Power of Myth: Joseph Campbell: The Hero’s Adventure

Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers

a Winstar Fire Video

The Hero’s Adventure:

-Wrote the book hero with 2000 faces, and there is a film on this in the BYU media library

-the hero has to go through a death and a resurrection, he must be born again and start a new life, the young man a rite of iniciation where he leaves childhood and goes to manhood etc.

-like joining the military, you put on a uniform, your old self is dead, you are a new creature

-the hero sacrifices themselves for a reality, for a better cause.

-as people learn to write, they put their society in pictures, they develop heroes

-Moses is hero in his book, he ascends to a mountain and returns

-the Chinese characters have analogies to Christ, you could match them with the Apostles

-Christ has 3 major temptations, economical being offered bread, then political satan saying you can rule all if you obey me, then the spiritual one where he is tempted to throw himself down showing he is divine but says don’t tempt thy God. The Chinese go through similar 3 trials, lust, fear, and doing what they are told. They are in the wilderness for a time as well.

-all the myths have to do with transformation of consciousness.

-In Star Wars, George Lucas uses classical mythological roles. When Luke has to pull his eyes closed and use his consciousness to defend himself, that’s real Japanese stuff.

-Star Wars in the garbage disposal is them being like Jonah in the belly of the whale, which represents the personification of all that is in the unconscious. Water is the unconscious, the person in the water is the dynism in the unconsciousness, which is powerful and dangerous.

-the hero moves from his comfortable life into danger, and he at that point is attacked, where he succeeds or is defeated.

-the brain is to be subject to the heart, or else you go over to the intellectual side, the dark side, like Darth Vader. The brian is a secondary organ that is to be used for HUMAN purposes, rather than serving a system. Resist like Luke Skywalker, the impersonal claims of the intellectual side. If a person not listen to his own heart, he gets off center and becomes skitzophrenic, it’s not the life the body is interested in at all. There are many people who have stopped listening to themselves. We commit ourselves to a system and it’s requirements of our own, our lives are to be like a Maveric, not being willing to submit to things contrary to his personal creed.

-being in the water is like being in the subconscious, where we give ourselves to the dark power or the powers of above. This is common indian lore.

-it’s psychology, when they find out what’s ticking in them, they get straightened out. This is a similar role of mythology, and helps them see what the cores are of their life, and the negative aspects of whats positive, all these things in their place.

-dragons represent caves where there are heaps of gold and virgins. Psychologically you’re captured in your own dragon cage. The psychologist wakes that dragon so you can have a larger field of relations.

-the Chinese dragon represents the nature

-the real dragon is the one that is in you- your ego- what you love, what you think you can do, what you think you can’t, your aims in life; it may be too small. We deal with it by falling in our place in life. Your work is it if you enjoy your work, or if you are afraid to do what you love, that’s your dragon locking you in when you say things like ‘oh I could never do that’.

-any world is a living world if it’s alive; you can bring to life what you will

-others can help you, but ultimately the ultimate trick has to be done by you.

-Chinese speak of nirvana, Jesus speaks of peace. It’s a place in yourself of rest. The athlete has in himself a quiet place, and from there comes his action- same in dance, there is a center that has to be held and known. Unles you find this center, you’re torn apart, tension comes. Nirvana isn’t a place like heaven, it’s a psychological state of mind in our present location which comes when you’re not compeled by desire or fear or social commitments, but you hold your center and act from there. It’s the way, but it’s your way too. The buddah can’t tell you how to do it. The teacher can merely give you a clue of the direction, and the student must find what works for himself.

-the palm tree has a consciousness, it follows the sun in the day sky. Hence there is a plant consciousness. This is consciousness. The vegetable world etc, the whole world in conscious. Scientists are openly speaking of the gaiea principal, the whole planet as a living organism. We are the consciousness of the earth, our eyes it’s eyes, our voice it’s voice.

-how discover the consciousness? Meditation where we choose where to direct our efforts. Thinking of money is a level of meditation, which is important, but it can’t communicate spiritual consciousness to our loved ones which we must do.

-when you walk into a cathedral or temple, you leave the economic world and enter the spiritual one. Your consciousness is brought to another level. You leave the temple, and can you keep what you felt in there? You memorize prayers etc which help you live in the spiritual realm while in the economic one; you learn that the economic realm is the lower manifestation of the real spiritual one.

-in one era, it’s the gothic cathedral tallest, then in later times the princely political centers are the tallest, now in our day, the business buildings are the tallest. You see this in SLC UT, the temple was first built there as tallest, then the city building larger, now the business buildings largest. That is how our society has developed.

-myths and dreams come from the same place, you can’t tell what they are going to be

-Campbell teaches people that if you really want to help people in this world, what you have to teach them is how to live in it.