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Note From Joseph Campbell

Note From Joseph Campbell

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Published by: KauaiOhana on Oct 21, 2011
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I
"Hero with a Thousand Faces"Notes from Joseph Campbell's Power of Myth – PBS Interview with Bill Moyers
Heroes: ML King, Gandhi, Moses, Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Luke Skywalker 
 
 No need to risk adventure alone; follow the path of heroes of all time
 
Travel inward to center of existence, not outward; be with all the world, not alone.
 
Myths - have no ideology, theology; are about the dance“Thousand Faces:”
.
 - myths, heroes, have a sequence of action that is typical all over the world,- about one deed done by many many different people
Hero
– what is worth writing about:- has given his life to something bigger/other than self - sacrifice- two types of deeds:Physical - sacrifice to another person, ideaSpiritual -learned or found a supernatural communication and returned- Example: Initiation ritualsdie to infant, dependency, come back as self, to self-responsibilityBIRTH - from water creature to air breathing mammalhero journey is finding the source of life to bring one forth into a richer condition
KINDS OF JOURNEYS
:1) not conscious - birth2) intentional, performing deed - Telemachus' "father quest" youth's search - what career is, what nature is, whatsource is3) pitched into - EX: drafted into army- resurrected into a different creature, new uniform, identity sacrifice self, saving an ideal- still heroic even if others disagree with idea
TYPES OF HEROES
:1) Monster slaying (early cultures)2) Spiritual leader (transforms society)
 
Moses - departure, fulfillment, return - with new rules for new society (unrecognized by the people)
 
Buddha/Christ traditions matched down the lineChrist three temptations: Buddha three temptations1) economic - stones to bread 1) lust2) political - command nations 2) fear 3) spiritual - tempt the Lord 3) social duty
 
 both choose disciples after temptations, both establish new consciousness(Mohammed - went to cave and meditated)Inability of people to recognize hero and the hero sacrifice/accomplishment
 
followers don't see/shatter hero's accomplishments
 
hero comes out of the forest with gold and it turns to ashesAll 3 religions have trials of hero’s journey as significant partAll myths deal with TRANSFORMATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS-
 
real power: losing/giving self to another -
 
consciousness transformed by TRIALS – have illumination/revelation-
 
hero’s journey is a journey with trials
 
 
Myth today?
Movies such as Star Wars fulfill the need for the spiritual adventure of the hero. They are mythological in that their subject isthe powers of life and their inflection through man. The adventure into the unknown - we've conquered the planet so the only place left for heroes/myths is outer space.
Standard Mythological Figures in Star Wars:
1) Japanese Sword master - old man advisor - Obi Wan Kenobe2) physical instrument/weapon - Odysseus' bow - the sword3) psychological commitment/center - The "force"4) reluctant hero – Hans Solo-
 
compassionate and ready for the adventure but didn't know it-
 
serendiptius adventure-
 
reluctant hero is READY, environment matches-
 
his readiness, manifests his good character -
 
thinks he's an egotists, finds out he isn't5) on the edge - bar scene, the jumping off place, meet those who have been out there6) descent into dark (underworld, womb, unconscious) --
 
garbage compactor - belly of the whale-
 
Jonah’s whale = personification/creature of all this is in-
 
unconscious; dangerous, powerful, must be controlled-
 
water = unconsciousFirst stage of hero’s adventure: Hero's descent into dark:- hero is either cut to pieces, descends, is resurrected- OR -hero kills dragon power, assimilates dragon power, blends into power, transcends humanity, reassociated with powers of nature, powers of life.consciousness is secondary, mind removes us from nature, mind is not running the show, mind must not put itself in control, mind must submit and serve the humanity of hte body.Darth Vader – Luke’s father -
 
result of when mind puts itself in control, gone over to the intellectual side (controlled by technology),-
 
 becomes inhuman, “worm of a man, ”threatens our lives.-
 
not living for humanity but a “system” – he is related to the system (theme of “The Matrix”)We all operate within a system-
 
Will it eat you up, relieve you of your humanity -OR- are you going to USE the system to human purposes-
 
Live in the system as a human being, don't go over, but resist its impersonal claims-
 
Listen to demands of.spirtual, of heart, of self, not to the program of life-
 
We become off center when aligned with. programmatic life, with systemLife evokes character - find out more about self as we go on,- try to put self in a situation that evokes our higher natureRefusal of suitors myth: Iroquoi Indian story of girl and suitor -
 
enters another domain with supernatural/snake husband-
 
elevates self out of local field and puts self in a place of higher power - dangerous --
 
if you are not eligible, ready, it will be a demon, a mess-
 
if you are eligible, it will be glory, give you a life transformed, that is yours in your own wayMYTH - expresses truths that can't be grasped any other way-
 
the edge, the interface between what can be known and what is unknown, never to be discovered-
 
 because it is the mystery of life, transcendant of all human research, the source of life-
 
important to live life with a knowledge of mystery and your own mystery
 
 
-
 
myth gives life texture, balance, harmony-
 
myth, symbols of myth, dreams give knowledge of mystery-
 
Living life in mythological terms eases anxiety,-
 
 puts one in accord with inevitable in one's life, sees positive of negative, vice versa-
 
Living life in mythological terms shows whether you'll say "yes" to the serpent or "No" to the serpent; "yes" toadventure, or "no"
European Dragon
represents Greed-
 
guards things in cave (gold, virgins) that it has no use for -
 
no vitality of experience of either - just guards them-
 
European Dragon represents one's own bindong of one's self to one's ego and you're captured then.
 
[The job of psychiatrist is to break the dragon, open it up, so you can have larger field of relationships. EX: Jung's patient caught in the rocks.]
Chinese Dragon
is different - represents vitality of swamps-
 
he beats his belly, laughs, yields bounty, yields waters, greatness, glory-
 
European Dragon cuts you down-
 
real dragon is within you, your ego holding you in-
 
your ego is "what I believe" "What I can do" "What I think I love" "aim of my life"
 
might be too small, pins you down, especially if it is what the environment tells you to do, it is pinning you downHow to slay the dragon?
Follow your BLISS
-
 
work = bliss if it is the work you choose because you enjoy it, then it's your bliss. But if you think, I couldn't dothat, (your bliss), then you're not going on journey following bliss.-
 
not a journey to save the world but to save self, and in doing that you save the world-
 
influence of one vital person vitalizes-
 
People have notion of changing world, system, shifting the rules BUT any world is a living world if it is alive, to bring it alive, be alive yourself.-
 
Can take journey with a friend, but ultimate trick is done by you.
Center
- Place of rest, peace, repose is inside self - athlete/dancer - the center out of which they act, center has to be knownand held, otherwise they're off-balance, torn apart, tense
Nirvana
-
 
a psychological state of mind, not a physical place outside self like "heaven".-
 
 Nirvana is "here" in middle of turmoil.-
 
a condition when not compelled by desire, social duty-
 
act out of center -
 
teachers show "the way" but it must ultimately be your way, too.
 
there are exercises different teachers will give you, but they may not work for you, teachers can onlygive clue to random directionConsciousness - plant/animal-
 
coconut tree leaves turn to sun - a form of consciousness -know where the sun is (heliotropism)-
 
eating - body knows what to digest-
 
in woods - different consciousness's relating to each other 
Gaiea Principle
- Earth as consciousness - Mother Earth-
 
selves as coming out of the Earth rather than as being thrown in here from somewhere else-
 
we have the consciousness of the Earth - eyes and breast of the earth.-
 
Meditation - raises consciousness-
 
all of life is a meditation - most of it unintentional
 
EX: where money is coming from, going to
 
EX: concern for family

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