Category: MythBlast

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Thinking at the Edges of Joseph Campbell: The Future of the MythBlast Series

Anniversaries mark the important events of one’s life; they invite reflection on the past, why it’s mattered, and where we’ve come from. Simultaneously, anniversaries stimulate thinking about the future, where we want to go,...

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In the Service of Creative Being

Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes“And he turns his mind to unknown arts.” Metamorphoses (Ovid, Book VIII, l. 188) As this pandemic rages on, exposing the structural flaws of an economic system bent on...

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“Myths don’t explain anything.” — Wait, what?

Here on the anniversary of the Joseph Campbell Foundation I got to musing about the service Joseph Campbell’s work has done for our world. My first thought was that bumper sticker. You’ve seen it:...

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One Forbidden Thing

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, a comic series called Forbidden Worlds made waves on newsstands, at dinner tables, and even in the Halls of Congress. In 1954, a Senate sub-committee holding hearings on the...

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The Outward Foundation for Inward Flowering

This September marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. One of the reasons I am so proud and honored to be a part of this organization is that JCF...

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To Be Human Among Titans and Gods

In Sake and Satori (being the second volume of Asian Journals), Joseph Campbell provides an account of his travels in the Far East during the spring and summer of 1955. Addressing his time in...

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MythBlast | A Most Rare Vision

In the Northern Hemisphere, much of July and August is commonly referred to as the “dog days” of summer. Swelteringly hot, heavy, stuffy days tint life with lethargy, ennui, or larghetto. The phrase, dog...

Japanese Pied Wagtail and Red Lotus illustration from Pictorial Monograph of Birds (1885) by Numata Kashu (1838-1901). 0

MythBlast | Dreaming the Lotus

Joseph Campbell’s volume Asian Journals includes an essay called “Hinduism,” in which Campbell shares a mythological overview of this ancient Indian religious tradition. In one Hindu creation myth, the god Viṣṇu sleeps on the...

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MythBlast | The Ripening Outcast

Although famous for stressing the psychological and metaphysical dimensions of myth, Joseph Campbell also had a grasp of myth’s historic foundations, including its sociological and ethnological inflexions in specific environments. When discussing Hinduism, for...

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MythBlast | Leaky Transcendence

Joseph Campbell thought a lot about the differences between Eastern and Western mythologies, and one of the key distinctions he identified lies in the degree to which the absolute truths that condition, guide, and...

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MythBlast | Amor Fati – Love Your Fate

This is a very strange time we find ourselves in. Many mythologists are taking on the myths and meaning behind our sudden isolation and how it has driven us into our homes and away...

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MythBlast | You Are It And It Is Nothing

“Can you make no use of nothing, Nuncle?” (Shakespeare, King Lear, 1.4.658) Lear may not have been able to make use of nothing, but Joseph Campbell certainly did. In Campbell’s book, Myths of Light:...

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MythBlast | The Air We Breathe

As I write, the globe remains in the grip of the pandemic. There is so much that is unknown about the novel coronavirus––and what is unknown breeds fear. Within that bubble of uncertainty events...

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MythBlast | Our Global Movement

There is no doubt: we have entered unprecedented times as a global community, brought together by an ingenious virus which, biologically speaking, does not like to discriminate among race, class, or gender, although it...

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MythBlast | The Secret Cause

Each month, we explore a theme through weekly MythBlasts, curated works, quotations, etc. This month’s theme is Our Global Community. Featured Video From the JCF YouTube channel Featured Audio Audio clip II.2.2.03 – Odysseus’...

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MythBlast | Searching For The Pimander In The Midst Of Coronavirus: Redefining Relationships in This Dark Night

The myths of the Sámi people speak of Beaivi, a sun goddess that brings healing to those whose mental and psychological health has been damaged by the long winter season of darkness. She brings...

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MythBlast | Forsaking the Easy for the Harder Pleasures

In his book, The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance, Joseph Campbell discusses artists who have had monumental impacts on the world of dance. To a person, these artists unflinchingly blazed new trails in...

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MythBlast | The Grateful Dead, Adult Entertainment, and Native Tongues

Recently, I engaged in verbal combat with a friend over whether Joseph Campbell would have liked the TV show Game of Thrones. Imagining great thinkers interacting with the cultural phenomena of contemporary life is...

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MythBlast | The Ancient Craft of the Beautiful

In his book The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance, Joseph Campbell demonstrates not only his insatiable curiosity and wide-ranging, omnivorous mind, but also, in his exploration of mythology and dance, I am reminded...

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MythBlast | The Quest of Creative-Being Itself

It is easy to glamorize the gifts and benefits of artistic creativity, the unique sense of transcendence it brings to mind, a kind of panacea to cure all the ills of life. To be...

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MythBlast | Mythic Imagination: The In-Between

Soul seeks a life that is not purely driven by ego centered desires, societal demands, or cultural norms, but a life that is connected to Psyche or Spirit. Spirit lives in the In-Between, it...