Joseph Campbell on the Mythic Symbology of Release

One of our all time favorite teachers is the late Joseph Campbell. Joseph Campbell was a preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher who had a genius for finding the unifying symbols and metaphors in apparently distinct cultures and traditions. Campbell explores the enduring power of the universal myths that influence our lives daily and examines the myth-making process from the primitive past to the immediate present, returning always to the source from which all mythology springs: the creative imagination. He had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.”

Joseph Campbell began his comparative study of the world’s religions with a chance meeting with the renowned Indian theosophist Jiddu Krishnamurti on a trans-Atlantic steamer. Though Campbell was deeply fascinated by mythologies and religions from every continent, Asia’s potent mix of theologies captured his imagination more than any other, and offered him paths to understanding the essence of myth.

Campbell stresses that the borders dividing the Earth have been shattered; that myths and religions have always followed the certain basic archetypes and are no longer exclusive to a single people, region, or religion. He shows how we must recognize their common denominators and allow this knowledge to be of use in fulfilling human potential everywhere.
 

In the video below, Campbell discusses winged fish, the feathered serpent, the Bodhisattva, and the Christ -- all mythological images of a shift in consciousness. This video is a brief excerpt from interviews filmed with Joseph Campbell shortly before his death in 1987, previously unreleased by the Joseph Campbell Foundation.

Expand awareness and illuminate your consciousness by exploring our Joseph Campbell Author Collection. From the Power of Myth to the Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell's books connect our inner spirit with the mythological processes each of us are living in our daily lives. By understanding our connection with the larger world, we are able to make sense of our journey and fully embrace the joys and sorrows of life.




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