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Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

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"Observe the persistence, in mankind's mythologies, of the legend about a paradise that men had once possessed, the city of Atlantis or the Garden of Eden or some kingdom of perfection, always behind us. The root of that legend exists, not in the past of the race, but in the past of every man. You still retain a sense—not as firm as a memory, but diffused like the pain of hopeless longing—that somewhere in the starting years of your childhood, before you had learned to submit, to absorb the terror of unreason and to doubt the value of your mind, you had known a radiant state of existence, you had known the independence of a rational consciousness facing an open universe. That is the paradise which you have lost, which you seek—which is yours for the taking.
— For The New Intellectual, page 177

Joseph Campbell has done extensive work in collecting mythology from all around the world, offering one of the most secular explanations from his analysis of the similarity and differences between them.

In The Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand decried the absence of rationality in the field of esthetics and provided her keen insights into the nature of art in her most controversial work.

There are a few here, that have expressed interest in Joseph Campbell's works. His book The Hero With A Thousand Faces was to him what The Fountainhead was to Ayn Rand, setting each, in their respective areas, a notoriety they had not had prior to their respective publications.

 

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Joseph Campbell's book was published in 1949. The only reference to Campbell on The Objectivism Research CD is Norman Campbell (1880-1949) as listed in the ITOE index.

Overall, the book was difficult to follow with the Epilogue serving as the most impressive section.

Mark Scott did several interviews with Joseph Campbell. They were always light-hearted and entertaining, contrasted against the usual general seriousness of most of his broadcasts.

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What is his epistemological method like? Is he proving a theory by enumerating examples, or something else?

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I'd classify his epistemological method as subjective. He's presenting his interpretation of the myth. Paraphrased, the myths might be rendered otherwise in a different age, or culture.

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Posted (edited)

Here's a concrete taken from Myth and Dream, pg. 17 that correlates somewhat with the open quote from Ayn Rand.

The first step, detachment or withdrawal, consists in a radical transfer of emphasis from the external to the internal world, macro- to microcosm, a retreat from the desperations of the waste land to the peace of the everlasting realm that is within. But this realm, as we know from psychoanalysis, is precisely the infantile unconscious. It is the realm that we enter in sleep. We carry it within ourselves forever. All the ogres and secret helpers of our nursery are there, all the magic of childhood. And more important, all the life-potentialities that we never managed to bring to adult realization, those other portions of ourself, are there; for such golden seeds do not die. If only a portion of that lost totality could be dredged up into the light of day, we should experience a marvelous expansion of our powers, a vivid renewal of life.

Not to deeply subdivide it here, but what are the golden seeds of life-potentials that do not die? Or the ogres and secret helpers of our nursery?

Consider this portion of the opening quote. {S}omewhere in the starting years of your childhood, before you had learned to submit, to absorb the terror of unreason and to doubt the value of your mind . . ." Ogres? Secret helpers? Could these be mapped over the discovery of ways to submit and to absorb?  "{Y}ou had known a radiant state of existence, you had known the independence of a rational consciousness facing an open universe." The golden seeds of life-potentialities?

Or  "We carry it within ourselves forever" can be added along with "If only a portion of that lost totality could be dredged up" to this and stretched a bit to come up with: "You still retain a sense—not as firm as a memory, but diffused like the pain of hopeless longing."

 

Joseph Campbell uses terminology which invites you to substitute what he is saying with what you want to think. The ogre, you'll find out is a symbol. The secret helper, if you were able to press him for it, he would tell you that denotes a symbol as well.

Edited by dream_weaver

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A correction to the original or opening post, from the Introduction to the 1973 third printing of The Hero With A Thousand Faces:

There are of course differences between the numerous mythologies and religions of mankind, but this is a book about the similarities; and once these are understood the differences will be found to be much less great than is popularly (and politically) supposed.

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Posted (edited)

SINCE religion is a primitive form of philosophy—an attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality—many of its myths are distorted, dramatized allegories based on some element of truth, some actual, if profoundly elusive, aspect of man's existence.
—The Romantic Manifesto, page 25

Consider the stark contrast of this to Joseph Campbell's 'all S is P' opening:

WHETHER we listen with aloof amusement to the dreamlike mumbo jumbo of some red-eyed witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture thin translations from the sonnets of the mystic Lao-tse; now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimo fairy tale: it will be always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be known or told.
—page 3

Miss Rand's identification of 'sense of life' would be her contribution from The Romantic Manifesto. Joseph Campbell couches the 'destiny of Everyman' as being comprised of separation and departure, the trials and victories of initiation, and the return and reintegration with society. This last underscores an implicit collectivist premise rather than individualism, and plays a recurring role interwoven into the fabric of the myths themselves.

The following pages will present in the form of one composite adventure the tales of a number of the world's symbolic carriers of the destiny of Everyman. The first great stage, that of the separation or departure, will be shown in Part I, Chapter I, in five subsections: (1) "The Call to Adventure," or the signs of the vocation of the hero; (2) "Refusal of the Call," or the folly of the flight from the god;
—page 36

'Destiny of Everyman', suggests determinism, while embracing within the separation and departure section the further notions of (1) "The Call to Adventure," or the signs of the vocation of the hero; (2) "Refusal of the Call," or the folly of the flight from the god; suggests non-determinism.

Perhaps the 'destiny of Everyman' is determinant upon the acceptance or the refusal of the call to adventure.

One of the first myths Joseph Campbell offers into evidence deals with a labyrinth and a skein of linen thread. Providing an anchor point at the entrance to the labyrinth, the hero is able to secure one end of the linen thread to the point of entry into the maze in order to safely navigate his way into, and more importantly, out of the complex maze.

Here, it is necessary to step back to page 3 again for a further brief inflection.

Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind. It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.

These are two alternatives that have been raised here: do religions give rise to the myths; or do the religions "boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth?" The skein of linen thread is further elaborated on page 24.

And so now we may turn to him [Daedalus], as did Ariadne. The flax for the linen of his thread he has gathered from the fields of the human imagination. Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path.

In what metaphorical sense is this true? What insight does this provide for the human psyche?

It is here that the lines between the myths and the philosophy get blurred. To gather this, one has only to follow the thread, for witch the flax of the linen has been gather from the fields of the human imagination.

I would suggest this diverges from, or is intertwined with "many of its myths [being] distorted, dramatized allegories based on some element of truth, some actual, if profoundly elusive, aspect of man's existence."

Do you want to understand the nature of the labyrinth and the linen thread? Step back. Frame myth in its proper perspective as art, and then re-frame it in the guidelines that Miss Rand offers it on page 17 of The Romantic Manifesto:

To understand the nature and function of art, one must understand the nature and function of concepts.

Ayn Rand suggests that "many of its myths are distorted, dramatized allegories based on some element of truth, some actual, if profoundly elusive, aspect of man's existence." So how does Joseph Campbell's examination of the myths tie into this "element of truth, some acutual, if profoundly elusueive, aspect of man's existence?

Edited by dream_weaver
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The esthetic principles which apply to all art, regardless of an individual artist's philosophy, and which must guide an objective evaluation, are outside the scope of this discussion. I will mention only that such principles are defined by the science of esthetics—a task at which modern philosophy has failed dismally.
—The Romantic Manifesto, page 42-43

On page 381 of the Epilogue, Joseph Campbell opens with:

THERE is no final system for the interpretation of myths, and there will never be any such thing.

Hermeneutics, for lack of a better term, would support Mr. Campbell's assertion. Where guiding principles are not clearly identified and adhered to in an area of expertise, the epistemological desire for order cannot be satisfied.

Ironically, the first heading offered within his epilogue is entitled The Shapeshifter. Under the 3rd section The Hero Today, Campbell offers:

It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported.
—page 387

The very place Joseph Campbell has been searching about for answers to the questions he has raised, is the hiding place into which the myths have shape-shifted. He briefly glances off of it here:

The problem of mankind today, therefore, is precisely the opposite to that of men in the comparatively stable periods of those great co-ordinating mythologies which now are known as lies. Then all meaning was in the group, in the great anonymous forms, none in the self-expressive individual; today no meaning is in the group—none in the world: all is in the individual.

He strikes on it in the next few sentences, but I cannot affirm that it was done in a explicit manner. I suspect not.

But there the meaning is absolutely unconscious. One does not know toward what one moves. One does not know by what one is propelled. The lines of communication between the conscious and the unconscious zones of the human psyche have all been cut, and we have been split in two.

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On 4/16/2017 at 0:40 AM, dream_weaver said:

SINCE religion is a primitive form of philosophy—an attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality—many of its myths are distorted, dramatized allegories based on some element of truth, some actual, if profoundly elusive, aspect of man's existence.
—The Romantic Manifesto, page 25

Consider the stark contrast of this to Joseph Campbell's 'all S is P' opening:

WHETHER we listen with aloof amusement to the dreamlike mumbo jumbo of some red-eyed witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture thin translations from the sonnets of the mystic Lao-tse; now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimo fairy tale: it will be always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be known or told.
—page 3

Miss Rand's identification of 'sense of life' would be her contribution from The Romantic Manifesto. Joseph Campbell couches the 'destiny of Everyman' as being comprised of separation and departure, the trials and victories of initiation, and the return and reintegration with society. This last underscores an implicit collectivist premise rather than individualism, and plays a recurring role interwoven into the fabric of the myths themselves.

The following pages will present in the form of one composite adventure the tales of a number of the world's symbolic carriers of the destiny of Everyman. The first great stage, that of the separation or departure, will be shown in Part I, Chapter I, in five subsections: (1) "The Call to Adventure," or the signs of the vocation of the hero; (2) "Refusal of the Call," or the folly of the flight from the god;
—page 36

'Destiny of Everyman', suggests determinism, while embracing within the separation and departure section the further notions of (1) "The Call to Adventure," or the signs of the vocation of the hero; (2) "Refusal of the Call," or the folly of the flight from the god; suggests non-determinism.

Perhaps the 'destiny of Everyman' is determinant upon the acceptance or the refusal of the call to adventure.

One of the first myths Joseph Campbell offers into evidence deals with a labyrinth and a skein of linen thread. Providing an anchor point at the entrance to the labyrinth, the hero is able to secure one end of the linen thread to the point of entry into the maze in order to safely navigate his way into, and more importantly, out of the complex maze.

Here, it is necessary to step back to page 3 again for a further brief inflection.

Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind. It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.

These are two alternatives that have been raised here: do religions give rise to the myths; or do the religions "boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth?" The skein of linen thread is further elaborated on page 24.

And so now we may turn to him [Daedalus], as did Ariadne. The flax for the linen of his thread he has gathered from the fields of the human imagination. Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path.

In what metaphorical sense is this true? What insight does this provide for the human psyche?

It is here that the lines between the myths and the philosophy get blurred. To gather this, one has only to follow the thread, for witch the flax of the linen has been gather from the fields of the human imagination.

I would suggest this diverges from, or is intertwined with "many of its myths [being] distorted, dramatized allegories based on some element of truth, some actual, if profoundly elusive, aspect of man's existence."

Do you want to understand the nature of the labyrinth and the linen thread? Step back. Frame myth in its proper perspective as art, and then re-frame it in the guidelines that Miss Rand offers it on page 17 of The Romantic Manifesto:

To understand the nature and function of art, one must understand the nature and function of concepts.

Ayn Rand suggests that "many of its myths are distorted, dramatized allegories based on some element of truth, some actual, if profoundly elusive, aspect of man's existence." So how does Joseph Campbell's examination of the myths tie into this "element of truth, some acutual, if profoundly elusueive, aspect of man's existence?

I do not agree that the return and reintegration with society is collectivist.  It is just what people do.  Consider some hero who left and never comes back: the story ends with his departure and nothing further can be learned.  Consider some hero who returned but in some sense was not re-integrated, such as no one believed his story:  then why re-tell his story?

Also, the 'Destiny of Everyman' is no more determinist than the insistence that man has an identity and that 'human nature' is therefore a valid concept because it has an objective referent.

The "labyrinth and the linen thread" works as a metaphor for the Objectivist theory of concepts, where the labyrinth is all the various possible combinations of words and meanings attached to words of which most are false and the linen thread is the insistence on the part of the hero (in epistemology the knower, and since "all men desire to know" then this is an actual "everyman")  on maintaining contact with reality by ensuring all of his concepts are reducible to percepts.

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42 minutes ago, Grames said:

I do not agree that the return and reintegration with society is collectivist.  It is just what people do.  Consider some hero who left and never comes back: the story ends with his departure and nothing further can be learned.  Consider some hero who returned but in some sense was not re-integrated, such as no one believed his story:  then why re-tell his story?

I might be quick on the draw with regard to putting his every use of society carte blanch with collectivism. In general, I think both Campbell and the general tenor of many myths are collectivist at their essence.

I'll take some issue with the hero who never returned or was not believed. As a myth, it is the story regardless of the particulars that gets passed on. The hero that was granted the wish of eternal sleep, upon being awakened, looked out at the world of men, and rather than return, went on to the land of the immortals.

In another version, the boy who cried wolf is a folklore used to illustrate the potential consequence of telling a story eventually no one believes.

42 minutes ago, Grames said:

Also, the 'Destiny of Everyman' is no more determinist than the insistence that man has an identity and that 'human nature' is therefore a valid concept because it has an objective referent.

I had not considered that perspective. It has merit.

42 minutes ago, Grames said:

the hero (in epistemology the knower, and since "all men desire to know" then this is an actual "everyman")

This is beyond where I've, thus far, catapulted 'the hero'. The tie-in with 'an actual "everyman" makes sense.

Edited by dream_weaver

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18 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

I might be quick on the draw with regard to putting his every use of society carte blanch with collectivism. In general, I think both Campbell and the general tenor of many myths are collectivist.

I'll take some issue with the hero who never returned or was not believed. As a myth, it is the story regardless of the particulars that gets passed on. The hero that was granted the wish of eternal sleep, upon being awakened, looked out at the world of men, and rather than return, went on to the land of the immortals.

In another version, the boy who cried wolf is a folklore used to illustrate the potential consequence of telling a story eventually no one believes.

I had not considered that perspective. It has merit.

This is beyond where I've, thus far, catapulted 'the hero'. The tie-in with 'an actual "everyman" makes sense.

Technically, a story in which you as the reader/listener/viewer are intended to identify with the protagonist because of his virtuous and exemplary conduct is a hero, but in a 'negative example' story the reader/listener/viewer is to learn what not to do, and what path not to follow because the protagonist is lacking virtue and is classified as an "anti-hero".  Campbell is centered around finding similarities in the mythic heroes only, not similarities among all mythic protagonists and so anti-heroes are excluded from consideration.     

It has been many years since I read Campbell so I do not recall if he ever did comment more in depth on the anti-hero.

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4 minutes ago, Grames said:

Technically, a story in which you as the reader/listener/viewer are intended to identify with the protagonist because of his virtuous and exemplary conduct is a hero, but in a 'negative example' story the reader/listener/viewer is to learn what not to do, and what path not to follow because the protagonist is lacking virtue and is classified as an "anti-hero".  Campbell is centered around finding similarities in the mythic heroes only, not similarities among all mythic protagonists and so anti-heroes are excluded from consideration.     

It has been many years since I read Campbell so I do not recall if he ever did comment more in depth on the anti-hero.

On that note, I'll hold to the tale of King Muchukunda, and disregard the boy who cried wolf.

 

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22 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

I might be quick on the draw with regard to putting his every use of society carte blanch with collectivism. In general, I think both Campbell and the general tenor of many myths are collectivist at their essence.

 

Campbell produced a large body of work, which I’ve studied quite a great deal.  Be careful to distinguish between when he’s being descriptive and prescriptive.  You’ll find that he was indeed an individualist in his prescriptive mode.  Are you just now dipping into his work for the first time?  Only Hero with a Thousand Faces so far?  The Masks of God series is a good place to go next.  Though the video series Transformations of Myth Through Time is also excellent, and easier going.  Unfortunately it has never been made available on DVD; I taped it (VHS) off the air decades ago. 

In the last chapter of Occidental Mythology he spells out the functions of myth.  You (maybe) should make a beeline for that chapter, it has important material (important for understanding him) stated in an accessible and succinct manner.

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I have the Masks of God as well as the Hero's Journey, in addition to The Hero With A Thousand Faces. I bought them about 20 years ago, I have just not read them up until now, save one.

Here's another passage from page 193, supporting the refusal of the return.

WHEN the hero-quest has been accomplished, through penetration to the source, or through the grace of some male or female, human or animal, personification, the adventurer still must return with his life-transmuting trophy. The full round, the norm of the monomyth, requires that the hero shall now begin the labor of bringing the runes of wisdom, the Golden Fleece, or his sleeping princess, back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet, or the ten thousand worlds.

But the responsibility has been frequently refused. Even the Buddha, after his triumph, doubted whether the message of realization could be communicated, and saints are reported to have passed away while in the supernal ecstasy. Numerous indeed are the heroes fabled to have taken up residence forever in the blessed isle of the unaging Goddess of Immortal Being.

I don't know if Joseph Campbell would fully agree with Ayn Rand's assessment:

Aristotle said that fiction is of greater philosophical importance than history, because history represents things only as they are, while fiction represents them "as they might be and ought to be."

Prescriptive or descriptive, Mr. Campbell wrote along the lines of bringing "back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet, or the ten thousand worlds." Could the prescriptive influence the descriptive (or vice versa?)

Miss Rand has taken the Hero's journey (albeit, I've not read the volume yet, but of what I have read thus far . . . it stands to reason.) Both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged bear testimony of this. Since then, there have been many a buddha that have taken the hero's journey themselves (read either one or the other or both) and have come away with their own message of realization.

While Joseph Campbell has gathered one of the largest compilations of myths secularly, Ayn Rand has epitomized myth in the most secular way, to date.

To borrow from the movie Hidden Figures*, Kevin Costner's character, Al Harrison's stated , , , "we're already there."  The date October 10th, 1957 represents a tipping point that has yet to be fully acknowledged . . . historically.

 

* Nicely done movie, in my esteem.

Edited by dream_weaver

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17 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Prescriptive or descriptive, Mr. Campbell wrote along the lines of bringing "back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet, or the ten thousand worlds." Could the prescriptive influence the descriptive (or vice versa?)

By prescriptive what I mean is that when he gives moral advice, he's an individualist.  "Follow your bliss", for instance.  By descriptive what I mean is that he studied countless myths and abstracted patterns he found in them.  Omitted the measurements, as Objectivists would say.  That's the monomyth.  Example: Jesus was baptized and then spent 40 days fasting in the desert while being tempted by Satan.  He overcame temptations and returned bringing boons: the Gospel of salvation and so on. 

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44 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Prescriptive or descriptive, Mr. Campbell wrote along the lines of bringing "back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet, or the ten thousand worlds." Could the prescriptive influence the descriptive (or vice versa?)

 

17 minutes ago, Ninth Doctor said:

By prescriptive what I mean is that when he gives moral advice, he's an individualist.  "Follow your bliss", for instance.  By descriptive what I mean is that he studied countless myths and abstracted patterns he found in them.  Omitted the measurements, as Objectivists would say.  That's the monomyth.  Example: Jesus was baptized and then spent 40 days fasting in the desert while being tempted by Satan.  He overcame temptations and returned bringing boons: the Gospel of salvation and so on. 

Are one of us "whitewashing" here, or are we both seeking the same kernel of "moral advice"?

Note, both you and Joseph Campbell appear to be in agreement about bringing back the boons.

Ayn Rand uses John Galt to deliver the "boons", so to speak.

Where liies the gospel of salvation in Galt's speech?

Edited by dream_weaver

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I'm not following you.  Agreement about bring back the boons, as in, the hero ought to do something that benefits society when he returns from the adventure?  Usually he does, that's how it came to be part of the monomyth structure.  Do you see this as inherently collectivist or altruistic?  I don't.  It would depend on the nature of the boon.  It could very well be a "Gospel" of individualism and reason.

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15 minutes ago, Ninth Doctor said:

I'm not following you.  Agreement about bring back the boons, as in, the hero ought to do something that benefits society when he returns from the adventure?  Usually he does, that's how it came to be part of the monomyth structure.  Do you see this as inherently collectivist or altruistic?  I don't.  It would depend on the nature of the boon.  It could very well be a "Gospel" of individualism and reason.

I need to dwell on this. It strikes me as being close to the right questions to be asking here.

Edited by dream_weaver

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Greg and Dennis, thanks for this discussion and information. I've not studied Campbell, but I've studied Galt's Speech, and that is squarely a message of salvation. It is a layout for one's liberation from false personally destructive doctrines that have saturated one's cultural setting all one's life. It tells how to break out of those doctrinal clutches, including those offering the fake salvations from death. It offers the salvation of having this life, this holy.

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Excellent discussion so far.  I'm a dabbler in JC's works, still reading them.

9th Doctor's observations regarding JCs individualistic advice "find your bliss" reminded me of something I may have noticed.

I may be way off base but it seems that as JC got older his views matured a little and shifted somewhat in focus... (comparing his late in life interviews "The Power of Myth" with Bill Moyers with his earlier writings) from the relationship between the individual and the group toward the relationship (not literal but more of a psychological acceptance, orientation, or perspective) between the individual and the universe.

Perhaps the shift is inevitable as one contemplates the end of life.

In summary, although I am enjoying his earlier works I think I would be more interested in his later stuff assuming they are more oriented toward the "personal".  Is this somewhat accurate?  Any recommendations?

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Found on Page 8 of The Power of Myth:

“Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state, and that's what is threatening the world at this minute."

That last chapter in Occidental Mythology just moved up the reading list.

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11 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

In summary, although I am enjoying his earlier works I think I would be more interested in his later stuff assuming they are more oriented toward the "personal".  Is this somewhat accurate?  Any recommendations?

His earlier work was dispassionate scholarship, late in life he became something of a guru, the result being titles like Myths to Live By.  Comparatively speaking.  So more personal, sure.  I think supply and demand explain this well enough.  After George Lucas credited him with (partly) inspiring Star Wars he got a lot more attention.  His biography says he resisted being treated like a guru, but it happened anyway.  Great book, BTW:

https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Campbell-Fire-Stephen-Larsen/dp/0892818735/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492642721&sr=1-3&keywords=fire+in+the+mind

Would you believe that in the 30's he was a communist, hanging out with Steinbeck in Monterey?  He's even a character in Cannery Row.  And in the 80's he was a Reagan Republican, though he disapproved (and made fun) of the religious revival element.

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4 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Found on Page 8 of The Power of Myth:

“Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state, and that's what is threatening the world at this minute."

That last chapter in Occidental Mythology just moved up the reading list.

The entire PBS series "The Power of Myth" was on Netflix a few years ago... to bad it's gone!  It's quite a delightful and interesting series.

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15 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Greg and Dennis, thanks for this discussion and information. I've not studied Campbell, but I've studied Galt's Speech, and that is squarely a message of salvation. It is a layout for one's liberation from false personally destructive doctrines that have saturated one's cultural setting all one's life. It tells how to break out of those doctrinal clutches, including those offering the fake salvations from death. It offers the salvation of having this life, this holy.

But Galt’s story doesn’t fit the monomyth well.  The hero needs to be transformed in the course of the adventure, and Galt is a static character.  Roark stands as a better illustration: in the course of his adventure he identifies the “principle of the Dean” and as a result reverses his error, captured in the famous line “but I don’t think of you”.  The “return with boons” is the courtroom speech.  Which is as far from collectivist and altruistic as you can get.

"I came here to be heard!"

Edited by Ninth Doctor
typo

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