An exhilarating journey into the mind and spirit of a remarkable man, a legendary teacher, and a masterful storyteller, conducted by TV journalist Bill Moyers for their acclaimed PBS series.
Program One: "The Hero's Adventure"
Program Two: "The Message of the Myth"
Program Three: "The First Storytellers"
Program Four: "Sacrifice and Bliss"
Program Five: "Love and the Goddess"
Program Six: "Masks of Eternity"
© and (P)1988 Apostrophe S Productions. All rights reserved; (P)2001 HighBridge Company
"Those familiar with the six-part PBS series on Joseph Campbell will especially enjoy this audio production. Moyers follows the same format as the TV series: The journalist plies the tuning fork to the teacher's mind, and we listen as Campbell waxes rhapsodic on the hero, the nature of myth, storytelling, the goddess, and finally what we understand of eternity. The dialogue, like the video, is filled with Campbell's wonderful stories and punctuated with illustrative sound clips, ranging from Star Wars to the Oum prayer of Tibetan monks. This production goes into greater depth than the video text, focusing more on Campbell's exciting ideas than his personality and work. Dialogue, of course, is the best format for ideas, and Campbell's insights into myth and religion are a most refreshing response to our age, so deeply troubled with the clashing voices of religious fundamentalism. Let's listen again to Joseph Campbell." (AudioFile)
I first heard this as I was just out of college and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life and where I stood from a spiritual/religious perspective. I can't overstate the impact this series had on my career path and personal development.
Now, some 17 years later, I gave it another listen and I hear a whole new set of lessons relevant to my life as an established professional and continuing seeker of wisdom and personal growth.
I've listened to a lot of audiobooks in my time (200?) and have loved a heap but there are only a couple others I would even consider giving five stars. I reserve that for "classics" and I would give that status to "The Power of Myth."
Joseph Campbell's quiet wisdom and Bill Moyers astute questions are life changing for the interested listener. What I love most about Campbell is that he doesn't *stop* teaching, he's a conduit, the opposite of the self titled "inspirational" speaker. He shares his knowledge without advising what one should draw from it. Almost magically, far more than facts alone, his words stay alive. The have the potential to completely transform the listeners life experience, yet each one will create something different from what he says.
While not really a book, this interview series is stunningly good. An unbiased and expansive examination of the human experience, as exemplified through our collective mythos and archetypes.
Those who have dogmatic approaches to life or morality may have a lot of trouble with the concepts discussed, at length, in this series. However, those enthralled by the concept of cyclical representations of religions and mythologies (a line that is perilously nudged repeatedly) will find a fascinating experience.
Plus it has Star Wars in it. So, it has to be good.
I like this better than the Hero with a Thousand Faces. It's more accessible I think. The Interview format helps a lot. It's one of those books that I was really sad to get to the end.
In this age of hateful atheism against the holier than thou, you can listen to thoughtful people openly discussing spirituality before it became a red/blue issue.
I've seen this as a special on PBS. The audio version is excellent - more powerful that watching for me, because I was able to think more as I listened. Wish more Joseph Campbell material was available on Audible!
The transcript of the interviews, published years ago, is inaccessable because of its form. This audio release is a much better venue for the material. Campbell is amazing, insightful and inspiring. No small feat without dogma or faith. Listen in the context of it's time, the 1970's, and don't get distracted by the Star Wars references. He show why the supernatural is unnecessary and the natural is super. Once you see the divinity of everything, you don't need the divine. Great read.
A charming series of interviews of Joseph Campbell, but I can't quite recommend it to anyone who already knows of and loves his work. Compared to one of his lecture series, it's dissatisfyingly meandering and lightweight. For those who are curious about his work, I suppose this might be a friendly way to sample it, although I also found it was a little disjoint and wandering, like a typical NPR article. Again, you're better off just diving into one of his lecture series.
Having said that, I'll add that Joseph Campbell should be required study for everyone. This material covers basic human psychology in broad strokes, rolled up with the history of religion -- the one topic above all where some perspective and self-awareness is desperately needed. So, if this chatty series sparks your interest, wonderful!
I found this life-changing and mind-expanding when I first saw the series on PBS in 1991. Listening to it again makes me want to buy the DVDs. Campbell is nothing less than amazing.
Sometimes you like a book for its plot, sometimes for its characters, sometimes the locality will seduce you. But to read Joseph Campbell is a treat for the soul, and you read (or listen) to his stories for its words; like chocolate for the mind, food for the soul. This particular book talks about myths and how man has one basic idea or awe and in order to make sense of it, turns it into a god or goddess. We may think our religiousness is unique to our race or ethnicity, but Campbell explains to us that it's the same basic universal idea just blended around to fit our individual circumstance. I watched the original PBS series, and it's a joy to find this keepsake.
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