The Power of Myth 1

"The Power of Myth" is based on the interviews between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers that became a famous PBS television series. Six episodes were filmed over the two years before Campbell's death in 1987.  It deals with the universality and evolution of myths in the history of the human race and the place of myths in modern society.

From "The Hero's Adventure" PBS interview that Bill Moyers had with Joseph Campbell in 1985.

Moyers:  So these stories of mythology are trying to get at a truth that can’t be grasped any other way.

Campbell:  It’s the edge, the interface between what can be know and what’s never to be discovered, because it is a mystery transcendent of all human research.  What is it?  No one knows!

Moyers:  Why are stories important for getting at that?

Campbell:  I think it’s important to live life with a knowledge of its mystery and your own mystery, and it gives life a new zest, a new balance, a new harmony to do this.


    1- The Hero's Adventure -- Can be viewed in it's entirety below

    2- The Message of the Myth -- Episodes 2 through 6 can be                      viewed on "Power of Myth 2".

    3- The First Storytellers 

    4- Sacrifice and Bliss 

    5- Love and the Goddess 

    6- Masks of Eternity

Campbell blends accounts of his own upbringing and experience with stories from many cultures and civilizations to present the reader with his most compelling thesis that modern society is going through a transition from the old mythologies and traditions to a new way of thinking where a global mythology will emerge.    -- Wikipedia

I don't know of another learned person who exudes such enchanting comfort, grace and style as Joseph Campbell, with such a profound grasp of and recollection of his lifelong work -- the Myths of Mankind.

Episode 1: The Hero's Adventure - full episode

The topic Campbell talks about are: hero types, hero deeds, Jesus Christ, the Buddha, movie heroes, Star Wars as a metaphor, an Iroquois story: the refusal of suitors, dragons, dreams and Jungian psychology, “follow your bliss,” consciousness in plants, Gaia, Chartres cathedral, spirituality vs. economics, emerging myths, “Earthrise” as a symbol.

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Lorenzo's notes from watching "The Hero's Journey"

Episode 1 - "The Hero’s Adventure" – Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell

Moyers’ intro:  Mythology is the stories and legends told by human beings through the ages to explain the Universe and their place in it.

Mythology is the song of the Universe, music embedded so deeply in the collective unconscious that we dance to it, even when we can’t name the tune.

Campbell:  The Hero is someone who has given his life to something bigger than himself, or other than himself.

Myths all have to do with consciousness transformation.  By trials or revelations.

The adventure that the Hero is ready for is the one that he gets.

    - the adventure evokes qualities of the character.

The brain (consciousness) is a secondary organ, yet it thinks it’s running the show of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control.  It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.

   - When it does put itself in control, you get this father that has gone over to the intellectual side.  Relating not to his humanity, but to a system.

   - The threat to all of us in society is that we all relate to a system and it will eat up our humanity.  Are we are going to use the system to higher human purposes?

If a person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack up, lined up with a programatic life, and it’s not the one the body is interested in at all.

Your life evolves your character and you find out more about yourself as you go on.  It’s nice to put yourself in situations that evoke your higher nature rather than your lower.

You can view any of the other 5 great episodes on Power of the Myth, click here.