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Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell is best known and recognised as an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer for his work in comparative mythology and religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience.  His philosophy is often summarised by his phrase: "Follow your bliss."

Before his death in 1987, Campbell completed a series of interviews with journalist Bill Moyers that aired as a six part television documentary originally on PBS in 1988 titled “Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth.”  The series demonstrates how humankind has documented through the rich use of metaphors, symbols, and rituals, the cultural understandings of what it means to be human.   And most interestingly, they all point to the same thing; “Thou Art That”.

I mention Joseph Campbell a lot throughout much of what I write because he studied and taught about Mythology; the unspeakable and unknowable language that captures all the aspects about how to live as a human being or an Earth Person as Wallace Black Elk would call it. Because this subject is so vast and universal I remind you that this is just a brief introduction to the most important aspect of Joseph Campbell's work; The Hero's Journey. See also the Rites of Passage section as they are about the socially created forms of the Hero's Journey.

The best work of Joseph, in my opinion, is the DVD sets of Mythos I, Mythos II, and now the last of that work, Mythos III. The reason is that this is footage of Joe teaching in the order and depth that he chose so that the best picture or understanding might come through. In my opinion the very best and most important is Mythos I as it introduces the subject of mythology by explaining the psyche, the foundation of how we think. If, according the shaman principles, reality is what we think it is, then this can help us to create a harmonious reality.

The following is the introduction and the trailer to 'Finding Joe' the movie. Finding Joe is an exploration of famed Mythologist Joseph Campbell’s studies and their continuing impact on our culture. Through interviews with visionaries from a variety of fields interwoven with enactments of classic tales by a sweet and motley group of kids, the film navigates the stages of what Campbell dubbed The Hero’s Journey: the challenges, the fears, the dragons, the battles, and the return home as a changed person. Rooted in deeply personal accounts and timeless stories, Finding Joe shows how Campbell’s work is relevant and essential in today’s world and how it provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life - or as Campbell would simply state, how to "follow your bliss".

I have not seen the movie (I have now!), but I suspect it to be somewhat more entertaining than informative (I was surprised at the good informative job done). The main message is in this trailer, but there is more to Joe's message of the hero's journey than can be expressed in a movie, a few books, or any form; as the real message is about living life and it takes a lifetime to do that, but the work of Joseph Campbell and all the shamans, masters, mystics, and God realised people of all times like Jesus can help us to live as a true human being or Earth Person if only we are open to the one great message that is embedded in all the world's mythologies.

You can see the full movie here: The Timeless Tale of the Hero's Journey: Full Film!


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