March 26, 2012

Remembering Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell was born March 26th, 1904 and passed on October 30th 1987.

He was a mythologist, writer, and speaker and is best known for his PBS series with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth that aired posthumously. He was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. His many books have had a huge impact upon understanding the purpose of myth in various cultures, throughout time, and include important insight into the functions of myth. Campbell’s book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, influenced George Lucas’s Star Wars and provided Lucas with a foundation to create a consistent mythology.

He had a great influence upon me as a writer and as a video lecturer, his is beyond comparison to any other speaker in his videos, particularly with Bill Moyers. His advice to “follow your bliss” is important to my personality, but his concept to MYTH – Make Yourself The Hero, was mind changing. His MYTH concept was the imbus for the “cattle raids,” which we held at many gatherings in the mid-west in the early 1990s. In the “cattle raids” we would steal each other’s stuffed toy cattle using and then tell stories about the evening fire. The stories would grow in the telling, often to mythic proportions. The story telling, where your actions became the basis for the development of new myth, became the stuff legends come from.

Likewise, The Masks of God was an important influence upon my understanding of how deity is interpreted by different cultures at different times. The cultural context of the people is fundamental to understanding the development of their myths as well as understanding how spiritual relationships develop.

Today, on the 108th anniversary of his birth, I remember Joseph Campbell and give thanks to him as an Ancestor.

1 comment:

ArtSings1946 said...

Wow, thanks for this post. It's funny, because my daughter and I just saw this again on Public TV, again I have to say. He was so insightful it's frightening. Not many "thinkers" like him anymore, or at least ones we know about.

Happiness to all.