The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

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Heber13
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by Heber13 » 12 Mar 2010, 15:38

HiJolly wrote:In our current secular world, humanist values are dimming our belief in the value, the efficacy, of myth, ritual, and religion. Funny how we are too smart for our own good, when we discard myth.
Being intellectual and being smart are not the same thing, are they?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Orson
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by Orson » 12 Mar 2010, 15:56

Heber13 wrote:Being intellectual and being smart are not the same thing, are they?
Book smarts and wisdom are certainly not the same thing.
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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HiJolly
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by HiJolly » 13 Mar 2010, 00:05

Heber13 wrote:
HiJolly wrote:In our current secular world, humanist values are dimming our belief in the value, the efficacy, of myth, ritual, and religion. Funny how we are too smart for our own good, when we discard myth.
Being intellectual and being smart are not the same thing, are they?
I dunno....

I try to think, but nothin' happens....


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 23 May 2011, 10:05

For me it was interesting to hear Joseph Campbell's ideas and stories in response to all kinds of interview questions asked by Bill Moyers. Sometimes it was hard for me to follow his thought process and understand what he was trying to say but I appreciate the amount of time he took to study all these myths from different cultures and religious backgrounds such as Native American, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. that I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to on my own.

Because I always associated myths mostly with Greek, Roman, and Norse Mythology I used to think of them as approximately the same thing as fiction and perhaps even worse than intended fiction because they looked mostly like made up stories or ideas that people once believed in or still believe in and I would wonder how they could possibly take all this seriously. I still don't know if there is anything magical about myths in general but when you see how common similar stories about deities, creation, resurrections, etc. have been I think it shows that it is almost human nature to look for meaning above and beyond what people typically see and experience in their everyday lives so you might as well expect this to be the case. It seems that if one myth dies out others are likely appear or evolve to fill the void.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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Brian Johnston
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by Brian Johnston » 23 May 2011, 15:24

DevilsAdvocate wrote:It seems that if one myth dies out others are likely appear or evolve to fill the void.
I think that is one of the main points Joseph Campbell pushes forward -- that we can not escape this process. Perhaps we no longer believe in a god named Zeus with all the associated pantheon stories. We replace these with other stories though. We often don't even notice that we have done it. Our life is built upon "myths" that motivate and shape how we view and act in the world.

Modern people just have different myths: the myth of freedom and democracy, or of the glorious people's revolution, or of the surety of science -- that we have figured the whole world out, etc. etc.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Heber13
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by Heber13 » 23 May 2011, 20:16

Good point Brian. It seems we use our imaginations and are ever in search for meaning. I also think we watch TV and movies and have access to all kinds of literature, as well as trust what we read on the Internet. If I didn't have all this modern stuff to fill my time and thoughts...I'd probably be listening to myths around the campfires to provide meaning to my life in the absence of anything else.

I think that is what Campbell points out...that stuff can be useful, and have it's purpose, even if it doesn't factually reflect reality.

In some ways, this is where I don't agree with some of John Dehlin's recent comments on some podcasts. He seems to think for him the StayLDS way is not sustainable...but I think such myths have sustained cultures for hundreds of years, so I think it can be. We just have to let go of some things that hold us back from letting the myths work in our lives. I dunno, just some random thoughts. :eh:
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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SilentDawning
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by SilentDawning » 23 May 2011, 21:08

Mine was a small paperback too.

I found it hard to get through the first few pages, for some reason. So I took it back to the library and got video out of the library though, and it was less of a thick-experience for me. Sigourney Weaver narrates between vignettes of Campbell presenting his ideas in a lecture style format.

I learned the following from Vignette #1 in the movie:

Myths have four purposes:

1. Mystic -- they provide a definition or form for God, or "the mysterious force of the universe" as he puts it, which he implies may also dwell within you (that's my interpretation, he didn't explain this very well in my view)
2. Provides norms for individual conduct within society. (Something we gripe about with respect to the Church, although I think the norms the Church provides are less connected to myth, and more connected to policy).
3. Help individuals face challenges in their lives.
4. Reflects current understanding of the world (which he refers to as the cosmology).

The last one here was also unclear. I don't see number four as a function of the myth -- I see it as a characteristic of Myths -- they change and get updated as our understanding of world grows. He implies that when man knew nothing about the spherical nature of the earth, or the fact that we orbit the sun, the myths were simpler and didn't take into account this fact. However, as Copernicus helped us see we revolve around the sun, then, our myths had to be updated to accurately integrate our science.

I think this is why I have so much trouble reading some of his work -- I think he gives rather incomplete explanations that leave you thinking, and wondering if he said something profound, when in fact, he is sometimes just not being clear. When two out of four explanations are unclear as to his meaning, it makes me wonder....and I'm a cerebral academic at heart.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

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leavingthecave25
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by leavingthecave25 » 12 Jul 2012, 07:02

Just finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago. It has probably helped me the most of anything I've read thus far in my faith journey. Thanks for recommending it Bryan!

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Brian Johnston
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by Brian Johnston » 20 Jul 2012, 11:04

leavingthecave25 wrote:Just finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago. It has probably helped me the most of anything I've read thus far in my faith journey. Thanks for recommending it Bryan!
Glad you liked it. I still rank Joseph Campbell's works among the books that have most influenced my personal faith journey (in a positive direction).
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

AmyJ
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Re: The Power of Myth, Jospeh Campbell and Bill Moyers

Post by AmyJ » 21 May 2018, 08:32

Bump.

I got this book from the library on Saturday, and have gotten started on reading it (maybe 50 pages in).

In the first few pages, he talks about how the myth of marriage being the uniting of 2 separate individuals back into 1 individual in spirit has fallen out of favor as an under pining of society (I am phrasing it very poorly I think, but I don't have better words for the concepts I garnered from it).

I realized this was a fallacy of mine as well, that I had lost the understanding of us being spiritual cosmic halves. I knew we were married, and that we connected spiritually at times, but he was himself doing his thing, and I was myself doing my thing and trying not to get in the way of him doing his thing. I talked to my husband about it and am striving to update my mental mindset. He laughed in empathy when I pointed out that I wasn't appreciably better at taking care of my side of our dynamic duo, but that I was going to try to work harder and smarter in this area.

SIDE NOTE:
Funny thing - I have been sleeping less refreshed for a while now - not enough to go to the doctor over, just enough for me to be aware of it and wonder what's going on in my body. I figured it was a side effect of taking a small dose of caffeine every day (which still helps with my anxiety) so was wiling to shrug it off. I also figured that my husband and I have had an intense 2-3 weeks (1 week of me being worried my husband would divorce me over my faith transition - but I needed to tell him about my faith transition), and then 2 weeks of processing it.

Back to the main programming...
For the first time in weeks, I did not have uneasy dreams or wake up in the middle of the night. I wonder if the book is helping me deal with static background cognitive dissonance.

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