculous Campbell says because what else do we have to worship then nature? All other religions but Christianity, teach to live in accord with nature and the God's are much more elemental of the earth. We come from the earth and are a part of the Earth not separate from it.

    Here is a quote from Chief Seattle that Campbell dictates and lives by:
    "Will you teach your children what we teach our children, that the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. Earth does not belong to man; Man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. What he does to the web he does to himself. One thing we know, our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of man? When the view of the ripe hills is blocked by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone. Where will the eagle be? Gone. What is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival."
    ...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • An incredible documentary and interview!!
    I watch this program whenever it appears on PBS, it was an incredible program, as one viewer stated it is a movie - that is wrong, this was not a movie. It was documentary/educational exploration of the myths of many cultures. 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. Bill Moyers is an excellent, skillful interviewer. I own the DVD and have purchase it for family members, so they may experience new thoughts, new ideas, and also the incredible art of interviewing. Enjoy it and watch if frequently, it does put life and mythology into perspective. It is an aincredible expeience. I highly recommend it....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
  • 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
  • Boring, yet intriguing
    In my English class, we watched and noted Joseph Campbell's, "The Power of myth". I found it very inspiring but on the same note, I found myself fighting the urge to fall asleep. (I must not have put up a real good fight) I feel that more should have been done to make the video less challenging intellectually for younger audiences. (Yet at the time, I don't believe they figured students of our age would be watching this video) The video was so complex that it was challenging just to comprehend what he was saying. Though this is true, I was able to gather some important information from what he was saying.

    In the video, Campbell told of some of the traits of a hero, some examples of stores told throughout history, as well as a new myth he was working on. I found the new myth he had planned to be very interesting. I had no clue that anyone in these modern day times was capable of creating a myth, or even had the interest.

    I, too, am very fascinated with mythological stories. What amazes me most about them is how so many different cultures throughout the world, which had no relation to the other, managed to create stories so much alike. For example, the story of Noah and the flood, along with the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, are found in the Old Testament of the Bible. Versions of these two stories, along with many others are found in mythology of other cultures throughout the world. Along with the idea of different cultures creating stories of their own, many cultures copied each other in their mythological accounts.

    Campbell devoted his life to discovering and researching world-wide myths. He once said, "It's important to live life knowing its mystery." I agree with that statement. Life, like mythology, is full of events which cannot be explained rationally.
    ...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
  • 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
  • So much in such a small package
    This series condensed on man's life long study and thoughts into a few hours of interactive discussion. I did not know what to expect and was overwhelmed with the richness of what Joseph Campbell had to say. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in finding out more about what shapes us as humans....more info
  • Amazing...
    After reading some of the recent reviews for this interview I seriously have a sick feeling in my stomach. Each review begins: "so...we were forced to watch this old guy talk about superheroes in our english class, and it sucked cuz i wanted to fall asleep."

    Today's generation of 'young people' is so misguided it makes me ashamed that I'm 21 myself.

    Anyway, just wanted to vocalize my frustrations. For the record, the DVD is mind blowing to say the least. I've read nearly everything J.C.(and the other great 20th century mind...Jung) has ever written. I even read the transcript of this interview before watching the DVDs.

    Buy it. Feed your mind....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 Positive Outlook On Humanity
    "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth" was an amazing and thought-provoking video that I thoroughly enjoyed. Although most of my peers might look on Mr. Campbell's words with a certain amount of disdain, I was positively rivetted by his impressive grasp of human nature, and the way it shows up throughout the stories we tell. Being a devoted Star Wars fan, I especially enjoyed the clips and discussion on George Lucas's original trilogy. It's truly amazing how we, as humans, place characters in stories we tell that fulfill the needs of the main character or hero. Even more astounding, however, is how we ourselves look for these archetypes in our fellow humans to fulfill our own needs.

    For example, Luke Skywalker, the hero of the Star Wars trilogy, is surrounded by people who not only fit Joseph Campbell's archetypes, but also fulfill many of Luke's emotional and psychological needs. Ben Kenobi, the wise old Jedi that Luke accompanies to Alderaan, serves as Luke's source of wisdom and knowledge about things bigger than himself. Han Solo, the mercenary-turned hero of the trilogy, serves Luke as a friend and ally, offering encouragement and optimism to both Luke and Leia, a heroine of sorts, in times where there is little reason to be encouraged or optimistic.

    However, the Star Wars reference were not the only reason I enjoyed this movie. Joseph Campbell managed to explain the entire struggle of human beings and our existence in so few words, and using only one archetype. The midieval dragon archetype, a fearsome creature who hoards treasure and beauty away from sheer greed, is a symbol of the way many human beings operate. In some people, they limit themselves because they are afraid, or uncertain, or insecure. They keep themselves from the bounty and opportunities life has to offer, and in that sense, they become their own inner dragon. However, when you refuse to allow your insecurities to keep you from your dreams and goals, you slay the dragon, and reap the rewards of your quest.

    All in all, I learned much from Joseph Campbell in the brief time it took to watch "Power of Myth." My knowledge, however, does not only extend to myths, but beyond stories to life itself, and how understanding why we tell the stories we tell is so important....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
  • Power of Myth should be placed in every hotel like Gideon's Bible.
    The Power of Myth changed my way of looking at the world and showed me how people's beliefs can be, and has been, the most constructive yet destructive force in the history of humankind.
    It is important for all to view this series, not just to learn about comparative religion and myth, but to see how the religious beliefs of today will become the myths of tomorrow. ...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
  • 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 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
  • 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 your 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
    ... it can inspire you, even change your life. It changed mine. I was always confused about religions, myths, spiritualism, and even life, and the inspiration found by this series helped me to better find myself and my place in the world. Campbell had a truly rare understanding of myth, the unconscious self, and spiritual existence I think. Watching this series for the first time, his words were like hammers pounding upon my brain with simple, easy truths that I think I've always known deep inside, but hadn't realized through all the complex and demanding materialism of the adult world. This is it. This is life. The adventure. You can be the "hero" of the adventure, or the dragon which plagues your world. (So to speak, of course the "dragon" tends to represent the threat of the ego (in the western world.)

    Keep in mind, I am totally bias towards Campbell. He was the only person in my life who ever really moved me, and changed my life. Looking at this material objectively, I can say that it deals with our perceptions of life, of how the old stories speak to us of wisdom, if we can open our ears, so to speak. Myth is a beautiful but mystical thing. One can hear the words and receive the example, or even get the point, and miss the inspiration. Language is after all just a vessel to get across an idea (cargo.) We so often focus on the vessel and miss the cargo. Myth carries with it a fantastic yet simple vessel, but without getting the cargo one could never take in its purpose. By that I mean to say that if you do not have an open dock (open mind), then stay clear of this vessel. (It's too big for you.)


    This is a series of talks, a casual interview between Bill Moyers and Professor Joseph Campbell. It was filmed (in part) by George Lucas' studio, and some interviews were conducted in Lucas' home. The talks are about the origins and intentions of myth, their value to us, and myths of our world today -- mainly "Star Wars". Ancient myths are the biggest topic however, and these range from Japanese to Native American to Egyptian to Greek to Mayan myths, and more. The topics here -- birth, life, danger, adulthood, loss, death -- could be overwhelming, but Campbell has a genius for simplifying it for those of us who haven't studied mythology all are lives can understand. Part of the reason for that is that Campbell truly gets what he says, and so he doesn't require arrogance or manipulation to move us. He speaks the revealed, skinless truth about who we are, how we live, and how we should live -- according to myth, and just basic wisdom.

    Ultimately "The Power of Myth" is about wisdom, and believe me, it can help you to find your natural path in life. There are no answers here however -- as Campbell says: "A teacher can only serve as a lighthouse, and say "Careful, rocks over here.'"

    This DVD set also features an interview with George Lucas, biographies of both Campbell and Moyers, weblinks, and a 'selected videography'. A collection that in my opinion everyone should have....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
  • Dramatic as well as informative.
    If there would be such a thing as the Magnum Opus of mythology, these tapes/dvd's would be a part of it. Mr Campbell is very elaborate on the various subjects that can be viewed. From the first storytellers, to the masks of eternity and to the story of his own life. The latter being a great story of achievement. Truly Joseph Campbell is a symbol for modern mythology and a rolemodel for transcendent philosophers. Mr.Campbell's messages in these series however, are not an outline of his methodology, nor are they recapitulations of his work. He just talks about myths and sets an example of how one would have to view them in order to understand something like the cosmogenic circle.

    And I have to say, for a talk/philosophy show these series are very lavish........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
  • The Power of Joseph Campbell
    I do not feel worthy of even reviewing Joseph Campbell. His eloquence and views are without peers....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Powerful knowledge
    Joseph Campbell was the leading authority on mythology and Bill Moyers picks his brain very well on this video collection. It is fascinating to hear how stories from different cultures, places and ages are really all the same story just with different cultural context. I stronly recommend this title to everyone....more info
  • The universal themes
    Another work of art from the extraordinary communicator that Joseph Campbell was! Worth the investment....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Absolutely Wonderful
    This is a DVD to watch if you are a little tired of Hollywood dumb down pap and are ready to stretch your brain a bit. I loved mythology from the start so I found it fun, and ...educational!

    It is a six part interview with one of the premier scholars on mythology interspersed with pygmy culture, Indian and Polynisian art, Christianity, Buddhism, New Guinea canibalism, and Star Wars. It's Mythology 101 in 6 hours and not a minute of it wasted. Fantastic!

    I suggest getting a glass of wine and relaxing with this DVD an hour at a time. Find your bliss then go for it. It's that kind of a DVD....more info

    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
  • Power of Myth can power your understanding of God
    If you are looking for something quick and easy to understand at all levels, in an entertaining way that keeps you excited, this is probably not for you. If you want to understand mythology from many cultures and how they seemingly tie together from a master lecturer who presents a synthesis of thought then get this DVD.

    Maybe I am slow study, but I found multiple viewings helped me. In my book, that is why this is worth buying since you will find new information each time through. I have listened to the tapes of the interviews at least 3x and watched the series 1.5x. Every listen through I get something new.

    Campbell's encyclopedic knowledge of the subject is a marvel and Moyers does a decent job asking the layman's question. This series deepened my understanding of many facets of religion and gave me so much inspiration for more study, I could spend a life time following those leads.

    Highly recommended for content and ability to inspire your personal search for understanding man's spiritual nature....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
  • The right help for your mind and knowledge
    This long video interview help us to understand the meaning of things and subsequently of ourself.
    Every curious or intelligent person should watch and understand Joseph Cambbell wonderful explanations abouth the meaning of symbols and myth.
    A scientific point of wiew, to help us to see the world as it really is....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
  • 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
  • Shoot me now...
    Joseph Campbell thinks about thinking too much that it has become unhealthy. His nonsense ramblings with Bill Moyers damage the young, still functioning, minds of America's youth. Campbell's story telling skills are sketchy and hard to follow. Campbell believes that all myths are part of human's subconscious and that if humans make mistakes they are unaware of what they are doing. Maybe the myths from the past aren't related to the subconscious. Honestly, has anyone ever proved that this hidden mentality exists? We cannot touch, hear, or see this state of mind. Yet, according to Campbell it must be real, it has to be the root of all good and evil in the world. For every error in this world he blames it on some fluke attitude. Wake up Campbell! Its called the subconscious for a reason-its hidden. ...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
  • 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
  • An Intellectual Tapestry
    Follow Your Bliss! ~Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)

    Joseph Campbell's mind is beyond fascinating. As you view Bill Moyers trying to understand the absolute intellectual bliss Joseph Campbell is engaged in, you can't help but wonder how anyone could maintain the wealth of knowledge swirling in ecstasy in their mind. Joseph Campbell fits each piece of information into a richly woven spiritual tapestry.

    Suddenly life becomes much more simple when the universe is explained in a myth. We all see the similarities of the Hero's Adventure in books and movies, but why is this such a prevalent theme and are we all taking this journey? Joseph Campbell believes we are on our own spiritual journeys in which our consciousness is transformed through trials. If life seems like a struggle to you, then the first section about the Hero's Adventure will explain why we must slay our dragons by overcoming fear and other primal inclinations.

    Myths can be clues to spirituality and in all cultures, stories of creation and death encourage an understanding of our beginning and end. But are we really ever in any state other than Eternity itself? Joseph Campbell explains why good and evil are temporal apparitions and explores living life as a poem.

    During the taping of these interviews, Joseph Campbell had just purchased a computer and has some interesting observations about his interactions.

    In this six-part, six-hour interview style journey, you will learn about the yin/yang symbol, why people sacrifice their ego in marriage, why love is the perfect kindness and how libido can be an impulse to life itself.

    Other topics of interest: Star Wars, The Holy Grail, Romantic Love, Nirvana, Inner Mythology, the Virgin Birth, Agricultural Societies and the Goddess, Biblical Complexities, Spiritual Rebirth, Rituals as enactments of myths, the Soul as a Circle, Archetypes, Insight into the Human Psyche, Deep Mystery, Chakras, Mysteries of Creation, Compassion, James Joyce and Epiphanies, Monsters and Dragons, Poetry, Heaven and explanations of Brahma.

    If you have any interest in World Religions, this will take you to new levels in your understanding of universal desires, our search for a relationship with God and this may even help you understand your relationship with your life partner. Essential viewing for anyone interested in Myths, Buddhism or Christianity.

    When you think that this was recorded two years before Joseph Campbell's death, you cannot help but be amazed at the fluidity of his mind and the way in which he weaves concepts into eternal verbal bliss. He not only explains spiritual concepts, he takes you through amazing myths from Japanese, Native American, Egyptian and Mayan cultures. While he speaks, they present beautiful artwork illustrating the stories. He explains the difference between Amore, Eros and Agape and then explains how we can reach Nirvana by reaching a psychological place where we are unattached to desire and fear.

    At times Moyers seems to play with words as well as Joseph Campbell, but then at other times he seems to be asking for more information so the viewer can enjoy the depth of knowledge only an extremely perceptive interviewer could extract. At times he reads myths from one culture and Joseph reads them from another culture. The similarities are astonishing.

    The Hero's Adventure
    The Message of the Myth
    The First Storytellers
    Sacrifice and Bliss
    Love and the Goddess
    Masks of Eternity

    Bonus Features: An Art Gallery and Selections from the video Sukhavati. Joseph Campbell narrates beautiful nature scenes. I found my six hour experience to be intellectually exhilarating. Half the fun of life is finding all the puzzle pieces needed to explain your very existence. This DVD set takes you beyond a basic understanding of mythology, it literally presents a pathway you could follow to spiritual bliss. I watched both DVDs in one day and was completely captivated by this intellectual tapestry.

    ~The Rebecca Review
    ...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
  • Truly Great...
    This DVD is a real 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
  • 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
  • The Power of Myth: A Spiritual Touchstone for Millions
    In 1986, journalist Bill Moyers sat down with mythologist Joseph Campbell for a series of interviews taped at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch. The sessions, which aired on PBS in '88 (see Bill Moyers Remembers Joseph Campbell), introduced Campbell's transcendental wisdom to a wide audience for the first time. Joseph Campbell And The Power Of Myth became a bestseller in both book and video form. Campbell's ideas about the narrative structure of myth have influenced a generation of filmmakers and writers, and his crosscultural perspective has inspired millions of spiritual speekers (and infuriated fundamentalist Christians).

    The first volume in the Power Of Myth series, The Hero's Adventure, looks at Campbell's favorite area of mythology, the tests and trials undergone by heroes from Prometheus to Sir Gawain to Jonah to Luke Skywalker. "There are two types of deeds," says Campbell. "One is the physical deed, in which the hero performs a courageous act in battle or saves a life. The other kind is the spiritual deed, in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human spiritual life and then comes back with a message." There are adventures which are chosen and others into which the hero/heroine is thrown; but ultimately the journey is about a transformation of consciousness. As we read about the hero's adventure, it inspires us in our own lives. "Myths inspire the realization of the possibility of your perfection, the fullness of your strength, and the bringing of...light into the world," says Campbell.

    The Message Of The Myth talks about the common threads between many myths -- such as the creation myths of Genesis, Basari legend and the Upanishads -- and how these stories, ancient or modern, can awaken a sense of awe, gratitude and even rapture within ourselves. "Myth opens the world to the dimension of mystery, to the realization of the mystery that underlies all forms. If you lose that, you don't have a mythology."

    The First Storytellers takes us back to our Paleolithic ancestors, "to whose lives and life ways we nevertheless owe the very forms of our bodies and structures of our minds." Mythological themes that came from ancient hunting peoples, as well as from -- later -- the first agricultural societies, still resonate in our dreams, stories and religions. In the 20th century, writers and artists such as James Joyce, Thomas Mann, and Paul Klee have emerged as the new myth-makers.

    Sacrifice And Bliss discusses how each of us needs to find our sacred place (a place or an activity that gives us peace and to which we can retreat for a little while every day), how sacrifice leads us to a discovery of our own spiritual selves, and how one way of opening the door to mystical experience is to "follow your bliss" (do what it is you love to do). Says Campbell, "If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't even know they were going to be."

    In Love And The Goddess, Campbell discusses how our current idea of romantic love largely began (in the West) with the troubadours of 12th century Europe, who thought of love as a highly personal "person-to-person relationship." Before that in Europe, love was simply Eros (impersonal sexual desire) or Agape (love thy neighbor as thyself; also impersonal). Campbell looks at woman, as goddess, virgin, and Mother Earth.

    Masks Of Eternity is in many ways the most challenging of all six Power Of Myth programs, and one in which Bill Moyers the Baptist struggles to reconcile his beliefs with the transcendental ideas of Campbell the global mythologist. "A myth is a mask of God, a metaphor for what lies behind the visible world," says Campbell, who discusses our need for God and the differences and commonalities between gods of different cultures. "In most Oriental thinking and in primal thinking, the gods are manifestations and purveyors of an energy that is finally impersonal. They are not its source. The god is the vehicle of its energy. But the ultimate source of the energy remains a mystery."...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
  • A profound and beautiful view of existence
    In this brilliant series of interviews (vividly illustrated by film footage of rituals and artwork from the world over), Joseph Campbell invites us to transcend ordinary activities motivated by fear, greed, and societal constraints in favor of more heartfelt modes of being and thinking that connect us with the divine, by which he means the awe and mystery of the universe. He has the prodigious breadth of knowledge to see universal themes where many see only bizarre cultural differences. He discusses what the cave paintings at Lascaux have in common with Chartres cathedral, why the paintings of Picasso and Klee, and the writings of Joyce and Mann, serve the same role in society as the rituals of Native Americans and Australian Aborigines, and how western society has become largely estranged from nature and thereby from authentic culture, mythology, and ritual. His central point is that all genuine myths lead us to an understanding of the divine; that the divine is perhaps best defined as the experience available to each one of us of the sheer rapture and existence; and that each moment of consciousness is also an experience of eternity. He doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but he asks the profound questions about human nature and the universe, and discusses them as intelligently as anyone I've ever encountered....more info
  • Power of Myth
    We watched "The Power of Myth" movie in my English class. It was an interview of Joseph Campbell. I did not really close attention to every word that he was saying. I am the type of person that has to have a background of everything that is given to her, a way that you can prove what you say. Myths are the exact opposite. It makes you wonder, yes I do like to wonder, but you need that sense of truth to everything.

    He talks about the characteristics of a hero, and what a hero really is. We are learning about the hero's journey in class, which I think is very interesting. We can put that with everyday life. You can relate it to movies, and also books. I really like this part about the whole myth thing.

    The movie exactly did not intrigue me much. It was actually kind of boring. I get more out of a discussion that we are involved in. There are some good things about movies, but not extremely long ones that make you want to go to sleep.

    Myths are very interesting, but on the flip side they are kind of pointless. You have story that can be used to entertain, but when you need a true story, there is not a myth that is full of truth. It has been pasted down from generations to generations and as time has pasted, things have been added to it as well as taken away from it. Just like that telephone game. You never end up with what you started of with.

    Myths are good altogether, but only for entertainment. Thomas Campbell is a well known man for his myths and writings. It is up to us whether we want to believe him or not and take the time to understand the way he is explaining myths. ...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


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