The Hero with a Thousand Faces Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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Campbell's words carry extraordinary weight, not only among scholars but among a wide range of other people who find his search down mythological pathways relevant to their lives today... The book for which he is most famous, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, [is] a brilliant examination, through ancient hero myths, of man's eternal struggle for identity. Time Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Despite their infinite variety of incident, setting, and number costume, the myths of the world offer only a limited number of responses to the riddle of life.
In this fascinating and influential book, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha., and numerous other protagonists of folklore and religion enact simultaneously the various phases of their common story.
The relationship of their timeless symbols to those discovered in dream by contemporary depth psychology is taken as a starting point for interpretation. The psychological view is then compared with the words of such spiritual leaders as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-tse, and the 'Old Man' of the Australian tribes. From behind a thousand faces the single hero looks out, archetype of all human myth.
"Campbell's words carry extraordinary weight, not only among scholars but a wide range of other people who find his search down mythical pathways relevant to their lives today."
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Top Customer Reviews
That sort of definition conveys the wide applicability of "the hero cycle" articulated by Campbell. His influence on George Lucas' Star Wars films is, of course, well-known.
Campbell's thrust is to blur the distinction between established religious orthodoxy and mythology. He bluntly states that "all religions are true for their time; they are true as metaphorical representations of the range of human psychological and spiritual experience".
The very substantial influence of Carl Gustav Jung is felt throughout Campbell's work. Religious ideas are METAPHORS. When one becomes "stuck to one's metaphor", one misses the point of religion, which is - to awaken one to the presence of these forces within oneself, and instead becomes embroiled in creedbound religious formalism.
Jung maintained that "religion" is a defense against a religious experience, that if one constantly projects these ideas outwardly, rather than seeking to find and elaborate them inwardly within oneself, the inner psychology is unaffected and remains barbaric.
This is a very good starting point for Campbell's work. Be certain to see "The Power of Myth" videos with Bill Moyers for an infectiously engaging introduction to comparative religion and mythology.
So why is it still in print, and why should you care? Indeed, why should you bother reading it?
The reason lies in the understated conclusions that Campbell reaches when identifying these commonalities; actually conclusions that are never really made plain in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, but which come out more explicitly in his later works and lectures. These stories, the myths, the metaphors and the structures point to a set of underlying truths that are available to everyone (always have been) and are embedded not only in some religions, but in all religions. It is this set of inherent truths that unite Buddhism and Christianity to the degree that core elements of the metaphorical imagery of each religion are in some circumstances inseparable.
Campbell is erudite enough to explore both the reasons and the explanations for commonality; the reasons being the inherently useful messages behind such metaphorical structures, and the explanations being common historical heritages in some instances, common individual experiences in others.
What is meant by the Garden of Eden, and how does it relate to Nirvana? It is the place in which there is no knowledge of right and wrong, centered on the tree of knowledge. Buddhism teaches us to seek this place in our lives constantly; Christianity teaches us that it is forever lost.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
brilliant for writers and anyone looking for an interesting read!!!Published 12 months ago by Julie Rees