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Reading Guide Joseph Campbell

Reading Guide Joseph Campbell

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The power of myth



Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, Chapter 1
Prof. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University

Chapter 1: “Myth and the Modern World”
(1-5) Why read myths? Greek and Latin myths have been removed from out curriculum, leaving a void in our knowledge of the world. Mythology connects us to common human experiences of which we are unaware. 1. Do people ultimately seek knowledge or experience? Why?

(5-8) Myths reveal spiritual truths about the world. Marriage demands a shift in our spiritual identity and view of the self: “[Marriage is] a purely mythological image signifying the sacrifice of the visible entity for a transcendent good” (7).
transcend — to travel beyond a boundary (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.)

2. Summarize Campbell’s critiques of modern-day marriages and how they differ from true “spiritual” marriages.

(8-12) What happens when a society no longer embraces a powerful mythology? Campbell explains that modern life is “demythologized” (11), lacking the rituals that connect us to our human condition. Lacking rituals that connect the individual to the culture, people are left to their own devices to make sense of the world, often placing the individual interpretation of life against that of the society. “America,” states Campbell, “has no ethos” (10). Instead of stories that convey “the wisdom of life” (11), we have lawyers and professionals who focus on specialized issues, but are often ignoring the greater reality.
Rollo May — a 20th century American existentialist psychologist Ethos — “the understood, unwritten rules by which people live” (10) Alexander de Tocqueville — A French political thinker and historian who visited America and commented on the roles of individuals and their nations Heinrich Zimmer — a 20th century art historian who explored the differences between Western and Indian art

43 2



3. Why does Campbell suggest that Americans lack rituals that assist us in being “twice born”?

(12-15) How did Campbell become interested in mythology? Growing up in New York, Campbell visited museums and exhibits of Indian art and culture. After reading Native myths, he saw the mythological connections to the symbols and motifs of the Roman Catholic Church. This interest than developed into his love of comparative mythology.
motif — a dominant theme or pattern

4. How is a judge, a president, or a soldier a sort of mythological character?

(15-18) Do “old time religions” serve us well? Campbell does not criticize religious teachings, but rather the application of these teachings to a different culture and time. Campbell explains that Western religions are “out of sync” with today’s world, resulting in young people disconnecting from the spiritual messages. Myths, however, are universally adaptable, as exemplified by the peyote rituals by indigenous Mexican Indians who transferred their hunting rituals onto the peyote plant after their sacred animal was extinguished from their culture.
peyote — a cactus that grown in the southwestern US known for its psychedelic effects

5. Why did these native peoples perform the hunting ritual on a plant? [opinion]

(18-20) What is Campbell’s definition of “consciousness”? Campbell explains that all life forms have consciousness on a variety of levels.
Cartesian mode — “Cartesian” refers to the writings of 17th century French Philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (he developed the x/y axis plot); Campbell uses Descartes to represent the world view of the time

6. What is the role of mythology in our world?

The power of myth



(20-24) Why is it that films affect us? Campbell and Moyers discuss the impact of films as potential replacements for myths. Campbell questions whether films can replace mythology because the screenwriters often lack mythological understanding. When they do, such as George Lucas in creating Star Wars, the mythological heroes and archetypes can be revealed effectively to a modern audience that lacks the references.
Douglas Fairbanks — an early 20th century silent film actor who portrayed swaggering, swordwielding heroes, such as Robin Hood, Don Juan, and assorted pirates Pablo Picasso — 20th century Spanish painter who invented the art form known as cubism (in avantgarde art form that depicts images as broken pieces depicting its subject from a variety of viewpoints) Minotaur — In Greek mythology, a creature depicted as having the upper torso of a man and the lower torso of a bull Faust — a protagonist in many 16th-19th century German stories who sells his soul to the devil Mephistopheles — an alternate identity for Satan, chief of the demons, developed in Renaissance literature

7. Why does a film actor assume the “condition of a god” in a movie theatre but only “celebrity” status on television?

8. How have machines become mythologized? Why?
Picture Source:
http://plato.acadiau.ca/courses/engl/lawson/acadia03/images/minotaurromachy01.jpg © 2007 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

(25-30) How does the modern Western world relate to myths? Campbell discusses some revelations that he has made after working on his first personal computer in the 1980s. He uses this as a specific example of the machine metaphor that he discusses earlier. Myths come from Nature and one’s surroundings, but Western religions have shut Nature out, further distancing themselves from the essence of their spiritual messages. He discusses religious tensions in Lebanon and Ireland as examples of cultures that have ignored the mythology behind their religions, which leads to war. He then relates a few tribal and Eastern examples for comparison. Western beliefs promote a “me vs. you” mentality, but myths are universally adaptable. Campbell believes that humanity needs mythology that connects them to the planet, not a particular social group (transcending the culture to reveal the universal truths).

Campbell says that the “chapter” after the Ten Commandments commanded the Jews to “Go into Canaan and kill everybody in it. Perry — led an American Naval expedition to Japan in 1856 Marshall McLuhan — a 20th century Canadian writer who critiqued the role of media and technology on social order 9. Noah’s son Ham was the “father of Canaan” (Genesis 9:18) Commodore Matthew C. Take one out of your wallet and examine it while you read this section.” therefore associating Kali as a goddess of death Yahweh — The Hebrew name for God (specifically spelled YHWH) Gentile — the name given to non-Jews during Old Testament times Canaan — the land that was home to various people in the area around modern-day Israel that spoke Semitic languages (such as Hebrew and Ugaritic). but Exodus 21 details several laws against violence. and said. . “kala” in Sanskrit means “time” and “black. What are the two types of mythology? 12. then I will utterly destroy their cities. What is the difference between magic and mythology? (31-38) Are the symbols on the reverse side of the dollar bill mythological? Campbell explores the symbolism on the reverse of the dollar bill and how it reflected the Age of Reason (sometimes called The Age of Enlightenment) from which the nation was born. much like Hammurabi’s Code.’ And the LORD listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites.43 4 K Appendix NOTE: On page 28. Chapter 21 of Numbers is the first chapter that recalls the smiting of the Canaanites: “So Israel made a vow to the LORD. and they utterly destroyed them and their cities” (Numbers 21:2-4). How are religious approaches similar to computer software? 10.” but this is a poor paraphrase. Kali — a goddess in Hindu mythology that assumes many forms. Exodus 20 provides the Commandments. Why does Campbell call mythology “the song”? 11. ‘If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand. Campbell makes an error in recalling the events of the Bible.

” suggesting that God created the universe. suggesting that our world view projected from the Bible is out of date with the realities of the modern world discovered through reason. The world has changed enormously in the past 3. How does Chief Seattle’s letter reflect the connection of the native Americans to their surroundings? .The power of myth K 435 Deist — one who follows Deism. What are the four functions of mythology? Which of these four still operate in America today? 16. or embody something clearly”. but is now sitting back and watching the creatures of creation live on their own terms. a manifestation is the object that contains this knowledge or reality 13. but the Western religions are locked in the past. demonstrate. The letter from Chief Seattle illustrates the difference in world view between modern societies and the mythological mindset: “This we know: the earth does not belong to man. understand. not through revelation or holy books. government 14. the subsequent war led to the death and internment of the Native Americans in that region by the U.” reflecting the hinters/gatherers and early agricultural societies that used myths to communicate natural truths Chief Seattle — a Suquamish Indian chief near Puget Sound who delivered a stunning speech after he signed the Nisqually Treaty in 1846. but cultural dogma cannot.000 years. Deism often promotes the concept of the “Divine Clockwinder. Maria” (“Hail. Why does Campbell say that America is moving too quickly to become mythologized? 15. many of the Founding Fathers were Deists Angelus — a prayer in the Catholic Church that recites “Ave. therefore.” Paleolithic moral order — “Paleolithic” means “Stone Age. the belief in God through reason and knowledge. Myths can transcend time and place. How has 20th century America deviated from its “Declaration of Independence”? (38-43) How do we live without myths? Campbell describes the differences between our society and the mythological cultures. Mary”) three times in its chorus manifest — “to manifest” means “to show.S. man belongs to the earth.

Campbell then unveils the Garden of Eden stories from Genesis with mythological language to contrast myth from doctrine. a commonly misunderstood archetype in the modern West. Myths help us to see the God inside the Man. Specific attention is devoted to the role of the serpent in these myths. related words include “grime. and that many themes and archetypes that appear in one tend to appear in many others as well (a darkness. and transcendence through this example as well. pioneer of dream analysis. a separation from the creator. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University Chapter 2: “The Journey Inward” (44-50) Why do myths reflect what we know inside is true? Campbell explains that all humans live through the same stages of life and they recognize universal images (archetypes). Individual dreams tend to reflect the public mythology. archetypes. and the Bassari tribes (West Africa) as examples.43 6 K Appendix Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. . that universal truths exist inside our subconscious brains (dreams) that are interpreted in terms of the individual experience. the Upanishads (India). Why does Campbell call myth “the public dream”? 2. Theodore Roethke — a 20th century American poet Christ — an ancient Indo-European term meaning “the anointed one” or “covered in oil”. what are the two orders of dream and how do they differ? (50-67) Why are the world’s creation stories so similar? Campbell explains that all creation stories reflect a primordial mythical reality. Chapter 2 Prof. a formless void. Vishnu. only a hero can bring these two views into accord. when they don’t. such as the serpent and the bird. Campbell compares Genesis with tales from the Pima Indians (Arizona). and the founder of analytical psychology (the study of the forces and motivations of human behavior) 1. Campbell illustrates the concepts of duality.” and “cream” Shiva — the Hindu god of destruction and part of the Hindu Triad: Brahma. etc).” “grease. According to Carl Jung. and Shiva Sigmund Freud — a 19th/20th century Austrian neurologist who established psychoanalysis (the study of the interplay between the conscious and subconscious levels of the human brain) Carl Jung — a 20th century Swiss psychiatrist.

and revelation) and Empiricism (observation and experience). etc.a. According to Campbell.) Emmanuel Kant — 18th century German philosopher who argued a connection between two widely disputed philosophical traditions: Rationalism (logic. innocence/experience.The power of myth K 437 alimentary canal — the digestive tract through which food is absorbed and converted into waste. which existed during the first few centuries of Christianity.k. who taught that the realization of God and the suppression of maya (illusion) are the supreme goals of all living creatures Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki — a leading 19th/20th century Zen Buddhist scholar and linguist 3. which is intended to allow the reader access to the unknown — that which escapes the confines of language. or Meister Eckhart) — a 13th/14th century German theologian and Christian mystic. What is our first life experience? (67-70) What is a metaphor and how does it operate in religion? Campbell discusses how myths need to be read metaphorically. specifically with the Gnostics. . How does God transcend the dualities? 8. paving the way for nearly all philosophical study since the 19th century Stanislav Grof — a 20th century Czechoslovakian researcher who established the field of transpersonal psychology that delves into one’s fetal and neonatal experiences Ramakrishna — a 19th century Hindu guru. tried in court as a heretic by Pope John XXII William Blake — 18th/19th century British Romantic poet and painter whose work focused on the themes of religious dualities (God/man. how has the Biblical tradition rejected the mythical symbolism of the serpent? 6. What is the fundamental psychological purpose of all creation stories? 4. revered by millions. Campbell examines a few important Christian concepts through the mythological perspective. not literally. What are the three “oppositions” in the Garden of Eden story? 7. intuition. Eckhart von Hochheim. from the mouth to the anus Johannes Eckhart (a. Myths are written in poetry. Why does Campbell suggest that the serpent is a symbol of life? 5. not prose. heaven/hell.

these Apocrypa were often rejected by Roman bishops because they revealed Jesus more as man than God. there is no mention of purgatory in the Bible. meditation. the Supreme Universal Being .” or the awareness of God through personal experience. they were persecuted and discredited by the early Roman Church purgatory — a state/place between heaven and hell where the soul is purged of its sins in order to ascend into heaven. Clio (history). Erato (lyrics/love poetry). Polyhymnia (sacred poetry and geometry). Since Campbell argues that the myths connect people to God. saint. as well as a mystic whose teachings were more in accord with mythology and the concepts of the sacred feminine Gnosticism — Gnostics were early Christians who believed in “gnosis. Melpomene (tragedy).” from the Hindu Upanishads. Terpsichore (dancing). or prophet in Hinduism who has heard the Vedas (early Hindu scriptural hymns) directly from Brahman (the Supreme universal force) Muse — the nine goddesses in Greek mythology who assisted human artists with their inspiration: Calliope (epic poetry). focusing on the spiritual realizations of students who were guided by their yogis (teachers) Indra — an early Hindu god of war and thunderbolts from the Vedic tradition who constantly battled demons to preserve the cosmic order Brahma — the Hindu god of creation who is the agent of Brahman. etc. Purgatorio. often transcending these worlds to acquire sacred knowledge through trances. Euterpe (music/lyric poetry). or drug-induced rituals rishi — a sage.43 8 K Appendix Novalis (Georg Philipp Friedrich. How does metaphor assist one with the “journey inward”? [opinion] (70-79) How do myths help us to connect to the spiritual world? Campbell discusses several ways that people can seek the God within themselves and how cultures are grounded in the myths that provide this transcendental instruction. he concludes that poets are doing this well today. Urania (astronomy and astrology) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel — a 19th century German philosopher who rationalized how one can understand unity through the vehicle of difference and negation Upanishads — sacred Hindu texts that followed the Vedas. Thalia (comedy). transcend — to travel beyond a boundary (physical. Campbell argues that religious experiences are the best means of knowing God. psychological. but is critical of the literalist approaches of the Western churches that have ignored the messages of the myth and fail to share the rich symbolism upon which their religions were originally based. Paradiso). or also Freiherr von Hardenberg) — an 18th century Romantic author and philosopher who sought to describe the process by which man can establish harmony with Nature Gospel of Thomas — one of many Christian Apocryphal texts that were excluded from the Bible when it was assembled by Pope Damasus at the Roman Council in 382 CE. as well as a dualistic divinity (light and dark divine forces in conflict with each other). spiritual. and the Catholic Church recently has backed away from this concept 9. a main setting of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy (Inferno. but symbols (especially words) must be available to substitute as a guide for those who lack the experience. Campbell completes this lesson with a retelling of “The Myth of the Proud Indras.) shaman — an intermediary between the earthly world and the spiritual realm.

But the adult world ponders evil as well as good. We contribute and receive good and evil by participating in the game of life. 12. Thanatos — The Greek personification of death (Roman Mors). we must come to understand how our world of dualities operates. Myths teach us that. desire for pleasure) and Thanatos (the drive to end the struggle of life and to pass quietly into the grave). Why do myths teach us to not judge against evil? 14.The power of myth K 439 Vishnu — the Hindu god of preservation who incarnated himself ten times to preserve the order in the universe by thwarting the demons Shiva — the Hindu god of destruction who often sacrifices himself to protect the world. What is the difference between a priest and a shaman? 11. and to learn to avoid judging the world based on our bias of one duality over another. so myths provide spiritual guidance for us to accept the dualities of life — both the bad with the good. Campbell relates some tales from the Hindu Rig Veda and The Upanishads. high spiritual works. Freud’s theory of the Death instinct hypothesized that humans have two primal drives in opposition: Eros (lust. He was the son of Night and the brother of Sleep. What was the question that Campbell posed to the Hindu guru. What is the metaphor of Santa Claus? 13. and his presence was fearsome. such as when he held the poison in his throat in “The Churning of the Milk Ocean” 10. The Romans depicted him as a cherub. and what was the answer? . Therefore. What does the god Indra learn in “The Myth of the Proud Indras”? (80-85) Why is good and evil promoted in mythology? Campbell discusses the Santa Claus myth and how it operates to form relationships between parents and children.

through myths. Chapter 3 Prof. “I. Myths help us to contemplate the mysteries of the universe that are greater than us. who conceived of the notion of the “I and Thou. Campbell tells several stories about native American rituals.440 K Appendix Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. and that our relationship with the other must be understood either as an extension of the self (“I-Thou”) or as separate from the self (“I-It”) 1.” and “It” — Buber’s philosophical construct that explains that the self (the “I”) is always understood in relation to the other. life. they wielded the katana. What is the challenge between mind and body that we all face in middle age? 3. What does Campbell identify as the “basic theme of all mythology”? . the Japanese long sword Martin Buber — An Austrian-born Jewish philosopher (1878-1965) famous for his essay Ich und Du (I and Thou) that examines the means of connecting with that which is different from us. help us to understand the grander scheme of life that exists outside of our individual bodies.” “Thou. What were the ancient myths designed to teach us? 2. such as killing other creatures for our own survival. Rituals.” William Wordsworth — A prominent English Romantic poet (1770-1850) who initiated the Romantic Age with his publication of Lyrical Ballads. We must understand the bigger picture of life before we can truly understand ourselves as participants in it. Ancient myths help humans to comprehend the mysteries and fears of birth. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University Chapter 3: “The First Storytellers” (86-99) What do our souls owe to ancient myths? Campbell explains how ancient tribal myths and animal myths help people to transcend the boundaries of birth and death in greater harmony and accord with the world. the name means “those who serve in close attendance to nobility”. and death. and he contrasts this perspective to modern ones through the use of the theories of Martin Buber. and to reach an understanding between our minds and our bodies. poems that promoted the beauty and power of Nature Bushmen — hunter/gatherer tribes from southern Africa Samurai — feudal military noblemen from pre-industrial Japan.

What is “the power of the animal master”? 7. In short. but now these rituals have been reduced to catch phrases and symbolic spectacles that do not thrust the recipient into a new mindset.The power of myth K 441 4. unless they choose to go there voluntarily. . but offer little substance. Campbell argues that today’s Western rituals are a lot of show. because they have been “dumbed down” and sterilized. rituals helped people to grow and develop into responsible members of their societies and their environments. the cave places the participant inside another world from which to contemplate the mysteries of life. why does Campbell believe that films fall short of accomplishing the same goals? (104-106) How has religious instruction become “obsolete” to many people today? Joseph Campbell was raised Catholic in New York City. but boys must voluntarily be initiated into manhood through their societies. Although Hollywood films apparently have replaced mythological stories. In the story of the Japanese samurai warrior. and he witnessed many procedural changes to the rituals in his lifetime. bringing the first menstruation. How is the guilt over killing an animal “wiped out by the myth”? 6. This is demonstrated by the stories of Australian aboriginal rites of manhood. In what ways can animals become our superiors? (99-104) How are men and women initiated into adulthood differently? Campbell describes his experiences inside ancient temple caves that depict mythological rites on the walls and ceilings. In the past. Why was there “no chance of relapsing back to boyhood” after participating in the aboriginal ritual? 10. Acting as today’s cathedrals do. why did the samurai refuse to avenge the murderer of his overlord? 8. 9. How are the hunting myths “a kind of covenant” between the worlds of animals and man? 5. Girls are initiated into these mysteries by Nature herself.

Campbell also discusses how the shaman. Campbell relates an example of Black Elk. In order to have a spiritual awakening. How does Biblical tradition relate to our 21st century society and its environment? 14. the folk. one must undergo an unfamiliar experience where the mind and/or body are connected to another realm. meditation. Does mythology originate from the common folk or the elite? Why? 16. das Volk dichtet — “The seals of the people”. establish the cultural and spiritual identity through the poetry and storytelling shaman — an intermediary between the earthly world and the spiritual realm. relates to the consciousness of the environment through a mystical spiritual experience that transports him out of his body and into the body of the earth spirits. What is the common emotion associated with the spiritual experience? Why? . the central axis point around which the universe revolves Sioux — the collected name of the unified tribes of the Lakota. Dakota. Why does Campbell claim that many of our rituals are now “dead”? (106-112) How does the environment shape the mythology? Campbell explains how mythology is borne of its natural connections. or tribe’s spiritual visionary. relating how many Native American tribes changed from a “vegetation” mythology to a “buffalo” mythology after the introduction of the horse. a young Sioux boy who underwent a shamanistic experience that allowed him to understand the nature of God.442 K Appendix 11. and Nakota peoples of the American Midwest and southwest 13. the concept that the regular people. Why does Campbell criticize the Catholic Church for changing the delivery of the Mass from Latin to English in the mid-20th century? 12. often transcending these worlds to acquire sacred knowledge through trances. once postulating that “God is dead” to argue that modern cultures are beyond the influence of traditional religious teachings axis mundi — “world axis”. How are artists the keepers of mythology today? 15. or drug-induced rituals Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche — an influential 19th century German philosopher and naturalistic critic of traditional moral and religious thought.

be they religious. a place to meditate and find our bliss. built in the middle of Lake Texcoco in Mexico. The tallest and most central structures in a city reveal its spiritual center. and it is traditionally ruined after its completion to symbolize the passing of all things troubadours — 12th century French knights who composed songs and poems about chivalry and courtly love instead of fighting courtly love — the playful flirtations between knights and ladies that achieved a “spiritual eroticism” between man and woman. located about 60 miles southwest of Paris. the land becomes infused with spirit forces through the building of temples or cathedrals.” it is a geometrical design. etc. economic. Shamans channeled spiritual messages from beyond and then communicated them in terms that the culture could understand. known for its intricate Gothic architecture nave — the central approach to the altar in a Gothic church transept — the area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform (cross-shaped) church apse — the semicircular section of the sanctuary located at the east end of the altar choirscreen — the area between the nave and the sanctuary that houses the altar Gothic — an architectural style defined by its vertical stone walls.” Cicero — a Roman Senator. Today.The power of myth K 443 Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. usually made with colored sand. grotesque statues that were intended to scare off evil spirits Assyria — a great kingdom located in northern Mesopotamia mandala — a Sanskrit word for “circle. and philosopher from the 1st century BCE Navaho (Navajo) — a large Native American tribe in the American southwest hogan — the traditional sacred house of the Navaho people. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University Chapter 4: “Sacrifice and Bliss” (113-124) What is the significance of the “sacred place”? Campbell tells us that we all need a sacred place in which we connect with our inner selves. Campbell also suggests that artists and selected authors play the shamanic roles today in the West. which was not typically found in arranged marriages 1. and high arched ceilings. and the current site of Mexico City Chartres — a grand cathedral. Chapter 4 Prof. that represents the universe (cosmos) in Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. built into a pyramid shape Jacob (‫ֲקֹב‬ ‫ַע‬ ‫ — )י‬son of Isaac and Rebeccah and father of Joseph in Genesis Tenochtitlán — the capital of the Aztec empire. governmental. orator. often decorated with gargoyles. Mythological cultures deified their places by making the mountains and the animals represent their spirits. high stained glass windows. How can a Navaho hogan (or a room in your house) become a spiritual center? .

then they will not use that imagery in their myths. or herder). the Cayugas. the Oneidas. Abel theme (farmer vs. Colin Turnbull — a 20th century British-American anthropologist who studied the Mbuti Pygmies in Africa Algonquin — Native American tribes who spoke similar languages. God. etc. A desert culture will tend to become influenced by the sky. Why does Campbell say that “the spiritual symbolization of our own civilization is basically lost to us”? 3. but a jungle community will relate to the spirit world differently. shepherd. the horizon. for example. hunter. What did Cain and Abel represent metaphorically? . the Onondagas. What is the difference between a shaman and a priest? (124-131) How does geography shape one’s culture and religion? Campbell argues that each environment allows cultures to arrive at different conclusions of life’s mysteries. stretching from the upper Midwest to the Rocky Mountains Iroquois — a confederacy of Native American tribes located in New York state.444 K Appendix 2. and that the transition from one to the other changes the metaphors and the mythology. comprised of five tribes: the Mohawks. including ones from Native American tribes. Why does a hunting culture project a mythology that is “outward turned” while a planting culture projects a mythology that is “more inward turned”? 6. and the Senecas 5. and large distances. Why does Campbell refer to the idea of the supernatural being “over and above” nature as a “killing idea”? 4. Campbell addresses how the hunting/herding cultures opposed the planting cultures. Campbell tells several stories that demonstrate the Cain vs. If they never see the horizon.

As seen in the examples of the Hawaiian policeman. The concept of death in planting cultures tends to be embraced and understood as necessary for new life to flourish. Campbell then quotes from a passage that is found in Christian apocryphal literature. which feeds off of fear and desire. Campbell recalls a story of an Iroquois sacrifice of a man that was witnessed by horrified French priests and notes the irony of their horror. First. people who transcend the duality of god/man sacrifice their individual desires for a greater understanding where they act in favor of life itself rather than merely the self. he compares the human rites of New Guinea (that used human sacrifice and cannibalism) with those of the Christian Eucharist (host. How are the sacrifices different in hunting and planting cultures? 8. and Jesus. argues Campbell. but also mothers who sacrifice their lives for their young. is how we get close to God. while the apocryphal texts reflect the goddess perspective of early Christian belief. The canonized books were generally masculine in tone. wafer) — consuming the body turns one’s spiritual focus inward. BCE.The power of myth K 445 (131-136) What is the purpose of sacrifice? Campbell identifies the quest for understanding and bliss as being marked by sacrifice. inspired by the Gospel of John. including Dante’s The Divine Comedy and James Joyce’s Ulysses.” and applied to the crucifix in Christian poetry Maya — the native Mesoamerican tribes of northern Mexico and lower Midwest who built elaborate pyramids and developed the only written language in Mesoamerica before Columbus apocrypha — any collection of spiritual texts that fall outside the orthodox canon Acts of John — a 2nd century CE apocryphal narrative by Leucius Charinus. the bodhisattva. Campbell further reveals examples of self-sacrificial heroism. Arthur Schopenhauer — a 19th century German philosopher who saw life as inherently evil and full of suffering. the body of readings that were not sanctioned by the Roman Church in the 4th and 5th centuries. such as Vietnam soldiers risking death to rescue their fallen comrades. Campbell also shares several classic titles of literature that evoke this mystery of sacrificing the self to the whole of God. Rood — the old Anglo-Saxon word for “pole. Campbell further compares the symbolic traditions of Buddhism and Christianity. but salvation could be found through ascetic living . and containing the Round Dance of the Cross by Jesus during the Last Supper 7. demonstrating how both traditions seek a spiritual rebirth outside one’s body. How does Campbell describe the two trees in the biblical Garden of Eden? What do they have to do with duality? (137-143) What is the mythic idea of self-sacrifice? Campbell discusses several examples of people who have crossed a metaphysical boundary in which they sacrifice their selves for the good of another. This.

wikipedia. How does a person find his or her bliss? Picture Source: http://en. a poetic journey through Hell. Sufi — a dedicated Muslim from the Middle Ages who practiced asceticism in the deserts. and ananda. so that we are centered and grounded against the tide of change. planting cultures. interested in examining the ethical values of human actions atonement — a Jewish and Christian doctrine that explains how God absolves one’s sins.” the nectar of the gods. Buddha and Jesus are both considered to be bodhisattvas ambrosia — from the Greek words for “not” and “mortal. often acquiring the name “whirling dervishes” because of their enraptured spinning Sinclair Lewis — a 20th century American novelist and playwright who wrote critically about American capitalism and its impact on our lives Leo Frobenius — a 19th and 20th century ethnographer who studied the similarities amongst hunting cultures. chit. sometimes associated with hallucinogenic mushrooms Dante Alighieri — a 13th and 14th century Italian Florentine poet famous for his 100-canto masterpiece. What is the “final secret” of mythology? (143-150) Can Westerners understand this mystical experience? Campbell introduces the theme of “following your bliss.” a term that addresses the spiritual reality that lies behind the physical realities bodhisattva — from the words for “enlightenment” and “truth.org/wiki/Image:Chartres_1. Entering a career that inspires you will help you to reach your spiritual center rather than doing what society wants you to do. but he asks us to find a place near the hub of the wheel.” a person who arrives on the verge of nirvana (Buddhist salvation). not the outside. He uses the metaphor of the wheel of fortune. Campbell describes this leap into bliss through three Sanskrit terms: sat. Moyers and Campbell use word play (“at-ONE-ment”) to suggest the merging of the duality of God/Man Publius Vergilius Virgil — a Roman poet during the time of Jesus who wrote the national epic of Rome. Purgatory. The Aeneid. and great societies that built megalithic structures Sanskrit — the ritual language of Hinduism in which the great spiritual texts are composed 10. The Divine Comedy. but voluntarily pulls back into the world to assist others on their spiritual journeys.jpg .446 K Appendix metaphysical — meaning “beyond the physical.” in which he explains that we only understand the rapture of being alive when we do what we truly love. the fictional story of the hero Aeneas and the founding of Rome Calvary (Golgotha) — the hill outside of Jerusalem on which Jesus was crucified James Joyce — an early 20th century Irish author known for his cryptic novels Martin Luther — a 16th century German monk and theologian who challenged the Roman Catholic Church by nailing 99 theses to the Wittenberg Cathedral. and Paradise Pierre Abelard — a 12th century French philosopher who placed Christian doctrines into rational terms. beginning the Protestant revolution 9.

What is the significance of the trials.The power of myth K 447 Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University Chapter 5: “The Hero’s Adventure” (151-159) Why are there so many stories of the hero in mythology? Campbell outlines some basic definitions of heroism. Otto Rank — an early 20th century Austrian psychoanalyst and colleague of Sigmund Freud Leo Tolstoy — a 19th century Russian fiction writer whose works. and ordeals of the hero? 3. whether voluntarily or involuntarily. How is everyone a “hero in birth”? 2. including the hero’s motivation and the two types of heroic deed. Campbell extends the reach of the hero’s message by applying it to human development and change in our consciousness. The hero makes sacrifices. What are the two types of approaches that heroes use when embarking on journeys? . were acclaimed for their realistic depictions of Russian life Napoleon Bonaparte — a French Revolutionary general who usurped power in 1799. tests. naming himself Emperor. especially from childhood to adulthood. How does a leader differ from a hero? 4. Chapter 5 Prof. such as War and Peace. What is a hero’s moral objective? 5. and later conquering most of Europe militarily Prometheus — the Greek Titan who stole fire from Zeus to assist the mortals 1. and performs actions that represent society’s values while also promoting a universal human condition.

that are evoked throughout world literature that assist us in understanding these vital life lessons. Eliot — the 20th century American and British poet knows for his bleak disillusionment of modern life 6. Eliot’s 20th century poem “The Waste Land”: that we suffer “a sociological stagnation of inauthentic lives and living that has settled upon us. What is the value of the “middle path”? 9. Campbell once again applies Buddhist concepts. Why does Campbell consider John Lennon a hero (as opposed to other celebrities)? . S. José Ortega y Gasset — a 20th century Spanish philosopher who argued against biases in the works of previous philosophers ennui — boredom. such as the Middle Path. Campbell suggests that Cervantes’ 17th century story Don Quixote begins to identify the advent of a more “mechanistic” interpretation of life that still dominates our outlooks to this day. Modern America gravitates toward the superficial (such as celebrities) that fails to provide a proper heroic influence in our culture. What is Campbell critique about our sedentary lifestyles of the modern age? 7. or dissatisfaction T. Today. Does Campbell argue against technology? 8. Campbell summarizes the message of T. mechanical lives and the experiences of people who lived in more simple times.” Here. Do science and mythology conflict? 10. listlessness. S. without participating in the physical and spiritual mysteries as deeply as we used to.448 K Appendix (159-164) Does our modern age help or hinder our access to mythological mystery? Campbell and Moyers discuss the distance between our modern. we examine life more intellectually.

One commonality is that heroes discover new insights or new ways of life that change the culture’s illumination. hence being referred to as the Buddha Gilbert and Sullivan — a 19th century British musical tandem who wrote comic operas Harold Pinter — a prolific 20th century writer of stage plays.The power of myth K 449 (164-172) Why must heroes suffer? Moyers begins this section by asking why heroes suffer. What distinguishes a myth from a fairy tale? 13. Campbell parallels the lives and teachings of Jesus and Buddha. Why is the journey from childhood to adulthood harder for the boy than for the girl? 14. Moses. What is the archetypal heroic adventure sequence? 12. and mythology helps us to approach these realities. Although cultural differences abound. and Campbell responds by illustrating the value of the suffering — that it promotes a rebirth and gives rise to new illumination. How do the temptations of Buddha and Jesus compare? . and radio and TV dramas that addressed the complex conflicts between the individual and his society Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm — 19th century German academics who are best known for collecting German fairy tales and folk tales such as Cinderella. he found enlightenment under the Bo tree and achieved Enlightenment. a 16th century leader of the Venician school of the Italian Renaissance. Snow White. with references to their trials against fear and desire. and Hansel and Gretel Titian — A pen name for Tiziano Vecellio. Pindar — a Greek lyrical poet in the 5th century BCE Pythian — Pythia was the priestess who channeled prophesies from Apollo at the Oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece. screen plays. going beyond simple children’s stories and fairy tales that often culminate in happy endings. Jesus. and Buddha each found a new realization of the condition of life. mythological heroes follow archetypal patterns. Myths also provide that guidance toward realization. Real life is more complicated than that. known for painting colorful landscapes 11. the name is derived from the Python killed by Apollo at that location Buddha — Born Siddhartha Gautama as a Nepalese prince in 5th century BCE. although their religions promote different details in their scriptures.

the tragic psychological story of a man who sold his soul to the devil Faust — a protagonist in many 16th-19th century German stories who sells his soul to the devil Mephistopheles — an alternate identity for Satan. The self (the ego) needs to battle its dragons and reveal the life within. The journey begins with our own psyches. calling mythology the “poetry” of the world. Myths present the mysteries of life in ways that the dogmatic mind cannot comprehend. a hero from Norse mythology (10th century) and the 13th century Islandic Völsung Saga St. The motifs of the hero’s adventure. and battled against the Underworld Ariande — daughter of the Greek King Minos and goddess of fertility in Crete. What does Campbell mean when he says that “theology turns poetry into prose”? 16. having been replaced by dogmatic creeds that restrict our development and keep us at a distance from the essential mysteries. chief of the demons. developed in Renaissance literature Theseus — the mythological king of Athens. How does the “Force” concept from Star Wars differ from “programmed political intentions”? . immortalized for having slain a dragon who hoarded the cities water in the 11th century (each country names a different city) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — an 18th/19th century German writer most famous for his dramatic poem Faust. How does a restrictive upbringing prevent one from understanding the self? 17. our own innate reactions to the world that we instinctively perform since birth. Greece. Thomas Mann — a 20th century German novelist and social critic who explored the psychology of the individual and incorporated many ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche James Joyce — an early 20th century Irish author known for his cryptic novels Jonah — a man mentioned in the Old Testament (2 Kings. the spiritual center.45 0 K Appendix (173-187) What can mythology teach me about the self? Campbell contemplates the distinctions between mythology and religion. she gave Theseus a magic sword and red yarn that he used to escape the Minotaur’s labyrinth 15. and the belly of the whale are all evident in this film. Myths instruct us in these matters. Campbell and Moyers then discuss the mythological messages of George Lucas’ film Star Wars. these mysteries must be experienced by each individual. who founded the city. killed the Marathonian Bull. Rather. but our society lacks these messages today. George — a 3rd century Roman soldier and Christian martyr. based on Sigurd. and is released after asking God for forgiveness Siegfried — a dragon-slaying hero in the Germanic epic The Nibelungenlied. a script that Lucas wrote in consultation with Campbell himself. slew the Minotaur. chapter 14) and the Qur’an (Sura 10) who was swallowed by a whale after disobeying a command from God to begin a religious mission. both of the world and of the self. the guru (or spiritual guide).

Each person must learn to let go of his fear of death. We also have to discover our selves apart from what our elders wish for us to become. Thus Spake Zarathustra — the 19th century prose work by Nietzsche that proposed two of Nietzsche’s greatest philosophies: “God is dead” and “will to power” 22. Campbell recalls the Middle English legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. What is the riddle of the Sphinx? 23. What does the mythological theme of entering the belly represent? K 451 19. What does the dragon represent? 21. Campbell illustrates this in discussing students of art. What is the risk of exclusively adhering to society’s programmatic messages? 20. Summarize Friedrich Nietzsche’s three transformations of the spirit.The power of myth 18. We must always embrace our next stage of life. who first study under their structured masters. but then have to transcend these constructs and discover their own abilities and styles. and it is best understood through the study of mythology. . What does Campbell believe is the “great Western truth”? (187-193) What does mythology teach us about death? This lesson is the hardest to grasp. where Gawain confronted his fear of death.

) 24. That is one form of happiness — to transcend the suffering. You yourself are your creator”? 27. such as the Dalai Lama.” indicating the cause-and-effect return of one’s actions back onto the self that determines the next reincarnation of a living being William Blake — 18th/19th century British Romantic poet and painter whose work focused on the themes of religious dualities (God/man. the Cayugas. The survivors who escaped. Iroquois — a confederacy of Native American tribes located in New York state.” suggesting that the adventures in life help us to understand who we are and what we can expect. innocence/experience.45 2 K Appendix (193-206) What do myths tell about happiness? Myths cannot tell us how to be happy. and the Senecas nirvana — the Buddhist concept that means “to blow out.” implying the extinguishing of the flame of desire that binds us to carnal suffering Sigmund Freud — a 19th/20th century Austrian neurologist who established psychoanalysis (the study of the interplay between the conscious and subconscious levels of the human brain) Karl Heinrich Marx — the influential 19th century philosopher and economist who wrote The Communist Manifesto. What does Campbell mean when he says that “God is within you. etc. Why does suffering underlie all existence? . comprised of five tribes: the Mohawks. How does Campbell define “compassion”? 26. a treatise that predicted that capitalism would be replaced by a classless society that therefore would end all struggles karma — a Sanskrit word meaning “action. but they can reveal what happens to us when we reach that state of bliss. Campbell then tells the real story of the massacre of the Tibetan monks by the Chinese army in 1959. the Onondagas. What do we learn from the “tales of the refusal of the suitors”? 25. Campbell tells an Iroquois tale that reveals a motif called the “refusal of the suitors. Our happiness is found within our own selves. the Oneidas. the prince who became the Buddha. as did Siddhartha Gotama. have never uttered a word of hatred against their enemies. heaven/hell.

since we are first connected to our mothers. a collection of related languages that spans from India (Indo) to Europe Big Sur — a spectacular wilderness located in central coastal California Upanishads — A collection of Hindu scriptures that reveals Hinduism through probing questions and discussions involving gurus and their students supererogatory — to act beyond the call of duty. Why does the female represent maya in India? . and many others. Arabic. one of Noah’s sons Indo-European —another linguistic term that refers to the largest branch of the language tree. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University Chapter 6: “The Gift of the Goddess” (207-216) What is the goddess culture mentality and where did it go? Campbell addresses the fact that the earliest mythologies focused on more maternal aspects of nature. The goddess represents the creative aspects of the universe. However. meaning illusion Semite/Semitic — a linguistic term representing the language family shared by speakers of Hebrew. making the female a more natural creator than the male. Neolithic — the period from about 8000 BCE – 3000 BCE when mankind developed agriculture and metalworking throughout the world maya — a Sanskrit term. worship. the term is derived from Shem. Campbell specifically recalls the Babylonian story (Enuma elish) that glorifies how the warrior god Marduk effectively kills off the ancient Mesopotamian ocean mother goddess. Campbell also recalls several examples of Hebrew history and culture that subjugated the neighboring goddess cultures.The power of myth K 453 Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. Tiamat. she was the queen of Henry II in the James Goldman play The Lion in Winter 1. leading to Western societies’ affinity for male dominance. only later to seek the father in our lives. including her son Richard I (the Lionhearted) of England. Why are most Neolithic figurines female rather than male? 2. bringing with them a male-oriented mentality that replaced and subjugated the feminine imagery. exceeding beyond what is necessary Hildegarde of Bingen — a 12th century German saint and writer of religious literature Eleanor of Aquitaine — a 12th century French and English queen who supported the Crusades and bore many powerful children. Chapter 6 Prof. nomadic herders invaded the goddess cultures roughly 6000 years ago. and value.

son of Isis. He then provides an excellent summary of the Osiris story. All of us seek a spiritual rebirth. All the while.45 4 K Appendix 3. mother of Jesus. modeled after the Egyptian goddess Isis who protected her son Horus from Set Attis — a Phrygian (Trojan/Turkish) archetypal deity of rebirth and the feminine-oriented life cycles Adonis — a Semitic and Greek archetypal deity of rebirth and the feminine-oriented life cycles. one result of this pregnancy was Helen of Troy. related to Osiris and Dumuzi Mithra — a Persian and Zoroastrian god of light who promoted honesty and friendship Sol (Greek Helios) — the Roman sun god who rode his ox-drawn chariot across the sky while wearing his crown of light Lucius Apuleius Platonicus — a 2nd century CE Roman writer of the Metamorphoses (also called The Golden Ass) Council of Ephesus — a meeting in 431 CE of early Christian Church leaders who forbade any changes to the Nicene Creed and reaffirmed the absolute status of Original Sin Artemis (Roman Diana) — Greek goddess of the hunt. Leda was raped by Zeus who had taken the form of a swan. Campbell then discusses an ancient Indian concept of the seven psychological centers that illustrate the path to enlightenment. Campbell is explaining how the virgin birth concept is a spiritual (not a physical) one. the moon. Why would a virgin birth motif be a common archetype? . who retained the feminine principles alive when the Near East was subjugating this concept. Why does Campbell suggest the following: “[O]ur own Western subjugation of the female is a function of biblical thinking”? (216-224) What is the meaning of the virgin birth motif? Campbell explains that the virgin birth idea was introduced to the Western traditions by way of the Greeks. the face that launched the thousand ships that began the Trojan War Persephone — the queen of the underworld in Greek mythology who was married to Hades Madonna — an Italian name for Mary (“My lady”). drawing close attention to the birth of Horus. the two figures in the original artistic representation of the Madonna. How are male-oriented and female-oriented societies psychologically different? 4. and chastity 5. Leda — in Greek mythology. the name also refers to artistic depictions of Mary with the baby Jesus upon her lap.

How is a ritual an enactment of a myth? . such as Indra (god of war) and Agni (god of fire) 9. to the feminine) that is counterbalanced by our ties to our particular societies (that promote the male). Why is the motif of the resurrected god associated with the moon and sun? 8. Campbell recalls several religious examples of this female/male dichotomy. The people who can learn to reconcile this duality spiritually will get the message of life. where both concepts play a role in the beliefs. What is a true spiritual rebirth? (225-230) So how does the female relate to the male in spiritual life? Campbell illustrates that the feminine concepts and values are intrinsically tied to Nature. What are the seven psychological centers and what do they represent? K 455 7. The male aspects reflect societies and social organizations. Vedic gods — The Vedas are the oldest Hindu Sanskrit scriptures that told the history of the earliest Hindu gods. What philosophical question did our Founding Fathers contemplate? 10. Campbell concludes this discussion by suggesting that the study of mythology reintroduces our physical ties to nature (that is.The power of myth 6.

True love and marriage are matters of the spirit. the Roman Church condemned this Eros (Roman Cupid) — Greek god of carnal love and origin of the word erotic libido — the concept of sexual desire or similar pleasure energy from one’s Id unconscious credo — one’s creed. such as the Nicene Creed Tristan and Isolde — the names of the lovers from the 12 century CE romance Tristan and Isolde. who were young knights who forsook fighting for romantic escapades. They sought the genuine experience of love that affirms the values of both participants. Francesca’s husband murdered them when he discovered them in bed Wilhelm Richard Wagner — 19th century CE German composer who wrote music inspired by Norse and Germanic myth and legend 1. One who has found true love will accept any pain to experience this love — the love overcomes the fear of death. and selflessness versus selfishness are additional incarnations of this duality. not the arranged marriages of the Middle Ages that were really just political unions for political child rearing. Libido reflects the feminine energies. Nature versus Society. What were the qualities of the three kinds of love (during the time of the troubadours)? eros — agape — amor — . an offshoot sect that was critical of Church corruption Manichean heresy — Manichaeism was a Persian religion (from the 3rd – 16th centuries BC) based on dualism of nature without an omnipotent power guiding it. troubadours — 12th century French knights who composed songs and poems about chivalry and courtly love instead of fighting Albigensian Crusade of 1209 — the 20-year-long bloody war launched by the Roman Catholic Church against the troubadours in Provençe as well as the French Cathars. while the credo imposes societal rule and the dominance of the masculine. Chapter 7 Prof. Campbell urges us to seek happiness beyond the binds of society. Campbell proposes an interesting duality between libido and credo: the human drive to experience life from the heart against what he calls the “monolithic system” (the absolute authority of rule of law). Campbell then discusses the pleasure/pain. heaven/hell duality. heart versus mind. not the physical. or verbal commitment to one’s beliefs or values. the story of an adulterous relationship between a knight and a princess George Bernard Shaw — the 19th and 20th century CE Irish author who wrote the play Pygmalion. the story of lower class British woman who is coached into speaking as an upper class woman Paolo and Francesca — 13th century Italian lovers referenced in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy for their sin of adultery. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University Chapter 7: “Tales of Love and Marriage” (231-238) What is the highest form of love? Campbell begins this chapter on love by recalling a 12th century French tradition of the troubadours.45 6 K Appendix Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth.

but this structure must evolve naturally out of the heart and not be imposed from society. but that the heart should lead the way. How did medieval women “control” love? . Campbell agrees that both heart and mind need to be in balance. There were also rules for courtly love. which was not typically found in arranged marriages chivalry — the medieval code of knightly conduct that promoted defending the Church and women’s virtues as well as fair fighting and personal courage 5. Campbell recalls several qualities of chivalry. Matters of the heart need to be guided by some type of order. courtly love — the playful flirtations between knights and ladies that achieved a “spiritual eroticism” between man and woman. the code of conduct that guided the behaviors of medieval knights. Why does Campbell suggest that “love” is the “meaning of life”? (238-243) Shouldn’t both male and female perspectives be in balance? Moyers presses Campbell about the dangers of when the matters of the heart (love and bliss) dominate over reason and limits. List the five virtues of the medieval knight 7.The power of myth 2. What aspect of the West makes it unique to all other traditions? 4. while Amor is a personal one? K 457 3. Why does Campbell suggest that the heart should lead the way (and not the head)? 6. Why are Eros and Agape impersonal loves. practiced by the troubadours.

but it was restricted by the Roman Church for over a thousand years. the politically rejected gospels speak enthusiastically of the matters of the heart. and must understand the world of duality. which is a more natural path toward bliss and the sublime. Psyche — the Roman story from Lucius Apuleius’ The Golden Ass of a beautiful mortal who incured jealousy from Venus. What mentality does Campbell equate with “the beginning of Europe”? (247-249) Who “cracked up” old Europe? Rather than crediting the troubadours to answer this question. Despite Dan Brown’s book The DaVinci Code. their passions for spirituality. the Grail is a mythological symbol for “the fulfillment of the highest spiritual potentialities of the human consciousness. only to find that Cupid himself fell in love with her. beginning the Protestant revolution Flavius Theodosius — the 4th century CE Roman emperor who mandated Roman Christianity as the official religion of Rome . must suffer. one not accepted by the 5th century Roman Church). What does Campbell say the Holy Grail represents? 10. where Jesus is portrayed in a far more pagan light. the true love found in the heart. The Gospel of Thomas. The troubadours. who sent her son Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with an ugly man. not looking for some golden cup. “psyche” in psychology refers to the concept of the self or the forces that comprise the identity of one’s self 9.” Participants on this holy quest are really testing their hearts. Campbell points to Martin Luther’s protest against the Roman Church. were actually experiencing the highest form of love. Whereas the organized Church imposed a societal structure on its parishioners (especially regarding love and marriage). How does Campbell define “compassion”? (243-247) Was the quest for the Holy Grail a spiritual test? Moyers and Campbell begin a discussion of medieval romances. This idea of awakening one’s spirit was an original practice of early Christians. Campbell makes one interesting reference to an apocryphal gospel (that is. The knight on the journey must experience. Martin Luther — a 16th century German monk and theologian who challenged the Roman Catholic Church by nailing 99 theses to the Wittenberg Cathedral. such as the quest for the Holy Grail. while pegged as adulterers by the Roman Church.45 8 K Appendix 8.

as well as a dualistic divinity (light and dark divine forces in conflict with each other). not the self. Francis of Assisi? (249-257) How does this liberation of the heart affect a marriage? Campbell clarifies between a true “Amor” marriage and a love affair. He then recalls the Greek myth of Tiresias. revealing where wisdom can be found — in seeking understanding of the other. the man who experienced both manhood and womanhood. and the Age of the Holy Spirit (the age to follow that would allow us to truly understand God) St. Easternmost portion of the Roman Empire during the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages Abbot Joachim of Floris — the 12th century CE Italian monk who proposed the three ages of the spirit: The Age of the Father (Old Testament). the Age of the Son (New Testament). any harm that one renders onto the other is also rendered onto the marriage itself. Campbell reminds him that temptations amongst married people are both common and natural.” or the awareness of God through personal experience. Campbell ends this section by explaining a Persian story about Satan and Hell. Furthermore. Circe was a goddess of potions and magic. How was the concept of the individual experience (psyche) promoted by Western religious thinkers. as well as a mystic whose teachings were more in accord with mythology and the concepts of the sacred feminine 11. Through that experience. which is beyond even the scope of the gods and goddesses. known in The Odyssey for turning Odysseus’ men into pigs Johannes Eckhart — the 13th/14th century CE German theologian who was tried as a heretic for promoting the individual soul above the hierarchy of the Roman Church . such as Abbot Joachim of Floris and St. Oddly. This blind prophet experienced two genders. Zeus (Roman Jupiter) — the Greek sky god and ruler of Mount Olympus. she was the goddess of marriage Circe — the daughter of the sun god Helios.The power of myth K 459 Byzantium — the name of the Greek speaking. known for his thunderbolts and relentless sexual escapades Hera (Roman Juno) — the wife and sister of Zeus. Campbell next appears to defend love affairs when Moyers argues that following one’s heart could violate a marriage. however. He discusses how marriage is bound together by loyalty. one will ultimately find one’s true self. they were persecuted and discredited by the early Roman Church Gospel of Thomas — one of many Christian Apocryphal texts that were excluded from the Bible when it was assembled by Pope Damasus at the Roman Council in 382 CE. This idea comes from Hinduism and Buddhism. these Apocrypa were often rejected by Roman bishops because they revealed Jesus as more of a man than a god. Francis of Assisi — the 12th century CE founder of the Franciscan Friars and a lover of animals and nature Gnostics — early Christians who believed in “gnosis. Read this section carefully and focus on the question of true spiritual love.

46 0 K Appendix 12. Does mythology ever link romantic love and God? 18. What does the myth of Tiresias explain about using one’s intuition? 15. why was Satan “God’s greatest lover”? Why is love associated with pain and suffering? 19. In the Persian tradition. How does Campbell apply the concept of sacrifice to the yin/yang symbol? 14. In Campbell’s second Persian myth example. How does Campbell distinguish between a marriage and a love affair? 13. how was love restricted? . What does love have to do with morality? 17. Is a person better off having loved and lost? What do myths say about this? 16.

What does Campbell mean when he speaks about “living out the sense of the Christ in you”? . extracting a difference between West and East: that the Western religions do not prioritize the spiritual experience as much as the Eastern religions. Again. The discussion then turns more personal. beginning with the different views of God and cosmic energy. causing reservations and a hesitation to become enlightened. this is a concept inspired by Campbell’s experiences with Hinduism and Buddhism.The power of myth K 461 Reading Guide: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. This causes many Westerners to avoid searching for religious experiences because they appear to differ from the images and structures promoted by the Western doctrines. Chapter 8 Prof. and how does this compare with Eastern and primal cultures? 2. Campbell devotes significant time to assessing how modern Christianity’s approach differs from Eastern beliefs. by “experiences. He then discusses meditation and prayer. How does the West view God and energy. Campbell explains how he was taught about the forces of good and evil as a child. recalling the angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Suez Canal — a man-made canal in Egypt that connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Rosary — Catholic prayer beads that direct a meditative experience by repeatedly reciting prayers such as the “Hail Mary” and the “Our Father” 1. spiritual mysticism. and even original Christian beliefs practiced during the early years. Stephen Hagin K Symbolic Connections in WL K 12th edition K Kennesaw State University Chapter 8: “Masks of Eternity” (258-268) Why does every culture seek to know God? Campbell clarifies the distinctions between Western and Eastern mentalities. but it lies outside the constructs of your formal religious upbringing.” Campbell refers to personal spiritual participation in a transcendental mystery that originates within one’s heart. Note that.

especially the aspects of completeness and transcendence. animals. What is the etymology (word origin) of “religion”? (268-274) What of the psyche. What is the ultimate archetype of man? Why? . representing the unity of the married partners. Circles are used to show the transcendence of space and time (both spacial and temporal). and centers? Campbell alludes back to his discussion of marriage and his enclosure of the two partners within a circle. He discusses spiritual symbolism of the circle. Campbell recalls that the Holy Grail represented the vessel from which flowed the “inexhaustible source.46 2 K Appendix 3. that represents the universe (cosmos) in Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. What does a circle symbolize or portray? 5. and even nature mandala — a Sanskrit word for “circle. The center of a circle can also represent the center of the universe. What does “symbol” mean.” and that one clear message in mythology is that the source of God is found within yourself. only to wipe them away so as to return them to their source. usually made with colored sand. another universal mythological motif. Wedding rings are also circular.” derived from Friedrich Nietzsche Orpheus — the character from Greek mythology whose singing and strumming of his lyre could intoxicate people.” it is a geometrical design. and it is traditionally ruined after its completion to symbolize the passing of all things 4. What does the fisherman concept represent? 7. Mortimer Adler — the 20th century CE American philosopher who wrote on topics such as “will to power. suggesting that we revert back to a state of “becoming.” a condition that is receptive to our inevitable change. as they have been replanted into the womb of Mother Earth. The center suggests a universal consciousness — a commonality in thinking processes and patterns that make us instinctively human. according to Campbell? 6. People are buried as an act of rebirth. Campbell applies the Buddhist concepts of “being” and “becoming” to illustrate our spiritual journeys. Buddhists monks spend weeks creating sand mandalas. circles.

Campbell draws a distinction between myths and Western religions: the West sees God as only good. such as Plato and Aristotle Abraham Maslow — the 20th century CE American psychologist who categorized five distinct levels of human needs. who destroys the earth). This section examines the duality of the divine. supreme. and how does Campbell respond? . such as when he held the poison in his throat in “The Churning of the Milk Ocean” Arthur Schopenhauer — a 19th century German philosopher who saw life as inherently evil and full of suffering. but governed by cosmic justice. or pure Vishnu — the Hindu god of preservation who incarnated himself ten times to preserve the order in the universe by thwarting the demons Shiva — the Hindu god of destruction who often sacrifices himself to protect the world. he instructs. Campbell uses art to explain spiritual epiphany and the experience of the sublime. referred to as the hierarchy of needs James Joyce — an early 20th century Irish author known for his cryptic novels sublime — a word that means lofty. AUM. However. Follow your bliss.The power of myth K 463 (274-287) How does one rectify pleasure and pain? Campbell once again relies on Buddhist answers to Moyers’ Western questions. Referring to trickster gods (who cause dispute) as well as Vishnu (or Shiva. Heraclitus — the 6th/5th century BCE Ephesian philosopher who believed that the world was in a state of flux. impressive. What role does the clown or trickster play in mythology? 9. probing into fundamental religious questions about the nature of God. from carnal to spiritual. he influenced later philosophers. What is Moyers’ disagreement with Campbell. but salvation could be found through ascetic living Karlfried Graf Dürckheim — a 20th century CE German psychotherapist who was inspired by Meister Eckhart 8. How does Campbell describe a “peak experience”? 10. How did Irish author James Joyce define “epiphany”? 11. he asks that all of us look within ourselves to find the person we really are and how we relate to others and the world around us. whereas mythological cultures openly recognize God’s dual nature. complete.

beyond the words? 16. What is the place and role of ethics in mythology? 14. Where does Campbell suggest Eden exists? 18.46 4 K Appendix 12. What does poetry help us understand. ethics. What have you learned the most from this book? . How do metaphysics. How does Campbell distinguish between “eternity” and “everlasting”? 13. 17. and religion work together? 15. What is Campbell’s response to the “purpose” of life.

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