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      Found this an interesting use of a Joseph Campbell quote.
      Didn’t know he was a philosopher .
      Thought he was a professor of literature.

      Ivanka Trump Commencement Speech Transcript for Class of 2020

      Ivanka Trump: (08:20)
      Joseph Campbell, a philosopher who also helped inspire the creation of Star Wars, once said, “The achievement of the hero is one that he is ready for, it’s really a manifestation of his character. The landscape and conditions of the environment match the readiness of the hero. The adventure that he is ready for is the one that he gets.”


      Philosopher can accurately be applied to Joseph Campbell (it’s not a job title, but a description, like philanthropist or statesman). Most philosophers in recent centuries have had day jobs: Erasmus was a monk; Immanuel Kant taught physics and mathematics at the University of Königsberg; Nietzsche started off as a professor of philology at the University of Basel; Ayn Rand was a film  extra, junior screenwriter, head of the costuming department at RKO, and novelist, etc.

      (Of course, anyone with a Ph.D. is technically a “Doctor of Philosophy,” but Campbell dropped out of the doctoral program at Columbia; all he had was a Master’s Degree.)

      Ivanka Trump’s citing Campbell toward the end of her commencement address drew a lot of attention to JCF on social media: a number of posters on various platforms were incensed and quite vocal with demands that the Foundation condemn her usage. All we could do is verify the accuracy of the quote (she doesn’t provide a source, so took a little while to track it down); after that, our hands were tied. Whatever one thinks of Ivanka Trump or her father politically, the quote was correct and did fit the context of her speech, which was relatively generic and uplifting, as commencement addresses tend to be. Had the same speech been delivered by, say, Reese Witherspoon, or Tom Hanks, there would have been no public controversy.

      I can’t say whether or not Ivanka is familiar with Campbell’s work. She well may be, but seemed more like whoever wrote the speech was looking for a relevant quote to plug-in from a figure who might carry some weight with young people. Could just just be my projection, but if that truly were the case, Ivanka’s reference does signify how deep Campbell’s influence is in popular culture.


        Stephen; this is an excellent point you bring up; because so many people reference Joseph and don’t really know any of the backstory behind the phrases of his they are using. Themes like: “Follow your bliss” or the “Hero’s Journey”; for example have become everyday catch phrases but without knowledge of the context behind them and are often misunderstood; much less incorrectly applied. (Bliss) would be a prime example here. So much so that even Joseph at one point out of frustration stated: (I should have said: “Follow your blisters!”) Bliss does “not” mean: a “happy, happy frolic in the meadow”; in his words it meant: “following the push out of your own existence”; your highest enthusiasm yes!; but not some kind of self-absorbed excursion to shut out the world and be happy; but to find and live the deepest part of your potential. The (Hero) is the “You” that dares to step out beyond their boundaries and find that which moves and inspires them to become their best self; not what the herd says or that society or religion demands as a: “Thou Shalt system” way of living. It’s that which brings you rapture, joy, and meaning in the deeper experiences of what it means to be truly alive and following that.

        And as you suggest; when one looks through history there are so many incredible examples; (a thousand faces of them and many more); that have brought: light, intelligence, and humanity into a world filled with darkness. Erasmus would certainly be one; many think of him as one of the key inspirers of the Renaissance; but he had many years of struggle during a period where if you said something that offended either the Church or ruler of any kind it could literally cost you your head. His book: “In Praise of Folly” was a little piece of dynamite that rocked that world because it’s message was tucked inside a short little piece of humor.

        Michel de Montaigne’s: “Essay’s was another; his key phrase: “What Do I Know?” many have felt as an expression of the tone of that period where Art informed everything around you; and the word “enlightenment” served more as a vehicle of the spirit of the times than just conversation at some cocktail party. We say names like: Copernicus and Galileo; often without realizing what they went through to bring us their gifts when their ideas challenged the Church with it’s tiny idea of the universe; where Yahweh, Genesis, and Jesus informed their doctrines and anyone that challenged this was a Heretic subject to being burned at the stake. Joseph’s Hero was not a figment of one’s imagination; but often one born out of suffering and conflict; and this idea he did his best to convey as accessible to all.

        (Robert sorry; after looking over my earlier suggestion it was not a very good idea so I took it down. Please disregard it!)


          Yes. It was his lack of Ph.D. I was alluding to.


            Not looking to incite a flame war.
            Just found the quote and use interesting .

            I thoroughly enjoy Your insight.
            Seems to me many of our real historic heroic figures fill the template structure of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 ???…
            No good deed …
            There are always powers against disruption of the status quo and toppling carts , apple carts orange carts flower carts and others …
            Should be lots of fun to see what happens when dead presidents are gone and cryptocurrency is the coin of the realm ???
            We as a species wrest data information knowledge and wisdom from the unknown through toil trials tribulation sweat tears & hard work…
            It is the beasts of burden that convey the spirit of humanity through spacetime …
            Whether the labor is intellectual or physical all is a work of illumination mining in the niche mountain cave of human experience and existence … it is in this cave that we seek shelter from the Storm … it is from this cave that conditions and environments are born for future generations to flourish in Bloom achieve apotheosis … Through evolution life always finds a niche to exploit and capitalize on …
            All hail


              Robert; you always have interesting and helpful insights to share. No; that was my blind spot I was working through. I was offering a suggestion to what “I” thought would be helpful. You clearly have something you enjoy and that works for you; it’s not about my insight on something. We all have blind spots and after looking at it I realized what I did and took it out. That’s the thing about internal processes sometimes; we do stuff and then we see them hopefully and go oh no; and then take care of it. No my friend; that was on me; you have been nothing but helpful since you came on board; so please carry on! Thank you for your input on these new forums; we are trying to get them off the ground and you have been playing a big part in that.



                I saw Oliver for the first time as a child at Radio City Music Hall . Quite an event . I remember identifying with Oliver as a child , empathizing . I suppose we all did that as children . Now that I am older it still doesn’t lose its magic. Though now through imposition of meaning and conscious eisegesis the Art takes on a multidimensional aspect that I was blind to as a child . So much Archetypical symbolism intended  and unintended by the artist can be discerned and imposed . The magic is still there and so much more real for the contemplation .

                Here is a YouTube clip of “Who Will Buy” from the movie Oliver



                  Robert; this is a stunning example of Archetypal influence! Indeed many of these older pieces capture childhood fantasies that follow us throughout our lives; often inspiring us to aspirations beyond our day to day experiences of normal life. Books, paintings, music all serve this realm of the muses that inspire.  Definitely potential “Hero” territory here I think for this is the place of childhood creative incubation where dreams are born; and one’s sense of possibility is first awakened. (It’s all over this particular piece within it’s magical display in every frame of footage.) I hope you’ll do more of these since this so beautifully expresses how archetypes can manifest themselves within certain pieces. Especially since archetypes so powerfully evoke these: “manifestations of character” the topic of Joseph’s quote specifies.



                    Always  lots of fun during this time of pandemic to contemplate what the Puer aeternus & Ravens Huginn (from Old Norse “thought”) and Muninn (Old Norse “memory” or “mind”) come tapping rapping , bring my way !!!

                    I am a product and child of my time place and experience imagined and real …

                    I am fully aware  enjoy And am mindful of the biases they elicit …

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