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Myth & Dream-The Hero With A Thousand Faces

To get a sense of Joseph Campbell's poetic creativity I want to direct you to a page I had created some years ago but had forgotten.

The Hero With A Thousand Faces
The Cosmogonic Cycle






This was Campbell's early claim to, written in 1949, and which became a best seller in 1988 book/audio.

Click on book to look inside

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.

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.

A Review of the book from Amazon.com:

This was required reading for a graduate course in the Humanities. This is a great book written by a very engaging storyteller. Joseph Campbell describes the monomyth in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces as embodying all the necessary elements of the hero's journey in the many myths in human history. Campbell discovered through extensive research that humankind shares a universal monomyth in its various religions and legends especially pertaining to the creation of the world and humankind. Campbell borrowed the term monomyth from James Joyce's book Finnegan's Wake. Campbell's intuitive insight in human myth proves that for thousands of years these myths display a certain standard structure, which he summarizes beautifully in his book.

Take a few minutes to read this page. Then if you have not already done so get the book, or the audio book {I did both}. This is advanced Campbell but readable by all.

Gerard

PS The standard structures of myth are the universal patterns within dreams

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