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The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) [Paperback]

Joseph Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; Reprint edition (15 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608681106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608681105
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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

Product Description

Synopsis

Originally published in 1986, this was Joseph Campbell's last book. It is developed from a series of lectures in which he explores the Space Age, and posits that the newly discovered laws of outer space are actually within us as well, and that a new mythology is implicit in that realisation. He demonstrates that metaphor is the language of art and argues that within the psyches of today's artists are the seeds of tomorrow's mythologies. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting For A New Mythology 25 Aug 2003
Format:Hardcover
In the INNER REACHES OF OUTER SPACE Joseph Campbell repeats some of the familiar observations of his earlier works in which he shows how certain mythic motifs can be found buried in all of the world's religious traditions. The similarities may not be easily recognized because the same motifs are usually understood and developed in different ways because of cultural differences. These repetitive motifs are called elementary ideas and in the local forms where they appear in various religions they are known as ethnic or folk ideas. As examples of elementary ideas Campbell offers the concepts of the Promised Land and the Virgin Birth. In writing about the similarities of symbols found in ancient civilizations, Campbell mentions discoveries among such diverse societies as those that existed in the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Ireland.
Because of the great advances in learning which have become accelerated and dramatized by space exploration, Campbell points out that our old gods are either already dead or dying. The big question now is what new mythology will emerge from a modern understanding of a unified planet amidst a vast universe.
The most remarkable feature evident in THE INNER REACHES OF OUTER SPACE is the breadth and depth of the author's knowledge and understanding of mythology. Joseph Campbell led an enviable life driven by a singular passion and his writings are the best reflection of that life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening on a variety of subjects 6 Nov 2011
By JaH
Format:Hardcover
After going over many of Joseph Campbell's video interviews, this was a great informative book too move on to. He really goes into depth on many mythologies from around the world and brings it all together "in you". "The kingdom is within you."

The book is divided into three chapters;
The first talks about the imagination of the mind, the inspiration and the whole cosmology of the mythologies.
The second goes into the concept of religion and the way mythology is used as the inspiration for one to
seek the truth and the light within - and for - ourselves.
The third describes the role of art in the evolution and progress of thought. Various figures and paintings are depicted and referred to throughout the book.

Look forward to a great read!

-Love & Gratitude-
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting For A New Mythology 3 Jun 2003
By Peter Kenney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In THE INNER REACHES OF OUTER SPACE Joseph Campbell repeats some of the familiar observations of his earlier works in which he shows how certain mythic motifs can be found buried in all of the world's religious traditions. The similarities may not be easily recognized because the same motifs are usually understood and developed in different ways because of cultural differences. These repetitive motifs are called elementary ideas and in the local forms where they appear in various religions they are known as ethnic or folk ideas. As examples of elementary ideas Campbell offers the concepts of the Promised Land and the Virgin Birth. In writing about the similarities of symbols found in ancient civilizations, Campbell mentions discoveries among such diverse societies as those that existed in the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Ireland.
Because of the great advances in learning which have become accelerated and dramatized by space exploration, Campbell points out that our old gods are either already dead or dying. The big question now is what new mythology will emerge from a modern understanding of a unified planet amidst a vast universe.
The creation of any new mythology will certainly depend in part on the contributions of art because artists will be the ones who will produce the images of the future. Those images will come from our knowledge of a constantly changing and expanding universe. Campbell writes about the connection between art and mythology with conviction, no doubt due to the long-standing influence of his wife, Jean Erdman, a well-known dancer and choreographer.
The most remarkable feature evident in THE INNER REACHES OF OUTER SPACE is the breadth and depth of the author's knowledge and understanding of mythology. Joseph Campbell led an enviable life driven by a singular passion and his writings are the best reflection of that life.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any creative artist! 27 Jan 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was--the back cover says--Campbell's last. I can imagine Campbell working on the manuscript between conversations with Bill Moyers: it feels like this book works out some of the open questions raised in The Power of Myth.
What a brilliant book! By turns thought-provoking and breathtaking, I found myself rethinking many long-held ideas. And this for someone who has read and seen many Campbell works in the past.
The last chapter, The Way of Art, really flattened me. Campbell writes thoughout his work of the mythic role of the artist, but here is the clearest statement of the artist's power and responsibility.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mythology for the layman 6 July 2006
By Chai - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Joseph Campbell introduces us to the world of mythology and reality making the case that for most of human history, they are one in the same.

I give this book 5 stars because it is the best presentation of this type of information for laymen I have found.

His writings have brought up the argument that what is lacking in America today is an education in mythology. This is something that would not only enhance an individuals life by adding value to our culture which is in my opinion too often dismissed as empty, but also would enhance our connection with our past and our future.

Joseph Campbell has influenced many people and many creative efforts. George Lucas credits Mr Campbell with making StarWars a better movie. In fact Mr Campbell's interviews with Bill Moyers (on many PBS stations) was taped at Skywalker Ranch. I found this link indranet.com/welcometoearth having searched for information about Mr Campbell.

In addition to those seeking anthropological or spiritual information, if you enjoy magical stories like Harry Potter or science fiction stories then you will enjoy The Inner Reaches of Outer Space.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Is Easy To Be A Fan Of Joseph Campbell 3 Jun 2003
By Patrick Doherty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
THE INNER REACHES OF OUTER SPACE is one of the books being published by The Joseph Campbell Foundation as part of THE COLLECTED WORKS OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL. I agree with another reviewer that it makes sense to first read THOU ART THAT which is an earlier volume in this series.
Any book by Campbell will usually be loaded with insights. In THE INNER REACHES OF OUTER SPACE one of my favorite chapters deals partially with a discussion of the Infinite and in this segment the author's extensive knowledge of Eastern religions and mythology is most apparent.
After reading this book it is even easier than before to appreciate why Joseph Campbell has managed to acquire such a devoted following.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Campbell at his best 27 Jun 2007
By Barbara A. Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I know, I know, everyone will point to Campbell's astonishing Hero with a Thousand Faces, and his 4-part book series on different traditions, but I love this book. I think it's because it is Campbell in his later years, synthesizing all he has learned over decades of study, and applying it to the future. It also is one of the more accessible Campbell books in terms of folks who don't usually read high-end academic works being able to follow it without re-reading every other paragraph. (That is NOT a criticism -- Joseph Campbell packed a lot into each of his brilliant thoughts). Another book I'd recommend is the biography on him, "Fire in the Mind."
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