April 26, 2020 at 4:50 pm #73466
Here is a link to over 50 snippets of Campbell lecturing or answering questions, with some as brief as a minute, and others stretching over seven minutes, but most in the two to four minute range. I appreciate having this collection all in one place without having to hunt through YouTube to find them.
What immediately stands out for me on the very first page of this collection are two clips: one on the Navajo legend of “Where the Two Came to Their Father,” and a nearly four minute clip entitled “The Homeric Legends: The Warrior Returns” (on the Odyssey). Taken together they encapsulate the value of myth as a tool for soldiers who have to separate from the ordinary world, go off to war, and return home.
Navajo soldiers headed off to World War II participated in a shaman-led ritual that served as a retelling of the myth of “the Two” (essentially by stepping into a sand painting, identifying with and participating in the myth), and even today some veterans organizations are using the Odyssey as one tool to help returning soldiers suffering from PTSD re-adjust to “the ordinary world.”
Myths aren’t just relegated to scholarly tomes on dusty bookshelves, but have real world relevance today. That, for me, is a compelling illustration of the “power” of myth.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Recommendations for further study?
Bliss OnMay 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm #73473
Re: ” Thoughts? Suggestions? Recommendations for further study?”
Stephen; here are two DVD suggestions; both endorsed by the Foundation that I believe will fit this bill perfectly.
One is the award winning project by Steven and Whitney Boe; called: “Mythic Journeys”; done in 2009; and the other is Patrick Soloman’s: “Finding Joe”. These films explore myth deeply and introduce many of Joseph’s ideas into the personal applications individuals can explore into bringing the realization of one’s personal myth into realization in everyday live. “Bliss” is not just a word describing rapture; but the utilization of a life path of transformation into who one is meant to become in both of these highly engaging features. They will pull the listener in and keep them thinking about how these themes affect their life in a multitude of ways; complete with appearances by such recognizable figures as: JCF Board President – Robert Walter; Deepak Chopra, Michael Meade, among many others. (They both are available for purchase on Amazon.)May 14, 2020 at 12:07 am #73472
Excellent resources, James. I’m curious if you added links? If so, I apologize (posts with multiple links are held pending moderator approval: turns out that’s a common spam tactic on bulletin boards). If you did link the titles, I’m afraid the URLs were stripped away, so I used my admin superpowers to create links for each film.May 14, 2020 at 2:10 am #73471
Thank you very much for checking on this and using your (admin.-super powers) Stephen; because yes; that is exactly what happened and I went back and erased the links. Glad these suggestions were appropriate to this topic because I was torn between suggesting them here or in the Mythological Resources Forum. (They can be moved if need be); but either way I think they are terrific support pieces, and would be extremely helpful for anyone new to Joseph’s ideas. They are both done exceptionally well; and I like them because they make me think of new and different ways to integrate his themes into my life.July 22, 2020 at 9:21 pm #73470
Stephen; your 1st example in this topic of Joseph’s use of the Navajo symbolism as related to other cultural interpretations of the psychological and spiritual applications to human life I think is a great starting place to interconnect the human emotional landscape that all people must address. His explanation of their cosmology if interpreted and applied to western motifs; (for instance as with Jeff King in this particular reference); is a perfect example.
I was listening to one of his lectures concerning the archetypal journey of the Hero where he uses one of these symbols; (i.e. the feather); as a reference to a psychological aid to hold to and keep from cracking up as the individual goes through their emotional process. He explains this as the appearance of a secret agent of power that the candidate encounters on their journey who provides them with a secret weapon to hold on to as they travel the path of the razors edge so they won’t fall off.
In the clip below is a further explanation of this Navajo cosmology that you were referring to that broadens out some of these correlations you used as an example. I think your point is a great example of how a psychological crisis in one culture is illustrated in another and their means of coping or resolving them is in so many ways universal as Joseph showed.July 22, 2020 at 10:06 pm #73469
I appreciate your mention of Campbell’s observation about how, say, the Diné (or Navajo) might use a feather as a totem – “as a reference to a psychological aid to hold to and keep from cracking up as the individual goes through their emotional process.”
This reminds me of the film Inception, which is about dreams within dreams within dreams, and entering into other people’s dreams. The lead character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, carries a totem, a spinning top that belonged to his dead wife. If he spins it and it falls, he knows he is awake; if it continues to spin endlessly, doing what can’t be done in waking reality, then he knows he is in someone else’s dream.
(Taking a brief tangent unrelated to tokens, I was just this morning reviewing the 26 dreams I recorded in my dream journal since the world first became aware of the novel coronavirus in mid-January: in several of the dreams I tumbled to the realization I was dreaming on questioning an element in the dream behaving in a way that would not happen in waking reality – everything from a tiny civet cat morphing into a manatee, to a conversation with my first girlfriend that I eventually recognized could not be “real” as she passed away four years ago; usually that realization led to the dream dissolving as I woke, but occasionally to a period of lucidity – being awake within the dream.)
I do have a few ritual objects that serve as totems for me in waking life. One is a walnut-sized amethyst that was a gift from a very magic, nature-oriented lady over a quarter century ago (well, maybe “girl” is a more accurate description for a senior in high school). The amethyst is rich in color and has an occlusion in the center, where three facets of the crystal come together. The night I received the amethyst, I dreamt it was huge – the size of Yosemite’s Half Dome; the occlusion in the center was a deep, dark cave with an infinite line of Buddhas, all different individuals, all clad in bright, colorful yet different raiment, sitting in meditation and receding into the interior.
Ever since that night it’s been a personal totem that’s been part of my journey – a powerful “psychological aid to hold to and keep from cracking up.”
I’ve always been fascinated by the historical, religious, anthropological, academic discussion of mythology – but Joe adds something extra to the mix, a practical application of myth and ritual to everyday life . . .July 23, 2020 at 12:08 am #73468
Incredible multifaceted response Stephen; thank you for these insights. The “Feather” has been in and out of some of my dreams the last couple of weeks because I have been reading and posting so much on Joseph’s and Jungian material related to some of these themes. I don’t have nearly the background in dream related subjects as you do of course; (you have often been kind enough to shared your thoughts and observations on your journaling over the years); but I do scribble down a few impressions of mine at night when they wake me; (which the Feather has done recently); so I know there is something happening internally which I do need to stay on top of; hence one of the main reasons for the choice of this post.
Key symbols that keep recurring seem to be lynchpins of interrelated dynamics at play within the psyche so I realize archetypal content has been at work. And I know Jung tells us whether asleep or awake we are constantly evolving and these elements are shaping our feelings, thoughts, and different relationships of these various components to each other; (ego, shadow, anima/animus, persona and the larger self-archetype); whether deep in the unconscious when we sleep or within our conscious waking awareness. So I’m trying to become as aware as possible of the presence of some of this inter-play whenever I can; so the reason for this topic seemed appropriate at this moment.
Every few days or so I review some of these impressions I’ve scribbled down along with other thoughts I’ve recorded throughout the days and weeks to get an insight of what’s at work as I go along and it seems to be producing very positive results. And although the blind-spot of our ego-consciousness can sometimes trip us up; the virus pandemic we are dealing with right now for me demands this effort. There is a negative aspect; one becomes more aware of the dark side of things; but the positive side far out-weighs whatever darkness one encounters because not only does one realize how precious each moment of life is; growth and forward movement usually result from whatever efforts are put forth.
What’s amazing to me about these ancient cultural insights is the power and intelligence they reveal in dealing with these timeless human issues; and it seems to me we are at the brink of a great Renaissance of human understanding if we can just come to grips with our modern dark-side. (Notice I said come to grips; not fix it; you don’t fix this because it’s an important component of being human; but you can definitely become aware and integrate some it because that’s part of what Jung is saying.) I’ve lived through some of this human ignorance related to mental illness; and I cannot believe mankind is doomed to live forever dictated by it’s pain and darkness. Joseph and Jung and countless others keep moving us forward; this work is proof of that.
Your helpful insights are always a welcome port in the storm to hear; and I’ll certainly look forward to more of them as we go along. Thanks for sharing them Stephen.October 19, 2020 at 3:53 pm #73467
Just a follow-up to this earlier post from James:
Stephen; here are two DVD suggestions; both endorsed by the Foundation that I believe will fit this bill perfectly.
One is the award winning project by Steven and Whitney Boe; called: “Mythic Journeys”; done in 2009; and the other is Patrick Soloman’s: “Finding Joe”. These films explore myth deeply and introduce many of Joseph’s ideas into the personal applications individuals can explore into bringing the realization of one’s personal myth into realization in everyday live.
Alas, the overly muscular security app we were using at the time did not allow James to post the links, so I’m re-posting then here: you can learn more about Mythic Journeys and/or purchase it here.
Click on the title to view Finding Joe for free on YouTube: removing the pay wall is writer/director Patrick Takaya Solomon’s response to the pandemic, making it available and accessible to all . You can learn more about the process of filming “Finding Joe” in this dedicated conversation with Patrick in the Mythological Resources forum here in Conversations of a Higher Order.
- The forum ‘The Conversation with a Thousand Faces’ is closed to new topics and replies.